Sen. Mike Carrell Wants "Evergreen Olympians" to Stay Out of 28th District.

I wrote a quick email to him and a Letter to the Editor of The Olympian.

Original article concerning peace march and Sen. Carrell's comment.

(Update: links broken) 


Nice letter. How would you l

Nice letter. How would you like to go with me to Lakewood and interview Mr. Carrel or some of the other folks on the bridge? Listening can be a powerful tool.

Beware the terrible simplifiers.
Jacob Burckhardt

Listening is a powerful tool

Listening is a powerful tool indeed.

I possibly can assist with interview, I'd have to sort out transportation and time.

Students at Evergreen have do

Students at Evergreen have done little to disprove the "generalizations and stereotypes" which are attached to the college.

I actually disagree.In my own

I actually disagree.

In my own experience, I've noticed that if I don't watch myself, it is all too easy to generalize. And collect information proving what I already think is true.

For instance, I was eating breakfast recently at the wonderful New Moon cafe downtown. At a nearby table were two young people, woman and man. The man had a rather extroverted lively quality about him that soon was annoying to me. I noticed that in my mind I began grumbling about "Greeners".

Once I caught this in my own mind, this tendency to take a few examples of something and then generalize all to hell, I was both amused and gifted I hope with a bit more insight.

What was the young man doing? He was simply being a young, light skinned man, with dreadies, comfortable clothing, who behaved in a fashion that I equated with not having manners. His voice a touch louder, his body language broader, he rolled up a pants leg and examined scabs, he stood up and stretched while telling his breakfast companion that he needed to do so and why.

On this alone, I assumed he was a Greener and also that this was somehow something to be irritated by.

Yet I am a proud grad of TESC myself. I know full well that TESC consists of a wide array of types, personalities, backgrounds, and cultures.

Another quick story on this theme: During protest of first Gulf War here in Olympia, many of us poured into the Capitol. I overheard a reporter disdainfully state that we were all Greeners, as if that somehow negated our opinions. Yet I, standing beside her, was not a student of TESC at the time. Lots of us were not students, some of us were.

For a quick survey of what Evergreen students have done and are doing, look through the Evergreen Magazine for Alumni and Friends. We are more than one generalization can ever hold.

Something to think about. :)

Oh, I don't doubt that there

Oh, I don't doubt that there is a variety of people at TESC. I know of many professional-types who have gone back to receive their degrees. With that said, by and large the typical Evergreen mold which you described, is more often than not the reality of TESC. I think it's interesting you say you weren't attending TESC at the time of the first Gulf War yet later went on to graduate from TESC. Obviously the reporter had a fairly educated guess as to where you were headed. Ah yes, pouring into the Capitol. I almost forgot about that incident. If I seem to remember correctly, didn't this spark a great deal of letters from the community saying the state should cut-off funding to the school? Or was that when Mumia spoke before the graduating class a few years later, after then-Governor Gary Locke back away from his scheduled engagement? At this stage the game, after living in Olympia my entire life, my perspective and opinion of TESC is unlikely to change. I've seen too many years of "Evergreen-esque" activity to be swayed by a small minority who might not fall into the "Greener" category. I get along quite well with students from TESC and have been around many in different capacitives, ranging from the casual to the workplace. There is very little, politically, which I have to agree with them (and on the points which we do agree we have very different methods of getting to the same conclusion) and, to a degree, almost resent how liberal the Olympia community is because of TESC (of course, one might argue TESC is liberal because of Olympia).

We can certainly agree to dis

We can certainly agree to disagree. :)

My guess is that calls to close TESC will happen as long as the college exists. I think TESC is used as a scapegoat, when in doubt, blame it on TESC.

For me, when I consider Greener grad activity here in Olympia, I think of the Crisis Clinic, Safeplace, other social service organizations and efforts. I know there are many scientific endeavors that I have no clue about also. I think of The Longhouse Education and Cultural Center. I am mindful of the spirit of hospitality and respect I found in my Evergreen studies.

