Appalachia Appalachian Dialect Celebrating Appalachia Videos

Is Education Lacking in Appalachia?

Suzann Moffitt Ledford

One of the common stereotypes about the Appalachian region is it’s an undereducated area of the United States. That couldn’t be further from the truth.

In one of my recent videos my friend Suzann, who happens to be a college professor, and I discuss education in Appalachia along with a few other things.

I hope you enjoyed the video. Remember my Sayings from Suzann posts? Well now you’ve met Suzann 🙂

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  • Reply
    October 9, 2020 at 5:49 pm

    I agree with Ed Ammons, some of the smartest, wisest men I have known in my life did not have much formal education. I sometimes think one of the things in shortest supply today is common sense (horse sense). These people did not have white collar jobs but in everyday life they were very successful. I also agree with his comment about the way children are being raised today in daycare. Lord help a daycare worker if they should correct a child and then the parents wonder why they can not do anything with them when they get older. My wife and I will be married 46 years in 2 weeks and started our life together with 10 dollars in our bank account and living in a single wide trailer but she stayed at home and took care of our children until they started school and then worked low paying part time jobs. You have to decide what is more important, living in expensive homes, driving new cars, etc. more important than seeing that my children are raised in the way I want them raised. We never did without anything we needed but did not have some of the luxuries. Both of my children turned out to be fine adults that have never gave us a minute of trouble. This
    modern technology is great, but I think it is also dumbing down the younger generations, they depend on a smart phone for all the answers instead of using the brain God gave them. Along with Ed, you can get mad and upset with me for feeling this way.

    • Reply
      October 10, 2020 at 10:51 am

      You hit the nail on the head! I stayed home with mine until the youngest school and worked part time until she started high school. Our girls are two wonderful adults!

  • Reply
    October 9, 2020 at 4:49 pm

    I felt so ‘at home’ hearing you two-such a treat! I know you’ve mentioned Martin’s Creek quite a bit, but I also thought she was saying March Creek, sliding on in. Anyway I loved it.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    October 9, 2020 at 1:37 pm

    You know education isn’t only book learning. I’ll bet if we really sat down and figured it out we would find that a huge majority of what we learn is before we ever started school. We learn to speak from out parents or whoever takes care of us before we start talking. Necessarily we use words and phrases we hear. If we are of the generation that had the television as our babysitter then that’s the way we will speak throughout our lives. That is a shame! Day care and TV is a large part of what’s wrong with society today. Not just in Appalachia but also in the United States as a whole. “I sit him up in front of the TV while I do what I have to. He is just fine.” Yeah, if you want to raise with TV values which you probably don’t agree with. Or “I have to put them in daycare because I have to have a job to make ends meet.” Well you could pay yourself to keep your own kids. “But I make more money than I pay the daycare!” Yes and you get what you pay for. If you want your kids to grow up with your values then raise your kids. If you can’t do that then the next best option is not to have kids. Don’t get me started!

    When most people hear the word “boomer” they think of a person born in the two decades after WW2. Not me, I think of a small but rather loud squirrel or maybe a community in Wilkes County up on #18 between Kings Creek and Moravian Falls.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    October 9, 2020 at 12:30 pm

    I notice that the artificial intelligence doesn’t do well with Appalachian. I can foresee that captioned videos will cause all kinds of confusion in years to come. You all went to “March Creek” elementary school and never knew it. “LOL” and the others like it are going to make matters even worse since most of them will fade out.

    Hope you all don’t get upset with me, but why do I think maybe Suzann took you out of yourself Tipper? And you kept her from flying too high? So you two were – and are – good for each other. I am a person who needs to be stretched by someone more adventurous.

    I have never read it, but I might should, Thomas Wolfe’s “You Can’t Go Home Again”. If it’s title is descriptive, that prodigal theme fits me all too well. I have about given up on putting it into words but I wish I could.

  • Reply
    Wanda Devers
    October 9, 2020 at 11:46 am

    Enjoyed this so much! There is nothing like a friend who has known you forever! My dearest friend & I met when she began first grade & came into my second grade room by accident.

  • Reply
    Edward Karshner
    October 9, 2020 at 11:26 am

    I really believe we are in the middle of a great Appalachian Literary renaissance. There are so many great writers working from our region. I’ve taught these books in my Appalachian Lit course over the years. The first stack is from the noir class I taught and are a little dark, crime fiction. All of these writers have written multiple novels/short story collections and are well worth reading and supporting.

    This isn’t an exhaustive list but just one I had on hand:

    One Foot in Eden by Ron Rash
    Over the Plain Houses by Julia Franks
    The Unquiet Grave by Sharyn McCrumb
    The Line that Held Us by David Joy
    Country Dark by Chris Offutt

    The Red Mule by Jesse Stuart
    Storming Heaven by Denise Giardina
    The Gods of Howl Mountain by Taylor Brown
    Fire is Your Water by Jim Minik
    Trampoline by Robert Gipe
    Parchment of Leaves by Silas House

    Song Birds and Stray Dogs by Meagan Lucas
    Birds of Opulence by Chrystal Wilkinson
    Shiner by Amy Jo Burns
    Even as We Breath by Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle

    Assorted writers:

    Wiley Cash, Maurice Manning, and Wesley Brown

  • Reply
    October 9, 2020 at 9:15 am

    Good to meet you Suzann! My mom seldom used the word embarrass, but would have warned me not to tell anything to plag her. Some of the Appalachian words and sayings never leave our mind, even if we don’t use them much any more. I helped a family pick up some black walnuts last weekend and suddenly remembered what I heard them called when I was growing up. Warnuts still sounds right to me.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    October 9, 2020 at 9:04 am

    The interview ended rather abruptly. Like there is more to it? A part 2, maybe? I hope so!

  • Reply
    October 9, 2020 at 8:44 am

    One of my all time favorite songs Where corn don’t grow by Travis Tritt I think when we’re young and dumb we all go thru a phase then as we get older realize where our roots are is the best place to be, or for me it is any way.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    October 9, 2020 at 8:18 am

    Suzann is absolutely delightful! An educated Appalachian, there are actually a lot of those around, they are not always obvious.

  • Reply
    October 9, 2020 at 8:06 am

    I notice in Suzanne interview the applichian cadance only came out when she was talking about family, mainly her mother. I suspect that her education and professional collegues have something to do with that. One thing came to mind while she spoke was the desire for us not wanting to leave the mountains. I find that odd that 5 or 6 generations back our ancestors were restless pushing to the west. Good interview, wonder of she can recommend some applichian authors to read when the cold, blue days of winter return.

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