Thursday, May 29, 2008

West Virginia Livin'

So here I am in Almost Heaven, West Virginia.  It's good to be back in the 'home country.'  The sojourn in St. Louis will continue for at least two more years, and even when that ends I doubt we'll be returning to WV, but I'm always glad to get back.  I tell people how wonderful West Virginia is whenever I get the chance, but I also tell them how jacked up the government is here.  It's a beautiful, welcoming place, but I wonder how it will ever recover from its economic woes.  People tend to elect the same leaders over and over, and those people do the same things they've always done.

Another problem for West Virginia is the strong union presence.  Don't get me wrong, I think unions serve a noble purpose in the right context, such as early the 20th Century coal mines, but so many of them have become bloated bureaucracies that they can't provide services to their members as they ought.  Even so, many West Virginians remain devoted to their unions.

Still, the draw of West Virginia life is strong.  I feel tied to the state in a way that is unlikely to be matched by any other place.  If I got my PhD and was subsequently offered a job at Marshall University I would have to seriously consider returning.  That possibility is only slightly less likely than me becoming an astronaut, but there's no harm in a little day-dreaming.

You'll have to excuse me now . . . I have a song to sing.

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