The New deal and BRP…..and sunshine….an a bear named Fredrick.

****Gosh a month and a half later, I had better finish my blog. School starts in two days.

Day 6 in Boone, North Carolina. How can it be that our NEH Landmarks in American History program is almost over? Honestly, this has been the fastest week of my life.

We began our sunny day inside. Periodically throughout today’s schedule, Dr. Specht was thoughtful to give us well spaced out break times to get outside and enjoy the fresh air and pleasant weather.

Dr. John Willams , a historian and author of Appalachia: a history, spoke to our group on the topic of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal program affect regionalism? Did it help shape the Blue Ridge parkway’s construction and emphasis or weaken the Appalachian lifestyle?

During break time, I was able to zip over to the Bookstore to purchase a few gifts to take home. Thankfully, my thriftiness antenna was able to seek out the clearance rack. The end result will be a lovely surprise for Scottie and a sense of pride that comes with finding a good bargain! This is not my sole visit to the bookstore this week. I have spend a few break times browsing their shelves, amking lists of chidlren’s literature by local authors. I might suggest for future workshops that a list of children’s picture books, fiction novels from local Appalachian authors be made available. This would assist other participants when creating thier lesson plan requirement.

Fredrick the Grizzly, Pam the Librarian and me

Fredrick the Grizzly, Pam the Librarian and me

Another good thing which happened this week was the location of our classroom. It was in the library. The brand new library…close proximity to research materials and knowledgeable people. Today, I met with Pam, the IMC librarian and had a short chat with her regarding her collection of children’s materials. Pam introduced me to Fredrick the Bear. He is ( probably 8 feet tall or so) an Alaskan Grizzly bear, who traveled as part of an educational learning idem during the 70s and 80s. Eventually he found a permanent home n the Old Library Building on campus. Pam shared with me his difficult journey to the new building, that the movers who were under contract to move only the cataloged items ( books, videos, learning materials etc). were refusing to move Fredrick into the Belk library, lower level. Fortunately, he was a cataloged item and Pam had the MARC record to prove to this to the moving company. I can imagine gently moving an 8 foot tall Grizzly was not anticipated by the movers and has resulted in some rewording for future contracts!

As an aside, Pam has assure me that Fredrick has been cataloged as a 599 due to his wild animal status. Personally, I felt that he looked rather at home in his current habitat and should have been cataloged as a 636, as a domestic animal. Alas, this is what librarians do….dueling Dewey conversations. Lucky for me, Pam did not pull out her Sears Headings Catalog. (Dear Reader: again, this is library humour).

Ms. Tina White, NPS

Ms. Tina White, NPS

We visited with Tina White, of the National Park Services. We first met her earlier in the week as she guided us through the Cone mansion.  One of reasons that she is such a like-able person is that she speaks about the history of the area, on the Cone family with such reverence and kindness and respect. She is most knowledgeable. In this photo she was kind  to pose with her hat.  Today she spoke about the the NPS, and the services it offers to  school teachers to aid in their history and naturalist lessons.  All free of charge.  At Saint Stephen’s,  I believe that we access these resources, history in a trunk, via the DeSoto National Park, in West Bradenton.

Group Picture

Photographer recognise me from

this blog! I was tickled pink to learn this. What has started out as a means to meet my school’s professional development requirements has turned into something more. I never really expected that someone would be reading the previous mentioned posts. Gosh, are there any spelling errors? I feel like I might have egg on my face.

Towards the end of the afternoon was free time.  A group of us walked down to the Main street for some air and poke around the shoppes.   We stopped down on King street for a root beer float, something I have not had in many many years.

By 6.30pm, we returned to the campus to enjoy a lovely meal in private dinning room with performances by Lisa and her husband. While she is a elementary school teacher in the area, he is the Dean of the English department and has a musical talent.  they were to perform with the Chocolate Drops and Doc Watson  (Both local well know talent in the area) the following evening.

I returned to my dorm room to read and think about packing afterwards. Although did not actually DO any packing. I have so very much enjoyed my time here, in this beautiful and inspiring area of the country. It has provided me an exposure to a wild and untamed form of nature which we rarely have in Florida.  I feel revitalised to begin back to campus and start planning my lessons for the Fall. I also have a better appreciation for taking care of the natural world around me, to respect my environment and to rethink some of my day to day chooses in a manner which is helpful-not harmful to the planet. I have a better understanding of the creation of the Blue Ridge parkway, of eminent domain, of who the BRP was created for the benefit of some, and the expense of others.  This building project has altered many lives, cause migration to big cities in search of work,  betterment of future generations and an altering of a lifestyle which many choose to participate in.