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9/4 Financial Aid Town Hall Notes

2020.09.05 00:17 YummySpamMusubi 9/4 Financial Aid Town Hall Notes

Edit 9/8: The recording is available now.
I attended the Financial Aid town hall again. This time I took some more notes. I did not write down the answers, just the questions (well, most of them). When the recording is available, go watch the whole thing.
If your fees are not paid because OFAS is still reviewing your file, they will protect your enrollment. You will not be dropped from your classes. Go see the slide posted by wuzum.
Here was was covered:
  • Why your financial aid was not listed on your Zot Account yet.
  • How to accept your aid package. You must accept your aid before Sept. 11 so that your aid is applied before the fee deadline. You must accept the terms and conditions and see the "Confirmation of My Aid"
  • Technology grant. Went over who is eligible. No receipt required.
  • Still working on Cal Vet waivers
  • When will the Cal Grant be confirmed?
  • When Middle Class and Blue & Gold Scholarships be awarded?
  • How will your aid will be affected by waiving UC SHIP.
  • Went over the Campus Billing slides from the last town hall.
  • Spent the remaining 45 minutes answering questions:
    • How to contact OFAS: email, reddit, this town hall, QLess, chat feature on the OFAS website
    • What if I graduate in fall? What if I have a change of status after fall?
    • What about the status of my appeal? Do I need to pay for that.
    • You don't need to use the Technology Grant for purely technology. You can use it for other educational expenses.
    • Do I need to accept my revised aid if I accepted a previous aid package? Yes.
    • What happens to the credit on my Zot Account?
    • How to find a job if you have work study.
    • Why does someone living at home still see line items for living expenses?
    • How can I report changes to my parent's income because of COVID-19? Make a QLess appointment.
    • If I decline a loan, but need it later, will it still be available? Yes.
    • Parent Plus loan question
    • How long do appeals take to review?
    • When is aid disbursed?
    • What if I move to on-campus housing later than fall?
    • It takes two to three days after your accept your aid for it to appear on your Zot Account.
    • Do I need to complete a FAFSA every year?
    • What if I didn't get the Technology Grant? Can I apply for an increase in budget?
    • What if I move to campus in Winter or Spring, will my aid be adjusted?
    • When will scholarship applications for 2021-22 be available? January.
    • Why isn't my Housing bill on my Zot Account?
    • Will I be notified if I'm under protected status for my enrollment? No, see the first slide of the deck to determine your status.
Towards the end, I was getting a little worn out typing questions so watch the whole thing!
Lots of mention of reddit. Hello, AnteaterFinancialAid!
If you have a QLess appointment and all of your questions have been answered, please cancel your appointment to free up a slot for people who do have questions.
They also answered a ton of questions in the Q&A window:
For the Parent Plus Loan, is the amount offered disbursed over the quarters or are parents managing how that money will be distributed?
Whatever amount is accepted and approved will be split up over the course of three quarters. The funds will be applied to your student zot account and if there's any remaining funds a check will be mailed to your parents.
If we sent an email with an attachment of a loan cancellation form, how long will it take for the financial aid pacakge to be updated?
We do not accept email attachements. Please fax or mail your form to our office.
My calgrant is still uncofirmed, however on my Zotbill my accepted loan and pell grant were used to already start paying for my fees. Once my CalGrant gets confirmed will it overide those payments? I don't want to use my loan if I don't have to.
You can request to have your loan be cancelled if you no longer want it after the cal grant is processed.
I submitted my CalVet waiver and USHIP waiver, but they still have not been processed or confirmed yet. If I accept my loan now and they get processed later, will I get reimbursed?
Yes, if your loans cover your fees and your waiver comes in later, you will get the loans refunded back to you, that is if you still qualify for the loan once the waiver is posted
I have credit in my ZotAccount, how do I get it out so that I can purcahse school supplies?
once all your fees are paid, anything remaining in credit will be disbursed to you when the quarter begins. Make sure you set up a direct deposit if you have not done so.
My parents got denied for the parent plus loan. Where do I submit the form to request more student loans? And how long does the form take to be approved?
https://www.ofas.uci.edu/content/pdf/2021/PLUSIneligibleRequestForUnsub.pdf
Have all of the UCI scholarships been awarded?
Yes, they are pretty much all have been awarded. You can contact the Scholarship unit if you have more questions on scholarships: [email protected].
Is the UCISHIP Wavier connected to UCI Financial aid office? My wavier has not showed on my zot billing account quite yet.
If you waived out, student health services should post the waiver on your account.
I submitted a change for housing status to off-campus 16 days ago (uploaded lease also) and My financial aid has not been revised. My roommates received their updates days ago and they submitted the change the same day. I’m just anxious because my apartment move in date is in a weeks and I need to be sure I can pay off my bills.
Due to the volume of request, it may take up to two or three weeks to process. Please reach out to us if it has been more than two weeks since you submitted the request. [email protected] Thank you for your patience.
When do we find out about the Blue & Gold plan?
This question has been answered live
Hi I was able to see my award but on 9/3 I saw that I have a hold on my account on my award! What should I do?
We are working to review all holds before the fee deadline. Many of the holds maybe related to students waiving out of USHIP. If this is the case, we are working on this to be reviewed before fee deadline.
I have a financial aid hold on my account but I have not been able to reach the financial aid office, how can I contact the office?
This question has been answered live
My status and financial aid award has been changed from living on campus (dorms) to living at home with parents, and I never submitted this change. I still plan on dorming this year and I have not cancelled my housing contract. Is it possible to get this fixed?
yes, if you are living at home, please submit your request on your My Aid Portal under Report My Changes
For the Q Federal Direct Unsub and deposit, where can we find the loan interest rate?
www.studentaid.gov
If we are planning on submitting a lease for an off campus apartment from living at home with parents, how much more money are we given?
Living at Home Budget is $27748 and Off Campus Budget is $34428. The difference is how much more you will receive in aid if you go from living at home to off campus https://www.ofas.uci.edu/content/costs.aspx?nav=1
It's a difference of $6000.
I will be graduating after Winter quarter but still see the UCI grant under all 3 quarters. Is there any way to transfer the spring quarter grant to fall and winter?
No, you are not entitled to spring quarter funding if you will not be enrolled.
the net cost is what is not going to be covered by financial aide ?
the net cost is what you would normally pay out of pocket or take out a loan or work to cover. It is not covered by grants
I recently had my private loan certified by OFAS, however, it'll be disbursed the day after the fee deadline. In this situation, would my classes be protected as well?
yes, If you have a private loan and we have already certified it and it has not arrived in time for fees, we will do our best to protect your class
In my bill I see cost of living, books, food, and transportation. I live at home. Why am I being charged for cost of living?
You are not being charged for those charges. We allow a budget to assist in these expenses should you have them. So it allows us to offer you aid to cover those cost should you have those cost but it is not a charge that you need to pay to the university
I'll ask this because I can't attend but I already accepted the financial aid and both the registrar's and financial aid office know of my residency status. Why doesn't my zot account show that the financial aid gift has been accepted? Also, can I get a recording of this zoom meeting?
This question has been answered live
When we waive uc insurance, will our uc grant be reduced?
yes, your UC grant will be reduced by the amount of the USHIP waiver
How come I wasn’t awarded my UCI grant? I applied to all of the scholarships but my gift aid has been severely reduced. Before in May, I was given enough to cover the year bu it has been reduced to $0.
If you have other scholarships covering your cost, then it most likely replaced your UC grant.
Ive recently visited the “my aid” tab and have noticed that my gift aid has dropped from its original amount. Please advise what changed and if there is anything I perhaps did incorrectly and need to fix in the system.
It is very possible that it might be reduced either because you changed your housing status or you receive other resources or it could be for other reasons. When we make a change to your award, we normally indicate the reason for the change when you log onto your My Aid Portal
I was wondering why some people like myself are receiving no aid at all (but are offered loans). i noticed a recurring trend where most of them have recievied aid in the past, and have no new major change in their financial situation asides switching to living at home
This is very possible when you change your housing status from on campus or off campus to living at home. If this was your situation, then it is likely the reason why you no longer have the UC grant. If you decide to live off campus or on campus in the future, upload your housing/lease agreement on Report My Change when you log onto your My Aid Portal and your award will be revised
why is the uc irvine grant that was awarded last year not showing in my aid this year
It is very possible that you no longer have thee UC grant because you have a housing change from on campus or off campus to living at home.
is there any deadline for external scholarships to report to UCI? As these scholarship funds will not be given to me directly
The sooner you report it the better as it will impact your financial aid award. Ideally we want to make the revisions now, before any aid is released.
Is the amount shown as CR on our zot account is the aid we will be given to us directly after tuition has been paid?
That's a credit. If you're not living on-campus the credit will be processed to you- sign up for electronic fund transfer via your zot account to receive the funds through direct deposit.
If there is a CR on your zot account, that is the remaining aid once all of your fees are paid. We should be disbursing any remaining credit to you once the quarter begins. However, if before we disburse your credit and new charges are posted in your zot account, your credit will be reduced due to the charges
if we accept now and are waiting on another (cal grant) will that prevent the cal grant from coming in?
If you have other aid you want to accept your aid now so that we can process those other aid. Once your cal grant comes in, it will be process at that time
how long will it take for the financial aid to applied to the ZOT bill?
You must accept your aid and be enrolled in units. Review the "To Do List" tab in your MyAid portal and complete all items for the awards you are accepting.
will we be emailed this webinar to our email to look back at ?
A recording of this webinar will be available on our website next week.
If I decide not to use the loans offered now, but then decide to use it later in the year, would I be able to do that?
Yes, the loan is offered to you throughout the year. Try to accept them at least one months before the spring quarter ends if you still need them at that time
In regards to the parent plus loan, what further steps does my parent need to complete in order to accept and apply for this loan?
please follow the steps on your My Aid Portal under "My To Do List". It will list all the steps they will need to take for us to process their loans
For those who canclelled housing, should we still accept our aid or wait for a change in our UCI costs (Change in Hosuing Costs)?
Please submit your housing change online via your MyAid portal today.
If I graduate summer, Do I still need to accept the aide for fall and then return money back to financial aide after accepting or do I just dont accept it without notice?
We will not process your aid if you are not enrolled for the fall quarters. You can request for a "Stop Processing" on Report My Changes when you log onto your My Aid Portal
I am not moving into UCI housing this quarter but hopeful to move in during the Winter quarter but my parent plus loan was reduced overall so I am curious how this will be handled next quarter for an increase otherwise I will not be able to afford housing in Irvine
When you have a lease for the UCI housing, you can upload it to Report My Changes on your My Aid Portal and we will revise and increase your aid for the quarter that you are living on campus
Does our zot bill include the cost of housing or is it just the charge for tuiton?
Your zot bill should include tuition. If you will be living on-campus your housing charges will be added soon.
if you live in one of the uci dorms (mesa court or middle earth) you should see your housing charges in your zot account around Sept. 15 and it will be due aroung Oct. 15. check your zot account at that time
how do I go about cancelling my undergraduate health insurance waiver and how long will the cancellation process take? If the waiver does not go through before the sept. 15th deadline and I pay more than I have to, then will I get that money refunded afterwards through electronic refunds?
Hi Daniel, you can request to opt our of the student health insurance through the UCI health insurance site. I believe that is processed fairly quickly. If you submit your waiver before the deadline and it is approved, a credit will be posted to your zot account.
Where and how do we report a change of parents income due to COVID-19?
You can email us at [email protected]
If I decline a loan, will it be offered again at a later date?
if you decline a loan now it will still be available to accept later
My student loans and grants are already confirmed and accepted on my portal and I also completed the MPN and entrance counseling. Can I trust that they will be applied to my bill on time?
if you have done every step to accept your loans, it should be in your zot account and applied towards your fees. I would suggest reviewing your zot account to make sure all your financial aid in there and your fees have been paid. To be sure you have done all steps, review all the steps under My To Do List on your My Aid Portal. Email us if you did everything and you still do not see the loans in your zot account [email protected]
If all my zot bill is paid for, then what is the loan amount that is offered based upon?
You are awarded financial aid to cover your full cost of eduction which includes fees and living expenses and other expesnes related to school So, if you need assistance with living expenses (room and board, book, supplies) you can use your loan to assist in those expenses.
is there any prepayment penalty for the Federal direct plus parents loan?
This question has been answered live
If my aid shows that I’ve accepted it but it’s not showing up on My Zot Account will I be dropped from my classes?
It is very possible that you accepted your aid but you have not accepted the terms and condition of accepting your aid. Log back onto your My Aid Award and keep going to the last page of My Aid Award and accept your terms and conditions. Once you have done this, give it a few minutes and go back into your zot account to see if your aid is there
Is expected family contribution adjusted when two students in one family are in college simultaneously?
yes, and it should have already factored in the EFC if you indicated 2 in college on the FAFSA already. Check your SAR. If you reported 2 in college, then it is already considered in the EFC
My calgrant was confirmed in my aid but after I changed my housing to “at home”, it’s no longer in my financial aid?
This will happen if you change to living at home. The cal grant requires that you meet a certain amount of need before they will allow you to keep the cal grant. When you move to living at home, your cost decreases and your need also decreased so this likely the reason why you no longer have the cal grant.
How will we know if we had been considered for the technology aid
if you are eligible for this fund, it will be added in your award package. You can view your aid package on your My Aid Potal under My Aid Award
Hello! I am in the process of changing my living status from “at home” to “off campus housing”. Should I accept my aid before I report the change or after? I fear that the change would not be processed on time.
Accept your aid now. And submit your lease agreement as we will be able to adjust your aid later.
If we are eligible for Blue and Gold after the app real process, how will this connect to the Cal grant?
hi..Blue and Gold and Cal Grant serves both pays for the systemwide fees. You can only be eligible for one.
Hi there, I have the same problem but I have submitted everything required and I haven't gotten any response from your office nor has my status been revised and my aid readjusted
hi kerry..i see that you are already awarded. Please accept the terms and condition so that your aid can be release.
Are the loans and awards for one year or for the full 4 years?
For 1 year
I am eligible for my cal grant but I don''t see it on my UCI financial aid/payment site. I spoke with cal grant and they said that UCI has the decision to disburse however they want. My residence status is living at home, since classes are online, due to Covid and UCI''s revision/assignment of dorming.
You may not have enough need to be eligible to receive it.
Will the funds for books, supplies, etc. be disbursed on the first day of the semester?
Refunds will be issued 9/28
The to do list on the financial aid office asks to connect a bank account, but I have yet to receive money in this account, but the money from the two grants I mentioned were instantly applied to my ZOT Account instead of my bank account. Is there a reason for this?
Refunds will be released to your bank account 9/28
Are our federal loans spread out over the year? Or can they be used for one quarter?
You receive 1/3 of the amount each quarter
how do I let Financial AIde know I am graduating summer , do I use "report my changes"?
Yes
why is my registration fee paid but I still have $2000 CR?
That is a credit that will be refunded to you on 9/28
What is the reddit place?
A social media website
To clarify, is it correct that if we do not accept any loans for the Fall Quarter, that we can accept the loan if needed in the Winter Quarter?
Yes
Do we need to complete the Fafsa each year we attend UCI?
Yes
How to apply for Technology Grant ?
There's not application process. We will award to students who are eligible.
So when the Zot account has a negative balance and says "CR" next to it, that means we dont have to pay anything and will actually be receiving that money back or is that wrong? Also, is it possible any fees will become available after the deadline? If so, does the deadline change?
you might have a e-tech later once the quarter starts
Can a loan in my financial aid package be left as "offered"? or do I have to "accept/reject" it?
Yes, you can leave it in offer status.
It can stay at offer
Is the UCI Technology grant still available to students?
We are currently awarding to students who are eligible.
All qualified students have been awarded.
is the technology grant automatic?
Yes, for qualified students
How can I waive my UCI insurance?
visit the UCI student health insurance website
submitted by YummySpamMusubi to UCI [link] [comments]


2020.08.17 06:01 Tactical_Leo College at 30. Anyone else on this boat with me?

I planned on going back to school this year in the fall but the virus happened and I got iffy. So now I’m starting in Spring of next year. I would do online classes but a big part of me wants the college experience...
Honestly part of me wishes I did this back when I was in my 20s but I was depressed and lost as I didn’t know what I wanted to do. But I’m better since then and have an idea. I’m just out of my element since I’ve been battling with depression most of my adult life and now that I got a handle on it I’m weirded out. It’s so damn strange man... I know adults go to college to better themselves but I feel like I wasted time ya know?
I know the saying “better late than never” applies to me and I’m fully aware of it. I’m also feeling a little guilty since I wasted my Pell grant taking classes here and there... Passed some while I failed/withdrew after the drop off date so money was lost there. I still have quite a bit left over for my lifetime grants so I’m not too worried if I stick through this. But with that being said I don’t know if I’d get another grant but I don’t care... I’ll take a loan out, grin, and bare it. I want this as it’ll open me up to a bunch of possibilities as I’ll be looked at more for promotions, and if I ever want to leave the U.S, my degree will be helpful as it’s a STEM degree.
submitted by Tactical_Leo to college [link] [comments]


2020.07.12 19:21 StringJohnson Took a diagnostic, looking for general advice

Congrats to everyone who took the test yesterday, I know you killed it. I've been reading through some of the wiki information over the past couple days. There are a ton of great resources, but I am feeling a little lost in regards to where to set my expectations and where to start my improvement process.
Diagnostic
I am enrolled in a masters program right now, but if everything is going to be online, I'd rather save the money for law school. I had always planned on going to ls but thought I'd take some time, now I am thinking the next best option is to go straight through and defer the masters for a fallback if I don't get admitted.
As a first step, a took a diagnostic and got a 152, which I was slightly disappointed with. I had no clue what the test would look like but was hoping to eventually end around a 175. What are the chances I have enough time? How should I pick my test date to maximize study time w/o getting too late in the admission cycle? I have a 3.95 from undergrad and am shooting for t14/ hys.
My current plan is to work through the Khan academy prep, but am looking for other free resources I could use to supplement. I'm a pell grant kid so guala is a lil tight. Also generally anxious about making this pivot because it seems like everyone else has already been preparing and I'm a little late to the game.
submitted by StringJohnson to LSAT [link] [comments]


2020.07.09 23:58 Zanadaris Anyone else missing Pell and TAG grant?

I’m just really worried I’m not going to be receiving any financial aid in terms of grants. Last year about half my tuition was paid for in grants and this year I’m getting literally nothing? I admit our financial status has gotten a bit better but it’s not even close to being being to afford full tuition without grants.
Has anyone else experienced this in previous years where the pell and tag grants will be shown at a later date? I’m really hoping this is the case.
Especially given that we are being taught online, how is it fair that we have to pay $14,000 to watch a couple lecture videos and take tests online where half the class is cheating? Is this the world class education that was promised?
submitted by Zanadaris to rutgers [link] [comments]


2020.07.09 04:24 StringJohnson Took my first diagnostic, looking for some general perspective

Hey everyone, I've been reading through some of the wiki information over the past couple days. There are a ton of great resources, but I am feeling a little lost in regards to where to set my expectations and where to start my improvement process.
Diagnostic
I am enrolled in a masters program right now, but if everything is going to be online, I'd rather save the money for law school. I had always planned on going to ls but thought I'd take some time, now I am thinking the next best option is to go straight through and defer the masters for a fallback if I don't get admitted.
As a first step, a took a diagnostic and got a 152, which I was slightly disappointed with. I had no clue what the test would look like but was hoping to eventually end around a 175. What are the chances I have enough time? How should I pick my test date to maximize study time w/o getting too late in the admission cycle? I have a 3.95 from undergrad and am shooting for t14/ hys.
My current plan is to work through the Khan academy prep, but am looking for other free resources I could use to supplement. I'm a pell grant kid so guala is a lil tight. Also generally anxious about making this pivot because it seems like everyone else has already been preparing and I'm a little late to the game.
submitted by StringJohnson to lawschooladmissions [link] [comments]


2020.06.18 21:08 mr_tyler_durden Notes and Highlights of Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear’s Live Update June 18, 2020

Notes and Highlights of Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear’s Live Update June 18, 2020
Notes by mr_tyler_durden and Daily Update Team
Note: We may need to paraphrase, but the notes are accurate
Watch here:
Headlines
Full Notes
QUESTIONS
With that, we’ll open it up to questions, we’ve got a number of folks today - Joe Sanka, Dia Davidson, Joe Ragusa, Phil Pendleton, and Daniel Dirocco
Continued in stickied comment
submitted by mr_tyler_durden to Coronavirus_KY [link] [comments]


2020.06.09 01:40 sepia_dreamer My Very Non-Representative (I think) Experience — Maybe an encouragement / inspiration, maybe not

Hey all, I keep debating whether or not I want to share how things have been going in my life, or if it's too far out of the norm to be relatable, and thus just come across as bragging and showing off. Basically I feel spoiled by life in many ways, things always seeming to work out better than should be expected considering circumstances and what I bring to the table.
Backstory: grew up in a home that was a bit more dysfunctional than it had hoped to be, raised out of town, homeschooled, home life felt like a multi-front civil war. I've heard a lot of stories from friends growing up in seemingly worse situations, but be all that as it may, it kind of broke me, left me emotionally flat, with limited empathy, and very little to no social skills. Hands on crime, mid-teens, barely overlapped into being a legal adult.
Time passed, working on figuring out my life, fell in with a very supportive, strong group of friends and mentors who helped me grow and find myself, and helped me become someone a person might want as a friend. One day driving to church with several friends, get pulled over in a routine traffic stop, discovered to have warrant back in home state across the country. Now, I'd known that there was probably something, but didn't know for sure (attorney couldn't find anything), and had just been living my life. Friends in shock, although I'd dropped hints of there being some scary stuff in my past, and had said just enough to a few key people in my life. Long story short there is that I haven't lost any friends because of it. Well, none I was close with anyway. I did lose some old friends from growing up, but hadn't kept in touch anyway.
Took me 4 months in jail to make it from one coast to the other and for my family to secure bail. I was facing 5 charges, mandatory minimum of 6 years each. Bail was originally $1m, in spite of my having no money. I guess because of my being across the country? Judge "graciously" lowered it to $250k. Someone found a $25k loan, got me out of jail and into a treatment program. Ultimately they dropped 4 charges, then lowered my sentence from mandatory 6 to 5 years probation with a 3 year revoke over my head. Attorney, registering officer, and probation officer have all told me I could get off within what would be a year from now.
Being uprooted from my friends, but realizing I wanted very much to keep them in my life, especially since I have no life at all being in this small out of the way town, while on the probation restrictions so many of you know so much about, I realized I should make a point of adding value to my friend's lives whenever I interacted with them — letting them share with me their challenges and difficulties, joys and sorrows, without bringing too much of my heaviness into it. Occasionally a friend would apologize for telling me about something they were going through, not wanting to minimize my experience, to which I would tell them I appreciated having something outside my life to think about. To help maintain my collection of once in-person, but now long-distance friends I set up a record system by which I can keep track of when I talked last to whom.
For work I found a factory job, where it seems you just about have to have a criminal record, a child too young, or speak Spanish to get in (I guess being a small town there's not enough competition to make it just any one group). Most don't stay more than a couple weeks, but I don't find it all that bad of work. Just can't wait to get out of this town. In my time off I've been taking online classes full time. Sex offenders can still get Pell grants although drug offenders can't in many cases.
A few months ago this girl I was friends with from when I was living back east told me that she really liked me, and wondered where I was at. I've had a tendency towards being slow about things, but realized I only had one chance and swung for the fence, admitted I liked her back, and we've been dating ever since, and quite seriously. For those that think that sex offenders can't get decent girls, let me just say that she came from a once-old-money family, earned a full-ride scholarship to college (before deciding to do something else), and has a face to die for. Well I might be biased on that last bit, but my mom was momentarily speechless when I showed her a picture. Girl says I was the first person she ever wanted to commit to — after years of dating around, sometimes several at once — and that she knew that well before she opened the question. We have a very honest, open, trusting relationship. Realistically she's the one that brings the greater baggage to the table — history of drug, alcohol, and sex addiction, although she cleaned herself up before reaching out — but she and I are each committed to working through our stuff, and it's one of those things where 1+1 =/= 2, but more like 1+1 = 4 or 5. We're both able to encourage each other towards consistently healthy and productive lifestyles, while avoiding the pitfall of codependency.
About that time, seeing an opportunity on the stock market, I dropped whatever spare cash I had on a few oil companies, and have been getting a heathy return since, which has been life changing to say the least. So basically this has been my year.
I'm studying business, and want very much to work for someone else, because I prefer working with and for people over trying to strike out on my own into domains I know nothing of. I know it will be a challenge finding a professional job, but I plan to aim for smaller companies, perhaps companies still owner managed. There's going to be some real challenges going forward, the fact that I'll be severely limited in my ability to travel internationally will continue to get to me, as I have many friends who have moved / moved back overseas. I like my probation officer, my treatment provider is alright. I'm learning to get along better with my parents since I have little choice but to live with them at the moment.
Nonetheless, even as I feel sometimes I can't relate, I remember all of you and the struggles we share, and how you are affected by them, perhaps even much more than me. I hope as I go forward and make something of my life (still only 27 right now), I'll be able to make a difference in the community I choose for those who may not have had such opportunities, and who may be consequently struggling more under these often draconian limitations. Of course I'm also interested in non-RSO issues — I think it's more rewarding to work to solve problems one is not directly benefited by the solution to.
Well, that's what I got to say. Wish you all luck.
submitted by sepia_dreamer to SexOffenderSupport [link] [comments]


2020.05.30 18:07 offnen Feeling nervous about my planned budget for my first career job (Bay Area). I'd love some input on my plan.

