At $10 an hour you’d have to work 1,250 hours to cover the UW’s $12,500 tuition (more, once you take out taxes). In a 12-week summer, that’s more than 100 hours a week.
What really made me feel ancient is that the 1981 UW student guide shows the Med school charged only $1,029 a year back then. Today: $28,040!
Now, I didn’t go to the UW. But I’m going down Husky memory lane because last week The Seattle Times featured a crop of harried UW students looking rueful and broke. The story said skeptical state legislators often say how “they worked their way through college. And then they ask: Why don’t students do that today?”
Of all our delusions, we old farts cling to this bootstrap one the most. We worked our way up on sweat and chicken grease, we say. Can’t this generation? What’s wrong with them?
What’s wrong is that after we got ours, we cut it off for them.
The reason a summer at KFC could pay for a year of UW med school in 1981 isn’t that we were so hardworking and industrious. It’s that taxpayers back then picked up 90 percent of the tab. We weren’t Horatio Algers. We were socialists.
Today, the public picks up only 30 percent of UW tuition, and dropping.
It is December 6th, and I remember.
I was 13 years old when Marc Lépine opened fire and murdered 14 women for being at engineering school when he wasn’t. He blamed feminism for the situation he was in, and murdered these women for being in non-traditional jobs, for being there.
Every year, the memorials I go to are different. Some are quiet - I remember several winters in the snow, holding candles and reciting names like a talisman against violence.
Geneviève Bergeron, 21 years old. Hélène Colgan, 24 years old. Nathalie Croteau, 24 years old.
When I was younger, they seemed impossibly mature and sophisticated. I used to imagine them laughing and enjoying university, cut down without warning. Now that I’m 35, they seem so young, and I wonder if they were afraid.
There used to be dudes walking the streets calling out warnings in rhymes…
Racing clouds and drowning sun,
winter weather has begun.
Aching trees and wailing wind,
stay inside, take the hint…
His body isn’t even cold yet and the New York times has already put out a shameful article declaring Nelson Mandela to be an “icon of peaceful resistance”. News outlets around the Western world are hurrying to publish obituaries that celebrate his electoral victory while erasing the protracted and fierce guerrilla struggle that he and his party were forced to fight in order to make that victory possible. Don’t let racist, imperialist liberalism co-opt the legacy of another radical. Nelson Mandela used peaceful means when he could, and violent means when he couldn’t. For this, during his life they called him a terrorist, and after his death they’ll call him a pacifist — all to neutralize the revolutionary potential of his legacy, and the lessons to be drawn from it.
Don’t fucking let them.
Well, yes, but then again I also read someone calling him “one of the most vile men of history” today, a terrorist “no better than Bin Laden”, for the very violence of the struggle he and his fellow revolutionaries had to engage in at times. I kid you not! Idealised while also marginalised, trod on and scoffed at secretly as a pacifist, or condemned and villified as a radical revolutionary - those seem to be the two views white people can entertain regarding Black leaders.
Taking care of yourself is one of the hardest jobs — don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise. It’s much easier to take care of others.