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Re: Is Academia A Loan TRAP?
Old 08-23-2004, 11:07 PM   #21
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Re: Is Academia A Loan TRAP?

When I was a child, I lived down the street from a loud, fierce, barking dog. The dog was tied to a well anchored dog house that sat in the backyard of a house just 3 lots down from my own. Whenever anyone or anything came within sight of the vicious dog, it would begin to bark, growl, and foam at the mouth while running full speed toward the offending intruder. When the dog reached the end of the chain, you could hear a loud thump and the barking would stop for a second while the dog collected himself and started the mad attack all over again. Once the dog started on his aborted attacks, he would keep it up for several minutes – even in the absence of the distraction that started him up. All of the kids in the neighborhood were frightened by the beast and we kept our distance from him. I’m sure the dog was the source of several childhood nightmares.

One day, several of us were walking down the street on our way to the movies. As we came in sight of the dog, the sound of barks, growls and thumps started up. We walked on by the house and tried to talk of other things. I’m not sure what it was – an unexpected early silence or the absence of a thump at the end of the barking assault – but suddenly we all realized that the beast was loose. A fraction of a second later we saw the dog running around the corner of the house, dragging a section of chain, and heading straight toward us.

I ran to nearby tree and pulled myself up on a low branch. My friend, Terry, jumped under the porch of the house we were in front of at the time. Some of the kids tried to hide behind trees and bushes . . . but some of the younger children just froze. They stood there on the sidewalk too frightened to move as the dog ran menacingly toward them.

It was all over in a matter of seconds. The dog ran straight down the sidewalk, through the middle of the scattered children, down the street and over the hill. It was as if he never even noticed us. He was still barking when he ran out of sight.

That was over 40 years ago and I don’t remember if the dog ever returned to his post behind our neighbor’s house or not. But I still remember that day when the dog ran through the middle of our group. And whenever I think about that event, I wonder where that dog was going.
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Re: Is Academia A Loan TRAP?
Old 08-24-2004, 06:42 AM   #22
 
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Re: Is Academia A Loan TRAP?

The dog ERed. You see, his job was menacing the
neighborhood. Once he figured out his SWR...........
(that's why he was foaming at the mouth, he couldn't
work FIRECALC - no computer). But, I digress.
He now lives in a slightly smaller doghouse with his
SO, has diversified his "bone pile" and neither one of them has a thing to bitch about. That's your fable for today kiddies.

John Galt
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Re: Is Academia A Loan TRAP?
Old 08-24-2004, 07:40 AM   #23
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Re: Is Academia A Loan TRAP?

I went to law school and graduated with about $70,000 in student loans. The only reason it wasn't over $100,000 is that I received some scholarships. As with all professions, there are a lot of lawyers who, no matter what they make, spend more. When I worked at a big law firm, very few associates put in even 3% of pay into the 401(k) plan. They were too busy buying BMWs and other expensive items. One partner took me and 3 other associates out to a chain restaurant for a holiday lunch. Her credit card was rejected for the $50 tab. She was over her limit, even though she made over $200K per year.

But not all lawyers live this way. It just takes the ability to live your life the way you want to without worrying about what others think. I drove my $12,000 (new) car until it fell apart. I now drive a used minivan since I have joined the mommy world.

While the amount of money I borrowed was high, my earnings have also been high. My degree has allowed me to work part-time and still make a good living. DH, who is not a lawyer, and I are on track to retire at 50 at the latest, even with putting two kids through college and me working part-time.

It is all about making the choices that other people on this board talk about. I buy all clothes, other than my work suits, from Old Navy or cheap stores. My kids look cute in their clothes, but many come from consignment stores, Target or sale items from Gap. We go on one vacation per year and spend lots of time with family, at the park, at the library and other cheap/free places. We do not feel at all deprived, even when we see friends who surely make less than we do driving a new car, moving into a new big house or going on a two-week expensive cruise.

So, I think that the big loans can make sense if you feel that you will have the earning power and the discipline to pay them off. I do think that borrowing significant money for an undergraduate degree is foolish. If you can't pay or get financial aid, work and go to school at the same time. A regular degree does not promise enough pay to make huge undergraduate loans worthwhile.

This board is fantastic. I've been lurking for a few weeks but couldn't resist posting on this topic.
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Re: Is Academia A Loan TRAP?
Old 08-24-2004, 07:48 AM   #24
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Re: Is Academia A Loan TRAP?

Welcome to the forum, Lawgirl. You just raised my
opinion of lawyers a notch.

Cheers,

Charlie
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Re: Is Academia A Loan TRAP?
Old 08-24-2004, 08:06 AM   #25
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Re: Is Academia A Loan TRAP?

Quote:
The dog ERed. *You see, his job was menacing the
neighborhood. *Once he figured out his SWR...........
(that's why he was foaming at the mouth, he couldn't
work FIRECALC - no computer). *But, I digress.
He now lives in a slightly smaller doghouse with his
SO, has diversified his "bone pile" and neither one of them has a thing to bitch about. *That's your fable for today kiddies.

