I am a 40-something woman who thinks you made the right call to gently intervene w/your friend, even if it didn't make a d____ bit of difference. No, you weren't there and no, you aren't a woman, but jeez Louise, it sometimes seems like people are looking to be offended. The only thing I don't like to be called is "lady," but I'm an urban high school teacher and I've been called a lot worse (!), so I'll grin and bear it, knowing that the person saying it probably means well. Just reading everyone else's responses makes me realize how a particular term that might seem weird for one person from one culture or one generation is totally acceptable to a different person.
Perhaps you were just using the school thing as a hook, but I think that the overlap between school and work is greater than you acknowledge, especially early in your career. Here are just a few things in the center of my Venn diagram: a) show up on time; b) do your work; c) do NOT not plan your weekend/text friends/update social media while there is work to do; d) if you need more time for a project, do NOT wait until the day the project is due to tell your boss; e) proofread/double-check your work before submitting it; and e) doing the bare minimum does not yield salary increases or high grades. The biggest difference I see between work and school is that teachers can't fire their students.
The $24K is tuition plus room and board for in-state students at Cal Poly. I doubt the writer is getting financial aid, which would probably be a Pell Grant based on FAFSA. This makes trying to get more aid from the college FA office unlikely (though that sounds like a great private-school ploy!). That said, the FA office might be able to help you with a quick, low-interest loan, steer you toward some good work-study jobs, or have some discretionary money to help you out temporarily. Second the idea of taking a bit of time off (even a semester or a year might be enough) to work full-time and save. Good luck! Your attitude seems much more positive than mine would be after being presented w/this sudden parental decision.
Take the silver! You don't have to use it right now--just put it away and it will be there when you want it.
@Elsajeni That's what I was wondering too. Also wondered a bit about the men who would want this rather than a more traditional "younger" girlfriend. Somewhat surprised at how fascinating I found this interview. Thanks, Anon, for being so open and responding so thoughtfully. Made me think about things in a different way.
Awesome essay. Love the slightly sardonic but sincere tone. Hope your luck turns around. Ever tried to get a state job? From a former Sacramentan
I thought this was well-written and thought-provoking. Chad and his family took a risk, a big risk, but they seemed to go in (esp. his dad) with more knowledge about the the risk they were taking than many families. It reminded me of the Guy de Maupassant story, The Necklace, but with a happier ending (at least so far). Anyone who can live that spartan a life for that number of years deserves a lot of credit. You know who doesn't come off that great: Tufts. I felt like I was reading another NYU story. One thing I wondered: If he could do it all again, would Chad do things differently--maybe not do early decision, go to UConn, or deferring for a year to work full-time and save up.
@boringbunny Because living (even temporarily) with poor people would actually force a person to interact with/relate to people who are in fact poor. The point of the Atlantic story is that not only does almost no one in the Senate or House of Reps have any actual experience w/poverty but most don't even KNOW anyone who is poor. How can realistic and compassionate approaches to people in poverty be crafted by people w/no knowledge of the way in which poverty limits choices? And, of course, there's the fact that most rich people in the U.S. self-identify as "middle class"--an understandable impulse but one that clouds their understanding of people in lower socioeconomic strata.
I do not watch "reality" TV at all--no Survivor, no Housewives, no Jersey Shore, no nothing. But … I WOULD totally watch U.S. senators and congresspeople living in a housing project for two-week stints. I would also watch business people who have opinions about our "education system" teach a K-12 class for two weeks. Either of those would be riveting television (to me if not anyone else).
Megan R.: Is the color of your former co-worker's hair relevant to to your post?