Adventures in sustainability: Travel Log

Supertramp Consulting

Def Supertramp: An Ecological Entity That rapidly and easily adapts to new and various surroundings.


06/22/2010 12:22 AM

            I am now home from an Exciting Adventure in South Dakota[o1] , visiting sustainable communities along the way.  Experiencing life in a pop-up camper and have been getting a lot of communication from the various people I met about the need to fix education.  This leads me to conclude that in order to truly improve Our County, which is the purpose of the Our County Improvement Society, we need to work on Education. 

             In comes the University of Freedom, to save the day again.  While I was gone I was wondering how to keep the Improvement Society in momentum, while pursuing so many other avenues.  I want to help my community, however I’m not feeling very much like helping the established decision makers, but I wish no harm to anyone either.  I’ve been talking to a lot of citizens of this area who are being made to feel very unwelcome over the years.  I’m beginning to see images of that all over the county.  So do I really want to continue helping the county?  YES!  How?

             We need a petition; we need something to get in front of people to really initiate some kind of lasting change.  We need to isolate an enemy.  Could Education be that enemy?  Could it be a hot button enough issue?  Pushing buttons wasn’t working though.  People tuned out when you began telling them “there’s a problem that needs fixed, luckily I have the solution.”  They either didn’t believe you or didn’t care.  Or didn’t trust you.  Hmmmm.  I grumble even as I type this wondering these things again.  Revisiting the corn fields of Iowa that helped me on my mental journey I bring back my thoughts.

             What if we just did a survey?  I pondered.  Surveyed the attitudes about certain issues.  People didn’t want to think about to much these days, and you’d have a limited window of opportunity.  The survey needs to be fast.  What about surveying the potential for a private school?  Hmmm, could the county support a private school?  Would they?  I knew some of the “social elite” would if it had some kind of “prestige” behind it.  A winning basketball team perhaps, but those things weren’t solving the educational crisis, or really helping the county.

             Who in the county really needs the help?  Obviously a person can be hired based upon who their family is.  Even going so far as to admit age discrimination in the hiring practice amazed me.  How could my city employers be so blatantly discriminatory in their hiring practices?  Maybe we should target those labeled with learning disabilities, or ADD?

             Now what would that school look like?  What would that survey look like?  We would have to ask if the person had kids.  The opinion needs to be somewhat relevant, but if we could show enough people were interested in the option of a private school, or educational co-op, or alternative to what is going on.  How do you gain enough creds to get students though?  That’s for later, let’s stick to the survey I remind myself.  So maybe we ask kids, or family members of a school age?  Yeah, something like that. 

 I get an image of a document in my head.  I see Jake, and myself, and Chrissy, and Schultz, and Wendorff and others blanketed across the county asking people if they could have a moment of their time.  They were doing a quick survey to determine if the local market could support a Private School for some interested investors. 

 I see lots of people accepting and the survey continuing.

 Thank you Sir/Madam for your valuable time.   I only have _____ Questions

 Do you have any school age family members, approximately 3-18  How Many__?

  1. To your knowledge have any of the school age family members been diagnosed or suspected of having a learning disability, ADD, or other learning difficulty?
  2. How would you rank your opinion of the current Educational system offered to those school age children.  Extremely Satisfied,  Satisfied, Dissatisfied, Extremely Dissatisfied.  (I don’t think no opinion should be allowed in this case)
  3. Would you be interested in learning more about an alternate educational system?  Y/N (If Yes ask for email, phone, Name, Address.

 We ask for Name, Email, Phone to keep you appraised of the results of this survey and what that may mean to our educational system.

            When people question the purpose of the survey, we can simply state that depending on the results of the survey, we may be able to entice investors, and private education facilities to the area to aid in what we perceive to be a challenge in our current educational offering.  Something to that effect.  Of course scripts are nice, but people may diverge in their description of what we are doing.  Though I think it somewhat important to ensure the repeating of only a limited amount of information only to ensure consistent messages from all those surveying.

            I have a feeling we will have enough interested parties with school age family members to back up the push for educational reform of some type.  We could actually take the date to school boards, business owners, others who may be of interest in order to open some type of educational alternative.  We could utilize the Hull school facility as a start.  Operate on a shoe-string budget with no State aid.  All that information is more in the Description of How the School Looks  . 

            One thing I found on my Adventure to South Dakota, was that communities of people need an intention.  A purpose behind what they gather in that town for.  The reason they call themselves a community, and the purpose of their community.  Without purpose community becomes lost, disengaged from one another, fractured.  With purpose, with solidarity and reason for their coming together a community can see purpose in one another again.  Through this they can bring equality, and harmony to their communities again.  A lot of bad blood can be overlooked and ignored if people are able to come together for a common purpose.  Especially if that purpose benefits others.  I saw it first hand in the floods of 93 in our community, and after 9/11 in our country.  Unification in a common purpose.  So what is Our County’s Purpose?

 [o1]TBD JCK

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