Leading up to and throughout this road trip, I told myself and others that I was going to watch the sun rise over the Grand Canyon. Well, I woke up just shy of 6:30am and I looked at my weather app just to discover that it was 30-something degrees outside. I cleared my throat, pulled my weighted blanket (that I traveled with) up over my shoulders, and watched the sun rise through my daggum hotel window. Yep, I wasn’t having it. No way no how. I hadn’t packed cold weather gear so I was definitely not about to try and freeze the last bit of sense I had left in my brain.

Uncle Michael told me that he was going to get himself some breakfast. I continued relaxing a bit and after I showered and dressed, I made my way down to grub on some hotel food. As we were passing each other, my uncle said, “heads up” and I remember him telling me that the eggs on one side was hotter than the other, but I had forgotten which side by the time I got out of the elevator. I just wanted food.

I spent some quality time eating and people watching, enjoying the amazing energy of one of the hotel workers who went above and beyond to help guests (and reduce the amount of people crammed together trying to get certain food items). It was awesome seeing so many people there, clearly visiting for the same reason I was there, to take in as much of that majestic energy that the Grand Canyon harnessed. There were families visiting, casual hikers, and extreme hikers (or at least they had extreme gear strapped to them). Once I was done eating and taking in all of the busyness, I went to my room, gathered my stuff and headed to the front desk to check out.

Grand Canyon

My uncle and I drove the short one mile to the entry gate and was pleasantly surprised that not only would we receive a discount to enter, thanks to his Veteran’s status, but he got a free pass to all of the National Parks for an entire year. Isn’t that awesome?!? I asked him if he would be ready for some road trips come spring time.

After parking and wondering why people brought their small dogs with them—ummm can you say wild animal snacks?— we decided on the route we wanted to take.

I called my mom and she said, “Oh you guys are actually at the Grand Canyon? I thought you were just driving by”. I looked at my phone and I was like, “ummm how do you just drive by?” and then quickly pivoted the conversation before she went off on me. After a few laughs I got off of the phone and uncle Michael and I hopped on the orange shuttle, and oh my goodness, only God could have created something as beautiful as what we took in that day. It’s one thing to see pictures and videos of the Grand Canyon, it’s something totally different, soul-stirring, a song to your spirit, when you see it in person.

Oh and for clarification, all of those jaw-dropping images you see online and in books, are of the south part of the Grand Canyon, the South Rim, which is in Arizona. Not the Nevada side. No knock to Nevada, it’s just a different topography up that-a-which-away. The North Rim is less accessible because it’s like 1,000 feet higher than the South Rim. It’s also not open year-round like the South Rim, and that’s because it snows like crazy in the North Rim.You can access it if you’re a hiker or cross country skier, and have a backcountry permit.

We took a shuttle to see South Kaibab Trail. It begins with a series of switchbacks called “the chimney”. During the winter months you can find ice in this area. What I didn’t know, until after I had made it home with my postcard that I had purchased is that there are Zoroaster and Brama temples perched majestically across from the Mormon Flats on the South Kaibab Trail. The Grand Canyon is hundreds of millions of years old with just as many mysteries nestled in those nooks and crannies.

After spending some quality time at South Kaibab Trail, we hopped on another shuttle and went to Yaki Point.

Now, if I had been there for a hiking trip, I would have hiked to all of these stops. Oh and if I was traveling with someone other than my uncle. He’s not the hiking type. Take him fishing or camping in a controlled-environment (not something as open and wild as the Grand Canyon, for instance) and he’s in his element. He wasn’t playing with these wild animals. Arizona has mountain lions, coyotes, foxes, bats, elk (as I mentioned yesterday), bison, condors, deer, and big horn sheep.

And the most dangerous animals happen to be some of the smallest, those rock squirrels will take you out. You can think they’re cute all you want, you might find yourself cliff-diving without a parachute or in a social media video that’s gone viral because you’re battling Rocky from Rocky and Bullwinkle.

Uncle Michael and I were looking at people like they had a death wish. One woman kept trying to get as close to the edge of the cliff and the other women that were with her kept saying, “Okay stop you have gone far enough” and she kept saying, “I’m fine it’s okay, I’ve got this”. My uncle and I turned around and walked away, both agreeing that if her silly butt got snatched by a gust of wind, we didn’t want to be there to witness the horror.

Epic Fail Falling GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

We rolled our eyes when we saw people with their cameras say, “Ooh look at that” and they were trying to get close enough to take photos of animals. I just knew that one of them was going to say “Ooh I wonder if it will let me pet it”. It never fails. There’s always one who wants to take things to the extreme, like they’re gonna get a show with National Geographic or something.

Uncle Michael and I took plenty of pictures and he even had his fancy camera, snapping away and capturing some beautiful images. The photos you see here are all taken by me with my iPhone. I recorded videos and even tried to FaceTime and WhatsApp video call with my mom and sister, so they could get a sneak peek, but no can do. It was as though the canyon said, “Naw sista, not here”. When I was able to call them later, my mom said, “They probably block service so folks can’t see the Grand Canyon for free”. Haaa my mom is hilarious.

We took one more shuttle and visited Pipecreek Vista. I did want to make two more stops but being mindful of the time and how long we still had left of our road trip, we caught another shuttle back to the visitor’s center. Then we went to the conservatory gift shop.

There I bought a postcard (that I mentioned earlier) and a National Parks passport book. I felt like a big kid when my passport got stamped, marking my visit. My uncle purchased these cool wooden walking sticks for my mom and my aunt Valerie (their sister). The sticks disassemble into three pieces that simply attach my screwing them together. So it made it possible to travel with them. Pretty cool! He also purchased my sister something and got me the Adventure Edition of the Road Atlas. It has all of the state and national parks, and national monuments highlighted. I can’t wait for my next adventure. Oh yeah!

Leaving the Grand Canyon

I won’t lie, I wish I could have stayed there the entire day. Before leaving I had already planned in my mind a return trip next year. I’m thinking that three or four days would do the trick.

I have one other place in Flagstaff I want to spend several hours visiting, so I want to spread my trip out so that it’s not rushed. It’s roughly a seven-hour drive from southern California.

Even if I flew into Flagstaff that would still require renting a car and driving 81 miles. That’s the closest option because I don’t think there is an airport in Williams, which is 60 miles away. The Flagstaff flight could work if I wanted to spend more time at the Grand Canyon and in Arizona, and I wasn’t doing an all-out multi-state road trip. Hmmm…this travel option is sounding better and better the more I think about it.

Cali-bound

I hopped behind the wheel of my SUV and we moseyed down the road, hopped on the highway, refueled at a trucker’s stop, and grabbed something to eat. We were slated to reach sunny southern California later that evening. My uncle took some awesome photos as I drove through Arizona and into California.

Once we crossed that California border we had 346 miles until we reached our destination. I got excited when when hit I-15 South because I knew we were roughly two hours away home. We pulled in around 8:45pm, tired and hungry, Thankfully, my sister had prepared us a meal that had me salivating like crazy.

Reflection

I enjoyed this road trip. Even the rough parts that had me nervous and at times scared of becoming a road bump for a big rig. Would I do it again? Yes. I’m not sure what has changed within me, but I went from declaring in 2012 “No more road trips longer than eight hours” to saying in 2021, “Okay let’s do this!” So here’s to my next road trip. Stay tuned, one’s coming soon. You will never believe where I’m headed to next!

~Natasha

Copyright 2021. Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved.

It’s been too long since I last had something to say, something to share with all of you. Sure, I post to social media, but it’s not the same as engaging with you through this blog. I apologize for my lack of presence. This year has been troubling, scary, rocky, and at times extremely chaotic for me. I have been split between two coasts since March of this year.

I won’t divulge my personal situation and drama here, just know that I haven’t been missing because I lost my zest for blogging. If you follow my Breaking Bread With Natasha blog, you already know that Monday through Friday you can find a post from me. That blog has helped me through my spiritual battles along this rugged path. I haven’t resumed hosting my Don’t Call It Small…Business podcast, as I had intended to do this past summer. But thanks to God, giving Him credit for what I’m about to do, I have found the time and space to get back on this saddle and return to regularly blogging and podcasting each week.

So what does all of this have to do with the title of today’s message? Well, let me share…

Last month was my birthday month. Woot woot! Yeah, I didn’t do anything big and fancy, but I did enjoy myself. I flew from California to Atlanta, two days before my birthday. I could only be in Atlanta until Wednesday evening, because I needed to ensure I was back in California by Saturday to celebrate my nephew’s birthday and my favorite holiday, Halloween. I keep my promises and nothing was going to keep me from getting back in time.

The travel to Atlanta wasn’t that bad. I met some pretty interesting people on both flights. On my first leg, I met a gentleman from Scotland, who I told we’re probably related, only because I have Scottish and Irish heritage. We chatted a bit before we both settled into our in-flight routines. Before getting off the plane we exchanged contact information. I’m hoping he will give me some historical and archival insights to better assist me with my genealogical journey. I had a quick layover in Houston and then hopped on my final leg to Atlanta. On that flight I sat next to two women, one a student who graduated from the University of Southern California, and is pursuing her Master’s degree at Emory University (which I excitedly shared that I taught there in 2014) and the other woman was in marketing, from the looks of her work deliverables she was cranking through.

At the end of the flight, the Emory student said that she was inspired sitting between two professional Black women, doing their thing, working passionately. That touched my heart. I wished her the best and I silently said a prayer for her. She is still trying to determine if she wants to pursue her MD or PhD, and I hope that whichever path she chooses, that she is positioned to give fully and passionately to help others.

I landed in Atlanta late that evening, wondering why I didn’t take the earlier non-stop flight, but then reminding myself of the people I met and connected with that day. I spent the next day running errands and stopping by to see a few friends, having lunch with two of my buddies who treated me to one of my favs, IHOP, and I had a quick catch-up session with another. Sadly, I had to reschedule with one of my friends because my day slipped by and we were playing tag-you’re-it.

Day three was my birthday and I won’t lie, it did not go as planned. Like nothing, absolutely nothing went as I had planned. I know what I had written down on my list and my well-mapped out plan, but Murphy’s Law decided to make a believer out of me in a real way. A friend of mine had gone with me to take my SUV to a mechanic and I was told that I needed a new tire for the front passenger side. See, I had a road trip planned for the next day, and I needed to ensure that my SUV was ready for the long ride. I rushed to get my tire replaced and found that some locations didn’t have mine in stock. I had a lunch scheduled with one of my friends and I had promised a friend (the one who followed me to the mechanic) that I would drop them off at the airport, because they were heading overseas for a month. Now this tire situation was causing issues. I had to cancel lunch and then was absolutely heartbroken to find out that I wasn’t just cancelling on my dear friend, but on three dear friends. Yep, she was surprising me with two other friends who were eager to see me.

My birthday was really sucking. Like, seriously.

I started reaching out to friends to see if anyone had connections with tire places, as my mind was all over the place. When you leave home for several months it’s definitely weird when you return, so much is familiar, yet much more leaves you dazed and confused. It didn’t take long to receive a return call telling me to head to Decatur and get there no later than 3:45pm to get my tire. Thank God for great friends. After dropping off one friend at the airport I rushed to Decatur and there I was planted for almost three hours. I was a walk-in so I knew the wait was inevitable. I was okay with that. But unfortunately, that meant cancelling meet-ups with one, two, three, and then four friends. It also meant cancelling swinging by the after school program I used to work for, as I really wanted to see my team members and the kiddies. But there just wasn’t enough time in my day.

