Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘higher education

Worst Nightmare: “How am I to spend the next 24 years?’

A friend confided in me. We talked for an hour. I re-structured his haphazard story to make sense. He said:

“My father is 89 and my mother is 86. My father health has been deteriorating fast since last year.

In this winter season, he barely uses the walker for his morning shit. By noon, he rather not get up from bed, on the ground that he feels too weak and too cold to step out of his cozy bed.

Mother is in a worse case in matter of aches and pains, but she is functional and make sure that she washes father in the morning and bring him food in bed. Not to mention changing the bed sheets every morning and all dad’s wet cloths.

The problem for mother is that father insists on not leaving his bed after 1 pm on account that he feels too cold and out of power to walk to close-by toilet for his frequent pissing sessions.

Mother has this daunting task of changing father every morning and doing at least 2 washes for the wet bed and father’s cloths, every morning, and she suffers from back pain, arthritis, and you name it. And dad plays the child game for constant attention and waking up mother at night for no valid reasons.

Mother considers that putting in 8 straight hours of work in the morning, without any break to rest, her daily job. And everyone in the household must share with her non-stop chores. Even when she feels sick and unable to work, until she faints and drop.

Occasionally, mother sleeps in the sitting room because father makes it a point to wake her up frequently, just out of boredom and restlessness.  Eventually, she returns to sleep in dad’s (obviously separate beds) room, out of compassion and duty.

Father has had no jobs for the last 40 years. What he did when he could drive was give ride to his 6 grandchildren to school and bring them back home, and doing a few gardening…

And he was a heavy smoker since he was 14 of age, mainly smoking in the sitting room, and polluting this room, while enjoying a few glasses of whisky.

Until he started to fall down after finishing drinking. He quit drinking every day, but resumed smoking, out of total boredom and dense worries from the fast dwindling of pecuniary resources.

No government facilities to rescue the elderly people, not even in health insurance, or a small remittance every month... The elderly people are in the care of the children, relatives… supposedly in the care of the community that no longer exists.

Dad has plenty of time now to dream of the time he was still able, but I guess he can focus on how to stay alive: He keeps touching the Saint icons.  For a soft departure or for exhausting mother to death?

Do you think his deep wish is to see mother passing away before he does? A senile revenge of people who revert to childhood?

Funny, every now and then father creates a tantrum to remind mother that he is the head of the family and that what he wishes must be obeyed, and bangs his walker to confirm his statement: “I want you to wrap me up now (7afdineh) for the remainder of the day and night” and this tragic bout of energy surges at the time mother is taking a short nap from a back ache.

And when mother tells him: “I am tired. wait till I rest…” father responds: “You do it now or I’ll piss in bed...”  These kinds of reactions…

He goes: “Ya wallao? are you sleeping? Get up now…”

He does not exhibit all his pent up anger and desperation when I am around: He knows that my reactions can be worse than his, and we do have the same bad genes

At least father managed to construct a building of 3 floors, one for each one of his children who all graduated from universities and are married with children. Except one child: I never married and have no children that I know of. And I now live with my elderly parents for the last 14 years.

I don’t recall ever having a chat with dad, and now he is almost deaf and he refuses to babble. And mother’s chatting are of the most boring and regurgitation of the same worries that I cannot help with and suggestions that are too late to reverse and act upon.

Mother never cared to handle money in her life and never wrote a check. Currently, she has to handle the few cash that she receives every now and then from her children and relative and make sure that she can buy her medicine, father’s couches, the gas canisters for cooking, bread and biscuits for dad… Nothing fancy at all.

And she declines invitations because she will have to bring a gift as custom demands, and she has to cook a few sweet dishes for the occasions… and keeps cleaning the house in the event anyone remembers suddenly to pay her visit…

I wish the visits are not set in advance by “appointment”: Mother will start cleaning and cooking a week in advance of the visit, and ends up working overtime.

I aid mother in most of her chores: assistant cook, washing dishes, vacuuming, lifting “heavy” stuff that she can no longer perform, changing bed sheets, gardening, gathering vegetables and fruits, tending to the few chickens, going on errands…

I find time to read, write, post articles on my blog, watch documentaries and non-violent good movies on cables after every one in the household is supposed to be sleeping…

Tell me. Am I talking abstract so far?

My worst nightmare is “How am I to spend the next 24 years, if no haphazard calamity suddenly ends my life?”

I have no job, have no money, receives no stipend from anyone, no government, no syndicate ( I failed to pay the yearly dues for lack of money), no health insurance, no car (could no longer afford the maintenance, the gas and endless taxes on a rickety car), no public transportation…

I receives no monthly or weekly of any little financial aid from anyone. Actually, the community, relatives and close parents who can afford it, are expressly punishing me from Not Working for Pay after I reached 62.

It is not that I don’t care to work for pay on a job that I like… I am not employable for doing anything. My CV has so many gaps to fill (the time schedule) that my imagination would run out of ideas. And I am more knowledgeable (higher education and continuing education) than any employer and was exposed to far more trades and small jobs than any fat employer.

