No substitute for an education on the stump

No substitute for an education on the stump

A lot has changed around me since I was born in 1969 and continued on to graduate high school from a logging community known as Shelton in 1988. I now find myself teaching school in a once-thriving logging community called Amanda Park. Life has come full circle for me but the view from the circle has changed its colors and shape.

I grew up around loggers my whole life. I learned many positive and essential ingredients to being a productive citizen.

I learned things like: a hard work ethic, thinking on your feet, dedication, you see a lot in a person by looking at their hands, discipline, how to safely use a gun — hunting for food and living off the land as well, how to know the forest and find your way home if you are lost. These qualities can be found in many other careers but most loggers were and are different.

Most loggers work in an environment that puts your life on the line at all times. You do not have time to talk around a topic or concern. You have to tell it like it is with most loggers — dancing around the issue with most loggers is like waiting to grab the honey from a hive until the queen finishes the paperwork. Most loggers from my 44 years made their kids responsible and respectable in school because such behavior not shown on the landing will get you a one-way ticket home in the “crummy.”

In 1985 the environmental movement closed Camp Govey when I was a sophomore and after that I watched my community change as well as this area of Washington state. It has devastated communities. The children I teach have not had the abundant opportunities to learn about life from a logger like I did. I have eight years of college but I learned more about life sitting in an old Ford truck with a full gun rack and the stereo turned up cutting and stacking wood then discussing and than taking notes about macro economics. An education is very important, but it doesn’t happen just in a classroom.

I would like to say that those who wanted to save the symbolism of our nation’s natural beauty around us may have not realized it destroyed or squashed the substance of those people who lived in this same creation. You can save the cook but when there are no mouths to feed the food goes to waste. Trees are worth protecting but not at the expense of those who can pass on to the next generation the idea of being a good steward of the land and productive citizen.

Jac Crater

Amanda Park