I Don’t Know A Dream That’s Not Been Shattered

There is much heartbreak in our house tonight. After hearing that her brother got his financial aid award today, Aubrey checked her MHC email to see if she’d gotten anything yet. She did, and…she didn’t. Yes, she did get awarded financial aid, but they have our family contribution at $22,000. That’s almost half our yearly income after meds, doctor visits, treatments, dental bills…She was already expecting to have to take out a personal private loan in order to cover the parental contribution, because she knew we just plain don’t have any extra. There is just no way that as a parent, I can in good conscience allow or encourage her to take out that much debt for one year of school. When she saw the “award,” she just sort of crumpled to the floor in a little ball and started to cry.

She’s worked her ass off for the last year, and even got a second job so that she would have enough to get up to school, as well as cover some of her other expenses like books and supplies. The second job is destroying her knee; we had already planned to schedule an appointment with the orthopedist who took care of Matt’s knee when he tore his MCL. We think she may have gotten a hairline fracture when she hit it on one of the metal supports for the glass of the wine wall. She hurt it ages ago, but was able to nurse it along until she started waitressing. Now that she’s on it for five hours straight in the morning, and then another five hours at night, it’s become unmanageable.

Now it seems like it’s all been for nothing; at least, in her eyes. I know that there are countless options for her, but at the moment, she can’t see any of them. In my experience, things tend to go the way they are meant to go. While it’s too late to register for classes at anywhere other than the local community college, she can take a few music and dance classes very inexpensively. She can focus on her modeling, or save up to travel, or even work in a different city for a while. She’s not married and doesn’t have kids, so she’s light years from the few opportunities I had at her age.

I’m not sure who is more disappointed…me or her. I think it’s more that I am disappointed for her. But I know that Aubrey is amazing and will always find a way to soar. She just has to remember where the sky is.


I Want Money (That’s What I Want)

It’s been a quiet sort of three days with Ron home. He had banked so many vacation days, he couldn’t bank anymore and was about to start losing them, so he took Monday through Thursday off. All he’s done is study, study, study…oh, and cook, and do the dishes, and keep me floating in coffee. Since he’s studying, Aubrey and I try to keep our noise level down somewhat, although he still says we’re too loud.

Aubrey went to the band audition last night, and ended up staying until 11:30pm. I finally had to threaten to watch the New Girl finale without her in order to lure her home. Is anyone else as happy and tickled as we are with the way the season ended? I can’t wait until the fall! Anyway, Aub said the band is really good, but their repertoire doesn’t quite match hers, so it will be awhile before she’s singing with them. Aubrey can sing just about any style, but finding individual songs that they all know is more difficult than it might seem. Other than that, it turns out that after practice, they all hang out and eat dinner together, and Aubrey was invited to join them, hence her lateness.

Now I’m wondering what to do with my time. Camping wiped me out (fibromyalgia SUCKS!), so I’ve been resting a lot, and have gotten sucked into the facebook game of Puzzled Hearts. On the upside, I’ve met some really cool people. On the downside, I’ve met some seriously religious nuts (who are still nice, btw…just nuts). It’s amazing what an overlap there is between the fanatics and the government conspiracy theorists. Players aside, I have a short attention span. I’ll play something fanatically for days, and then I’ll never look at it again. Normally I stick to Shockwave.com or Big Fish Games; this is the first “social” game I’ve played in the four or five years that I’ve been on fb.

I finally finished the body of my cardigan that I started last week, and just have to do the sleeves now, then give it a wash and block it. I won’t be able to wear it until fall, unless we get some global climate change induced cool weather. Yeah, don’t see that happening. But at least I’ll have something light to wear in the cool August nights in New England. So maybe I’ll work on those sleeves, or (more likely) maybe I’ll start a project that I am making for my friend Leigh as a thank you gift.

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We’re still in a holding pattern, waiting for Aubrey’s financial aid letter to arrive. I hate that they send the bill before sending the financial aid letter; that is one scary looking bill. I’ve had less frightening bills from hospitals. Seriously. Matt is also in wait-and-see mode, as his application makes its way through the ACCD¬†bureaucracy. As he explained it, his verification letter goes through five different people before it is finally entered into the computer system. It’s quite ridiculous, especially since students can attach tax returns to the FAFSA, which eliminates the need for verification in the first place. Since this is the first (second?) year that they have allowed direct IRS attachment, there is the excuse that the system isn’t in place yet, but seriously, how hard is it to enter a school id number into a screen, see that the return is attached, and approve the student?

I think even if Aubrey (for any reason) doesn’t go to school or move this fall, we will still take our trip, at least as far as Tennessee. Not that I have any great urge to see more of the South, but I know she really, really wants to go, and if she can’t get the financial aid to go to school, she will need some serious cheering up.

I am facebook friends with several of Aubrey’s high school friends, and it gives me a hilarious insight into the thought process of the average 20 year old. Today, one of them posted about how it’s none of a parent’s business what their child majors in (said by the kid majoring in photography at a state school in a state where she is not a resident). Of course, this is the same child who argued with me that, although she doesn’t recognize every religious symbol of every world religion, EVERYONE ON EARTH knows what religion is symbolized by the Cross. I pointed out that I am 100% positive that a large portion of Australian Aborigines have no idea what a Cross symbolizes, and there are still some tribes in the South American rainforests that have never encountered Christianity. Personally, if this were my kid, I’d bring her home and send her to a community college, because that tuition is seriously being wasted.

This reminds me of the night that I sat at a booth in Blanchard Hall at MHC and listened to the group of girls behind me discussing the ever-imminent threat of MHC going co-ed. One of them had written a letter to the school paper, and was reading it out loud to her friends. I was so impressed with her eloquence, and jealous that at 20, she was a better writer than I was at 42.¬†Yes, I’m sure the state school that Christian girl goes to is quite good, and has plenty of smart people, but when you’re talking about upwards of 20,000 students, the odds start to fall.

Which brings us back to Matt, and his problem of where to transfer after he graduates with his Associates. He doesn’t want to stay in Texas any more than we do, and is once again considering Seattle. He could work for a year, and then apply to schools, or he could attempt to find one with decent financial aid. He has to start applying this fall, as he will graduate next spring.

I guess I’m just feeling prowly and rambly, never a good combination for me. I get wanderlust so easily, which translates into a mish-mash of thoughts disguised as a blog post. Sigh.