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Today's word on journalism

May 8, 2009

The Last WORD

The Fat Lady Sings, Off-Key, Drools

At about this time every year, like the swallows to Capistrano or the buzzards to Hinckley, Ohio, the WORD migrates to its summer musing grounds at the sanitarium —St. Mumbles Home for the Terminally Verbose.

The reason is clear, and never moreso than as this season —the WORD's 13th —peters out.

It's been a fraught year of high palaver and eye-popping transition, both good and not-so-much. An interminable presidential campaign saga finally did end, and in extraordinary and historic fashion. Meanwhile, the bottom and everything that's below the bottom fell out of the economy, with families, homes, entire industries and —of particular interest to WORDsters and the civic-minded —dozens of daily newspapers ("I don't so much mind that newspapers are dying--it's watching them commit suicide that pisses me off." --Molly Ivins). . . all evaporating. What replaces them, from the individual to the institutional to the societal? Are we looking at a future of in-depth Tweeting?

As any newsperson or firehorse knows, it's hard to turn your back on day-to-day catastrophe --we just have to look at the car wreck. But even the most deranged and driven need a rest. As philosopher Lilly Tomlin once observed, "No matter how cynical you become, it's never enough to keep up."

So this morning, as a near-frost hovered over northern Utah, the unmarked van pulled into the driveway and the gentle, soft-spoken men in the white coats rolled the WORD out of bed and into a straitjacket for the usual summer trip to St. Mumbles, where the blathering one will be assigned a hammock and fed soothing, healthy foods --like tapioca, dog biscuits and salmon --while recharging the essential muscles of cynicism, outrage, sarcasm, social engagement and high-mindedness, in preparation for the next edition.
Summer well, friends.

Speak up! Comment on the WORD at


Feedback and suggestions--printable and otherwise--always welcome. "There are no false opinions."

Married students at USU struggle to balance time, money

By Blaze Bullock

April 29, 2009 | Matthew Moriarty is married, has two children, works a minimum of 40 hours a week and is a full-time student at USU.

Moriarty said he thinks being married makes being a college student really difficult mainly because he has to put more time in at work.

"If I wasn't married I wouldn't have to work as much," he said. "But that just comes with the territory. Financially it makes it a whole lot harder."

Marriage is expensive and requires a lot more time than being single does Moriarty said. He went on to say that whenever he isn't at work or school he's watching his kids.

Despite the many demands for married students, marriage does make college life a little easier, Moriarty said. If he needs to do something but he doesn't have time to do it himself, he said that his wife can usually do it for him.

Moriarty attributes a lot of his ability to attend college while being married to the government. "I couldn't have done it without the government. Well I guess I could've but it would've been a lot harder." Moriarty said.

USU also does a lot to help married students, said Moriarty. The university offers marriage counseling at very low prices, and daycare for students' children is offered which is a great help.

Moriarty said he thinks the school helps married students so they'll continue to go to that school once they're married.

ASUSU's department director Tiffany Evans said that about 50 percent of students at USU are married by the time of their graduation.

Evans said that there are many different situations for married students which makes it harder for the school to help them. In some situations both of the people in the marriage are students, sometimes only one of them is, and often one person has already graduated from college and is working to put their spouse through college. "It's so fascinating that even within that makeup you have other sub-categories," Evans said.

The University Fee board has implemented student spouse cards for couples with only one person attending the school. A spouse card can be purchased by students so their spouse can have access to the school's resources, said Evans.

The student spouse card costs $40. Of that money, $8 goes to ASUSU activity fees, $14.25 for athletic fees, $8.75 for campus recreation, $3.50 for music and theater department and $5.50 goes to the Nelson Fieldhouse Fitness Center, said Evans.

The student spouse card allows spouses access to athletic events, ASUSU events, campus recreation, the shuttle bus system, building use, music/theater production discounts and the Nelson Fieldhouse Center. The card does not allow access to computer labs or the Student Health Center, said Evans.

Counseling is offered for married students, Evans said. "It's free if you're a student."

Evans agreed with Moriarty about the price of day care. "They provide discount rates for children of students," she said.

Carson Yonker, a married student at USU, said he believes college is much harder for married students and especially for parents.

"Government grants are nice and all but they don't cover all of your expenses," said Yonker.

Both Moriarty and Yonker said they get grants for the government that pay for all of their tuition but that they have to pay for their books with their own money.

Moriarty said that Medicaid helps him significantly. "It does help out where we don't have insurance," he said.



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