College Twerk-Study Program? No, Thank You

19 Mar

by Roger White  

Shakespeare nailed it when he said it was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Or was that Kipling? Whatever. That’s what it is, all right. Around our house, it’s the best of times because our eldest offspring has been accepted into two top-tier universities. And it’s the worst of times because our eldest offspring has been accepted into two top-tier universities.

As parents, we couldn’t be more proud—or more terrified. If you haven’t window-shopped prices of higher education lately, let me explain it this way: Imagine you are a master chemist and you’ve cooked world-class blue crystal meth for years until you’ve amassed eight barrels of nicely laundered cash. Now, imagine a gang of neo-Nazi thugs meets you in the desert, shoots your DEA agent brother-in-law, and takes seven of your cashcashcashcash barrels, leaving you with only one. OK, never mind. Bad analogy. I’m in no way likening college to a gang of neo-Nazi thugs. In fact, let me state for the record here and now that I am extremely pro-higher education. However, I am also extremely pro-eating food on a daily basis and pro-paying the light bill and pro-not living in the highway median with the nocturnal wildlife and those creepy guys in the wool sweaters who hang out at the stoplight.

Yes, folks, college be expensive. Sticker shock isn’t the term for it. It’s more like sticker electrocution. With two girls nearing high school graduation, the wife and I figure that I can retire around age 146. The good news is I can gear down to a part-time job at about age 125 or so.

greenstampsNeedless to say, we are hunting high and low and medium for any and all forms of financial aid, scholarships, grants, loans, subsidies, handouts, lottery tickets, coupons, cash-back programs, and loose change. We’ll take S&H green stamps if you have them.

This is why I was morbidly curious when I read somewhere that a rapper by the name of Juicy J recently offered a $50,000 college scholarship to “the best chick who can twerk.” If you’ve been cave-dwelling or living in Nebraska of late, twerking is, and I’m quoting here, “a type of dancing in which an individual, usually a female, dances to popular music in a sexually provocative manner involving thrusting hip movements Robin Thicke, Miley Cyrusand a low squatting stance.” Yeah. It’s that highly objectionable derriere-jiggling move that an obviously chemically-altered Miley Cyrus performed on stage last year at the MTV Video Music Awards. Needless to say, I’ll never watch Hannah Montana the same way again. Not that I ever watched Hannah Montana. No, seriously. I only watched a few episodes because my kids were watching it. Actually a cute show, although I thought the guy playing Hannah’s dad just wasn’t believable in that role.

Anyway, no daughter of mine is going to twerk for anybody anywhere, if I have something to say about it. At least not for anything less than a full ride, textbooks, and room and board.

This got me thinking, if a rapper can step up and sponsor this unique, albeit disgusting, higher ed opportunity, why can’t others? How about Apple offering a Texting Tuition Scholarship? I know for a fact my youngest can text and tweet longer and faster than anyone I know. Sprint could perhaps pony up big money for the Best Selfie Student Grant Program. Maybe the automotive industry could get behind a Guess the Next GM Recall Scholarship. Or what about a Dennis Rodman Foreign Policy International Studies Student Loan Program? The potential here is unlimited.

Unfortunately, my retirement account isn’t. Pass the peanut butter and crackers, please.

Roger White is a freelance writer living in Austin, Texas, with his lovely wife, two precocious daughters, a very fat dachshund, and a self-absorbed cat. For further adventures,


64 Responses to “College Twerk-Study Program? No, Thank You”

  1. Kevin Casey Fleming March 21, 2014 at 3:55 pm #

    It was Charles Dickens, not Shakespeare nor Kipling. I hope your daughter can find funding. Tell her to apply for financial aid and scholarships, even if she is sure she will not get anything. I got $72,000 in the form of 13 different scholarships. It is possible.

  2. The Childlike Author March 21, 2014 at 3:58 pm #

    If I was rich and wealthy like Juicy J, I would probably offer large amounts of money for ridiculous things as well… but more in the style of Dogbert from the Dilbert comic strip. “I’ll give you ten thousand dollars if you wallow in that mud puddle.”

