Dan's Thesis

Many years ago, I stopped working on my M.A. because I chose to go to live and work with people in Vancouver's downtown eastside (this after completing all the course work with an overall GPA of 3.95/4.0 -- I only needed to submit my thesis to finish).  I was working with youth experiencing homelessness and volunteering with males and trans* sex workers.  Along with my roommates, I decided to open our home to people in the neighbourhood and we did community meals for people from the neighbourhood, from the alleyways, and for the ladies working on the street corners.  To me, this seemed much more important than focusing on completing a degree that would (in my mind at that time) only further distance me from the people whom I was getting to know and love as friends and neighbours.

That was several years ago and now I am a single father of two working full-time in London (Canada).  Professionally, I am trying to create a safe, welcoming, and useful community space for people who have been cut off from all the other services -- largely people actively using crystal meth who also have untreated mental illnesses and a good deal of unresolved trauma.  It's work that I think is valuable -- especially to clients who are so accustomed to being dehumanized and treated terribly in other environments -- but it's not the highest paying job in the world.  It pays the bills.

However, I have now decided to go back to submit my completed thesis (which has turned into a 500 page book, that is being scouted by significant academic publishers and which I believe will be a serious contribution to scholarship).  The school has accepted me back but requires just under $5800.00 to pay for the thesis submission.

I did have money saved but I used all of that money to hire a lawyer to ensure the best results for my children when their mom and I separated.  Although I have a fantastic credit rating, my savings are depleted from that, and so the bank does not want to give me a student loan.

Consequently, I am asking for assistance in financing this project.  I don't know how much good this will do -- I have spent most of my life trying to journey into relationship of mutual respect and liberation with folks who have little or no money (and those friendships have given me much, much more than I believe money can ever buy) -- but I appreciate any help that comes my way.



Daniel Oudshoorn
London, ON

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