In the continuing saga of my higher education, I have taken two years to complete the 1st year of my Psychology degree. Not my fault. I was not allowed to take on more than a couple of modules per semester because I got into the program through a ‘performance-based’ route. What that implied was, my academic abilities are not on par with the younger lot who got in after A/L. But now, hopefully because I have performed reasonably well in the Level 4 (year 1) modules, I am finally allowed to take on as many modules as I want. Unfortunately, Sri Lanka has run out of dollars and I cannot send out payment even for a single module. What a dilemma. I think of Hume’s Guillotine or the “is-ought problem”. Asking Dad (who lives in Australia) to pay for my education is possible, but I ought not to do it, since I am 50 years old and he is a 77yr old pensioner. At what point in life is one supposed to be financially independent of one’s parents?
These days, my dreams are populated with weighing scales. On one side is the cost and on the other is the education. On one side is a ‘supposedly’ successful daughter and on the other side is a ridiculous scene of a little girl asking Dad for candy. On one side is a person who took fierce pride in her financial independence and on the other is a laughing hyena. But these dreams are still a better place to be than the reality of the morning. There is no escape from waking up. The sun calls me with all the sweetness of every koel bird in the neighborhood singing for a mate. I get up and google the exchange rate. How many Rupees to the GBP? I started the degree at 280 rupees to a pound. This morning it is 427. I console myself by remembering that last Thursday it was 443. In times like this I have full realization of how wonderful it is to be pegged to the family than to the dollar. If I continue with my studies or not, they support me and encourage me. My family has come through with encouragement to not give up.
In the grand scheme of things, I have no problems. Considering that most of my countrymen are starving and children cannot even get to school because of a lack of fuel in the country. I have mom and dad, a wonderful husband, and a great brother. That’s a blessing if ever there was one. Not because they will pay up, but because they will show up like a big shady tree in the midst of the harsh terrain that is life.