Is A College Education Right For You?

Publications on Coffee House Writers, Writing
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The Millennial generation and every generation after them are being encouraged to get a college degree. However, the cost of college tuition and materials has gone up exponentially while wages remain about the same. Many people of the older generation say how they paid their way through college working a minimum wage job. If you do the calculations, they look something like this:

College

Photo by Into Mathematics And Bondage / imgur.com

As you can see, things have changed a lot. The argument, “I did it, you can too,” is not valid. And people are getting thousands of dollars in debt, if not hundreds of thousands if you add in graduate degrees. All because our culture has instilled the mindset that you have to go to college to get a job. [Read More]

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Looking for the Good: A Strategy to Deal with Stress

Life, Life Events, Publications on Coffee House Writers, Writing
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My life is overridden with stress right now. Both good and bad. I figured I would let you know what was going on in my life, as a form of catharsis. I hope it will inspire others that they can make it through the hard times, too.

First, I wanted to mention the bad stress because that’s what everyone focuses on. That way, I can end my article with the good. There are good things in everyone’s life. You must look for it. Learning to appreciate the small stuff goes a long way. And it is something I am still trying to learn, but I am getting better at it.

The Bad

To start, I am worried about the rainy season in Florida. The rainy season is from April to October, and it rains heavily every day. Why am I worried about it? Because our house was damaged, and we don’t have the money to fix it. So, every time it rains my room becomes a lake. Water drips through the ceiling at a heavy rate and soaks my stuff and the tile floor, this causes stress. It is easy to slip and fall, and it forces me to sleep in the living room with sheer curtains and windows on either side of me. I don’t like windows because they make me feel exposed. It is because of my schizoaffective disorder and paranoid delusions. If you want to learn more about what life is like with schizoaffective disorder, click here to read my article.

Also, when it rains, the Internet is spotty and rarely works for days. This is frustrating because I go to school online and need a reliable Internet connection to do so. If I stayed in Florida, I wouldn’t have that.

I am trying to move to Ohio. The only problem? None of my family will allow me to stay with them. I am only allowed to stay with them for two weeks but nothing on a semi-permanent basis. Not even my parents’ house.

Because of the lack of support, I have been feeling unwanted and like a burden.

I almost hurt my baby cousin. I lost my balance and nearly fell on top of her, which was more traumatizing for me than it was for her. I was sleep deprived because she woke up and screamed bloody murder at 2 am. I hadn’t been able to sleep before or after that.

I need a job. I have never kept one for more than three months due to stress and my mental illness, so that is another stressor.

My voices get worse with stress, which increases my stress. That makes the voices worse. It’s a vicious cycle that’s hard to break.

The Good

I am in Ohio, currently… [Read more]

The Writing Life: Inspiration to Finish Your Novel

Inspiration, Publications on Coffee House Writers, Writing

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Have you ever thought of writing a novel? It’s a lot of hard work, and it can be a daunting task to write 50,000 words or more. But I received excellent advice yesterday.
I was watching a webinar recording my school’s career center had on writing, publishing, and selling a novel. The guest speaker was Joan C. Curtis.
She said something inspiring about writing your novel. I know you hear this advice all the time, but it is said for a reason- Write every day.
Now, I know that may not be inspiring, but I haven’t gotten to that part yet. So, here it is: if you write 500 words a day, you will have a 50,000-word novel in a little over three months. One hundred days. Five hundred may seem like a lot, but really, it is one single-spaced page or two double-spaced ones.
And you don’t have to stop there. If you are inspired and want to write more, go ahead! If you have the time, do it! That will cut down on the time it takes to get your novel finished. Don’t mess with the creative flow when you have it. Just keep going for as long as time and inspiration allow.
After you write your novel, then the challenge of editing it and formatting it comes into play. You must allow part of your time every day to editing and formatting, and to write on a second project.
For me, this is important. I have a lot of things to balance my writing time with:

My Life with Schizoaffective Disorder: A Form of Schizophrenia

Life, Mental Illness, Publications on Coffee House Writers, Writing
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Many people know about John Nash, the Nobel-Prize winning economist who had schizophrenia. Many know of him because of the movie, A Beautiful Mind. It is a fascinating cinematic portrayal of schizophrenic hallucinations.

However, there is not much content out there about schizophrenic symptoms and coping skills written by someone who has experienced them; this is a niche I can fill.

I was put on prescription medication by my parents as a young child. So early, in fact, that I am not sure when I was put on them. I was at least in the third grade, but it might have been before that. I remember taking my pills in peanut butter because I couldn’t swallow them for three years, which is why the smell makes me ill.

I’m not sure if this caused my current mental state or whether it contributed to it, but I’ll never know. There’s no use worrying about it because it won’t change anything except make me blame my parents, and that isn’t something that I want to be bitter over.

I was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder at eighteen. It is a form of schizophrenia with milder hallucinations. Usually a better grip on reality, and a mood disorder to go along with the hallucinations, such as depression or bipolar. I have the bipolar type. Even though I was diagnosed as a legal adult, I had been experiencing symptoms since I was fifteen. It is hard to say when I first…[Read More]

Black History Month: A Story of a Slave Named Jerry Finney

Publications on Coffee House Writers, Writing
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For Black History Month, I thought I would talk about the story of a slave named, Jerry Finney. I found his story a few years ago and was enraptured by it.
Jerry Finney was a slave in Kentucky. His owner, Mrs. Bathsheba D. Long (widowed), permitted two of her men to bring him across the Ohio border to help them in a task. I am not sure what it was, or who the men were.
Jerry ended up escaping and living in Columbus, Ohio for over two decades, working as a cook and a waiter. He had a family and was well loved by the community.
That’s the part that interests me as a writer: what made him so well liked? He had to have been respectful, at least in that time period. Was he also kind? Charismatic? Funny? I can’t find any personal accounts of people who knew him, so it is hard to tell what he was like then. Near impossible, really.
Anyway, years after she lost him, Mrs. Long hired two men, Forbes and Armitage, to find Jerry and bring him back. They did so, but were put on trial for kidnapping in the court case I found: Forbes and Armitage vs. The State of Ohio. The court case was the only substantial record I found of what happened to Jerry. All the other records only mentioned his story for a page or less.
Unfortunately, Jerry had to stay in Kentucky after the kidnapping for unknown reasons. The people of Columbus, Ohio loved him so much, they… [Read More]