And I have no talent for any hobby to kill the time and express any kinds of passions…

Tell me: “How can I survive my next 24 years, as I become as old as my dad?”

I keep myself fit, do exercise, walk a lot, garden, eat moderately, drink a little on “free” occasions… have not a pound of fat and I cut down to half a pat of cigarette a day, with filter added to reduce the level of tar in my lungs…

Am I talking abstract?

I don’t care to live much longer, what for?

I wrote what I had to say, published my autobiography, I am helping when I can.

I wish an institution will accept me to die of thirst: Hunger takes much longer to do the job.

I saw this on a friends timeline yesterday and just had to share :)</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>It's rather beautiful
I kind of systematically cornered myself in a tight spot: Even with a surge of energy to get out of this prison, I have denied myself much room to navigate away.
I must have had many “second chances” to survive that long. Though, I don’t feel that I ever had a second chance. I think that I learned from my mistakes.
Currently, what I can do is update my Day Dreaming Projects and create other projects that will enable “cornered people” to fly away.
As long as I’m healthy and functional, I cannot loose hope that Providence will come to the rescue and set me free.
It doesn’t pay to feel negative and drop hope for a better situation.

Note: What is irritating in feeling desperate is its evidence, its documentation, its accurate reporting.

Hope expresses its generosity in the false sense of optimism, its refusal of facing the situation, an aberration, a fiction.

It is in the aberration of feeling hope that resides life, this fiction that feeds on it.

The French text of Cioran:

Ce qui irrite dans le désespoir, c’est son bien-fondé, son évidence, sa “documentation” : c’est du reportage.

Examinez, au contraire, l’espoir, sa générosité dans le faux, sa manie d’affabuler, son refus de l’événement : une aberration, une fiction.

Et c’est dans cette aberration que réside la vie, et de cette fiction qu’elle s’alimente. » Cioran

Do you think you suffer from depression? Do you know someone who might? Here are the signs #TEDxLAUSalon #OnMentalHealth

Another Victim to Immigration Reform: British Universities falling in the trap?

Currently in Britain, the future is looking pretty bleak for higher education.

According to the latest global rankings released by the Times Higher Education group, nearly all of the UK’s top universities have continued to free-fall down their list of the world’s best.

Bearing in mind that higher education is one of the country’s most lucrative exports, education buffs and politicians alike will no doubt be scrambling for answers as to why Britain’s reputation is slipping.

And the answer is disturbingly simple.

, American journalist and politics geek based in Scotland, posted this Oct.11, 2013 in the Huffpost students:

British Universities Fall Victim to Immigration Reform

In 2010, Conservatives made a promise to British voters to drastically slice the number of foreigners trying to live and work in the UK. Irrational Romanian scares and ‘Go Home’ vans aside, they’re finally making progress.

Earlier this year, Tories were left celebrating the first landmark success after the Office for National Statistics reported that net immigration had dropped by a third.

The figures showed that visas issued for the purpose of studying at British universities – the most common reason foreigners wanted to enter the country – fell by a whopping 20%.

As foreigners have been known to pay more than double what British citizens pay for their degrees, this is awful news for UK universities – and suggests the budgets of Britain’s learning institutions will only shrink further still.

After all, under current government rules, English universities are only allowed to charge UK and EU citizens a maximum yearly tuition of £9,000 – and in Northern Ireland, locals get charged just £3,575 per year.

How much do foreigners pay? According to UCAS, literally as much as universities want to charge them.

In fact, an international student earning a clinical degree in the UK is currently paying their university anywhere from £10,000 to £25,000 per year. Hell, last year, a standard engineering degree from Oxford – apparently one of the only UK institutions worthy of international acclaim – cost foreigners at least £24,707 per year.

Given these hefty sums, it’s a wonder money-hungry politicians don’t want Britain’s universities to be left exclusively for the use of international students – especially in Scotland, where locals pay absolutely nothing for their degrees. With that level of funding, it’s no wonder only one Scottish institution made the list of the world’s top 100 universities.

Yet regardless of the mixed signals David Cameron opts to shower over aspiring students in Asia, it’s fair to say the UK is becoming more and more unwelcome to foreigners.

That’s all well and good for the nation’s xenophobic voters, but it’s also worth noting that, in scaring off foreigners, the Home Office is consequently chasing away the much-needed funding that British universities need in order to grow.

There’s a bottom line here, and it’s frustratingly simple. It doesn’t take an economist to work out that Britain’s poor show in the Times Higher Education rankings is a direct result of the government’s financially reckless decision to try and keep out wealthy immigrants.

But this self-inflicted academic decline has been a long time coming, and no one on Downing Street should feign surprise that foreigners are finally starting to notice. Higher education groups say this can be reversed by a surge in university funding; however, unless Westminster opts to perform a serious U-turn on its immigration reform,

it’s safe to say that British universities will only continue to tumble further and further down the league tables.

Follow Nash Riggins on Twitter: www.twitter.com/nashriggins


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