The Ironies of Studying Poverty

ScreenHunter_12 Sep. 19 09.31

This is one of seven textbooks for my Old Testament class at the GTU. They total ear $200. I have three major class and two smaller ones totaling 12 units – a full load.

I got some advance money for school but had some extra expenses in preparation for Fall and Winter as a Homeless person living under the Nimitz freeway. I also got hit with a massive phone bill (which is another sorry- I have since stopped the bleeding and the phone entirely – though it costs me $21 a month to silence it) and I got shortchanged $64 on my foodstamps given a mistake that was anyone’s guess. Try living on $130 a month for food?

In the midst I do find it ironic that one of my texts on poverty (which I live in) should be $30. I simply cannot afford it. I will have to check it out of the library or read it at ABSW where they keep a copy of each book in a room where they cannot be removed.

It is what it is.

I want to read this book because I will be reading from the inside – not the outside like my classmates or at least most of them.

I do not know yet if I can take out loans or get grants enough to get into the dorms in the Spring. I hope so because i am not sure about studying in camp. I am not sue about the quality of work – long term. I’m tough – but I am not sure I am that tough.

They system is not exactly working in my favor. They don;t reward my initiative or movement away from poverty in any way. If anything I put what little benefits I have at risk.

If I can get into the dorms perhaps I can get a part-time job in Berkeley. I have gone through the nearly intolerable hoops needed to apply for Social Security Insurance as I have not effectively worked since 2009 and have been disabled. But obviously there are some things I can do – just not 8 hours of anything rote.

People have no diea what it is like being poor. I never did. It takes massive planning to use all your resources effectively and at the right time. I suppose – it is like being a football team that is really undermanned and which is up against a much better team. You have to use your resources at just the right time and just the right way. Mistakes are HUGE.

If you lose a cable you just go buy anther one. If I lose one – I am messed up for ten days. It’s disheartening. I have to thoughtfully pack my two bags every day for every contingency and for all day and evening.

And I have to keep going whether I want to or not.

If I hadn’t I would not now be in Grad School, and I would not soon be marshaling my arse to go all the way over to Berkeley to the Library to read. It will cost me two yours extra two get two hours of reading in.

As Vonnegut says, “so it goes.