Tuesday, November 24, 2009

"Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?"

Yesterday and today are dedicated to securing much-needed funds for grad school. In other words, applying for every scholarship conceivable, and chasing down Stafford loans. To accompany me, and since I feel like I'm reliving the Depression at the moment, I've been watching films from the early thirties while I work. It's too bad my life can't be more like an old movie - wouldn't it be lovely if all my problems could be solved by a strategic tap dance, or a spontaneous song? Wouldn't it be marvelous if I could conveniently be the misplaced heiress to a fortune, or if a fur coat could land on me while I'm out walking and spark a chain of events leading to marriage to the perfect millionaire (who, coincidentally, also looks exactly like Ray Milland)?

So far, I've managed to secure a Stafford loan (pending approval from the lender I selected). Now if only just one of those lovely scholarships could fall into my waiting arms. Why must it cost so much to become well-educated and seek one's academic dreams?

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"Passage—immediate passage! the blood burns in my veins! Away, O soul! hoist instantly the anchor!
Cut the hawsers—haul out—shake out every sail!
Have we not stood here like trees in the ground long enough?
Have we not grovell’d here long enough, eating and drinking like mere brutes?
Have we not darken’d and dazed ourselves with books long enough?

Sail forth! steer for the deep waters only!
Reckless, O soul, exploring, I with thee, and thou with me;
For we are bound where mariner has not yet dared to go, And we will risk the ship, ourselves and all.

O my brave soul!
O farther, farther sail!
O daring joy, but safe! Are they not all the seas of God?
O farther, farther, farther sail!"

~Walt Whitman, "Passage to India"