An early message to the Class of 2013

Dear Class of 2013:

Next spring, much ink will be spilled with advice for you: to work hard, but not too hard; to laugh but also to cry; to love; and, perhaps most practically, to wear sunscreen.

I am not jumping the gun in writing to you now. If anything, I worry I’m too late.

In fact, if you are in the collegiate Class of 2013, I am too late. This message is for high school seniors. And that message is: Don’t wind up like Katie Brotherton.

Brotherton is a young woman from Cincinnati who last month wrote in her local newspaper that she’s overly indebted and rather hopeless, because she made bad decisions about her education.

OK, she didn’t write that last part. In her telling, she met “societal expectations” by earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees. But now she owes nearly $190,000, lives in her parents’ basement and “want[s] answers.”

She has a point, sort of. When she was in your place seven years ago, there might not have been anyone warning her against attending such expensive colleges or borrowing to pay for them.

Americans long have been told furthering their education is the path to prosperity, that the surest path involves attending the very best college they can get into, and, more or less, that the best college is the one that costs the most.

The first part is still true: You owe it to yourself to continue your education past high school. It’s the next two parts of the story that are coming into question.

Thirty years ago, it was different. Even 16 years ago, when I was a senior, and attending Harvard cost about $30,000 a year less than it does now, it was different. Since then, tuition has increased so sharply as to make the housing bubble and health-care inflation look like flat lines.

Is it still better to graduate from college than not? Yes: Housing prices peaked in 2006 and then plummeted, but people still pay for shelter.

But it does mean, if we could go back to 2005 and advise potential homebuyers, we would caution them about which house to buy, how much to spend on it, and not to believe home prices can only go up.

You, the Class of 2013, are like homebuyers circa 2005.

Yes, many of you should go to college. But you should also think deeply about which college and which major, including job prospects in that field. Others should consider technical school more strongly than they might have before now. In choosing a route, think very hard about the debt you stand to incur.

Washington politicians have made a big deal out of whether the federal student loan interest rate should return to 6.8 percent or remain 3.4 percent. On a $100,000 loan, that’s the difference between paying $1,151 a month or $984 a month … every month … for the next 10 years.

But halving the interest rate doesn’t make nearly as much difference as halving the principal: A $50,000 loan at 6.8 percent would bring a payment of $575 a month for 10 years.

You know what $576 a month (the difference between $1,151 and $575) would pay for? The better part of an apartment’s rent in Atlanta. Or a pretty nice new car. Over the course of 10 years, you could save up the down payment on a $350,000 house.

This is not a call to lower your educational ambitions. You still can, and should, try to make the most of your God-given talents. Nor is it a call to view everything in terms of money, only a reminder that money is the way you’ll have to pay back whatever you do borrow. Just ask Katie Brotherton.

– By Kyle Wingfield

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306 comments Add your comment

Rafe Hollister, suffering through Oblamer's ineptocracy

October 12th, 2012
5:24 pm

They seriously need to consider trade school, to learn a specific skill that will be useful in future years. I speak as a father with a son, who is working as a cook, who has a masters degree in public administration.

$50,000 a year jobs to sit in a cubicle and play around with a computer are last decades news. Employers are overstocked with those employees. Employers now want you to be able to contribute something, that is not readily available in their current employees.

Gravy Train

October 12th, 2012
5:26 pm

Kyle, I agree with your views here. Great job. I guess you’re not going to attempt to break down Willard’s economic policy? I keep waiting for the details of how he is going to cut revenues and increase spending without increasing the debt or raising taxes on the middle class. Ryan was asked repeatedly last night to give us the details and he just couldn’t do it. Willard is even more evasive on the issue. I’ll hang up and listen.

Gravy Train

October 12th, 2012
5:30 pm

Hearing stories like this makes me thankful that my step dad taught me how to work with my hands, use tools and machinery, maintenance our cars, equipment and our home. I can always get a job using these skills.

Gravy Train

October 12th, 2012
5:32 pm

Plus, I’m saving lots of money not paying someone else to do things I can do myself.

Gravy Train

October 12th, 2012
5:36 pm

It’s baffling that Willard has an army of accountants to fix his tax return, but they can’t come up with one detail on how their economic plan will work. I guess the magic underwear just aren’t that powerful?