    • oldspouse March 21, 2014 at 4:00 pm #

      I hear ya. Kind of like George Costanza as a philanthropist. “They would come begging to me, and if I felt like it, I would give them money. And then they would owe me BIG TIME!”

  3. parimalcreations March 21, 2014 at 4:16 pm #

    Quite a dilemma for us parents when our children make us face that door of, why didn’t we major in chemistry(sorry, pun definitely intended). But, we shall soldier on and I wish you & your family enjoy all such times & challenges, just to give us a glimpse of- it too shall pass. All the very best, from one parent to another, Meensi

  4. JusticeLivesNot March 21, 2014 at 4:21 pm #

    Thanks for this hilarious/heartbreaking read. I have 2 nieces in college myself (one at the U of TN), and they’re the first ones in our immediate family to be lucky enough to attend. They work very hard to keep scholarships, and will have to work even harder after graduation to pay back the loans for what the scholarships didn’t cover. I, too, am for anyone furthering their education, but I think its downright evil that post-secondary education in America puts young grads tens of thousands of dollars in debt before they even hit the work force!

    And I agree, what kind of dips*it gimmick is that Juicy J selling? Personally, I think anybody who’d make a fool of themselves twerking for college money is an idiot, and college wouldn’t help anyway!

  5. lmarks04 March 21, 2014 at 4:27 pm #

    I like your family values and your daughter does deserve to go to college. Best of luck in the future.

  6. thefuzzyblogger March 21, 2014 at 6:00 pm #

    Reblogged this on The Fuzzy Life and commented:
    Agreed. I mean, who comes up with this stuff? The pervert on Creep Street?

  7. Barbara Backer-Gray March 21, 2014 at 6:40 pm #

    Good luck with that. We’re still a few years away from college. But just in case, I’ve been getting to know the “creepy guys in sweaters” and most of them aren’t really that bad. I think we can team up and take turns at night guarding our backpacks when the time comes.

  8. nurshoalihabagus March 21, 2014 at 6:46 pm #

    Reblogged this on princessleha and commented:
    Wow amazing!

  9. ummqamarblogs March 21, 2014 at 7:32 pm #

    I loved this. What a humorous and refreshing take on the woes of college expenses.

  10. Vincent Borgese March 21, 2014 at 8:18 pm #

    Like my daughter assures me: “When the time comes, dad, I’ll get you and mom into one of the better old age homes.” Thanks, kid!
    Good luck with the rough road ahead.

  11. pezcita March 21, 2014 at 8:26 pm #

    I always felt guilty about my parents helping me so much with school expenses. (Granted, it was their idea that I should go to college in the first place.) I tried to make it worth their while by earning good grades. Going to community college first and staying at home helped, but I still ended up with years of debt. That and a useless degree. The way I did it, college was more like four years of glorified book club. If I had to do it all over again, I’d pick a trade major. Wouldn’t it be better if they charged you based on the average salary of someone with your major, instead of having a flat fee per credit hour?

  12. Ted Luoma March 21, 2014 at 10:16 pm #

    Nothing better than skinheads stealing barrels of cash from you. Hopefully, college for your kids will pay off. Maybe you’ll get lucky and get stuffed in a nursing home that has lemon pudding on Tuesdays.

  13. Sthephany Vieira March 21, 2014 at 11:20 pm #

    Breaking Bad 😀

  14. ksfinblog March 21, 2014 at 11:54 pm #

    I think your comparison of college to a gang of well ………. was very apt description of education business.

  15. dangvanthao March 22, 2014 at 12:22 am #

    Breaking Bad

    • dangvanthao March 22, 2014 at 12:24 am #

      Nothing better than skinheads stealing barrels of cash from you. Hopefully, college for your kids will pay off

  16. mswalkingblog14 March 22, 2014 at 12:23 am #

    I love this tv series and I would love to have those barrels legally

  17. yorkvillexpress March 22, 2014 at 12:48 am #

    great post!

  18. haridasgowra March 22, 2014 at 4:40 am #


  19. kd blog March 22, 2014 at 5:46 am #

    With 2 in college, pasta and sauce has become my favorite cheap meal. And I think Reddit could pony up on the scholarships, too.

