Maine Media Library

Maine Media Library
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Sunday, September 25, 2011

Fighting for my Education

Traveling down the road, windows open, the breeze flowing through your helplessly chaotic hair, you delight in the limitless potentials lying ahead of you (all dappled in sunlight) when suddenly you hit that disastrous bump in the road that sends you careening to the right or left of your dreams.

Well, that happened to me this past week. I was thrilled and happy to begin my internship with the Maine Media College and even more thrilled when my first book review assignment from School Library Journal arrived by UPS on Thursday. But in the midst of all of these successes a devastating financial development cast a pall over everything as my future (and my college aged daughter's) hangs tenuously in the balance.

May I lie down on your couch as I tell how my troubles all began? All summer long my used vehicle intermittently flashed its engine light on; first it was the thermostat, then the brakes, and then (after letting one of my daughter's friends who is just learning how to drive gun the engine through a mine field of pot holes in the parking lot at the Ed Center) a huge piece of plastic molding from the underside of the car fell off leaving the underbelly of the vehicle wide open for disaster. All of these repairs took an unwelcome bite out of my summer earnings but I managed to squeak by and still finance my daughter's vacation to Florida. (She had a very rough junior year in college and deserved a get away). Her vacation paid off by the way, she was able to meet see interesting people and see some interesting things while getting lots of rest and rejuvenating sunshine. However, near the end of the summer the car broke yet again (this time it needed an adjustor kit and a new starter) and I had to resort to taking out a short term payday advance from one of those loan companies. Well, I finally found a company online which seemed credible and which had reasonable terms. I took out a series of three loans and successfully paid each back (with interest). However, in all of my shopping around online for the perfect loan scenario, a couple of these companies processed my inquiry for a loan as an automatic acceptance of their terms and loan amounts (see for more details of this terrible company and to view similar complaints about them. Now I, who have been just barely making it from paycheck to paycheck, am in deep financial "dew dew". They have apparently hired a mediation company called "Worldwide" to serve me with papers to appear in court for a charge comparable to writing a bad check. I never approved this loan and when I tried to repay it they would only accept a debit or credit card. I wasn't about to give them this information and didn't think at the time about the alternative of purchasing a prepaid debit card. Anyway, they have humiliated me at work and threatened to serve me with papers in the workplace. I had to call in sick from work yesterday to avoid them. I work at a retirement community as a waitress in the dining room where 3 centenarians and other elderly enjoy fine dining. I'm not about to expose them to a potentially dramatic and/or traumatic scene in which I am served with papers by a bounty hunter. I feel like I have lost this job and my hours were being cut back anyway. Now, on top of this I have learned that the Maine Department of Labor did not approve my application for unemployment stating that my leaving a part time seasonal job I had processing blueberries on the pick over table (in addition to my waitressing job at night) in order to attend school full time was a personal reason. Huh? Obtaining a degree is a personal reason, not a legitimate reason to leave a PT seasonal job? I explained to the adjudicator that this semester I am taking Biology with a lab, and Statistics (which is hard for me as I have never really liked math all that well) and a library practicum which is a 2 hour drive from my home and requires me to work 20 - 30 hours per week. Needless to say I am discouraged. I don't even have enough money to pay rent on time or the rest of my daughter' tuition. She wasn't all that happy living on campus in Machias, Maine so we have mutually decided to withdraw her from her classes and to regroup. This is her senior year yet I feel relieved to have her leave the traditional college scene which customarily includes overindulgence in alcohol and casual or experimental sex (things which she has blessedly escaped to date).

So, I need to deal with these things and gain control of my emotions and fears and study math and prepare for a test in Biology and make a plan for the future and decide how to make everything work.

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