Monday, November 24, 2008


Lately, I have come up with a theory for the way higher education is today...or rather they way I think it should be.

As stated in the previous post, I am currently pursuing my higher
education here...Also as previously stated, I love it here. It is really fantastic....However, I have some issues with my current financial status because of this place.

Southern Utah University's Current Out of State Tuition is:
$6,041.00 Per semester of 10-18 Credit Hours. This makes it $12, 082 per year. I know I said that this is such a great place, but seriously? So, once you've paid your tuition you are ready for your educational enlightenment right? No. There are student fees, class fees, department fees, your mom fees...not to mention books. In a poll of a very diverse crowd of students (AKA the girls in my living room) the average student pays somewhere between $300 and $600 for books....per semester. Not to mention rent, food, gas etc....Long story short, the expenses of school are slowly killing young Americans.

With this in mind, I have come up with a plan!
Don't you young Americans fret, I have an idea!
This isn't an elaborate plan, and it doesn't involve any graphs, pie charts or confusing visual aids...but, hear me out.

The way I look at it, the dominate reason that I am going to school is to create a future. Not only a future for myself, but for society...I am very glad that the people who are running the country today are educated people (for the most part). I am so glad that the generatios before mine, were filled with men and women who decided to get college
educations and learn about the world. The people that chose to turn in their college applications, to work hard to earn that Doctorate degree and to be assets to society, these are the people that are running the world today. Whether you agree with their political views or not, people like George W. Bush, Barack Obama, Conoleeza Rice and Nancy Pelosi are all very well educated people. I am appreciative of this. And I think it is safe to say that people of most generations are appreciative! Although we may harp on the mishaps and the mistakes made by these people, are we not grateful that they are not illiterate, dim-witted, high-school dropouts?

So, when Barack Obama has served his term(s) and the economy has seen it's ups and downs and we find ourselves 30 years in the future, who will be taking the hot seat and running the country? The world? Who will be president? Who will be educating the youth of the world? Who will be on the Supreme Court?.....We will be. The struggling, pimple-faced, Rock Band-playing,
Ramen-noodle-eating, homework-doing young Americans of today...Don't we want them to be educated?

This is where my plan comes in. I propose that the way higher education is treated is changed. Ask anyone over the age of 35 or so what they want in 30 years...most of them will answer, "to be able to retire comfortably and happily." I am not over 35, so I don't know this for sure, but I have a hunch...

So if in 30 years, the men and women running the world are in fact illiterate, dim-witted, high-school dropouts, is that happy retirement in the Florida Keys going to be at all possible? I doubt it.

Thus, I believe it should be the responsibility of the men and women who are CURRENTLY running the world to make sure that the future is safe...Make sure that the future presidents, Supreme Court Justices and members of the Senate are well educated and prepared to take on the tasks at hand! So, calling all who are over the age of 35 and would like to live a long and happy life that includes a happy and comfortable is time to pony up. Provide for your future.

We should not be paying to go to school, you should be paying us to go to school!!Italic

Then, when we have become successful and well established members of society, we will in turn pay for the NEXT generation to educate themselves and for them to prepare for running the world so that we too may have comfortable, sunny Florida retirements! In a poll of the aforementioned diverse group of current college students, they all agree...we would be more than happy to pay for tomorrows pimple-faced, Rock-Band-playing, Ramen-noodle-eating, homework-doing young Americans to educate themselves....once we are well established members of society.

It will work something like this:

As the top section of the fountain fills, it spills over into the lower section. When that lower section fills, it can the spill over into the section below. If each generation accepts help from the generation before it and gives help to the generation after, maybe the future can be safe indefinitely....

I am not naive enough to think that this perfection and ease is actually realistic or possible...but a girl can dream, right?

Just think....

So, if you are over the age of 35 and feel like you have established yourself as a positive addition to society and would like to contribute to the future, we, in Apartment 14 accept checks, money orders and cash.

Honestly, who wouldn't want to help these loons?!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I Made The Right Decision...

For those of you who are not aware, I am currently pursuing my higher education, here:
It really is a great place. Although very few people outside the state of Utah have ever heard of my tiny and seemingly insignificant university, I will argue until the cows come home (did I really just use that phrase?) That it is among the best places to be in all of the world. As a senior in an all girls, catholic, college preparatory high school, we were required to apply to a certain number of colleges. I applied to ten. This was the list in no particular order:
1. University of Seattle
2. Brigham Young University Idaho
3. Brigham Young University Hawaii