  20. sctopshelf March 22, 2014 at 6:40 am #

    You’re good. ENJOYED EVERY LINE. I have no doubt you’ll be a rich, smarter-than-most, blessed by family, old but spry man, and you know it.

  21. Pushkar Anand March 22, 2014 at 8:47 am #

    It is Charles Dickens though…..Not shakespear…Well crafetd humor #sir.

    • oldspouse March 22, 2014 at 5:25 pm #

      Actually, it was Charles’ cousin, Ralph Dickens, to be accurate.

  22. haleylove March 22, 2014 at 9:18 am #

    As a 20 year old paying my way through a PAC 12 university, I know the sticker electrocution! Have your kids look every single night for scholarships, I applied for EVERYTHING. even random little $50 ones will add up to make a huge difference. And the “twerking scholarship” became a huge thing around campus, disgusting. Best of luck to you & yours!!

  23. Azure James March 22, 2014 at 9:56 am #


  24. charnelehenry March 22, 2014 at 10:20 am #

    Higher education costs just about an arm and a leg and with loan set up, you’d spend your life repaying a debt. It is indeed the best and worst of times.

  25. miniblackbarbie March 22, 2014 at 10:44 am #

    I actually like creative scholarships, the serious ones have too many specific qualifications.

  26. Contortum Designs March 22, 2014 at 11:23 am #

    Worst part is, in today’s economy a bachelor’s degree just doesn’t cut it! So just think about paying for grad school too!

  27. Dan Hennessy March 22, 2014 at 11:55 am #

    I got the (not mentioning Dickens) joke — just to let you know some of us did .

  28. kuoypheap March 22, 2014 at 12:49 pm #


  29. Capitalist in Progress March 22, 2014 at 12:51 pm #

    Part of getting the money is applying to a school below where you just might be able to ge t in. I received full rides from over 10 schools (lewis and clark, dickinson, etc) because they were below my GPA / SAT score.

  30. Terry Robinson March 22, 2014 at 2:46 pm #

    I’ve got one in college and one out I feel your pain. Btw you may know this, but the guy playing Hannah’s dad, was her dad – just not much of a parent.

    • oldspouse March 22, 2014 at 5:26 pm #

      Thanks, Terry. and yeah, the Billy Ray bit was a joke.

  31. Diva Riches March 23, 2014 at 2:23 am #

    I would definitely like to have some of that $$$

  32. Diva Riches March 23, 2014 at 2:34 am #

    I have 2 in College!

  33. Digvijay Singta March 23, 2014 at 3:17 am #

    Haha.. just loved your twerk-scholarship-program blog… great humor.. LMAO.. hope u dnt hv to take the help of all the aforementioned programs fr ur daughters’ admissions… take care.. 🙂

  34. sotonz March 23, 2014 at 3:53 am #

    Reblogged this on sotonz's Blog and commented:
    Twerk mood

  35. America's Team March 23, 2014 at 4:45 am #

    get out of her!!!

  36. Durgesh Anand March 23, 2014 at 4:45 am #

    Nice comment my blog

  37. spikey1one March 23, 2014 at 10:28 am #

    There are ‘college courses’ on the NET these days for almost everything and they will cost you zilch. Going into $30/40,000 worth of debt with no guarantee of a job at the end of it, make no sense. If you go the NET route, she can get some work experience while she studies, who knows, she might even find a job she likes…

  38. tryingtoknowthyself March 23, 2014 at 11:59 am #

    So I went through the college decision process <2 years ago. I got into a lot of really great top schools like your daughters. The problem was that even with scholarships and financial aid, I would be in extreme debt (like buying a house debt). My parents talked me into applying to a smaller liberal arts university, I ended up with a full ride since the competition was so much slimmer.
    I secretly worried that my education would be ruined since this wasn't a "Big Name school".
    Turns out between the small class sizes, and the fact that I take every opportunity I can get, I've managed to have a great education without the burden on a loan.
    Point is, for undergraduate studies the name of the university really does not reflect the type of education you receive. I'd recommend looking into a lot smaller universities that are within your price range, and sanity. If your girls study really hard and try, they will have no problem getting into a big name graduate school (when the name actually counts).

