Waaay off topic: State Universities

I heard something that annoyed the crap out of me a few days ago and occasionally the memory of it, and how I felt afterwards comes to the surface of the present and raises my blood pressure. Before I go into rant mode let me throw in the disclaimer. I mean no ill will to those who went to small- midsized private schools, or large ivies. Some of my dearest friends are Harvard alumni.
–Start Rant—
I was listening to a NPR report on class in America the focus was Amherst College and the class divisions at the school. Amherst is trying to provide itself and the opportunities it provides to non-wealthy students. That’s an admirable thing. However there was a part that came that I took to insinuate that schools like Amherst had a monopoly on those opportunities like foreign trips, mentoring and honors programs. Huh? I went to the Univ of Florida and one summer spent a semester in Cambridge Univ (UK), with the help of a scholarship and some loan money. My cousin goes to some flat state university in the middle of the country and went to South Africa for a semester. My college at Univ Maryland offers mentoring, however few students ever seem to take us up on our offers.
Many state universities are great value for money, provide a solid education and offer excellent opportunities. Yeah, there are some state schools that are crappy, but I’m not talking about those. There are state schools that are beyond excellent, like UVa & UNC, and sometimes it is not the school but particular programs. More importantly, the student has to take advantage of what’s there. You don’t do the internships, you don’t get involved in certain groups, you don’t sign up for that extra circular program, it can pretty much be a waste no matter how much you or your parents spend.
Also 5 years after graduating, most people don’t give a rat’s rear where you went to school. Of course, Univ of Wisconsin- Madison people seem to be all over the damned place. I have no idea where my supervisor went, or my boss, or many of my co-workers (a small percentage did attend UMCP). You typically find these things out when their team makes it to some bowl or is heading towards the final four, or they keep showing up wearing UGA sweatshirts and hats.
So three cheers for those publicly funded schools whose mission is to provide a post secondary education to its qualified citizens.

I’m at the starting line and I want to quit

Okay I’ve talked to DCRA about permits and two contractors. I’m tired.
First contractors. I’ve talked to contractor #1 who did my kitchen. He’s offered a free used boiler he pulled out from his last job (but labor will cost me) and I’m taking him up on it. The reason being is I called the eco-guy and he said if I could keep something out of the landfill and get 5-10 more years out of it, it would be a good thing. So contractor #1 will have scored brownie points. Those points will be awarded when I get some actual heat. Contractor #2 was unavailable. So contractor #3 became contractor #2. I had him over, he seemed to have really wanted architect designed plans. What I had was okay, but…. ya know. He did had a really can do, let’s get on this attitude. I got the number for a contractor #3 from Blagden Alley (thanks) but right now, I don’t wanna talk to anyone else.
It’s moments like this where I see being single has its negatives. It would be great to have another person with just as strong as an interest in the project. Or at least someone else to take on the contractor talking to bit.
Next, DCRA. I talked to someone at their Homeowner’s Center. The person at the other end was helpful and pointed out some things that would have to go through the regular permit process. The fence and front stoop are on “public space”, so that will have to go through the regular process. Getting rid of my unused chimney and flue, needs a structural engineer to sign off on it. They can handle the moving of the two bathrooms. Unfortunately I haven’t settled on what kind of air conditioning to get. They want plans for that. But I can’t get plans for that because I don’t know what the eco-guy is going to recommend, as it really doesn’t take that much to cool the house. Three window units did the trick last summer. Who knows, maybe a big honking through the wall unit in the back of the house will go there. And the gas fireplace will need a diagram. I may just throw that into a phase II project.
The major work on the house is Phase I. The basement and all the other little stuff that can get done on its own, Phase II. There is a Phase III, but I’m not even thinking that far ahead.
I’ve drawn up plans, with my little hands and talking with several people there are things I have left out. DCRA wants to know where the lines are going. I have no idea where the lines are now. I need to show where the doors swing. I need to show closets and electrical outlets and lights. Feh! I may need to hire IT to draw up plans after all.
I’m tired and I want my mommy.