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An entirely flawed system

So I just found out that NJ is cutting off my food stamps because I’m considered able-bodied. Food stamps has literally been the only thing feeding my family right now and the only way for me to continue getting food stamps is if I go to a 20 hour a week work program. I tried to go to the program and had to make an appointment for orientation months ago and they were so mean and dismissive of me. They wanted me to miss my doctor appointment to go to their orientation and I told them I couldn’t miss it. I was sick, I needed to see a doctor. So they wouldn’t schedule me for another day and that was that.

I can get out of the requirement if I’m caring for someone in my family, which I am, my mother who has been unwell. But why is she unwell, because without warning her health insurance was terminated because she was deemed to make too much money. My mom makes $800 a month from alimony payments. That’s it! How is that too much money? Because she doesn’t have health insurance, she can’t afford her meds and hence has not been the greatest lately. The only way to prove that I’m caring for my mother is if she gets evaluated by a doctor and deemed disabled. Again, something we cannot afford. And if she never had her insurance terminated to begin with, she’d have her meds and she wouldn’t need someone to look after her.  It’s a flawed system and I’m so embarrassed and sad and scared. I don’t know how to feed my family.

I’ve been trying to get a job for a year and a half now with no luck. I have a BA and two MAs. I’m clearly educated and should be capable of getting a job but no one wants to give me a chance despite my 10 years of experience. I really don’t know what to do. I really hate to ask, but I need help. I haven’t paid my credit cards off, we’re charging everything on credit and I’ve reached my credit limit. We’re not using the heat even though it’s so cold, bc we can’t afford to make the payment. I don’t have a cell phone line because we can’t afford it. How is my family going to eat? What am I supposed to do? Like we can’t even afford to pay rent this month. Literally, I have no idea what to do or how to keep us from being hungry and homeless. And I could kick myself for ending up in this situation.

I keep trying to crawl us out of this hole, but I keep failing.

This is so embarrassing, but I need help and I don’t know where to turn. I’m so embarrassed to ask and hate myself for getting to this point. If you could spare anything, even just $1, I would appreciate it so much. I swear, I’ll never forget your generosity and 100% promise to pay it forward. I’m just so scared and so unsure of how to make ends meet. I’m so embarrassed and I’m so sorry for asking. Maybe you could pass this around, reblog it. Any help would be so important and I’d be so thankful.

Fully Funded AHRC Collaborative PhD Studentship – English in Algeria: Interdisciplinary Perspectives

PhD Supervisor:Dr N Vince
Co-Supervisor:Dr M Wyatt
Application Deadline:Friday, May 1, 2015
Funding Availability: Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

This studentship presents a unique opportunity to complete a PhD in an emerging research area and develop highly transferable skills by working both within a university environment and as part of a non-academic international organisation. The studentship project examines the place of English within the contemporary Algerian linguistic and cultural landscape. It explores the historical, political, economic and social contexts which shape learners’ motivation to study English, identifying new directions in research into shifts in global connections and perceptions of what has traditionally been termed ’Francophone Africa’. It also seeks to provide the basis for more research-informed policy-making, enabling the British Council to better focus its work encouraging UK-Algerian co-operation and partnership, including study in the UK, and better direct its English provision for both students and teachers.

The project will be orientated around the following broad themes, to be refined with the successful candidate:
(1) Motivations: What are the motives of Algerians for learning English and/or opting to study in English-speaking countries? To what extent are these decisions shaped by instrumental and integrative goal orientations? How intrinsically motivated are Algerian learners of English at different ages? To what extent is English important to their identities, to their ideal and future selves?

(2) Social worlds: What social worlds are associated with the English language? To what extent is English embedded in Algerian culture / the international culture they are familiar with? Which cultural associations seem to be important? To what extent is English embedded in Algerian culture / the international culture they are familiar with? Which cultural associations seem to be important? Which models of English are important to them: British, American or English as a Lingua Franca? How is this realised in practice?

(3) Change: What changes seem to be taking place at present? How have perceptions/ values/ motives changed in recent decades?
The methodology proposed (to be adapted and refined with the successful candidate) is a multi-case study of in-depth interviews with teachers of English and their students.

Supervision and structure
Year 1: The student will complete a thorough review of the literatures relevant to the project, refining the research questions and methodologies in discussion with the academic supervisors and the British Council Algiers team. S/he will also complete relevant research training, to be agreed upon between the student and the supervisory team.

Year 2: The student will be primarily based in Algeria. Through its close relationship with the Algerian Ministry of Education, the British Council will enable the student to get the access s/he needs in order to carry out fieldwork. When not carrying out interviews or transcribing results, the student will be based at the British Council Algiers office, and will have the opportunity of working alongside staff on the organisation’s English Higher Education Programme. Likely activities include engaging with and organising preparatory workshops for Algerian PhD students planning to come and study in the UK as part of the Algerian Ministry of Higher Education and the British Council’s new doctoral initiative.

Year 3: The student will write up the thesis (maximum 80,000 words), and provide an executive summary for the British Council. S/he will also have the opportunity to participate in the co-organisation, with the academic supervisors, of an international conference on languages and area studies, to be held at the University of Portsmouth.

The student will be jointly supervised by the University of Portsmouth and the British Council in Algiers. The academic supervisory team are all members of the School of Languages and Area Studies (SLAS), one of the largest departments of its kind in the UK, and the Centre for European and International Studies Research (CEISR). CEISR focuses on fostering, through its cluster-based structure, cross-faculty research across the humanities and social sciences. This project brings together the Francophone Africa and Language across Borders clusters, both of which have well established and internationally recognised research track records. The British Council has more than 75 years experience in promoting the English language and cultural relations in more than 100 countries around the world. The successful candidate will benefit from an extensive programme of research training and workplace experience, developing skills in intercultural awareness, project management and effective communication.

Funding Notes:

Full fees paid by the AHRC, bursary stipend per annum of £14,413 (2014/15 rate), plus an additional £1000 per annum paid by the British Council.

Applications are welcome from anyone with a strong academic track record EITHER in the field of language and linguistics (especially educational psychology, applied linguistics or language teaching) OR in the field of Algerian or North African area studies (history, politics, cultures or society).

AHRC terms and conditions mean that to be eligible for this award, candidates must meet certain UK residency requirements.

Full details about the project and how to apply are available here: