Kentucky Kitchen Table: Owensboro

By Clark

 

 

My Kentucky Kitchen Table took place in the city of Owensboro, KY. The city of Owensboro is the 4th largest city in the state of Kentucky with a population just under 60,000. Five people and myself from this city took part in a roundtable discussion after a meal. The participants at the dinner where Katherine, Lisa, Debbie, Jenny, and David. Katherine is a dental student who is living in a bigger city than she is used to, a Baptist, and has conservative leaning views. Lisa is a single parent who works full time, a Baptist, and has conservative leaning views. Debbie is a grandmother, a widow, a Baptist, retired worker, and has conservative values. She also helps take care of her mother. Jenny is a grandmother, retired pharmaceutical worker, a Methodist, and has liberal leaning values. David is a grandfather, a veteran, a retired school administrator, a Methodist, and has liberal leaning values. The members of this group all enjoyed the community of Owensboro and Jenny and David who had moved to Owensboro over twenty years ago also enjoyed the community. The meal took place in the home of Debbie in her dining room, which was used to accommodating a group of people of this size. These where the individuals who participated in my Kentucky Kitchen Table and the setting of where it took place.
After everyone had finished their main meal we started the discussion on what we thought citizenship meant to us besides voting, paying taxes, and following laws. After a few more questions it became apparent that they based their answers on their life experiences and beliefs. For example, many individuals in the group based their answers on their religious beliefs and Christion values. This would go on to affect their answers to later question such as how our religious or spiritual identity relate to how we treat others and how it related to how we see ourselves as citizens. Another reoccurring theme that kept appearing throughout the discussion was past experiences that the individuals had. For example, Jenny and David described their experiences during tail end of the second world war to illustrate how it developed their thought on what citizenship meant to them and how other parts of their life contributed to their role as citizens. Another example of experience was whenever Debbie visited other nations such as China. Her experiences in China would help her develop an understanding of what it means to be a citizen and another theme that will be discussed later, rights. Also, another reoccurring theme was that even though they believed in helping others, a common consensus was that they wouldn’t openly give advice to a neighbor unless directly asked. The reasoning among the older individuals at the table was that there was an age difference between them and their neighbors, which caused a disconnect between them. Although the advice they would give to neighbors and individuals running for office would be just to have common sense and for individuals running for office was to remember the people they represent. A big theme that a majority the participants mentioned during the discussion was rights. To them being a citizen to the United Stated gave them rights that they believed were protected as citizens. The most important right to most of them was the freedom of religion. As stated earlier, Debbie developed the sense of the importance of rights from her mission trip to China. During this trip she noticed the difference between the rights of citizens in America and the rights of citizens in China. This helped me understand and create the theme that a lot of people tie in their religious or spiritual identity into how the see citizenship and how they see themselves as citizens. Another big answer to the questions was the idea of connection. Connection was one of the big things in the world today that many of groups saw as important, but to many it was also a double edge sword. We are living in an age where we have instant access to a large amount of information and individuals, but sometimes we lose the connection to those around us. An example that they gave of this was that they would see people at a table together at a restaurant and they would be on their phones the entire time instead of verbally communicating with each other. This was how connection to them was both the best and worst thing in the world today. These were some of themes that emerged throughout the discussion.
As the discussion continued on as many of the participants began to describe their own communities. The biggest change in community was with Katherine. Katherine had recently moved from Owensboro, a population below sixty thousand, to Louisville, a population over six hundred thousand, and how the communities were different. For her, she mostly only interacted with individuals and the community where she lived. In a similar fashion the others also describe how they only interacted with individuals from their community that shared similar beliefs, ideas, and characteristics. It is much easier to notice this idea of sticking to individuals who are similar to each other, where there are more people like them. This idea relates to a reading in class, Exit West, where one of the main characters wants to live closer and around people from his same background and feels out of place at the current place where they are at. This was how community contributed to how individuals saw themselves as citizen and their role as a citizen.
Many of the individuals at the discussion saw how their jobs related to their role as a citizen. The most obvious individual who saw how his job related to his role as a citizen was David. David, who was a veteran and a retired school administrator, talked about how as a veteran he served his country and other citizens, and as a school administrator gave back and helped shaped the next generation of citizens. The rest of the group also mentioned that their jobs gave back to the community they worked in and provided a good or a service to the rest of the citizens. This was how the individuals saw how their jobs related to their role as a citizen.
From this discussion I learned some things from the answers that were given to the questions. One thing that I took away from the discussion was that individuals tended to base their roles as citizens based on their religious identity, their experiences, and their jobs. I learned that it is sometimes more difficult to connect with neighbors if there is not something that both have in common. The differences that can cause this can be from age, religious identity, and others. This causes neighbors to be reluctant to get to know each other and reluctant to give advice to someone they don’t know that well. Another thing I learned was that people have similarities and generally have similar or close to the same thoughts on topics. These were some of the things that I learned during the discussion.
Also, during the discussion a few things that relate to what we learned in class appeared. One idea from class that the discussion related to was how do we live well together. The discussion related to this main idea from the class because it helped illustrate some factors that can affect how we view this question. An example from earlier can be where they don’t feel comfortable giving advice to a neighbor, unless directly asked for. These factors did not stop them from living well together with their neighbors, but they could have been living better with their neighbors. Another aspect of the discussion that related to class was how individuals developed morality and beliefs. For many in the discussion, their religious or spiritual identity was what created the foundation for what they believed citizenship meant to them. They used their religious or spiritual identity to describe how they should treat others, what should be done in the community, and what their citizenship allows them to do. This was how the discussion related to what we had learned in class.
Overall the discussion for the Kentucky Kitchen Table was very good. It gave me insight into what individuals used to determine what citizenship means to them, how they view their role as a citizen, and what they do as citizens. From this discussion the main influence for individuals in how they viewed citizenship and their role was based on their religious or spiritual identity. Even someone’s experiences can shape how they view and what should be done around the country and the community. From the discussion it was observed how some of the best things in the world can also be the worst. Another aspect derived from the discussion was on how community shaped our roles and views of citizenship. Also, what was discussed provided more insight into what was discussed during the class and gave real life experience to what we discuss in class. This was my Kentucky Kitchen Table discussion.

