DEAR ABBY: I have worked in the field of education for more than 40 years, with the last 25 years serving in adult education, helping students complete their high school equivalency diploma.
Big changes are impending worldwide in this very important educational service. Starting in 2014, the cost may go up. Up until two years ago, the classes in our community were free. The testing cost $7.50, which paid for a printed diploma. Since then, the cost has gone up -- first to $25 and then to $35.
Now the GED program has been bought by a for-profit organization and the costs will go higher than ever. Furthermore, it will no longer be possible to take the test using pencil and paper. It will all be done on computer.
Please encourage the thousands of adults who do not have their high school degrees to make a life-changing decision for themselves and their families now! -- JOY IN A CLASSROOM DOWN SOUTH
DEAR JOY: I am sure many readers will thank you for this important heads-up. Readers, the changes Joy has described will go into effect on Jan. 2, 2014. According to the media representative for the GED Testing Service in Washington, D.C., the costs of the tests will be determined by the state in which it is administered. It is currently between $0 and $250, and in 2014 will "marginally increase or decrease" according to which state you live in. (Decrease? Forgive me for being doubtful ...) Criteria for passing or failing the test will remain the same.
Readers, any of you who are not computer literate should start now. Do not delay. If you are uncomfortable with technology and have a friend or relative who is knowledgeable, more information can be obtained by visiting www.gedtestingservice.com.
DEAR ABBY: I have been in the workplace for 20 years. During that time I have witnessed lying, cheating, lechery, betrayal, vicious gossip, arrogance, entitlement, stealing and bullying, etc.
Last week, a co-worker whom I liked and respected confided to me that she hopes a 102-year-old relative will die soon because she needs to inherit some money. I was floored and had a hard time keeping the shock off my face.
Does work bring out the worst in people? Is it because we all must be here every day? Is it too many people competing for too few resources? Is my hide too thin? Am I in the wrong job? -- THE DAILY GRIND
DEAR DAILY GRIND: When you spend eight hours a day with people, they usually reveal their core values at some point. In your case, you appear to work with someone who "over-shares." I don't think your hide is too thin, and I'm not in a position to tell you if you're in the wrong job. You may, however, be overdue for a vacation.
P.S. Let's cross our fingers and hope that relative makes it to 110.
DEAR ABBY: Please settle a family disagreement. A scratch ticket is given to a friend or relative as a gift. If that ticket is a winner, is there an expectation that the winnings should be shared with the person who gave the ticket? -- JEFF IN MASSACHUSETTS
DEAR JEFF: A gift is a gift. There is no obligation to share. Alexander Pope wrote, "Hope springs eternal in the human breast," but if you are hoping you'll get a cut of the money, don't hold your breath.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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