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Atta Boy Smart Guy Cal!

We here at the newly opened OH! Smart Apartment Solutions and IN! Smart Apartment Solutions are so excited to be here in your markets with hands-on, result oriented, tested and true smart apartment solutions.  A little bit about us and our journey, this story takes us back to seven-years ago, in 2009, just one-year after opening the doors of Smart Apartment Solutions in Ann Arbor, MI.  Wanting some additional input around the Smart Think Tank, now renamed Smartquarters, we reached out to the nearby place of academia, Pioneer High School and requested the marketing professor, Mr. Baublit, recommend an outstanding student to fulfill an intern position with the Smart Girls at Smart Apartment Solutions.  Well, recommend he did, he set history in motion by introducing us to the bright, capable, well-mannered, smart and very likeable, Callaghan Wise.  Mind you, at this point in his life, Cal was fifteen years old and didn’t drive.  Rain, sleet, hail or snow, this young man reported to work.  Some evenings, when he had completed his tasks, we would give Cal a ride home, but most days, he hoofed it toand from work.  Pioneer High School was about two miles from our office.  That was just the beginning of the strong impression this marketing prodigy left on us.  After getting to know a little bit about Cal, we found out that he LOVED football, really, sports of any kind.  In fact, Cal gave up high school football to take on the internship with us.  I will never forget his infamous statement, very politely, mind you “Ladies, you just don’t understand, I love football…”  But this bright young man knew destiny held something far more resonating in store for this ambitious and hard-working teenager.  Cal was an active participant of DECA and pulled from his real life experiences gained at Smart for his competitions within that organization.


After three years of working with us as one of our high school interns, Cal expanded his responsibilities and would work each summer until he left us to go pursue academic studies at MSU.  During his time at MSU, Cal would return each and every school break and eventually took on some our reputation management posts, and he has grown into a very good business writer.  Cal graduated from Michigan State University with his Bachelor’s degree in Economics in December of 2015 and we were all so proud of this accomplishment.


From his first party in a box, representing at the Ann Arbor Sports Nation, his first sales pitch, organizing our staffer appreciation day, taking over the office so that the Smart Girls could have a vacation, to your eventual partnership in our newest venture, you have touched us all with your abilities, your intelligence, your calm demeanor but most of all…your heart.  We are proud to turn the next page of the story that is Smart Apartment Solutions, as we collaborate on our newest creative adventure with you, we look forward to this leg of the next chapter.  Here’s to you Mr. Callaghan Wise and a long, long and successful endeavor unfolds and we look forward to watching you take the business and your new career to newest heights of smart.

atta boy[1] Cal going to MSU[1] Cal in new office copy Cal with his first party in a box CollegeSmartie Sakthi sports nation 4 SPORTS NATION 6 Team Smart


What it means to be a parent

Is there an imaginary cut-off period when
Offspring become accountable
For their own actions?
Is there some wonderful moment when
Parents can become detached spectators in
The lives of their children and shrug,
‘It’s Their life,’ and feel nothing?

When I was in my *twenties*,
I stood in a hospital corridor
Waiting for doctors to put a few stitches
In my son’s head and I asked,
‘When do you stop worrying?’
The nurse said,
‘When they get out of the accident stage..’
My Parents just smiled faintly
And said nothing.

When I was in my *thirties*,
I sat on a little chair in a classroom
And heard how one of my children
Talked incessantly, disrupted the class,
And was headed for a career
Making license plates.
As if to read my mind, a teacher said,
‘Don’t worry, they all go through this stage
And then you can sit back,
Relax and enjoy them.’
My Parents just smiled faintly
And said nothing.

When I was in my *forties*,
I spent a lifetime waiting
For the phone to ring,
The cars to come home,
The front door to open.
A friend said,
‘They’re trying to find themselves.
‘Don’t worry!
In a few years, they’ll be adults.
‘They’ll be off on their own
They’ll be out of your hair’
My Parents just smiled faintly
And said nothing.

By the time I was *50*,
I was sick & tired of being vulnerable.
I was still worrying over my children,
But there was a new wrinkle..
Even though they were on their own
I continued to anguish over their failures,
Be tormented by their frustrations and
Absorbed in their disappointments..
And there was nothing I could do about it.
My Parents just smiled faintly
And said nothing.

