The Perils of Student Debt

5 Jun 2018

Now is the time the high schoolers are graduating, and many are preparing for college. Part of the preparation is figuring out the finances – which includes student loans for many. Beware of the consequences…

A GENERATION BURIED IN STUDENT DEBT – Chicago Sun Times, 2018/06/02

The weight of the roughly $80,000 in debt that Judith Ruiz would leave school with didn’t hit her when she was applying for the student loans that would finance her education at Columbia College Chicago.

Or while she was sitting in lecture halls. Or even as she walked across the stage at graduation.

But six months later, still without a job, with lenders hounding her to pay, her student loans caught up to her, and Ruiz defaulted — for the first time.

Ruiz, now 30 and living with her mother in Oak Park, is working. But she remains in default on her student loans. And that’s eating away at her.

“You think, ‘Oh, hey, I’m just going to take out a loan, and it’ll cover everything, and I’ll just worry about it later,’ like a credit card. But this is so much bigger than that. That may work for a few thousand dollars, but it’s not going to work for $80,000.”

All of this debt delays what in the past was to be expected – you graduate, get a job to support yourself, move out on your own, maybe even get married and start a family.

But with the huge load of debt, it’s too much too overcome and graduates end up back home.

The article details several different accounts of hardship resulting from the load of student debt.


Why Are Children Shooting At School… Because They Are Children

18 May 2018

Another school shooting occurred today… this one about 40 minutes from my residence. If you want the details, you can go here.

Timeline: How the deadly shooting at Santa Fe High School unfolded – ABC, 2018/05/18

Whenever one of these events happen, discussions often head towards gun safety and gun control. Maybe, mental illness is included in the discussion. I think we are missing the prime reason these occurrences continue happening… they are children.

For those of you old enough to remember, how much were you exposed to adult situations? Most parents back then protected their children from what situations, and what information they took in. Why? Because they were children – and they didn’t have the maturity to process adult situations. Generally speaking, we didn’t see R-rated movies. We weren’t exposed to non-stop sex. We weren’t exposed to information on making a bomb or an assault rifle.

Today with social media, cable television, and other entertainment, kids have access to everything at their fingertips. Let me rephrase that. Children now have access to the adult world at their fingertips… and guess what? They still don’t have the maturity to deal with adult situations. They don’t understand the weight of their actions. The best and most frequent example that occurs are when teens have sex and get pregnant. The culture hypes up all kind of sexual activity through music, television, movies, and pornography. Kids have access to this material. They can see it on television every day. I remember during the Clinton/Lewinsky scandal that middle schoolers began engaging in oral sex. That’s how influential this type of exposure can be. The problem is that they don’t have the maturity to understand the ramifications of becoming pregnant and having a child. The truth is that they are not supposed to understand… because they are children.

Kids don’t understand the weight of ending someone’s life. They don’t understand the pain that the family and surrounding community incurs. Like sex, violence is easily accessible for children. In many movies or television shows, violence is the means to problem solving. In real life, kids are exposed to real life violent situations, and it shapes how they think and how they solve problems. So now when kids are bullied in school, what’s the solution? More and more often, it’s violence.

When we see violence on television, or in a movie, or in a video game – we see the act, and then it’s over. The mess is cleaned up in an hour long TV drama, or a two hour movie. We don’t see the grief that follows for years from the family. We don’t see the life altering injuries of the survivors. We don’t see the months of rehab just to put one foot in front of the other. And that’s not even considering the associated medical costs. Kids have no idea of any of these real life adult issues.

So I expect the shootings to continue, because kids are still being exposed to adult situations which they can’t properly process. If you try and limit the exposure through regulations, there will be cries of censorship. The only answer is with the parents. Parents should control and monitor what their kids take in – especially when they are young. It should start on day 1 of their life. If you want to start getting control of the next generation… if you want to start preventing school violence, it’s not the guns – it’s their minds and spirits that must be cleaned up – and it starts at home.

California Police Detain Suspect in School Shooting

11 May 2018

Police respond to reports of shootings at two different schools in Palmdale, California – UK Telegraph, 2018/05/11

Police in California were called to two different schools in the town Palmdale on Friday morning following reports of two separate shootings.

The alarm was raised at Highland high school in Palmdale, 60 miles north of Los Angeles, at around 7am local time.

One person was shot in the arm, and was taken to hospital in a stable condition.

