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» Hatrack River Forum » Archives » Landmark Threads » Twenty-four (and there's so much more?) -- A landmark.

   
Author Topic: Twenty-four (and there's so much more?) -- A landmark.
Verily the Younger
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You know, I've always kind of laughed at people who made new screen names to avoid writing a landmark. "It's a tradition, not a rule," went my reasoning. "If you don't want to write a landmark, then just don't write one."

Well, when I noticed on Sunday that I was fewer than ten posts away from my thousandth post, I finally began to understand. I very seriously considered making a new screen name. And it wasn't that I didn't want to write a landmark. It was that I wanted to write one, and had no idea what to write about. A new screen name would give me time to think about it.

I ultimately rejected the idea, though, because it seems like cheating to me, and besides, I still oppose the whole idea of multiple screen names for the same person.

So instead I spent time in the landmark archives, reading other people's landmarks and trying to decide what the topic would be for mine.

You see, my entire life has been pretty uneventful. I have no great stories to tell about some major life-altering event. There are no moments in my life that I can point to and say, "And that's when I became the person I am today."

I could tell you all about how I'm 24 years old and have not had so much as a date with a girl since I was 15. But then it would look like I was fishing for sympathy, and all the responses would look like this:

quote:
(((Verily))) Don't worry, it'll happen when it's meant to. Hang in there. [Smile]
I could tell you about my trip to Europe right out of high school. That was an important time in my life. But it was a school trip, so I got to see very little that hadn't been planned for me. And since I am notoriously bad at keeping journals, I have no accurate records of what happened. In the words of Benjamin Disraeli, "Like all great travellers, I have seen more than I remember, and remember more than I have seen."

I could tell you about my gradual on-going progression from quick-tempered ass to cool and collected Stoic. But aside from a job that my quick temper lost me, that mainly consists of introspection, which is not all that interesting to read about. (Unless Orson Scott Card was the one that wrote it. He's good at that. Maybe one day I'll tell him about it, and then he can tell you.) And besides, for all I know you may all think of me as a quick-tempered ass anyway, so the story wouldn't have much value.

And aside from the fact that nothing in my life is worth writing a landmark about, there's also the fact that I feel rather presumptuous writing a landmark at all. I don't really feel like a part of this community. I want to be, but sometimes it feels like you all are so close that I just came in too late. I live out in the frontier, past Canada even, and I don't have the money to get on a plane and go anywhere. So I'll probably never get to meet any of you. I can hardly remember anyone's real names, even though several of you use each other's real names all the time. (And I can't reveal my real name because I still have paranoias about revealing too much personal information on the Internet.) I can never keep straight all the different aliases so many of you have. And all this time, there are at least a few of you who thought I was a girl. If you don't even know what sex I am, how can I truly be a part of the community?

I've been here since July and have written a thousand posts. But I still feel so new here. I feel like I don't really know any of you, at least not the same way you know each other. And I have my doubts about whether anyone else remembers anything about me from post to post. I feel like an eternal newbie.

So, in a probably-futile effort to at least partially remedy this situation, I now present my landmark. It will be long, it will lack focus, and it will not be clever like everyone else's. But it will hopefully tell the two or three of you who finish it a little bit about me.

---

I was born on the 28th day of July, 1980, in Anchorage, Alaska. In kindergarten I was tested for, and diagnosed with, partial color-blindness based on the fact that I always used a blue crayon when the teacher wanted us to use purple. The reality was that I simply didn't have a purple crayon and was too shy to ask anyone to lend me one. I knew perfectly well what color I was using, because crayons have the name of the color written right on the side. I could read fluently well before I reached kindergarten; as a matter of fact, I asked my parents to teach me how at the age of two. Being the good, nurturing parents they are, they obliged. In any case, the crayon does seem to have been incidental, in that I do, in fact, have a partial color-blindness. (My sense of smell is also so poor as to be negligible, but that's another story.)

Early on in school, people began noticing that I seemed to be more advanced than the other children. I don’t know when my parents or teachers first realized it, but I remember vividly when I first realized it.

In kindergarten, our teacher once read to us from a joke book. It was one of those children's joke books with the setup, with illustration, on one page, and you must turn the page to see the punchline and another illustration. Well, one of the jokes was, "What do you lose when you stand up?" The punchline, of course, was, "Your lap." But the illustrator had made the error of drawing a ladybug on the ground on the setup page, but omitting it on the punchline page. The result was that all of my classmates thought what you lose when you stand up is a ladybug. I found it a little odd that they'd think that, in that "What do you lose when you stand up? –-A ladybug," neither makes sense in the real world nor is particularly funny as a joke. But the teacher explained that the ladybug had nothing to do with it, and that the real punchline was, "Your lap." Okay. No problem.