I've been a big personalfinance fan since discovering the sub years ago, and I would really love any input or advice anyone has about my situation! I feel like moving across the country and starting my first job is such a pivotal moment in my financial life, and I want to make sure my plan is solid. This is super long, so I apologize in advance!

Background

I'm 22F, I graduated this month, and I'm starting my first "real" job in the tech industry in July as a returning intern. My spouse, also 22F, will be moving with me to the Bay Area in California. She is committed as a transfer to SFSU and will be have third-year status in the fall. She also plans to work in the tech industry post-graduation.
I've been extremely lucky to have interned in the Bay twice and I've lived both in SF and in the South Bay (where rent is typically a little lower). I hated living in South Bay and absolutely loved living in the city. I will not have a car, and walking/public transportation are much better options in SF proper (from my experience). Between my personal preference, not wanting to buy a car just yet, and my spouse attending school in the city, I really want to rent in the city. We've been looking at studios and small one bedrooms almost exclusively, and it looks like this will cost about $2.5-$3k per month. While I was originally open to roommates, the fact that my spouse's school is already confirmed to be almost exclusively online and the fact that I will likely be WFH for at least the rest of the year makes me wary of living in a shared space.

Savings & Debt

Savings: $12k
Debt: $17k
My spouse finished her Associate's at CC by paying out of pocket; no loans. Neither of us has any consumer debt. We've been playing the credit game in 2 player mode since I finished my freshman year and I had enough credit (score of ~500) to get a starter card. We now have 6 credit cards with a credit limit of $34k. We typically keep utilization under 5% and pay each card off in full each month; we've never paid any interest.

Income

For my new job, I expect to receive:
My spouse was employed in retail part time (as she was also a full-time student) up until the end of March, when she was laid off due to COVID. She's currently receiving ~$100 in UI + the $600 a week allotted by the CARES Act, which will end at the end of July. Even with PEUC, her normal employment benefits will end at the beginning of October (our current state has an abysmal unemployment system). We're not sure what the employment market will look like when we move, so I'd like to plan for the worst case (her not working).
After estimated taxes, paying for health insurance for my spouse, and contributing 7% to my 401k to get my employer match, I think I'm looking at about $6k a month net income.

Expenses

Again, these are estimates; I tried to err towards the high end for each category, but would love to know if anyone thinks I'm entirely off base.
This means that we have about $1.1k "left over", which I would feel more comfortable about if we didn't have my spouse's tuition to consider. While SFSU tuition and fees is about $8k for in-state students (not including housing), she'll be out of state for her first year, which will be about an additional $13k for the number of units she's taking, for a total of $21k for the year. I've read through all of the residency requirements, and because she's independent from her parents and will be staying in California through school breaks, I am almost completely certain that she will get in-state tuition for her senior year. She is getting a $3.5k Pell Grant, and has accepted $5.5k in unsubsidized student loans (unsure of the rate), which leaves us with $12k left to pay, or about $1k a month averaged over a year (would probably pay each semester in full from savings and "repay" ourselves monthly through my income). This would leave us with only $100 left over from our budget for other unexpected expenses, and I don't like that I'm currently only putting $300 a month in savings.
My spouse has been incredibly supportive while I've finished my degree, and worked a lot to help support the both of us while I focused on school, and I want to return the favor.

Questions

Ultimately, I have questions about/am worried about a few things.
  1. (The big one) As an independent student, my wife is eligible to take out an additional $7k in unsubsidized student loans for the year, reducing the balance due right now to $5k (which I could pay with part of my signing bonus). I'm not a fan of my own unsubsidized loans, but in these times, I wonder if building a cash reserve balanced with low-interest debt would be better than having less debt but being spread so thin. Since her tuition will only be around $8k next year as a resident, we'd be looking at $12.5k-$15.5k total debt for her last two years of undergrad.
  2. What do people do with RSUs? I know you are taxed on them as income when you get them. Why not just cash them out to pay the taxes and treat the rest like bonuses? What would be my other options?
  3. Does my budget look reasonable for the circumstances? I'm not happy about spending 50% of my net income on rent.
  4. Should I start a Roth or traditional 401k?
  5. What happens to my Roth IRA when we hit the limit to contribute? Does it just sit there until I retire? We file MFJ, so I doubt I alone will hit the limit in 2020 or 2021, but my spouse will probably have a starting income similar to mine, so when she graduates and starts working, we'll probably be unable to contribute.
  6. Should I focus on contributing the full $6k to my Roth IRA while I'm still under the income limit instead of prioritizing paying extra on my student loan? I feel like this might be better in the long run, especially since I don't expect to be eligible for a Roth IRA for very long (I'm not super clear on how backdoor Roth IRAs work or if that should impact how I've been thinking about this).
If you've read all of this, you are a total saint! Thank you so much for your time-- I really appreciate any advice you have!
submitted by offnen to personalfinance [link] [comments]


2020.05.07 22:08 CountBarbatos Driving for Doordash and quarterly taxes

I've been driving for DoorDash since January 2020. Those who use the app and make deliveries are considered independent contractors, and it was my understanding that we put aside money to pay our taxes at the end of the year, until today when I found out that not only do you pay taxes at the end of the year, you also have to pay quarterly taxes. I had never imagined something like that existed. I guess it's my fault since I just installed the app and signed up without investigating the intricacies of tax code. I've been in the work force for a decade but I've always been an employee of the companies I worked for, so my taxes were already withheld, and I'd get refunds when I filed. I've already filed my taxes for 2019, and I had quit my job around August 2019 to attend school.
I'm 28, technically homeless, attending school via pell grants and DoorDash has been helping me buy food and gas, and I had never been educated nor told about quarterly taxes. I'm already over the due date for January to March quarterly taxes and I don't really know how to calculate what I'd owe anyways. I've only made $1,658.36 from January 1st to March 30th. I read that it's something like 15% of your income for that quarter, but I really don't know.
I've called the IRS but they aren't taking phone calls due to staffing concerns. I don't know what to do or even how much money I pay the IRS, combined with any sort of late fees. The IRS doesn't reach out to you about quarterly taxes, you're supposed to take care of it yourself.
I had read something on eFile that said " If you are self-employed, and you expect to owe $1,000 or more in taxes when you file your return, then the IRS requires you to make quarterly estimated tax payments." Which is confusing to me, how would I know what I expect to owe at the end of the year?
This is all so stressful, and applying for a meaningful job at this time during COVID-19 seems like a massive under taking. Last semester I was buying 99 cent oatmeal cups and crying myself to sleep because I was so poor and now that I have a good amount of money saved up, I'm deathly afraid of losing all of it because of this tax situation. To top that all off, I used to be recording my mileage when I first started off to use it as a tax write off, but the app I used to record mileage kept crashing my phone and my friend had said he never heard of anyone saving any sort of meaningful amount of money with mileage write offs, so those instances convinced me to not record my mileage anymore, which is now going to bite me in the ass since right now I'd need a write off more than anything.
Does anyone have any advice on what to do? I've read some things online how to calculate what I owe but I'm still mystified by it. I would really appreciate any help, thank you.
submitted by CountBarbatos to personalfinance [link] [comments]


2020.05.06 23:32 DadOnGames When I ask people what the Democrats have done for them all they have to say is "what has Trump done?"

Economy
President Trump’s policies have put the American economy into high gear.
Since President Trump was elected 7.3 million jobs have been created.
In 2019, 2.1 new jobs were created.
In 2019, 1.5 million jobs were added for women. This accounts for more than 50% of total job gains for the first time ever.
Over 500,000 manufacturing jobs have been created since the President was elected.
The current unemployment rate is 3.5%, a 50-year low.
Highlights of December’s jobs report:
174,000 jobs were created in December.
December marked the 22nd consecutive month that the unemployment rate has been at or below 4%.
For 22 consecutive months, wage growth has been near or above 3%.
Throughout the Trump Administration we have seen record low unemployment for women, African Americans, Latino Americans, and Asian Americans. In December:
African American unemployment rate was at 5.9%.
The Hispanic American unemployment rate remained at a near record low of 4.2%.
The Asian American unemployment rate was 2.5%, near a historic low.
The adult women’s unemployment rate hit 3.2%, the lowest since 1953.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average hit record highs over 100 times under President Trump.
Under President Trump, 7 million people have come off food stamps.
Under President Trump’s leadership, Congress passed historic tax cuts and relief for hard-working Americans. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is the first major tax reform signed in 30 years.
As a result of the historic tax cuts, nearly 9,000 Opportunity Zones were created in all 50 states, DC, and 5 territories. Opportunity Zones will spur $100 billion in private capital investment and impact nearly 35 million Americans.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act increased the Child Tax Credit by 100% keeping more money in the pockets of hardworking mothers.
Economic confidence rebounded to record highs under President Trump because his pro-growth policies have and continue to put American workers and businesses first.
President Trump has rolled back unnecessary job-killing regulations at a historic pace.
The Administration has cut 8 and a half regulations for every new rule.
This far exceeds the promise made to cut 2 regulations for every 1 regulation added.
Regulatory costs have been slashed by nearly $50 billion and have saved taxpayers $220 billion once actions are implemented.
The deregulation efforts will save American households an estimated $3,100 per year.
The Administration formed the Governors’ Initiative on Regulatory Innovation which aims to better align state and Federal efforts to cut additional unnecessary regulations and costs.
Immigration
President Trump is working to secure our border.
President Trump is fulfilling his promise to build a border wall, with sizable portions already finished or under construction.
It’s expected that 450 miles will be finished by the end of 2020.
The Trump Administration has constructed 100 miles of new border wall system.
Currently, 167 miles of wall is under construction in high entry sectors such as San Diego, El Centro, El Paso, and Yuma.
The new wall has contributed to a 56% overall decrease in the number of illegal migrant arrivals at the border.
Under President Trump, the U.S. Border Patrol has arrested hundreds of members of dangerous gangs.
The President has strongly enforced our nation’s immigration laws by cracking down on illegal immigration and taken aim at “sanctuary cities.”
President Trump has called on Congress to close dangerous loopholes such as “Catch and Release,” end chain migration, and end the visa lottery program which enables illegal immigration.
The Administration is looking to close the Flores Settlement Agreement that requires the government to release families into the country after 20 days. This loophole has been exploited by smugglers who use children as pawns to enter our country.
We are closing asylum loopholes – recently, the Administration instituted a new rule requiring migrants who come to our border to have previously applied and been denied to a country they passed through.
The Trump Administration announced they are releasing a “Public Charge Rule” that will ensure non-citizens do not abuse our nation’s public benefits. This rule will go into effect on 10/15/19.
President Trump was successful in his efforts to get Mexico and the Northern Triangle countries to step up and help stop the crisis at the border.
President Trump’s successful negotiations have led to 28% drop in migrants taken into custody in June.
In May, President Trump announced a new immigration proposal that would modernize our system and secure the border.
The Administration has made it a priority to end human trafficking and is using many resources to do so.
The Administration provided funding to support the National Human Trafficking Hotline.
The Anti-Trafficking Coordination Team (ACTeam) initiative more than doubled convictions of human traffickers and increased the number of defendants charged in ACTeam districts.
Foreign Policy
President Trump has restored our nation’s standing in the world and is standing up to bad actors.
The United States has successfully decimated ISIS.
Under President Trump, the number one terrorist leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was taken out.
President Trump ordered the killing of Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force and an evil, ruthless, and deadly terrorist.
President Trump fulfilled his promise to name Jerusalem Israel’s capital city and moved the U.S. Embassy
President Trump held two historic summits with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, further demonstrating the Administration’s commitment to a denuclearized Korean peninsula.
President Trump withdrew the U.S. from the Iran Nuclear Agreement and instituted the toughest sanctions in history to drive the regime’s oil exports to zero.
In June 2019, President Trump signed an executive order that authorizes expanded sanctions against Iran.
The Administration has vigorously and quickly enforced red lines against regimes and individuals that use chemical weapons.
The Trump Administration has imposed sanctions on Russian entities and individuals previously indicted for their roles in Russian interference in our election.
The Trump Administration imposed hard-hitting sanctions against Iran’s national bank.
Trade
President Trump is delivering on his promise to correct trade imbalances.
The Trump Administration had taken unprecedented steps to modernize and improve trading practices and negotiate freer, fairer, and reciprocal trade agreements with our global allies.
President Trump has kept his promise to deliver a modern and rebalanced trade deal to replace NAFTA. The United States – Mexico – Canada Agreement (USMCA)
The USCMA will spur economic growth, create 176,000 jobs, add $68.2 billion to the U.S. economy, and raise wages.
President Trump negotiated a new United States-Japan trade deal with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Japan is one of our strongest economic partners and this trade deal builds on that partnership. It is a big win for American farmers, ranchers, workers, and businesses.
The Administration revised the United States -Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS) to make it more beneficial to American workers
The President and European Union President Juncker agreed to a new trade deal that strengthens and reforms our trade relationship. The agreement:
Works toward zero tariffs, zero non-tariff barriers, zero subsidies on non-automotive industrial goods.
Makes it easier for the EU to purchase liquefied gas.
Reduces trade and bureaucratic obstacles between the U.S. and the EU.
Addresses unfair trade practices.
President Trump agreed to a phase one trade deal with China that includes a strong enforcement mechanism.
President Trump withdrew the United States from the flawed Trans-Pacific Partnership.
President Trump has forced our allies to recommit to NATO.
The Trump Administration has protected farmers from unfair trade practices by authorizing $12 billion in aid to the American agricultural heartland under The Commodity Credit Corporation Charter Act.
Judicial
President Trump continues to reshape the Federal judiciary at a record pace and is following through on his promise to appoint judges who will uphold the Constitution and rule of law.
President Trump continues to reshape the Federal judiciary at a record pace.
President Trump has installed more federal court judges than any president in the past four decades.
The President is following through on his promise to appoint judges who will uphold the Constitution and rule of law for generations to come.
President Trump has nominated, and the Senate has confirmed a grand total of 187 Article III judges.
2 Supreme Court Justices – Justice Gorsuch and Justice Kavanaugh.
50 Circuit Court judges.
133 District Court judges.
2 Court of International Trade Judges
President Trump’s judicial confirmations have “flipped” 3 – 2nd, 3rd, 11th Circuits – federal appeals courts to Republican.
In 2018, President Trump broke the record for the most circuit court of appeals judges (29) confirmed in the first 2 years of a presidency.
Health Care
President Trump has reduced the cost of health care and taken significant steps to fight the opioid epidemic.
President Trump has prioritized fixing our broken health care system and worked with Congress to implement a system that works for all Americans.
The President has made it clear patients with preexisting conditions will be protected.
The individual mandate penalty has been eliminated.
Association Health Plans have been expanded.
Short-term, limited duration insurance plans have been extended.
President Trump is working to implement his plan to lower prescription drugs.
Under the Trump Administration, we have seen the first ever decline of average benchmark premiums on the federal health care exchange.
The President signed an Executive Order to improve seniors’ health care and improve the fiscal sustainability of Medicare.
Reforms to expand Medicare Advantage options and Health Reimbursement Accounts have been expanded.
President Trump mobilized his entire Administration to address the drug addiction and opioid abuse by declaring a Nationwide Public Health Emergency.
President Trump signed the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act to fight the opioid epidemic.
The Administration launched FindTreatment.gov a public resource to help combat substance abuse.
President Trump signed an Executive Order that increases price and quality transparency.
The Administration has committed to ending surprise billing.
HHS is finalizing a rule that will require hospitals to make prices publicly available online and in a more consumer-friendly format.
The Administration has proposed a rule to require insurance companies and group health plans to provide enrollees with cost estimates.
The Trump Administration has promoted innovation and solutions to expand treatment options for Americans living with disease including HIV/AIDS, kidney disease, pediatric cancer, Alzheimer’s, and more.
The Administration launched a program to provide the HIV prevention drug PrEP to uninsured patients for free.
Signed the bipartisan Tobacco-Free Youth Act to raise the nationwide age for purchasing tobacco and vaping products to 21 years old.
Costly Obamacare taxes were repealed including the “Cadillac tax” and the Medical Device Tax.
Environment
President Trump is promoting a clean and healthy environment for all Americans.
The President and the Administration are continuing to pursue policies that encourage environmental protection while promoting economic growth.
Since 2005, our energy related carbon emissions have declined more than any other country. This is expected to decrease in 2019 and 2020.
Our nation’s environmental record is one of the strongest in the world.
According to the White House, from 1970 to 2018, the combined emissions of the most common air pollutants fell 74% while the economy grew over 275%.
We have the cleanest air on record and remain a global leader for access to clean drinking water. The President has taken important steps to restore, preserve, and protect our land, air, and waters.
The Save our Seas Act was signed into law in 2018. This law reauthorized the NOAA Marine Debris Program, promoting international action to reduce marine debris and authorizing cleanup and response actions that may be needed.
The EPA has taken significant steps to clean up our contaminated sites and hazardous sites.
In FY2018, the EPA completed cleanup work on 22 Superfund sites from the National Priorities list. This is the largest number in one year since 2005.
The EPA is more efficiently implementing air quality standards that will better protect the environment and human health.
The President’s management of our nation’s lands promotes conservation while encouraging good stewardship and expanding recreational opportunities.
Just this year, President Trump signed legislation designating 1.3 million new acres of wilderness – the largest public lands legislation in a decade.
The Department of the Interior proposed to open more than 1 million acres of land for expanded hunting and fishing access. The President took important action to improve management of forests to help prevent devastating forest fires.
President Trump issued changes to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to reduce regulation and allow for infrastructure and transportation projects to move forward.
Energy
President Trump’s policies have begun to unleash our nation’s energy potential.
• President Trump signed an Executive Order to expand offshore oil and gas drilling and open more leases to develop offshore drilling.
• The Administration acted aggressively to increase exports of energy resources to the global market and allowed financing for coal and fossil energy projects.
• President Trump has approved the infrastructure and provided the resources needed to unleash Oil and gas production in the U.S.
o The Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines were approved, supporting an estimated total of 42,000 jobs and $2 billion in wages.
o The New Burgos Pipeline, a cross-border project that will export U.S. gasoline to Mexico, was approved.
o The Trump Administration reversed President Obama’s moratorium on new leases for oil and gas development on Federal lands.
• The President rescinded President Obama’s costly Clean Power Plan.
• The President proposed the Affordable Clean Energy Rule to reduce greenhouse gasses, empower states, promote energy independence, and facilitate economic growth and job creation.
• The Administration has rescinded many costly Obama-Era regulations including the methane emissions rule that would cost American energy developers an estimated $530 million annually.
• The President announced his intent to withdrawal the U.S. from the unfair Paris Climate Accord.
Agriculture
President Trump and his Administration continue to help our farmers.
In 2018, President Trump signed a sweeping new Farm Bill into law.
The Farm Bill provides support and stability to our farmers, expands crop insurance, doubles how much farmers can borrow and helps open new markets for our farmers.
The President authorized the year-round sale of E15 gasoline which provided a boost to America’s corn growing communities.
Red tape that has harmed American farmers have been rolled back.
This includes eliminating the burdensome Obama-era Waters of the United States rule.
The historic Tax Cuts and Jobs Act protected family farmers from the estate tax.
Thanks to the President’s historic tax cuts legislation, the effective tax rate for farmers is expected to fall from 17.2% to 13.9%.
President Trump is standing up for America’s farmers by negotiating fairer, freer, and more reciprocal trade deals that remove barriers and open markets for American farmers.
President Trump negotiated the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), getting a better deal for American farmers and ranchers.
The USMCA will increase America’s Agricultural exports by $2.2 billion.
The USMCA will eliminates Canada’s discriminatory programs that allow low-priced dairy products to undersell our nation’s dairy producers.
USMCA includes expanded market access for dairy products, eggs, and poultry.
In a deal with the European Union, American soybean exports will be increased.
o President Trump reached a new trade agreement with Japan. As a result, Japan will eliminate or reduce tariffs on approximately $7.2 billion in U.S. agricultural exports.
President Trump continues to stand up to China and their unfair trade practices which target our farmers.
The Administration provided $16 billion in funds to support our farmers against unfair trade retaliation.
The Trump Administration continue to support and expand markets for America’s farmers.
Japan’s market has been opened to all American beef.
Restrictions have been eliminated on:
American pork exports to Argentina.
American beef to Brazil.
Idaho chipping potatoes to Japan.
American poultry to South Korea.
President Trump signed an Executive Order directing Federal agencies to streamline the agricultural biotechnology regulatory process.
The Trump Administration is working to promote connectivity in rural American by investing in rural broadband. President Trump is working to protect our Nation’s forests.
In 2018, the President signed an Executive Order aimed at increasing responsible forest management and coordinating Federal, State, tribal, and local assets to prevent and combat wildfires.
In order to preserve the health of our forests, the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 was signed into law.
President Trump and his administration continue to provide necessary disaster relief to impacted areas.
Education
President Trump and his administration are putting students and families first.
The President understands the importance of education and continues to declare the last week in January National School Choice Week.
The President signed a historic Executive Order that promotes and protects free speech on college campuses.
President Trump and his Administration support the Education Freedom Scholarships and Opportunity Act.
In 2019, President Trump signed a memorandum that eliminates 100% of student loan debt for permanently disabled veterans.
The President continues to work with the Department of Education to expand transparency and give students expanded access to vital information about the career outcomes of the programs they enroll in.
• President Trump has made Historically Black Colleges and Universities a priority, including appropriating more money to HBCUs in one year than any other president and establishing a Presidential Board of Advisors on HBCUs.
President Trump signed the FUTURE Act into law. The law permanently funds HBCUs and simplifies the FAFSA application
The President is committed to expanding and strengthening education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematic (STEM).
President Trump issued a presidential memorandum encouraging the Department of Education to promote STEM, especially Computer Science.
President Trump directed more than $200 million per year to technology education grants for women and programs that encourage participation in STEM careers.
The President signed the bipartisan reauthorization of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act. This law provides the necessary training for students and workers to succeed in the 21st century economy.
The President donated his 2017 second quarter salary to the Department of Education. The funds were used to host a STEM focused camp for students.
President Trump signed the INSPIRE Act which encourages NASA to have more women and girls participate in STEM and pursue careers in aerospace.
The President signed an Executive Order to expand apprenticeships in America.
President Trump has encouraged state and federal lawmakers to expand school choice.
The administration lowered regulatory hurdles and restored flexibility to schools with respect to menus in their cafeterias.
President Trump is committed to making our schools safer.
President Trump encouraged passage of the STOP School Violence Act to provide funding grants to schools to improve security measures.
The Administration established a Commission on School Safety to examine ways to make schools safer for all students and teachers.
Additionally, the Administration proposed a new $5 billion annual tax credit to promote school choice. This move is supported by 2/3rds of black Americans.
Military and Veterans
President Trump is protecting America and our allies by rebuilding our military and ensuring our veterans receive the care they deserve.
President Trump has restored American military strength.
Under President Trump’s leadership, Congress passed three historic National Defense Authorization Acts (NDAA).
The FY2020 NDAA includes a much needed 3.1% pay raise for our troops.
The FY2020 NDAA establishes the United States Space Force to ensure American dominance in space.
President Trump signed the Veterans Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act to allow senior officials in the Department of Veterans Affairs (V.A.) to fire failing employees and establish safeguards to protect whistleblowers.
The President signed the V.A. Choice and Quality Employment Act of 2017 to authorize $2.1 billion in additional funds for the Veterans Choice Program (VCP).
The Trump Administration created a new White House V.A. Hotline, staffed by veterans and family members.
The Administration has secured a record $8.6 billion in funding for mental health services with the goal of ending the tragedy of veteran suicide.
The Trump Administration has created the PREVENTS initiative, a task force aimed at unifying the efforts of government, businesses, and nonprofit groups to help our veterans.
The President has secured $73.1 billion for the Department of Veterans Affairs – the highest funding for the VA in history.
Veterans Affairs increased transparency and accountability by launching an online “Access and Quality Tool.” This provides veterans a way to access wait time and quality of care data.
In 2019, President Trump signed a memorandum that eliminates 100% of student loan debt for permanently disabled veterans.
The President also called upon all 50 states to ensure that disabled veterans do not pay state tax on their forgiven debts.
The unemployment rate among veterans is at a record low of 2.8%.
9.1 million veterans are employed.
The number of unemployed veterans has been reduced by 40% under President Trump.
In November 2019, President Trump became the first president to walk in the New York City Veterans Day Parade.
Women
Under President Trump’s administration, women have been empowered to reach their economic potential.
Women have experienced record low unemployment under President Trump.
Since he was elected, President Trump has created over 4.3 million new jobs for women.
In 2019, 1.5 million jobs were added for women. This accounts for more than 50% of total job gains for the first time ever.
In December, the adult women’s unemployment rate hit 3.2%, the lowest since 1953.
The unemployment rate among women has been under 4% for 18 straight months.
During the President’s first year in office, the number of American women in poverty fell by nearly 600,000.
Thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the child tax credit was doubled to $2,000 per child.
President Trump was the first president to include a paid family leave policy 2 budget proposals.
The FY2020 NDAA included paid parental leave for federal workers.
The President and his Administration are committed to keeping families and communities safe.
The Trump Administration has prioritized empowering women to pursue careers and realize their economic potential.
President Trump directed more than $200 million per year to technology education grants for women and programs that encourage participation in STEM careers.
President Trump signed an Executive Order establishing the National Council For The American Worker.
Over 300 companies and associations of all size and industry have signed the Administration’s Pledge to America’s Workers, promising to create more than 14 million education, training, and skill-building opportunities over the next 5 years.
Ivanka Trump created the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative (W-GDP) to help 50 million women in 22 developing countries realize their economic potential by 2025.
Additional Trump Administration efforts to empower women globally include:
The Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi): Aims to mobilize more than $2.6 billion in capital for women entrepreneurs in 26 developing countries.
The WomenConnect Challenge: Seeks to growth women’s access to digital technology and bridge the digital gender divide.
The 2X Women’s Initiative: Aimed at mobilizing $1 billion in capital to support women living in the developing world. This initiative has already mobilized more than $140 million from the private sector to support women in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Black Americans
Black Americans have a true champion in President Trump.
President Trump has created an astonishing 1.6 million new jobs for black Americans since his election. o In December, the black unemployment rate was at 5.9%.
The black American unemployment rate has been at or below 7% for 23 consecutive months.
Prior to President Trump’s administration, the black unemployment rate had never dipped below 7%.
In 2019, the African American unemployment rate hit a record low and remained below 7% for the entire year.
Under President Trump, incomes for black Americans have increased by 2.6%.
Under the Trump Economy, wages are continuing to rise which significantly benefits the lowest-paid workers.
The poverty rate among black Americans is at its lowest level in history.
Under President Trump, 350,000 fewer black Americans are living in poverty.
During the President’s first year in office, the black American poverty rate fell to 21.2% down from 22% the year before.
As a result of the historic Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, nearly 9,000 Opportunity Zones were created in all 50 states, DC, and 5 territories.
o Opportunity Zones which will create jobs and spur investment in disadvantaged communities.
o These Opportunity Zones will spur $100 billion in private capital investment and impact 1.4 million minority households.
President Trump signed the historic FIRST STEP Act into law.
The FIRST STEP ACT has been widely hailed as the most meaningful criminal justice reform in a generation.
This landmark legislation included necessary reforms to our justice system, improves our prison system, and prepares inmates for reentry in our communities.
As a result of the First Step Act, more than 3,000 Americans have been released from prison and 90% of those who have had their sentences reduced are black Americans.
The First Step Act shortens mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent drug crimes and provides judges greater liberty to go around mandatory minimums.
The law also allows offenders sentenced under racially motivated mandatory minimums to petition for their cases to be re-evaluated.
President Trump was awarded the 2019 Bipartisan Justice award by the nonprofit 20/20 Bipartisan Justice Center. The President received this award for his “ability to work across the aisle to achieve meaningful progress in reforming our criminal justice system.”
President Trump has committed his Administration to advancing second chance hiring for former prisoners. This includes launching a “Ready to Work Initiative.”
The Trump Administration has fought for a federal tax credit on donations that fund scholarships to private schools, a proposal supported by 64% of African Americans.
President Trump has made supporting Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) a top priority.
In February 2017, President Trump announced the President’s Board of Advisors on HBCUs.
The President signed an Executive Order on HBCUs in February 2017, the earliest any President has signed an Order on HBCUs.
The EO established an Interagency Working Group to advance and coordinate work regarding HBCUs.
The federal HBCU initiative office was moved back into the White House, a move that leaders had requested under President Obama.
President Trump has appropriated more money than any other president to HBCUs.
The President signed legislation to increase federal funding for HBCUs by 13%, the highest level ever.
President Trump signed the FUTURE Act into law. The law permanently funds HBCUs and simplifies the FAFSA application.
The President worked with Congress to lift the ban on Pell Grants on summer classes.
Through the Capital Financing Program, the Administration has provided more than $500 million in loans to HBCUs.
The President directed the entire federal government to develop a strategy to support HBCUs. To date, this has been supported by 32 departments and agencies.
The Administration has forgiven more than $300 million in outstanding debt for four schools impacted by natural disasters and the budget provided $10 million to defer loan payments for 6 school facing financial difficulties.
The Department of Education worked with HBCUs to protect $80 million in Title III carryover funding.
President Trump took a big step to end discriminatory restrictions to prevent faith based HBCUs from accessing federal support.
The Administration continues to work with HBCUs to expand apprenticeship opportunities, career choices, and ensure they are receiving adequate support.
Latino Americans
Under President Trump’s leadership the Latino American community has thrived.
Under President Trump, Latino Americans have experienced record low unemployment.
More than 2.9 million jobs have been created for Latino Americans since the President was elected.
In December, the Latino American unemployment rate was at a near record low of 4.2%.
The Hispanic American unemployment rate hit several record lows in 2019, including falling below 4% for the first time in history.
The median Latino American income rose by $1,786 during President Trump’s first year in office.
In 2017, the median Latino American income hit its highest ever recorded level ($50,486).
Since taking office, the Latino American homeownership rose by more than a percentage point (46.3% to 47.4%).
In addition to the booming economy, President Trump renegotiated freer and fairer trade deals such as the USMCA.
President Trump has stood up to socialism and communism in Venezuela, Cuba, and Nicaragua.
Thanks to pressure from President Trump, 50 countries followed President Trump’s leadership in recognizing Juan Guaidó as the legitimate leader of Venezuela.
The Trump administration has rolled back President Obama’s disastrous rapprochement with Cuba, which only benefited the country’s dictatorship instead of its people.
At the direction of President Trump, the Treasury Department has imposed sanctions against senior officials in the Nicaraguan regime for their role in human rights abuses and undermining democracy.
The President has made it clear that American interests do not align with failed socialist policies.
Asian Americans
Under President Trump’s leadership Asian American unemployment has reached record lows.
In December, the Asian American unemployment rate was 2.5%, near a historic low.
The lowest ever record unemployment rate for Asian Americans (2.1%) came in June 2019.
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2020.04.11 02:43 Jess_dillon Email: All in-person classes for the May session, Summer I and full summer sessions moving to online/remote delivery.

