A Letter to the Financial Aid Office: My Summer Earnings

To Whom It May Concern:

My name is Jim Bean, Class of 2013, and I am writing to you about the $2,400 that I was expected to earn this summer pursuant my financial aid package. I am going to be honest with you: I was unable to earn the money. Yes, I held a paid internship this summer. But the truth is I barely earned enough money to break even.

As you know, the economy was particularly bad in June. Nature wasn’t on our side either. Catastrophic flooding in China forced up the price of rice to a 40 year high, subsequently increasing the price of hops. I love to relax with malt beverages on the weekends. I couldn’t give it up. That would be letting China win! As if this wasn’t enough, recent maneuvers in Afghanistan diminished the American supply of poppy seeds. I use them every Tuesday to bake my mother’s outstanding poppy seed muffins. They’re for my co-workers… My co-workers are hungry people. It’s almost unnatural how much they love the muffins.

My finances weren’t going to make it through the summer supporting my love of malt beverages and my co-workers’ muffin addiction. I had to limit baking to every third Tuesday and forgo malt beverages entirely.

When that wasn’t enough, I knew that I was going to have to cancel my two-week vacation to Amsterdam. This made me exceedingly upset. I wanted to see the Van Gogh Museum, ride a bike up and down the famous canals, and make pilgrimage to a nunnery located in the middle of the Red Light District. It’s quite famous for its Christian hospitality. But saving for college in this terrible economy came above my wants.

My budget was right on track until mid-August. At that point, my high school friend Enrique informed me that he was going into debt. Enrique had purchased an ice cream truck back when we were in High School. I remember how he used to peddle the ice…cream he made from the back of the truck. I always found it strange that the girls hanging out behind the bleachers were his only customers. Anyways, Enrique’s finances were tied directly to the companies’. So when the ice cream teamsters union approached him about unionizing his company, there was no way he would be able to pay his employees the first month unless I could float him a few thousand dollars. Here’s the catch, he needed it in less than 48 hours. In cash. I didn’t want to see a friend’s dream crushed like an icicle falling from some gutter, and since Princeton is helping me make my dreams come true, I was feeling charitable. I lent him the money, and he promised me big returns if his little truck could stir up some more ice.

Enrique’s little business took off within the week, and he even started returning my investment. But then tragedy struck: Enrique disappeared. He was last spotted at the new Giant’s stadium. At the time, they were pouring concrete for the support beams. This is all still so painful. Who would do this to Enrique? The poor guy just wanted to spread joy – and ice – from the back of his truck. Sadly, an Italian ice company named Gucci Armada subsumed Enrique’s old ice cream business, and my contribution to the happiness of ice lovers in Newark has been forgotten.

I know that I’ve made some poor fiscal choices this summer. My father always told me that I have the spending habits of a drunken banker and spout rigmarole like a Southern Gentleman. I’ve certainly proved him right on the one count. Can you please find it in your heart of hearts to forgive all or at least part of my loan? I’d be forever grateful.

Yours truly,

Jim Bean

– von Germanberg, ‘13

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