    Sorry for the novel 🙂 I hope my experience adds to the dialogue you've started.

  39. melissakunsabo March 23, 2014 at 3:51 pm #

    Post secondary education is certainly a fearful time for the wallet… I myself count myself incredibly ironic lucky stars for one simple fact, I was a crown ward of the province. Which was good for me ironically, $6500 in grant from Children’s aid plus $3500 from the federal government, basically meant my $7000 tuition fee plus travel expenses were paid. Mind you that was for a college program for PSW/RCA (nothing amazing) but if I wanted to upgrade to a nursing degree I would receive the same help… Which is sad because if I grew up outside of government care I would not have been able to afford school tuition. I have no idea how families afford multiple tuitions, its unfortunate, and it hinders a lot of brilliant minds from pursuing a degree.

  40. yvespink March 23, 2014 at 5:00 pm #


    • shrink on the couch March 23, 2014 at 11:06 pm #

      So with this Juicy J scholarship, after I graduate, would I be expected to twerk for a living?
      Oh and I don’t think you can actually expect to live to be 146. Or 125 even. The maximum human life span is now 122, established by Jeanne Calment of France, who died in 1997. You can google these kinds of things, in case you’re not aware.

      • oldspouse March 27, 2014 at 8:48 am #

        details, details. and yes, i know several professional twerkers. my cat is one.

  41. Fancycat29 March 23, 2014 at 11:27 pm #

    And he gave the money to the girl who read the fine print and did not twerk

  42. Warm Southern Breeze March 23, 2014 at 11:33 pm #

    Many “top-tier universities” will offer their prospective students full-ride scholarships, many of which are needs-based. Begin the inquiry process with the Student Financial Aid Office (or whatever it’s called). You may be VERY pleasantly surprised! And the heartiest of congratulations to your “eldest offspring”!

  43. Desire March 24, 2014 at 1:11 am #

    Hope everything works out with the college funding!

  44. Eric's View March 24, 2014 at 7:17 am #

    Reblogged this on Eric's Top scale social Blog .

  45. Xian Life March 24, 2014 at 11:29 am #

    Who do I make the check out to? Good post, but I just say that my heart now has palpitations. Gotta go.. customer is here. Welcome to McDonald’s, would you like to try or new bacon ranch burger?

  46. maggiequinn March 24, 2014 at 2:07 pm #

    Best wishes to your daughters. Wouldn’t it be nice if every town had its own small college where kids could take a transition year between high school and University and have quality time and a safe space to plan their future without taking on great debt. That first year of being away from home is tough enough without the added financial burden.

  47. Renee March 24, 2014 at 10:04 pm #

    Holy hell this came up at the oddest timing. I must finished telling my family that any meat they got was coming from the sodium packets in ramen because it’s time to panic over one of the top culinary arts schools. Even the daughter who wants to go is not happy it’s going to interfere with dinner. I will bring the housing boxes of you find me a plot of land we can live on!

  48. Amlakyaran March 25, 2014 at 6:20 am #

    very nice post… thanks

  49. talker blogger March 26, 2014 at 8:46 pm #

    Roger, I laughed and loved the post!! Made my husband read it too. I am a proud mom of 5yr old and a 9 month old, the primary education n diapers are too expensive and I can well understand the college … Congrats for your eldest and hope all works out gr8!! I just subscribed to your blog n I think it’s superbly written 🙂

  50. Fate Jacket X March 28, 2014 at 7:50 pm #

    I agree with all your scholarship suggestions. I also agree with the twerking one, as much as I despise the act. But hey…50k is 50k. And if ever there was a good reason to twerk, it’s that one. Instead of doing it for free in a club some place.

  51. The Generation Me March 28, 2014 at 10:41 pm #

    Reblogged this on TGM Millennials.

  52. The Hubians March 29, 2014 at 1:28 pm #

    Reblogged this on Teen Hub.

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