Thursday, July 08, 2004

The Things We Do For Extra Credit!

Hi all, hope your day is going well so far, I took today as a bit of a rest day from studying since I found that I was getting more and more stressed with the volume of work I have to cover, but we'll be back at it again tomorrow! 3 more days to defense!

I was looking through some old undergrad papers that I did for different classes and came up with a real beauty from a sociology course I took several years ago. At that time, I was the poor undergraduate computer science major that had a very limited budget and was just barely able to survive on tuna and ramen noodles. The paper I found was an experiment that we had to do (for extra credit) where we had to live on $15 US or $900 Jamaican for a week. Let me tell you, I used to have it bad for food as an undergrad and I knew what it was like to be hungry! But this experiment was the worst that I had ever done and I must say that I truly did appreciate my country even more after this, because even with as much poverty as we have a man or woman can live off the land if he/she has to and I, personally, didn't know hunger until I came to the US.



Grocery List: Sunday November 26, 2000

Orange Juice (Giant Eagle brand)…………………………………………………$3.79
Skim Milk (Giant Eagle brand)……………………………………………………$2.49
1 l b Garden Salad…………………………………………………………………$1.69
18 Pack Large Eggs……………………………………………………………….$1.27
Beef Bologna……………………………………………………………………..$3.39
Bananas…………………………………………………………………………..$1.50
Sub-Total.………………………………………………………………………..$14.13
Tax……………………………………………………………………………….$0.70
Total……………………………………………………………………………..$14.83

Day 1: Monday November 27, 2000

Breakfast
2 eggs, boiled
1 Banana
1 Glass Orange Juice
Feelings: Generally, I prefer to have my eggs fried or scrambled, unfortunately, I had run out of money before I was able to purchase cooking oil or butter. I felt pretty good on my ay to class, this is probably due to the fact that I am used to eating a very light breakfast.

Lunch
None.
Feelings: I didn’t have time to return home from work to get my lunch and, because I didn’t have any more money to buy bread on Sunday, I couldn’t take a sandwich to work with me…. It was going to be a long day!

Dinner
3 egg whites
1 Large serving of Garden Salad
1 Banana
Feelings: This is definitely the weirdest dinner I’ve ever had as a student (not even my Tuna and Ramen Noodle obsession of a semester ago could compare).

Late night snack
1/4 gallon of milk
Feelings: It’s about midnight, and I’m trying to study, but my stomach is telling me an entirely different story. I go to the cupboard to look for my favorite snack (Oreo cookies), and the only problem is that there are no Oreo cookies. So, I do the most logical thing—open the refrigerator and grab the first thing in sight, my milk. After fortifying myself with 1/4 of the bottle, I feel ready to attempt to study again.

Day 2: Tuesday November 28, 2000
Breakfast
4 eggs, boiled
1 Banana
4 slices Beef Bologna
1 Glass Milk
Feelings: It’s 9:45am on Tuesday morning and I am hungry. Sad to say, I couldn’t study last night. Dancing Oreo cookies haunted my dreams, and I am not a very happy person. At this point, I am regretting doing this extra credit assignment, and I seriously doubt that XXX is truly our friend!

Lunch
None (again).
Feelings: I’m beginning to really hate my life, and spending the morning in Dr. XXXX Anthropology class really didn’t help me to feel any better about my situation. I’m at work and I am in really bad shape, I’m pretty much snarling at everyone around me—a friend offers me candy, but the “Do not feed the Dog” sign is prominently displayed on my forehead.

Dinner
Garden Salad
Bologna Slices
A whole lot of milk
Feelings: @#$%^^$#@#$$%

Late Night Snack
The remainder of my milk.
Feelings: OK, now I know that by killing the remainder of my milk supply, I have lost one of my important sources of protein—great going, now all I have for protein is eggs.


Day 3: Wednesday November 29, 2000
Breakfast
None.
Feelings: I’m running late for SOCIOLOGY class because I overslept (maybe because I haven’t really eaten anything for the past two days), and you can just imagine how thrilled I am to see XXXX’s smiling face. The fact that I live right above Café of XXXX doesn’t really help my mood very much at this point either.

Lunch
All my bologna
My last two fingers of banana
All of my orange juice
All of my vegetables
Feelings: OK, so by now I’m frustrated AND hungry. I come back home after class and EAT practically everything that I can find…my stomach doesn’t seem to be very happy with me at this point, but I feel good that I binged. I make it to work, but I don’t think my co-workers are very happy to see me right now.

Dinner
9 egg whites (you wouldn’t believe how depraved I feel right now!)
4 glasses of water
Feelings: OK, I know that I needed protein, therefore, I did the only logical thing (a trick from the days when I was involved in bodybuilding). By boiling the eggs, and dumping the yolks, I have a good source of protein. Mark you, it is tasteless, but it keeps me alive. I’d love to say more, but I don’t think the person reading my paper would care to know all that brews in my mind at this point.

Late Night Snack
Yeah, right.
Feelings: Don’t ask, I won’t tell!

Day 4: Thursday November 30, 2000
Breakfast
The heck with this project! I’m going to the bank, withdrawing some money and going to Subway!

Lunch
Café of XXXX has a very lovely lunch buffet for only $5.95

Dinner

Café of XXXX has a very lovely dinner buffet tonight.

Summary
The last three days have been very difficult. I look at Thursday, and realize that the food that I had eaten at the restaurants cost me more than I had tried to survive on in the past three days. In my opinion, it is very difficult (albeit impossible) for a person to live on $15.00 per week for an extended period of time. This experience has really taught me a great deal about the severity of poverty that exists in the USA today. I used to think that I had it hard as a student, but now I know that I haven’t even come close to living hard!


{arf,arf}

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