John Galt
Excellent, John. I knew I could count on you to add meaning to this thread.
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Re: Is Academia A Loan TRAP?
Old 08-24-2004, 09:06 AM   #26
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Re: Is Academia A Loan TRAP?

Lawgirl, do you work part time in a law firm? I have read that it is very difficult to actually manage a part time career in a law firm environment, and it is easy to slide the slippery slope to de facto full time. I am planning on trying part time at my firm next year and wouldn't mind hearing any of your thoughts on how it works for you.

Tommy, I had a different career before becoming a lawyer and worked a relatively low level job with a government employer. If I had stayed there, I would never had made even close to what I make today. So the time lost for law school was quickly regained. My firm always has paid the "maintenance" costs, like MP insurance, license fees and continuing education. However, in the old job I would be entitled to fairly generous retirement benefits and most important of all, health benefits for life. These have a huge value. On the other hand, I was bored silly and I have never been bored as a lawyer.

Martha
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Re: Is Academia A Loan TRAP?
Old 08-24-2004, 09:50 AM   #27
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Re: Is Academia A Loan TRAP?

Martha,

No, I don't work for a firm. I have my own practice, mostly doing work for my prior corporate employer. There were several women who tried to go part time while I was still at a firm, and it really did not work well for most of them. Part time tended to mean that you made a lot less money, stepped off the partnership track and still put in 40+ hours per week. This is why I left the law firm once I knew it was time to start thinking about a family. I could tell that the partner I worked for would not have truly been supportive of part-time, although she said she would allow me to do. This has been several years ago, though, and I know a lot of firms have tried to make changes.

If you can manage to go out on your own, even if you work from home, you can have a lot more control over your schedule. You'll still end up working more hours than you'd probably like, but you may also make more money and have more control. You can do a lot of the work when it is most convenient for you, rather than having to put in "face time" at certain hours.
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Re: Is Academia A Loan TRAP?
Old 08-24-2004, 10:54 AM   #28
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Re: Is Academia A Loan TRAP?

Lawgirl, thanks for your thoughts. I think I have a pretty good shot at making the part time schedule work partly because I am a partner and face time isn't so important after 20 years at the same job. I worry more about client demands and making sure the work gets done. Do you want to job share?
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Re: Is Academia A Loan TRAP?
Old 08-24-2004, 05:04 PM   #29
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Re: Is Academia A Loan TRAP?

Martha,

Getting the work done is always the hard part! I think job sharing is a great idea. Anything that allows us to earn some money and still have a life is a good thing. My only problem is that no matter how much I reduce my hours, I find myself wishing for just a little less work. Oh well, a good problem to have for now.

Lawgirl
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Re: Is Academia A Loan TRAP?
Old 08-24-2004, 06:04 PM   #30
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Re: Is Academia A Loan TRAP?

I dont have any hours.

I still want less work.
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Re: Is Academia A Loan TRAP?
Old 08-25-2004, 08:20 AM   #31
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Re: Is Academia A Loan TRAP?

Quote:
I dont have any hours.

I still want less work.
booooooo-hiiiiiisssssss the full-time employee jeers
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Re: Is Academia A Loan TRAP?
Old 08-25-2004, 08:29 AM   #32
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Re: Is Academia A Loan TRAP?

Yeah, I woke up early today at 8:00. My first thought: "Wow, if I was still working I'd have just overslept and I'd be late for work".

Giggling to myself, I slugged off to the kitchen to make myself some coffee before flopping down in front of the computer to read the news and apparently for an appointment to rub a cats belly.
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Re: Is Academia A Loan TRAP?
Old 08-25-2004, 08:30 AM   #33
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Re: Is Academia A Loan TRAP?

Quote:
I dont have any hours.

I still want less work.
Hahaha, you've just gotten married to your new supervisor. *Give it a couple months for the honeymoon to wear off and she'll have the job jar all ready for you. *
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Re: Is Academia A Loan TRAP?
Old 08-25-2004, 08:38 AM   #34
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Re: Is Academia A Loan TRAP?

ROFL. That started WAY before the wedding. Like 4 1/2 years ago.
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Re: Is Academia A Loan TRAP?
Old 08-25-2004, 09:11 AM   #35
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Re: Is Academia A Loan TRAP?

One of the reasons I got my MBA at night while working is that I got most of it paid for by employers. Naturally, the ROI is very high, but I just could not stomach the thought of losing a couple of years of earnings and blowing $100k in order to be looking for a job in a tough economy.

Having said that, I definately "paid" for my degree. How? Blood, sweat and tears, baby. Working full time and carrying up to 9 credits at a top 10 MBA program is not for the faint of heart. My wife was also working full time and pursuing a Master's degree (two actually) on the side, so it was pretty ugly for a while. There was about a year where we had to schedule a regular Friday night "date" (mostly dinner and a bottle of wine at home) in order to actually get some time together. It has paid off, though.
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