So, I’m back and I feel like I need to end this week on my soapbox, addressing some things that have been in the news of late. (It’s a bit long, so hang in with me here if you can.)
You may be aware of the protests and outrage in England right now over college tuition increasing three times the current rate. Last night, protestors attacked a car carrying Prince Charles and Camilla, throwing eggs, shaking the car and breaking a window. The Prince and the Duchess were not hurt, but it made for a scary moment.
The, protestors also set the Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square on fire. So, wrong. So very wrong.
I understand that this is a huge change for students in the U.K. (and for my blogger friends in the U.K., please don’t take offense to this). I get that. But, they’re complaining about the fact that tuition is going up to $14,000 next year after there has been a long-time cap on tuition rates (something we have not experienced here; increases are the norm). When NPR did a story about this topic the other day, a representative from the student group leading these protests said that with these increases, England will have the most expensive tuition costs in the world. Um, hello? Been to the United States lately?
Sorry, dude, but it’s the United States which has the highest tuition rates in the world. Not that this is anything to shout from the mountain tops, but at least get your facts straight. For instance, tuition at Trinity College in Hartford, Conn. is $53,380; Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn. is $53,660; Columbia University in New York City is $54,385; and Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, N.Y., is a whopping $57,556 per year.
Even at my alma mater, the University of Kentucky - a public university where tuition is well below that of a private school - tuition is much more than the proposal in the U.K.
I had student loans to pay back after I graduated. I got a job, I worked on paying my loans and finally, I paid them off, like many other college grads do in this country. That’s just how it is. I know this is difficult to do during tough economic times, when jobs may be hard to find.
There have been protests by U.S. students at their respective colleges over tuition increases. But, it's not the practice to set fires in the street, destroy property, and place others in harm's way. We save that behavior for an NCAA championship. :)
I'm probably going to take some heat over this, but I don’t have a lot of sympathy for this situation. It’s the norm here and we just suck it up and move on. Fight it all you want, but I doubt your efforts will restore a cap on costs. That's just the way it is.
Elizabeth Edwards (1949 to 2010)
As you know, Elizabeth Edwards died this week after a long battle with breast cancer. At times she was a controversial figure, in her ambition for her husband’s quest for the presidency and whether or not she knew about, and helped cover up, a scandal involving John Edwards. But, she also cherished her role as mother, was a successful lawyer and strategist. No one deserves to lose a child, have your husband cheat on you in a humiliatingly-public fashion, and then be stricken with cancer.
Now, it appears that the members of the crazy-town church, Westboro Baptist, which is known to protest military funerals, plans to show up at Elizabeth Edwards’ funeral on Saturday. Is there no shame? I just hope what happened to them at a recent military funeral in Oklahoma happens again. I bet the Devil can’t wait to get a hold of these people. Then again, it sounds like he already has.
Alright, thanks for putting up with my tirade this week. Let’s enjoy this holiday season and remember what it’s all about. My family and I have a full weekend of Christmas parties and activities. I’m looking forward to seeing friends old and new and enjoying time with my husband and kids. That’s what it’s all about.
Images and content courtesy of BBC News, New York Daily News, Tulsa World, CNN and Yahoo News