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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Yes, I really want to YALE very loud

I met with the director of the Central Connecticut Writing Project in New Haven yesterday on the campus of Yale (she doesn't teach there, but it was a good location between our sites). I was happy to finally see the campus and, like Harvard, Oxford, and Cambridge, I quickly felt the air of being in a very special place.

While meeting about NWP funding (or lack thereof) and learning I have a report due to them this Saturday (one I thought I already did, but I have learned that I had not), my lawyer from the closing of my house in CNY called me to say I OWE money at the closing, instead of MAKE money. This is after I sold the home for less than I paid, I put money into the house so it would sell, and I have put almost every cent I made over the last four years into living there. Because of primary mortgage insurance, real estate and lawyer fees, and taxes, I need to find more cash to actually sell the house.

I closed my coffee meeting and left Yale so I could meet the workers at a refugee relocation agency in New Haven. I suppressed my house whoas so I could learn about their fantastic work.

There is irony in all this: Yale, refugee services, the defunding of the National Writing Project, returning to teach in one of the wealthiest counties in the nation and being told, "Well, Crandall, to close on your house, you owe more $$$."

Something is very, very wrong. I made $12 - to $18,000 a year while doing my doctorate work in Syracuse. Most of this was invested in that small, modest house and with the communities I worked with. I was a good citizen, paid my taxes, met my monthly mortgage, and did repairs. And I lose out? I am sure I am not the only one.

I want the Obama administration to bail me out. I chose education, I chose home ownership, I chose integrity, and I chose a career working with youth so that I could prepare them to be successful in their own lives. "If education pays, where is the pay off?" It would have been a better investment to give the refugee youth I work with a check to attend four-year colleges. Instead, it is like I burned all that cash up in a worthless home investment while trying to fulfill the American dream. For now, Langston, I defer to you and every other individual who has questioned who truly benefits by prosperity in the U.S.

That is why I have chosen to YALE really loud. The Gods are crazy.

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