Free College Life
"Usually when you ask somebody in college why they are there, they'll tell you it's to get an education. The truth of it is, they are there to get the degree so that they can get ahead in the rat race. Too many college radicals are two-timing punks." - Abbie Hoffman, from Steal This Book
Hoffman's quote is true. Academia gets tons of money promising a 'promotion' in life. It offers the promise of being available for the better paying and higher respect positions in society. As such, many students with radical thoughts tend to mellow out once they have the acceptance and advantage a degree sometimes offers.
Why college then? It is important to remember that college is neither required nor even always encouraged by our movement. But, the advantages can be a good selling point to folks, young and old. Even if the tuition loans can leave many in crushing debt!
Meeting requirements for better jobs. The corpgov system has made it difficult to take many jobs above minimum wage especially in government, education, and medical without a college diploma. The increase in wages is somewhat offset by the entry into the "real" world with a mountain of debt that some people take decades to pay off, even assuming they never get behind in payments due to an emergency or unemployment. We are also disappointed by the hyperinflation of tuition even as the quality of teaching and the student experience drops. Truth is this: that while a college degree makes financial success more likely, there is no guarantee except in certain, select fields. We know of many degree holders still waiting tables. Your social network, field your degree was in, reputation of the college, experience, and interview skills also have bearing. There are such things as worthless majors and degrees.
Delaying entry into the 'real' world.College is an easy place to escape from home without the difficulties of real life after high school. For many, it can be the one approved opportunity to turn your mind on and with some effort escape from the blinders erected by your education from preschool until now. The saddest use for your time in college is to only study job fields which may pay very well if you have no interest in them only for the money. The world has too many doctors and other professionals that hate their work and only took it for the respect and paycheck because they could test well. It is also a sad thing to rack up huge debt to get a piece of paper that only makes you capable of being a Burger King manager as opposed to a crew member in fast food. While it may be hard to focus at times, try to do good research, and arrange something that is in between that you can live with.
Consider Trade Schools. When we speak of 'trade', we are talking about the classical, sometimes union- protected trades that have powerful organizations and licensing agencies to protect employment. From a financial standpoint, trade/technical schools often make more sense, and unlike high fee and "merit" (A weasel word for rich) based colleges, they're not as much a part of the machine which exploits the global proletariat. It is very possible and quite easy to come out of the better trade schools with money in your pocket instead of massive debts. Most of the time, you can work in whatever trade you're learning for a good wage while going to school. Don't think they're a haven for "flunkies", either. The American system is simply set up to keep the working class "ignorant" so they are easier to control. Unlike traditional colleges, which tend to breed conservatives, tradespeople are far more likely to join a union and support progressive, leftist policies than their bourgeois college brethren. Just remember that it was from guild halls and labor unions that leftist revolutions have been bred, not campuses and coffee shops. However, do your research as there has been a current crop of rip-off colleges that have been offering programs in trades that have limited opportunity.
The above said, remember that CorpGov will give large preferential treatment to people with a approved college degree. Have a clear plan and unless you have scholarship opportunities don't fear the gap year where you can travel, check out trade schools, or try working while you decide your educational plans and finances.
Choosing a College
A common myth is that it truly matters where you get a Bachelor's Degree from. That myth is only partially true. Some rip-off diploma mill colleges offer degrees that have limited value, while extremely expensive and prestigious universities like Harvard or MIT can have you set for life. For everything else in between, the only difference is the availability and connections of the major you select. It matters more what field you are going into, and if there is demand. A university with internships is valuable as well. College seems to have fanboys who will swear the chosen school of their secular religion is superior while an opposing school is worthless. Often the only rationale for this judgment is having gone to the place or watching too much college football. Do not listen to them and go with whoever has the better deal.
Traditional four year universities offer Bachelor's Degrees in various fields. Almost all four year majors consist of the first two years studying prerequisites. Many of these classes are repeats of high school classes. It is usually not until after the second year that you get into the core of your major. Expect to spend four to five years to get a degree. The same universities also offer Master's Degrees and Doctorates. Unlike regular admission, a panel must approve your selection to them. Hence, it is common to see folks with a Bachelor's from one institution and a
Master's or Doctorate for another. Master's degree is becoming standard in some fields with much autonomy and perks while the Doctorate (with some exceptions) is more for becoming a professor or researcher.
Law school, Medical school, Dental school, etc. are specialized post-graduate colleges that differ from the advanced programs of the traditional four year universities. Often, they have their own specialized entrance tests and are even more selective than the universities are. You need a Bachelor's to even start applying and preferably have very good grades and good recommendations.
A Community College offers two year degrees, but with some notable exceptions, the Associates Degrees are of limited worth. Use Community Colleges for the smaller classes and less expensive costs for the first two years of college if price is a concern.
A Trade School (often part of the Community College system) offers programs in various trades that can last one semester to two years. If you are sick and tired of school (or do not have the luxury of four to five years) and absolutely cannot bear two more years of English and Algebra, this is a great choice. Be sure to do research on your your trade, as some trades even the Community College offers may have limited job opportunities. The authors know of a guy who busted his ass for an offset printing AA degree, only to find no jobs at the newspaper and only one offer from a low-paying copy place. Seems like a bit much to pay almost 10K for a slightly above minimum wage job. The IT ship has sailed, as computers are now good enough to require few technicians. That said, there are lots of electricians, HVAC technicians, plumbers, masons, carpenters, draftspeople, nurses, firefighters and others who have went to trade schools and landed a good union job. Do some research to be sure you're not wasting your time and giving the bankers huge money.
