Thursday, May 31, 2012

5 minute blogs: Justin Combs and his FOOTBALL Scholarship

It’s been a while now I’m back with a 5 minute blog on Justin Combs and this $56K Scholarship he got from UCLA to play football.

First off…let me state that I received a FULL ACADEMIC scholarship to Morgan State University, room and board and meals included. Plus $500 a semester for books (merit based). On top of that I was offered Pell Grants in the amount of $2000 a semester (financial based). Question: Should I have turned down that Pell Grant money since my schooling was paid for by a scholarship?

Secondly…I don’t think Justin Combs should HAVE to turn down the money because his dad is rich. He was recruited to play football for UCLA. That’s what happens when schools recruit you. If they want you bad enough they will offer you money to come. His 3.75 GPA really has nothing to do with this. He didn’t get an academic scholarship, he was offered an athletic one. Do I think he should keep it?

Honestly I don’t care if he keeps it or not. I think that he earned it, so it’s his and he should do what he wishes. If he turns it down, I don’t believe UCLA will give the money to a poor student. It’s from the athletic department; which means they choose what to do with that money. I think they will put it back in the pot and use it to recruit another student later on down the road. Nevermind the fact that a lot of people who go to UCLA are upper class and they do get scholarships to pay for schooling that their parents can afford. Do I think it’s unfair? Hmm…let me break it down for you.

I think the educational system in America is unfair period. What I think is unfair is that our money, as taxpayers, goes to things like education and state universities/colleges but those schools aren’t free to residents. Why am I paying for an education I can’t receive? *Note: This is not true in every state but a majority of them. If I live in MD and graduate from a high school in MD AND my parents work and pay taxes in MD, I think I should be able to go to any MD state university for free if I meet the minimum requirements. That’s my position.

Let’s be real: College education is base now. It’s on the level of high school. You need a college education just to get a decent job today, especially in this economy. I see job listings for people with a “B.A” and the job pays $12 an hour. Really? Who can live off that?

I also think it’s unfair to single out Justin Combs. I will assume it’s because he’s a celebrity. I don’t think people realize how many rich non celebrity people there are who also get scholarships and use them to better their kids. The money they don’t spend on education, they put into trust funds and stack dough. Do I think that’s unfair? NO. If these are academic and athletic scholarships that are rightfully earned, then let those kids cook. These aren’t financially based and I don’t think that should play a role in this conversation.

I digress, I understand why people are upset. However, the anger should not be directed at Puffy (who is an active philanthropist and has dedicated money to several scholarship funds) or his son (who did what every parent tells their children to do: study hard and do your best and you’ll get rewarded). It should be at the government and the college system who makes it unfair for lower to middle class people to get the basic education they need. Justin Combs giving back that $56K will not fix the real issue and that is: Poor and Middle Class People aren’t able to afford the basic education necessary in today’s world. This isn’t just about ONE kid, this is about all of them. Who is going to provide for the other needy kids if Justin gives back this $56K? What will you complain about next?

Thursday, May 10, 2012

People are strange...

I'll share a secret with you about myself. Something I have never told please bare (bear?) with me.

 I like to recreate people's lives. I somewhat enjoy looking at their pictures and reading their tweets, or blogs, or facebook posts, and recreating the events that lead up to them. Sometimes I look at pictures and from one picture to the next I create a story. Sometimes it's a long story that goes from picture to picture and sometimes it's just a six word story of a snapshot image of their life. This is odd to me. But I write stories about many things.

If I am bored at work, I'll write my work day out. Often times I speak in third person and add in events that aren't happening but if they were to happen, it would make my day awesome. My favorite, of course, is to write short subway stories about the many people on the MTA. I once saw a girl crying on the 4 train. She was a butch, Hispanic, short black hair, and dark shades. She was looking down but the tears were running down her face and she kept wiping them away with the sleeve of her black hoodie (RIP Trayvon). The whole ride I wondered what was wrong and finally I decided that her one true love broke up with her. I mean, it MUST have been that...she went to see her lover, riding all the way from Brooklyn to Harlem. And when she arrived at her house, the girl told her that she was no longer gay and wanted to go back to her ex boyfriend. Heartbroken and pissed, the crying girl rain from the apartment and tried to mask her pain behind some Raybans. Oh the story played out quite sadly...and it ended with me walking over to her, handing her a tissue, and talking about it with her. In reality, it ended with her getting off some stop that led to a hospital. The story quickly changed to one of her rushing to her grandmother's side while she was dying. The pain. 

Sometimes it's a sad song...