On The Ethics of Taking Free Stuff

Yeah, they're not giving your kid free books because they think you can't afford books. They're giving your kid free books because they think that, if left to your own devices, you won't give your kid Jewish books. If you feel pretty confident that you can pick out your own Jewish books (and will do so), then I would skip it. If you think it would be helpful to have someone pre-select some Jewish books for you, then go for it. The point of this thing isn't to help the underprivileged. I agree with Meaghano that you could donate to a literacy program if you feel weird about it.

Posted on August 11, 2014 at 1:06 pm 0

On Here Is Your Open Thread

@@fo I would totally pay an extra fifty cents to be able to get a roll of quarters without getting to the bank during banking hours. But I live in the hinterlands, where the banks are only open shitty hours.

Posted on June 23, 2014 at 9:53 am 0

On Leave Religion Off Your Resume, With One Big "Unless ..."

Oh, interesting. When I applied for my current job, I was a little worried about having Jewish-related stuff in my application, but I couldn't really leave it off, because it was relevant and filled what would otherwise be a gap in my experience. My job is in a Midwestern state where there aren't a ton of Jews, and I worried that being Jewish would brand me as "coastal" or "big city." It turned out that the people hiring me thought it was very interesting, asked me all about my Jewish-related job at my interview, and then mentioned it in the little bio that they sent out to everyone when I was hired. (And it's not a huge deal at all, but I wasn't 100% excited about having everyone know my religion/ ethnicity right off the bat.) I really don't think that my employers would discriminate against people of other religious backgrounds, and I know that at least one of my co-workers had to have put work experience related to her Christian religion on her resume, but I definitely got the impression that my Jewish stuff was a net positive. And at the time I was hired, I'm pretty sure I was the only Jewish person in my 40-plus person office. I think there's something to the idea that Jews are safe minorities.

Posted on June 19, 2014 at 1:11 pm 0

On What Cake Are You Wearing?

My friend had a dessert potluck at her wedding. She and her now-husband asked all their friends to bring whatever was their favorite dessert to make. It was really nice, and I had fun making my dessert, but I'm not sure that it would have worked at a more formal kind of a wedding.

Posted on June 9, 2014 at 2:38 pm 1

On Should This Kid Quit His Job To Spend His Parents' Money?

I think it's incredibly risky to plan your life around the assumption that you'll inherit money. What if your parents lose their money? What if they decide to donate it all to a cat sanctuary? What if they live to be 120? Much better to live your life as if you were on your own and then enjoy the money if and when it ever comes. And yeah, on $150,000 a year, you should be able to save up enough money to travel for a while without their help.

Posted on May 6, 2014 at 1:28 pm 1

On Tipping by State

Hmm. I live in Iowa and can't remember the last time I saw a food truck, unless you count the Good Humor van. I think maybe the data for Iowans tipping food trucks is skewed by the fact that food trucks are pretty rare here? And yeah, I wouldn't be surprised if some people are tipping in cash.

Posted on May 1, 2014 at 1:05 pm 0

On Sweatpants as Fashion Apparel

I totally wear yoga pants on Saturday while I'm cleaning the house, taking in the recycling, going to the grocery store and the like, and anyone who doesn't like it can suck it. I don't feel the need to look elegant while I'm doing chores.

Posted on April 30, 2014 at 3:58 pm 0

On A Job I Want That No Longer Exists: Professional Letter Writer

I once had a job writing thank-you and condolence letters for various top administrators at a university. I really enjoyed writing the condolence letters, because it involved researching interesting people's lives, but the thank-you letters got a bit old. There are only but so many ways to say "Dear very rich person, thank you for increasing the amount of inequality in the world by ensuring that the business students have ever more lavish facilities while the poor suckers over in social work and education continue to be screwed." Some thank-you letters were fun to write, but in the aggregate they were just depressing.

Posted on March 24, 2014 at 12:32 pm 0

On High School Age Interns

I totally had an "internship" in high school! What happened was that I lined up a summer volunteer gig at a local non-profit, because I had a job in the mornings and was worried that I was going to be bored in the afternoons. Halfway through the summer someone told me that having an internship looked impressive on college applications, so I asked them if it was ok if I called it an internship, rather than volunteering. They were like "yeah, sure, call it whatever you want," so I put on my college application and subsequent resume that I had an internship. I have no idea whether that would fly these days or whether everything is more formalized.

Posted on March 12, 2014 at 12:02 pm 0

On 18-Year-Old Sues Parents for College Money

@TheDoctorsCompanion "But then I think about what happens when the parents can’t even afford college. In NY child support goes till your 21, does this mean children can sue for things their parents don’t even have?" That's a different issue, because if your parents are willing to fill out a FAFSA and can't pay, then you're eligible for need-based student aid. The issue is for students whose parents could pay but won't. Except in very limited circumstances, the parents' income is still taken into account for financial aid purposes and those students aren't eligible for need-based aid until they're 24. The reason that the financial aid system works this way is that a whole lot of parents would refuse to pay otherwise, but it does mean that some students end up completely SOL. And this is not an especially egregious example of that phenomenon. Some parents refuse to pay for college because their kid comes out of the closet or starts going to the wrong church.

Posted on March 5, 2014 at 2:08 pm 0