Speaking of after college pay, do consider the amount of pay and versus the cost of tuition. It makes little sense to get a teaching degree for 20K a semester at a prestigious private college if, as a teacher, your area only pays teachers 40K a year.
You may also want to consider if the institution has dorms. The places with dorms tend to have much better campus life, if you care about such things. While you will be sharing a space with another person and may be under stringent guidelines, dorm rooms are far cheaper than apartments most of the time. Those colleges that do not are called commuter colleges.
There is also the question of in state or out of state. An out of state college can get you far away from home and can be quite an adventure. It comes at a high price. Most colleges double or even triple the cost of tuition if you are from out of state. You can get around this by waiting a year from whatever school you are bringing transcripts from, changing your ID over to that state, and having some mailing address in that state to establish residency.
You can also not go at all! Most colleges have online courses. There is also the CLEP program that will be covered later in the article.
Lately, television and the internet have been bombarded with ads (and many fake "college advice" and search sites which are really ads) from certain rip-off colleges offering two year degrees in slacker fields like video game programming, computer networking, massage therapy, business management, etc.
They promise guaranteed job placement, financial aid, and a liberal admission policy that takes anyone with a pulse. They promise to make it to where you can skip over boring Liberal Arts and directly take classes that apply to what you will do for a living. However, most of the fields they offer either are saturated with job seekers (Med Tech comes to mind), nonexistent as far as jobs, or actually requires a much higher degree plus experience even for entry level (any IT field). The tuition is steeper than most legit private colleges and NO respected college will ever take their credits. What's worse, is when you do graduate and look for a job, most employers will laugh you out of the interview because of the school's bad reputation and your lack of experience.
If you must take 2 year or shorter programs, stick with your local community college which will be much cheaper and will transfer over to a four year program if you wish. Know that many two year programs does not guarantee a job with the notable exception of Nursing programs and a few others.
If you were looking into one of these places merely for the ability to take things online, be aware many real universities and community colleges offer this as well.
.. and yes, we are pointing at University of Phoenix, Devry, ITT Tech, and a laundry list of other scammers. Do not get caught up in the web.
The Admissions Process
Alright, so you are going to some higher learning institution. It would helpful to go over some of the pitfalls and nuances of actually getting in. Talk to several counselors in many places. Getting admitted to a college can be quite a bit of legwork and may take multiple trips. Here are some basic steps.
Get Transcripts of High School Diploma or GED. Have not taken care of this yet? Some of the community colleges will help you. If not, get into a GED program now. Most want the transcripts mailed to them or handed to them in a sealed envelope to hamper forgery attempts.
Take whatever entrance test the institution requires, often ACT, SAT, or COMPASS. Do not let low scores discourage you. Most colleges offer remedial high school level courses to bring you up to speed. The degree will just take a bit longer. Alternatively, some places give automatic scholarships if you score well.
Talk to a counselor. The best time to go is off-peak. Try to go before the rush of admissions. Usually this is about a month or more before semesters. That way you will have plenty of time to chat with the counselor. Be sure to ask questions about available internships, programs, services, or other things that concern you.
Some programs have prerequisites and/or long wait lists and its own separate selection process. These are usually hot fields like Nursing or Allied Health.
Arrange Financing. If you have a trust fund, large sum of cash, or parents paying for this, you are golden. Most, however, will need help because college is VERY expensive. Check with the financial aid office to get either scholarships, grants, or loans. The college will not let you enroll unless it is sure it gets paid. Grants are usually based on your income or that of your parents and do not have to be repaid. Scholarships can be given for a variety of reasons from entrance test scores, to major, to race, etc. and also do not have to be repaid. Loans do have to be repaid. We will go into the specifics of loans later. Some colleges (Community Colleges in particular) will allow you to pay on a strict payment plan if you do not want to go into debt or can not get scholarships.
Arrange Dorm. If you plan to live on campus, this needs to be taken care of now as they tend to fill up quickly. For first time students, they usually put you in the same dorm. After your first year, you may have availability for other dorms or an honor's dorm depending on college. If it is any consequence, if you live on campus, they usually make you buy a meal ticket to use the cafeteria for the semester.
Register. After all the papers are in order you may have to stop by one more office and get officially in the system.
Pick Classes. If you are taking a trade or in certain special programs, your classes and schedule will be predetermined. If you are entering more traditionally, you will have to pick and schedule your classes. You will have a list from your counselor to go by. Most classes with the exception of night or summer classes are
http://wiki.stealthiswiki.org/wiki/Free-College-Life 4/11 only on certain days. A typical set-up is Monday-Wednesday-Friday or Tuesday-Thursday. There will be a listing of times and instructors. The tough part is that many places will have 'advanced registration' where folks who attended the semester before will get first dibs on the best professors and time slots. As hard as it may be, if you are not a morning person, try not to schedule early moning classes. Many folks have lost thier scholarships and aid because they partied all night and skipped 8 AM Algebra!
College Level Examination Program
In the USA, many colleges grant credit or advanced standing for the College Level Examination Program (CLEP). This is a test that determines how much you already know on a topic and grants you college credit for it. It costs $70 but it shaves a lot of money off your tuition costs and time spent in class! You can take the test for free if you're active military, while veterans can apply for reimbursement (Ask at your local VA office).