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Citizenship and Chicken Pot Pie

By Rachel

I am Rachel and My Kentucky Kitchen Table assignment took place in Owensboro, Kentucky in Kelsey’s house. For this meal, we all agreed that my mom and I would bake a pot pie and bring it over and Carol and Kelsey would bake dessert. My mom, Kelsey, and Carol were there. Carol is Kelsey’s mom and a friend of my mom. Both my mom and Carol work in the lunchroom at a local high school. Carol and my mother are both middle aged and have lived in Kentucky their whole lives. Neither have travelled outside of the country. Although they have lived in Kentucky, which is known for its rural areas, both have always lived in a decent sized city. Carol comes from a lower middle-class family while my mom comes from an upper middle-class to upper-class family. When asked, my mom and Carol identified as Republicans while Kelsey and I identified as Democrats.

Carol is recently divorced with a younger son still in high school. She currently is living with her mother to take care of her. Her family is very important to her and she has done everything in her power to ensure they all stay together. She is the assistant manager in the lunchroom at the local high school and she really enjoys her job. She likes being around the kids everyday but she also likes that she is the boss.

My mom has never been married and has operated as a single parent from the beginning. She has always had at least two jobs if not three on occasion. She herself has claimed to be primarily a one issue voter; that issue being abortion. Her views on this topic stem primarily from her religion, but also simply from how she was raised. Her parents were very strict about what was and what was not socially acceptable and many of these lessons have stuck with her despite the changing social climate.

Kelsey recently moved back to Owensboro from Florida to have her baby boy, Jaxton. Kelsey is a server at Red Lobster. She is a very brave young woman. She picked up and moved to Florida to go to college and didn’t know a soul down there. After that experience, she really came to appreciate her ability to travel and to explore new places on her own. While in college, she studied abroad in England for 3 weeks over the summer. She has also gone on several spontaneous road trips by herself when the mood has struck her. Her freedom of mobility is the right that she holds most important.

As a new mother, Kelsey mentioned that it was really important to her to live in a safe and friendly neighborhood. They recently had some trouble with the next-door neighbors because of Kelsey’s dog. She has a Pitbull who is one of the sweetest dogs in the world, Naya; however, Naya thinks she is the size of a lap dog. The way Kelsey’s house is set up, she lets Naya out of the side door so that she can go into the backyard. Naya has been trained to go straight there, but one day the neighbor’s Chihuahua was outside when Naya was let out. Naya tried to play with the dog and unintentionally hurt it. The neighbors called animal control and had Naya picked up and sent to what is essentially doggy jail. In order to get Naya back, Kelsey had to pay an $800 fine, pay the vet bills for the dog next door, and enroll Naya in obedience classes. Naya is also not allowed outside of the house without a leash. If Kelsey were to get caught letting Naya out without a leash, she would be fined another $200. As a single mother who is working as a server, this was a big hit to her financially. It’s also inconvenient for her to let Naya out now since she has to drop everything to walk Naya to the fenced in area of the backyard. As a result of this situation, Kelsey touched on how she would appreciate having neighbors who are tolerant of those around them. Kelsey said she always liked her neighbors and she would have been more than willing to work with them but the rigid fines and requirements have soured the neighborly love.