Police were then called to Manzanita elementary school at around 7:30am, for what Los Angeles county sheriff said appeared to be a false alarm.

The two schools are around seven miles apart.

A man is in custody in connection with the Highland high school incident, LA county sheriff’s office said.

They described him as a Hispanic juvenile male. A gun was found on the scene.


UK: Analog Clocks, Pencils are Too Difficult for Today’s Kids

4 May 2018

Schools are removing analogue clocks from exam halls as teenagers ‘cannot tell the time’ – UK Telegraph, 2018/04/24

Schools are removing analogue clocks from examination halls because teenagers are unable to tell the time, a head teachers’ union has said.

Teachers are now installing digital devices after pupils sitting their GCSE and A-level exams complained that they were struggling to read the correct time on an analogue clock.

Mr Trobe, a former headmaster, said that teachers want their students to feel as relaxed as possible during exams. Having a traditional clock in the room could be a cause of unnecessary stress, he added.

He said that schools are trying to make everything as “as easy and straightforward as possible” for pupils during their exams.

It gets worse…

Earlier this year, a senior paediatric doctor warned that children are increasingly finding it hard to hold pens and pencils because of an excessive use of technology. Sally Payne, the head paediatric occupational therapist at the Heart of England foundation NHS Trust, said that when children are given a pencil at school, they are increasingly unable to hold it.

“To be able to grip a pencil and move it, you need strong control of the fine muscles in your fingers. Children need lots of opportunity to develop those skills,” she said.

“It’s easier to give a child an iPad than encouraging them to do muscle-building play such as building blocks, cutting and sticking, or pulling toys and ropes. Because of this, they’re not developing the underlying foundation skills they need to grip and hold a pencil.”

It is too difficult to grip a pencil. It is easier to give them an iPad. Just when you think you have seen it all…

Utah Teen… Researched ISIS… Plants Homemade Bomb at School

7 Mar 2018

Police: Teen attempted to detonate explosive device at Pine View, researched ISIS

Police said a homemade explosive device was the item discovered in a backpack at Pine View High School Monday that forced the evacuation of the school. Police said if the device had detonated, it would have caused significant injury or death. Police have a suspect in custody.

The suspect was arrested and faces charges of manufacture, possession, sale, use or attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction. More charges may be pending, according to police.

It was determined that if the device had detonated, it would have caused significant injury or death.

During the interview with investigators, the suspect admitted to taking the American flag down and replacing it with an ISIS flag at Hurricane High School.

Wow… I read some teens saw a backpack with smoke coming out and notified authorities in the school.

32 Year Old College Dropout Being Sued To Leave Dorm

1 Mar 2018

College dropout refuses to leave her dorm room – NY Post, 2018/02/28

Hunter College is waging a court battle to evict a stubborn student who refuses to leave her dorm room some two years after dropping out.

Delaware native Lisa S. Palmer — who has not paid rent since 2016 — refuses to leave Room E579 at the school’s 425 E. 25th St. co-ed dormitory, according to an eviction lawsuit filed in Manhattan Supreme Court.

The 32-year-old “racked up a staggering $94,000 in unpaid residence hall charges on account of her continued occupancy, all the while ignoring Hunter College’s service of additional vacate notices,” said the suit.

“I plan on fighting the lawsuit and while I fight it, I’m going to stay,” Palmer told The Post from outside her messy, 100-square-foot single, which is adorned with a lava lamp, a dream catcher and piles of dirty dishes.

Private School Deduction in the Tax Bill

4 Jan 2018

This is how we learn what’s in the tax bill. We get little snipets here and there…

Losing Students, Private Schools Try to Change – Wall Street Journal, 2017/12/29

The Republican tax overhaul, signed into law last week, is expected to help families with children in private schools by providing a new tax break, possibly helping with enrollment.

The bill expands the use of Section 529 savings plans beyond college to allow up to $10,000 to be spent annually on tuition and qualified expenses for elementary or secondary public or private schools

Some supporters of public schools fret that the expansion of these accounts could shrink the public-school population and funding. But private school supporters—who broadly support the change—also agree it will primarily benefit wealthier families who can afford to save money for their children’s education.

“It’s a step in the right direction,” Education Secretary Betsy DeVos told reporters earlier this month. “But it doesn’t address the needs of parents who are from lower incomes and does not empower them in significant ways.”