Before going this route, be sure you know (or can get to know) the material on college level!
Once you're in, college is a different world. The authors have a bit of observations and advice that can be helpful.
For most students going directly from high school and their parents home in the suburbs straight to an out of state university campus experience a bit of culture shock and they freak out. Freaking out is OK and can be fun as long as you don't make any mistakes that you will regret. Be conservative when experimenting with drugs and partying in an environment where you no longer have parents to face in the morning. Experimenting with self control and motivation can also be a rewarding experience. It is important to remember to keep your grades at a minimum level in order that you do not lose scholarships, student aid, or even be placed on academic probation. We hate to see smart people forced back to junior college for a few terms so they can get their grades back up because of too much partying.
Singles and Dating
College has the highest concentration of single, unattached males and females likely to be encountered ever again in a lifetime. Old relationships and social structures that kept some from dating in high school are no longer relevant. Even those who may have had a reputation as being shy, geeky, or introverted reputation in high school may find attention of the opposite sex a bit more accessible, especially the ladies. This is all fine and good, but be cautious. Desires to make a new start with new people who have no idea about you combined with someone who may shower you with surprising attention and limitless booze can leave some vulnerable to embarrassing one-night stands and bad relationships. Most schools are crawling with guys with a life mission to play head games with young women just so they can get lots of easy sex for sport and social standing among their mates. It is okay to explore relationships but be mindful of safe sex and do not let the sex, drugs, and booze scene make you forget why you are there in the first place or screw you over with pregnancy before you are ready.
The price of college textbooks has risen to outright extortion prices! Some blame backroom deals between college department heads of different universities making agreements to only use each other's books to rake in royalty checks. Some blame the publishers themselves or a combination of both. Nowadays, new editions come with CDs, workbooks, and all manner of things that the professors themselves never use all to justify a price that can go into the hundreds for just a book! New editions are even coming out more and more frequently to cut into the used book market even if the new edition contains only minor changes.
It has been suggested that all college material go towards more sensible and inexpensive dstribution schemes like .pdf files. But until Academia decides to quit ripping students off (which is unlikely), you may find yourself in need of saving some cash. Here's some ways to save money:
Find out if the professor actually uses the book. Some professors do not even use the book. Sometimes it may pay to wait till 2 or 3 classes to find out if this is the case before parting with money.
A great way to figure out if the professor uses a textbook is to check out http://www.ratemyprofessors.com/ , students often will often write in the comments if the professor uses the book. It's also a great way to see which professor would be the best to use. Success in a class often depends on what kind of professor you have. You don't want to waste money on a class that you end up dropping out of or failing, because your professor is unable to properly communicate the subject matter.
Many Philosophy classes use public domain works.
Check E-bay and P2P sites.
Get someone elses copy and scan or photocopy it. Be careful if you use a copy shop or the college library as the staff sometimes gets adamantly against copying copyrighted material. Even if such material is way overpriced.
Get to know folks who are taking classes that you need in the future and make deals on thier books.
Keep contact information of classmates you meet who are in your same major, they may have taken the same class just a semester prior, and hence will have a good chance of having the correct edition for that class.
Many school libraries will have the textbook for reference. Plan ahead if you have homework, and you may be able to use the book before others do, and then you won't have to pay $200 for a book you can't even sell back to the bookstore because they are changing editions.
Many English and Humanities classes don't require the use of a real textbook, but a more common book, you may see if you can find the book at a local book store. Most book stores permit you to read the book in the store, but check with the staff just to be sure. You could just go in there when you need to read a few chapters, and even discreetly take notes.
Unless it's a major prerequisite class (such as math or English 101), start taking the class prior to buying the book. Most teachers will let you know if they are okay with students using older editions of a book.
If you find yourself hopelessly lost in the class with little chance of pulling out, it may be wise to drop that class. In some colleges, a 'W' does not count towards a grade, but double check with your college's grading system as some make a distinction between withdrawing while failing and withdrawing while passing. Do this early as most colleges also have a cut off for dropping classes. Also, do not drop enough classes that would change your status as a student from full-time to part-time as this can affect scholarships and aid.
On another note on this subject, if you must leave colege abruptly for some reason be sure to properly withdraw all your classes. Otherwise, all classes will recieve an 'F' which will make you have to work harder if you decide to return at a later time.
Fraternities and Sororities
For students with quite a bit of extra bit of money, there are organizations called fraternities and sororities. Each of these organizations are identified by combinations of Greek letters. Its also been accused of being a breeding program for the rich, as most of the time sorority girls tend to highly favor dating fraternity guys (but not always). At the start of each year, there is usually a membership "rush" for prospective members. After much hazing, torture, and forcing them to do absolutely crazy things, the ruling establishment of the organization makes choices as to who joins and who does not. Some of the wealthier college campuses can be up to 75% greek. On some campuses, Greek members get special privleges. (For example.. one college has no benches except that the Greeks put out, and no non-Greek can not sit on them!) Fraternity and Sorority members also can get to live in a special house which may or may not be on campus and invited to special parties.
These organizations also have purported advantages. They claim to offer a support network that extends even outside of college into the work world where managers may hire folks from the same club over those who are not. The fraternities and sororities also claim that there is a lower drop out rate amongst members.