As for Sen. Carrell's quote, my hope is that conversation would educate me further about his experiences and perspective. If nothing else, we can always agree to disagree, and come away with more to think on.

I too am another product of O

I too am another product of Olympia, from Kindergarten to college, and can remember very well what the town was like pre-Evergreen. The College opened when I was in Olympia High School and I enrolled at TESC before they graduated their first "pure" class. So, since I have a foot in both camps, let me say that pre-TESC Olympia was a pompous, stuffy, inbred, self-important right-wing town. But today it is a pompous, stuffy, inbred, self-important left-wing town. It is not without irony that when downtown Olympia croaked in the 1970s (thanks to (A) Sears spearheading South Sound Mall and Lacey incorporating in 1966 (B) Dan Evans expanding state government to the point where several residential blocks on the east side of Capitol Way were wiped out to make way for new government buildings, thus destroying downtown's walk-in consumer base, and (C)The transformation of the Westside from a sleepy hill of homes to a major shopping destination), that the central business district's capitalistic pulse was brought back to life by members of the Evergreen community after the natives had abandoned it. Both town and gown take smug delight in jabbing the other, but we're all in this place together, folks, so let's play nice. You're probably wondering, if I dislike Olympia so much, why am I still here? I'm not. I commute from the wilds of Grays Harbor County, where Washingtonians still scratch where it itches.

I wasn't around (as in, even

I wasn't around (as in, even born) when TESC was constructed so I can only formulate my opinion based on my own life and first-hand information given to me. I think your assessment is interesting (regarding how Olympia has really only changed political point of view) and on the mark ("Both town and gown take smug delight in jabbing the other"). I guess we'll see in another thirty years where Olympia is standing.

This is all valuable info, I'

This is all valuable info, I've only lived here since 1990, so did not know all that went into the changes.

Last night while talking with my 25 year old son, I found myself using the town and gown terms to discuss how various people see each other here. I had previously thought town and gown would somehow only apply to older schools in the east, Boston especially.

But I can see that it can apply here also.

I've got a ton of Oly-TESC to

I've got a ton of Oly-TESC town-gown stories. In the 1970s, the gulf between the two was much wider. The term "Greener" was originally an insult cooked up by bands of marauding teenagers in hopped up cars as they threw bottles at bipedal TESC students. When Dan Evans became President of TESC in 1977 he managed to turn "Greener" around and as only a shrewd former 3-term governor could do, change the word from an insult to what is today a proud decal on the back windshields of many a Volvo and VW bus. The man knew marketing. I have no doubt that without Gov. Evans, or even Pres. Evans, Evergreen would not have survived those early years. And, here's another irony, he was a Republican. O Washington my home.

That's a great story, I've ne

That's a great story, I've never heard it before.

I have to say that based on m

I have to say that based on my observations, stereotypes and generalizations are not usually the fault of those being stereotyped or generalized. To ask someone to actively "do" something to disprove a stereotype is asking them to validate the stereotype. I believe stereotypes stem from ignorance. I work very closely with the homeless population, and I am constantly battling a vast range of prejudice.

The one way to break down stereotypes that I employ is by eliminating the ignorance. I do this with community education (this is as easy as talking to someone) on who homeless people really are, and how they come to be in that situation.

As far as Evergreen is concerned, I come from an outsider's perspective. I've lived here for just over five years and never attended TESC. Some of my best friends are graduates and students. The newspaper I run, The Voice of Olympia, utilizes the skills of TESC students through full credit internships. None of the students I've had as interns fit into any of the stereotypes people give greeners. As most stereotypes, this is people taking the most extreme example and talking about it as if it was the most likely example. When actually, it is usually a small minority.

Great post, lots of food for

Great post, lots of food for thought.

"To ask someone to actively 'do' something to disprove a stereotype is asking them to validate the stereotype."

I don't have anything wise yet to say about this quote, except that I very much appreciate it. I can even think on times I've internalized this, believed that I needed to act a certain way to disprove any stereotypes about me.

Thank you for your comments S

Thank you for your comments Sarah.