More Culture Shock In Dickinson, North Dakota

In the South, where I grew up, education is valued and respected.  If a person was a teacher, a preacher, a doctor, a lawyer, or an engineer, they were respected.  I believe that there were several reasons for this.  Church and the Bible were important in the lives of people in the South.  The preacher was looked upon as a person with higher learning, as wise, as having sound judgement, as someone to be respected.  The preacher, nor the citizens, would tolerate disrespect towards a preacher. Similarly, teachers were looked upon as someone with higher learning, as wise, and having sound judgement, as someone to be respected.  Doctors were very highly valued, they were treated with respect and were treated as very important people.

Anyone in the South, would hope that their child would grow up to be a teacher, a preacher, a doctor, a lawyer, or an engineer. It was good that a child would grow up to be knowledgeable, well read, knowing about the world, able to make informed decisions, to be able to practice their profession where they chose, to not be tied to a place, or to be limited in life by the lack of understanding or lack of knowledge.

I did very well in school, my classmates who liked me were proud of me, my classmates who didn’t like me wouldn’t deny that what I had done was good, that I would go to college, that that was good.  When I was going to college and working, my co-workers whether they liked me or not, they would not disagree that what I was doing was good.  When I graduated with a degree in engineering and went to work as an estimator, engineer, superintendent, and project manager, my employers and co-workers either acknowledged, or did not disagree that the engineering education and learning was important.

When I got to North Dakota, I found that the people here have disgust and hatred for people with an education.  In about the middle of 2013, there was a national newspaper article, that said North Dakota had the highest percentage of people in the United States with less than an 8th grade education, and, that North Dakota had the highest per capita beer consumption. That explained a lot.

As I explained in my previous post, I have been to the North Dakota pioneer museums, life was very hard in North Dakota, the early pioneers in the late 1800s and early 1900s lived in houses made of grass sod because there were no trees to make lumber.  They had to burn dried animal dung for heating and cooking.  Whole families of six to ten people lived in houses that were less than 300 square feet.  Life was very hard in North Dakota, even into the 1950s and 1960s.  What good would it have done for a man or woman to gain higher learning if they were going to have to fight the land and the cold to survive.  There would not have been a way to spare children from daily labor necessary for survival, for them to have the time to do a great deal of studying.  There would have not been any money to send children away to college.

If a man or woman did start to learn about the world, about what life was like in London, Paris, New York City, or Miami, and were interested in that sort of life, would they remain in North Dakota, and once they were away, and knew what it was like to have a toilet, would they ever want to return to Dickinson?  I imagine that the people who had the aptitude for college and were able to leave Dickinson, might not have wanted to return because there were not any job opportunities for them, suitable marriage opportunities, cultural or social opportunities, just a very hard bleak life of farming with seven months of winter.

So the reason why most of long time residents in Dickinson hate people with an education, is because they do not have an education.  They never saw the need for it, it had nothing to do with their way of life, or they wanted more education, but did not get it, and now they are bitter about it.  The people who got an education probably do not come back,  I know how they feel, it is very frustrating trying to live and work with the highest beer consuming/lowest education level people in the United States who hate people with a college education.

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