Coming to America & The Argument For Funding Education

Another oldie…cause I am clearing out my Myspace blogs…LOL! 🙂

One of my favorite lines in one of my favorite movies, The American President, reads as follows:

“Sydney, everybody cares about the environment during a phone survey. On election day, nobody gives a damn.”

The same is true about education. Everyone cares about education in theory…but when it comes down to Election Day, we treat it like the environment, something we want to ignore until SPF 200 becomes something you just don’t leave home without!

Well, today was SPF 200 day for me. As I hung around a customer service desk at Macy’s while an associate tried to figure out how to dial, yes, you read right, tried to FIGURE OUT HOW TO DIAL A NUMBER WHEN THERE WERE INSTRUCTIONS NEXT TO THE PHONE SAYING “DIAL THIS NUMBER TO CALL A DIFFERENT STORE”…I decided to pay my bill with the other lollygagging sales associate. After prying Freddie, my sales associate, away from re-hanging clothing and asking him if he could help me out, we got started on the bill pay process in the women’s section, in Macy’s, in San Bernardino, CA.

After keying in his associate ID, we were set, and Freddie needed my ID, I pulled out my Oregon ID and handed it to him, picking up my battered ID with a curious look his first question “so your first name is Bird?” Strangely, I have been asked this question many times, it’s common for people to believe with COMPLETE certainty that my name is: Bird, K. I am Indian, of the asian variety, not native american…and my parents aren’t hippies so I was not named Bird my name is in fact K Bird, not Bird K, the sales associate’s second guess.

Keeping up some polite chitchat about the crazy holiday rush, sales, and the crazy weather we glided through the last couple steps of getting my bill paid. Handing over my money the sales associate sorted the bills into the right slots in the register, and handed over my dime in change and Oregon ID when he gave me one of the weirdest warmest welcomes I had ever received. In all sincerity Freddie, my friendly Macy’s sales associate, looked at me and said “Well, WELCOME TO AMERICA!!”

I suppose the ensuing confusion was apparent on my face, I started to laugh, this funny half WHAT THE FU(*%, half did I hear you correctly, sorta laugh. I was so amused, so horrified, so dumbfounded that I was being welcomed to America from OREGON…by a Californian. I mean if NOTHING, NOTHING shouldn’t you know the States that surround California if you live in California?! HMMM?! I don’t know if it was the look of utter shock or the stupid laugh I couldn’t contain that keyed him in to the fact that something had gone horribly awry with his welcome. In confusion Freddie looked at me and said, “Where exactly is Oregon?” After a quick explanation Freddie smiled bashfully and said, “yeah I was never any good at SPELLING”. Another weird laugh from me and, Freddie corrected himself with a, “oh yeah I meant I am not good at HISTORY”. History?! Really?! History?! Should I correct him, should I say “Dude!!! The word you are looking for is Geography”? Would it really make any difference at this point?! For once in my life I shut my big mouth up, I smiled and mumbled, in between painful attempts to swallow my laughter, “yeah we all have problems with that one!”

The first sales associate that was trying to help me was still trying to figure out how to make an international call to Tigard, Oregon from San Bernardino, California to locate my jacket and I found myself pondering whether or not we spend enough on education? Did this 20+ year old Californian who thought Oregon was a different country break through my cynicism over funding education even when I know vast portions of the money allocated to schools ends up being wasted and mismanaged?! Nope! I am still as cynical as ever…after all in four years this guy could be the next Republican VP candidate…and we can’t let him go on the record as saying “when Oregonians invade US airspace it’s California they end up in.”


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