Yesterday, Jon Robbins, my sophomore English teacher and husband of the pastor at Sheepscott Community Church, told me a story about what happened to him after he heard President Obama's Inaugural Speech and its challenge to work toward solutions on our own. Jon said he had run his errands and was on his way home when he approached St. Patrick's, the Catholic church in Newcastle. A large sign advertising a blood drive beckoned. "I gave blood," said Robbins.
The President's speech "had an effect," said Robbins. Now, I am sure Mr. Robbins has given blood before. I failed to ask. For all I know he gives blood every month. This probably was not an earth shaking move for this classically educated English teacher who now binds books by hand--complete with gold-edged pages. His point, I think, was that the President's speech had an effect, however humble.
Though I wish I could say I have made similar moves, humble or not, today I saw a local opportunity for someone trained in the trades to make a difference in a seriously Obama-ish way.
In Bath, the state's first Regional School Unit, RSU 1 is "seeking a student centered instructor with knowledge of new, electrical alternatives, including solar and wind." Now is the chance for someone with these critical skills to help the community, state, nation and globe in one fell swoop.
This is when I wish I had fewer liberal arts and frou-frou skills. I mean, can a lovely plié and a well choreographed dance effect much positive change in an economic disaster? Actually, I believe they can. However, that does not keep me from envying those with more practical, Whole Earth Catalog skills. (I can can, though--and not just the dance.)
This Bath vocational school work, helping teenagers get some semblance of a useful trade as we move away from fossil fuels, seems nearly as important to the world as the work of my public service heroes, Doctors Without Borders. No, whomever takes this Bath job will not be dodging bullets from the Janjuweed or risking Ebola virus in the Congo. However, he or she will almost certainly have to bob and weave with the dissonant rhythms of adolescence and institutional learning, motion that when repeated sometimes can make one feel under attack and a bit ill.
Whom do we know who could give this job the weight and attention it deserves? We know a lot of people you and me. For more information go to the Maine teacher job website.
1 day ago