Wednesday, January 6, 2016

PBS Idea Channel: The Ruins of Las Vegas

I just watched this episode of PBS Idea Channel, which really got me thinking. I liked what they were saying about Las Vegas, but more than that it got me thinking about my time living and working in Vegas. I have posted the comment I made on the video below. Please take a moment to watch this video. It is very thoughtful.

My Comment: I lived in Las Vegas for two years right after I graduated from college. I was teaching at a local High School and absolutely hated it. I really disliked the city and everything associated with it. I hated that I had to walk through a casino to do anything: go to dinner at a nice restaurant, go to a movie, even go to ice cream in some cases. I also saw how Vegas ruined people's lives. I was living in Vegas when the flood of foreclosures began to happen. I saw good people forced from their homes. Many of these people had to return home to live in their parents' basements. I saw businesses close. And probably even worse, I saw many of my students who just didn't care about anything. Their plans included inheriting their parent's job parking cars at the casino. That same job which their parents had inherited from their parents. And these students knew, deep down, that they didn't need any of the things I was teaching. There was no reason for them to try and excel in my class. They didn't need to know Romeo and Juliet. Who cares when you are going to survive while parking cars or dealing cards. Many of these students seemed to exist within this sad life where they had no dreams or aspirations. This, to me, is the real ruins of Las Vegas--these students who will "survive," but won't necessarily thrive.

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