It's all about perspective

Archive for January, 2008

The day of Saint Valentine

How I despise this holiday. Just to be clear, this feeling does not stem from the lack of a significant other. I have hated this holiday from the first time I celebrated it in Kindergarten. The western tradition of St. Valentine’s day is nothing more than a celebration of corporate exploitative greed designed to line their own pockets.

In Kindergarten we exchanged valentines. Those little mass-produced cards featuring the faces of our favorite sesame street muppet or cartoon star with their oh too cute messages of friendship and infantile love. I got none. As we went through school it became a popularity contest. There were those who received so many their decorated shoe box was almost overflowing. Then there were those, like myself, who got a few token valentines from people who felt bad knowing we did not get any. Part of me is glad our schools don’t let this kind of thing happen anymore. Everyone knows the sting when you did not get the valentine from someone you liked. And I would be willing to wager we equally know the horror of getting the valentine from someone we did not like. Somewhere along the line I decided not to participate in the ritual parade of my social ineptitudes.

The first time since school I felt the need to give a valentine I decided to do something wholly unexpected: I made my girlfriend a valentine. I spent days working on the design and coming up with the right words. Along with the card I gave her a single purple tulip I found from a garden several blocks away. I thought since I made it and went to the effort to find her favorite flower in her favorite color, she would at least be appreciative, but no. After receiving these things she asked where her real present was. Up from the devastation in my heart through the bubbling rage in my voice I told her she was not getting one. Ever. Again. And then promptly I left the room.

I swore valentine’s day off at that point. Even with my last girlfriend who I loved dearly and very passionately; I flatly refused to participate in the holiday.

Every year decorations and cards for valentine’s day go up earlier and earlier. Christmas had not even come and Wal-Mart already began lining their shelves with Cupid’s merchandise. The really sad thing is, once you start buying valentine’s day gifts, you have to keep buying them. And you can’t keep buying the same one. You have to buy something different, unique, just like all the other stuff there is to buy, or you have to continuously outdo your previous purchases.

Give me someone: who would be grateful to have a significant other in their life who takes time out of their day to think of nothing and no one but them, who does not have to have every little thing the corporate conglomerate says you have to have in order to feel loved, and who is not so jealous of what others have they can not appreciate what is right in front of them.

I spit on what the corporate giants have done to this holiday. A holiday with no ties to the people it is named after. A holiday only recognized by the entities who stand to make the most off of its plundering: Corporate America.

Goodbye, Mr. Ledger

Actor Heath Ledger, who stared in: A Knight’s Tale, The Patriot, won critical acclaim for his role in Brokeback Mountain, and stars in The Dark Knight as the Joker, was found dead in his New York apartment earlier today. The family maintains it was not a death by suicide, and the police concur. Until an autopsy is performed, the tentative cause of death is accidental overdose.

He was an excellent actor on his way to being one of our generation’s brightest. He would have been 29 this year.

My thoughts and best wishes go to his family and the daughter he left behind.

You will be missed, Mr. Ledger.

Getting the business end of college pt 2

My faith in humanity has not quite been restored, polished slightly, but not fully restored.

I phoned the Dean of the College of Graduate and Continuing Studies at my school this morning. He promised me I was his top priority. He took it upon himself to ensure my file was in order and when he called me back about an hour later it was to inform me I was fully admitted and that my money would be replaced in my account.

A huge weight has been lifted from my chest knowing this whole sordid affair is at its end. Yet I still feel somewhat cheated. The matter apparently had to involve a Dean, and all he did was get these people to do their jobs. I was lied to, blown off, treated like an imbecile, and all this caused me quite a bit of undue stress. Yet everything is supposed to be alright now that the boss stepped down from the pedestal to tell everyone to get back to work? It may be a small victory, but it feels very hollow.

My gut tells me something more needs to be done or said to someone. Maybe once I’ve slept on it the internal matter will either resolve itself or come to its conclusion.

Getting the business end of college

College is a business. There is no way around it anymore. What astounds me is that higher education refuses to admit it.

Students are customers, and should be treated as such. A college education is quite possibly one of the most expensive “items” on the capitalist market and students are treated as so much idiotic garbage. I am 29 years old and have been treated like I am 12 twice now by my institution.

The first was when I tried to get a private loan because the private institution I attend is extremely expensive. The loan had to be verified by the school and initially it was. When I received the check it was mysteriously $3000.00 short. I immediately went to the financial aid office in a storm demanding an explanation. All that I received was treatment like I am a twelve year old in need of a spanking for dipping into dad’s wallet once too often, a guilt trip for asking for the extra money in the first place, and I was told, “well at least you won’t have to pay all that extra back.” All I could think was, “Did this jaba the hutt looking woman really just treat me like that?” These people’s mistake cost me: rent, utilities, and my car insurance for four months.

The second time was all in the last two weeks. I decided to transfer to the night school at my university. I enrolled in classes and they told me at the time I would not have to fill out an application or pay the applicant fee. I was traipsing through my online account checking for my end of semester grades before Christmas and found a discrepancy. On my financial aid profile it had originally listed four separate sources of funding: a Pell and Missouri Access grant, and an unsubsidized and subsidized Stafford loan. This profile has shown these sources and the amount they were awarding me has stayed the same since the end of Summer 07. Mysteriously enough, my profile now showed the grants (the ones I don’t have to pay back) gone. Just wiped away like they were never there. (more…)

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