Important fields of study are philosophy, journalism, and global studies these and other soft liberal arts which are not designed to directly get you a job but rather to form your mind into a useful and dangerous tool. Economics and finance are key fields to master as the operation of the world is based upon their flow and power. History of regions and periods other than our own provide modeling to the behavior of those in power and how they appear to continually repeat themselves; knowing the conditions and outcomes of events can help you analyze the present. Psychology if not engaged too deeply is useful for helping determine the motivations of groups and individuals, strive to understand beyond the politicized theories and take the useful tools hidden within. Law classes or even better an intern with a lawyer who will help you understand modern (broken)legal theory is a must. However some of the topics taught in philosophy are a bunch of bullshit if looked at honestly. Studying music and theatre can be a great way to further the revolution, just like the great artists of history.
It is vitally important to experience large parts of your education not only out of state but outside of the United States. Europe is usually chosen by exchange students for fun tourism reasons although valuable lessons can be learned there, the Middle East, Latin America, Asia, and Africa all offer much diversity that is vital to understanding freedom and oppression and how to live under both. China especially is an important learning laboratory to view aspects of the future planned for the United States.
Many Colleges and even Community Colleges have deals set up to get credits at out of country institutions. This can get very expensive, though as you usually must pay your plane ticket and any incresed tuition. Most of these programs you also need great grades to be eligible.
Downsides of College Life
Do not be discouraged to find that some aspects of college hearken back to high school. The majority of the student body rejects enlightenment and will stay true to their programming as working drones in the world economic hive. Find others who are fighting for their freedom and help them break free from their left and right wing blinders. A word of caution, those who may at first appear to be radical and free in university can often be members of an old fossilized leftist orthodoxy unable and unwilling to change, these faculty and their entranced student followers, much like the College Republicans, are often dogmatic and unable to see or allow any point of view other than their party line. Avoid too much close contact with these groups as they have been known to cruelly attack those who stray from their one true path, but use them when you need bodies for demonstrations or actions. These people have long lost most of their burning urge for truth and now enjoy the power they have acquired and the safety of a university tenure. Many wonderful stories, tactics, and lessons can still be learned by a true freedom fighter from the words of these washed up former rebels.
Losing Revolutionary Thought
We have known very radical freshmen to become mellowed and conventional by the time their four years is over. We are talking about very direct action alternate lifestyle types. At some of the most liberal private leadership schools you will likely be taught the importance of working within the system. There can be merit in this for those who are seeking power inside the system, but we are here to break the broken system. Do not become a gelding to the system, subvert from inside if you like but be fearless and ruthless.
Although in many (read: most) High Schools, Alcohol/Tobacco/Drugs is easy to get, however college is a paradise, full of drugs and booze.
Also, use the student health center as frequently as possible to score free shrink trips, and a bounty of prescriptions. Usually you're required to be covered by Mommy and Daddy's insurance or by a college health plan. Many colleges often have doctors that are paid off by the Medical Empire, so acquiring scripts for great drugs such as Adderall (legal amphetamines prescribed for ADD), Xanax, Ambien, and Ritalin are pretty easy. Just visit the prescription drug's website, find out what they prescribe them for, then come up with a good story. Hell, that's what Rush Limbaugh did! Once you have done this, you have a steady flow of pills to consume yourself or sell to others.
The cliche of the "broke college student" is many times very accurate. But... there are ways to put change in your pocket with a bit of effort without a rich mom or dad.
Many colleges have work-study programs sponsored by the Federal Empire. You'll get paid federal minimum wage, but you're exempt from some taxes. The wait list for work study can be long, though.
Better would be to get a throwaway night and weekend job waiting tables, washing dishes, or whatever. Be warned that during school season, students hit these jobs up as well. Unless the college is in a major city with a great bus system and a large number of employers (or you have a car), many small college town businesses get saturated with hundreds of applications from broke students. Do not let your night job interfere with school, or you may only have your night job. Do this before the semester if possible. Get a Job has ideas about this.
Also, look at selling blood/plasma. Plasma is a lucrative business for short-term cash, ranging from $30-$50 per time depending on circumstances or the blood bank's need. Also, smoking grass after giving blood/plasma increases the high.
Be sure to check out our Free Money article. While the article is written mostly from a struggling wage slave, drifter, or down and out point of view, much of it can be used while in college.
Warning Some folks with a bank account and a bit of credit may get credit cards. While this is becoming less common to issue credit to full time students, it still can happen. Avoid living off of credit cards while in college. If student loans are not bad enough, imagine having more thousands racking up 20+ percent interest for four years of drunken bar hops while looking for work or not making as much as you thought after college! Unless of course, you choose to file bankruptcy and escape to another country afterwords...
The pickings are good as a college student in terms of furniture. No longer will you have to rely on milk crates and boxes for your home decor, just wait until the end of the semester when yuppies move out of their apartments. You'd be surprised how fast a station wagon fills up with shelves, TV's, and fans just by passing by a dorm or student apartments.
