Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Dispatch - North Carolina

Today’s post begins a series of dispatches from the road as I head south to Florida and then West to California. It is a mobile passage to experience life and lives both on and off the highways and blue roads of America.

From my rural lair in the Northeast I write and read about life in America. I do so from both observations and interest. This trip is to affirm my sense of oneness in humanity and acknowledge that it snuggles within diversity.

I left the New York-Washington corridor quickly for two reasons. I’ve lived and worked in that region most of my life and I know it fairly well. AND it was 5º above zero. You can guess which one was the motivator.

Today I am ensconced in Southport, North Carolina at Saint James Plantation. It is a massive residential development on the inland costal waterway. You stay inexpensively for two nights in a three-bedroom well-appointed condo. The developers give you a spiel and tour in hopes the experience and place will entice you to build, buy, or rent on the plantation. So far I like the high temperature of 50 plus degrees and no snow.

I met a very personable young lady last night at dinner. She was the waitress. She is in her late twenties, a graduate from college with a degree in elementary education with an art minor.

She is not teaching because of student loans. She can make more money in the restaurant service business than she can teaching.  America needs teachers desperately and the young need to pay off their bills. It is a social dilemma that must be addressed so we can stay intellectually competitive with the other developed countries of the world.

It seems to me that if someone gets the appropriate credentials and agrees to teach for five years there ought to be a forgiveness of student debt. Maybe Congress could find a way to spend money on that.

More tomorrow farther south.


Anonymous said...

How do you know it will "affirm" your sense of oneness? What if it sets it on ear?

50 degrees btw is mitten and scarf weather, the deepest cold of winter. Bundle up and know the signs of frostbite.

Love and safe travels to you two road warriors.


Topher08 said...

Amen on your astute observation regarding student loans and teaching.

Anonymous said...

Yes, It would be far better if we were 'set on our ear' as then there would be hope that we might tune in to what could enable change.

If those who are trained to teach, cannot find jobs in the education system to sustain themselves, I would wonder what will become of our children and our country.

Anonymous said...

You hit the nail on the head, anonymous, and that is the problem with many educators today is that there is simply no work for them. That is very sad.

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