Thoughts, links & ideas from the 2008 National Teacher of the Year

Each time I've taken off in a plane since May (which is a lot), I've been writing in my journal, then adding these journal entries on this blog.

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(Note: the blue posted dates are actually the dates I wrote the journal entries, not when I posted them online.)

Monday, October 6, 2008

Surfing in South Dakota

Denver, CO


South Dakota reminded me a bit of North Dakota, except it was a bit further south.  My folks both grew up in a little farming town in northeastern North Dakota and we used to visit every couple of summers.  We never could talk them into a Christmas visit for some reason.   Hmmmm.


Yesterday, as I walked the streets of Pierre (pronounced “Peer,” by the way), it had a similar feeling to some of the small towns in North Dakota that I’ve visited.  That “slowly drying up” feeling.  Kinda sad.  Granted, it was a Sunday afternoon, but it didn’t have that vibrant bustle that many towns do.


I remember my cousins in N. Dakota talking about how the culture always took a few years to get there from the rest of the country.  Movies, fashion, ideas, they all had a lag time.  And it seems that is still somewhat the case, but I think that the time is diminishing rapidly.


As I wandered the streets, I wondered how applicable a talk about teaching skills for the future would be.  But I think it might be even more applicable in some ways for small towns across this land.  The future is coming a bit faster because technology is catching them up all that much quicker.


Will they rear end the rest of us?  (I say “they” as if I’m from a big city, which I’m not.)  Will they survive the acceleration?  Will they grab onto this charging bull and harness it’s power?  Will they pop up and surf this tsunami of changes?  Will they…


Time will tell, and with the exponential growth rate of technology, culture, ideas, commerce and e-communities, it may not take us very long to find out.

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