If you are in college and you spend a lot of time in your housing...GET OUT! There are dozens, if not hundreds of student organizations on every campus, for every faith, political affiliation, and hobby out there. One of the most militant national student organizations is the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). There are hundreds of SDS chapters out there and the kids are ready for revolution. They hold a national convention every year where major decisions for the organization are made, though many chapters are forming local councils to coordinate actions in their city or region. You can find more about SDS at: http://www.studentsforademocraticsociety.org/
Also, note that it is very easy to provide an "alternative viewpoint" on campus radio stations. Probably 1/2 of Amerikan Universities have them. If yours doesn't, go to a campus nearby. Chances are, they have one and an empty shift at 2 am.
An advantage to doing the 2 am slots: You can speak freely about drug use and talk to the stoners and nerds that are awake at that hour, not to mention use words that you're really not supposed to say on-air. Also, these time slots are rarely monitored by any college higher-ups.
So, you graduated. Or maybe you are licking your wounds from not quite making it due to life circumstances or just partying to much and losing your aid. Well, there's some things you need to know.
Remember that Student Loan? Now you have to deal with it.
Student loans are part of the perpetual debt slavery system in the United States. This obligation along with home, auto, and credit card debt make it impossible to step outside the system beyond short vacations for fear of losing one's job (and therefore, one's whole life and accumulated material wealth). Fear not, as the system stands even if you were to never pay another cent to these despicable rate changing and illegal penalty gouging student loan accumulation banks and funds who are guaranteed full repayment by the federal treasury for all unpaid loans. One of the most frightening aspects of unemployment and homelessness is that terrible student debt burden which threatens to forever force you down into an inescapable cesspool of poverty, learn how to put off the debt collector while you recover or even give him the finger and walk.
An excellent way to disavow your debt is to move to another country for around five years. The inconvenience of tracking down and litigating a defaulted loan over international borders is often too much work for these funds who can just as easily write them off and get federal reimbursement. After several years you can approach the banks through an experienced agent and offer a settlement at between ten and twenty to one ratios, or hope for inflation to reduce the actual weight of that debt. Student loans are not cleared by bankruptcy and will damage your ability to take on new debt in the corpgov system and may also get a judgment against part of your paycheck, so be sure you are also leaving behind substantial consumer debt when you default on the student loans, go big. Many of us when we went underground took with us great computers, camping gear, communications equipment, nice bicycles, even firearms financed with student loans which we walked away from, it is great fun to use the system to finance the fight against the system.
Stafford and Perkins loans, principal and interest payments may be deferred without interest accruing while the borrower is:
Attending school at least halftime.
Unemployed (up to three years).
Studying in an approved graduate fellowship or rehabilitation program for the disabled.
Experiencing economic hardship (up to three years).
Forbearance is a way to temporarily postpone or reduce payments for a set period of time. This typically takes place because the borrower is experiencing financial difficulty, but can occur for any of the following reasons:
Other documented hardship
The borrower can receive federal student loan forbearance if he/she is ineligible for a deferment. Unlike deferment, it doesn't matter if these loans are subsidized or unsubsidized because interest still accrues, and the borrower is responsible for its repayment. The borrower's loan holder can grant forbearance in intervals of up to 12 months at a time and for up to 3 years. In order to enact federal student loan forbearance, it must be applied for through the loan servicer, and payments must still be made until forbearance has been granted.
It is worth looking into forgiveness programs where part or all of the debt is forgiven in exchange for taking a job that corpgov needs, think cop, teacher, or doctor in some weird place, AmeriCore, PeaceKorps, or the Marine Corpse. You could also look into long term deferment for disability, as always consult a good lawyer and see if it is possible to get the judge to void the debt, laws do change.
If you do default, there are some things the financial system can do to you.
Of course, as long as you owe student loans and are not either in forbearance or deferment, you can not get more student loans until this is paid off.
If a collection agency finds out your employment, they can garnish your paycheck.
Your credit can be damaged, making it harder to get decent terms on any loans and very hard to get credit cards.
If you fail to keep grades up due to some reason, you may be placed on academic probation. This means either sitting out a semester or two or having to go to a community college. If the probation IS from a Community College, you are just sitting out.
Deciding to Get an Advanced Degree
If you decide to get a Master's or a Doctorate, you may need to apply at many places, not just the school you got your Bachelor's from. There are usually less classes in these programs, but it is offset by having to do a Master's Thesis or Doctoral Thesis which is like having to write a well-researched book in dry language. Expect to have to write and re-write this 'book' twenty or thirty times while being buried in an avalanche of long, boring academic studies and dry books using long words that PhDs write only for other PhDs. Some may also have to do special projects, research, or teach classes so the professor can take all the credit.
If you got Pell Grants for your undergraduate, they are not available for graduate studies. You either have to have a scholarship, take out a loan, or pay for this outright.
Get a Job
Of course, if school is over with, it may be time to Get a Job
All activists must know how to handle a medical emergency, this is how to respond to trauma.
1. Assess the situation, is it safe? Will you just become another casualty which someone else will have to rescue? If it is safe activate emergency medical services, call the ambulance.
2. Can your patient communicate, what do you see as you approach to tell you what happened to your patient(s)
3. Is your patient breathing without difficulty, this is your first priority, a blocked or restricted airway and inability to breathe will kill your patient in a few minutes. If you have a stethoscope keep checking both sides of the chest for good equal lung sounds. If there is a hole in the patients chest skin cover with plastic taped on three sides so it is sealed but will let air trapped inside escape.