But on a later day, the teacher read the same joke book to us. Sure enough, once again, all the other children thought the answer to the joke was, "a ladybug." Now this was too much. "A ladybug" was nonsensical enough the first time around, but she had already explained that that was not the correct punchline. I was exasperated. How stupid were these people, anyway? How could I be the only one in the entire class that understood? (That’s not a very charitable thing to think, but then, five-year-olds are not known for their charity.)

At any rate, my teachers and parents eventually realized that I was a little quicker than average for my age, and sent me off to a special school for intelligent children. The years I was there-—first grade through the first half of fifth—-were paradise for me. I had friends. I had schoolwork that really challenged me. And I was really a part of a real community.

It was the last time in my life I would ever feel that way.

In fifth grade I failed math. People often get the wrong idea about intelligent folks. They assume that people with advanced intellects are automatically good at everything that involves brain power. That's why nerds and geeks on television and in movies are always super geniuses at math, computers, language, chemistry, physics, biology, engineering, electronics, and any of a host of other academic pursuits. The reality is far different. Like anyone else, we "smart people" are good in some areas, and bad in others. Numbers, for example, are forever an enigma to me, and as a result, I failed fifth-grade math. The teacher met with my parents and recommended I be removed from the program and sent to a "normal" school.

My parents made the difficult decision that that would, in fact, be best for me. Questioning them about it as an adult, I learned that they didn't do so because they agreed with the teacher. They did so because it was clear to them that she hated me, and all the other children, and the teaching profession in general (no, I'm not exaggerating), and that it would be better for me to be away from her.

I was shy to begin with. It's in my nature. But suddenly I was surrounded by children who mocked me endlessly and made me constantly feel like an outsider. The idea that they weren’t as "smart" as me, based on the arbitrary measurement standards of the Anchorage School District, didn't bother me at all. (For one thing, failing math didn't exactly make me feel very smart.) But the fact that they were cruel, a trait my classmates in the "smart kids" program never possessed, kept me shut out of their world for years. The rest of elementary school and the two years of junior high were one long exercise in exclusion, and it's well and good that I've forgotten most of the details.

In high school things started to get better. High school students aren't as petty as elementary and junior high students. My silly name and short stature were no longer amusing to anyone. A few kids—-frustrated, I suppose, by the fact that I didn't belong to any "cliques" by which they could categorize me and decide how to treat me—-took to calling me "gay", along with a number of less positive synonyms. Truth to tell, that never bothered me much. I'm not homosexual, but I never really got what was supposed to be so bad about being homosexual. This was supposed to be an insult? Why would it even matter to them if I were? For the most part, I was able to blow off stupidities like that and enjoy myself.

Not that I ever really felt like a member of a community then, either. I had very few friends, and even fewer friends that I actually spent time with outside school. I joined the drama department and was in a number of plays—-something I haven’t been able to do since then, and miss intensely-—but that wasn't till the middle of sophomore year. By then, all the other actors had already formed their community, and it was too late for me to really join in and be "one of them". But that was okay. I had fun anyway, and overall, high school was enjoyable for me.

I went to college right out of high school, but it didn't lead anywhere. I lacked focus. I knew I wanted to study, but I couldn't narrow it down to just one thing. By the time I decided that what I most want to study is linguistics, it was too late. No school up here offers a linguistics program. I can't afford to move out of state. I didn't want the degree I was working toward. And I wanted to move out of my parents' house. Not that I have a problem with my parents, but I was in my twenties, and I felt it was time. So I left school, went to work full-time, and got my own apartment.

Well, now I'm twenty-four. I'm still in this apartment. I'm still working full time. I still haven't gone back to school. I'm trying to save money so I can move to another state and go to a school with a real linguistics program. But it's hard to do that when my bills make sure I end every month, monetarily, right back where I started.

Someone once said, and this is probably a paraphrase, "The older you get, the harder it is to find someone who didn't amount to anything when they were your age." Justin Hayward wrote "Nights in White Satin" when he was nineteen. Isaac Asimov graduated high school when he was fifteen. Joan of Arc commanded the French Royal Army when she was seventeen. Me, I'm twenty-four, I work away at the daily grind just to keep from being thrown out of my apartment, I'm still just as single as ever, and, despite my life-long love of knowledge and education, I am officially a college drop-out.

