It is certainly no secret that America’s economy is in shambles at best. We live in the Central Louisiana area, and we are seeing no improvements, simply officials going about the same problems in a slightly different way. I, like so many other Americans, am feed up, disgusted, weary, and barely treading water. My husband is a high school teacher and football coach. Due to our low income, I have become an avid coupon shopper, and a pro at making my own sauces, detergent, greeting cards, and gifts for people. This has become even more important to the lively hood of our family being that I recently left a teaching position at a very small, local private school to go back to school and stay home with our daughter. I know, I know…you are thinking I must be crazy to leave the job I had, and now here I am complaining. Well, I had no benefits at this school, my salary was barely at 21,000, there was no discipline at the school, I was having to prepare for six different classes, I had to get an old yearbook done as well as the new year’s, and the teacher there get no real support from their administration…and this only scratches the surface of issues. Therefore, it very quickly became evident that it was time for me to go, and pursue other endeavors. I have wanted to get into the nursing field for years now, so I figured why not now. Oh wait…..cost is why not now. I took out a student loan for just over $2,000.00, and I still owe the school over $300.00. Oh, and I still had to pay out of pocket for half of my books. It was not that long ago that I graduated with my first degree, and it cost no where near as much as this one semester. Yes, I know….now you’re wondering why I would quit a job, to go back to school when I already have a degree. Well, my degree is English; and I live in a small town where writing jobs are non-existent, and teaching jobs are being cut every year, leaving nothing available. With all of the budget cuts in the school system, they no longer assist non-certified teachers in obtaining their certifications. Heck, they aren’t even hiring certified teachers, much less non-certified ones. So all of this background information brings us up to date. I am about 99% positive I will not be returning to school in the Fall. I am okay with this because we desperately need a second income now, and really want to have more kids soon. Not to mention the fact that our school board is proposing to cut coaching stipends, as well as cutting 15% of each schools’ coaching staff. My husband is confident that this cut will occur within the non-revunue obtaining sports, rather than those like football, baseball, track, and basketball which bring a lot of money to the school. I sure hope he is right because I would really like to keep my home. Even if he keeps his job we have to worry about losing his coaching stipend, which pays a few of our bills. I know we could definetely be worse off, and I am so thankful that we aren’t, but I know that if we are facing issues like this, I can only imagine how others must feel. Helpless. If you do even the slightest amount of research as to the amount of money our country is in debt, and how many people have undergone foreclosure in the last few years, and how many will face foreclosure this year, and how many Americans have lost jobs due to budget cuts, and on and on….your head will start spinning. The numbers are overwhelming and saddening. So many people feel helpless. We are beginning to feel helpless. I am beginning the relentless search for a job. I long for a way to bring in an income while at the same time being able to spend my days at home with my daughter, but it doesn’t look possible. The sad part of having to look for a job around here is that salary based jobs are few and far between. I very well may end up flipping burgers, or selling ice cream, but sometimes you just have to do what you have to do to provide for your family. I think is is safe to say that we are all sick of the condition of our country, our states, our citys, our schools, and even some of our own homes. No ever promised any of us that life would be easy, but they certainly never mentioned that for some it will be impossible. We have people in America dying from starvation every day. We have families living under bridges, out of cars, and in tents because they lost their homes. Yet our government is always too concerned with foreign affairs to fix some of the problems under its own roof. I know I can’t be a good friend if I’m not taken care of first. By no means am I saying everyone should put themselves first, but in some instances we have to fix ourselves before we are able to fix others. I don’t know what the answer is for our economy. All I know is we need improvement.