Seth M. Knore
March 23, 2004
Tuesday, Day 4
Location: Gauley Ranger Station
Time: 12:34 p.m.
The day has not been the best for qualitative research. The team feels discouragement creeping up on our bodies. Then, just when the day seemed bleak and hopeless, a ray of reenergizing light beamed down upon us. That ray goes by the name of the Gauley Ranger Station. Inside, sits a redeemer: Smokey.
Smokey is not a cop. Oh no! Smokey is a forty-year-old, female forest ranger in the Monongahela National Forest. From her looks, I see that education circles all around Smokey.
While delving into the conversation with Smokey, I find that she graduated from a Catholic high school in Pittsburg. However, her opinions on the quality of education in the area are alive and thriving. She tells me that her children are graduates of Pocahontas County high school.
Smokey elaborates on her concerns about West Virginia education. She tells me that she was told by multiple people that she should send her children out of West Virginia for elementary schooling. Smokey says that she went ahead and sent her children to Pocahontas County. “I do not regret it,” she says, “My children got a good education. Better than most.”
I end the conversation with handing Smokey a card of the website for the Padua project. She tells me that she will visit it as soon as she can. I hope that she does because I feel that she will really enjoy the site.