It was 5:15pm and I was already exhausted, but determined!

Here’s a picture that I sent in my group text to my three gal pals, as I waited for my tire to be swapped out. I told them I was tired and a picture rarely lies!

One of the many things I love about one of my friends is their ability to find workarounds to situations. Since our original meet-up didn’t pan out, they drove to the tire center to meet me. That was the same friend that connected me with the tire center. What was their birthday gift to me? The new tire. Yes indeed. I was so happy. You can have the fancy, I will drive past you with my new tire, thank you very much! Standing outside we pondered how long it had been since we had seen each other, and were shocked that it had been some time early last year. I started thinking about my other friends, and this was the truth for many of them. Some of my friends I hadn’t seen in person since 2019, because this pandemic put a stop to the in-person connection at the start of 2020. That made cancelling on them suck even worse.

After my tire was swapped out I rushed into Atlanta to visit the mother of one of my friends. She and I had spoken by phone from time to time, but we hadn’t seen each other since February. I’ve grown extremely close to her over the years and we adopted each other, in a sense. She’s like another mother. I was determined that I would see and hug her, so I made it happen. There’s something super special about mothers, wouldn’t you agree?

After leaving her house with a bag filled with pastries (because she wasn’t going to let me not have cake for my birthday) I floored it to southwest Atlanta, rushing into the home of my friend and hairstylist, where she had dinner waiting and ready. We laughed and gossiped (ssssh don’t tell anyone) as I scarfed down my food. I couldn’t stay long because I had an online class to teach at 9pm and I couldn’t be late. Well needless to say, I was about five minutes late because she also surprised me with a birthday brownie and ice cream. It’s a tad bit difficult to scarf that down, but my students were more than accommodating because they knew it was my birthday. Class wrapped up at 10pm and I won’t lie, I was exhausted. I gave them my all. I poured every ounce of energy I had left into that class period. I was super hyped and they thanked me repeatedly for loving them enough to leave it all on the mat, as the saying goes. But I couldn’t afford to go straight to sleep after class, because I wasn’t done packing.

See, I had convinced myself to stick to my initial plan to hit the highway no later than 4:30am the next morning. I thought that if I left out at 4:30am I would arrive in Memphis in time for breakfast, relax and chill for a bit, and then get back on the highway. But as I just stated, I still hadn’t finished sorting and packing for the trip. The night before I had created my pack, donate, trash, storage piles, and because of the tire fiasco, it took longer than I anticipated to complete this task. That’s probably because I didn’t originally plan to be as aggressive with the sorting as I found myself being a few hours in to the process, the night before. I actually did more than what I imagined and I’m grateful that I did. I know that when I do return to Atlanta I will be in a better position to pack up and move to wherever, with little to no time—I just need to grab and load, and then go. All of my furniture and other items are waiting for me in storage. Oh yeah that is a long story I won’t be sharing anytime soon. Maybe in a future post or even in a book. Maybe.

So what time do you think I finally climbed into bed, knowing I needed to be on the road at 4:30am?

If you said around 2:30am, you’re right. I made some adjustments in my thinking. I looked at the weather reports again and noticed that Alabama was going to be clobbered by stupid weather and both Alabama and Georgia were having later sunrises, like after 7:30am. My common sense kicked in and I made the decision that it wasn’t wise to drive in the dark, with high winds, and rain. Yep, it was scheduled to rain, which I already knew, but what I hadn’t planned for was the 40-plus miles per hour winds that were zooming through Alabama. I also decided that it would not be cool to start this road trip with soaking clothes, so instead of waiting until I was leaving out to load the car, I made the decision to do everything then and there.

