Saturday, September 23, 2017

booking the odds

I am buying books these days.

Text books. High school text books.

No, I am not going through reversion therapy as a result of my high school reunion -- longing for the smell of a long-neglected hall locker on a hot spring day.

I have volunteered to help a friend successfully get through high school. His name is Omar -- and I will introduce you to him in the near future. He is one of those young people you meet now and then who you know has a good future ahead of him. If some topes can be flattened out.

One of those speed bumps is money. He just started preparatoria -- the equivalent of senior high school up north. Grades 10, 11, and 12. Or, for those of us who refuse to be drafted into the politically correct crowd: sophomore, junior, senior.

His is in Melaque, run by the University of Guadalajara. The short name is "prepa." And that is just what it is -- a prep school. Just like Groton. Sorta. Complete with uniforms and an interesting curriculum.

The photograph is of the textbooks for his courses during a portion of this semester. Communication skills. Physics. Mathematics. Art appreciation. Health. English. The type of courses I took when I was his age.

The cost of those six books was just under $1,000 (Mx) (about $57 (US)). That seemed reasonable to me. But that is only one packet. If I understood correctly, there are four packets each year.

An annual cost of just over $200 (US) for books is not startling to me. I make check book balancing errors in that range. But, this is a kid who works as a waiter as many days a week as he can while attending school. Four thousand pesos is a lot of money to him.

His goal? He wants to do well enough in prepa that he can qualify to attend one of Mexico's  dental schools. It was that ambition and drive that caught my attention. Anyone who is willing to help himself that much to better his station in life deserves a bit of help.

And, so, I will do what I can. I will also keep you posted on Omar's progress. Even if he decides that dentistry is not his ultimate dream, it will be something else. But he will succeed.

He is that type of guy. You can book on it.

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