Monday, March 31, 2014

Putting My Money Where My Mouth Is

The storyteller was intending to leave his story behind, to tell the stories of others, others more in need of compassion and empathy, others more desperate for acknowledgement of humanity.

So much for that idea. What's the saying, "life is what happens while you were making other plans"? Yeah.

I had made the decision to leave my graduate program at the end of spring term because the financial aid would give me enough time to get my feet under me and to be stable. Well, as stable as one can be while entirely reliant on loans, at least.

The first day of my last term - except it isn't; that was back in January, it turns out, because I'm no longer eligible for student aid - I log in to check the status of the money I was counting on to pay rent and power and food: Ineligible.

It turns out that the incomplete grade I negotiated with my professor during last term is a problem for the financial aid office. They want a letter from the head of the department, and I'm not prepared to walk into the office of someone I respect and tell him a lie to get him to vouch for me falsely. In some ways this is a relief - I'm no longer staring down 11 weeks of lying to everyone around me.

In many, many more, it is terrifying.

I am now on the teetering edge of the very situation I had hoped to bring light to - those without a place to call home, whether they sleep rough or are long-term couch surfers.

"Doctor, heal thyself" indeed.

I have a connection that may be able to get me work, but aside from that I have very little hope of keeping my home.

Those without hope are all around you. Will you help them?

That, as always, is a choice I leave to you.

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