In The Greenwood: Part 1

The year the federal government stopped giving out student loans for university, a lot of people gave up. Sure, people with family money kept going. Kids sold their cars to keep going to school. Took extra jobs. Studied less and worked more so they could get degrees. Banks gave out lines of credit only to kids in medical school,law school, or commerce. An English Lit major couldn’t catch a break.

Lots of people blamed the Baby Boomers. But they wasn’t the entire problem. Canada’s population was getting, well, too welll educated. People with PhDs didn’t become plumbers, and there was no one training to be electricians or joiners or forklift operators. The governement had tried soft-selling and then hard-selling trades, but it didn’t work. Despite the fact that everyone knew plumbers made more than teachers, we were still flocking to the universities. Taking loans away from university students and giving bigger ones to trade school students seemed to be the way to get more of what the country allegedly needed.

Oh, don’t get me wrong. The Boomers were somewhat to blame. They insisted on full pensions, even though there wasn’t enough of a tax base to support them. The money had to come from somewhere, and with Boomers lining political pockets, it wasn’t going to come out of Medicare. Not with a bunch of golden-agers needing hip replacements after braking them playing squash at the country club. People hypothesized that that was part of the reason Med students could get bank loans and lines of credit. That it was some kind of silver-hair conspiracy. Bollocks, as far asd I’m concerned. It’s a known fact that doctors make money. Lit students and German majors don’t.

It was the spring of my third year. I was on the B-line, heading up to study and wondering how I’d afford to finish my degree. With one more year to go, I had several options: Work more and try to find a house with even more roommates to split the cost, take fewer courses, or give up. Become a plumber.

Outside the window, the sun speared golden fingers through the leafy canopy of the Endowment Lands. It was as beautiful as it always was on a sunny day. A crow winged upwards frm a copse and a squirrel ran along a branch.

I blinked, possibility hovering in front of me. Could I be looking at Free Rent?

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