I hauled all of the trash bags outside, packed my SUV, and then hopped in the shower, bypassing my original plan to relax in a tub filled with hot water and this cool muscle soak I bought days earlier. I need to have a long talk with Murphy, because this fool has a habit of ruining plans. Since my plans to drop off my donation bags were derailed, I labeled the bags, and left them for my friend to drop off for me when they return from their trip later this month. My “welcome home” gift to them. Not really, but that’s what I’m going to say when they ask me about those two huge black trash bags in their guest room. I’m giggling now just thinking about that future conversation.

Okay, so back to this trip. I caught a few zzz’s and after sending out my massive text messages to friends and family (and a link for my family to track me), I was on the road at 7:30am, chatting on the phone with one of the friends that I couldn’t squeeze a visit in with the day before. I stopped by Dunkin Donuts and then refueled at a gas station, and after that it was just my Sirius XM rolling with me. If you’re wondering if I was driving by myself, I will tell you what I told friends and family that asked the same question: No, I had “God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit rolling with me. Jesus said he was gonna rest at the half-way point of our journey, so I would pick up my maternal uncle, Michael, to ride with me the rest of the way”. This, my friends, was the start of my first cross-country road trip all by myself. Well, at least the first five states were all by myself. I’ve driven plenty of times on long road trips, but never alone.

There I was, leaving Atlanta, my SUV packed with snacks, bottled water, tire kit, beat-you-down flashlight (one of those huge ones), two cans of wasp spray (just in case pepper spray and mace were illegal in some states), written directions in case my GPS went on the blitz, and just enough clothing and supplies to make my current stay comfortable. Thanks to my aunt Debbie, I renewed my AAA. I had totally forgotten that I hadn’t renewed in forever. Thanks Debbie for that. Whew!

Next week, I will share more about this amazing road trip and even share some photos. If you’re wondering which Sirius XM channel I was jamming to, it was channel 50, “The Groove”. Yes indeed, the best of 70s and 80s R&B music. It was like a nonstop concert and I loved every minute of it. I even have a video or two to share with you of me lip-syncing some songs. I cracked myself up. Be prepared to laugh with me folks. Chat soon!

~Natasha

Copyright 2021. Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved.

What is amazing is that John Steinbeck wrote The Grapes of Wrath in 1939 and it covered the era of the Dust Bowl, yet 81 years later I can see scenes of that past displayed in painful images and news reports today. If you don’t know 1930s US history, then let me give you a quick recap of what the Dust Bowl was all about and how I’m tying this into present-day.

Due to years of drought and improperly farmed land (due to high demand of rapid cultivation), wind erosion, and the influx of mechanized farm equipment a decade earlier, the unanchored soil turned to dust. That dust was whirled up by strong winds that swept huge billowing dust clouds throughout the panhandle of Oklahoma (northwest), northern Texas, northeast New Mexico, southeast Colorado, western and central Kansas, and a speck of southwestern Nebraska in the early 1930s.

More than 100 million acres were impacted by the dust storms, most of the states affected were choked off by dust for over four years, while some states were impacted for over 8 years. Tens of thousands of people were displaced because they could no longer farm their lands, pay their bills, and provide for their families. By 1936, the financial loss was $25 million per day, which is the equivalent to approximately $460 million today, according to the Federal Reserve of Minneapolis.

Families who had lived on their properties for generations, were forced to leave with whatever they could pack and load in their vehicles. Their houses and other structures were oftentimes bulldozed and destroyed. Since the banks now owned the lands because the families took out loans that they later could not repay, these families were left to be tenant farmers and had no claim to the land they once owned free and clear. Banks showed no mercy as they forced the families from their homes and off of their lands. Sound familiar?

My maternal grandparents were born and raised in Oklahoma, and were children during the Dust Bowl. Thankfully for them, the storms never reached their part of the state and they never had to leave their family’s lands. And although I’m a California native, thankfully when my parents and paternal grandparents moved to that state, the chaos of decades earlier had been a memory far removed. But maybe you can see another reason why I’m naturally drawn to the story, The Grapes of Wrath. Both sides of my family have been landowners and property owners for generations. Imagine making it past the Civil War and finally gaining a footing in this cruel country, to then be forced off of the land you bought and worked on. Just devastating.