4. Is your patient's heart pumping, is the patient loosing large amounts of blood, you can fix a bleeder by applying direct pressure, move to arterial pressure points, and finally tourniquet using four inch or wider ace bandage, anything narrower will destroy the blood vessels and requite amputation. check for hardness in the abdomen, this can mean internal bleeding. If you know how and when indicated you might start a large bore IV in both arms and have fast drip sets and fluid ready to go.
5. You should be acting in a way that will not damage the patients spine or cause a disability, but a working airway, effective breathing and intact blood circulation take priority.
6. Splint and protect any injuries, if you suspect spinal damage you must immobilize the head neck and spine, duct taping the patients body head and legs to a board will work as well as what the paramedics use.
7. Use your own vehicle to go to the hospital or get your patient to an ambulance, serious trauma needs blood transfusion and surgery. Don't drive crazy and obey stop lights, there is no reason for everyone to die in a car wreck on the way to the hospital.
8. keep checking your patients awareness, pulse, breathing, and blood pressure you also need to keep checking the pulses and feeling in the hands and feet.
9. Head injury patients must be continually re-evaluated for their level of consciousness, equal dilated pupils, and blood pressure. Unconsciousness, unequal pupils or pupils unresponsive to light and increasing blood pressure are all indications of a bleed inside the skull which will begin to force the brainstem out the exit hole in the skull sized for the spinal cord killing your patient. Head injury patients need quick safe transport, a head CT scan, and a neurologist.
10. Gunshot wounds where there is no surgical assistance available and the patient is stable still require treatment. Sterile bandaging, a wide spectrum antibiotic, and powerful non-steroidal anti-inflammatory will help manage pain, swelling, and initial infection.
11. If a patient is trapped under something, either a limb or their entire body, and has been for over 15 minutes (UK First Aid Guidelines), DO NOT release the pressure, as this can cause Crush Syndrome, in which decayed cells (From the cut-off of circulation) are released back into the blood stream causing renal failure and death. Even if it has been less than 15 minutes and the patient complains of severe numbness, or you notice serious colour change in the wound, call an ambulance. In an emergency, you will need to put a tourniquet on the wound, and treat with dextran 4000 iu.
Before anything else, get First Aid training. Check the local schools or ask at the local Fire Department as to where you can get First Aid training. Many places will give you extensive training at a low cost, if not free.
The Emergency Room
Until we find out what is going to happen with the BigMed changes that Obama has pushed through taking effect in 2011 which includes fines for all those who have no insurance, the emergency room is the first place most folks go that do not have insurance or cash up front.
If you have an injury or illness requiring immediate care, do not let yourself be afraid of the hospital. Unlike a private physician's offices or dentists, the hospital cannot turn you away for emergency treatment because of lack of cash or insurance. They must discharge you in stable condition or if you are not, find long term care if the condition that brought you to the hospital leaves you permanently disabled.
Be honest and upfront about your situation. Do not expect miracles if the condition is not life threatening. Some hospitals do take charity with the appropriate documents, but expect a large bill from most. This can either end up in collection or written off eventually. You do not have to give your real name, but if the condition is serious they will push for your real name to get any old medical records. Thanks to HIPAA, they will not put your real name on your door or even admit you are there if you are concerned about non-pigs finding you if you are admitted and state this concern up front.
Be honest with the staff on any drug you are currently on as drugs can mix in very bad ways. Do not expect an over abundance of pain pills unless you are seriously messed up if you say you are taking addictive illegal drugs.
The ER never talks to the cops except in cases of suspected domestic violence, child abuse, gunshot wounds, you were hauled in the ER by the cops, or they have to call the cops.
Tell them about any allergies or conditions like diabetes as they can inadvertently mess you up if they do not know.
Also, if you want to leave a hospital, they cannot stop you.(unless a doctor believes you would be a danger to yourself or others. For example: suicide) Just tell them you are leaving first. If you are restrained for being violent or being put on a ventilator, they must loosen the restraints every two hours and check on you every 15 minutes. A doctor must also reevaluate you within 24 hours and this is never to be used as punishment. There must also be criteria for restraint removal in writing discussed with either yourself or a family/ friend if you can not make decisions.
Try not to go to the Emergency Room for simple things like fevers under 101 F, minor cuts, non allergic stings, or simple boils. Most often, all they are going to do is make you wait hours, give you a prescription for a med, and give you a sheet telling you you need a private physician.
ER staff hates those who come in acting like jerks, obviously looking for street value drugs, or coming in with things that can be treated at home.
ER cabinets usually only contain bandages, alcohol pads, cotton swabs, etc. The real drugs are stored in two places. It is usually in a computer password activated safe in a watched and video taped room. All drugs are counted once a shift with carefully logged. The more valuable medicine must be witnessed if all of it is not used. The 'quick use' medicine for life saving is usually kept on what they call a 'crash cart'. The carts have breakable plastic seals on them to let it known if they are used and are tracked as well. On top is an AED (the heart shocker you see on medical dramas).
The wasted drugs from old needles, ect. Ends up being squirted in the trash or put in a red bio hazard 'sharps' container. There have been stories of junkie medical staff digging through these, but it is a huge health issue and quite disgusting. Not only are they locked with a small key, it can have all manner of disease as well as some drug. Get help if you feel the need to stoop that low.
The ER typically does not give meals outside of snacks and a drink for folks with low blood sugar. You will need to be admitted to the hospital for this.