April 10, 2020
Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,
I hope you are all doing well as we continue to innovate and break new ground to promote our students’ success during this challenging time. I appreciate the resilience we have shown as a community it exemplifies our Mean Green spirit! As we move closer to the end of the spring semester, I want to share our plans for Summer courses, as well as news regarding emergency financial aid to provide assistance to our students during this time.
First, we are moving all in-person classes scheduled for the May session, Summer I and full summer sessions to online/remote delivery. At this time, our hope is that courses scheduled for on campus in Summer II will continue in person, but that could change based on recommendations from health officials and agencies.
In addition, and in recognition of the financial impact COVID-19 is having on our students, we will provide emergency financial relief to many of our students enrolled in summer courses, which will appear on student tuition and fee statements in the coming weeks. We are doing everything possible to find ways to help students continue their education during the summer months.
Here is additional information regarding summer courses:
I am counting on our creativity, caring and resilience to guide the path for our Mean Green family to get through this global health crisis and emerge stronger than ever. You are all doing an amazing job, and I thank you for all you have done during these challenging times.
Stay strong and support each other because, no matter the physical distance we are required to maintain, we can remain socially close and connected. #PhysicallydistantSociallyClose
UNT Proud,
Neal Smatresk President
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2020.03.30 03:55 artfrancisco United Union of Roofers