The general question of what it means to be a citizen was raised while we were eating. Carol mentioned how when she was younger she thought it was just paying taxes and obeying laws. Now that as she is older, she feels more of an obligation towards her fellow citizens to help where she can such as volunteering and donating to causes she supports. Kelsey disagreed that there wasn’t any obligation to those around her. To her, citizenship is the ability to live freely and make her own choices without the government becoming domineering. My mom felt that being a citizen meant volunteering and voting in local elections. She made it clear, however, that she does not vote in presidential elections because she adamantly opposes the electoral college system. She feels that the popular vote should win in such cases because gerrymandering silences many voters. This topic lead to a pretty heated debate between Carol and my mom. Carol claimed anyone who did not vote in presidential elections did not have a right to complain about the president. My mom, however, explained why she felt her vote would not affect the outcome simply because of the ratio of voter parties in our district. After the explanation Carol admitted that she hadn’t considered things from that perspective.

Another topic that was brought up was the legalization of marijuana. Carol’s son smokes because it helps him with his anxiety. Carol explained that there are rules that her son has to follow such as he is not allowed to drive anywhere while under the influence and he isn’t allowed to smoke more than three times a week. He also has to have his own job to pay for it. My mom admitted that she didn’t think it would be terrible if it were to be legalized but that she would never actively support its legalization. Both Kelsey and I expressed hesitancy about its legalization. Kelsey and I both talked about how we know some people in college who would use it to excess and miss their classes and even drop out because it stripped them of their motivation. My mom, however, pointed out that same thing could happen with alcohol. Kelsey and I both agreed that although my mom had a valid point we still didn’t feel it would be in best interest of our communities to make marijuana more easily accessible.

The last thing we talked about was religion and if it’s related to being a good person or good citizen. There was a general consensus that one’s religion was not an indicator of whether someone is a good person. My mom pointed out specifically that she has known some very religious people who have also not been the nicest people. She said it doesn’t matter what religion someone prescribes to, everyone has the same capacity of good and bad. Kelsey said that although being religious was obviously not required to be a good person, she felt the values her religion instilled in her helped her to be kinder towards others. Carol also felt the same way but mentioned that she has also known some people who preach one thing but practice another. I said that although my religion plays a part in how I treat people, I do not allow it to affect my citizenship. To clarify, I do not vote based on my religious views. I feel that if I were to cast my vote in accordance with my religion, I would be in some way forcing my religion on those around me. Just because my religion holds that something is wrong, it does not mean it is wrong for those around me. I firmly believe there should be a separation between church and state regarding political views in order to be a good citizen. My mom did not agree with me, but Carol and Kelsey took what I said into consideration.

During this dinner, I learned that it’s okay to have differing opinions. Even people from the same family can have opposing viewpoints and still get along with one another. I can honestly say I know more about the gerrymandering of districts now than I ever had. I was aware there was a problem, but was unaware of the extent of that problem. I also learned that my own mother doesn’t vote in national elections, but she defended her stance well. On some level, I agree with my mom. It really made me ask myself, “what good will my vote do if I’m surrounded by those who will vote the other way?” It makes me question the value of the electoral college. After the dinner, I actually looked into national elections where the electoral college produced different results than the popular vote and found that in more recent years there have been two: Gore v. Bush and Trump v. Clinton. The margin of difference in the popular vote actually increased between these two elections suggesting the electoral college may be on its way to becoming an outdated system. Overall, this dinner exposed me to differing opinions on some touchy subjects; however, it was encouraging to see that some form of deliberation can take place around a common dinner table. This relates to the Wicked Problems reading because in order to solve a wicked problem it must first be talked about at a local level. It also relates to the central question of “how can we live better together?” because in order to live in a successful community there must be communication and the dinner table is a great place to start the conversation.