There are some free clinics depending on the area. The only drawback is that many times they only take you if you can prove you have very little or no income. Many also require you have a letter of referral from a social worker or welfare worker. Some are not really free, but are based on income. Be sure to check around to see if one of these in in your area.
Cities usually have free clinics for a variety of special ailments. Tuberculosis Clinics, Venereal Disease Clinics, and Free Shot Clinics (yellow fever, polio, tetanus, etc.) are some of the more common. A directory of these clinics and other free health services the local community provides can be obtained by writing your Chamber of Commerce or local Health Department.
Most universities have clinics connected with their dental, optometry or other specialized medical schools. If not for free, then certainly for very low rates, you can get dental work repaired, eyeglasses fitted and treatment of other specific health needs. This is probably not a good idea for emergencies, though. Wait lists tend to be long, and they only accept new patients certain times of the year. They also tend to take their own sweet time getting around to treatments, and if you cancel even one appointment will drop you from the program.
Free psychiatric treatment and counseling (marriage and individual) can often be gotten at some out-patient clinics and some religious organizations . Actual admission into a mental hospital is a bit harder and a real bummer. Use them as a last resort only. Some cities have a suicide prevention center and if you are desperate and need help, call them. Your best choice in a psychiatric emergency is to go to a large general hospital, find the emergency unit and ask to see the psychiatrist on duty. Expect to be stuck in an emergency room with a large Mental Health Tech orderly standing over you for hours or days until they find a bed for you and a legally binding doctor's order preventing you from leaving even if you change your mind hours later! It is not free, either. The hospital and the behavioral health unit is going to bill you thousands. See Detox and Rehab Programs for a good write up as Psychiatric units are many times lumped in with these places.
If you have some cash and need real treatment but do not have insurance or the many thousands needed for a procedure, you may consider getting it out of the country. Do some research, set up your treatments, and take a trip to Mexico, Thailand, or other countries that have made a reputation for cheap, good quality care. Mexico has a
http://wiki.stealthiswiki.org/wiki/Free-Medical-Care 3/7 private payment health system designed around cash payment which varies between current US care levels to that of 20-30 years ago. The doctors, dentists, and nurses are caring and professional and the big equipment is quality stuff and may be purchased used from a US or Canadian clinic. Caveat Emptor, buyer beware, research your doctor, clinic, or hospital online before going as there is less regulation in Mexico.
Stretching, Massage, and Exercise
Of course, the most free of all medical care is proper and regular exercise along with stretching! One doctor in a recent book wrote that if there is one thing he wished was in pill form he could prescribe, it would be this. Indeed, most ailments can be prevented through a proper exercise routine and most BigMed prescriptions are sold as bandaids around folks that will not or can not exercise.
Many lower back problems and knee pains can be greatly reduced or eliminated with proper stretching and calisthenics in the morning. Most important in calisthenics is sit=up crunches which build the abdominal muscles supporting the lower back. Hamstring muscle stretches where you slowly touch your toes when standing and calf muscle stretches where assume the lunge position will reduce many back and knee problems. Stretching the trapezius muscles of your upper back and neck by arm cross overs will help with upper back strain.
Try looking for Yoga books in the library. With a little practice, many of the poses stretch out a lot of daily stress. Reclining Hero works the fronts of the thighs and Downward-Facing Dog is a favorite for the backs of the legs.
Check these pages for what these poses look like:
Reclining Hero: http://www.yogajournal.com/poses/790
Downward Facing Dog: http://www.yogajournal.com/poses/491
While it will not necessarily cure any diseases or injuries, learning the science and art of massage is a good way to keep your friends in good health, especially considering the places we sometimes have to sleep. Olive oil is good massage oil, you can heat it with scented herbs for aromatheraputic properties then filter and place in a squirt bottle. You will quickly be able to feel the tensed muscle fibers that need to be worked, some people need a hard massage others require a more gentle touch. Practice makes perfect. It is nice to teach the art so you can trade off with your friends.
Old Vitamin Names
You may come across old medical books or even cookbooks that list several Vitamins that you can't find in stores. This is mainly because some vitamins were either reassigned as B Vitamins or proven not to be vitamins at all. Here is a list of the old vitamins and what they're called now:
Vitamin B4 (Adenine)
Vitamin B8 (Adenylic acid)
Vitamin F (Essential fatty acids)
Vitamin G (Vitamin B12 or Riboflavin)
Vitamin H (Vitamin B7 or Biotin)
Vitamin J (Catechol or Flavin)
Vitamin L1 (Anthranilic acid)
Vitamin L2 (Adenylthiomethylpentose)
Vitamin M (Vitamin B9 or Folic acid)
Vitamin O (Carnitine)
Vitamin P (Flavonoids)
Vitamin PP (Vitamin B3 or Niacin)
Vitamin U (S-Methylmethionine)
Eyes and Eye Glasses
For many of us, squinting will not help when trying to see. Many of the discount stores will sell non-prescription reading glasses (often called "cheaters"), which are good if one just needs improved vision for reading, but they're not good for seeing from a distance. In a pinch, you can make "pinhole" lenses using stiff cardboard or an index card and punching holes with a pin to see through. There are dealers on-line who offer to sell pinhole glasses (also called "stenopeic" or "aerobic" glasses) that have opaque black "lenses" with dozens of little holes in them. However, they have two major drawbacks; They only work well in bright light and can limit peripheral vision, making them unsafe for such things as driving or operating machinery. Also, the claims that they will make your vision improve are questioned by many in the medical field. They can also make you look like some sort of mad scientist (unless you wear the ones that are made to look like sunglasses).
