SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska



Eye of the Beholder Letter
By Rob Glenn


August 23, 2006

After living in Ketchikan for 3 years I have an answer to Eye of the Beholder.

Is Ketchikan a great place to raise kids. I think so, there is little crime, people are very friendly, and there are a lot of things the kids in Ketchikan learn that kids in the lower 48 don't. For example, I had friends in Ketchikan who I am sure their young kids could easily live off nature. What I mean is this, at a young age these kids could hunt, fish, hike, and so on. I guarentee you that a lot of the kids in the area I live now could never live if there was not a supermarket and mall.

However, there are things that the kids in Ketchikan are missing. I substitute taught there and one day I got the music class at the high school. So while the kids were doing their assignments in class, I put classic rock on the cd player. Groups like the Beatles and Bob Seager, did you know that beleive it or not, in a class based on music where kids are into music, they did not know who those bands are? Even in a place where rap music is the big music, people know who the beatles are!

Another thing the kids are missing is the ability to know what is out there. What I mean by this..... my father ran the culinary program at the high school. When I was there visiting I spoke to some of the kids. Many of them don't know what there is in the world. They don't get to see what kid of jobs there are to offer. This is not only in Ketchikan, I mean kids have to explore no matter where they live, but in the lower 48, kids are exposed to jobs other then Fishing, Logging, Civil Service, Teachers, Hospital, and Tourism. It even took me several years out side of living in Florida to make a decision on what I wanted to do, but I was always exposed to the world.

Drop out rates and teen pregnancy in Ketchikan are high and I wonder if it is because some kids don't see a reason to achieve.

Ketchikan is a nice place, but there is something lost not leaving there. Can kids who leave Ketchikan make it in bigger cities? Will they have the street smarts to survive? Some parents seem to over protect their kids in KTN. I remember when there was a big conflict over a half a second scene in the play Chicago done in Ketchikan. Something there is so big a deal in the lower 48, no one would even notice it.

Not everywhere is a "hood" outside of Ketchikan.

There are pros and cons to living on a island. If the kids decide to stay there, then at least it should be recommended that they travel and see other cultures and places. Don't live by the feeling that "they know nothing different" because there is a lot of the planet earth outside KTN.

Rob Glenn
New York, NY - USA

About: "Rob lived in Ketchikan for 3 years."


Related Viewpoint:

letter Eye of the Beholder By Chris Elliott



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Ketchikan, Alaska