April 8 – #Verselove – Something You Should Know

Something You Should Know with Emily, April 8, 2024

Something You Should Know

is that as a junior in high school,
I worked in the school’s
Work Experience and CETA offices.
First, I was there as part of a class,
but Mr. Jasim and Mr. Moser recognized
my accurate typing skills, my sense of purpose,
and that I could file the paperwork.
When Mr. Moser realized my widowed mom’s
source of income was Social Security benefits,
he said I would be eligible for the federally-funded
CETA program, but I didn’t want to be. I
didn’t like people thinking

I was low income, I always wanted to make excuses–
how I was different than other poor kids.
But I did apply, and in my senior year I made $2.10 an hour
for two hours a day.
That led to a summer internship at a local hospital,
with other CETA kids,
which later evolved into a
union job, with wages higher
than today’s national minimum,
I went through tuition-free public university,
making a livable wage and having full health benefits,
even though I worked only 16 hours a week.
This helped “me put myself through college,”
which I have been known to insinuate.

Perhaps it was not until later–
after tuition was reinstated,
and the unions were broken–that
I realized the great privilege
of coming of age in the 1970’s.
I learned that there is really
no such thing
as boot-strapping.
The government can do good things
The government should do good things
to raise the lives of its citizens.

3 thoughts on “April 8 – #Verselove – Something You Should Know

  1. I hope this comment finds you! I changed my line in the progressive poem. I left a comment on Linda’s blog, who you follow, but I don’t know if she will see it. Heidi left me some feedback so I decided to change it. Hopefully it won’t confuse anyone if you make the change for tomorrow. Thanks!

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