Monday, May 3, 2010

The Stupendous Cozy Chick Plan to Better the Economy


The set up: I returned home yesterday evening, having spent the weekend at the Malice Domestic mystery writers’ conference in Arlington, VA, with all my writing buddies and many reader friends, some of whom post on this blog. (Waving to you!)

While there, Cozy Chicks Lorraine Bartlett, Maggie Sefton, J. B. Stanley, Leann Sweeney, Heather Webber and yours truly (missing our dear Deb Baker, sob) got together for several brainstorming sessions -- a chick chat, if you will. Some of these sessions actually involved the business of writing.

Anywho, during one particularly inspired session, Heather, Maggie and I came up with a plan to drastically improve the economy of this country, and possibly other countries, as well. Okay, maybe the world. I’m not sure exactly where the inspiration came from – whether it was our own experiences with college-aged children or the Frangelicos we were sipping – nevertheless, we were so impressed with our idea that we thought we would spread the news by sharing the idea with you. And then you can tell two people, and they can tell two people, and so on.

The plan: Instead of sending children right off to college after high school, they would instead be required to put in a year (or two – we couldn’t decide) of public service. They could choose which service, (including the armed services), and they would earn money for this servitude. This mandatory stint would not only benefit society and teach them the value of a dollar, but also give them time to mature. Because maturity, we decided, was The Problem.

How many thousands of dollars are wasted during the first year of college while immature kids try to figure out what they want to do in life? How many parents go gray starting with that first failing grade? How many kids drop out, or spend six years in college, because they haven’t had time to figure it out?

The payoff: Imagine the money that would be saved by implementing our plan! Imagine the peaceful households! The heads full of non-gray hair! Seriously, this could be a whole new stimulus package. And be honest, wasn’t it lucky for the world that six chicks got together this weekend?

What do you think of our plan? Any modifications? Alterations? Observations? Any “ations” at all?

16 comments:

TONYA KAPPES said...

OH GAWD!!!!!!!!!!!!! I've been waiting for one of mine to get out and go to college, please don't let him stay....sigh....BAD MOTHER (SMACKING MY HANDS) BAD MOTHER!

CM said...

As a 1st year college "failure" and now college professor I wholeheartedly agree!! If I had been more mature, I would have aced my freshman courses!! Now I have a bachelors and 2 MA's :)

Heather Webber said...

Oooh, ooh, don't forget the other incentive--that with each year of service, you would earn one year of free tuition at your state school. The service = paying for college.

Tonya, maybe the service would require rooming somewhere else. ;)

Lover of Books said...

I have another idea, send them to a local community college (yes this will mean they are at home still) and just focus on generals for a year. You get them easily paid off and then still get them focused and hopefully have them decide what they want at a fraction of a cost. I did that my first year more so for the cost of it. lol But I called my college and found out what generals they required and took as many as I could. :)

Valerie Consoer said...

I totally agree. If I had done that, maybe I wouldn't have had to go back home my first try at college. Here's my story (cliff-notes version): I graduated from high school in 2002. That August, I promptly moved into a dorm room at a local state college. It was a Thursday I moved in. Friday, I felt a tickle at the back of my throat. Saturday and Sunday, it gradually got worse. Several blood tests later, I had mono (for the second time). I was sent home the following Wednesday. All of that money we spent to get me into college could have been saved. If I had participated in a program such as the one you're proposing, maybe I would have gotten my associate's that year and achieved something other than losing 20 pounds from being sick. Although, my mother tells me that things happen for a reason. I have a good job, wonderful husband, and beautiful critters at home now.
If the program were to be utilized, the only change I would make would be to suggest the Peace Corps instead of the armed services. Love the idea!

signlady217 said...

Public service, huh? My reserv"ation" is, do we want them running for mayor or governor? (Remember, they are supposed to be working on maturing) :) Knowing some of the kids I do, it makes me shudder! :) Actually, some of them probably would do ok!

Kate Collins said...

Yikes, Heather, you're right! I left that point out. (It was that Frangelico, I swear!)
In my own household, I know this plan would have worked twice over. It's great to hear your validations, along with Sign Lady's reservation. With that said, who would vote for a skinny, immature 19 yr old? (I'm shuddering with you!)
And of course the Peace Corps would be a great option. Any other ideas?

Dru said...

I like that idea.

Just to clarified, would the money go directly to them as in a paycheck or into a "college fund?"

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

Too late for me to take advantage of it - but it sounds like a brilliant idea to me.

Rural View said...

I'm proof of the perfection of this idea. When I graduated from prep school, I had been accepted at Vassar and UCLA (I lived in Ill., see the ulterior motive?) but I wanted to go to work and "make money." I finally took my first college class at 32 and graduated from Douglass College of Rutgers Univ. at 42. I was sooo motivated and I loved every minute.
Then I, not my parents, paid off my student loans.

Helen Kiker said...

If they have to live at home during the service year I do not see the plan working. Something like the Peace Corps would be a good solution because they would be supervised but not by a parent. It has the added benefit of letting them see how other people struggle just to have the necessities of life.

Helen Kiker

Debra said...

Some kids are already doing this. My nephew spent a PG(post grad) year after high school in Sweden and learned the language. My son is an athlete and he tells me some football players go to a PG school in Maine with hopes of being recruited to play the sport.
I agree with Helen,they need to go SOMEWHERE to learn how to take care of themselves and their laundry. There have been a lot of tears in my house over the way jeans should be washed (But I'm feeling better now ;-0 )

Kate Collins said...

I agree with Helen, too. I mean, even if they stayed with the neighbor.....
Dru, our plan is still very nebulous. Which way would be better? Maybe there could be options. Get paid bi-weekly, or get a year's tuition free. Either way, everyone would benefit.
Thanks to Maggie, btw, for originating this idea.

Vicki said...

Great idea...wish I had been more mature my freshman year. Would have been more serious and hopefully gotten better grades!

Jan said...

Sounds good to me. I worked for a few years after HS before I went into college. I didn't finish then either, but by then my folks didn't have to pay for classes either!

Kaye said...

I think they do this in Denmark. At least they did when we visited back in the early seventies. If a kid had an objection to going into the armed forces, they had to spend 2 years in a hospital setting. It's a wonderful idea and should be implemented here.