Friday, February 1, 2013

Virginia Inaugural Ball for the Democratic Party

The day before President Obama was sworn into office for his second term, I had the honor of attending an inaugural ball. This was a humbling experience and quite a privilege to be able to attend. On a side note, it all began with the renting of a tuxedo. Originally, I was going to hit up the event alone. But then I decided to ask a friend if he'd be interested in joining me for a night of networking on behalf of the indentured educated class.

Here's how it went:

I called my friend less than a week before the event and asked him if he'd be interested in joining me at the Virginia Inaugural Ball for Sen. Tim Kaine, Sen. Mark Warner, and 2013 gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe.

"Yes," he said. "That sounds fine, but it's ball season, so let me call and see if there are any tuxedos still available."

"Fine," I said.

We hung up, and approximately 5 minutes later, he called me back and said, "I was able to find a tuxedo."

"Very good," I said, "I'll buy the tickets, and must get moving on finding a ball gown."

That very day, my friend rented a tuxedo. The following Friday, I rushed to Macy's in downtown D.C. I found a gorgeous gown the moment I walked into the store. It fit - as the saying goes - like a glove. I purchased the gown, while still wearing it (!), and then went downstairs to find a pair of perfect shoes. Since I had to have the dress ready by that Sunday, I was worried that I wouldn't be able to get it hemmed in time, so I rushed - in the frigid air - to a tailor shop right across the street from Macy's in my ballgown.

One man said to me, as I dashed across the street, "Girl, you're gonna freeze to death!"

"I'll be fine," I sang, "I'm just going to a tailor shop right across the street!."

I was in luck! The tailor shop had time to hem my gown before the ball. I stood on a block in front of mirrors, and the seamstress, who was a Korean woman, pinned my dress. I picked it up the very next day.

I decided I wanted to go to this ball months ago, so I was able to invest my own money in my dress, shoes, and ticket to the event - it was more than worth it, because this is part of my duty to get to these sorts of events to push the issue and talk about policy solutions that will bring an end to this unnecessary crisis. (I should mention that my friend was kind enough to pay his own way). I realized that this was an event that I couldn't pass up, and while I had fun, attending was all done on behalf of the millions and millions of borrowers who are struggling or unable to pay back their loans.

I had great conversations and was able to discuss my work as an advocate for student loan debtors. This was the goal, and I achieved it.

Again, it was an absolute privilege to have been invited to this event and then attend.

Here are some pictures of when I went to get my dress tailored. Of course, I've also included a few photos that my friend was kind enough to take of me from the evening at the ball. It is with great pleasure that I share these images with all of my readers.

On another note, I returned today from the Hill, and had a fantastic conversation with a staffer about ways in which we need to solve the student lending crisis. Folks, they are listening, and this is going to be the year. This is going to be OUR year to solve the student lending crisis. I am determined, absolutely determined that 2013 will be the year for actual solutions for current borrowers. 

Looking forward to going to the ball [#1]

Still at the tailor's [#2]

Pre-ball [#3]

Public Servant for the Indentured Educated Class [#4]

Another shot of your student loan debt advocate


Anonymous said...

Beautiful! Thank you for representing us, and keeping this issue in front of our lawmakers.

Anonymous said...

You are so fat!

Anonymous said...

Cryn you look absolutely stunning in that dress! I am so glad that you were able to enjoy yourself while tending to such an important matter! THANK YOU!

I really hope that the information you received from the staffer is accurate. We're dying out here. And what's worse - there are federal employees (living paycheck to paycheck, mind you) including military personnel who are frightened out of our minds right now. While the nation has seen the calming of the "fiscal cliff," we are at the mercy of Congress to work together. If they do not, there will be cuts across the board and massive rolling furloughs.

Imagine what could happen to those of us who depend on our federal jobs (which barely pay a living wage) to make our student loan payments are put out of work for months at a time? This would completely ruin us, as if it isn't bad enough already! Default on our student loans could permanently cost us our jobs!


Anonymous said...

I do not understand any of this.

It doesn't add up. From making pilgrimages to Occupy Wall street events, and even to Zuccotti Park (where Alan Collinge even camped out) to going to Inaugural balls when you werent feeling very well, and to what end?

Especially the bit about how you are now "humbled?" What is that supposed to mean?

Anonymous said...

2:34 is calling you a sell-out. What else can you do though? No one else in politics is listening, and they do make a few concessions.