Gravy Train

October 12th, 2012
5:40 pm

Rafe, your son would be better suited going back to school and getting a Communications degree. If his grades are good he can get Hope. The Communications degree is not much different than what he has, so he probably will only have a year of classes. Companies are hiring people to handle public relations and social media networking.

Rafe Hollister, suffering through Oblamer's ineptocracy

October 12th, 2012
5:40 pm

Gravy
I would respond to your nonsense at 5:26 and 5:36, but I think Kyle would like us to stay on/respect his topic for at least a few minutes, before you start one of nonsensical screeds.

Old timer

October 12th, 2012
6:08 pm

Kyle, good article. I, too, received an excellent education. I paid for it years ago. No loans or family help I also have two masters degrees. But, today I would not choose history as a major. I loved it and made a good living, but even most college professors struggle to make a living as very few are hired full time. Liberal arts are useful, though you must be prepared to be poor. I also learned with my children, if you do well more money is available after you prove yourself. Also college students today live much better than I did. Dorms, meal plans, can all be a good learning experience. You do not have to have an apartment.

Don't Tread

October 12th, 2012
6:16 pm

Nowadays, if you don’t have plans for a medical or legal degree, you’re better off with a skilled trade that teaches you to build or fix things most people can’t. (HVAC, auto/diesel/boat mechanic, metal fabrication, etc.)

The salary to educational cost ratio works in your favor.

Li'l Aynie

October 12th, 2012
6:30 pm

No problem. Just borrow the money from your parents! (by courtesy of Mitt Romney)

Li'l Aynie

October 12th, 2012
6:51 pm

If you didn’t inherit millions, and your parents can’t loan you the money, then take the government loan, but invest it in an education that will prepare you for the future.

If you are intelligent and diligent enough to pursue a degree in mathematics, do that! The manufacturing processes of the present and the future are controlled by computer programs. Programming these processes requires a knowledge of higher calculus and spherical geometry.
Simply learning to use and program a computer is not nearly enough.

Avoid pursuing the easy studies: law and business management. Leave these over-crowded professions to people of lesser intelligence. The only advancement for a lawyer is politics. The only advancement for a business managment major is a dreary second and third-level management position.

getalife

October 12th, 2012
7:05 pm

Vice President Joe Biden stood up in front of the world, called the gop full of crap and laughed at them.

I am going to follow his leadership.

Show me something gop to prove you want to help the middle class or shut up about that lie.

getalife

October 12th, 2012
7:09 pm

I have a message for the young folks,

Never, ever let the gop destroy our country again.

Thanks.

MoJo

October 12th, 2012
7:20 pm

Ah don’t worry with all this advise. Join the “MOOCHER CLASS” and laugh your silly assets off like Joe Biden all the way to welfare office. Obama will take care of you, why do you need to do anything hard, like WORK and PAY FEDERAL INCOME TAX !?

Michael H. Smith

October 12th, 2012
7:28 pm

Here are two items you can credit to the GOP’s account that directly aids the poor, the working poor and the middle class.

The Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA)

The Earned Income Credit (EITC)

Michael H. Smith

October 12th, 2012
7:39 pm

Wynn On Obama: “I’ll Be Damned If I Want To Have Him Lecture Me”

On the Tuesday broadcast of the nightly Nevada political program “Ralston Reports,” Steve Wynn, CEO of Wynn Resorts sat down with host Jon Ralston to discuss the presidential election.

Wynn, an outspoken critic of President Obama, didn’t hold back in his latest criticism of the incumbent president seeking a second term.

“I’ll be damned if I want to have him lecture me about small business and jobs. I’m a job creator. Guys like me are job creators and we don’t like having a bulls-eye painted on our back,” Wynn said about Obama to Ralston. An excerpt of the interview is below.

WYNN: I’ve created about 250,000 direct and indirect jobs according to the state of Nevada’s measurement. If the number is 250,000, that’s exactly 250,000 more than this president, who I’ll be damned if I want to have him lecture me about small business and jobs. I’m a job creator. Guys like me are job creators and we don’t like having a bulls-eye painted on our back.

