White History Month: An Opinion Piece

This is an interesting piece by Steven Hildreth, Jr.

White History Month: An Opinion Piece.

My personal opinion is that there should not be a month designated to any one ethnicity.

Why isn’t there a Chinese month? They have their own art, music, food, etc and they’re neither white or black.

My point is that if you designate a month for an ethnicity, you might as well do this for all of them. There are not enough months in the year.

About My Move

Hey all,

I am writing this out of frustration. Someone has accused me of not following through- and yet my plans, what I’ve been saving have not change- they are only delayed.

Some time ago I came to the notion that Sioux City was not the place for me. So I resolved to move. I told a few people this specifying “I will move once I have saved $2,000.” This is so that I can afford the expenses of the move plus the next apartment. This has not change. I am still saying this. I will move when I have the $2,000.

Now, here’s the problem that’s causing the delay.

Part 1 is in one word- DEBTS. I need to get a good portion of my debts paid off- especially the local ones. I have $5,000 to $6,000 to go. When I started the debt pay-off (because I wanted to buy a house) I have well over $25,000.

Part 2 can also be summed up in one word- RENT. Every year I get a cost of living increase in January. When June arrives I get a notice that my rent is going up. In and of itself, not a problem- it’s the ratio that is. While the reason (imo – excuse) is different every year the result is the same. The ratio is usually $ 20 / 25 on income vs. $30 to the rent. It’s a two steps forward and one step back scenario.

This year one of the ladies in the office claimed “fair market value”. However, in comparison to other complexes across the area – they are over-priced. The rent rate is now competitive with complexes that offer in-unit laundry connections, heated swimming pools, and workout centers. While my current place does have a pool it is not heated and they do not offer the other amenities. Laundry facilities are in the basement- 2 washers and 2 dryers to each building of 24 apartments. It’s not enough.

There is a light at the end of this tunnel. As I mentioned- I have $5,000 to $6,000 to go on my over all debts. I will soon be done paying on my student loans. And the last of the credit cards will be paid off between December 2015 and February 2016. Even while still paying on the remaining debts, this will put over $200 back into the budget. This will become the savings for the move. IF this plan remains ‘on track’ I expect to have the $2,000 for the move.

As for the actual move – there are several places I am considering. I have not hidden this fact nor is not the first time I have mentioned it. The list consists of

1. Home to Pinellas County, Florida.
2. Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
3. Phoenix / Flagstaff, Arizona
4. Montana
5. Colorado
6. St. Louis (I’d like to live here at least 1 year.)

A 7th option has recently been added – the idea of moving to another / cheaper apartment in order to resume my academics at Western Iowa Tech. That is… to at least finish my Freshman courses. That’s 32 credits ( half of the value of an Associates of the Arts Degree). At this point I have 24 transferable credits. So, I need another 8 credits. If I choose this route I will end up being over because the courses are worth 3 credits each.

I admit that this idea is appealing and I did enjoy several classes – which has a lot to do with the instructors- specifically Ms. Lewis, Mrs. Fox, and Dr. Renshaw. Mr. Hall made it easy to understand math- his class was the first A in math I had ever made.

Then there’s my church family at Southern Hills Baptist Church. I would miss them and Sunday mornings. I have learned so much from them.

To highlight I have options and snags- it only means a delay. As I have said, and I will say is again- once I have saved $2,000 I will move.

The only thing that I can fore-see as another delay is if I say “screw this” and buy a car.

I will keep you all updated as this progresses, evolves, etc.

New Thoughts on Lesson 9

It’s become apparent to me that I’m at a point that may or may not be crucial but it has stumped me.
In short, I’m stuck.

As usual part of the blame goes to the external noises with my apartment. One of the neighbors across the hall consistently slams the fire hall doors. I have placed a note on my door explaining that I’m a writing who works from home- as writer’s do- and that I appreciate it if my neighbors would not slam the fire hall doors. While this has been dramatically reduced- only the 1 person across the hall and the children on the ground floor persist.

On to the issues of the lesson. I have achieved 337 words of the 3,000 word count limit. I paused at a point that would direct the story. Either a character will leave and the adult character would step up or this teenager would offer to speak with character # 3- her best friend. The focus is supposed to be on this character but I’m having doubts.

The reason is that I am ‘borrowing’ characters from my YA trilogy for this piece. It’s set a few years after the trilogy so there isn’t an affect on those stories. In the YA stories, I focus on the character who is # 2 in this short piece. This is causing a problem for me because I am accustomed to focusing on her story.

