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Monday, July 11, 2011

Loan Shark

Every month, on the 18th or thereabouts, $436.06 gets automatically debited from our joint checking account. If you're thinking, "Oh, that must be the monthly payment on their gently-used Land Rover HSE, you'd be wrong. Not only would you be wrong, but you'd be guilty of residing in the same fantasy world in which I find myself vacationing on occasion when I think I'm married to the cast of "Coyote Ugly" and I sing like Josh Ritter.

No, $436.06 is the monthly sacrifice I make to Loan Sharktrix Sallie Mae as I diligently and automatically repay the debt I incurred by obtaining my Master of Education degree from La Salle University. After a month or two of writing out the checks by hand, I buckled under the emotional weight of what I was doing and passionlessly set up the automatic debit. That way, it's like getting fingerbanged in your anus by Edward Scissorhands while you're unconscious, having been drugged with Rohypnol.

There is a tremendous amount of guilt associated with this massive student loan (when I started repaying it, in 2009 or whenever, it was a staggering $38,000) due to the fact that, while I am gainfully employed, which allows me to repay the loan, I am not gainfully employed as a teacher. Nor have I ever been since graduating from the program (yes, I did that fateful 1-month stint as a long-term English sub, but I was still enrolled in the MaEd program at the time, having one last course [Geography] to complete) and that is rather a hard pill to swallow.

I don't know how many of you out there reading this have graduated from either undergraduate or Master's level programs and have obtained degrees which you are not utilizing, but I suspect, if you're reading this and you are in the same boat as I am, you understand how I'm feeling about all this. Granted, I'm not especially using my undergraduate degree either, but, and this is going to sound terrible I know; I didn't pay for it. So the sting isn't quite there. My parents (Christ knows how-- must have sold a LOT of heroin, not to mention a fair amount of overpriced burn bags) paid for my undergraduate education in total.



There it was.

There it went.

Boom went the dynamite.

And I feel incredibly bastardish for having said that, but, really, it drives home the importance of having kids pay for things themselves because, you know, when you haven't paid for it, it's a lot easier to undervalue it. Whatever "it" is. Like a boob-job, for instance.

But my graduate degree I did pay for, and, every time I look at our bank statement and see that rather sizeable chunk get taken out by Sallie Mae's bony, terrible fingers, I shake my head. I don't know what I was thinking. I don't know whom I was trying to please. Well, that I do know-- my parents and my wife. And, really, the community-at-large who had been either secretly or overtly hoping that I would do something sane, logical, and appropriate with my life. Become a cop? Jesus.

What was he, bucking fananas?

He loves wearing neckties and he has a calm, gentle, funny way about him. Shove him in a classroom and forget about him. That seemed to be, well, appropriate. And so I went to work in a psychiatric hospital. To stick it in people's faces? I don't know. I don't think so. Not consciously anyway.

I just checked out, mostly for shits and giggies, the total loan payoff-- the amount I would need to come up with if the loan were to be paid off in full by the end of this month:


It's like-- what the fuck has been going on for the past three years? Almost $15,600 over the course of three years, and I've barely made a dent. Thanks, 6.8% interest!

I wonder, though, sometimes, if I'd feel any better about this massive debt I owe if I were teaching as opposed to doing what I'm doing now. Would it make any difference? After all, the amount owed wouldn't change. A job's a job's a job's a job.

Isn't it?

1 comment:

  1. I feel your pain. I pay $500 every month to those bastards. Although I am using my degree, the crap money I'm making doesn't seem to be worth all the bullshit I went through to get the degree.


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