If you can get an eye exam for your prescription, or know what your prescription is, there are three on-line discount eyeglass dealers:
There is also a fraternal organization called the Lion's Club that has chapters empire-wide. This club recycles used eyeglasses and donates them to those that cannot afford to buy them. Getting help from them is up to each individual clubs rules as some only deal with the elderly.
The following organizations might help you with eye care either at reduced costs or for free:
EyeCare America (Public service program of the Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology)
1-800-222-EYES (3937) - http://eyecareamerica.org/
Knights Templar Eye Foundation
1-847-490-3838 - http://www.knightstemplar.org/ktef
Mission Cataract USA (Public service program of the Volunteer Eye Surgeons' Association)
Vision USA (Public service program of the American Optometric Association)
1-800-766-4466 - http://aoa.org/x5607.xml
Links and Further Reading
You can really take control of your own health care. It is your responsibility to study and research when you have a personal medical disorder. The doctor has only so much time to spend with a patient.
The first step you can take if you've been diagnosed with something is to go to wikipedia and search it. You can learn about psychological and psychiatric disorders with a copy of the DSM-IV TR (latest version as of 2010) which may be purchased or liberated from a bookstore, or possibly torrented as an ebook.
Some tools to help you are the book Where There is No Doctor by the Hesperian Society. It uses simple language to explain treatment of most common injuries and disease. The Merck Manual of Medical Information is the CorpGov standard reference book for medical treatment and is available in most large book stores and on-line; ask in a doctors office for their last years copy. You will have symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment at your fingertips for most common medical problems. Merck also offers a number of other medical books on-line for free.
The Merck Manual of Medical Information - Home Edition: http://www.merck.com/mmhe/index.html
The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy: http://www.merck.com/mmpe/index.html
The Merck Manual of Health & Aging: http://www.merck.com/pubs/mmanual_ha/contents.html
The Merck Manual of Geriatrics: http://www.merck.com/mkgr/mmg/home.jsp
The Merck Veterinary Manual: http://www.merckvetmanual.com/mvm/index.jsp
Ignorance is no excuse in the eyes of medicine. Download and print these books from the Hesperian Society:
Where There Is No Doctor: http://www.hesperian.org/publications_download.php#wtnd
Where There Is No Dentist: http://www.hesperian.org/publications_download_dentist.php
Where Women Have No Doctor: http://www.hesperian.org/publications_download.php#wwhnd
A Book For Midwives: http://www.hesperian.org/publications_download.php#midwives
You can buy paperback copies of these books as well. If the main site is down we host a copy at Hacker Labs but it may end up out of date trust the copy at http://www.hesperian.org first as they request. Link http://www.hackerlabs.net/downloads/stw/PDFs/Where%20There%20is%20No%20Doctor.tar.bz2 unzip with 7zip or similar program.
The Borden Institute, an agency of the US Army Medical Department Center & School, keeps a database of Military Medical Textbooks for free download, including such titles as Emergency War Surgery and Military Preventive Medicine: Mobilization and Deployment, Volumes 1 & 2:
Most of the equipment and medications can be obtained over the internet. If you want to stock antibiotics and medications the best way to buy them is to find a veterinary supply who will sell you standard human antibiotics and explain them as for use on fish. There is no difference in the meds except you do not need permission from a doctor to treat your illness. Oral antibiotic use is safer compared to intravenous antibiotics with rash and allergy being the most common side affect of the oral antibiotics, contact a doctor and have Benadryl ready if this happens. Yogurt and probiotics are a must if on antibiotics to keep your body from being totally stripped of its microscopic defenders and helpers.
An EMT course which takes about one term is a valuable course to take, yet time in the field as a medical volunteer will teach you even more. You will be better prepared to treat protesters as a medic and you will be much more educated about your own body.
If you prefer more natural care there are plenty of remedies that you can make for yourself with common plants, many practitioners give free classes on natural health care to gain patients.
US Health Resources and Services Administration: http://findahealthcenter.hrsa.gov/
Find a government run health clinic that will see you for free or reduced cost.
Unite For Sight Free Clinics: http://www.uniteforsight.org/freeclinics.php
Find a free eye care clinic in your area.
Planned Parenthood Locator: http://www.plannedparenthood.org
Find a Planned Parenthood Health Center near you.
List of Hotline Numbers: http://www.coolnurse.com/hotline.htm
A list of 1-800 numbers that you can call for many situations you may face.
Find a Covenant House (Homeless & runaway youth): http://www.covenanthouse.org
A free physical if you decide to check in. You can also call their "Nine Line": 1-800-999-9999
Free Medical Camps http://www.freemedicalcamps.com
Information on free medical and dental clinics in the USA.
Check the phone book or at the local library for Dental Schools. Ask if they will allow you to volunteer as a subject in exchange discounted (maybe even free?) dental care. You will have to fill out a legal disclaimer.
If you live near a university, go to the health services office and ask for some condoms. Also worth noting: many universities have 1-800 numbers (nurse lines) for their students to use to get medical advice. Find the number for the university near you and call it if need be. Also planned parenthood gives out condoms.