Message from International President Kinsey Robinson
To: All Local Unions, International Officers and International Field Staff
Below please find a release from NABTU President Sean McGarvey concerning the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and the proposed Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). The CARES Act is expected to be passed by the House of Representatives and signed by the president.
MEMORANDUM
TO: The Governing Board of Presidents, North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU)
FROM: Sean McGarvey, President, NABTU
DATE: March 26, 2020
SUBJECT: Summary of US Government COVID-19 relief legislation
SUMMARY
In the last two weeks, Congress has passed one major piece of legislation and is poised to do the same in the coming days on a second bill. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) has been signed into law by the president. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) is scheduled to be voted on by the US House of Representatives as early as Friday, March 27 after already passing the US Senate on Wednesday, March 25. The House is expected to pass the bill and then it will head to the president who is expected to sign it into law.
Both of pieces of legislation were designed to provide economic relief for businesses and workers severely impacted by COVID-19. North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU) lobbied very aggressively to ensure each bill contained policies that would help the working families of the construction industry as well as its contractors. The following memo is a summary of many of the key provisions impacting the building trades and its industry partners.
While Congress is expected to officially recess until mid to late April (possibly longer), plans for a fourth relief bill are already coming together. With the help of all the affiliates and our councils, the building trades will begin lobbying on it immediately. As you will read, we have unfinished business and our members and their families are depending on us to get it done.
WORKER-RELATED PROVISIONS
Unemployment Insurance in the FFCRA – the FFCRA makes it easier for individuals to apply for unemployment insurance (UI) I because it provided $1 billion in grants to help states administrate their unemployment compensation programs. An amount of $500 million is available to any state that takes certain steps to facilitate applying for UI in at least two of the following ways; in-person, by phone or online. An amount of $500 million is also available to states that experience a 10% increase in unemployment and that ease eligibility requirements for applicants impacted by COVID-19 by waiving work search requirements and eliminating the waiting week. If states receive any amount of this grant money, it will make it easier for workers to apply for unemployment insurance.
Unemployment Insurance in the CARES Act - the CARES Act expands UI programs administered by the states in four ways: (1) expands access to UI benefits; (2) increases the amount of UI payments; (3) extends the duration of UI benefits; and (4) eliminates waiting periods. The changes only go into effect if a state enters an agreement with the federal government agreeing to certain terms. However, because the federal government is offering to pay for 100% of the changes allowed by the bill, there is little reason for states not to offer these expanded benefits.
Here is a summary of how the CARES Act will positively impact workers who are receiving or will apply for UI benefits.
For workers who qualify for regular UI benefits:
· All weekly UI benefits will be increased by $600 for the next four months (through July 31);
· State-law mandated “waiting periods” are waived;
· Benefits can be received for an additional 13 weeks beyond what state law typically allows; and
· These enhancements are for unemployment for any reason – not just COVID-19.
For workers who typically would not qualify for regular UI benefits:
· Access to the UI system is expanded – individuals who have exhausted their benefits, independent contractors, sole proprietors, those without a wage history, and others who usually would not qualify for UI benefits are eligible for regular UI payments;
· These individuals may receive benefits if they are unemployed or unavailable to work because of COVID-19 (but otherwise would be available for work);
· These workers are entitled to up to 39 weeks of UI benefits (including any benefits they received under regular UI);
· All weekly UI benefits will be increased by $600 for the next four months (through July 31); and
· State-law mandated “waiting periods” are waived.
For people who are eligible for regular UI, the increased benefits begin when the state enters into an agreement with the federal government. For people who are not otherwise eligible for UI, but are now eligible, because of the CARES Act, the benefits begin with weeks of unemployment after January 27, 2020. Regardless, these changes to UI are in addition to the direct payments described below in this memo.
The following is a more detailed summary from the CARES Act explaining specific UI provisions in the bill. The summary above is taken from these more specific details of the unemployment insurance provisions in the bill. In short, this is a deeper dive.
Increased UI Payments
· The bill increases the amount of UI benefits workers receive each week by $600, from the time the state enters into an agreement with the Federal Government through July 31st.
· This extra $600/week will be sent to workers receiving regulaextended UI benefits, as well as workers receiving benefits under the expanded access and duration provisions of the new bill.
· The extra $600 may be included in the weekly UI payment, or sent as a separate, weekly payment.
· These payments are in addition to the $1,200/$2,400 direct payments provided for elsewhere in the bill that are not tied to the UI system.
Increased Access to UI
· This bill allows those who have exhausted their rights to UI or would typically be ineligible to receive UI benefits if they are unemployed or unavailable for work for of COVID-19-related reasons but would otherwise be able to and available for work.
· Examples of who will be eligible for UI under this section include the self-employed (e.g., independent contractors) and those who would normally not have a sufficient wage history to receive UI.
· Workers receiving benefits under this section will receive the weekly payments they would receive if they were eligible for regular UI, plus the extra $600/week described above.
· Generally speaking, workers can earn up to 39 weeks of UI payments under this section, including any weeks of UI they have already used.
· Any state-mandated waiting periods are waived for purposes of this benefit.
· States can use any evidence of prior earnings to calculate the amount of weekly benefit payments owed an individual. If someone does not produce sufficient evidence of prior earning history for a determination of weekly benefits to be made, they can instead earn a “minimum flat benefit” based on the average weekly payments made in the state.
· This benefit is not available to anyone who has the ability to telework with pay or is receiving paid sick leave or other paid leave benefits. If an individual remains out of work because of COVID-19 after exhausting their paid leave, they can then apply for these UI benefits.
Increased Duration of Regular UI
· The bill allows states to extend the length of UI benefits for workers who are eligible for regular or extended UI. In most cases, this allows for an extra 13 weeks of benefit payments. (Note that this extension is not available to individuals receiving benefits under Section 2102’s new expanded access rules.)
· To be eligible, an individual must exhaust all their rights to regulaextended UI under state law and must be actively seeking work.
· Individuals receiving benefits under this section will receive the extra $600/week provided by section 2104, until July 31, 2020.
· Anyone who is eligible for benefits under this section must use up these benefits before receiving payments under the expanded access provision (section 2102).
Waiting Periods Are Waived
· The bill offers states a powerful economic incentive to waive their state-law mandated “waiting periods” that prevent people from immediately receiving UI benefits.
· The federal government offers to pay for 100% of the total amount of regular UI benefits states pay to individuals for their first week of regular unemployment if states agree to waive these “waiting periods” through the end of 2020.
Examples – the following are anticipated real life scenarios of how the CARES Act will impact building trades men and women
  1. Jane Doe, a pipefitter, is laid off because the project site she was working on has been shut down due to Covid-19. She reported that she earned $60,000 of income on her most recent tax return, and she is eligible for regular UI benefits because she was an employee and has a prior earning history. She will receive: (1) her weekly UI benefits, which are a percentage of her prior salary, plus (2) an extra $600 per week (through July 31), plus (3) a $1,200 tax credit. Her state normally limits allows 26 weeks up to 39 weeks of regular and extended UI benefits and applies a “waiting week” before benefits are sent. Under the CARES Act, she will be able to receive benefits immediately and for up to 52 weeks because of this bill.
    1. John Smith is a first-year apprentice operating engineer. He started his apprenticeship in September but was laid-off in February because of COVID-19-related work slowdowns. He reported an income of $20,000 on his most recent tax return. In normal circumstances, he would be denied UI under his state’s eligibility rules because of a lack of work history. Under the CARES Act, the state would be able to use any documentation he submits of his earnings during his apprenticeship to calculate an appropriate weekly benefit. He will receive: (1) weekly UI benefits based on the pay stubs that establish his pre-layoff wages, plus (2) an extra $600 per week (through July 31), plus (3) a $1,200 tax credit. He can receive these weekly UI benefits for up to 39 weeks, as long as his unemployment continues to be caused by COVID-19.
    2. Jill Jones is an electrician who has been out of the workforce for a few years but was hired to start on a project at the end of March. This project was delayed because of COVID-19. While Jill would not typically be eligible for UI because of her lack of wage history, she can now apply for benefits because of the expanded access provisions of this bill. Because she did not report any income on her most recent tax return and has no wage history that can be used to calculate a weekly benefit amount, she will receive: (1) a “minimum flat benefit” based on the average weekly benefit paid in the state, plus (2) an extra $600 per week (through July 31), plus (3) a $1,200 tax credit. She will start receiving this benefit immediately because the state has waived its waiting period.
    Paid Sick Leave – the FFCRA created paid sick leave for employers with less than 500 employees. It is available to all employees, regardless of length of tenure with the employer. The employer would be required to cover 80 hours (full- time employees) or average of part-time worker’s hours over a 2-week period.
· Requires employers to pay:
o Regular wages, capped at $511/day ($5110 maximum) for employees unable to work because:
§ Employee is subject to a public COVID-19-related quarantine or isolation order
§ Health care provider has advised employee to self-quarantine
§ Employee is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking diagnosis
o 2/3 of regular wages, capped at $200/day ($2000 maximum) for employees unable to work because the employee is:
§ Caring for an individual subject to a public quarantine or isolation order or who has been advised to self-quarantine
§ Caring for a son or daughter if the school or childcare facility is closed or childcare provider is unavailable
§ Experiencing similar conditions, as specified by HHS.
· Provides an option for employers in multiemployer bargaining units to satisfy their obligations by paying into a multiemployer benefit plan if the plan can pay employees the required benefits.
· Employers may take a credit against payroll taxes worth 100% of the amount they pay in required benefits (through Dec. 31, 2020).
· DOL can exempt employers with fewer than 50 employees from paying for leave to care for others if “requirements would jeopardize the viability of the business” and can exclude certain healthcare workers and first responders.
Paid Leave Through FMLA – the FFCRA also created paid leave, not paid sick leave, through the existing Family and Medical Leave Act. It only applies to employers with fewer than 500 employees. However, it is only available to employees who have been employed for 30 days with the employer from which they are requesting the leave.
· Requires employers to provide 10 days unpaid leave and up to an additional 10 weeks of paid leave to care for son or daughter whose school or childcare facility is closed, or childcare provider is unavailable for COVID-19 related reasons.
· Paid leave is 2/3 of regular wages, capped at $200/day ($10,000 maximum)
· Employees can elect to use accrued vacation, personal, medical or sick leave for the unpaid portion.
· Employers may take a credit against payroll taxes worth 100% of the amount they pay in required benefits (through Dec. 31, 2020).
· DOL can exempt employers with fewer than 50 employees if requirements would jeopardize business and can exclude certain healthcare workers and first responders.
Direct Payments – the CARES Act also provides direct payments to individuals and families. All U.S. residents with adjusted gross income up to $75,000 ($150,000 married), who are not a dependent of another taxpayer and have a work eligible social security number, are eligible for the full $1,200 ($2,400 married) payment. In addition, they are eligible for an additional $500 per child. This is true even for those who have no income, as well as those whose income comes entirely from non-taxable means-tested benefit programs, such as SSI benefits. For most Americans, no action on their part will be required in order to receive a rebate check as IRS will use a taxpayer’s 2019 tax return if filed, or their 2018 return. This includes many low-income individuals who file a tax return in order to take advantage of the refundable Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit. The rebate amount is reduced by $5 for each $100 that a taxpayer’s income exceeds the phase-out threshold ($75,000 for individuals, $150,000 married). The amount is completely phased- out for single filers with incomes exceeding $99,000, $146,500 for head of household filers with one child, and $198,000 for joint filers with no children.
Employee Retention Tax Credit – the CARES Act revives a tax credit that has been used before in the aftermath of natural disasters to for employers to retain employees. The amount of the credit is 50% of all employee wages per calendar quarter but won’t exceed $10,000 per employee per calendar quarter. In applying for the tax credit, the employer may include amounts paid to group health plans as “wages” if the amounts are not normally included as income to the employee. To receive the credit, the employer must experience: 1) a full or partial suspension of operations due to orders from a governmental authority limiting commerce, travel or group meetings due to COVID-19; or 2) a significant decline in gross receipts. The credit only applies to wages paid between March 12, 2020 and January 1, 2021. Tax exempt organizations are eligible for the credit. For employers with greater than 100 full-time employees, qualified wages are wages paid to employees when they are not providing services due to the COVID-19-related circumstances described above. For eligible employers with 100 or fewer full-time employees, all employee wages qualify for the credit, whether the employer is open for business or subject to a shut-down order.
Paycheck Protection Program – the CARES Act creates a new avenue for small businesses, veterans organizations, 501(c)(3) organizations or “any business concern” to receive a cash infusion if they do not employ more than 500 individuals. Specifically, it amends the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Section 7(a) Loan Program. The core mission of this program is to provide SBA-guaranteed financial assistance to small businesses that lack access to capital. Private lenders partner with SBA by making loans directly to small businesses and the SBA guarantees a portion of each loan. The CARES Act amends the program to direct the SBA to guarantee the entire loan. The loans are capped at $10 million, and interest shall not exceed 4%. Eligible loans may only be made between February 15, 2020 and June 30, 2020. Companies may use these loans for a wide range of purposes including acquisition of land, construction, materials, supplies, equipment, payroll costs, continuing group healthcare benefits, employee salaries, interest on mortgage, rent, and utilities. Additionally, SBA shall require lenders who make loans during the above-referenced period to provide payment deferment relief for not less than 6 months. The amount of loan forgiveness shall be reduced if the business laid off workers or reduced their wages. SBA, however, may grant exemptions to this rule. Finally, loans would be available immediately through more than 800 existing SBA-certified lenders, including banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions, and SBA would be required to streamline the process to bring additional lenders into the program. Depending on the definition of “any business concern” this could be an opportunity for Taft Hartley plans and unions to receive these loans.
Child Care Subsidies – the CARES Act provides $3.5 billion in grants to states for immediate assistance to childcare providers, but also to financially support child-care for families, including for healthcare workers, first responders, sanitation workers and other workers who have been deemed essential during the response to COVID-19 by public officials. This means that if a state or locality has deemed construction workers as essential, they may be eligible to receive funds from this grant to pay for childcare if the child for which care is provided is under 13 and resides with the construction worker.
Retaining Employees on Federal Job Sites – the CARES Act also opens up new authority for federal agencies to use existing funds to pay their contractors whose employees or subcontractors cannot perform work on a “site that has been approved by the Federal Government, including a federally-owned or leased facility, due to facility closures or other restrictions” and whose job duties cannot be performed remotely due to the COVID-19 public health emergency. This includes building trades workers. Payments to employees are limited to an average of 40 hours a week and exclude any credits the contractors are allowed for benefits they otherwise provide under the FFCRA or this Act. Applies only to paid leave or paid sick leave up to September 30, 2020.
Economic Injury Disaster Loans (Unions Eligible) – the CARES Act would expand eligibility for entities suffering economic harm due to COVID-19 to access SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL), while also giving SBA more flexibility to process and disperse small dollar loans. This includes 501(c)(5) entities. The bill allows entities that apply for an EIDL expedited access to capital through an Emergency Grant—an advance of $10,000 within three days to maintain payroll, provide paid sick leave, and to service other debt obligations. An amount of $10 billion would be provided to support the expanded EIDL program.
RETIREMENT PROVISIONS
Single employer – the CARES Act provides single employer pension plan companies with more time to meet their funding obligations by delaying the due date for any contribution otherwise due during 2020 until January 1, 2021. At that time, contributions due earlier would be due with interest. The bill also provides that a plan’s status for benefit restrictions as of December 31, 2019, will apply throughout 2020.
Expands DOL Authority to Postpone Certain Deadlines – the CARES Act amends ERISA to provide the Department of Labor the ability to postpone certain ERISA filing deadlines for a period of up to one year in the case of a public health emergency.
Special rules for use of retirement funds – the CARES Act also, consistent with previous disaster-related relief, waives the 10-percent early withdrawal penalty for distributions up to $100,000 from qualified retirement accounts for coronavirus-related purposes made on or after January 1, 2020. In addition, income attributable to such distributions would be subject to tax over three years, and the taxpayer may recontribute the funds to an eligible retirement plan within three years without regard to that year’s cap on contributions. The bill also provides flexibility for loans from certain retirement plans for coronavirus-related relief. A coronavirus-related distribution is one made to an individual:
(1) who is diagnosed with COVID-19, (2) whose spouse or dependent is diagnosed with COVID-19, or (3) who experiences adverse financial consequences as a result of being quarantined, furloughed, laid off, having work hours reduced, being unable to work due to lack of child care due to COVID-19, closing or reducing hours of a business owned or operated by the individual due to COVID-19, or other factors as determined by the Treasury Secretary.
Temporary waiver of required minimum distribution rules for certain retirement plans and accounts – the CARES Act waives the required minimum distribution rules for 401Ks, 403bs, SEPs and IRAs for calendar year 2020. This bill provides relief to individuals who would otherwise be required to withdraw funds from such retirement accounts during the economic slowdown due to COVID-19.
PREVAILING WAGE
Temporary hospitals – while neither the FFCRA nor CARES Act addresses prevailing wage rates for the building of temporary hospitals, NABTU has obtained confirmation from the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) that prevailing wage will be paid on USACE federal contracts to build these structures.
Airport construction – the CARES Act provides $10 billion dollars to airports, some of which may be used for construction and is already covered by prevailing wage.
Department of HHS – the CARES Act provides approximately $31 billion in grant money for CDC and other programs, some of which may be used for construction. These programs do not yet have prevailing wage coverage on them.
STUDENT LOAN PROVISIONS
Exclusion for certain employer payments of student loans – the provision enables employers to provide a student loan repayment benefit to employees on a tax-free basis. Under the provision, an employer may contribute up to $5,250 annually toward an employee’s student loans, and such payment would be excluded from the employee’s income. The $5,250 cap applies to both the new student loan repayment benefit as well as other educational assistance (e.g., tuition, fees, books) provided by the employer under current law. The provision applies to any student loan payments made by an employer on behalf of an employee after date of enactment and before January 1, 2021.
Institutional Refund and Federal Student Loan Flexibility – for students who dropped out of school as a result of COVID-19, the student is not required to return Pell grants or federal student loans to the Secretary. Waives the requirement that institutions calculate the amount of grant or loan assistance that the institution must return to the Secretary in the case of students who dropped out of school as a result of COVID-19.
Satisfactory Progress For students who dropped out of school as a result of COVID-19 – the student’s grades do not affect a student’s federal academic requirements to continue to receive Pell Grants or student loans
Student loan debt collection – separate from the FFCRA or the CARES Act, the US Education Department has announced that it will temporarily suspend collection and wage garnishments of individuals with defaulted student loans. It will also refund approximately $1.8 in garnishments collected since the president declared a national emergency on March 13. In addition, third party debt collectors have been instructed by the department to halt all activities related to debt collection.
MORTGAGE PROVISIONS
Foreclosure Moratorium and Consumer Right to Request Forbearance – the bill provides up to 180 days of forbearance for federally-backed mortgages if experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 emergency. Applicable mortgages included those purchased by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, insured by HUD, VA, or USDA, or directly made by USDA. The authority provided under this section terminates on the earlier of the termination date of the national emergency concerning the coronavirus or December 31, 2020. Furthermore, the bill prohibits foreclosures on all federally backed mortgage loans for a 60-day period beginning on March 18, 2020.
Temporary Moratorium on Eviction Filings – the CARES Act prohibits landlords from initiating legal action to evict or to charge fees, penalties, or other charges for 120 days if the landlord’s mortgage on that property is insured, guaranteed, supplemented, protected, or assisted in any way by HUD, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the rural housing voucher program, or the Violence Against Women Act of 1994.
NABTU PRIORITIES FOR FUTURE COVID-19 RELIEF LEGISLATION
While many of the provisions in the FFCRA and CARES Act will help construction workers and their families, there are several priorities that did not make it in. The following is a beginning list of priorities that NABTU will be pursuing in future COVID-19 relief legislation.
Pension Relief – Speaker Nancy Pelosi has already publicly stated that pension relief is a top priority for her in the next COVID-19 relief bill. NABTU lobbied heavily for its inclusion in the CARES Act but was ultimately unsuccessful due to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s opposition. However, NABTU has commitments from President Trump, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that they will support its inclusion in the fourth COVID-19 relief bill.
COBRA Subsidies – neither the FFCRA nor the CARES Act provides COBRA subsidies. NABTU is currently lobbying for a 100 percent subsidy for 15 months to be included in the upcoming fourth relief bill.
Prevailing wage coverage – as referenced above, there are some funds included in the bill that could be used for construction but aren’t currently covered by prevailing wage. NABTU will aggressively pursue changes to this part of the statute in the upcoming fourth relief bill not just for these programs, but others that may be added.
Health and Welfare Funds – the CARES Act did not have policy in it regarding Taft Hartley health and welfare plans. NABTU will continue to lobby for federal financial support for these plans.
Union loan eligibility – the CARES Act has many opportunities for entities to apply for loans to stem COVID-19’s severe economic impact on them and their employees. Unfortunately, some of these opportunities are not extended to 501(C)(5)s. NABTU will be advocating to add unions into these expanded loan programs for the fourth relief bill.
Paid sick leave – the FFCRA allows for the Secretary of Labor to wave an employer’s (who has less than 50 employees) requirement to provide paid sick leave to their employees. NABTU supports rescinding this authority due to the potential for it to be used against construction workers.
Infrastructure – jobs, jobs, jobs. The success of the industry’s recovery from this pandemic will be centered on exactly that. To that end, NABTU proposes the following:
· Massive and immediate cash infusions into traditional core infrastructure programs, dispersed as grants, in the following areas:
o Surface transportation
o Water, sewer, and water resources
o Energy infrastructure
o Housing and telecommunications
o Public schools
· Immediate increase in Corps of Engineers funding to build hospital capacity. The Corps of Engineers, working with the building trades, has the capacity to swiftly and safely increase the hospital bed capacity in areas hardest hit by COVID-19
· Immediate investments in the 16 critical physical and virtual infrastructure sectors identified by the Department of Homeland Security as well as projects of regional and national significance such as Gateway. We cannot afford to have a major infrastructure failure at this time, and investments in these sectors will help to prevent one.
· Flexibility to investors
NABTU supports making it easier for businesses and investors to obtain loans as this is key to stabilizing and protecting the long-term health of job creation in the construction industry.
· Expansion of bonding
NABTU supports the expanded use of bonding to raise revenue to make such massive investments. Vehicles such as raising the volume cap on Private Activity Bonds, and the creation of Move America Bonds, both of which have been introduced in both Chambers, would provide much needed resources in order to meet this massive mobilization.
NABTU STAFF AND CONSULTANT CONTACT INFORMATION
Please do not hesitate to reach out to NABTU staff and our consultants regarding this memo or other questions about COVID-19’s impact on construction and our working families. In terms of this memo and its topics areas, please direct your questions to the following individuals:
Worker Provisions – Vicki Bor – [email protected]
Prevailing Wage – Esmeralda Aguilar – [email protected]
Student Loan Provisions and Mortgages – Jon Newman - [email protected]
Retirement Provisions – Michael Scott; Exec. Director, National Coordinating Committee for Multiemployer Plans – [email protected]
COVID-19 Relief Legislation – Jim Brewer, NABTU Lobbyist – [email protected]
Communications – Betsy Barrett, NABTU Communications and Marketing Director – [email protected]
Unsubscribe This message was sent to [email protected] from [email protected]
Kinsey M. Robinson United Union of Roofers 1660 L St NW #800 Washington, DC 20036
submitted by artfrancisco to UnioninfoCOV19 [link] [comments]


2020.03.06 00:04 Xoandre [LONG] $95,000 and growing… Help me, Bernie Sanders. You’re my only hope.

There are many “friends” and colleagues online who are against Bernie Sanders for many reasons. They see, hear, and have been told the lies and propaganda bought and published as fact to scare them away from the truth. I am sad that so many people fall for these tricks.
In the end, I will support ANY Democrat who gets the nomination. We must remove the tyrant terrorizing our nation and the world.
Here is why that Democratic Nominee must be Bernie Sanders – in my eyes… #BernieSanders
-----------------------
*TL;DR version: Student Loan Forgiveness will save me from collapsing under the weight of fraudulent corporate scam debt that cannot be negotiated or made affordable. #StudentLoanForgiveness
-----------------------
I’m not here to complain. I’m not here to beg. I’m not here to demand anything other than a moment of your time.
My name is Xoandre and I will vote for Bernie Sanders to be the 46th President of the United States. I have donated several times in support of Bernie’s campaign, and will continue to do so in desperate hope that he succeeds in being nominated, elected, sworn in, and able to follow through on a few key promises he has made to the American People and Planet Earth’s entire population.
IN THE BEGINNING…
I come from an impoverished family in a small town in western Illinois. From birth, the concepts of Medicaid and Food-Stamps were as normal as taking a breath or comforting my terrified sister during a thunderstorm. Only the thunder was usually my father drunk and stoned, pulling off his belt and hunting us like Jack Torrence through the hedge maze of our projects home.
Years of paternal physical and mental degradation and abuse left me insecure, quiet, pensive, and strange to teachers and classmates. I spent 15 years taking Zoloft for anxiety and depression, only to be later diagnosed as having Bipolar Level 2, a condition exacerbated by Zoloft. I am socially awkward, inept at small-talk, and cannot relate to the mere concept of this thing people call a loving and supportive father. These are facts, history, and truths, not complaints.
Everything I know about being a “man” was self-taught by mimicking things I saw in TV commercials and movies. Everything I know about being strong and confident was punched into me by bullies and fellow bullied classmates, yet very little from the uncles who fought their own disgust of seeing the image of my father every time they saw me grimace or frown. A lifetime of teasing and mistakes has turned my innocent curious nature into unadulterated terror at confronting any male role model as an equal.
In high school, I found support from teachers and a few fellow victims of bullying. I joined the drama club and the newspaper, eventually was able to conquer stage fright, be confident enough to speak in public, and stomp down my own self-loathing. These allies against my traumatic mindset invested their hearts and time to embolden and build me up. I will always cherish those conversations and examples, the lessons in how to be a polite, civil, discerning young man.
FORESHADOWING…
I attended a private college for one year, which burned away 100% of my Pell Grants and Financial Aid, as well as my mother’s 20 years of savings, as she was so proud of having her second son be the first to attend college. Clashing horribly with the social drunkenness, obsessive morality, and sudden lack of oversight for my life provided for 13 years by public education, I dropped out of the private college to scrape and borrow every dollar so I could attend a community college.
FALSE PROMISES…
However, like many rural towns around the United States, Galesburg has been run by local politicians who saw children only as a nuisance to be contained or arrested. Galesburg used to be a train town. The Burlington-Northern and Santa-Fe tracks cross twice in the city. Every June and July, the Railroad Days celebration and County Fair were a delight for everyone.
Knox County citizens worked hard for their money.
20% of the population worked at Admiral – assembling and shipping refrigerators and appliances to every corner of the globe. In 1992, Bill Clinton campaigned in Galesburg, promising Admiral’s 2000 employees that he would fight to grow jobs in Galesburg, keep manufacturing in the US, and make our future a success. In 1995, as President, he passed NAFTA. This act handed Maytag, the owners of the Admiral plant, carte blanche to abandon high-wages and health insurance to bring on the decimation of Galesburg. Within a few months, Maytag had moved all their production from Admiral in Galesburg to a plant in Mexico, terminating 2000 workers. That same year, the second largest employer in Galesburg: Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railroads, merged and consolidated, downsized, and let go half their employees.
LOSING IT ALL…
Shortly thereafter, the Public Aid office, Unemployment Office, and the single Homeless Shelter in Knox County were flooded with desperate and future-less citizens. I know, because I was one of them.
Still attending the local community college, I had no employment and no income, yet I qualified for Food Stamps. After missing 2 months’ rent when my credit card ran out of cash withdrawals, I turned to the Homeless shelter. The Women’s Rescue Mission, as it was called, was managed by 3 local churches, and anyone who stayed there had to give all their Food Stamps, work for the bed and food they received free, and listen to radical fanatic religious sermons or sleep on the streets.
OPPORTUNITY KNOX…
Back in the private college I attended I had met a young woman and fallen madly for her. Hearing of my situation, she begged her father to allow me the opportunity to find work and a place to live. Her love, generosity, and support brought me to the Chicago suburbs, where I found a job almost immediately at Kmart.
Over the next 7 years, I converted the aged and tired 1960’s Kmart locations into the new, bright, lively, and expanded Big-K format. I was promoted, given raises, and built up a life, savings, and eventually got married.
CALLING 9/11…
At work, I watched as the board of directors selected corrupt and selfish pair of men to run the company. In June 2001, CEO Chuck and CFO Mark, sent every Kmart 30,000 price reductions with an innuendo: “Change every price tag within 48 hours or be fired; ask questions or lodge complaints and be demoted.” Throughout July and August, another 150,000 price changes were levied on the store staff, while inventory sat stagnant in the stock rooms due to a focus solely on changing shelf labels. This was part of a new multi-million-dollar ad campaign to utilize the classic “Blue Light Special” as Kmart’s take of the Wal-Mart “Roll-Back.”
On September 9th, employees were given an advance copy of the new advertisement “Kmart Blue-Light Special – A world of EXPLOSIVE Savings!” These words situated above a Play-Mobile toy cityscape with blue light-backed twin towers and a toy jet between them. Slated to release on Wednesday, September 12, 2001, when 9/11 happened, the scramble to recall the ads from newspapers around the country left Kmart in tatters. The labor, printing costs, and demotions, terminations, and investments put into the new Blue Light Special bankrupted the company.
After the multiple managerial departures (both voluntary and involuntary), I was offered a promotion and a raise to a salaried position, replacing 4 people and responsible for all the tasks they barely managed to complete in each 90-hour work-week. The thing about retail salary: required to work a minimum of 80 hours and guaranteed 40 hours of pay without any overtime. I refused and found a new job shortly thereafter.
THE AMERICAN DREAM…?
My wife and I bought a house in 2004, with a mortgage equal to 100% of my take-home pay. We relied on my wife’s income to pay utilities, buy groceries, and survive. We hoped eventually to save up and have a family, buy a new car, and not have to worry about the mortgage so much. In less than 2 years, having been unable to afford the minimum payment on our mortgage and skyrocketing association fees, we were evicted.
THE AMERICAN NIGHTMARE…
After we found a low-rent apartment, we abandoned the concept of children or financial security. Future prospects very grim, I decided it was time to listen to the ad that appealed to me (paraphrasing):
“Westwood College promises you will graduate and launch a career in animation for film and video games. No matter what your financial situation, we have financial aid options for everyone. Our instructors are professionals who work in these fields and will use their connections to get you in the door and be hired to make six-figure salaries within 5 years. And if the technologies or design programs change, Westwood will welcome you back free of charge to learn these new programs and always ensure you are at the top of your field.”
Little did I know every word was a lie. Westwood (a subsidiary of Alta Colleges – a for-profit student loan issuance firm more than it was a college) was never accredited, yet always promised the accreditation was pending and would be granted before graduation date. It never happened.
Westwood’s instructors were a mix of out-of-work professionals or last-year’s graduates of the class they were teaching to incoming students. Most had no connection in good standing to anyone in the fields they taught courses. The career services team consisted of Westwood Alumni desperately seeking their own job more often than helping anyone else find one too. They offered neither connections nor resources, with the only opportunities being retail minimum wage job placement or warehouse work. When I returned for retraining after graduating to study the new CGI 3D Rendering software, the instructors were told to ignore me as simply there to audit the course and that I needed no instruction whatsoever.
THE AMERICAN TERROR…
A year after graduating, Sallie Mae and Navient began calling, emailing, and sending envelopes to my home asking for payments on the $75,000 student Loans. The minimum they asked for was almost double my monthly income. I protested, negotiated for lower monthly payments, and sat in horror as interest rates climbed to the point where the compounded interest growth was 150% of the minimum payment.
For over 15 years, I have deferred, negotiated, and fought the daily collections calls. I’ve paid what is possible, only to watch that money vanish in the looming eclipse of growing interest.
DEATH OF HOPE…
For over 15 years, Navient has called my home and workplace, my wife’s phone and her workplace, as well as her company’s CFO, and my boss’s phone. In 2016 – among other reasons – the debt and financial failure of fraud brought on by Westwood / Alta Colleges destroyed my marriage. Our divorce was civil, but ended my hopes of being a father, having a house, the car of my dreams, and pursuing the elusive an imaginary “American Dream.”
In mid-2018, Navient began making at least 4 collections robo-calls per day. This has escalated to 10 robo-calls per day, forcing me to change my phone number multiple times. Even when I enrolled in the Income Based Student Loan Repayment option, the calls persisted. During that time, I worked diligently to grow my savings, to grow from renting a 6x10 bedroom to a 1- bedroom apartment, and used frugal means to steadily grow my credit rating into a “good” classification.
Recently I decided I’d use my 760 credit score to trade in my vehicle for a new car. On February 12, 2020, I went to buy the car I had researched that would save me more money in the long run, being a plug-in hybrid. I knew walking in that I could get a great rate and good price. Yet, for some odd reason, when the dealership ran my credit, every penny of Student Loan interest, debt, and fraudulent money counted against me and dropped my credit rating to “Junk” status at 506. It was horrific to experience this shattering of ambition and face no option but to drive my clunker back home in defeat.
At this time, I have blocked all calls from Navient and changed my phone number every time they bypass the blacklisting of their collection call phone numbers. I have blocked and ignored all emails and shredded every envelope with the Navient logo on it without even opening it.
This debt may be in my name, it may use my social security number, and is definitely obliterating my financial future, but it is not my debt. Starting out at $75,000 upon “graduation” from Westwood “College,” the 11 loans have grown exponentially to over $95,000 with a variable interest rate compounding monthly.
$95,000 and growing… Help me, Bernie Sanders. You’re my only hope.
Student Loan Forgiveness for we Westwood College alums is essential.
Thank you if you took the time to consume this history of why I and millions of fellow for-profit-scammed "college" graduates are suffering and terrified of losing everything we have spent our lives trying to build.
I've lost almost everything. I have rebuilt what I could. It's not much, but I can occasionally see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Bernie Sanders - for me - has been a supernova.
#FeelTheBern
submitted by Xoandre to BernieSanders [link] [comments]


