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Neosho Daily News - Neosho, MO
  • RUSSELL HIVELY: Falling stars, college debt

  • Cool fall evenings make for good deck sitting.
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  • Cool fall evenings make for good deck sitting. I have been trying to sit outside a half hour or so before I go to bed. Deck sitting is relaxing and fewer mosquitoes are pests this time of year, especially if the evening is a bit nippy.
    Recently I have been seeing falling stars as I sit outside. When I see the flashes across the sky, I can't help but think of the Perry Como song "Catch a Falling Star." You are "to put it in your pocket and save it for a rainy day."
    "Catch a Falling Star" is an unusual song that is written as a crescendo. When I was teaching word emphasis and its effect on meaning, I sometimes played this song in class to illustrate how Perry Como's continued volume increase during the song had an effect on its meaning.
    But other thoughts come as I sit outside. I recently read an article about college debt that made me think deeply about this subject. I don't like debt and never did. Today, there are students who graduate from college with $100,000 debt.
    There has to be a better way to start life than with this enormous debt. The report even said there are families where three generations still owe money for their educations. I can't image having a Social Security check docked to pay for college debt.
    My parents were savers. When I was born, they started saving money by buying war bonds. They kept buying a few until I was old enough to earn my own money and then I bought E bonds.
    They never referred to these savings bonds as college money, but a nest egg to get started when I got out of high school. I cashed some of the bonds to help pay for two college years.
    I wonder if those with huge college debts worked while in school. I always did. Some kids I knew went to college a while, dropped out and saved some money, then came back and took classes as long as the money held out.
    There are many ways to earn some college expense money. I know people who did many things for college money: gardening, being a nanny, joining the National Guard, working on campus, waitressing, being a gas station attendant, being a floor monitor, and being a car hop.
    Take a walk, avoid debt, enjoy porch sitting and falling stars, and see what you notice while passing along Wildcat Boulevard.
    Russell Hively writes a weekly column for the Daily News.

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