I don't know how reasonable it is to think that I can really go back to school now and become a successful linguist. Especially considering I still can't begin to afford it, and it'll probably be a few more years before I can even get started. I don't know if I'll be able to get married while I'm still young enough to enjoy some anniversaries and actually see my children reach adulthood before I die. (My father was married when he was twenty-two and my mother, eighteen. Yes, it was to each other. Yes, they're still married.) Heck, I don't even know what I'm having for dinner tomorrow. All I know is, I've lived two dozen years, and I don't have a whole lot to show for it. All I can do is try to focus my life, decide on one or two goals (instead of the dozen or so I always have floating around at any given time), and start to work toward it. Twenty-four isn't all that old, really. Maybe I still have time to make something of myself.

Maybe I'll even gain enough focus that my next landmark will have an actual point.

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Kama
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Landmarks don't need to have a point. [Smile] This was a good one, because it makes me know you better.

---

I think (and it has actually been said by various people here, including the "long time ago" old-timers) that most people think themselves kinda outside of the community - these inside jokes you don't always get, the fact that people have met and you weren't there, the fact that sometimes your posts are ignored (EVERYONE gets this). The fact is, every one of us makes Hatrack what it is. if you left, your presence would be missed. There's tons of people I don't talk to outside of the forum, people I've never met - but these people I consider my friends, a part of - if not exactly family, then hmm... a commune? a tribe? You're one of them, Verily. You're a friend. And you're my tribe.

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rivka
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(((Verily))) Don't worry, it'll happen when it's meant to. Hang in there. [Smile]

















Now you know you must be, as Kama put it, a member of the tribe. I only tease real Hatrackers. [Big Grin]

I liked your landmark. But I disagree; I think it did have a focus and a point. A reflection of things that have been, and an exploration of what might yet be. These are very important things, and things that many of us would do well to reflect upon more often.

I am glad to know you a little better. [Smile] And I wish you well.

Oh, and my real name is a state secret, but I'll tell you if you email me. *shifty eyes*

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quidscribis
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Yep, a good landmark. I know more about you than I did before, and I like you even more, to boot.

Now, about that whole 24 and getting nowhere with life thing - been there, done that. It can get better. I wound up becoming an accountant, not because I wanted to, but because it was easy. It's only now, in my late thirties, that I'm finally doing what I want to do - write - and that's only cuz I got married to someone who can afford to support me while I do it. You ain't the only one, in other words. But I hope you find a way to make your dreams happen sooner than I did.

Um, and I can't keep track of real names or alter egos either, and I'm not real, and I feel like I don't entirely belong either. It's not just you. For me, it's my inherent too-low-for-my-own-good self-esteem that does it, regardless of any evidence to the contrary. [Dont Know]

Anyway. You belong. You belong so much that I can't remember when you weren't here. (But then, I have goldfish memory.) [Dont Know]

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twinky
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More people than you think feel that they don't belong here. Me, for instance. Still. After five years and close to 7,000 posts. So don't worry about that. [Smile]

If you really want to save money to move out-of-state, can you move back in with your folks and keep working while you save up? I realize that the independence of living alone is very important -- I'm 24 as well and I know *I* love having my own place -- but if it'll get you where you want to be it may be worth the (temporary) sacrifice.

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El JT de Spang
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It was only a few months ago that I was 24, so believe me, I've been there.

And, I went to college in Montana, though I now reside in Louisiana (where I grew up) so I can tell you that living in a place where it's dark and cold so much is depressing.

Every spring in Montana, when the snow would melt and the sun would come out it would strike me that I'd been depressed and downtrodden all winter and hadn't even realized it. My friends and I commented on it every year.

Anyway, happy landmark.

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HesterGray
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Verily, I think you're awesome. Nice landmark. [Smile]
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Farmgirl
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Verily -- a great landmark.

You do belong here -- as much as any of us. All of us, at some point on Hatrack, feel left out or unnoticed. Outside looking in. It is normal. I even feel that way sometimes and I have met many of the Hatrackers.

Don't write your life off as unfulfilled when you're only 24. I didn't finish college until I was almost 40. Sometimes it takes awhile to decide what direction to go, and what it takes to get there. If you live to be 100, then you are less than one quarter through your life -- you have a lot yet to go through.

I'm very glad you wrote your landmark. It has definately helped me to know you better.