2020.03.05 15:55 Jellyfish_Iguana Complete list of episodes

Available on Youtube:
Unlisted
Second Channel
Available on Patreon (in order as on the site at the moment):
Somewhere in the Abyss
I'll try keep this list up to date.
If I've missed any please let me know, I like complete lists.
EDIT: Added from users below, thank you to helping complete the list.
EDIT: Have done some cleaning, I've also noticed the Lifer Perspective Part 1, The Insanity Defense and the Rachel Wade et al. have gone from Patreon.
submitted by Jellyfish_Iguana to jimcantswim [link] [comments]


2020.02.21 03:57 Practical_Wrap Absolute disgusting over hundreds of pedophilia cases on asian countries done by whites.

https://ottawa.ctvnews.ca/ottawa-man-charged-with-possessing-child-pornography-child-luring-1.4241672

Federal Cybersecurity Director Found Guilty on Child Porn ...
https://www.wired.com/2014/08/federal-cybersecurity-director-guilty-child-porn-charges/

Massive child webcam sex bust in Philippines reveals rising abuse worldwide The Japan Times
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/05/09/asia-pacific/crime-legal-asia-pacific/massive-child-webcam-sex-bust-philippines-reveals-rising-abuse-worldwide/#.WRJGmlJvGwY

A known pedophile with kids is engaged to a woman from the Philippines. Runs for politics as a self described: “Red pilled libertarian.” – an aggregate website devoted to exploring the darker, sociological implications of the world's greatest imbalance of interracial and intercultural relationships. https://halfasian.org/2017/03/01/a-known-pedophile-with-kids-is-engaged-to-a-woman-from-the-philippines-runs-for-politics-as-a-self-described-red-pilled-libertarian/

Mt. Holly man wanted in child sex assaults, wife charged
http://www.courierpostonline.com/story/news/crime/2014/08/03/mt-holly-man-wanted-child-sex-assaults-wife-charged/13548571/

Convicted Pedophile Still Actively Involved With Children’s NGO - The Cambodia Daily
https://www.cambodiadaily.com/morenews/convicted-pedophile-still-actively-involved-with-childrens-ngo-2-124686/

Tennessee man pleads to charges of abusing his family:
http://www.local8now.com/home/headlines/34876094.html

Teacher who claimed he molested his daughter after mistaking her for his wife jailed South China Morning Post:
http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/law-crime/article/1962598/teacher-who-claimed-he-molested-his-daughter-after

Gammy ' s Australian parents were ' hiding in their home ' all ...
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2719589/Gammys-birth-parents-speak-surrogacy-scandal-television-interview.html

Paso Robles man allegedly molested multiple children:
https://calcoastnews.com/2016/07/paso-robles-man-allegedly-molested-multiple-children/

‘It’s been a disaster’: Man suing Surrey Creep Catchers speaks out CTV Vancouver News
http://bc.ctvnews.ca/it-s-been-a-disaster-man-suing-surrey-creep-catchers-speaks-out-1.3322028

Photographer documents American fathers and their adopted Chinese children: Shanghaiist
http://shanghaiist.com/2015/08/29/american_dad_chinese_kids.php

Thai police expand hunt for suspected Western paedophiles:
http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/243263

English-school operator 'sexually abused 40 girls'
https://bbs.chinadaily.com.cn/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=1890333&highlight=
https://forum.lowyat.net/topic/1358485/+0#entry32494776

Thai police arrest paedophile suspect UK news The Guardian
https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2007/oct/19/ukcrime.internationalcrime

American pedophile who molested 9-year-old arrested in the Philippines New York Post http://nypost.com/2017/02/22/american-pedophile-who-molested-9-year-old-busted-in-the-philippines/

British paedophile Richard William Fruin caught in Cambodia Daily Mail Online
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2593561/Convicted-British-paedophile-caught-preying-young-boys-Cambodia-travelling-passport-UK-authorities-confiscated.html

Cambodia Netherlands: Fugitive paedophile Pieter Ceulen arrested - BBC News:
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-35785885

US Man Gets 25 Years For Molesting Boys In China The Nanfang:
https://www.justice.gov/usao-cdca/parizona-man-who-photographed-sexual-abuse-young-boys-while-working-china-sentenced-25

American man held from Kathmandu on paedophilia charge ...
https://thehimalayantimes.com/kathmandu/american-man-held-kathmandu-paedophilia-charge/

Nepal Police intensifies vigilance against potential paedophiles
https://thehimalayantimes.com/kathmandu/nepal-police-intensifies-vigilance-potential-paedophiles/

Another foreign teacher accused of sexual abuse - Lost …
https://www.lostlaowai.com/news/another-foreign-teacher-accused-of-sexual-abuse/

Disgraced B.C. teacher employed by Beijing school Vancouver Sun
http://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/disgraced-b-c-teacher-employed-by-beijing-school

Man sentenced to 70 years in prison for molesting kids in Cambodia abc7.com
http://abc7.com/news/man-sentenced-to-70-years-in-prison-for-molesting-children-in-cambodia/1454098/

Jakarta International School Employed US American Child ... https://nsnbc.me/2014/05/03/jakarta-international-school-employed-us-american-child-sex-predato

Pedophile's jail sentence cut - World - smh.com.au
http://www.smh.com.au/news/world/pedophiles-jail-sentence-cut/2007/07/17/1184559787655.html

Jared Fogle ‘craved’ 14-year-old Asian girls: text messages New York Post:
http://nypost.com/2016/04/19/jared-fogle-craved-14-year-old-asian-girls-text-messages/

Wanted alleged UK child rapist found to be working in ...
https://www.lostlaowai.com/news/wanted-alleged-uk-child-rapist-found-to-be-working-in-beijing-school/

Brit teacher arrested on child sex allegations in Cambodia Daily Mail Online
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4721992/British-man-arrested-child-sex-allegations-Cambodia.html

British paedophile who jumped bail finally held in Thailand London Evening Standard
http://www.standard.co.uk/news/british-paedophile-who-jumped-bail-finally-held-in-thailand-7202033.html

Fugitive 'who had unprotected sex with men and women to spread his HIV' is caught in holiday resort - Mirror Online
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/fugitive-who-unprotected-sex-men-9643537

Singaporeans outraged over American pedophile's jail term Daily Mail Online
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4294740/Singaporeans-outraged-American-pedophile-s-jail-term.html

Philippines to deport American pedophile INQUIRER.net
http://globalnation.inquirer.net/64219/philippines-to-deport-american-pedophile

Australians the worst child sex offenders in Thailand
http://www.news.com.au/world/australians-the-worst-child-sex-offenders-in-thailand/story-e6frfkyi-1225772485392

Father who raped his gay daughter to prove ‘sex was better with men’ jailed for 21 years The Independent
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/father-raped-lesbian-daughter-sex-better-with-men-warwick-crown-court-a7612131.html

Dad Who Raped Daughter: 'Was Fun While It Lasted':
http://news.sky.com/story/dad-who-raped-daughter-was-fun-while-it-lasted-10322604

Big Stone Gap Police officer facing rape, incest, grooming, and indecent liberties charges WSET:
http://wset.com/news/local/big-stone-gap-police-officer-facing-rape-incest-grooming-and-indecent-liberties-charges

Pedophilia in Britain ‘woven into the fabric of society’ – Theresa May — RT UK:
https://www.rt.com/uk/240777-uk-sex-children-may/

More than 70 UK sex offenders refused entry to South East Asia
http://news.sky.com/story/more-than-70-uk-sex-offenders-refused-entry-to-south-east-asia-10982865

Pedophile profile: Young, white, wealthy
http://www.zdnet.com/article/pedophile-profile-young-white-wealthy/

More than 200 children identified and rescued in worldwide police operation Europol:
https://www.europol.europa.eu/content/more-200-children-identified-and-rescued-worldwide-police-operation

One of the most disturbing coffee breaks of my life': Halting 'child rape' holidays in Asia
http://www.9news.com.au/national/2017/06/21/12/26/one-of-the-most-disturbing-coffee-breaks-of-my-life-the-halting-of-child-rape-holidays-in-asia

1,400 investigated in child sex abuse inquiry, including politicians UK news The Guardian:
http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/may/20/1400-suspects-operation-hydrant-politician-and-celebrity-child-sex-abuse-inquiry

Richard Huckle faces life sentences for Malaysia child abuse - BBC News:
http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-36429385

US child porn suspect flees to South Korea:
http://m.koreatimes.co.kphone/news/view.jsp?req_newsidx=212090

Bombshell documentary about Hollywood pedophile ring preying on child actors that's been linked to X-Men director Bryan Singer premieres in New York Daily Mail Online:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2836062/Bombshell-documentary-Hollywood-pedophile-ring-preying-child-actors-s-linked-X-Men-director-Bryan-Singer-premiers-New-York.html

Kids 'Sitting Ducks' for Pedophile Teachers - ABC News
http://abcnews.go.com/International/story?id=3743338&page=1

UN slams Vatican for 'efforts to cover up' pedophile priests in sex abuse scandal - World News:
http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2014/01/16/22324032-un-slams-vatican-for-efforts-to-cover-up-pedophile-priests-in-sex-abuse-scandal

Danish man charged with ordering the sexual abuse of 346 Filipino children - The Local:
http://www.thelocal.dk/20170216/danish-man-charged-with-ordering-the-sexual-abuse-of-346-filipino-children

Rolf Harris guilty: but what has Operation Yewtree really taught us about sexual abuse?
https://nsnbc.me/2014/07/06/rolf-harris-guilty-operation-yewtree-really-taught-us-sexual-abuse/

Pedophiles drawn to ESL jobs, groups warn
http://www.pressreader.com/canada/national-post-latest-edition/20071018/281513631789140

Ex USC professor named FBI s Top 10 Most Wanted list pleads guilty traveling Asia sex young boys met online
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2746130/Ex-USC-professor-named-FBI-s-Top-10-Most-Wanted-list-pleads-guilty-traveling-Asia-sex-young-boys-met-online.html

UK police arrest 660 suspected pedophiles - CNN.com:
http://www.cnn.com/2014/07/16/world/europe/uk-pedophile-probe/

British Pedophile Successfully Changes His Name and Continues Teaching Kids in Thailand:
http://nextshark.com/alan-smith-british-pedophile-changed-his-name-twice-so-he-can-freely-return-and-teach-children-in-thailand/

386 Kids Rescued in Worldwide Child Porn Bust. Hundreds ...
https://nsnbc.me/2013/11/15/386-kids-rescued-worldwide-child-porn-bust-hundreds-arrested/

Organizer of child sex ring in Thailand sentenced to 25 years - CNN.com
http://www.cnn.com/2011/CRIME/01/31/new.jersey.sex.ring/index.html

For today's pedophiles, it's all too easy - The Globe and Mail
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/for-todays-pedophiles-its-all-too-easy/article22625144/

British paedo running kids charity in Cambodia - Mirror Online
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/british-paedo-running-kids-charity-230087

Mark Frost admits 45 sex crimes Daily Mail Online
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4180054/Paedophile-Mark-Frost-70-admits-45-sex-crimes.html

New Jersey actor gets nearly 20 years in child sex case NJ.com
http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2009/11/new_jersey_actor_sentenced_in.html

Midland paedophile enjoys holiday in child sex resort thanks to loophole in law - Birmingham Mail
http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/midland-paedophile-enjoys-holiday-child-7917816

Elijah Wood Speaks Out on Child Abuse in Hollywood : People.com:
http://www.people.com/article/elijah-wood-child-abuse-hollywood-sunday-times

Petition · Steven Burn, child-porn cardiologist, should be struck off. ·
Change.org: https://www.change.org/p/general-medical-council-fitness-to-practise-panel-colin-yule-investigating-officer-martyn-green-martyn-green-colin-yule-steven-burn-child-porn-cardiologist-should-be-struck-off

Couple Charged With Child Abuse Seattle Times Newspaper
http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=19910918&slug=1306274

Harvard man charged with sexual assault of child - Lake County News-Sun:
http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/lake-county-news-sun/crime/ct-lns-antioch-child-sex-charge-st-0624-20160623-story.html

Australian Cardinal and Aide to Pope Is Charged With Sexual Assault - The New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/28/world/australia/cardinal-george-pell-charged-sexual-abuse.html

Police Arrest Alleged American Pedophile Who Fled to Thailand to Work as a Teacher
https://nextshark.com/jackson-matthew-hall-police-arrest-alleged-american-pedophile-who-fled-to-thailand-to-work-as-a-teache

Norwalk man gets 22 years in prison for crimes against children in Cambodia – Whittier Daily News
http://www.whittierdailynews.com/2016/12/08/norwalk-man-gets-22-years-in-prison-for-crimes-against-children-in-cambodia/

Delhi Police focus on 23 chats recovered from Murray Dennis Ward’s phone The Indian Express
http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/delhi-police-focus-on-23-chats-recovered-from-murray-dennis-wards-phone-4830639/

Michael Gerson - No More Pedophile Tourists
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/08/23/AR2007082301832.html

Southeast Asia a Haven for Pedophiles - ABC News:
http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=2325416

Karl Joseph Kraus, 90-year-old Australian ... - NY Daily News
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/karl-joseph-kraus-90-year-old-australian-arrested-charged-raping-sisters-thailand-article-1.185188

Arizona Man Who Photographed Sexual Abuse of Young Boys while Working in China Sentenced to 25 Years in Federal Prison USAO-CDCA Department of Justice:
https://www.justice.gov/usao-cdca/parizona-man-who-photographed-sexual-abuse-young-boys-while-working-china-sentenced-25

World Briefing Asia: Indonesia: Pedophile Found Hanged - The New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2004/05/13/world/world-briefing-asia-indonesia-pedophile-found-hanged.html

Raleigh church youth director accused of having child porn :: WRAL.com
http://www.wral.com/news/local/story/10829785/

Native English teacher accused of kissing students
http://m.koreatimes.co.kphone/news/view.jsp?req_newsidx=232197

British Pedophile Arrested in Cambodia For Allegedly Raping Four Minors
http://nextshark.com/clive-robert-kingsley-cressy-cambodia-police-find-young-girls-clothes-and-toys-inside-arrested-british-pedophiles-suitcase/

U.N. Report: Vatican Policies Allowed Priests To Rape Children - NBC News
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/u-n-report-vatican-policies-allowed-priests-rape-children-n22531

Justice Denied: Metropolitan Police cover up VIP ...
http://www.dailyalternative.co.uk/justice-denied-metropolitan-police-cover-up-vip-paedophile-ring/

Pedophiles find cover in parts of Asia - World news - Asia-Pacific NBC News
https://web.archive.org/web/20160828103646/http://www.nbcnews.com/id/14397137/ns/world_news-asia_pacific/t/pedophiles-easily-find-cover-parts-asia/

Empowering pedophiles New York Post:
http://nypost.com/2013/01/16/empowering-pedophiles/

The Catholic Church’s Latest Abuse Scandals Foreign Policy:
http://foreignpolicy.com/2010/03/16/the-catholic-churchs-latest-abuse-scandals/

National Review Online:
http://www.nationalreview.com/human-exceptionalism/356856/normalizing-pedophilia-2-wesley-j-smith

National Review Online
http://www.nationalreview.com/human-exceptionalism/337010/normalizing-pedophilia-wesley-j-smith

Australia plans to ban pedophiles from traveling overseas - ABC News
http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/australia-ban-pedophiles-traveling-overseas-47715534

Philippines' Duterte asks head of human rights agency: 'Are you a pedophile?'
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-philippines-duterte/philippines-duterte-asks-head-of-human-rights-agency-are-you-a-pedophile-idUSKCN1BR0IX

120 child sex traffickers arrested, 84 kids rescued in FBI sting (VIDEO) — RT US News
https://www.rt.com/usa/407166-child-sex-trafficking-fbi/

The pedophile tentacles that stretch from the Philippines into Australian homes : Preda Foundation, Inc.
http://www.preda.org/world/the-pedophile-tentacles-that-stretch-from-the-philippines-into-australian-homes/

American ALT at Tokyo high school nabbed over alleged molestation - The Mainichi
https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20171020/p2a/00m/0na/002000c

American paedophile planned to reenact movie Fifty Shades of Grey with Filipino victims - ASEAN/East Asia The Star Online
https://www.thestar.com.my/news/regional/2017/10/27/american-paedophile-planned-to-reenact-movie-fifty-shades-of-grey-with-filipino-victims/

Deluge of Child Abuse Allegations Shocks China
http://www.sixthtone.com/news/1001242/deluge-of-child-abuse-allegations-shocks-china

The Impact of Pedophilia Crisis on the Church in Asia
http://www.fabc.org/offices/oc/Documents/seminar.pdf

Catholic officials threaten to sue ex-altar boys
https://www.rt.com/news/410883-vatican-altar-boys-sexual-allegations/

‘It’s been a disaster’: Man suing Surrey Creep Catchers speaks out : vancouver
np.reddit.com/vancouvecomments/5z6l7e/its_been_a_disaster_man_suing_surrey_creep/?st=j0csilnw&sh=73c56afc

Orlando man accused of adopting Filipino girl for sex Daily Mail Online
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4761902/Businessman-accused-adopting-Filipino-girl-sex.html

The man with the naked piano - Salon.com
http://www.salon.com/2001/10/22/rosser_2/

White male serial killer Arthur Shawcross is a psychopath, guilty of killing 2 children and 11 prostitutes, has an Asian partner and a half-Asian daughter – an aggregate website devoted to exploring the darker, sociological implications of the world's greatest imbalance of interracial and intercultural relationships.
https://halfasian.org/2017/03/26/white-male-serial-killer-arthur-shawcross-is-a-psychopath-guilty-of-killing-2-children-and-11-prostitutes-has-an-asian-partner-and-a-half-asian-daughte

White guy fantasises about raping his Eurasian daughter : hapas:
np.reddit.com/hapas/comments/3ozi2j/white_guy_fantasises_about_raping_his_eurasian/

Convicted Australian paedophile Peter Dundas Walbran is arrested after being caught working in a SCHOOL in Thailand Daily Mail Online
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3352343/Convicted-Australian-paedophile-Peter-Dundas-Walbran-arrested-caught-working-SCHOOL-Thailand.html

Former teacher jailed for molesting seven-year-old at learning centre, Courts & Crime News & Top Stories - The Straits Times:
http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/courts-crime/former-teacher-jailed-for-molesting-seven-year-old-at-learning-centre

Dutch Pedophile Sebastian Reuyl Sentenced to Five Years Prison in Cambodia
https://theinternationalreporter.org/2017/02/18/dutch-pedophile-sebastian-reuyl-sentenced-to-five-years-prison-in-cambodia/

American Brian Naswall gets 10 years for buying child sex in Cambodia Daily Mail Online:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3640313/American-gets-10-years-buying-child-sex-Cambodia.html

Paedophile, 77, jailed 18 months for sexually abusing three boys general-news news:
http://www.graphic.com.gh/news/general-news/paedophile-77-jailed-18-months-for-sexually-abusing-three-boys.html

Pedophile exposed, National, Phnom Penh Post http://www.phnompenhpost.com/national/pedophile-exposed
81-Year-Old Serial American Paedophile Gets 10 Years Sentence For Molesting Young Boys In Cambodia Doy News
http://www.doynews.com/article/81-year-old-serial-american-paedophile-gets-10-years-sentence-molesting-young-boys-cambodia

Robert Fiddes Ellis: Australian paedophile says molesting girls ‘not serious’
http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/real-life/how-balis-worst-paedophile-australian-robert-fiddes-ellis-lured-young-street-girls-with-cash-and-gifts/news-story/a2960cbbb1dc7b6f93d46688e5d1bb9e

Police arrest dozens in international pedophile ring swoop News DW 18.04.2017
http://www.dw.com/en/police-arrest-dozens-in-international-pedophile-ring-swoop/a-38474884

Indian orphans sexually abused by western paedophile ring -- New Internationalist:
http://newint.org/themes/war-and-peace/violence/2014/05/30/indian-orphans-sexual-abuse/

Go East, Western Women! (Comments) LoveAndRomanceNews.com:
http://loveandromancenews.com/more-western-women-going-to-asia-for-work-adventure-and-even-love-comments/

List of pedophile and pederast advocacy organizations - Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_pedophile_and_pederast_advocacy_organizations

Creator of 'world's largest' child porn site sentenced - NY Daily News
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/creator-world-largest-child-porn-site-sentenced-article-1.3142151

Foreign teachers facing heightened scrutiny after recent ...
https://www.lostlaowai.com/news/foreign-teachers-facing-heightened-scrutiny-after-recent-sex-offender-cases/


Sex tourism in South East Asia
http://www.restoredrelationships.org/news/2011/02/07/sex-tourism-south-east-asia/

Police arrest 870 suspected paedophiles and rescue hundreds of ...
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/europol-fbi-joint-investigation-operation-pacifier-uncovers-global-paedophilia-ring-870-arrests-a7722821.html

Father of little girl killed in one of Australia’s ‘most evil’ crimes speaks ten years after murder - Yahoo7:
https://au.news.yahoo.com/a/31872157/father-of-little-girl-killed-in-one-of-australia-s-most-evil-crimes-speaks-ten-years-after-murde#page1

Peter Scully accused of masterminding paedophile ring shrugs off charges Daily Mail Online: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2993246/I-bigger-Ben-Hur-people-interested-Australian-businessman-accused-masterminding-international-paedophile-ring-girl-s-body-buried-home-shrugs-charges.html
submitted by Practical_Wrap to aznidentity [link] [comments]


2019.11.01 20:02 HourEDUdotcom Everything You Need To Know About Grants For College

Grants For College Here's The Low Down

Grants for college are a form of financial aid or student loan that does not have to be paid back. In this article, we'll explain everything you need to know about college grants, federal and state grants, how to apply for grants for college, what grants can pay for, and much more.

What Are College Grants?

The big difference between grants for college and scholarships for college is that grants are typically need-based, meaning that grants are usually given to people in financial need.


4 Types Of Federal Grants For College

There are quite a few types of grants that you can get for college or university. The process of getting these grants will vary, however, let's go over the types of grants that are possible and can get into how you can go about applying for these specific grants.

1. Federal Pell Grants For College





2. Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG)

The FSEOG program is administered directly by the financial aid office at each participating school. Not all schools participate. Check with your school's financial aid office to find out if the school offers the FSEOG.





3. Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grants





4. Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants





How To Get Federal Grants For College

There is a simple process you must follow to get federal grants for college. Below we list the three steps you'll need to take to find out if you qualify for a federal grant and how much you qualify for.

1. Fill out the FAFSA

Both federal and state governments give out college grants. To find out if you qualify and to become eligible, you need to fill out the FAFSA. This allows colleges to determine how much financial aid you qualify for. Financial aid helps students and their families pay for college by covering educational expenses. Grants, work-study, and federal student loans can all be part of your financial aid package from a school.


2. Submit the FAFSA before the deadline

Many grants are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. So complete your FAFSA early—as soon as you can after the starting date of October 1. Your family’s tax returns are needed to complete the FAFSA, so you should set aside time to gather those documents before you start the application.