My view is Occupy had several goals, but mainly it was someone's "Hundred Flowers" campaign- a trick to draw you out. The government took names and photos, labeled people "wolves" and communists. It's all dirty.

Anonymous said...

February 2, 2013 at 2:34 PM

I sincerely do not see your point. This poor girl who is having health problems is living what she preaches by actually DOING something about this problem, and you're criticizing her for it? If she WASN'T approaching Washington, you'd probably criticize her for NOT doing so. In your mind, she can do no right. I suppose that's what this generation is used to, though. If we don't go to school, we're stupid and lazy. If we DO go to school, it's somehow our fault that the costs are so outrageous that we have to take out loans. I guess this isn't new to the late twenties/early thirty-somethings.

The more negativity I hear, the more I realize that the movement is getting stronger and the naysayers are getting more frustrated because they're realizing that they aren't going to win this battle. I pay taxes, too. Trust me, I'd rather not see yet another bailout. However, as intimately aware of this unfair, oppressive and stagnating situation as I am, I realize that it absolutely must happen if our country is ever going to recover. We have completely disabled our skilled workforce. We can't continue this way. I'd much rather see my tax dollars going into the pockets of my fellow Americans than into the off-shore bank accounts of greedy executives who would take the bail-out cash and stash it.

It is our time. Things are going to change for us and the rest of the country is going to benefit from the removing of our shackles. It will be one of the best investments our nation has ever seen.

Anonymous said...

@Feb. 3, 2:08

I hope you are right, and I hope Cryn knows what she is doing. (Finance Sherpas)

And of course I am worried about Cryn's health problem (which sounds very serious from her previous posts.)

But the Conservatives are hammering the point now that the country is trillions in debt and I doubt that the Student Loan debt problem is high on the agenda.

A relatively very small percentage owe what can be called irredeemable six figure debt, and they are too small a group to care about very much.

My guess is that the rest of the sub six figure legions of debtors will be strung along for as long as possible-a decade or more maybe-because all the patchwork measures have not been exhausted yet, such as IBR and Social Security garnishment etc.

The proposed Petri bill wants a mandated wage garnishment on top of regular income tax, which for all intents and purposes amounts to placing people in a 40% "tax" bracket.

Is that constitutional? Not that it matters much, since the creation of a double standard and the unconstitutionality of taking away consumer bankruptcy protections for a SL debt never stopped the congress in the past.

So go to the ball, but please don't do the two step on the dance floor with Mr. Petri, or puff cigars with him in the smoking lounge.

Or maybe you should waltz with Petri on the veranda, on account of the fact that he wants to cap SL interest at 150%of the principal balance at graduation.

BTW, here is a good blog:

And of course Student Loan Justice:

But like I say, Collinge has been at this game for years now, and not much has changed.

We are going to have to accept the fact that DEBT is the reality of our liofetimes and historical ERA and I don't like it any more than you.

Come on everyone......lets here from you all and lets keep the comments going here and lively!

Anonymous said...


The Petri paln would cap the interest at 50 percent of a loan’s face value at the time of graduation.

But I hope more people comment. These blogs are dying and the comments are way down.

Anonymous said...

Cryn, you look like a transsexual. Huge shoulders, giant head, plump and featureless body...

I do hope these balls and other events are not where you are spending the donations to your "non profit". I know you say you bought your own clothes, but the ticket too? Hotel room? Transport there and back?

I have yet to see any financial statements from this non profit to show what money is coming in and what money is going out. Would you please reply and let me know where I can find this information? Better yet, post it on your site in the interests of transparency.

Your money and time would be better spent actually advocating, rather than living it up on our behalf.

Sorry, Cryn, but you've been in this game for so long now, yet you have actually zero results. None. There is nothing you or I can point to that is of any use to us whatsoever.

I strongly urge everyone to avoid this organization until it shows that it is non profit, and until it shows that it is actually having any effects whatsoever other than making Cryn's swell head bigger and bigger with the idea that she's the boss of a non profit.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Lighten up on Cryn! It's one thing to contribute constructive criticism and / or ask for clarification about the work she is doing, but there's absolutely no need to make personal attacks against her. To criticize her appearance serves absolutely no purpose. Please, let's have an intelligent, thoughtful discussion. If you believe you could do better than Cryn, why don't you propose some alternative ideas / approaches...or better yet, get out there and do something and provide us a link to allow us to follow your progress.