On one of our recent jaunts that make living near the waters of life so enchanting, Alicia and I discovered the marvels of Little Pine Creek, which tumbles a mere ten twisty-road minutes from our house toward the nearby French Broad. There, a pair of local youth, one a disc-jockey at his uncle’s radio station, the other a stout lad who hangs from a harness in the forest canopy so as to make telephone and electrical wires safe from arboreal incursions, laughed that “we didn’t ever do so good on them SAT tests.”
Yet they were both highly intelligent: the DJ noted immediately that my own journalism background might not fit into the “solid Christian format” at his uncle’s A.M. outlet; the other described in careful, accurate terms the physics of falls from “seventy, eighty feet up,” where the issue “isn’t the falling but the stopping at the bottom.” Both were articulate and full of callow wit; both would have had an option of college had they worked with me.
Earlier this week, in response to one of the flyers that we have been posting, a fascinating Florida transplant, with an organic farm sixty miles away, called to testify that she had searched “high and low, all over Western North Carolina,” to find someone who could help her grandson to raise his GRE reading and writing scores so as to garner a Ph. D. tuition waver and fellowship that his academic performance otherwise indicate that he richly deserves. Starting tomorrow, I’ll be assisting this capable young fellow in aligning his scores with his demonstrated ability.
Just today, I plunked down a local newspaper to purchase along with my coffee and my New York Times. The clerk, fresh out of high school and attending a local community college, raised her eyebrows at the Confederate symbols on the small-town daily. “You’re getting’ that, uh? I’ve never read it.”
I laughed and said in response, “Yes. Frederick Douglass below the fold convinced me that I had to take a look.”
She nodded, and I continued, “After all, he was the single most important actor in American history.”
Again, she looked askance. “That’s a bold statement.”
I bantered back, “Bold, but I can back it up.”
She laughed and said that she would like to be there when I did.
College entrance support to give intelligent young people more options; GRE assistance to optimize graduate school opportunities; a general capacity to provide the sort of tutelage that permits a critical and engaged consciousness about American history and society: these are just three of the copious rationale for Spindoctor’s Mountain School. Folks ought to get in touch and check it out.