3. Read your financial aid award letter

After you fill out your FAFSA, you’ll receive financial aid award letters from the colleges that accepted you. Your award letters will tell you if you’re eligible for any college grants, among other types of financial aid, like scholarships, work-study, and federal student loans. You don’t need to accept every piece of financial aid that’s offered to you.
submitted by HourEDUdotcom to teenagers [link] [comments]


2019.11.01 19:57 HourEDUdotcom Grants For College How To Get Them

Grants For College Here's The Low Down

Grants for college are a form of financial aid or student loan that does not have to be paid back. In this article, we'll explain everything you need to know about college grants, federal and state grants, how to apply for grants for college, what grants can pay for, and much more.

What Are College Grants?

The big difference between grants for college and scholarships for college is that grants are typically need-based, meaning that grants are usually given to people in financial need.



4 Types Of Federal Grants For College

There are quite a few types of grants that you can get for college or university. The process of getting these grants will vary, however, let's go over the types of grants that are possible and can get into how you can go about applying for these specific grants.

1. Federal Pell Grants For College


2. Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG)

The FSEOG program is administered directly by the financial aid office at each participating school. Not all schools participate. Check with your school's financial aid office to find out if the school offers the FSEOG.

3. Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grants


4. Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants

How To Get Federal Grants For College

There is a simple process you must follow to get federal grants for college. Below we list the three steps you'll need to take to find out if you qualify for a federal grant and how much you qualify for.

1. Fill out the FAFSA

Both federal and state governments give out college grants. To find out if you qualify and to become eligible, you need to fill out the FAFSA. This allows colleges to determine how much financial aid you qualify for. Financial aid helps students and their families pay for college by covering educational expenses. Grants, work-study, and federal student loans can all be part of your financial aid package from a school.

2. Submit the FAFSA before the deadline

Many grants are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. So complete your FAFSA early—as soon as you can after the starting date of October 1. Your family’s tax returns are needed to complete the FAFSA, so you should set aside time to gather those documents before you start the application.

3. Read your financial aid award letter

After you fill out your FAFSA, you’ll receive financial aid award letters from the colleges that accepted you. Your award letters will tell you if you’re eligible for any college grants, among other types of financial aid, like scholarships, work-study, and federal student loans. You don’t need to accept every piece of financial aid that’s offered to you.
submitted by HourEDUdotcom to getintocollege [link] [comments]


2019.10.28 18:00 comp-help-help I am leading a double life. I was raised by my single mom and her family. But am incredibly close with my paternal grandparents and my mom’s side has no idea I even know them — let alone have legally taken their last name. My wedding is coming up and they will find out soon.

My paternal grandparents are my biggest influences and closest family members. My mom and her family have zero idea that I even know them, let alone that I now ave their last name. They will find out in a few months, though.
TLDR: I have had a secret relationship with my father's parents for over ten years. No one in my family knows.
*
First: A few years ago, my then-girlfriend/now-fiance wanted me to watch Gilmore Girls with her, which was her favorite show. I had no interest in doing so. But by the end of the month, I had watched every episode -- some many times. It was not only because it is a really well-written, excellently performed show. It is because it mirrors my life in so many different ways.
Second: Watching Gilmore Girls made me tell the following story to my fiance. She is the only person who knows this story, aside from my grandparents. I want to write it out to get comfortable with what might happen. Our wedding is in April. The rest of my family is about to find out about my relationship with my grandparents, how I officially changed my last name a few years ago to take there's, and more. This is going to hurt many people in my family. But I made a choice many years ago for this relationship to happen, and it more than anything else made me who I am today.
*
I'm 27. My fiance and I live in Philadelphia. I grew up in one of the blue collar suburbs right next to the city. (If you are from the Philly area you can probably guess what one.) My mom also grew up there. Her parents spent almost all of their lives there, too. Nearly all of my mom's siblings lived in the same town. So did most of my cousins.
My mom had me when she was 21. My father was 24. They were only together for a few months before she got pregnant. They eventually married a few years later. My father, though, died in a car accident when I was four. I don't remember him at all. And my mom had me use her last name.
I have a very complicated relationship with my mom. She is a really nice woman. She has a great sense of humor and is truly hilarious. But... she's a mess. She had it really tough being a single mom and everything with my father. But she never made it easy for herself (or me). She bounced a lot between jobs, none of which were careers. I never had to worry about not having enough food. But it was really frustrating to be 13-years-old and having the responsibility of paying the bills or sitting down and explaining to my mom how interest rates with credit cards worked.
My mom also dated quite a bit. None of the guys she dated were terrible to her or to me. They were just sad sacks she met somewhere around town. She actually married this one guy when I was in middle school. They split up after about six months when she found out that he had been cheating on her since the start of their relationship.
.
My mom and her seven siblings did not have much growing up at all. They were not dust bowl farmers. But they didn't have any money at all. My granddad drove a truck dropping seafood off to different restaurants around the area. My grandmother was a substitute teacher.
I spent a lot of time with my family growing up... and I always just felt so completely out-of-place. A few of my family members hung out with the rough crowd (or were the rough crowd). A few have dealt with addiction issues. One died from an OD. Another cousin of mine is in jail after he was involved in some theft ring. I have a handful of other relatives who don’t really work, hang out in townie bars, sell petty amounts of drugs and spend a good amount of money a week on scratch-offs.
But the majority of my family are not wild or criminals or have addiction issues. I’m just not like any of them – not my cousins, not my aunts and uncles, and not my grandparents.
My grandfather is a gigantic sports nut. A large amount of his life revolves around Eagles games and listening to sports radio. He coached Little League baseball and CYO basketball (and is friends with a few NBA referees). He’s always talking about the need to be tough. To get the first punch in before someone punches you. To never come to his house crying about losing a fight.
That emboldened a bunch of my cousins to become… well, dicks. A few of my cousins were good athletes and went on to run track in college. But most of the guys just hung around in a pack of other jerk-offs bragging about fighting kids from some other high school in the area outside of a Wawa when they were down the shore. Or throwing a bottle at a homeless guy in West Philly when they went to buy alcohol in the hood. Or just shoving around kids they thought were nerds. (And some of the girls in my family were just as bad and very talented at starting and escalating situations.)
Like me and my friends.
I was always a reader. I would bring books with me everywhere I went. Any family function I went to (which was pretty much weekly), I would spend the time buried in some book while everyone else watched football or basketball. Or if we went to play rough touch or basketball, I was just the scrub who they made fun of. My cousins were also really into drinking. I think I’ve had maybe five dinks my entire life. They spent so much of their time scheming ways to get a half-keg to someone’s house and the like. I was into zero of it.
When we got older, I got more into comic books and tabletop games and RPGs. And then later on I ended up getting pretty into emo and indie and punk and would go into West Philly to see bands play in a basement every so often. I was the kid who went to the coffee house to read Camus (ugh) and would try to talk to people about philosophy (ugh ugh). My family has a really common Irish last name. A lot of my classmates had no idea that we were even related.
You might think that my grandparents appreciated me – the bookish nerdy grandson trying to navigate life with his nutty mom. But you would be wrong. They love me. But there were so many times my grandpop would ask me what I was reading. I would tell him. And that was the conversation. My grandma every so often also told me that I took myself too seriously. That I had to try harder to fit in. That I came off like I thought I was better than everyone.
*
My dad was not from our town. He grew up in a nearby town that is one of the most expensive zip codes in the area. His parents were very wealthy. And they had grown up very wealthy. He went to one of the really expensive private college prep high schools (where his dad and his dad’s dad went). He was expected to go to an Ivy League college like his family.
Only, he really resented his parents and their wealth. He was very rebellious. He barely graduated high school. He refused to go to college. Instead, he played bass guitar in a few different alt-rock/metal bands. That’s how he met my mom.
My mom, her parents and the rest of my family who knew my dad and his parents absolutely despised them. Rich pompous assholes. They look down on us. They think we’re trash. They were aghast when my dad started dating my mom. They were furious when she got pregnant. They did not go to their wedding. They did go to his funeral, but apparently did not stay very long or communicate at all with my mom. I never met them.
*
I always wondered what my dad’s parents were like. I mean, how could I not? I decided I had to find out at some point. Like… who were they? Why did they not want anything to do with me? Could they explain why I felt so fucking out of place with my family?
Then Friday night when I was a junior in high school, there was a big to do at my grandparents’ house. Someone got drunk. There was an argument. My mom’s latest boyfriend got kicked out for cursing at my grandmother. My mom left with him. And the non-fighting conversation revolved around my cousin, who scored 20 points in his last basketball game. It was just a total feeling of complete loneliness.
The next morning, I decided I had to see. I had to try. My mom was out. I looked them up online. They were still where my dad grew up. I took our crappy used car. And I headed out that way. It’s maybe 15 miles from where I grew up. But it is such a completely different area. There were luxury cars. Boutiques. Gourmet food shops.
I wound my way through the side streets through the woods, driving past mansions and luxury cars. I found their house and parked outside. They had a stone wall in front of their house with a front lawn that was the size of a football field. And they had a cobblestone circular driveway. That was the most shocking thing to me being a rowhome kid. We didn’t have driveways. Period.
I stayed parked outside for a while. I was so completely nervous – not just about trying to speak with them, but that some local cop was going to arrest me. But I finally made myself do it. I walked up the driveway to the front door. I rang the bell. A dog barked. A Hispanic woman opened the door. I thought I might have the wrong house but I then realized she was wearing a uniform – she was a maid. I introduced myself but she was really confused.
Then I heard rushed heels clanging on the tiled floor. It was Mrs. X. It was a Saturday afternoon but she still dressed like she was headed to a symphony. Everything was just so completely manicured. She asked how she could help like I was a salesman. But I saw her flinch a little bit.
Then a man came from downstairs. Mr. X. He looked exactly like success. White hair. Handsome features. Wireframe glasses. A golf shirt. Tan. Tall. Proper posture.
I then introduced myself to them. My first and last name. And then I paused.
“I’m your grandson.”
*
I was crying a bit. I was staring down, shaking. I just expected for them to tell me to leave and to never talk to them again.
Instead, I was welcomed in. Mrs. X had a welcoming voice with a lot of worry. She asked if I wanted any tea. (What?) Or if I wanted anything to eat. Before I could say anything, she told the maid to get some snacks.
We sat down. After 17 years, I just showed up on their friggin’ doorstep. It was just really hard for any of us to start talking. There was small talk. How was my mom? (She was fine.) My grandparents? (They are fine.)
Finally, Mr. X asked me where I went to school. I told him – big, public, bad reputation, not like where my dad went, but I didn’t need to say any of that. He didn’t ask me about grades. Instead, he asked me what my interests were. What I liked to do.
I looked around the room we were in. There were all kinds of books. I said I loved to read. They asked me what my favorite books were. To Kill A Mockingbird. Animal Farm. A Separate Peace.
They were… impressed. Mr. X went to the shelf and grabbed a book of Orwell’s essays. He asked me if I liked to write. I did. He told me I had – HAD – to read his essay on politics and language. Mrs. X loved A Separate Peace. Did they teach that? I told her no. I saw it at a bookstore. She loved that. It should be on the curriculum instead of Catcher In The Rye, she said.
What were my favorite classes? I loved history and journalism. Mr. X immediately went to another room and came out with a gun used in the Civil War. He was a huge history buff. He belonged to this well-known private club in the Philly area that dates back to the Civil War. He managed to get a few antiques that way. My grandmother said she read three newspapers a day and a few other magazines (The Economist, The New Yorker, etc.) a week.
I felt so incredibly comfortable. I never had adults in my life who talked to me this way.
I asked about their backgrounds. Mr. X was somewhat retired. He was a CPA and also had his law degree. He was a partner at one of the big accounting firms (just like his dad) before he started out on his own as a consultant. Mrs. X was even more accomplished. She went to a small, very elite all-women’s college and graduated summa cum laude. She also went to a top tier law school. However, she stopped working full-time to raise my father. She still kept her license active, though, so she could represent different non-profits and the like pro bono if they needed any legal help.
After about two hours there was a lull in the conversation. I said I had to get going. (I really did.) They asked – insisted – I stay for dinner. But I couldn’t. Mr. X walked me to my car, and had his hand on my back.
He told me that they had a lovely time. And that they would love to have me back anytime I wanted. In fact, would next Saturday work?
*
I was beaming all week. It felt a little like when you start to develop a crush on someone – just that elated feeling, but nervous, also. I was at my mom’s parents’ house for dinner one night. I was so scared that they somehow found out. But they didn’t.
Saturday afternoon finally came. My mom was off to work and off I went, a little bit earlier than the week before. They were very excited to see me. We made some small talk for the week. I was so happy being there. So thrilled. And that is why I have no idea why I said what came out of my mouth next.
“Why did you not want anything to do with me growing up?”
I mean, it was a good and very fair question. It was something I tried to not really think about at all that week, even though I spent a good part of my life up until that point with that in the back of my mind. But I said it and thought that I might have ruined it. That this relationship that made me so happy was now sabotaged.
They were squeamish and nervous.
“Well, we knew that you’d ask that at some point. After all, that’s why you came,” Mrs. X said. “And we are going to be incredibly honest with you.”
They first told me that they always thought about me. Every week at church, they each said a prayer about me. They lit candles on my birthday. That they had so many really hard emotions to cope with. But then they just opened up about my father.
They never understood how angry he was. They knew every kid rebelled to some degree. But they did not think he would rebel to such a large degree. They figured out maybe a little too late that the pressurized world of having to always be the best and have the most wasn’t for him. They loved that he finally found music. They only wish, though, that they told them he wasn’t going to college. Instead, they found out when their tuition check was returned in the mail and learned he had moved into a shady part of Philly with a bunch of his musician friends, which was mostly just a place to party.
They were disappointed with him, but figured they needed to give him space.
Then my mom came into their world. There had been other girls in and out of his life before that. But the first time they met my mom… they were both on drugs. (I assume high. No surprise.) They knew it wasn’t the first time my father had partaken in drugs. But it was just shocking. This was the first time he was introducing a girl to them and they both thought it was perfectly acceptable to show up in that type of condition.
They just figured this relationship was going to last for a little bit and that at some point my father would figure things out. But that’s when they found out about the pregnancy. They were upset. Their son was a wannabe musician who didn’t go to college. And now his 21-year-old girlfriend was pregnant. How would this possibly work out?
I was asked if I knew about “the dinner.” I didn’t. Both sets of my grandparents, my parents and two of my mom’s siblings decided to meet at a restaurant in the suburbs. It was a nightmare right from the beginning. It wasn’t just awkward. It was brutal. My mom’s dad had a few drinks before the dinner and had his anger out. My dad’s mom complimented my mom’s mom on her earrings, and my mom’s mom misconstrued the remark and thought she was being talked down to.
And then came time for the talk about the seriousness of the situation. How does a 24-year-old musician who has never had a real job possibly provide for a family?
“We were told that we were jerks for asking. One of you mom’s sisters talked about how she had her son at 22 and that worked out perfectly well.” (That’s one of my cousins who has spent time in jail.) My mom’s dad asked my dad’s dad why he couldn’t just give his little boy a job? “Or he could drive a truck like me, but I’m sure that’s not good enough for you.”
It was exasperating. There just wasn’t common ground. And then my dad told his parents that they were being complete snobs, and that he and my mom would be better off without them.
“It was just so… so stupid. We were so mad at him for saying that. We didn’t talk to him. And he didn’t talk to us. We weren’t invited to the wedding until a week before it was happening. We didn’t even know there was a wedding until one of our friends told us the week before. Can you imagine finding out that way? Why go? It was their day. If we went, it would just ruin whatever it was they wanted,” Mrs. X said.
Then there was a pause.
“And then the accident happened. And we realized how badly we had screwed everything up. Our son was dead. And we handled it so horribly on our end. It was the worst day of our lives,” Mr. X said.
Then he looked at me.
“I’m sorry.”
I told them that I wanted to be honest. They understood.
And I was. I told them about living with my mom, and how crazy it was. How my mom’s parents and my cousins and my aunts/uncles… how little I had in common with any of them. I told them how lonely I felt so much of the time. That I was scared I was going to feel like that the rest of my life. That I was going to die in the same neighborhood where I grew up.
And I told them that I had always wondered about my dad’s family. I had hoped they could maybe help me figure out why I felt that way. But I also needed to know why they never reached out to me.
Now I knew.
We just looked at each other for a few seconds. And then I asked them if they wanted me to go.
“No. I want you to call me Grandmom. And I want you to give me a hug.”
And that is when my Grandmom and Granddad became the most important people I’d ever meet in my life.
*
I learned later that evening just how different their lives were than mine. After we ate, I started to clean the table.
“What do you think you’re doing,” Grandmom asked me.
Anytime we had dinner at my mom’s parents, someone was responsible for clearing the table. I always did so at my house, too. I insisted that I do so. Then I was reminded that they had a maid to handle such tasks. I must have given off a vibe like that was absolutely revolting to me.
“How many times have you said ‘I love doing dishes!’ when you were standing in front of the sink,” she asked. “Did you say you loved doing dishes or did you tell yourself that you had to do the dishes?”
Good point.
“We can afford to have someone do that work for us. We have the means to pay for a service. The people who perform those services for us willingly took the job. They are paid for their efforts. We do not feel bad one bit about using a housekeeping service. So don’t you feel bad, either,” she said.
That was incredibly hard to wrap my brain around at first – someone doing the dishes, taking care of the laundry, the cleaning, etc. It still is. But I learned a really important lesson.
It is inevitable in America that someone will have power over someone else, especially in a workplace type of situation. My grandparents had wealth and status. The women assigned to work at their house by the service that employed them had essentially nothing. All of them came from another country – Mexico, Central America, a Caribbean country, a former Soviet country – and did so within the past year, with limited skills in English.
My grandparents always took the time, as best as they could, to learn at least a little something about the staff. They were interested in learning where they came from and their history. And when their time at the house ended (usually after two weeks someone else was rotated in), my grandparents left a good tip, a big thank you card, and, if the woman had kids, some toys and clothes. They never raised their voice at anyone if something wasn’t done correctly. Chances were, it was because of the language barrier. Why put someone down for not understanding?
I saw first-hand the importance of always treating people with dignity and respect. And one of my Grandmom’s biggest thrills was when the agency would inform her that everyone wanted to be assigned to their house more than anyone else because of their reputation for niceness.
*
Despite being a bookworm, I had middling grades. I was in mostly honors classes at a big public high school without a good reputation. School came really easy to me as a kid. I didn’t have to study. And then high school came, and I had to do more work, and I didn’t know how. It is also really easy to put off geometry homework if your mom skipped parent-teacher night every single year.
Grandmom and Granddad just assumed I had really good grades. Ha ha ha. The previous week they asked to see my report card, thinking it would be a point of pride. I thought about just ignoring the request but I knew I could be honest with them. So I showed it to them. I expected them to be disappointed. Ashamed. Angry.
Nope. Grandmom immediately diagnosed the situation. "You have no idea how to study." She brought me to their study and a clear table. She showed me how to outline an assignment like she would have done in law school. She gave me some good study tips (go in with a plan as to what you want to learn, start with the assignment you want to do the least first, have a set schedule, etc.). I never had any sort of guide like that at all.
They also contacted a private SAT tutor immediately. I had no idea that you could even get a private SAT tutor. I had studied for them a bit on my own via a book I bought but I was so far behind.
It became easy for me to spend time there. My mom was working as a waitress/caterer and picked up a lot of Friday and weekend shifts. Her boyfriend was a co-worker, so she'd usually head to his place after work. I didn't have anywhere to be until Sunday dinner at my other grandparent's house. I'd just lie (if my mom asked) about staying over a friend's house. Having those a few hours to study -- with people there to help keep me on task and could answer questions and etc. -- helped my grades immediately. It was harder to keep everything focused at my mom's, but I did my absolute best to stay on a schedule. I also did a few hundred points better on the SATs that I did on the PSATs (that I did not study for at all).
I wanted to go to college my whole life. But I just thought my options were so limited -- some because of my finances, but mostly because of my situation. On my list were two state colleges near my house and a few Catholic universities in the area that accepted everyone. But my grandparents and my guidance counselor at high school told me that I could apply for some higher tier schools. They also helped me with the FAFSA (I had no clue what the f that was) and scholarship applications. I ended up getting some money on top of the Pell grant and all of a sudden I had some choices with affordability.
I did just that. I didn't want to leave Philly. I didn't apply to Penn (way out of my reach). I won't say what school (please don't guess but you might figure it out), but I ended up accepted at a well-known Catholic university in the suburbs known for having a pretty wealthy student body. The campus was also just down the street from my grandparents lived, which was a major factor.
But wow. My whole life really changed because of my grandparents. And not just because of how awesome they are. But if you have means in this country, you have such huge advantages. My high school was gigantic and my guidance counselor probably had hundreds of kids she was responsible for. There's no way she could spend more than five minutes thinking about how to help me. But they had money and institutional knowledge of how it all worked. They didn't come close to doing anything like a college bribery scam. But just knowing what the hell was on those forms and what I needed to know to fill them out was such a big step.
I really understand inequality. I was so lucky to have my grandparents. That stuff was way over my head. I had some disadvantages but there are so many people in way worse situations than I was. It must feel impossible to get out of systemic poverty. I also feel pretty guilty because I know how hard it is but I haven't put in any time to volunteer or tutor or anything to help kids who could use it. It's my early New Year's Resolution to start doing that.
*
I don't want to make it seem like I just spent every hour from Friday until Sunday at their house. I still had a social life with my friends. I just didn't tell any of them about what was going on. I kept my family drama private from my friends well before I reached out to my grandparents. I probably should not have in retrospect.
I was meeting up with a few friends to go to the movies one Saturday afternoon. But my car wouldn't start. My granddad offered to drop me off. But on our way over, we realized he'd have to drop me off on the other end of the parking lot and I'd have to walk.
This way, none of my friends would see me getting out of a Jaguar with a white-haired older man they did not know. There would be too many questions. *
I moved into my dorm my freshman year. My family gave me crap for the college I was going to (too uppity, even though they were fans of their athletic teams). There was also no one from my high school (or at least no one I knew) who went to this college. There were a few kids from my town who went to Catholic high school, but I didn't know any of them all that well and, plus, they probably fought my cousins at some party at some point in time.
My roommate was really wild. We're still friends to this day but there was zero way I could live with him. I really knew how much discipline I needed to do well in my classes. He was a total party kid from New Jersey. He was (and is) hilarious but I just could not deal with him coming back to the room drunk after some party. Or coming back from the library and seeing the sock on the door also got tiring. I made friends with a bunch of other people on campus, but I just didn't feel like I could deal with a roommate, which makes sense being an only child.
Since I was only about 20 minutes (at most) from their house, I could just go to my grandparents house whenever I wanted. They gave me a key. I'd usually go for dinner. But then I'd spend my time there studying. And soon I started sleeping over during weekdays.
Finally, I had an idea. I was there all of the time. I'd save a lot of money for housing. They lived by campus so I would not really miss much of student life. I didn't really like going to parties (being a non-drinker) and, if I did, I wouldn't have to worry about driving home drunk.
I was nervous but I asked one night at dinner if I could move in with them full-time. I thought they might say no -- it's their house and they could use privacy and they were always encouraging me to be active at school.
"We were going to ask you if you wanted to do that tonight," Granddad said. So I moved in that weekend. If I didn't live with them, I'm not sure I would have graduated Dean's List.
*
By this time, I had my own used car. It wasn't much better than my mom's, but it served the need of getting me to wherever I needed to go. It was really start to park a 1996 Saturn in the campus parking lot while I'd see a classmate get out of a new SUV or something else like that.
My car was at the garage one day. Granddad said I could borrow his car. He had a Benz again so I drove that and parked. A few of my friends saw me get out of the Benz and were completely shocked. Like... none of my friends who came from money even had a car like that. I did not even bother to explain.
For Christmas that year, my grandparents said they wanted to buy me a car. I was not going to turn that down. Our first dealership was a BMW. I was completely shocked. But then I reminded them that I had a whole other family.
That's when my grandparents realized that I had not told my mom or anyone on that side about our relationship. I lied about that. They were really mad at me. It was the first time they were ever that upset with me, and they expressed so right in the lobby of a luxury car dealership.
I don't think they understood the animosity my mom and her family had towards them. They didn't know them at all, aside from a few times meeting my barely adult mother and one time with everyone else. Their view of everything that happened with my dad was the worst event to ever happen in their lives. But they did not realize the anger they had, let along still had.
I told them that I'd have to tell them when I was ready. And I was not sure I would ever be ready. I'm still not ready. But they will find out in a few weeks once the wedding invitations come.
They ended up buying me a new Honda.
*
There were definitely some awkward and funny moments when I was able to have some of the trappings of their money when I borrowed their car or was forced to relinquish household chores to a housekeeper. Living with them full-time definitely made slowly made me feel like I was now more part of not just their lives but their world. I didn't have to do laundry. They had a heated outdoor swimming pool. I went on vacation with them over part of my winter break to their condo in Florida with a view of the Gulf. I especially felt it meeting their friends and colleagues at dinner parties they held or a few functions I attended with them. There's no way I would have ever shaken hands with their Republican congressman, let alone be able to speak with him personally for 10 minutes about his higher education policies.
Like I said earlier -- being wealthy in America means you will have power in so many situations. There's a difference, though, from having someone buy you a car and never having to make the bed to feeling you actually had some level of power over another person.
The first time I felt it came at a brunch I went to at the country club they belonged to. It was my junior year of college. I had gone to the club a few times with Granddad to take a few golf lessons and play a few rounds with him. But I wasn't the biggest fan (which disappointed him). But I had never been with them for a meal or the sort.
At brunch, I recognized one of the waitstaff. It was a kid I went to high school with who was friends with some of my cousins. This kid was a major, major, major asshole to me. He bullied me more than a few times (he was a lot bigger than me). When he saw me at the table, he clearly recognized me. I was nervous at first that he'd stooge off to my family. But then I quickly realized that I had a degree of authority over him. It was such a rush.
I asked him so smugly how he was doing and what he had been up to. He was "taking a break" from the local community college. Before he could ask me anything, I ordered him to bring me a cup of coffee and, no, I did not need any room for cream or sugar. I had never talked to anyone like that before, let alone in front of my grandparents.
I felt my Grandmom look at me. I thought she was going to be mad.
"I take it that you two were not exactly friends?"
I said no.
"Well, you know how I feel about treating people who work in the service industry."
He came back with my coffee.
"Young man, I clearly instructed you that I did not want my Bloody Mary this spicy. Please bring it back to the bar and have a new one made for me." Grandad leaned back in his chair and chuckled just loud enough for him to hear it.
Grandmom smiled at me. "I belt that felt good. Don't act like that ever again."
I haven't.
*
Holidays and other landmark occasions became easy for me to navigate. I just learned to say equivalents to the word "no" a lot more once I had some freedom. For instance, my mom's brother had a big birthday party. A few weeks earlier at Sunday dinner, he began roughly every sentence with the phrase "I'm not racist, but..." while his son would tell jokes with judicious use of the n-word. (BTW, his son is now a cop.)
So, when my mom gave me the information about the details of the party, I just said I was not going. She was shocked. I told her I had too much schoolwork. I heard about how I needed to make time for family. And I told her that I didn't.
There's no real answer to that.
My birthday was easy enough. It usually fell on some random weekday in February. I could celebrate with my friends and grandparents the day it actually occurred. And then I could head to my mom's and her parents' on the weekend. Christmas was a bit tricky. But, usually, I would head to my mom's on Christmas Eve, sleep there, do the usual family event with her and then say I had to rush back to my apartment (I claimed to live in one after freshman year) to check on the heat or a neighbor's cat or etc. I have still used these sorts of excuses (having a fiance now makes the excuses easier) after college ended.
But I do have one regret over one big event: My college graduation. My mom and her parents really wanted to go. I informed them of how long the ceremony is and it was also outside and hot. (These were not lies.) That kept them away. But Grandmom and Granddad attended, and their pictures of me in my cap-and-gown are all over their house. That would have been a good time to explain.
I did have a family dinner with my mom, her parents and a bunch of other family a week later. That was a really weird situation. It was mostly the usual -- me trapped in a small house with people I did not like, having conversations I did not want to be a part of. But then my mom's mom started to talk about how proud she was. How proud everyone was of me. A college graduate. From XXX of all colleges. Dean's List! You were always such a smart boy. The pride of the family. We knew you'd be successful. You were always so creative.
I wanted to scream. I wanted to tell them all to go screw off. My whole life these people treated me like crap! My grandparents had no interest in me at all. Or they (correctly) told me I thought I was better than them. And now here I was being lauded. Why the fuck were they celebrating me?
I went back to my mom's that night and crashed in what was my childhood bedroom and cried. I was not wrong about how I felt about them. But maybe they just didn't know what to do with me. I wasn't like everyone else. I wasn't like them. And maybe they knew I didn't need them to the same degree they needed each other.
*
My parents had their 50th wedding anniversary. I wanted to get them something that showed how much I appreciated them. I always had this idea in the back of my mind. I decided to go through with it. It took some time and dealing with going to the county courthouse. But I filled out a form to legally take their last name.
My biggest worry with it was that I had to have my request for name change published as a legal ad. It would have been my luck for Grandmom to see the ad. Or I was also worried that one of my mom's family members might somehow stumble on it (even though it is not Fox News).
Eventually, a court date was set. The judge asked me a few questions. I answered them politely. He signed a decree. I went to motor vehicles and had my license changed. I then got the decree framed and wrapped.
I gave it to them on their anniversary right before they left for a few weeks to Europe.
They couldn't believe it. We all cried. But it really felt right. They're my biggest influences and made me the person I am today.
*
Life moved on. I got a job. I moved out of my grandparents place and into the city with friends from college. They also helped me a ton with getting started. They paid my student loans off for me and also gave me some more money on top of that to help me get started. Plus, my first job was through a connection my Grandmom's friend made for me.
I still went to their house almost every weekend. I went on a few vacations with them. I was hospitalized for a few days with a stomach issue. They were the ones who were my emergency contacts and came to visit. It also was a lot easier to drift away from my mom's side again. A few of my cousins moved away. A few got married or had kids. I could pick and choose my spots in terms of events to attend.
But the most important moment I shared with my grandparents was at a function at their house to celebrate Granddad's work anniversary. It was largely stuffy, with his colleagues and friends. Someone he worked with for years brought with him his daughter, who was working for his insurance brokerage. She was the only other person there roughly my age, which explains why someone as beautiful as her would talk to me to start with. We talked for a few hours. I asked her to get dinner the next day.
And then two weeks later, she made me watch Gilmore Girls with her. She's the first person I ever told any of this to. (And she wants me to write this all down.) She also has a pretty wild family background. Her parents divorced and it was very nasty and bitter. Her dad also almost lost his business in the recession. I knew from starting to watch that show together we'd be married.
Earlier this year, we had dinner with her dad and my grandparents at their house. They weren't just the first people I told got engaged. I proposed to my fiance in front of them.
My fiance has met my mom. They like each other but are not going to ever go to dinner together one-on-one. My mom's dad is in bad health, so communicating with him is hard. My mom's mom also seems to like her but it's the same. She, like me, does not like most of my uncles/aunts/cousins. I have become a bit closer with my one cousin Katie, especially because she's now a single mom and her daughter is sort of taking my place as the family oddball.
I have no idea how they will react. We're at a crossroads because we have to send out save the date cards soon, and they're going to have my last name on them. We're thinking of having a big dinner and hopefully it won't hurt too many people.
submitted by comp-help-help to self [link] [comments]