The president is trying to put himself between me and my employees. By class warfare, by deprecating and calling a group that makes money ‘billionaires and millionaires who don’t pay their share.’ I gave 120% of my salary and bonus away last year to charities, as I do most years. I can’t stand the idea of being demagogued, that is put down by a president who has never created any jobs and who doesn’t even understand how the economy works.

Wynn on a scrapped business plan: “I’m afraid of the president. I have no idea what goofy idea, what crazy, anti-business program this administration will come up. I have no idea. And I have to tell you Jon that every business guy I know in the country is frightened of Barack Obama and the way he thinks.”

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2012/10/09/steve_wynn_on_obama_ill_be_damned_if_ill_have_him_lecture_me.html

Good luck Class of 2013 you and the rest of us will need all of it you can get when the some of best and most successful business minds in this country are too scared to invest and create jobs because of Obama and the Democrats. By the way, Steve Wynn is a Democrat and former Obama supporter.

@@

October 12th, 2012
7:57 pm

Mike Rowe lends ‘dirty jobs’ cred to Romney in Ohio

Mike Rowe of The Discovery Channel’s reality hit “Dirty Jobs” lent Mitt Romney some working-class cred in Ohio on Wednesday — but no official endorsement.

His appearance with Romney grew out of an open letter the TV star wrote the Republican candidate about his effort to remove the stigma from manual labor.

“If you read the whole thing, I’ll vote for you in November,” Rowe promised in his missive, which pushed for a “national conversation” about the way American society treats some crucial career paths like “vocational consolation prizes.”

Rowe noted that he wrote a similar letter to Obama 2009, but didn’t get a response.

Probably because this is what Obama thinks of those vocational careers

http://articles.nydailynews.com/2012-09-27/news/34131857_1_romney-campaign-mitt-romney-dirty-jobs

I LUVS me some Mike Rowe.

Lil' Barry Bailout - Vote American

October 12th, 2012
8:27 pm

Li’l Aynie: Just borrow the money from your parents!
———————-

Uh, isn’t that what families are for, to help each other? Responsible parents plan and save for their childrens’ education.

Of course, libtards think those who feel responsible for paying their own way are chumps.

Which explains Obozo’s unprecedented, un-American legacy of debt.

Hillbilly D

October 12th, 2012
8:27 pm

My advice to these kids would be this:

You’re going to make some money (right now you’re probably spending Mom and Dad’s but they had to make it), some of you a lot, some a little and most somewhere in between. As soon as you start making a little money, people are going to be trying to separate you from it. Beware, proceed with caution and assume that everybody (especially if money is involved) is a liar until they prove otherwise. You’re going to have your screw-ups and failures and nobody is going to care enough to feel sorry for you. To sum it up, life ain’t for the faint-hearted, get smart quick.

Hillbilly D

October 12th, 2012
8:30 pm

JF McNamara

October 12th, 2012
8:38 pm

This is actually good advice. Be whatever you want, just understand that you should not spend a lot of money if your chosen career does not pay a lot.

If you want to work on Wall Street or to be a lawyer, then spend the money and go Ivy League. It’ll pay back. Otherwise, UGA and Tech are much cheaper and will get you in the door of 99% of the companies in America. After getting in the door, you make your own destiny. The only reason anyone cares is when they talk college football.

Gravy Train

October 12th, 2012
8:39 pm

Everything Mikey H. Smith just posted is a complete piece of wingnut propaganda. They can’t win with ideas, so they resort to fear and lies. You need to be aware of people like Mikey here. They are always trying to trick you into voting against yourself. The whole higher public education support system we have was built and is protected by Democrats. You took US History classes, so you already know that. Despite these so called “patriots” poor mouthing America, this is still the greatest country in the world and you will be just fine without them. Getting ahead requires two things, skills and determination. Never let them make you believe that you have to be a sheep or a ditto-head to make it.

td

October 12th, 2012
8:39 pm

Hillbilly D

October 12th, 2012
8:27 pm

Wise advice. A little more advice:

Just because you get an education does not mean you do not have to work and work hard. If you have prepared yourself with an education and have the mindset to out work the next guy then you will succeed. The one last piece of advice is to always be in control of your emotions in business as well as your personal life. As soon as you show anger or emotional weakness then the other guy/gal has won half the battle.

Gravy Train

October 12th, 2012
8:47 pm

If you get in a bind, you can promise to vote for Willard and get a job with this guy. If you don’t value your soul.

