So I finally did my taxes and let me tell you...I was pleasantly surprised. For the first time in 5 years I am actually getting a small refund. How nice...well only kind of nice. I'm a little bit miffed that they took my money early to begin with but I guess it was a nice surprise. However, this is tainted by having to send a check to the state for money I earned in Arkansas. Thats right, I'm being taxed on the same money TWICE. How is this possible you ask. Well good old taxachusetts is one of the 6 states in the union that actually asserts it right to tax its residents income wherever they make it. They also, of course, tax you if you aren't a resident but make your money here. So...whats the moral of the story. It is really unwise to get a job in massachusetts if you can possibly avoid it. But you already knew that didn't you. In another rediculous development...following my recent birthday, I find myself lacking health insurance for the first time in my life. Essentially in massachusetts this also constitutes a crime on my part and could subject me to a pretty hefty tax penalty if I don't get it fixed before the end of the year. So being that I don't make very much money every year and the state mandates health insurance, I took to looking into my options for getting something subsidized by the state (side note: this was a HUGE part of winning public support for this bill, because health insurance is so damn expensive). At first, I was pleasantly surprised to find that my income level put me into a place where I could get decent coverage for the fairly low premium of $45/month. I was psyched. Of course, I read the fine print...this program was not available if you are a student. I am of course, in the mind of WPI and the state, a full time student. So, even though I draw a salary and no longer take classes...I am a full time student. So where does this leave me? Well I have the option of paying for health insurance through the school mandated health insurance plan. Here's the kicker...the cost of that is more than double the cost of the state subsidized and I get less coverage. So let me sum that up for you again...Pay MORE and get LESS. Ahhhh....this is just GREAT. Essentially, the state is saying that I need to pay a penalty for being a student to the tune of $60 a month. In other words, it would be in my best interest (financially speaking) to quit school and find a job that paid more and gave me health coverage. Moral of the story: Massachusetts doesn't want me to go to school for an advanced degree. Combined morals...massachusetts wants me to quit school and stop working in the state. We have a great system here don't we. Maybe I should listen to them...if you need me, i'll be in my parents basement with a bag of dorritos and watching reruns of Friends...at least my tax bill will be lighter and I won't have to buy insurance. Patrick OUT!!!