@Michelle I live in Vancouver, across the street from a private school and I'm always *shocked* at how not-rich the kids there seem. My folks dodged the issue by sending me to French Immersion in Richmond, which was at that time treated like a gifted program. I don't think they had to pay any more for it, but the kids there had more involved parents, which led (I think) to it being a better program than the english schools I would have otherwise attended.
I was going to give this guy the benefit of the doubt until LA Weekly pointed out that he installed an *outdoor fireplace* INDOORS. You know what the difference is between those two things? REQUIREMENTS FOR VENTILATION. He is absolutely & heinously guilty of negligence. Unfortunately, the city inspector is also liable, as it was his responsibility to make sure stupid designer-man didn't do exactly what he did. Also, this man makes me embarrassed to be an architect.
Mike, this is such a great article. Thanks so much for the follow-up, and huge kudos to Yaffa for 1) keeping her shit together after being so heinously mis-represented and 2) being so fiscally responsible. Any chance of a letter to the editor pointing out these errors?
Obligatory WHAT?! from Vancouver here -- I cannot wrap my head around how cheap rent is outside of the GVRD. I'm currently in a 2 bdrm condo on Main Street (Hipster Central) and feel like I'm getting a sweet deal for $1995/month. Downside: electric can run up to $120/month in the winter, as we have WAY TOO MANY WINDOWS. That said, I did spend a year in Montreal paying $600/month for a darling studio on the Plateau and my friends said I was getting ripped off...
I think it must be different rules for different kids, because in my family it is my older sister who needs more help from our family bank. She was a good student in junior high, but went off the rails after grade 10 and, although she did get a marketing degree in community college (the cost of which was covered by my parents), works as a secretary and gets laid off every couple of years. My folks helped her buy a condo with her (now ex-) husband, sometimes help her pay her rent, and brokered a deal where *their* friends gave her a very nice car, no strings attached. Our family agreed that my parents would cover (Canadian) university classes if we passed them, so they paid for my undergrad. When it came time for grad school I withdrew my pension to pay for a year, mooched off a (now re-payed) ex-boyfriend for a year, and took out an interest-free parental loan for a year that I'm now re-paying. It's hard to be diligent on my repayment when my mom swears my parents have always treated us equally, but my dad has made it clear that he respects my efforts. In the end, no matter how jealous I can get about our different treatment, I know she really does need the help, and I don't.
I'm not sure if I remember my poorest years as my finest... but I do think that when things were *really* lean it helped me appreciate things more when I did have the money to do them. And props to Mike for pointing out the self-respect gained when a person takes responsibility for their own upkeep: if Logan can pay off her debt, think of all the other awesome things she can do!
In my profession (architecture) it's illegal to have ANYONE working for free in the office, and this is true for most of Canada (I'm in Vancouver). It's actually written into the professional code of ethics that the architect will not accept any free labour. Even students doing work experience get paid -- they have to pay the school for placement and for the credits, but they take home something close to a living wage for the time they are working. There are still offices that don't follow this, but they can be reported and disciplined, which is pretty satisfying.
I'd just like to say that I'm an architect. Coincidentally, I also know a lot of architects. It is in no way glamorous or high paying.
MC here -- boyfriend works in video game design as a 3-D artist in Vancouver.... where 3 studios have closed in the past 2 months. There is zero work for him in his field, particularly since he just spent a year out with a shattered leg. He's trying to do physical labour, but shattered leg. I'm with Cherrispryte. I work full time, and have since I finished grad school in 2007. I was just hoping there was something I hadn't thought of beyond another job, since as an architect freelancing carries a lot of legal liability I'm not super comfortable with. I did spend some time this weekend looking into side projects, and I'll see what I can do! Thanks for the advice, Mike Dang.