My friends said that
When my kids got married
I could stop worrying
And lead my own life.
I wanted to believe that,
But I was haunted by my parent’s warm smiles
And their occasional,
‘You look pale. Are you all right’ ?
‘Call me the minute you get home’.
Are you depressed about something?’

My friends said that
When I became a grandparent
That I would get to enjoy
The happy little voices yelling
Grandma! Papa!
But now I find that I worry
Just as much about the little kids
As the big ones.
How can anyone cope
With all this Worry?

Can it be that parents are sentenced
To a lifetime of worry?
Is concern for one another
Handed down like a torch
To blaze the trail of human frailties
And the fears of the unknown?
Is concern a curse or is it
A virtue that elevates us
To the highest form of earthly creation?

Recently, one of my own children
Became quite irritable, saying to me,
‘Where were you?
I’ve been calling for 3 days,
And no one answered
I was worried.’
I smiled a warm smile.
The torch has been passed.


College…only for the “elite”?

Is the American Dream of affordable education becoming out of reach for most families? Case in point:

Three years after Angie Rider earned undergraduate and graduate degrees at Michigan State University, she has a teaching job that she loves — but also a student loan debt of $100,000. Rider, 27, a fourth-grade Detroit Public Schools teacher, pays $1,000 a month on her debt, and sees no end in sight. That’s why she has delayed buying a home, getting married and starting a family.

“I did the math and it’s going to take (decades) to pay it off,” said Rider. “It’s just crazy. I just feel like it’s never going to go away. I get so hopeless.”

As spring commencement season begins later this month, more students are graduating with a debt load that’s doubled in comparison to a decade ago, as unemployment remains high. The growing student loan debt has led to concerns that it could harm the economy, especially since federally backed student loans can’t be discharged through bankruptcy. Recent reports show that student loans are on track this year to exceed $1 trillion — more than credit and auto loans. Meanwhile, default rates have climbed.

Student debt has (been) growing for some time,” said Lauren Asher, president of the Institute for College Access & Success, an Oakland, Calif., policy organization that runs the Project on Student Debt. “College costs have continued to outpace both family incomes and available grant aid so students and families are increasingly turning to loans to fill that gap.


I have a son who is a Junior in college and one who will start in a couple of years. We used to joke that we had them four years apart so we wouldn’t have two in college at the same time. Now it is no joke…just a painful reality. Funny how colleges can continue to raise tuition and costs 6-10% a year and say it’s a “good value”. There is nothing “good” about putting our young people in financial ruin before they even graduate and the “value” is subject to marketability. Yet we have all been drinking the Kool aid in the supposition that a kid can’t “make the BIG BUCKS” without a degree. Not to mention, manufacturing jobs or any job beyond minimum wage is not to be had anymore right out of High School. Careers with any hope of entry level and advancement require an advanced degree. SO, unless you have an industrious 18 year old who has a dream and plan that’s clearly defined and who is mature enough to work hard and face sacrifice and disappointment at that tender age with the distant hope of success years down the road, colleges have us all by the mortarboards, I guess.




Curb Appeal…you never get a second chance to make a first impression

So important to our communities and most of us really do get it. Curb appeal reels people in and excellent maintenance keeps people happy. Check out this simple, yet timely article.


what Spring means

I was born and raised in this beautiful state of Michigan and the winters of my childhood always seemed extra snowy and bitter cold, so these past few years have been like paradise by comparison. While I’m convinced Global Warming or the more politically correct, Climate Change is a skeptical proposition, I do often marvel at the “dumbing down” of Michigan winters. I mean we can’t even claim the “hearty Michigander” moniker anymore and that’s something we were all proud of. Heck, we had high 80 degrees temps a couple of weeks ago…IN A MICHIGAN MARCH NO LESS! Unheard of. BUT as TRUE Michiganders, we all knew in the back of our collective minds that it was just a cruel joke from Old Man Winter…a silly pause in the true intent of that nasty old man. So while the warm winds and sprouting peonies turned a page in our winter minds, we weren’t really fooled and sure enough, a spitting of snow greeted my ride home with its familiar intensity.  SO, what does Spring mean? Another season of glorious change and peeping frogs. Flowers and plants making their annual appearance up through the mulchy soil and the state awakening to the shortest pleasure it can give its weary residents….regardless if we need it or not.  And for that, I am very grateful.