 

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Kentucky Kitchen Table in Small-Town Kentucky

By: Sophia
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This dinner took place in the small, but developed town of Owensboro, Kentucky at in my parents’ home where I grew up. My mother and father, Jennifer and Philip, hosted this dinner for Frankie, Jeanne, and myself. We gathered around to discuss citizenship and enjoy my mother’s homemade burgoo, Frankie’s cornbread, and a delicious rum cake provided by Jeanne. I prepared by helping my mother with the burgoo, setting the table, and cleaning up afterwards. In the picture we are seated (from left to right): myself, Philip, Jennifer, Frankie, and Jeanne. Jennifer is a Registered Nurse in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and currently pursuing a doctorate in nursing. She has a passion for helping others and is a talented learner. Philip is a supervisor at the Toyota Motor and Manufacturing factory in Princeton, Indiana. He commutes an hour and a half to and from work each day. Philip is a war veteran who is proud of his service in Operation Desert Storm but reluctant to talk much about his days of combat. Frankie is a retired state employer who loves spending time with her grandchildren and tending to her garden. She recently moved onto our street so we thought inviting her would make her feel welcome to our neighborhood. Jeanne was a former Human Resources consultant for the Health Park in Owensboro, Kentucky and currently owns and runs a children’s boutique called Kid’s Stop. I was worked at Kid’s Stop before Jeanne bought it and had to quit before she took over to move to Bowling Green. I went to see how the store had changed with her ownership and ended up inviting her to my Kentucky Kitchen Table. Following my mother’s footsteps, I am studying nursing at Western Kentucky University and share the same passion as my mother of helping others. I wish to further my education after obtaining a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing by pursing a nurse anesthetist degree.
To begin our discussions, I first started with asking each guest what citizenship means to them beyond voting, paying taxes, and following laws. Philip, who feels underappreciated by the American government for his eight years of service, believes citizenship entails certain rights in which he respects and actively exercises. He believes he has earned these rights, as a citizen and a soldier, through his service in war. Other than my father’s opinion, a common theme amongst the other guests was that citizenship is being actively involved in your community and engaging in bettering the lives of those living in your community. Jeanne mentioned something unique that stuck well with me: “Citizenship is also having a voice in your community and your nation’s society.” After all agreeing to this, we discussed citizenship being in the context of a verb: in order to be a citizen, one must be engaged in their community and in making it a better place. Jennifer talked about her years of community service as an active member of the Owensboro Junior League and how she feels she made a difference in the people’s lives for which her services were helping. “Our main focus was concentrating on issues and services in the community that were actually going to help people for longer than a day or two” By this she meant, for example, working with those in homeless shelters on reading skills. Jennifer feels as if, by doing services like this, she was giving people opportunities to better themselves and their lives by sharing and teaching helpful skills. The other guests shared times they felt they had done their duty as a citizen and helped their communities in various ways. Frankie enjoys taking her 20-month old granddaughter to the animal shelter and feels she is brightening the lives of the animals of the community and, in turn, helping the community. Jeanne tries to do various community service but finds she does not prioritize it and it, therefore, gets put on the backburner. She also tries her best to help the parents of Owensboro by offering higher-end children’s clothing and doctor-recommended children’s footwear for more-than-fair prices at her boutique, Kid’s Stop. She often has sales where she will make no profit off of her merchandise because she believes it is her way to help her community. I am required to serve a minimum of fifteen hours of service a semester for my sorority at Western Kentucky University.
After overall agreeing that an important aspect of citizenship is serving and bettering the community, we got a little side-tracked. Jeanne shared the struggles and excitements of moving Kid’s Stop to a different location. After many congratulating and encouraging words from the other guests, I directed our conversation towards politics in America by asking, “What is the most impactful decision the Trump Administration has made since being in office?” My father was the first to respond by saying he believed the recent bombings on Syria have been the most important and impactful decision made thus far. My mother and Jeanne quickly added nods and words of approval while Frankie shook her head expressing her disapproval. My father elaborated on his first statement by arguing that president Trump was decisive and has reminded the world of America’s military power. Jeanne agreed and mentioned that this decision was a “nice alternative to the Obama Administration who always said they would do something about gas bombs and never did.” Jennifer chimed in by saying that the people, especially the children, living in Syria need someone as strong as America fighting to stop the torture and killings, and Trump has shown that America will fight for them. Frankie disagrees; however, she understands why the decision was made. She fears another Cold War, or worse, more terrorist attack on American soil as a result of these bombings. Although afraid of the possible outcomes, she agrees that something needed to be done to help save the people Syria.
After feeling like we had discussed enough about the dreaded topic of politics, I decided to brighten up our conversation a bit by asking, “what kind of person do you want to be?” I was reluctant to ask this question because my parents and our guests are not young adults. But after some thought, I realized this question is not, “what kind of person do you want to be when you grow up,” but “what kind of person do you want to be each and every day?” I felt like Frankie had read my mind and knew my initial concern with my question because she quickly answered by saying, “I am 77 years old and I work each day to be the person who God wants and who I want to be. It is a life-learning process.” She went on to explain that she wants to be someone who her grandchildren look up to every single day. Someone who helps others and is empathetic of others’ situations. “With every encounter I have with someone, I try to keep in mind that this person has different experiences than me; therefore, has different feelings and opinions that I must appreciate even if I don’t agree.”
This made me think of one of the central questions of our course: “How do we live well together?” I think Frankie’s response to what kind of person she wants to be is one of many ways to answer this question. I brought this question up to my guests, telling them that it is one of the centralizing questions of this course, and my father’s response was interesting. He said that he had never thought of solutions to that question before and mentioned that the way Frankie tries to encounter people is a good start to people living together well.
I thought this was a good closing point for what I wanted to know for my Kentucky Kitchen Table project so I did not ask any more questions and allowed our new friends to genuinely mingle with my parent’s and me. Learning what we did about Jeanne and Frankie created the foundation for a strong friendship in which we all plan to keep.