4. Portland University
5. University of Puget Sound
6. Saint Louis university

7. Southern Utah University

8. Regis University
9. Metro State College

10. Oregon State University

My heart was set on #2. My best friend was already enrolled and loving it. That was where I was going to spend the next four years of my life. I was accepted to the schools in green. Obviously, my plans changed. I have never been good with change. Issac Asimov once said, "The only constant is change, continuing change, inevitable change, that is the dominant factor in society today". I can't count how many times someone has quoted Mr. Asimov in an effort to comfort me after a big change. I know. I still don't like it. Thus, when the absence of an acceptance letter to my top choice school changed my plans for me, I had a little bit of a breakdown. What was I to do now? I did the only things I knew how to do. I cried. I prayed. And I begged my wise mother to tell me what I should do with my life. Unfortunately, my wise mother has always the one who encourages me to do what I feel is best for me. When I, the good little Mormon girl, wanted to go to the Catholic school because it was an academic dream, she smiled and helped me fill out the application and study for the entrance exam. My wise mother has always taught me that I need to work hard for what I have in my life, and even harder for the duty of being happy. I knew that she was there to support me no matter what my choice, but that in the end it wasn't going to be her that made that decision.

Alas, the choice was mine. Fairly quickly, I ruled out #5, #6 and #10 for the simple fact that I didn't want to be paying off student loans for literally the rest of my life, and #8 and #9 for being too close to home. I knew that if I was close enough to be able to go home on the weekends for some home cooked meals and laundry, I would never actually be at school. I
needed to be far enough from home that I was truly on my own. I had it narrowed down to three. Seattle University, Portland University and Southern Utah University. I still had no idea where I was headed. I had really only applied to SUU because I got the application in the mail and it was a free application that didn't require an essay. It was mostly to fill the application quota...until one Sunday.
My Sunday School teacher in 2005 was Brother Kirby. I don't even know his first name. One Sunday, he asked what schools I was applying to. I replied with the three that I had narrowed it down to. "GO T-BIRDS!" That was all that came out of Brother Kirby's mouth. Awkward....Okay. He put his arms down (he had thrown them above his head in excitement) and explained that he had attended SUU and loved it. I replied with an awkward "thanks" and didn't think much more of it. Yet, for the next days, weeks, months...SUU stuck out in my mind like a
blinking neon sign. So, this is an Ode to Brother Kirby. Thank you. I truly never would have thought twice about that SUU acceptance letter...your enthusiasm and upraised arms somehow triggered and inner sense that SUU was where I needed to be....
I have very little reason to think that Brother Kirby would be reading my blog, but if any of you know Brother Kirby, of the Wash Park Ward of the Denver Colorado Stake, please, point him in my direction...or at least the direction of my Blog.
Now that I am in my third year at SUU, I know more than ever that I made the right choice. The things I have had the opportunity to do, the faith I have gained, the people I have met. They
all let me know every day that I made the right decision.
To the opportunities, the faith and in particular, these people:

Thank you.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Delicious Hot Schmoes.

Last night, for FHE, our ward and the college way apartments ward got together for a bonfire and some singing testimonies. So, we all bundled up to face the cold and drove out to three peaks for some spiritual enlightenment! We got there after only one wrong turn...last year we got REALLY lost...So we found some friends, cuddled close to the fire for warmth and the night began. It was cold. And really dark. I think somehow the cold made it darker because as people called out my name or said hi to me, I had to squint and get awkwardly close to them to be able to see who the heck they were. So when I started recognizing people...I started taking pictures!
Here are a few of the first attempts...
Yes...My eyes are closed in every one of them. Honestly, I'm not entirely sure what was wrong with me, but I eventually got the hang of it. So the night carried on and we made these...And then we all sang some of these...The fire slowly died down and the marshmallows and chocolate diminished...Everyone parted ways. We drove home...Four of the Five Froomies...singing Christmas songs and listening to Delilah all the way. Today, was a good day.

Monday, November 10, 2008

The color of money...

After months and months of fighting with the kind yet somewhat incompetent folks at Sun Trust Bank...It has arrived.

Saturday, around 3:30 in the afternoon...My Froomies checked the missive box. They returned to our home and Lauren exclaimed rather excitedly, "Ashleigh, I think today is your lucky day..."

You see, for several weeks now...several months now to be honest...I have been saying that "today is the day!" And when a froomie checks the mail, they are so kind as to check for anything from AES (American Education Services) addressed to me....and it happened that EVERYDAY for the past week and a half, I have received an envelope from these blokes...EVERYDAY I received a letter confirming the amount of my loan, or a letter telling me when my next disbursement will be, or a letter telling me that Sun Trust Bank is being lame and must send me a billion pieces of mail before they can mail my actual check. Seriously....

But...on Saturday, it came!!
Yes folks. A check. Made out to me. In the amount of $10,000

So, now that I can pay off my credit cards that I was forced to put my tuition on, buy some winter clothes and buy groceries that aren't ramen and is good.

More news. Today, I went to the humble Cedar City Department of Motor Vehicles and officially gave up my Colorado UNDER 21 license for a Utah OVER 21 license. That's right folks, after voting in Colorado, I was willing to go ahead and work towards my Utah residency...soon to be a true Utah mormon....sorry Lauren....I know those words make you cringe a little.