Someday I'm going to take a trip to Alaska (I've always wanted to go there). If you're still around, and I hope you're still on Hatrack then, I will try to look you up. However, if you're not still there -- and instead are off somewhere pursuing a dream -- that is even better...

Farmgirl

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Tater
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I really liked this. Thanks for sharing.

Good luck in all that you do.

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whiskysunrise
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Very well done. [Smile]
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Dan_raven
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I enjoyed it.

I got to know more about you, and I hope you learned a little more about yourself too.

I have a theory that there are other types of dyslexia than that which effects reading. I believe my mother has dyslexia that involves spatial understanding (she can get lost in a closet), and I believe that you may have a mathematical dyslexia, that makes math and numbers difficult for you while words and languages come easy. The problem is that numbers are what you need to master to master money.

And money is what you need to become a master of your true gift of languages.

That just means you have to work and fight a bit harder until you get your desire.

Just don't give up.

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romanylass
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Verily, thanks for the chance to get to know you better! You most certainly belong here [Smile]

I was diagnosed in 9th grade with discalcula, which is like dyslexia with numbers (good call, Dan).I was "gifted" too, which made getting a diagnoses harder. Maybe you have that too?

Please don't think you have nothing to show! You have a job, you pay the rent, and you are intelligent and well read. Too many people I know can't say that.

If you ever get down to the lower 48, you'll probably pass thorugh the Port of Seattle, so I'd get a chance to meet you. [Smile] But I'm not real yet either.

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El JT de Spang
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I don't think it's actually a form of dyslexia; what you're describing (I know you don't mean it literally). I think it's more a case of people having aptitudes for different things.

Some people just see things and they immediately make sense, while things that are easy to other people are totally counterintuitive to some.

My uncle is a brilliant lawyer who taught himself Polish, but can't do his own laundry. He's totally helpless with things like that. People are good at different things.

[ April 28, 2005, 05:28 PM: Message edited by: El JT de Spang ]

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ElJay
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Verily, your post made me think, and made me feel, and I very much appreciate it. I didn't realize you've only been here since July... I've only been here a few months more than you, I guess, but I think of you as one of my Hatrack "comtemporaries," in that it feels like we joined around the same time.

I hope you find a way to fulfill your dreams.

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AC
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If you truly interested in studying linguistics you should get yourself some books on the subject (you could probably even get used college textbooks through amazon.com) and study on your own while you save up money. You may not get college credits, but you would be doing something you enjoy, and it would get you a little ahead once you do get to college.

Have you considered joining the military? That will get you to another state, give you money for college, and when you are on active duty, basic living expenses are taken of at no cost to you, so you will be able to save up quite a bit of money to help you get settled in elsewhere after your enlistment.

On a totally separate note, though I have not done enough research to even make this statement worth reading, I don't believe Joan of Arc ever commanded anything. I believe that she was essentially a cheerleader to fire up the troops, while the generals planned strategy and gave orders.

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fugu13
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No, most of the physical account of Joan of Arc is not in dispute, and it is quite clear she independently commanded troops in battle.
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Verily the Younger
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Kama: Thank you. Coming from a long-time Hatracker so beloved that her very travels are cause for massive conventions to break out, that really means a lot to me. [Smile]

twinky: No, I can't. It's not that my parents wouldn't take me in, and it's not that I'm too proud to let them help me. But there are other circumstances involved that I'd rather not get into here. The best I could hope for would be a roommate so I could reduce the amount of money I have to spend on bills each month. That may possibly happen later this summer, actually.

JT: Growing up in Louisiana, I'm sure dark and cold would be depressing. I've lived in Alaska all my life, so there's nothing out-of-place about dark and cold for me. It's dark and cold most of the year, so that's normal for me. I just sort of take it for granted that that's how the world works. [Smile]

Farmgirl: Thanks for your kind words. My problem is that I tend to compare myself to the people I most admire. I know I shouldn't, but it's hard looking back on the seven years since I graduated high school and realizing how much of it has gone to waste. I know that, barring unforeseen calamities, I've got a lot of years left to make up for it. But having such a late start, especially when I've always had high ambitions, will probably always make me feel guilty.

Dan and romanylass: Interesting theory. I've never even heard of this numerical dyslexia before. If there are tests for such a thing, I imagine it couldn't hurt to at least investigate it. I don't think I have a real learning disability; math is just one of those things that some people are good at, and some aren't, and I suspect I'm just one of the ones that is not. But it would be arrogant to dismiss the possibility without looking into it further.

