Monday, June 1, 2009

The view from California

Kate was in my High School class, so I know she is a real person. Have been in touch with her for a few years, and watched her views change since she moved to California from Londinistan. This is from her blog: ~Bob

29 May 2009

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
State Capitol Building
Sacramento, CA 95814

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger,

Thank you for everything you have been doing to cut the expenditure at Los Angeles City College. I have been a mature full-time student at LACC for a year and a half. I have a 4.0 GPA. My life at the college has been a nightmare due to the presence here of people who are not serious students. These people talk non-stop in the classrooms, library and computer labs. There is not one quiet place to work on this campus. When we complain, we are told, “It’s their culture.” If we complain again, we are all but labeled racist. People of every race and nation disrupt this campus, so this noise is nothing to do with anyone’s “culture.”

Political correctness rules at LACC. The kids are afraid to speak up. One Latino lad told me he said in a class that he hated Political Correctness and that five other lads joined in to agree with him. The teacher told them to all shut up or he would eject them from his class, and, I think he said he’d eject them from the district as well.

I had to leave the Computer Applications/Office Technology branch of the Business Department after a year of wasted financial aid and student loans. I had learned very little except how to baby-sit people who don’t know how to behave in a public place. I am a woman, so I hope I will not be accused of “hate speech” if I say that the vast majority of disruptive “students” at LACC are women who never shut up. It appears to me as if these people are already in receipt of quite a bit of government money that most Americans do not get. I think they use the Pell Grant and the Cal Grant as clothing allowances. Often, they have picnics in the computer study areas. I am not sure if I would be opening myself up to a charge of some sort of “hate crime” if I gave a more detailed description of these people.

One of my teachers told me recently that at Santa Monica College (not part of our district) they have been telling students just to enroll, and that they don’t have to turn up for class at all, and that they will get a grade anyway, and they will be able to keep all the financial aid.

One teacher said that their entire department at LACC has been ordered never to “drop” a student from the roll, no matter how infrequently the student comes to class. The money has to go back if students drop.

We heard on the grapevine yesterday morning that all the colleges in the district will be closed for at least part of the summer. This is another blessing out of Sacramento in a week full of blessings. I am not joking, I have been praying to God to eject Los Angeles from the Union. Cut off the money supply. They will disappear. We will have California back.

I am 62, poor, un-propertied and unemployed. I have been back in the USA for 3 ½ years, having spent 30 years in the UK. Intelligent and competent people like me. I am a capable person. I have three glowing references from teachers at LACC, and I can get more. My landlord says he likes me because, out of his 15 tenants, I am the only one who does not complain. I am not my problem. My problem is that I do not live in the City of Our Lady, the Queen of the Angels. I live in the Social Program of Our Lady, the Queen of the Angles.

I had to leave Britain in a hurry due to a Home Office (immigration) snafu. I was not at all ready to leave and when I got to LA, I found myself homeless after the old friend I was meant to stay with turned out to be crazy. I have done time in two homeless shelters. I have been on the giving and receiving ends of two food programs. I have belonged to two churches in my neighborhood. I have contacted only-God-knows how many “Worksource” type places, and I have been a student at LACC. I have had 3 ½ years of wall-to-wall social programs, and I still do not have a steady little typing job or any kind of order in my life. This is because SOCIAL PROGRAMS DO NOT WORK. Social programs benefit only those who are employed by social programs.

I was a volunteer at one of the food pantries. All the Trader Joe’s stuff goes to the people on the inside, as do all the best cakes from Ralph’s. The people in line outside get white rice and dried pinto beans and whatever is left over after the in-crowd has loaded up their wheeled carts. (These people are supposed to be religious.) Neither in the homeless shelters nor at the food distribution centers, all of which give away donated clothes, have I ever seen good clothes on offer for the poor. I have noticed that the receptionists in these places, who get 9 bucks an hour, have extensive and exclusive wardrobes. I could write a book and I might.

Today I read an article in the LA Times about how the budget cuts will prevent people from making something of their lives. I disagree. My experience has been that it is the people on this endless gravy train who prevent me from making something of my life. May I please re-iterate some statistics with which I am sure you are familiar? A Political Science professor at LACC told us last summer that there are 18,000 students enrolled at LACC at any one time. Out of those, he said, 10% (1,800) go on to a four-year college. Out of those 1,800, 87% go on to get a BA. I reckon that makes 1,566 college graduates out of every 18,000 “students” who come here to “make something of their lives.”

For the past year and a half, I have had no money whatsoever to live on except my student grants and loans. I am now in debt for the first time in my life. I have never paid a credit card bill because I have never run up a credit card bill. Now I “owe” $5,000 (which works out at $80 a month for the next 8 years and 4 months), and what I got for this money is incompetence, noise and chaos. There are, of course, dedicated, hard-working and competent faculty and staff members at this college, and we owe them a debt of gratitude for soldiering on in the midst of this, but overall Los Angeles City College is bedlam.

I have complete confidence in myself as a person who can sort her life out. I have been in tough spots before. I can get a job and keep it, but I need these wasters out of my way, so God Bless You for everything you are doing to help us. I used to be a leftie, but no more.


Kate Powell

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