Sunday, October 11, 2015

Hermiston Community Livability Asset Committee

At least I think that is what the committee is called. I applied for membership in this committee and even got an interview. But alas, they did not want my opinion. It was a long shot and that I even got an interview sort of impressed me. I have always felt the Hermiston hierarchy was an enclosed system unwilling to listen to outside voices.
I cannot attend City Council meetings, during the school year, so what I know is from what I read in the paper. I think I will have to pledge to myself that I will do my best to attend City Council meetings on days when I don't have night school.
What I read in the paper tells me that on many occasions the Council listens to Community input and then does what they want to, seemingly ignoring Community members who have differing opinions. Don't get me wrong, I have found many of the people here to be very welcoming and friendly to this vagina carrying liberal feminist. That isn't to say that I don't cringe every time I see a Confederate Battle flag flying in front of a house or speeding down 395 accompanied by the Gadsden Flag in the bed of a noisy lifted diesel pickup.
The area is so beautiful and I have found a way to calm my nerves and Feng shua my brain. I have taken up photography, a former loved hobby. I go out on evenings and take sunset photographs, which is a bit challenging once school starts and the days get shorter. My weekends are free and sometimes I even wake up early enough to catch a sunset, which will change when we fall back in November.
I have to drive about five miles to get a sunrise photo like this, but its worth it don't you think? The beauty is why I wanted to be on the Committee, to try and drive Hermiston into becoming a destination rather than a drive through to Pendleton or TriCities. I hope the Committe can do some good things, but I fear the whole process will become unfocused and more about branding and signage than becoming a real destination.

Monday, October 5, 2015

School and Life

I have been neglectful, again, of this blog. My teaching duties and the associated work has kept me from updating about anything.

I had a very good conversation with a former student about gun control yesterday. While it initially started out on his part attempting an attack on what I had said. I think we had a very good back and forth about gun control, mental illness, and responsibilities.

The tragedy that hit a Community College to the west and south of where I am now, has fueled so much vitriol, shaming, and anger that that is all I am going to say about it right now. My heart goes out to Roseburg and Umpqua Community College.