Posted in Activism, advocate, community, education

Judging Those in Poverty

I’m building on the rant by Qasim Rashid above.

I have lived paycheck to paycheck most of my life. I have had to decide between gas and groceries and not just once. I have visited the food bank. I had to let my teeth go because I couldn’t afford the dental care I needed. I drove cars that broke down constantly.

AND I WORKED MY ASS OFF. At one point, I had three jobs and still sometimes wondered if I’d have enough gas to get to work. While life is much better for me now, I remember feeling the judgement, real or perceived, because I couldn’t make ends meet working those three jobs (without health insurance) and I couldn’t make my degree work for me either.

If your definition of socialism is “someone I don’t like or I think doesn’t deserve” what you already have, you a) need a dictionary, and b) you should be thankful you have the privilege you can stand on and make judgements from.

Poverty is not a moral failing, it’s a failing of a system. I’m no longer ashamed of what some call “wasted years”. Since I lived it, I know how hard it is to overcome it. There aren’t always opportunities, they need to be created. One was created for me, and I haven’t forgotten it.

Instead of “they don’t” or “they shouldn’t”, perhaps we should start talking about “we” and “us.” That’s what community is all about.

Posted in education, fearless, Uncategorized


Yesterday, a friend of mine was told it was time to apply for graduation for her associate’s degree. She was so happy I’m surprised she didn’t float away from jumping up and down with joy.

She would be considered a non-traditional student. She has worked hard – working full-time while going to school.  Some mornings she is so tired she can hardly hold her head up, but she is doing all of this so she can be/do/work at something that requires a certain level of education.

I definitely was celebrating with her, not necessarily for earning the degree, but for having that “whatever it takes” attitude, setting a goal and achieving it.

I won’t lie.  College attendance was an expectation for me – not an option.  The money was not there, but I was going regardless of the obstacles.  The other expectation put upon me was that I would become a teacher because one could always find work as a teacher while I waited to get married and graduate to stay at home motherhood.

None of those expectations were mine, but I set out to live up to them.

I had no idea what I wanted to do, but I was good at writing, so I pursued that and had no idea what job would materialize later to justify it.  Turns out, through my liberal arts pursuits, I found I was good at a great many things and still they wanted me to choose ONE thing to be good at for the rest of my life.

Last night, I wrote the following after I’d given my college days some thought.

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I do believe that college debt is a big deal and students should have a better idea of why they are going to college and what they are going to do with that degree before they attend – some may not need to attend right away or at all.  That said, I believe college was so much more than a degree for me.

That said, I believe college was so much more than a degree for me.  I pull knowledge from my English literature, writing, music business, and other courses often, but I pull from the life lessons, life choices, and life skills just as often or more.

I consider my degree one of my greatest accomplishments and because I have that under my belt, I know I can accomplish much more!