2019.10.28 04:21 comp-help-help My paternal grandparents are my biggest influences and closest family members. My mom and her family have zero idea that I even know them, let alone that I now ave their last name. They will find out in a few months, though.

TLDR: I have had a secret relationship with my father's parents for over ten years. No one in my family knows.
*
First: A few years ago, my then-girlfriend/now-fiance wanted me to watch Gilmore Girls with her, which was her favorite show. I had no interest in doing so. But by the end of the month, I had watched every episode -- some many times. It was not only because it is a really well-written, excellently performed show. It is because it mirrors my life in so many different ways.
Second: Watching Gilmore Girls made me tell the following story to my fiance. She is the only person who knows this story, aside from my grandparents. I want to write it out to get comfortable with what might happen. Our wedding is in April. The rest of my family is about to find out about my relationship with my grandparents, how I officially changed my last name a few years ago to take there's, and more. This is going to hurt many people in my family. But I made a choice many years ago for this relationship to happen, and it more than anything else made me who I am today.
*
I'm 27. My fiance and I live in Philadelphia. I grew up in one of the blue collar suburbs right next to the city. (If you are from the Philly area you can probably guess what one.) My mom also grew up there. Her parents spent almost all of their lives there, too. Nearly all of my mom's siblings lived in the same town. So did most of my cousins.
My mom had me when she was 21. My father was 24. They were only together for a few months before she got pregnant. They eventually married a few years later. My father, though, died in a car accident when I was four. I don't remember him at all. And my mom had me use her last name.
I have a very complicated relationship with my mom. She is a really nice woman. She has a great sense of humor and is truly hilarious. But... she's a mess. She had it really tough being a single mom and everything with my father. But she never made it easy for herself (or me). She bounced a lot between jobs, none of which were careers. I never had to worry about not having enough food. But it was really frustrating to be 13-years-old and having the responsibility of paying the bills or sitting down and explaining to my mom how interest rates with credit cards worked.
My mom also dated quite a bit. None of the guys she dated were terrible to her or to me. They were just sad sacks she met somewhere around town. She actually married this one guy when I was in middle school. They split up after about six months when she found out that he had been cheating on her since the start of their relationship.
.
My mom and her seven siblings did not have much growing up at all. They were not dust bowl farmers. But they didn't have any money at all. My granddad drove a truck dropping seafood off to different restaurants around the area. My grandmother was a substitute teacher.
I spent a lot of time with my family growing up... and I always just felt so completely out-of-place. A few of my family members hung out with the rough crowd (or were the rough crowd). A few have dealt with addiction issues. One died from an OD. Another cousin of mine is in jail after he was involved in some theft ring. I have a handful of other relatives who don’t really work, hang out in townie bars, sell petty amounts of drugs and spend a good amount of money a week on scratch-offs.
But the majority of my family are not wild or criminals or have addiction issues. I’m just not like any of them – not my cousins, not my aunts and uncles, and not my grandparents.
My grandfather is a gigantic sports nut. A large amount of his life revolves around Eagles games and listening to sports radio. He coached Little League baseball and CYO basketball (and is friends with a few NBA referees). He’s always talking about the need to be tough. To get the first punch in before someone punches you. To never come to his house crying about losing a fight.
That emboldened a bunch of my cousins to become… well, dicks. A few of my cousins were good athletes and went on to run track in college. But most of the guys just hung around in a pack of other jerk-offs bragging about fighting kids from some other high school in the area outside of a Wawa when they were down the shore. Or throwing a bottle at a homeless guy in West Philly when they went to buy alcohol in the hood. Or just shoving around kids they thought were nerds. (And some of the girls in my family were just as bad and very talented at starting and escalating situations.)
Like me and my friends.
I was always a reader. I would bring books with me everywhere I went. Any family function I went to (which was pretty much weekly), I would spend the time buried in some book while everyone else watched football or basketball. Or if we went to play rough touch or basketball, I was just the scrub who they made fun of. My cousins were also really into drinking. I think I’ve had maybe five dinks my entire life. They spent so much of their time scheming ways to get a half-keg to someone’s house and the like. I was into zero of it.
When we got older, I got more into comic books and tabletop games and RPGs. And then later on I ended up getting pretty into emo and indie and punk and would go into West Philly to see bands play in a basement every so often. I was the kid who went to the coffee house to read Camus (ugh) and would try to talk to people about philosophy (ugh ugh). My family has a really common Irish last name. A lot of my classmates had no idea that we were even related.
You might think that my grandparents appreciated me – the bookish nerdy grandson trying to navigate life with his nutty mom. But you would be wrong. They love me. But there were so many times my grandpop would ask me what I was reading. I would tell him. And that was the conversation. My grandma every so often also told me that I took myself too seriously. That I had to try harder to fit in. That I came off like I thought I was better than everyone.
*
My dad was not from our town. He grew up in a nearby town that is one of the most expensive zip codes in the area. His parents were very wealthy. And they had grown up very wealthy. He went to one of the really expensive private college prep high schools (where his dad and his dad’s dad went). He was expected to go to an Ivy League college like his family.
Only, he really resented his parents and their wealth. He was very rebellious. He barely graduated high school. He refused to go to college. Instead, he played bass guitar in a few different alt-rock/metal bands. That’s how he met my mom.
My mom, her parents and the rest of my family who knew my dad and his parents absolutely despised them. Rich pompous assholes. They look down on us. They think we’re trash. They were aghast when my dad started dating my mom. They were furious when she got pregnant. They did not go to their wedding. They did go to his funeral, but apparently did not stay very long or communicate at all with my mom. I never met them.
*
I always wondered what my dad’s parents were like. I mean, how could I not? I decided I had to find out at some point. Like… who were they? Why did they not want anything to do with me? Could they explain why I felt so fucking out of place with my family?
Then Friday night when I was a junior in high school, there was a big to do at my grandparents’ house. Someone got drunk. There was an argument. My mom’s latest boyfriend got kicked out for cursing at my grandmother. My mom left with him. And the non-fighting conversation revolved around my cousin, who scored 20 points in his last basketball game. It was just a total feeling of complete loneliness.
The next morning, I decided I had to see. I had to try. My mom was out. I looked them up online. They were still where my dad grew up. I took our crappy used car. And I headed out that way. It’s maybe 15 miles from where I grew up. But it is such a completely different area. There were luxury cars. Boutiques. Gourmet food shops.
I wound my way through the side streets through the woods, driving past mansions and luxury cars. I found their house and parked outside. They had a stone wall in front of their house with a front lawn that was the size of a football field. And they had a cobblestone circular driveway. That was the most shocking thing to me being a rowhome kid. We didn’t have driveways. Period.
I stayed parked outside for a while. I was so completely nervous – not just about trying to speak with them, but that some local cop was going to arrest me. But I finally made myself do it. I walked up the driveway to the front door. I rang the bell. A dog barked. A Hispanic woman opened the door. I thought I might have the wrong house but I then realized she was wearing a uniform – she was a maid. I introduced myself but she was really confused.
Then I heard rushed heels clanging on the tiled floor. It was Mrs. X. It was a Saturday afternoon but she still dressed like she was headed to a symphony. Everything was just so completely manicured. She asked how she could help like I was a salesman. But I saw her flinch a little bit.
Then a man came from downstairs. Mr. X. He looked exactly like success. White hair. Handsome features. Wireframe glasses. A golf shirt. Tan. Tall. Proper posture.
I then introduced myself to them. My first and last name. And then I paused.
“I’m your grandson.”
*
I was crying a bit. I was staring down, shaking. I just expected for them to tell me to leave and to never talk to them again.
Instead, I was welcomed in. Mrs. X had a welcoming voice with a lot of worry. She asked if I wanted any tea. (What?) Or if I wanted anything to eat. Before I could say anything, she told the maid to get some snacks.
We sat down. After 17 years, I just showed up on their friggin’ doorstep. It was just really hard for any of us to start talking. There was small talk. How was my mom? (She was fine.) My grandparents? (They are fine.)
Finally, Mr. X asked me where I went to school. I told him – big, public, bad reputation, not like where my dad went, but I didn’t need to say any of that. He didn’t ask me about grades. Instead, he asked me what my interests were. What I liked to do.
I looked around the room we were in. There were all kinds of books. I said I loved to read. They asked me what my favorite books were. To Kill A Mockingbird. Animal Farm. A Separate Peace.
They were… impressed. Mr. X went to the shelf and grabbed a book of Orwell’s essays. He asked me if I liked to write. I did. He told me I had – HAD – to read his essay on politics and language. Mrs. X loved A Separate Peace. Did they teach that? I told her no. I saw it at a bookstore. She loved that. It should be on the curriculum instead of Catcher In The Rye, she said.
What were my favorite classes? I loved history and journalism. Mr. X immediately went to another room and came out with a gun used in the Civil War. He was a huge history buff. He belonged to this well-known private club in the Philly area that dates back to the Civil War. He managed to get a few antiques that way. My grandmother said she read three newspapers a day and a few other magazines (The Economist, The New Yorker, etc.) a week.
I felt so incredibly comfortable. I never had adults in my life who talked to me this way.
I asked about their backgrounds. Mr. X was somewhat retired. He was a CPA and also had his law degree. He was a partner at one of the big accounting firms (just like his dad) before he started out on his own as a consultant. Mrs. X was even more accomplished. She went to a small, very elite all-women’s college and graduated summa cum laude. She also went to a top tier law school. However, she stopped working full-time to raise my father. She still kept her license active, though, so she could represent different non-profits and the like pro bono if they needed any legal help.
After about two hours there was a lull in the conversation. I said I had to get going. (I really did.) They asked – insisted – I stay for dinner. But I couldn’t. Mr. X walked me to my car, and had his hand on my back.
He told me that they had a lovely time. And that they would love to have me back anytime I wanted. In fact, would next Saturday work?
*
I was beaming all week. It felt a little like when you start to develop a crush on someone – just that elated feeling, but nervous, also. I was at my mom’s parents’ house for dinner one night. I was so scared that they somehow found out. But they didn’t.
Saturday afternoon finally came. My mom was off to work and off I went, a little bit earlier than the week before. They were very excited to see me. We made some small talk for the week. I was so happy being there. So thrilled. And that is why I have no idea why I said what came out of my mouth next.
“Why did you not want anything to do with me growing up?”
I mean, it was a good and very fair question. It was something I tried to not really think about at all that week, even though I spent a good part of my life up until that point with that in the back of my mind. But I said it and thought that I might have ruined it. That this relationship that made me so happy was now sabotaged.
They were squeamish and nervous.
“Well, we knew that you’d ask that at some point. After all, that’s why you came,” Mrs. X said. “And we are going to be incredibly honest with you.”
They first told me that they always thought about me. Every week at church, they each said a prayer about me. They lit candles on my birthday. That they had so many really hard emotions to cope with. But then they just opened up about my father.
They never understood how angry he was. They knew every kid rebelled to some degree. But they did not think he would rebel to such a large degree. They figured out maybe a little too late that the pressurized world of having to always be the best and have the most wasn’t for him. They loved that he finally found music. They only wish, though, that they told them he wasn’t going to college. Instead, they found out when their tuition check was returned in the mail and learned he had moved into a shady part of Philly with a bunch of his musician friends, which was mostly just a place to party.
They were disappointed with him, but figured they needed to give him space.
Then my mom came into their world. There had been other girls in and out of his life before that. But the first time they met my mom… they were both on drugs. (I assume high. No surprise.) They knew it wasn’t the first time my father had partaken in drugs. But it was just shocking. This was the first time he was introducing a girl to them and they both thought it was perfectly acceptable to show up in that type of condition.
They just figured this relationship was going to last for a little bit and that at some point my father would figure things out. But that’s when they found out about the pregnancy. They were upset. Their son was a wannabe musician who didn’t go to college. And now his 21-year-old girlfriend was pregnant. How would this possibly work out?
I was asked if I knew about “the dinner.” I didn’t. Both sets of my grandparents, my parents and two of my mom’s siblings decided to meet at a restaurant in the suburbs. It was a nightmare right from the beginning. It wasn’t just awkward. It was brutal. My mom’s dad had a few drinks before the dinner and had his anger out. My dad’s mom complimented my mom’s mom on her earrings, and my mom’s mom misconstrued the remark and thought she was being talked down to.
And then came time for the talk about the seriousness of the situation. How does a 24-year-old musician who has never had a real job possibly provide for a family?
“We were told that we were jerks for asking. One of you mom’s sisters talked about how she had her son at 22 and that worked out perfectly well.” (That’s one of my cousins who has spent time in jail.) My mom’s dad asked my dad’s dad why he couldn’t just give his little boy a job? “Or he could drive a truck like me, but I’m sure that’s not good enough for you.”
It was exasperating. There just wasn’t common ground. And then my dad told his parents that they were being complete snobs, and that he and my mom would be better off without them.
“It was just so… so stupid. We were so mad at him for saying that. We didn’t talk to him. And he didn’t talk to us. We weren’t invited to the wedding until a week before it was happening. We didn’t even know there was a wedding until one of our friends told us the week before. Can you imagine finding out that way? Why go? It was their day. If we went, it would just ruin whatever it was they wanted,” Mrs. X said.
Then there was a pause.
“And then the accident happened. And we realized how badly we had screwed everything up. Our son was dead. And we handled it so horribly on our end. It was the worst day of our lives,” Mr. X said.
Then he looked at me.
“I’m sorry.”
I told them that I wanted to be honest. They understood.
And I was. I told them about living with my mom, and how crazy it was. How my mom’s parents and my cousins and my aunts/uncles… how little I had in common with any of them. I told them how lonely I felt so much of the time. That I was scared I was going to feel like that the rest of my life. That I was going to die in the same neighborhood where I grew up.
And I told them that I had always wondered about my dad’s family. I had hoped they could maybe help me figure out why I felt that way. But I also needed to know why they never reached out to me.
Now I knew.
We just looked at each other for a few seconds. And then I asked them if they wanted me to go.
“No. I want you to call me Grandmom. And I want you to give me a hug.”
And that is when my Grandmom and Granddad became the most important people I’d ever meet in my life.
*
I learned later that evening just how different their lives were than mine. After we ate, I started to clean the table.
“What do you think you’re doing,” Grandmom asked me.
Anytime we had dinner at my mom’s parents, someone was responsible for clearing the table. I always did so at my house, too. I insisted that I do so. Then I was reminded that they had a maid to handle such tasks. I must have given off a vibe like that was absolutely revolting to me.
“How many times have you said ‘I love doing dishes!’ when you were standing in front of the sink,” she asked. “Did you say you loved doing dishes or did you tell yourself that you had to do the dishes?”
Good point.
“We can afford to have someone do that work for us. We have the means to pay for a service. The people who perform those services for us willingly took the job. They are paid for their efforts. We do not feel bad one bit about using a housekeeping service. So don’t you feel bad, either,” she said.
That was incredibly hard to wrap my brain around at first – someone doing the dishes, taking care of the laundry, the cleaning, etc. It still is. But I learned a really important lesson.
It is inevitable in America that someone will have power over someone else, especially in a workplace type of situation. My grandparents had wealth and status. The women assigned to work at their house by the service that employed them had essentially nothing. All of them came from another country – Mexico, Central America, a Caribbean country, a former Soviet country – and did so within the past year, with limited skills in English.
My grandparents always took the time, as best as they could, to learn at least a little something about the staff. They were interested in learning where they came from and their history. And when their time at the house ended (usually after two weeks someone else was rotated in), my grandparents left a good tip, a big thank you card, and, if the woman had kids, some toys and clothes. They never raised their voice at anyone if something wasn’t done correctly. Chances were, it was because of the language barrier. Why put someone down for not understanding?
I saw first-hand the importance of always treating people with dignity and respect. And one of my Grandmom’s biggest thrills was when the agency would inform her that everyone wanted to be assigned to their house more than anyone else because of their reputation for niceness.
*
Despite being a bookworm, I had middling grades. I was in mostly honors classes at a big public high school without a good reputation. School came really easy to me as a kid. I didn’t have to study. And then high school came, and I had to do more work, and I didn’t know how. It is also really easy to put off geometry homework if your mom skipped parent-teacher night every single year.
Grandmom and Granddad just assumed I had really good grades. Ha ha ha. The previous week they asked to see my report card, thinking it would be a point of pride. I thought about just ignoring the request but I knew I could be honest with them. So I showed it to them. I expected them to be disappointed. Ashamed. Angry.
Nope. Grandmom immediately diagnosed the situation. "You have no idea how to study." She brought me to their study and a clear table. She showed me how to outline an assignment like she would have done in law school. She gave me some good study tips (go in with a plan as to what you want to learn, start with the assignment you want to do the least first, have a set schedule, etc.). I never had any sort of guide like that at all.
They also contacted a private SAT tutor immediately. I had no idea that you could even get a private SAT tutor. I had studied for them a bit on my own via a book I bought but I was so far behind.
It became easy for me to spend time there. My mom was working as a waitress/caterer and picked up a lot of Friday and weekend shifts. Her boyfriend was a co-worker, so she'd usually head to his place after work. I didn't have anywhere to be until Sunday dinner at my other grandparent's house. I'd just lie (if my mom asked) about staying over a friend's house. Having those a few hours to study -- with people there to help keep me on task and could answer questions and etc. -- helped my grades immediately. It was harder to keep everything focused at my mom's, but I did my absolute best to stay on a schedule. I also did a few hundred points better on the SATs that I did on the PSATs (that I did not study for at all).
I wanted to go to college my whole life. But I just thought my options were so limited -- some because of my finances, but mostly because of my situation. On my list were two state colleges near my house and a few Catholic universities in the area that accepted everyone. But my grandparents and my guidance counselor at high school told me that I could apply for some higher tier schools. They also helped me with the FAFSA (I had no clue what the f that was) and scholarship applications. I ended up getting some money on top of the Pell grant and all of a sudden I had some choices with affordability.
I did just that. I didn't want to leave Philly. I didn't apply to Penn (way out of my reach). I won't say what school (please don't guess but you might figure it out), but I ended up accepted at a well-known Catholic university in the suburbs known for having a pretty wealthy student body. The campus was also just down the street from my grandparents lived, which was a major factor.
But wow. My whole life really changed because of my grandparents. And not just because of how awesome they are. But if you have means in this country, you have such huge advantages. My high school was gigantic and my guidance counselor probably had hundreds of kids she was responsible for. There's no way she could spend more than five minutes thinking about how to help me. But they had money and institutional knowledge of how it all worked. They didn't come close to doing anything like a college bribery scam. But just knowing what the hell was on those forms and what I needed to know to fill them out was such a big step.
I really understand inequality. I was so lucky to have my grandparents. That stuff was way over my head. I had some disadvantages but there are so many people in way worse situations than I was. It must feel impossible to get out of systemic poverty. I also feel pretty guilty because I know how hard it is but I haven't put in any time to volunteer or tutor or anything to help kids who could use it. It's my early New Year's Resolution to start doing that.
*