Tens of thousands of people traveled from Dust Bowl states and migrated to California, because it was known as a state that survived the Great Depression better than most states. Individuals and families saw California as their second chance to rebuild and thrive. What they didn’t know was that Californians didn’t want outsiders and “foreigners”. The migrants were called “Okies” and this wasn’t just because many of them were from Oklahoma, it soon became a derogatory term to describe the level of disgust that Californians felt for the migrants. Yes indeed, people from other states were called foreigners, and they looked down on them. If you look at our country today, locals don’t feel cheery about a spike in their population due to newcomers. They start to fear a shortage in jobs, housing, opportunities, and space on the freeways and highways. They start to fear a spike in the cost of goods and services. Although they give the side eye, they aren’t acting out like we did decades ago.

Not yet at least.

If you read The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck then maybe you recall the struggle and strife of the people and families impacted by the Dust Bowl. You should also recall how they were overlooked and taken advantage of by those in their home states who didn’t lose their properties, and they were treated considerably worse by people in California.

Those who made it to California were forced to accept scraps, beg for jobs, and be subjected to inhumane conditions. And back then, the Salvation Army had a bad reputation in California for mistreating the destitute. If the “Okies” protested what Californians were doing to them then they were beaten, arrested, and many were murdered. Yes, even law enforcement was in on the mistreatment. Sadly, the migrants watched as their campsites were burned down by locals who didn’t want “Okies” there. Locals didn’t want to compete with the migrants so they did everything they could to force them out of the state.

Californians drove wages as low as possible to ensure that the migrants couldn’t live dignified lives. They created a mindset where people would accept anything just to eat. They would work for scraps of food to keep from dying of hunger. To keep prices of their crops high, the big landowners in California destroyed some of their crops instead of letting hungry migrants eat them. This waste and cruelty caused a “crop” to develop and sprout in the souls of the migrants—which Steinbeck coined, the grapes of wrath.

The irony is, Californians were doing all of that to protect the land that they stole from Mexicans. Yep, California was part of Mexico, along with Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas until 1850, 1912, and 1848, respectively. How did this happen? Well, in the early 1800s, Americans were desperate and they decided to travel to other lands looking for opportunities for a better life. They saw ripe acres of land and they chose to become squatters. They built houses, planted on and farmed the lands, and eventually stood strengthened in the belief that the land was now theirs. Since Mexicans hadn’t considered that squatters would be an issue, they weren’t prepared for what ultimately happened—losing their land to immigrants who forcefully fought to remain on land not theirs. In 1848 Texas fought and became a state. In 1850 California became a state, and because they also fought hard against slavery, it was a free state as part of the Union. Arizona and New Mexico eventually gained statehood in 1912.

Now, fast forward to the 1930s with Californians “owning” the land, they saw their old selves in the migrants, and rather than being neighborly, they acted rabid. They feared losing the land the same way they got it. They feared the migrants from Oklahoma and other states, and feared that just as they squatted on the land and fought the Mexicans, that the migrants would do the exact same thing to them.

If this wasn’t so painful to examine it would be comical. This nonsense has been happening since this country was first stolen from Native Americans. Our inability to coexist, share, be content with what is allotted to us in a land where we are all foreigners, so we steal that land and it’s resources from the people who allowed us to come here. Then when newcomers arrive we tell them we don’t want them here, there’s not enough land and resources to share. All I can do is smirk and shake my head.

If you never read The Grapes of Wrath and doubt you will go buy a copy or check out one from the library, let me help you out. I searched on YouTube and found all three parts of the audiobook from two sources. Below are the links. Listen to the book. Listen and see how then, is in many ways, now, and now is then.

