Ramble On…..

Okay, I can’t seem to get caught up!  It seems as though each time I think I can take a break, put my feet up, channel surf, and hopefully catch up with John Stewart, I feel the “get back to work” bully rapping his (could be her, I’ve never checked) knuckles on the back of my head.  But the reality is, I am caught up, I’m just trying to keep ahead. I know—I’m not making sense.  Okay, in a nutshell, I’m drinking way too much coffee! In fact, most people who see me on campus would think something was wrong with me if I did not have my trusty coffee mug in my right hand.  I even carry and extra stash of instant coffee in my backpack (for emergencies). I ramble—sorry.

I did want to share something that made me feel really good today.  As I was leaving campus I noticed a small group of students.  I noticed them because they were being very loud.  But they weren’t just joking around.  They were having a heated debate about some heavy social issues.  The specifics of their discussion really don’t matter.  What does matter is that they were discussing topics of a social nature.  And to be honest, it’s not something I’ve been seeing very much of these days.  It’s college, and that’s what all this secondary education is supposed to do for us, right?  It’s supposed to make us think.  It’s supposed to make us really look at what’s going on around us. It’s supposed to make see that y=mx+b is more than just an equation.  It’s actually just one tiny little variable in the grand matrix: y=life. So for today, it was working.  People are thinking, and sharing ideas.

As for my fellow blogger Neil…sorry the sleep monster got ya.  I’m in constant fear of doing that myself. That’s why I don’t sleep, or maybe it’s the coffee keeping me up.

“It’s Only Ten Cents”

I’m in the library, and I need and I need to make a copy. It jams, and it’s not the first time. No big deal, right? I ask someone to help me. The student aide fixes the paper jam, and I swipe my card one more time. Yup, it’s jammed again.

Normally, this wouldn’t bug me. But today, for some reason, it did. I wanted to if I could get a refund. So I asked the student aide.

“No,” she said, “it’s only

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10 cents.”

I really started thinking about this ten cents…because it truly is more than just ten cents to a great many students. In fact, I know of students who can’t afford to buy lunch. I know of students who have walked to school, because they couldn’t afford the bus. Is it really just 10 cents?

So I did some investigating….Yes, students can get a refund if they experience issues with printing or photo copying. There is actually a form available in the library. It gets forwarded to the Bradenton Campus. I don’t know how long the refund takes, but at least you can get it back. And so I wonder….how many students know about this? And the student aide did not do anything wrong, she just didn’t know. Why? Because, it’s only ten cents, right?

I think that all too often we sometimes accept things as they are, because of the seemingly tiny scale of what they are. But I think that kind of thinking begins to nourish a much broader and all encompassing ideology of looking past the small things, regardless of the principle involved. I’m reminded of a great short story by Irwin Shaw “The Dry Rock.” I read it in Junior High School, and I highly recommend it.

It’s the small things that often keep us going, and it’s the small things, that if ignored, become BIG things that are difficult to fix.

Maybe we should sweat the small stuff after all.

Money in Minutes

Okay, I don’t know if anyone actually reads the newspaper anymore, but if they do they may have read the article in yesterday’s Herald Tribune. This article, “Debit Card is raising questions on campus,” by Ylan Q. Mui, addressed the topic of the Higher One Refund Card.

In a nutshell, some students across the country have begun to express their dissatisfaction with the fees associated with using the Higher One Card for student refunds. Some of the fees include a .50 cent charge for using the card as a debit rather than using it as credit (which accrues no fee). I’m not going to recap the entire article (but I will include a link to it at the end of this blog). Here’s my advice. You always (in most cases) have options. With any kind of financial offer you should carefully examine the details. In my case, I opted to have any refunds I receive go directly to my own bank account. This is information is available, and while the option is not that easy to see right away, it is there. There

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and minuses. Having my money deposited to my personal bank account takes a few more days, and I don’t have the money “in minutes” as Higher One advertises. Regardless of what you prefer, this is an important article, and every student should be aware of it. The “fine” print is always “fine” for a reason. The bottom line, most of the time

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the only person looking out for us is ourselves. Personally, I have the tendency to be an extremely trusting person, and for the most part I’ve never had any major problems living my life in this fashion. But I’ll tell you when I’m not so “trusting:” money matters. Having the money in “minutes” can sometimes mean that you’ll have less to show for it in the long run. Fifty cents here and there adds up. So please read the article, and decided for yourself what option is best for you.

The article originated at The Washington Post, by Ylan Q. Mui, and was printed in Monday’s Herald Tribune: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/03/AR2010100304579.html