ElJay: And I think of you as one of those long-established "insiders". I guess it's all a matter of perspective. [Smile]

AC: I do study linguistics on my own, and grammar, and, to the extent that it's possible, foreign languages. I don't let the fact that I'm not in school keep me from learning. But if I want to get anywhere in the field itself, I'm still going to have to solve the basic problem of getting back into school. And actually, yes, I have considered joining the military, for exactly the reasons you gave. But I'm also out of shape, physically weak, and very very nervous about pain. So I've decided to leave the military to those who have more right to be there than I have. [Smile]

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twinky
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quote:
No, I can't. It's not that my parents wouldn't take me in, and it's not that I'm too proud to let them help me. But there are other circumstances involved that I'd rather not get into here.
*nods* That's fine, and fair enough. [Smile]

quote:
The best I could hope for would be a roommate so I could reduce the amount of money I have to spend on bills each month. That may possibly happen later this summer, actually.
A good start! I hope it works out for you. [Smile]
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El JT de Spang
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quote:
And actually, yes, I have considered joining the military, for exactly the reasons you gave. But I'm also out of shape, physically weak, and very very nervous about pain. So I've decided to leave the military to those who have more right to be there than I have.
Don't let that dissuade you if you do want to get out of AK. I looked into a couple of branches of the service before I went back to college, and past basic training (8 weeks) you don't have to do a whole lot to stay in shape. Unless you decide to go special forces or something (which I take from your post is doubtful).

Buddies of mine in the navy and air force say the most they ever had to run was about 2 miles. It's much more mental than anything else. Also, as a hatracker, you are of course of above average intelligence which in the military means you get the best job.

Not trying to sway you, but you have options. Don't be scared of the military, but inform yourself.

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ElJay
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quote:
And I think of you as one of those long-established "insiders". I guess it's all a matter of perspective.
Yeah, but I cheated. I came in as the first relative to register of a well-known and highly respected insider who had just announced she was starting to date one of the two most prolific posters on the board, and right before they announced their engagement which became the Hatrack event of the year. It kinda gave me an edge. [Wink] And I still question my status on the board. So as far as I'm concerned, especially with regards to writing this landmark, you're doing great.
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Verily the Younger
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No wonder I can't keep up with all y'all. I never liked soap operas. [Eek!]
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punwit
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Excellent Landmark Verily. I now know you a bit better and, to me, that is the point of a landmark. I think we've all had/have those, I'm not an integral part of Hatrack thoughts so don't think you are alone in that feeling. I enjoy reading your posts and I'm happy to know you better. I wish you luck in pursuing whatever dream you desire.
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pamone
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I was just mosing around the forum here and I came upon your landmark post. Not knowing what a landmark post was, I thought it was about the TV show "24". It wasn't but I'm glad I read it.
You are the same age as one of my sons. What high school did you go to? If you went to school in Anchorage, there is a good chance that you at least knew of each other. Maybe.
24 is not too late to go back to school. UAA may not be what you want, but if you went there - you could at least go a class at a time. Or, you could get a student loan, pick up a few roommates, work a bit and manage. It can be done. I've known quite a few that have managed it. In fact, my oldest son worked full time while going to UAA and never took out a student loan. Another son took the student loans, a few scholarships and only worked part time. UAA is known for having an older student population. Plus there are the benifits of going to college of being able to get involved in clubs, sports, etc.. A good place to meet people.

If you don't want to go to UAA, there are quite a few universities in the northwest, that offer discounted tuitions to students from Alaska. I know the SVU, the school in Moscow, ID, and some in Washington do. You have to apply for the program but it makes it affordable to go out of state. If you decided to take one course, say in UT this summer - you can get a room for 90.00 a month (plus roommates) during the summer. You could easily afford that, even with a low paying job.
As far as getting outside - the plane tickets aren't THAT expensive, if you buy ahead of time. Plus, there are always people driving the Alcan that are looking for people to drive with them. You might even be able to find someone that will pay you to drive their car out.
Old saying: Where there is a will, there is a way.

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pamone
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I was just mosing around the forum here and I came upon your landmark post. Not knowing what a landmark post was, I thought it was about the TV show "24". It wasn't but I'm glad I read it.
You are the same age as one of my sons. What high school did you go to? If you went to school in Anchorage, there is a good chance that you at least knew of each other. Maybe.
24 is not too late to go back to school. UAA may not be what you want, but if you went there - you could at least go a class at a time. Or, you could get a student loan, pick up a few roommates, work a bit and manage. It can be done. I've known quite a few that have managed it. In fact, my oldest son worked full time while going to UAA and never took out a student loan. Another son took the student loans, a few scholarships and only worked part time. UAA is known for having an older student population. Plus there are the benifits of going to college of being able to get involved in clubs, sports, etc.. A good place to meet people.