I’m finding that I am not as familiar with #1 and she’s not coming out as I envision her. A beta reader commented that #1 appears to be selfish in her want for a high-priced college vs. a community one. That’s when I paused writing the piece.

I’m questioning how to bring it out that she’s not selfish at all- she has simply bought in to (or drunk the juice) the belief that Community and Junior colleges are for losers.

Granted I’m jumping ahead of myself. I still have yet to address #1’s feelings on the use. We have only seen what she believes- not the why. And that’s where I’m at- who is going to speak with her about it? Should it be the father or the best friend? I’m leaning towards the best friend.

No, it’s not her place- I believe it’s the father’s, however, wouldn’t a best friend intercede anyway? I don’t know. In my teens I didn’t have a best friend to pal around / get in to trouble with etc. My best friend was a pen-pal who lived in Jamaica.

So, I’m putting this out there- to my lady followers who had a pal-around best friend as teenagers. Am I right in assuming that the best friend, character # 2, would jump in and knock some sense into character #1? I would love to hear thoughts on this one.

– Side note- if you choose to share a story, reminiscing about your best gal-pal I make no promises that it won’t inspire a moment in my writings. ūüôā

Goals to Date

Well, we’re encroaching on the middle of the year. This is when I like to pause and take a look back and see where I’ve been and what I’ve done in the year. Today I’m going to go back further and account for the accomplishments I’ve had over the years.

The biggest one is that I quit smoking! I made this decision when I had moved into my current apartment on 11-01-04. The draw back is that while food tasted like it should, I regained the weight back that I had lost since leaving Colorado – and then some.

Another big one is the debt project. I started this in 2007. I have budgeted $2,000 per year to do this. Admittedly I wasn’t smart about it when I first started. I stumbled, faltered, and struggled. Of course it didn’t help that some of the collectors were out right bullies in their tactics to collect. I don’t know how I made it through without the Grace of God. My sanity remains intact thanks to Him.

I have long forgotten what the total was in the beginning. It seems to have floated around $20,000 the entire time- despite the records showing that debts were getting paid off. I blame the interest, it is an evil creature. :: wink ::

To date, I have paid off close to $27,000. While this includes my credit cards, it does not include the student loans. Like I said, interest is an evil creature. One loan is under $1,500 and the other is well over $12,000. Despite my payments of $105 a month- the so called ‘low interest’ of 6 to 7% is making a marginal dent if at all. The small loan may see a credit of $20, sometimes more each month. It’s the large loan that often balances if not cancels that effort. This is the price to be paid for such a small payment- so they tell me. The sad part is that I’m on the income-based payment scale. Things will change though and soon. Once the final credit card is paid off I’ll move this money over to the loans.

There’s a lesson to be learned in this, be smart with your money. I did save money by attending a community college vs. a traditional 4 year school. However, I wasn’t smart with what money I had and it caught up to me. Believe me when I say “I’ve paid for it.”

In looking ahead, 2015 will see an end to my credit cards. It is my hope that I will be able to move forward with plans that have been set to the back burner during these last few years. There are many things I would like to do and accomplish, things that I need to and have to do. For the time being they have simmered, ever on the edge of my thoughts.

These are more than wishes, plans and dreams. I am reluctant to say more as there are those who criticize and object to even the simplest of objectives. This is something I resolved with myself that I will never understand about people- friends who make ‘well meaning / intended comments’ and yet their words only serve to discourage and deter.

Which brings me to my final accomplishment for this post. I have finally relieved myself of the last of these naysayer friends. If you find that a friend is more negative, or that you feel angry / frustrated at them more times than not- perhaps this friend is a naysayer. These people are best left to fade into obscurity rather than kept around.

Lessons Learned

In combing logic of 2 men I follow- I’ve come to this equation:

“We teach people how to treat us.” Dr Phil

“Society rises to its level of tolerance.” Jerry Doyle

ergo-

“We teach people how to treat us by our level of¬†tolerance ( or what we will tolerate from them).”

In result- I have decided to cut loose the friend I refer to as “Beta Bob”. He has certain behaviors and attitudes that I’m just not willing to tolerate or have reached my level of tolerance.

Without giving details, I found myself feeling more frustrated and or irritated with him after spending time together. There’s no love-loss, we had just been friends, but still- letting him fade away is for the best. Even someone who was just a friend can have a negative impact on our lives.