The man above is David Siegel, owner of Westgate Resorts, allegedly the largest time-share company in the world, with his wife Jackie. After a financial setback during the recession, Siegel now brags that “we’re the most profitable we’ve ever been.” He and Jackie have resumed construction on a 90,000-square-foot home, called Versailles, that they are building in Florida. If and when it is completed, it will be the largest private home in the country.

According to the Wall Street Journal, when completed Versailles will boast “13 bedrooms, 23 full bathrooms, a 6,000-square-foot master suite (with plans in place for a bed on a rotating platform), a banquet kitchen plus 10 satellite kitchens, a 20-car garage, three pools, a two-story wine cellar and a grand hall with a 30-foot stained glass dome.”

With that background established, this is the email that Siegel sent to his employees yesterday:

Subject: Message from David Siegel
Date:Mon, 08 Oct 2012 13:58:05 -0400 (EDT)
From: [David Siegel]
To: [All employees]

To All My Valued Employees,

As most of you know our company, Westgate Resorts, has continued to succeed in spite of a very dismal economy. There is no question that the economy has changed for the worse and we have not seen any improvement over the past four years. In spite of all of the challenges we have faced, the good news is this: The economy doesn’t currently pose a threat to your job. What does threaten your job however, is another 4 years of the same presidential administration. Of course, as your employer, I can’t tell you whom to vote for, and I certainly wouldn’t interfere with your right to vote for whomever you choose. In fact, I encourage you to vote for whomever you think will serve your interests the best.

However, let me share a few facts that might help you decide what is in your best interest. The current administration and members of the press have perpetuated an environment that casts employers against employees. They want you to believe that we live in a class system where the rich get richer, the poor get poorer. They label us the “1%” and imply that we are somehow immune to the challenges that face our country. This could not be further from the truth. Sure, you may have heard about the big home that I’m building. I’m sure many people think that I live a privileged life. However, what you don’t see or hear is the true story behind any success that I have achieved.

I started this company over 42 years ago. At that time, I lived in a very modest home. I converted my garage into an office so I could put forth 100% effort into building a company, which by the way, would eventually employ you. We didn’t eat in fancy restaurants or take expensive vacations because every dollar I made went back into this company. I drove an old used car, and often times, I stayed home on weekends, while my friends went out drinking and partying. In fact, I was married to my business — hard work, discipline, and sacrifice. Meanwhile, many of my friends got regular jobs. They worked 40 hours a week and made a nice income, and they spent every dime they earned. They drove flashy cars and lived in expensive homes and wore fancy designer clothes. My friends refinanced their mortgages and lived a life of luxury. I, however, did not. I put my time, my money, and my life into this business —-with a vision that eventually, some day, I too, will be able to afford to buy whatever I wanted. Even to this day, every dime I earn goes back into this company. Over the past four years I have had to stop building my dream house, cut back on all of my expenses, and take my kids out of private schools simply to keep this company strong and to keep you employed.

Just think about this – most of you arrive at work in the morning and leave that afternoon and the rest of your time is yours to do as you please. But not me- there is no “off” button for me. When you leave the office, you are done and you have a weekend all to yourself. I unfortunately do not have that freedom. I eat, live, and breathe this company every minute of the day, every day of the week. There is no rest. There is no weekend. There is no happy hour. I know many of you work hard and do a great job, but I’m the one who has to sign every check, pay every expense, and make sure that this company continues to succeed. Unfortunately, what most people see is the nice house and the lavish lifestyle. What the press certainly does not want you to see, is the true story of the hard work and sacrifices I’ve made.

Now, the economy is falling apart and people like me who made all the right decisions and invested in themselves are being forced to bail out all the people who didn’t. The people that overspent their paychecks suddenly feel entitled to the same luxuries that I earned and sacrificed 42 years of my life for. Yes, business ownership has its benefits, but the price I’ve paid is steep and not without wounds. Unfortunately, the costs of running a business have gotten out of control, and let me tell you why: We are being taxed to death and the government thinks we don’t pay enough. We pay state taxes, federal taxes, property taxes, sales and use taxes, payroll taxes, workers compensation taxes and unemployment taxes. I even have to hire an entire department to manage all these taxes. The question I have is this: Who is really stimulating the economy? Is it the Government that wants to take money from those who have earned it and give it to those who have not, or is it people like me who built a company out of his garage and directly employs over 7000 people and hosts over 3 million people per year with a great vacation?