If you don't want to go to UAA, there are quite a few universities in the northwest, that offer discounted tuitions to students from Alaska. I know the SVU, the school in Moscow, ID, and some in Washington do. You have to apply for the program but it makes it affordable to go out of state. If you decided to take one course, say in UT this summer - you can get a room for 90.00 a month (plus roommates) during the summer. You could easily afford that, even with a low paying job.
As far as getting outside - the plane tickets aren't THAT expensive, if you buy ahead of time. Plus, there are always people driving the Alcan that are looking for people to drive with them. You might even be able to find someone that will pay you to drive their car out.
Old saying: Where there is a will, there is a way.

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imogen
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*bah*, rivka beat me to it.

[Mad]

I also liked yuor landmark, Verily - and I think Kama's post is very true.

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JemmyGrove
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I have to confess that I was one of the ones who thought you were a girl, and I'd like to apologize for that (it still causes me great chagrin). I can't help but wonder if your comments in your landmark refer particularly to a couple of threads I was involved in. (I also admit I was attracted to you when I thought you were a girl, for whatever that terribly awkward compliment is worth. Incidentally, I discovered soon thereafter that several people thought I was a girl too.)
[Roll Eyes]

I niticed you from the outset becuase your writing is so intelligent and witty and sharp, and I think I was looking for a kindred spirit when I realized that you and I probably joined the board on the same day -- I think my new member post is the one directly following yours, or vice versa. Even if I'm just skimming a thread, if I see your name I always read your post; I'm always interested in what you have to say.

So thanks for opening up and sharing a piece of yourself with us.

JG

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accio
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Verily,

"Just what you want to be
You will be in the end" [Group Hug]

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Verily the Younger
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quote:
What high school did you go to?
I guess I can safely say it, since I'm not there anymore. I went to Dimond. Go Lynx!

(Note to any potential stalkers: I don't live in the Dimond area anymore, so don't even bother. Or do I? *shifty eyes* )

As for UAA, been there, done that. Like I said, it doesn't have the degree I actually want. Before choosing a new school, the very first consideration is going to have to be: What kind of linguistics program does it have? If I can get it at reduced tuition, cool. But it has to have a good linguistics department and offer degrees in that area, or it's not for me.

quote:
As far as getting outside - the plane tickets aren't THAT expensive, if you buy ahead of time.
No, but there are other expenses to traveling beyond plane tickets. If I had free room and board for as long as I was there, and a stipend for shopping trips, I could absolutely afford to buy a plane ticket and go somewhere. But when I'd have to handle all that myself, that's rather different.

quote:
Even if I'm just skimming a thread, if I see your name I always read your post; I'm always interested in what you have to say.
Wow, thanks. That's quite a compliment.

*wonders if knowing he has a fan will make him more careful about what he says* . . . *nah*

quote:
"Just what you want to be
You will be in the end"

Thanks. [Smile]
Ah, but is that a thought you can or cannot defend? [Wink]

[ April 30, 2005, 10:55 AM: Message edited by: Verily the Younger ]

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pamone
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quote:
No, but there are other expenses to traveling beyond plane tickets. If I had free room and board for as long as I was there, and a stipend for shopping trips, I could absolutely afford to buy a plane ticket and go somewhere. But when I'd have to handle all that myself, that's rather different
True, there are other expenses to living and going to school. But, people do manage it while going to school. There is a difference between a wish and a want. If you wish you had a degree in linguistics, all you will do about it is dream. If you really want it, you will find a way. True, you may have to give up some of those shopping trips and eat macaroni and cheese alot, live in an apartment with 4 or 5 roomates, but you will see those things as just part of the price you pay for what you really want. (One of my sons rented a space in the livingroom of an apartment. He slept in a tent there, for several years, while going to college)

While UAA may not have a linguistics department, you could most assuredly get the general's out of the way. As for the exchange program - it is meant for degree programs not offered at UAA. So, linguistics would qualify. I'm sure that there are many schools in the northwest that offer the degree you want and are involved in the program. It will take some research on your part.

The choice is yours. The opportunity is there if you want it.

(My sons went to East - but my DIL went to Dimond)

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