I don't want to make it seem like I just spent every hour from Friday until Sunday at their house. I still had a social life with my friends. I just didn't tell any of them about what was going on. I kept my family drama private from my friends well before I reached out to my grandparents. I probably should not have in retrospect.
I was meeting up with a few friends to go to the movies one Saturday afternoon. But my car wouldn't start. My granddad offered to drop me off. But on our way over, we realized he'd have to drop me off on the other end of the parking lot and I'd have to walk.
This way, none of my friends would see me getting out of a Jaguar with a white-haired older man they did not know. There would be too many questions. *
I moved into my dorm my freshman year. My family gave me crap for the college I was going to (too uppity, even though they were fans of their athletic teams). There was also no one from my high school (or at least no one I knew) who went to this college. There were a few kids from my town who went to Catholic high school, but I didn't know any of them all that well and, plus, they probably fought my cousins at some party at some point in time.
My roommate was really wild. We're still friends to this day but there was zero way I could live with him. I really knew how much discipline I needed to do well in my classes. He was a total party kid from New Jersey. He was (and is) hilarious but I just could not deal with him coming back to the room drunk after some party. Or coming back from the library and seeing the sock on the door also got tiring. I made friends with a bunch of other people on campus, but I just didn't feel like I could deal with a roommate, which makes sense being an only child.
Since I was only about 20 minutes (at most) from their house, I could just go to my grandparents house whenever I wanted. They gave me a key. I'd usually go for dinner. But then I'd spend my time there studying. And soon I started sleeping over during weekdays.
Finally, I had an idea. I was there all of the time. I'd save a lot of money for housing. They lived by campus so I would not really miss much of student life. I didn't really like going to parties (being a non-drinker) and, if I did, I wouldn't have to worry about driving home drunk.
I was nervous but I asked one night at dinner if I could move in with them full-time. I thought they might say no -- it's their house and they could use privacy and they were always encouraging me to be active at school.
"We were going to ask you if you wanted to do that tonight," Granddad said. So I moved in that weekend. If I didn't live with them, I'm not sure I would have graduated Dean's List.
*
By this time, I had my own used car. It wasn't much better than my mom's, but it served the need of getting me to wherever I needed to go. It was really start to park a 1996 Saturn in the campus parking lot while I'd see a classmate get out of a new SUV or something else like that.
My car was at the garage one day. Granddad said I could borrow his car. He had a Benz again so I drove that and parked. A few of my friends saw me get out of the Benz and were completely shocked. Like... none of my friends who came from money even had a car like that. I did not even bother to explain.
For Christmas that year, my grandparents said they wanted to buy me a car. I was not going to turn that down. Our first dealership was a BMW. I was completely shocked. But then I reminded them that I had a whole other family.
That's when my grandparents realized that I had not told my mom or anyone on that side about our relationship. I lied about that. They were really mad at me. It was the first time they were ever that upset with me, and they expressed so right in the lobby of a luxury car dealership.
I don't think they understood the animosity my mom and her family had towards them. They didn't know them at all, aside from a few times meeting my barely adult mother and one time with everyone else. Their view of everything that happened with my dad was the worst event to ever happen in their lives. But they did not realize the anger they had, let along still had.
I told them that I'd have to tell them when I was ready. And I was not sure I would ever be ready. I'm still not ready. But they will find out in a few weeks once the wedding invitations come.
They ended up buying me a new Honda.
*
There were definitely some awkward and funny moments when I was able to have some of the trappings of their money when I borrowed their car or was forced to relinquish household chores to a housekeeper. Living with them full-time definitely made slowly made me feel like I was now more part of not just their lives but their world. I didn't have to do laundry. They had a heated outdoor swimming pool. I went on vacation with them over part of my winter break to their condo in Florida with a view of the Gulf. I especially felt it meeting their friends and colleagues at dinner parties they held or a few functions I attended with them. There's no way I would have ever shaken hands with their Republican congressman, let alone be able to speak with him personally for 10 minutes about his higher education policies.
Like I said earlier -- being wealthy in America means you will have power in so many situations. There's a difference, though, from having someone buy you a car and never having to make the bed to feeling you actually had some level of power over another person.
The first time I felt it came at a brunch I went to at the country club they belonged to. It was my junior year of college. I had gone to the club a few times with Granddad to take a few golf lessons and play a few rounds with him. But I wasn't the biggest fan (which disappointed him). But I had never been with them for a meal or the sort.
At brunch, I recognized one of the waitstaff. It was a kid I went to high school with who was friends with some of my cousins. This kid was a major, major, major asshole to me. He bullied me more than a few times (he was a lot bigger than me). When he saw me at the table, he clearly recognized me. I was nervous at first that he'd stooge off to my family. But then I quickly realized that I had a degree of authority over him. It was such a rush.
I asked him so smugly how he was doing and what he had been up to. He was "taking a break" from the local community college. Before he could ask me anything, I ordered him to bring me a cup of coffee and, no, I did not need any room for cream or sugar. I had never talked to anyone like that before, let alone in front of my grandparents.
I felt my Grandmom look at me. I thought she was going to be mad.
"I take it that you two were not exactly friends?"
I said no.
"Well, you know how I feel about treating people who work in the service industry."
He came back with my coffee.
"Young man, I clearly instructed you that I did not want my Bloody Mary this spicy. Please bring it back to the bar and have a new one made for me." Grandad leaned back in his chair and chuckled just loud enough for him to hear it.
Grandmom smiled at me. "I belt that felt good. Don't act like that ever again."
I haven't.
*
Holidays and other landmark occasions became easy for me to navigate. I just learned to say equivalents to the word "no" a lot more once I had some freedom. For instance, my mom's brother had a big birthday party. A few weeks earlier at Sunday dinner, he began roughly every sentence with the phrase "I'm not racist, but..." while his son would tell jokes with judicious use of the n-word. (BTW, his son is now a cop.)
So, when my mom gave me the information about the details of the party, I just said I was not going. She was shocked. I told her I had too much schoolwork. I heard about how I needed to make time for family. And I told her that I didn't.
There's no real answer to that.
My birthday was easy enough. It usually fell on some random weekday in February. I could celebrate with my friends and grandparents the day it actually occurred. And then I could head to my mom's and her parents' on the weekend. Christmas was a bit tricky. But, usually, I would head to my mom's on Christmas Eve, sleep there, do the usual family event with her and then say I had to rush back to my apartment (I claimed to live in one after freshman year) to check on the heat or a neighbor's cat or etc. I have still used these sorts of excuses (having a fiance now makes the excuses easier) after college ended.
But I do have one regret over one big event: My college graduation. My mom and her parents really wanted to go. I informed them of how long the ceremony is and it was also outside and hot. (These were not lies.) That kept them away. But Grandmom and Granddad attended, and their pictures of me in my cap-and-gown are all over their house. That would have been a good time to explain.
I did have a family dinner with my mom, her parents and a bunch of other family a week later. That was a really weird situation. It was mostly the usual -- me trapped in a small house with people I did not like, having conversations I did not want to be a part of. But then my mom's mom started to talk about how proud she was. How proud everyone was of me. A college graduate. From XXX of all colleges. Dean's List! You were always such a smart boy. The pride of the family. We knew you'd be successful. You were always so creative.
I wanted to scream. I wanted to tell them all to go screw off. My whole life these people treated me like crap! My grandparents had no interest in me at all. Or they (correctly) told me I thought I was better than them. And now here I was being lauded. Why the fuck were they celebrating me?
I went back to my mom's that night and crashed in what was my childhood bedroom and cried. I was not wrong about how I felt about them. But maybe they just didn't know what to do with me. I wasn't like everyone else. I wasn't like them. And maybe they knew I didn't need them to the same degree they needed each other.
*
My parents had their 50th wedding anniversary. I wanted to get them something that showed how much I appreciated them. I always had this idea in the back of my mind. I decided to go through with it. It took some time and dealing with going to the county courthouse. But I filled out a form to legally take their last name.
My biggest worry with it was that I had to have my request for name change published as a legal ad. It would have been my luck for Grandmom to see the ad. Or I was also worried that one of my mom's family members might somehow stumble on it (even though it is not Fox News).
Eventually, a court date was set. The judge asked me a few questions. I answered them politely. He signed a decree. I went to motor vehicles and had my license changed. I then got the decree framed and wrapped.
I gave it to them on their anniversary right before they left for a few weeks to Europe.
They couldn't believe it. We all cried. But it really felt right. They're my biggest influences and made me the person I am today.
*
Life moved on. I got a job. I moved out of my grandparents place and into the city with friends from college. They also helped me a ton with getting started. They paid my student loans off for me and also gave me some more money on top of that to help me get started. Plus, my first job was through a connection my Grandmom's friend made for me.
I still went to their house almost every weekend. I went on a few vacations with them. I was hospitalized for a few days with a stomach issue. They were the ones who were my emergency contacts and came to visit. It also was a lot easier to drift away from my mom's side again. A few of my cousins moved away. A few got married or had kids. I could pick and choose my spots in terms of events to attend.
But the most important moment I shared with my grandparents was at a function at their house to celebrate Granddad's work anniversary. It was largely stuffy, with his colleagues and friends. Someone he worked with for years brought with him his daughter, who was working for his insurance brokerage. She was the only other person there roughly my age, which explains why someone as beautiful as her would talk to me to start with. We talked for a few hours. I asked her to get dinner the next day.
And then two weeks later, she made me watch Gilmore Girls with her. She's the first person I ever told any of this to. (And she wants me to write this all down.) She also has a pretty wild family background. Her parents divorced and it was very nasty and bitter. Her dad also almost lost his business in the recession. I knew from starting to watch that show together we'd be married.
Earlier this year, we had dinner with her dad and my grandparents at their house. They weren't just the first people I told got engaged. I proposed to my fiance in front of them.
My fiance has met my mom. They like each other but are not going to ever go to dinner together one-on-one. My mom's dad is in bad health, so communicating with him is hard. My mom's mom also seems to like her but it's the same. She, like me, does not like most of my uncles/aunts/cousins. I have become a bit closer with my one cousin Katie, especially because she's now a single mom and her daughter is sort of taking my place as the family oddball.
I have no idea how they will react. We're at a crossroads because we have to send out save the date cards soon, and they're going to have my last name on them. We're thinking of having a big dinner and hopefully it won't hurt too many people.
submitted by comp-help-help to offmychest [link] [comments]


2019.07.24 11:44 fastercheif Can someone please give me some advice (warning its a very long post) about my situation?

So I am 29 and male with aspergers. Ive lived at the same address my whole life up to next week when I will have to vacate the premises because my grandma sold the house. Its been in our family since 1954 and its a really emotional time for me. The house is a dump with a moldy shower and every room is filthy and every room needs painting and tile and cabinet work. It is infested with termites, roaches and ants. Its in Phoenix and we have a swamp cooler instead of an AC. I mean its hell living here but its scary because this is the only home I ever known and I am so comfortable here.
Ive lived here alone since 2015 (same year I was diagnosed with aspergers) when my aunt who raised me moved out. She died of kidney faliure in 2016 and my mom died in 2017 of cancer. My grandma is moving to Globe AZ which is 2 hours away from Phoenix out in the country at end of August. She currently lived in a place in Glendale where her landlord suddenly raised the rent earlier this year from $750 to $1345. So she is my only real family left. I cant stay with her in August because my cousin and his girlfriend lives there. My cousin got out of prison for drug dealing and using (heroin/fentynyl/pills/weed) last fall. My grandma lets him back in even after he stole and hawked all her guns and jewelry and infested her house with bed bugs. She takes a lot of anger out on me and I am looking forward to wrapping this up and having some peace and quiet.
However I have trouble with the job front. I havent worked since a telemarketing job in 2012. I did do very part time work for a handyman who used to live next door as well as with a lady who does karaoke all though that ended when she had to quit for health reasons. I donate my plasma and get $70 a week. But I have taken out almost $50k in student loan debt since 2013. I have struggled with math in college and cant pass. I think its because I was home schooled after 3rd grade and I never got to go to high school and learn the math year to year and had it built up with me. My degree is in English but I dont even know what to do with it. I dont want to be a teacher. As far as the loans I took out I used that to pay the utilites to my grandma while I lived rent free since my Aunt died. I spent the rest on food, clothes and monthly phone service. I did get a macbook pro in 2016 the semester I transfered to university and got a big bump in my loans but now I am literally out of my pell grants and I have almost reached my loan limit. I checked to see if I could get a test for math dyscalcula and an exception from taking math but my insurance wont pay for it and the one guy in Phoenix who does it charges $3k.
I am writing a crime thrillecomedy fiction novel and I am a few chapters away from completing the first draft. However I know its highly unlikely it will make me any real money. I am planing on promoting it through several youtube channels. I want to do a cooking channel, money saving channel and maybe come up with an idea for other channels and maybe a podcast. But I am realistic and know youtube doesnt pay well either. These are just things I am exited and passionate about. In April I applied for Costco and have waited for the past 4 months to get hired for a grocery assistant job but due to problems with their hiring system I can't get the job despite the hiring managers best efforts its on corporates end. So I applied for dishwasher positions at Olive Garden, Red Lobster as well as a warehouse job. Amazon Fulfillment isnt hiring in my area. These jobs are all minimum wage which is $11 an hour in my area. Im calling around for apartments but the cheapest one bedroom I have found so far is like $790 and I need as cheap as possible. Id like someplace where I could be close to work as I dont have a car or a bike so I have to walk and take the bus everywhere.
My grandma is bringing a rent a truck tomorrow and we are moving all my stuff into storage except for my bed, clothes, food and cookware and other stuff which Ill need for this next week. She is paying for a 10x10 and I will have to pay her back. I already owe her a few hundred and this storage unit is $128 this month and $108 every month after then. She also says she will pay for the first, last and deposit for an apartment (which I will have to pay her back) but I have to have proof of employment to get a job. And then I will have to hurry and get my stuff out of storage and cram it all into the one bedroom apartment before August 23rd so I wont have to pay that second month's rent. Im trying to live as cheap as possible. I cook at home. I reduced my monthly phone bill of unlimited call, text and internet to $55 ($5 tax I cant avoid included) from $80. I plan on using energy efficient light bulbs, replace the filter on the AC and use as little power as possible. Its going to be a huge shock going from a house to an apartment where I will only have room to walk to the kitchen, down a hallway and into a bedroom stuffed with boxes. But I know it's what I have to do to reduce costs.
Here are my questions. I plan on saving every little bit I can after I pay off my grandma's debt and my monthly living expenses that I get from my paycheck. I currently have an account at BofA with a $12 monthly maintenance fee that will be waved when I get direct deposits coming in from work. But I was wondering if I should try opening a savings account with compounded daily interest? I heard its very low right now and would it be better to use my debit card (checking) account to save my money instead without interest but also without the $5 monthly maintenance fee?
What about my degree? Should I finish it ? Or should I quit school all together?
Should I try and get a government job for student loan forgiveness? I saw a youtube video where Dave Ramsey said its a bad idea. What do you all think?
Should I seek out help from Autism speaks or am I too old for resources?
I got some good ideas from Tom Leykis on Youtube (like reducing my phone bill by asking for a lower rate). He also says you should have an "FU Fund" of 12 months of monthly living expenses. Should I save this up first before paying back my student loans? I am attending school this semester only 2 classes but ones online and the other meets once a week. If I quit after this semester I dont have to start paying until I am out of school for 6 months and that would be May of 2020. I dont know if I could get an Fu Fund completed by then unfortunately since the cost of living keeps rising and I am only able to work minimum wage crap jobs.
Should I get a credit card and use it to build up credit? Or is it too risky? I have a problem spending money and with discipline. I am overweight and drink lots of soda. I tend to blow a lot of money on food. I have emotional problems and my best friend ghosted me last year. Ever since I lost her as well as my aunt and mom and I also had a falling out with a guy who was my ex philosophy professor who was like a father to me. Ive felt really depressed. I dont have any friends I can stay with. My social life are my 2 meetup writing critique groups. I fear getting attached to others.
As far as romance goes. I have no kids (no credit card debt either) never been married or even had a date or kissed a girl. I learned from Tom Leykis that guys shouldnt have kids or get married. But I dont know what to think. He says women and marriage cost men more money than anything else.
So thats the gist of my situation. What advice would you give? Also I am sorry it's so long but its such a complicated story and I felt my background was needed. Thanks in advance for your advice!
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2019.05.10 07:00 flyingroups Holiday Packages List 14

Holiday Packages List 14
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2019.02.27 00:47 notreallymelvin College has fucked me over more than once

In 2016 I attended a public University for around a month and was dealing with a family emergency about two weeks in. I reached out to all of my professors (5) and only 1 was accommodating to my situation. I dropped out because I couldn't catch up and my mom moved in with my fiance and I; it was all too much. None of the faculty or staff were helpful and of course I still had to pay for my 3ish weeks of class.
In 2018 my mom passed away the second week of fall semester, this was very sudden. I had now moved on to a private school after completing my AA in Liberal Arts at a local community college fall 2017 - spring 2018. I attended the first week of classes at this private school and got a call on Monday that my mom had a heart attack the day before. I'm 21 and my world is falling apart. I reached out to the registrar to inform my professors and most were accommodating but I had funeral prep for a week and a week of grieving. I initially dropped all classes but 3, but after a week of grieving I didn't want to focus on religion and psychology. In my opinion understandably so. Mind you my mom had died a week prior to when I HAD to make my decision to drop completely or keep some credits and only days after the funeral service. It was a nice thought that I could stay in school, but I wasn't strong enough. So here's beginning of the THIRD week of classes and I have attended 1-2 actual periods of my classes, the first week, which had I known i would have dropped that friday, the add-drop date. I'm charged for those three classes that I kept in a dazed state of mind. So this school wants me to pay. They are making $30,000 per student/year, and they want me to pay a couple thousand dollars for three classes I have attended once or twice. It's not lost on me that I chose to keep 3 classes, but they must be stupid to think I was in any decision-making mindset. They have since only kept my scholarships and my Pell Grant (which fucks me in the future) and I need to pay back my books. That brings me to the online bookstore. My books all together were around $300, because like any thrifty college student I'll go for the used ones and cheap ones which come from the "marketplace" which means I can't return them easily. So here I am, I still have to pay back the books. That's fine, $300 doesn't seem like a lot to some people but I grew up POOR. I am a broke person who's mom just died and this college is making me pay right now for books that I can't return because they have an online service and not a physical bookstore. At least the public University nothing was out of pocket, but that was $4000 in loans because no one would help me. The private, small, "caring" University was trying to get me for $1000's of dollars, but I got out of most of it by PUSHING back, HARD.
Why is higher education like this? I cry every day about my mom. I'm angry. My bank account is extra unhappy and I got nothing out of these schools except learning that people are unsympathetic and higher education is a joke.
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Utah teen Pelle Wall fights to see father convicted in ...