Obviously, our present government believes that taking my money is the right economic stimulus for this country. The fact is, if I deducted 50% of your paycheck you’d quit and you wouldn’t work here. I mean, why should you? Who wants to get rewarded only 50% of their hard work? Well, that’s what happens to me.

Here is what most people don’t understand and the press and our Government has chosen to ignore – to stimulate the economy you need to stimulate what runs the economy. Instead of raising my taxes and depositing that money into the Washington black-hole, let me spend it on growing the company, hire more employees, and generate substantial economic growth. My employees will enjoy the wealth of that tax cut in the form of promotions and better salaries. But that is not what our current Government wants you to believe. They want you to believe that it somehow makes sense to take more from those who create wealth and give it to those who do not, and somehow our economy will improve. They don’t want you to know that the “1%”, as they like to label us, pay more than 31% of all the taxes in this country. Thomas Jefferson, the author of our great Constitution, once said, “democracy” will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.”

Business is at the heart of America and always has been. To restart it, you must stimulate business, not kill it. However, the power brokers in Washington believe redistributing wealth is the essential driver of the American economic engine. Nothing could be further from the truth and this is the type of change they want.

So where am I going with all this? It’s quite simple. If any new taxes are levied on me, or my company, as our current President plans, I will have no choice but to reduce the size of this company. Rather than grow this company I will be forced to cut back. This means fewer jobs, less benefits and certainly less opportunity for everyone.

So, when you make your decision to vote, ask yourself, which candidate understands the economics of business ownership and who doesn’t? Whose policies will endanger your job? Answer those questions and you should know who might be the one capable of protecting and saving your job. While the media wants to tell you to believe the “1 percenters” are bad, I’m telling you they are not. They create most of the jobs. If you lose your job, it won’t be at the hands of the “1%”; it will be at the hands of a political hurricane that swept through this country.

You see, I can no longer support a system that penalizes the productive and gives to the unproductive. My motivation to work and to provide jobs will be destroyed, and with it, so will your opportunities. If that happens, you can find me in the Caribbean sitting on the beach, under a palm tree, retired, and with no employees to worry about.

Signed, your boss,

David Siegel

Gravy Train

October 12th, 2012
8:50 pm

We should all fall to our knees and thank David Siegel and Willard Romney for allowing us to exist. SMH

YouLibs

October 12th, 2012
9:09 pm

Kyle

Hope you enjoyed the wedding. Sorry it sucks so bad to have to come back and try to rationalize your party’s positions.

Forty years ago I made the decision to be a blue collar worker all my life so I wouldn’t have to be in that kind of position. Most folks would say I was foolish. I’m not SURE I disagree with them, but I’m feeling pretty good at 63 about my life choices.

When you know you’re getting close to the end, that becomes more and more important.

So, welcome back. How was it?

Centrist

October 12th, 2012
9:32 pm

Sorry Class of 2013 – Our politicians for the last couple of decades chose the path of re-election instead of stewardship or our country. They bought votes with debt which you are now saddled with. Our economic engine is lacking oil, and needs a major overhaul. There are many free riders which the belabored engine can not possibly haul. It will be your job to get the able bodied out of the vehicle and push it to the shop. Then you will have to pay the bill.

cc

October 12th, 2012
9:33 pm

“I’ll hang up and listen”

Why don’t you hang up, step outside and search for a very busy highway. When you find it, go out and play in traffic ON FOOT. See just how close approaching traffic can get to you before you jump out of the way. I hope you move VERY slowly.

“We should all fall to our knees and thank David Siegel”

Yes you should . . . for telling the truth. You’re just too brain-dead to understand it. In short, Gravy, you’re a loser. You’ve probably always been a loser and you certainly show no signs of improving. I’ll bet you’d be a riot at a party IF you could find anyone who would want you around. Your life is pretty lonely, isn’t it Gravy?

Bruno

October 12th, 2012
9:35 pm

Forty years ago I made the decision to be a blue collar worker all my life

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZup5YLOWLE

Lil' Barry Bailout - Vote American

October 12th, 2012
9:37 pm

Why the interest in someone else’s home? Did you already finish your People magazine?