Audiobook Part 1 https://youtu.be/CzdoHqBhcdc Audiobook Part 2 https://youtu.be/3ofBuTMAtc4 Audiobook Part 3 https://youtu.be/0sjzwlkkLmg

This savagery, as I call it, is cyclical— generation after generation. We keep repeating this nonsense and we don’t see the need to stop and live right. We don’t see the need to treat others with dignity and respect, just as we would like to be treated. Greed drives it all. Big business keeps squashing the little person, banks keep getting bailed out even though they won’t do the same for their depositors, and the frenzy drives the working class into a state of sheer desperation and madness—where they too begin turning on each other. Sound familar? If only people learned how to unite against the status quo. That was a thread of wisdom that Steinbeck wove through the story, where certain characters would propose the concept of strength in numbers, and standing as a collective voice and force—but each time, fear would get in the way. Just like today.

In the book, people were prevented from buying land in California, and if it appeared there was an opportunity to purchase, the price would be set so high that the dream would quickly disappear. They would be forced to live in government and other campsites, with communal facilities, and unsanitary conditions. Today, how do we get the “undesirables” out of neighborhoods and communities? We raise the price of rent, we increase our police presence to get more arrests, we create or unfairly enforce rules or laws that target them, and we make the living conditions unbearable. That is also the strategy to keep people away.

I’ve read several articles recently about the skyrocketed cost of living in California and the staggering number of homeless who have no where safe to go. People with jobs who can’t afford to rent are being forced to sleep in their vehicles, in shelters, or on the streets. Just the other week I read of a tiny house community that was built to house the homeless. It’s ridiculous that this community even had to be built. If property owners reduced their rates on their rentals people could rent. If property owners stopped being greedy trying to sell their homes for way more than their worth, we could have more homeowners. But guess what? Between greed and fear, no one is budging from their position.

But guess what else? It’s not just California that has lost their mind with these ridiculous rate hikes. Have you checked the rental and sales prices of properties in Atlanta, Georgia and surrounding cities? Absolutely ridiculous. There are some areas where you can still be mugged or carjacked yet the houses are being sold for $500,000 to $750,000. I’m not joking. Houses that once were $15,000 to $50,000 were remodeled and because some sucker (most likely from California, New York, or other high priced state) was willing to pay $350,000 or more for a property nearby, that encouraged other sellers to list their homes for comparable prices. All of this has been driving the market up, which means a bubble will be bursting soon, and people will be wailing about the injustice of it all when the property values come plummeting down to levels that actually make sense. We could stop these bubbles from growing in the first place if people stopped being greedy.

Everyone thinks that someone is going to take or destroy what’s ours, even when what’s ours isn’t rightfully ours. We keep living with a “them” versus “us” mindset, rather than realizing that we all want the exact same things in life, and given the opportunity we could all live side-by-side in harmony. We simply choose the chaos. When will we grow tired of this treachery? Share your thoughts.

Copyright 2020. Natasha L. Foreman.

The Los Angeles Times featured a story today concerning the effect of teacher layoffs on future educators. According to the California state Commission on Teaching Credentialing, in California the number of teaching credentials that were issued on an annual basis reduced 29% over the past five years, from 28,039 during  2004-2005 to 20,032 during 2009-2010. So it should not be much of a surprise that post-bachelor degree programs have also seen a significant decline in enrollment of those teachers seeking training. The California State University system which is one of the nation’s largest providers of new teachers has suffered a reduction of students enrolled in credential classes; less than 50% are enrolled than were present 8 years ago.

All of this directly impacts new teachers and those who will soon complete their required credentials and certifications. These new teachers are the last to get hired and the first to get fired, but even with that reality looming over them there are students and new  teachers who are willing to do what it takes to educate our youth and survive the employment crunch that is expected to last possibly another two to five years, Professor Greg Knott’s of Cal State Northridge told the LA Times.

To read the article in its entirety visit the LA Times

© Copyright 2011. Natasha L. Foreman. natashaforeman.com