Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Small Town vs.City (or BiggER Town)

I have now lived in Childress, Texas approximately 1 1/2 months and there are some very obvious differences between a town of this size and a town such as College Station. So, after careful observation, here is what I have come up with.

1.) Everyone waves at everyone else...and I mean EVERYONE (in both instances). I find myself driving or walking down the street feeling like a spaz because I am constantly waving at people as they pass by (actually I should say waving back...I haven't mastered "initiating the wave" yet...I'm sure that day will come soon enough). Richard on the other hand, has fallen back into this habit as if it was second nature. The sad part of this whole thing is I'm sure there are some who think I am just "not very friendly" because I fail to wave back when I should. Is there a class on this stuff?

2.) It seems no one keeps regular store hours. I went by the Wired Wabbit, a local coffee house and restaurant Tuesday afternoon at 4:15 and they were closed. This happens ALL THE TIME! It is very frustrating because I, being the newbie in town, haven't mastered all the randomness of business hours and so I get myself ready, head out to run errands and get only 1/2 of them accomplished! I wanted to go to the public library this afternoon as i was leaving school (at 4:15) and one of my colleagues informed me they weren't open on Tuesdays. What?

3.) There are many, many, many people with the same last names, and in some way or another, they are all related! Now, this one is not terribly strange, except when you are a teacher, your students are all related to one another or to other teachers.

4.) I can leave my house and be at school in 3 minutes flat! IT is absolutely AWESOME! Speaking of school, I will use this to expand on why I believe every school should be like Childress High School. First, let me say that so far, I LOVE MY JOB! I love 10th graders...they are so much more independent than 6th graders and there is very little whining going on. I gave them the TAKS released test to do for three days (ending tomorrow) and I haven't heard one complaint yet...what a breath of fresh air! The teachers truly are one big family...there are only 33 of us and only 4 of us are new. I have been embraced from day one and I"m so thankful for that! I also get an hour for lunch (which after the first 3rd weeks I have to use half of to tutor kids who are failing) and so for now I am going home everyday and eating lunch with Richard. IT's great. The students have open-campus, as well. I have 1st period conference which has been nice because I have off early then lunch at 12:05 and then school is out at 3:35.

5.) I'm continuing with school, but expanding on it a bit. One thing I have noticed about the kids I am teaching this year (and really most of the kids I see in the hallways at school) is they don't argue with teachers or adults. For the most part, they just do what they're asked. I mean, we might get the occasional deep sigh, or even slight roll of the eyes when they think you aren't looking, but in my experience the last four days now, I haven't had one student argue or try to convince me to change my mind. I had to change my 6th period's seating chart because it wasn't working and not ONE student complained; they merely came in, found their new seat and started working on their warmups. Oh, they are all nice to each other. They congratulate one another and help each other out. My jaw just stays wide open all day long! W-O-W...(JLMS homegirls, do you see my fingers on either side of my mouth?).

6.) I am limited in my shopping experiences and I have had about as much as I can take of Wal-Mart. We are getting a Super Wal-Mart Septemeber 20th and supposedly coming with it is a Dollar General, Cato Fashions and some sort of restaurant (rumor has it a Chiles or Applebee's). Either way, I miss my Target, Gap and Old Navy. I miss my Starbucks and Barnes and Noble. During these days of remodeling, I REALLY miss Lowe's because right now I have to write it all down and wait for my next trip to...you guessed it, THE BIG CITY! But, I do spend less money and do less impulse shopping (not that I really did much to begin with, but there's an open window everywhere I suppose).

7.) I see my students everywhere! YIKES! The grocery store where they sack my groceries (and take them to my car, I might add), at church every Sunday, walking down the street, at the country club, out to dinner. There is no hiding...there is no place to hide.

8.) Everyone already knows who I am (because of Rich's parents). Take this as you will. In a Big City, people don't know you and probably couldn't care less to do so. OR they have already been introduced to you and act like they don't know you because it's the "posh" thing to do. Here, I am known and that's kind of scary.

9.) I have been pleasantly surprised at how many young couples there are. Moving from a "big(ger)" city, where everyone is a young couple because they are right out of college, I was truly expecting to be one of the few younger people. However, we have been to a couple of parties already and everyone was Richard's age (with a few trickling down my way). Whew!

10.) Last but not least...I have cherished how warm everyone has been to us both since we have moved here. I was fearing a tight-knit community with little room for outsiders and that is not at all what I have found. Richard and I are so happy here and I"m extremely thankful for that.

So, the move has been one filled with trepidation and excitement, fear and happiness, but all in all, I am so thankful the Lord has led us to Childress.


  1. HOO-freakin'-RAY for a new blog post! I've been waiting my whole life! :)
    Glad to hear things are well in Childress! SO glad you are liking sophomores! I can't wait to hear more and to see some pictures!

  2. Yea! I'm so glad that you're back, Charla! I've been thinking of you and the start of school with your new students, so I'm glad to hear that things are going so well. I'm like Corrie, I'd love to see pictures of your house, and of your school, and your classroom, and of the places that you go - like the coffeeshop with the crazy name!

  3. Yeah for blogging! So maybe in a month or so I'll be able to write about what living here is like...Actually, I think I can sum it up right now.

    Washington State vs. Texas

    1. Everyone here drives a Subaru. To make this more clear, I'll tell you a little story. We were on our way to a restaurant the other day, and I said, "I bet we'll see 5 Subarus between here and the restaurant." We were only about 2 miles away, so I was a little apprehensive about making this bet (as I married a gambler who also loves to win at anything...I was hoping I could win for once). Did we see 5? No. We saw 11.

    2. No one waves at you and if you wave at them first they glare at you like you flicked them off. I don't know what the big deal is.

    3. There is no such thing as customer service (although stores do keep regular hours). We have been scoffed at, yelled at and generally not helped pretty much everywhere we go. (Exception: We had the nicest waitress on the planet the other day at lunch, and I just knew she wasn't from here...so I asked her, and sure enough, she was from the other side of the country!).

    Ha! You should come for a visit and bring some of that warmth, because I'm freezing up here (in more ways than one!).

    Love you,

  4. there is nothing like small town living! I knew there was some reason we spent so much time in Sanderson- I wish the state would make it mandatory that no school has more than 1,000 students- that way we could have a better chance of always knowing who is in the hall. Love, Mom

  5. Girl, I loved this blog about Childress.....it is all so true and so funny to read being a 10 year native.....the BEST part was reading about the students.....all I ever hear is how bad the kids are around here. What a BREATH of FRESH AIR!! Yea for CHS


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