Friday, January 27, 2012

How Much Was Tuition at Ohio State University in 1995?

So, remember those boxes and boxes and boxes of drawings, writings and various doodles I found at my parent's house a couple years back?

Well, every year or so, I sort through these boxes in an attempt to throw away a lot of old junk, debris and miscellaneous papers that are not very nostalgic or are, pretty much, useless relics of my past that really aren't going to contribute to any future creative endeavors...or blog posts.

Well, take a look see at what I found last night. It's my tuition bill from Ohio State University circa 1995...

(click image to enlarge)

First let me be the first to say ONLY $358.00 FUCKING DOLLARS PER QUARTER!!!

I know. I know.

Let me be the first to highlight the FFP (Freshman Foundation Program) grant, which was awarded to me based on the fact that I'm a minority. Yep, you heard that right...I'm an Appalachian White. And, thanks to being raised in the Ohio Valley, I had a good amount of my college paid for (thank God!) by simply getting good grades!

(Come to think of it, I should talk about my minority adventure in a later post).

That said, take away the grant, and my total tuition bill would only be $1,032 per quarter. Although I was on the five year program, let's simply assume I was a kick-ass four year student and multiply that full-time amount times 12 (four years over three quarter periods - Autumn, Winter, Spring) and you have a grand total of $12,384 (or 3,096 per year). Now, keep in mind, that's not including room and board. This is just straight college tuition.

Not too shabby, compared to today's average in-state tuition of $8,244 at public schools and $28,500 at private schools.

Shortly before I started college, my grandfather passed away and left me a sum of $10,000 (give or take a $1,000) that I decided to use to pay for college. This nice gift - not to mention my mom working at Kroger's for four years to help me out with rent and other expenses - allowed me to have a $0 balance when I exited Ohio State in the summer of 95.

However, those nasty credit card bills continued to plague me for a decade or so.

So, this isn't a bragging post. It's more of a shock to the system that school, well, life in general is pretty fucking expensive nowadays. And, most students, will probably have a huge student loan to pay come graduation time.

In my opinion, that sucks...especially for my kids.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Finally....My FREE Novella of Short Stories

Well, since waaaaaaayyyy back in May of 2011, I teased and promised that this would eventually happen. It took a while, but I wanted to make sure all the i's were dotted and t's crossed (so to speak).

If you click on the below link, you will be able to download MISCELLANEOUS DEBRIS - my FREE novella of short stories written circa 1999-2005. Besides two or three copyediting jobs and some tiny grammatical clean-ups (by yours truly) these stories have been untouched. Because, as I state in my forward, 'Where's the fun in that?'

The idea to toss these stories into a collection started about a year ago, when I came across a number of odd little writings that I had collected in an online folder aptly titled 'Miscellaneous Debris'. As I read over the stories, I thought, "You know, these aren't that bad. They're not that good, but they're not that bad either."

Then, I started to think about all of those people who are afraid to showcase their work for fear of getting chastised, laughed at, or berated. To be honest, I thought of myself because it's been a personal fear that has kept me from trying to publish any of my fiction to this date. I know. I know. No inhibitions. But, it's harder than you think.

So, as a form of carthasis, I thought I'd release these not-so-great works of fiction as a stepping stone to create something better, something bigger, something that will eventually, hopefully entertain the masses. And by masses, I mean more people than the three readers of this blog and my Facebook friends.

Before you start reading...I wanted to add a couple more thoughts:
  • This isn't my best work, but it is some of my earliest short story work.
  • I would welcome your feedback on your favorite and not-so-favorite stories (if any).
  • I'm 100% sure that I'm NOT going to rewrite any of these stories, so save your edits.
  • If you do see some type-os, please make note, I have not formally sent this document to a proofreader.
  • Out of the 20 short, short stories in the novella, I would consider SYMPATHY, THE BLEEDER, THE BIRDFEEDER and THE BUM my personal favorites.
  • My least favorite would have to be CRAZY DAY, but I just tossed it in for shits and giggles.
  • I hope you have fun reading these as much fun as I had writing them.
  • You can easily read this book with an iPad or download away.
  • Right now, I have two books started that I can now focus my full attention towards completing.
  • I'm not going to post this post to Facebook until January 15, 2012.
Well, that said, enjoy.

Now that I have baptized myself of these mediocre stories, onto bigger and better things.