long beach city college

Financial Aid

It really pisses me off when Financial Aid gets disbursed & I overhear students talking about all the things they’re going to buy with the money they get for college. I’ve overheard students mention planning to buy MacBooks, iPods, tattoos, new phones, & even using it all to take a vacation.

I even know one guy whose father makes over $100,000 a year. Even though he lives with both of his parents, his parents aren’t officially married. He just lists his mom for his Financial Aid so the government just assumes he can’t afford college & gives him money.

Also, just a few minutes ago I decided to type my school’s name into the “search tags” section. One of the first posts that pops up is a girl talking about how happy she is finally getting the money so she can buy a new stereo for her car.

If you’re just blowing that money away on crap how the fuck are you even going to afford CSU or UC when you transfer?

More importantly, why are you taking money for the purpose of college that you don’t even need?? My Trigonometry textbook alone for next semester costs $200 brand new. The lowest I was able to find it used (after checking several websites) was $150.

Some of us actually really *need* the Financial Aid money because otherwise we couldn’t afford college. All our Financial Aid money is actually spent toward our education.



Elizabeth Ball, another Smarty Pants Woman, is a 49-year old senior at UC Irvine.

Today, 11/6/14, I attended a workshop for writing an effective personal statement for grad school.  I started college at Long Beach State in the fall of 1983, after high school graduation.  During the workshop, I was chuckling to myself and wondering how will I be able to summarize the past 30 years of my story in approximately 1200 words or less!  I am a 49 year old, fifth year Psychology and Social Behavior major at the University of California, Irvine and I will be graduating at the end of the Winter Quarter 2015.

I did well in high school and I wanted to stay in Southern California with my mom and her family.  My mom was single and I never met my dad. While in school, I was about a year and a half away from graduating, but started having difficulty with my courses.  I didn’t ask for help, my grades started to slip and I became discouraged.  I took a leave of absence from school because my mom was ill.  She died when I was 24 and I didn’t have the heart to go back to school.

That started a pattern of working, getting discouraged at dead end jobs, constantly frustrating myself with thoughts of fear and failure because I was a college drop out.  I married and had my daughter, Dolores (named after my mom), when I was 31.  I too became a single mother and had to move back into my grandmother’s house.  I was scared I was reliving my mother’s life.

Fast forward to my daughter being thirteen and I remarried.  I have always wanted to help people so I changed my major to Psychology.  I enrolled at Long Beach City College and completed my AA degree and was ready to transfer back to a university.

I picked a couple of CSU’s to apply to and I visited UC Irvine.  I went to a transfer student event there and fell in love with the school.  This was a traditional setting, a large university that is so vibrant and full of life.  I felt welcomed right away.  I was admitted to both CSU Dominguez Hills and CSU Fullerton but still hadn’t heard from UC Irvine by late April.  Finally on the 25th, I checked my admissions account online and it said, “Congratulations.  You have been accepted to UC Irvine!”

I transferred to UC Irvine last year.  It has been a very interesting experience being a non-traditional student in a traditional, academic setting.  It was a difficult adjustment.  Adjusting to the pace of the quarter system was brutal at first since I had always been on the semester system.  I thought my younger peers wouldn’t want to have anything to do with me.  I was wrong.  I have always felt like I am a part of the group in my classes.  I have received so much support from my younger classmates and they enjoy getting my “words of wisdom” from me.  I commute to Irvine from Long Beach four days a week and like you Justine, spend most of my time on campus.

My first year at UCI was a year of growth, maturity and fun.  I love being around all these wonderful, kind and brilliant students.  During that first year, I also decided to apply to masters in social work programs and my area of focus would be with seniors and advocating for them.

I need to complete an internship for one quarter before I graduate and I found a position that fits me perfectly!  It is a research assistant position with one of the top experts in the nation on elder abuse.  The woman I work for is a professor with the UCI Medical School who heads a team that collaborates with other professionals in Orange County who attempt to solve difficult cases of elder abuse and neglect.  This professor is also starting a community-based nonprofit to raise awareness on this issue.  I love working with her and the group of dynamic women she has assembled.  I have committed to work with her for the entire school year.  I am thrilled to have this opportunity!

I am so grateful for how things have turned out.  I do not hesitate to ask for help and I juggle being a wife, and mom in addition to being a full time student.  I am in the process of applying to graduate school, I look forward to completing my Master in Social Work and I will love being an advocate. 

My wonderful daughter is now 18 and enlisted in the Army National Guard.  She will be leaving this January for her basic and advanced training.  I will miss her like crazy but I am so proud of her.  We are trying to spend as much time together before she leaves.  She invited me to tag along with her and her girlfriend on Halloween.  We went to the West Hollywood Halloween carnival and we danced in the street, as I wore my Rosie the Riveter costume.  We had a blast and I never felt happier!

(Re: the pictures, One of my pictures is me wearing my Rosie the Riveter costume last weekend for Halloween.  I think “Rosie” captures the strength of us Smarty Pants Women!)

Do the right thing. Save photography.

To all the people following me:

I know that there aren’t very many of you, and that most of you may not even be from my city, state, or country, but that doesn’t matter. What matters is what this petition is about. I’m a former student of Long Beach City College, and a former student of the Photography program there. I learned so much about more than just the mechanics of photography. I learned to express myself visually, emotionally, and artistically. There is more to this program that the directors of the school refuses to see. It’s more than an art, more than a vocation, and more than just a program that can be cut. By cutting photography, you cut out our eyes. You cut out our vocal cords. You cut out our minds. In an era in which Instagram, Hipstamatic, and any sort of cookie-cutter “photography,” we need those who study the old techniques, the patience it takes to compose an image, to bond with the film in the darkness of a loading room, to magically bring an image from a blank sheet of paper by dipping it in liquid, and then doing that whole process over and over again. Photography is painstaking. Photography is about the discovery of the image, not of the final image itself. We as an audience put ourselves in an image, and for a brief moment, we understand one another. Help me save this, all of this. Reblog this over and over, spread this little seed out to anyone and everyone you know who loves art and photography. Follow this trail back to Long Beach, California and know that you made a difference. Message me, message each other and please,

don’t let photography die.

Watch on djyaldykins.tumblr.com

Pre - Halloween shoe featuring special guests Karen and Joe  ♥

Aww I am surely going to miss Long Beach City College! I went to LBCC for 3 ½ years and finally transferring over to Cal State Long Beach. While I loved attending Long Beach City College, I am really looking forward to starting this new chapter in my life in a different environment, where I will hopefully meet new people, and make new friends. I also plan on working even harder to pursue my career as an Artist!