Family, Money and Vulnerability

Penelope Trunk wrote about vulnerability is the key to likability at work today. Here's my take on vulnerability. I don't think I'm going to talk about this at work but I do have an urge to write it here.

I got an email from my brother today and he told me his ESL tuition in a community college in California is going to cost $3,900 for this semester.

And guess who pays for it? Yours truly.

Just thinking about this makes me angry. Really, angry enough that I need to blog about it to let it out.

Two weeks ago, my boss asked me what I'm going to do with my big raise for becoming an ASA. Originally, I was thinking of buying myself a new car (probably a Honda Civic or a Nissan Altima) since my car is already 10 years old.

Nope, no new car for me anymore. My brother's tuition is way more than what I expected to pay. When he was studying in Michigan, the tuition was about $1,700. Now that he's studying in the Bay Area, the tuition is more than double!

I probably won't mind paying for his tuition if he's getting straight As and has strong motivation to do well. What's happening was- he failed all of his classes last semester. And in addition to that, he punched a hole in the wall of my old apartment when he was angry one night. And guess who paid for the damage again? (Hint: not my brother.)

Because of all these, I told my parents that my brother had to go home after the Winter semester. To me, he's not ready to have this opportunity and privilege to study overseas. Do you know how many people will fight for his chance of coming to the US to study with all the expenses paid for? But then my parents kept begging me for giving him one more chance.

Okay, just one more chance. I'm going to pay for his tuition for one more semester and I won't give a dime for his living expense because he has to learn to get a part-time job on campus. If he can get all Bs in his classes, he can stay for one more semester.

But now that the tuition is more than double what I paid before, I have to raise the bar- 2As and 2Bs. If he doesn't get 2As and 2Bs in his classes, he's going home.

I felt angry because I felt this whole thing is not fair. (I know life is not fair but I'm just ranting here). I put myself through college by getting a scholarship, a student loan, working at a few campus jobs and internships.

Now that I've graduated, I'm still making payments for my student loan every month. For everything I have right now, I worked hard for it. Now that I started to make some money and live a slightly more comfortable life, why do everyone in my family has to come and ask me for money???

From now on, don't ask me for money to throw those celebration party on behalf of me. I don't buy this anymore. I haven't even bought myself a nice dinner for getting the ASA yet.

And don't ask me for money to finance your business trip etc. because I haven't gone for an overseas trip for 2 years.

Recently, I don't feel like talking to my parents and my brother because I know eventually the conversation will be about money.

Anyway, enough ranting. Every cloud has a silver lining. One thing I keep telling myself is that "With great power comes great responsibility." And hopefully I can claim my brother as a dependent if he gets a social security number this year.


simpleblob said...


Sorry to see you get so upset.
Seems like your brother needs a good spanking -- kidding.

Anyway, keep fighting and be happy.

PS. I'm in Bay area too. the rent is outrageous.