I feel your pain
Reading your post was the scariest thing in the world ot me. My name is also tim, and a few years ago i also taosted my engine (did you know that water doesn't compress?). This is where our situations differ-but not that much. My parents bailed me out--to some extent. They paid for the replacement rebuilt engine, and i owed them $2000.
Now, our stories get similar. So, in order to pay for the work, i got a job at the local Goodyear. (this was between my junior and senior year of high school) That was the best thing i ever did. yes, you do get to do BS work for a while (oil changes, tire mounting/balacing/repair, vehicle inspections), but you learn SO much about cars in the process. i never moved up from there, (it was mostly a summer job thing) but had i wanted to, the shop would have paid for my schooling at the local JC to be a technician. you then make somewhere around 9.50-11 bucks an hour. Although you don't get the specific training to swap an engine, you will have the knowledge (and mechanic friends) to do so after not too long. The trick is, find a shop where you can get along with the guys and there is a possibility that you can move up.
I graduated from HS and now i'm home on christmas break from UC San Diego, but guess where i'm gonnna put in some hours to pass the time?
"Rednecks in chevy trucks with automatics suck"
'91 Wrangler; 6" Pro Comp Coil Conversion;
35" BigO XT's; 4.56 gears