Citizenship and What It Means to Both the Old and the Young

By AbigailIMG_1742

My Kentucky Kitchen Table project, held in Owensboro, KY, provided a chance for me to learn from several different people about their role in society. It was interesting to hear all of the different perspectives and how the perspectives changed based on the age of the dinner guests. The dinner consisted of Kassandra, Jeff, Allison, Avery, Nijha, Rose, Isabella, Donny, and me. Kassandra is my hardworking mother. She provided the entire meal for the dinner because she wanted to try out a new recipe that she had seen. She made spinach lasagna and garlic bread. She also provided a beautiful strawberry cake for dessert. Interestingly enough, each of the guests helped in setting up for the dinner by laying place mats out, filling cups with ice and water, and putting silverware out. It was nice to see an element of “citizenship” playing out even before the dinner started. Jeff is my dad. He is 46 years old and works as a maintenance manager for Alcoa. Both Allison and Avery are my sisters. Allison is a college student at a local university and Avery is in high school. Avery brought a friend named Isabella. They do not go to the same high school, but met in middle school where they have remained friends since. Isabella brought her friend from her high school, Nijha. Nijha comes from a single parent household and she is biratial. My grandmother, Rose, lives in a government funded housing complex in the center of our city. She brought one of her friends from her housing complex named Donny. Donny is an U.S. army veteran. While I went into the dinner wanting to get my questions answered, I felt that our conversations sparked a more meaningful purpose for the dinner.

As we all sat down with our plates of lasagna and garlic bread, I started to ask some questions. Each member of the dinner came to the dinner with the understanding that they would be answering questions for a project of mine and so they were all prepared to give thoughtful responses to the questions I had. I asked each person the required question, “Beyond voting, paying taxes, and following laws, what does citizenship mean to you?” Interestingly enough, there was a stark contrast between the answers of the high-school aged members and the older members. Isabella said, “[Citizenship means] you’re apart of the country and happy to follow to rules.” Nijha, who seemed shy at first, said “[citizenship is] doing good for others even when no one is watching.” Where as Donny said, “You’ve given everything you could and now you get to receive.” He was directly referring to social security in his response. Rose agreed with Donny and said that she feels that she has less of an impact on society as an older person than “you young people have.”

However the topic that dominated our discussion was that of social issues and the root of all social issues. I asked both Allison and Kassandra which social issue is closest to their heart and why and while their answers were different, they both fell under a similar theme. Kassandra responded, “Abortion because it’s a direct assault against God’s character.” And Allison noted, “Divorce is the social issue closest to my heart because it results in the division of families.” Kassandra later went on to talk about how she believed that many social issues were rooted in a citizen’s home life. I brought up the issue of drug use and how it seems that no matter what we do, drug use will always be a problem. Kassandra felt that drug use begins because of a lack of stability at a young age. Each person began to try and create “mini solutions” for current social problems. And as each person talked about social issues that weighed heavy on their hearts, it almost because discouraging. Similar to our discussions in class about wicked problems, each member of the dinner began to understand the complexity of most of the issues and how the issues seem almost impossible to correct. I explained that in my class, we discussed that their are some issues that are so complex that they can almost never be solved. As Jeff reflected on what we can do to solve some of these problems he said, “[It is our] responsibility to attribute to the common good.” This seemed to resonate with most of the members of the dinner.