@@

October 12th, 2012
9:37 pm

Hillbilly:

Thanks. I went looking for that testimony (?) when I read the story I linked.

Rowe, if you’ve ever seen him in interviews, is super intelligent. I wouldn’t begin to guess where his IQ rates. That being said, his common sense is off the charts.

And FUN-NEEEEEEEEE.

Not to mention HOT….in my humble opinion.

(ISH)

Dusty

October 12th, 2012
9:39 pm

Gravy Train,

Anybody (like you) that posts something that long ought to fall to their knees.

Envy of the rich is an ugly thing!

By the way,Kyle’s message is right on. My children knew it some time back. The five of them have seven degrees altogether.. The last one finished her studies about four years ago and not one of them owes a cent for education. They made good plans and good choices.

Of course I’m bragging. I love ‘em to pieces and proud of them too. Loving your children is the best thing you can give them ( besides education, of course)…

Bruno

October 12th, 2012
9:40 pm

@@

October 12th, 2012
9:42 pm

Another thing, Hillbilly. I’ve read your opinion on charter schools. We have an open campus high school (charter) here in Clayton County. A lot of their focus is on vocational training. It seems to be thriving.

Hillbilly D

October 12th, 2012
9:43 pm

That being said, his common sense is off the charts.

Common sense is how I measure intelligence……..but I’ve always looked at things differently than most folks. Many times I’ve heard people referred to as “an educated fool”. Seems like there’s no shortage of those, these days.

Hillbilly D

October 12th, 2012
9:46 pm

@@

Back in my day, that was regular schools. (IWH)

Hillbilly D

October 12th, 2012
9:47 pm

Bruno

When that transitions from the first song to the second one, it’s something to see Jaimoe and Butch get those cross rhythms going, in person.

cc

October 12th, 2012
9:59 pm

Hillbilly:

“Many times I’ve heard people referred to as “an educated fool”. Seems like there’s no shortage of those, these days.”

I raised two children. Both of them are very intelligent. One attended a very expensive college here in Georgia, and then did her post-graduate work at Princeton. The other had no interest in college and elected to attend a vocational school. After finishing his vocational training, he continued to study and learn in his field of interest. The college graduate does better financially, but my vocation trained child is happier by far. The oddest thing to me is that I would have wagered that the child who elected vocational training would have been the college graduate if only one was to achieve that end.

College is not for everyone, regardless of ability. What interests the child and earns his/her affection should always be the prime consideration.

Bruno

October 12th, 2012
10:03 pm

Dusty

October 12th, 2012
10:06 pm

@@

I was hoping that your husband was the Clayton County man that won the lottery. You did not mention it. Well, what’s a lil’ ‘ol’ million $$$ after all…

Bruno

October 12th, 2012
10:08 pm

Bruno

October 12th, 2012
10:21 pm

@@

October 12th, 2012
10:29 pm

Dusty:

Someone from Clayton County won the lottery!!??!!

Good for him or her!!!

It wasn’t my husband though. It’s blackjack and poker that puts money in his
pocket. Those and his job.

G’nite.

Tall

October 12th, 2012
10:35 pm

Gray Train:

What is your point? Mr. Siegel is obligated to no one. No one is forcing people to work for him. He makes very good points. I have recently tried to start a business with tow former co-workers. Government regulation has crushed all margin out of it. We gave up. If that’s what you want, it is here.

Bruno

October 12th, 2012
10:37 pm

Bruno

October 12th, 2012
10:44 pm

Lil' Barry Blowhard

October 12th, 2012
10:52 pm

Just go to school and sell your stock to pay for your housing, food, and tuition? Sometimes when you are poor and destitute you have to live off your stock.

Lil' Barry Blowhard

October 12th, 2012
10:53 pm

Bruno

October 12th, 2012
11:02 pm

Here’s my message to the class of 2013:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yo8_U2sCA74&feature=related

That we don’t even care
As restless as we are
And we found pull
In the land of a thousand guilts
And poured cement, lamented and assured
To the lights and towns below
Faster than the speed of sound
Faster than we thought we’d go
Beneath the sound of hope

Bruno

October 12th, 2012
11:38 pm