The debilitating debt of graduate school includes hidden costs that most people don’t consider even later in life after graduation. Many academics have a deep sense of nostalgia for their days of TA poverty, where living on ramen and cheap beer shared in the company of good friends in the same boat got us through until the next measly paycheck. We have an equally deep resentment for the huge bite that loan repayments take from our well-deserved and much-delayed faculty salaries. But the unacknowledged costs of graduate school add up to a substantial amount of cash, yet no one ever includes these costs in any ROI. When youRead More →

My relationship with money is very strange. I’m constantly comparing myself to other people to see how I’m doing financially, and I’m never satisfied with my status. I live in a shoebox of a little house, I drive a low end car, most of my “stuff” is low end (computer, phones,mp3 player, coffee, groceries, etc.). I’m never happy. I always marvel at how other people can afford SUVs, and private school tuition. According to all the stats I’ve read, we are at the upper end of income in Baton Rouge. I know I don’t live in an exceptionally rich part of town, but I lookRead More →

I’m grateful that I even -have- insurance but they are really annoying businesses. I decided to see a nutritionist. I found one in Baton Rouge who is also a therapist. Just what I need, right? A food therapist. So I called the insurance company, and they won’t pay for a nutritionist unless it is for either A) a protein deficiency or B) diabetes. The customer service representative said the company definitely won’t cover a nutritionist for weight loss. That makes no sense. According to BlueCross/BlueShield, Louisiana ranks 4th in the country for obesity, and obesity-related diseases account for nearly half of Louisiana’s state health careRead More →

Even though I’m not broke, I’m feeling very broke today. Perhaps it’s because my husband bought a new laptop last night and I am jealous. It makes me reflect once again on my financial situation. A news article about the average family savings made the point that many people, particularly poor people, do not have savings for emergencies. I remember being that poor. I am proud of having learned to manage my money independently of my husband, who helped me out financially when we first got married. I owe my independence to a financial advisor. Everyone should have a financial advisor. Anyway, objectively, I amRead More →

I can’t believe how much money has become a part of my life. Now, that’s a strange statement, and it needs clarification, since money is a part of everyone’s life here in the 21st c. US — money or lack thereof. Growing up poor white trash meant that money, as in the lack thereof, dominated my life. Being one of the “have nots” threaded so essentially through the fabric of everything I did that I can still smell poverty today, even as a “have.” Poverty smells like someone else’s old clothes; like dirty rags used to stop up gasoline tanks on junk pickup trucks, andRead More →

Harry Potter is all the rage, of course. Some people are happy about that and others aren’t. Crooked Dimwit is one of those who isn’t.

Annoyed and exhausted by the Harry Potter hype, Crooked Dimwit argues that the media overstates Harry’s preeminence at the box office. Because the rating system ignores inflation, HP rankings are actually exaggerated. When adjusted for inflation,