A New Beatitude

“Blessed are they who thirst and hunger, and go homeless, for education’s sake, for they shall be educators to all.”

Lots of people recommend not reading the comments to articles and blog posts, but Momma, that’s where the fun is. First, there is occasionally useful information that is directly related to the original piece of work. Second, it can be (painfully) amusing to see the displays of arrogant ly uncaring ignorance.

When people responding to the work of Sara Goldrick-Rab, Katharine Broton, and Daniel Eisenberg suggest that students who are home- or food-insecure should address those issues first before considering college, I wonder if such commenters have ever faced truly difficult decisions. Ever.

Sometimes life presents us with competing priorities. We have to address the needs of today, and plan for those of tomorrow. This might involve balancing on the knife’s edge of safety and security. An 18 year-old with no family structure to support them, with no occupational training may be able to find a full-time job, but $14,000 /year doesn’t go very far for housing, food, transportation, clothing, and everything else involved, despite what some colleges may claim are the estimated costs for living off-campus.

Have you ever spent time in the type of apartment one can rent for $700/month or less? I have, and each of the cases I have visited in recent years have been decidedly unpleasant.

Are you aware that not every place has public transportation?

And that available jobs and available affordable housing are often not within walking distance of each other?

And gee whiz, whatever happened to “Give a man a fish and eats for a day; teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime.” (Assuming he can afford a  fishing license and the there are adequate conservation safeguards in place to maintain a fishery.)

Life is hard and the world has moved on from where it was a generation ago. It is simply not right to suggest that all college students are hungry and that is part of the tradition of college. Especially if state and federal policy makers, and national voices keep encouraging more people to go to college. We need to support people to be successful, especially if their success is tied to our goals and our economic success.

Seriously people, have a heart.



Be nice. It won't hurt either of us.

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