The most interesting take away for me were the differences in perspective (and in turn, answers) based on the members’ age. While almost everyone at the table seemed to bring something a little unique simply because we’re human, the older members were more conservative and viewed their citizenship as something that is not as prevalent anymore. It is almost as if they’ve given all they need to, and now it is time for them to sit back and reap the benefits of their hard work. However the younger members all responded in ways that seemed to define their citizenship as an active duty.

I also learned that situations are only awkward if you make up your mind that they will be. I was so afraid leading up to the dinner that I would put my foot in my mouth, or that someone would feel uncomfortable, but everyone seemed to be at ease and there was no awkward silence. Because I knew that Isabella would be bringing a friend that I did not know, I was afraid that the friend would feel uncomfortable or awkward. It turned out that Nijha was incredibly friendly and brought unique and interesting ideas to the discussion. Similarly, Donny, whom I had seldom met but once, was very vocal when it came to our discussion. He was eager to explain his own opinions, but also ready to hear what others had to say. It demonstrated to me the importance of putting myself out there in situations that I may deem as uncomfortable. Ultimately, how are we going to learn anything if we’re not willing to put ourselves in uncomfortable positions?

I felt that the dinner was putting everything we’ve covered in class into reality. We’ve talked about listening to others’ opinions and we’ve discussed how to learn from other people even when you don’t agree. There were times during the dinner where I felt frustrated with a guest’s answer or response, but then I realized that it was my job to listen and hear their point of view. As soon as I could free myself up to do just that, I felt myself understanding that person so much more. Even my own dad and I had differing opinions on current social issues, but we were able to listen to one another and acknowledge where the other one was coming from. That, in essence, is what citizenship is – Being able to work together and understand where someone else may be coming from.

Kentucky Kitchen Table in Owensboro

By Hannah

My Kitchen Table Project took place in the good old Owensboro, or as many of us like to call it “the dirty”. I went to my grandparent’s house, Virgil and Jane (not pictured). We had a few other family members there and some family ‘outsiders’ that I had not met before or do not know as well. My grandpa Virgil, or as I call him, Papaw, grew up on the farm and often tells many of his old tales from living with the farm animals and walking miles to attend school in a small one room building. My grandma, Jane aka Mammy, grew up in a nice christian family with a little more money and opportunities than my Papaw. Also joining us was my brother, a 20 year old stay at home community college student. Also attending was My aunt Debbie, her two kids Michaela (her new finance, Bill, who recently moved here from North Caroline) and Patrick. Last not but not least Were two of my other cousins Wes and Audra. Wes graduated from UofL and is now in the National Guard. Audra finished her education with high school and now helps with her family’s horses and works in a factory. With the variety of ages, education, and city/country life we had much diversity. It was also interesting to get to know Bill since I had never met him before. (We all contributed to part of the meal).

When asking everyone what citizenship meant to them, I received a wide variety of answers. Wes, who is in the National Guard, felt very obligated to serve his country and be up to date with everything happening to be a well rounded citizen. He believed you should be actively involved and helping in any way that you can. My brother, Caleb, felt his citizenship was more defined just by your political actions. To him being a citizen entails being very up to speed with anything politics and actively voicing your opinions and voting when at all possible. Everyone else joined at the table didn’t have much of an opinion on their citizenship except that they lived in the country and felt they should vote. Michaela mentioned something with having good morals and stepping in to help other citizens when needed.

The rest of the conversation seemed to then find itself among the lines of education obligations. Bill found that everyone had an obligation to become educated and get a well paying job to support yourself and any future family. My cousin Audra, who did not attend college, found that there are ways to work and find yourself and have a successful life without higher education. My brother Caleb found himself in the middle. As a night time community college student who is a manger of a Chick-fil-a during the days, he found that you can always find a balance between the two. He doesn’t necessarily need to go to college but he is to further his education and become a better business manger in what he does. It was very interesting to view the different stand points on higher education and whether or not it is necessary. This reminded me of Jane Adams and her failures at medical school for some reason. Not everyone goes to college and if they do are always successful. But in the end you find your path along  the way and get to where you are supposed to be. For some that might include higher education and for others it might not.

IMG_2059(My grandparents have a very small kitchen table so we pulled out collapsable tables in the garage!)