Several months ago I received a letter from my fellowship funders, self-congratulatory and long winded as all such letters are. But the patronizing tone was quickly forgotten at the line “your fellowship is being increased by $X for the next academic year.” Then there was great rejoicing among the fellowship recipients. Great plans were laid for feasting (i.e. non-ramen meals), epic journeys (i.e. less than 6 people in a hotel room for conferences), and dancing our shoes off.
But our dreams were dashed this morning when the new year’s tuition and fees were announced. It turns out that the fees have increased by twice $X, so the funding increase merely means that the reduction in our paychecks won’t actually cause anyone to starve.