Monday, December 26, 2011

Small Town Idaho

And I mean REALLY REALLY SMALL. The population of Dietrich, pronounced deet-rick is 200 (in 2006 it was 166) and nearly doubles when school is in. Dietrich is where I work. It's a 42 mile drive for me one way. I work in the school there which has one building for pre-school to 12th grade. Last years graduating class was a total of 9 students! Things are different there to say the least. For about a month I was working in the HS and could often hear kids say "Dad, can I go to the bathroom?" I also heard 'Grandpa'. All the middle and HS teachers (the same) are LDS and male- all 7 of them. Now I'm in the Elementary school (5th grade) and out of 20 kids, only 6 are not LDS. The school has 2 buses. One that lives overnight at the drivers house and sits in front of the school all day because the driver is also a para-educator. On activity days the bus drops the LDS kids off at the church building because it's right on the way. Here's some other facts about Dietrich:
  • Some kids wear cowboy boots, shirts, and buckles
  • Girls come with curlers in their hair the night before a performance
  • The week before thanksgiving the WHOLE town is invited for a Thanksgiving lunch at the school. Old people and young families will show up for food.
  • Almost everyone is related. In the 5th grade class, you've got cousins, and 1st cousins once removed.
  • If kids forget their text book, paper, etc, they can go leave campus and go get it - AT HOME, especially if they live across the street. (Some of the teachers do- live across the street that is)
  • Some high school kids belong to FFA or Future Farmers of America.
  • Around town you can see lots of dogs wondering around with no collars or tags. It's OK if they come to school, because they belong to someone there, and all the kids know it's name.
  • I had a 16 year old ask me if I'd ever been to a movie theater before.
  • There is one small store called 'the Merc', in the same building as the local bar is.
  • If kids want to go on field trips they need to raise money for it through fund raisers like bake sales.
  • Often speeches in class are about cows, or shooting a stray dog, or going hunting.
  • The mascot is a "blue devil", some little blue guy they tried not to make so evil.
  • There is a special ed program, but no gifted and talented program and both is needed.
  • There is one principal for the whole school who also happens to be the superintendent. (He's LDS too)
  • You can see a few whole pig roasters around town like this one that the HS students made.

All in all it's a nice place to work. The people are very friendly and don't mind you mixing PSR worker with the school staff. There is not a cast system like there is in bigger Hansen Idaho, a population in 2007 of 959 where my first job was. The nearest largest town to all of them is Twin Falls Idaho, population of 44,125 estimated in 1010, where I live.
The population of Bellevue WA is 122,363.

1 comment:

Christy Jones said...

What and interesting town!! It is so differn't than here. I can't even imagine knowing everyone in my town and having such a small scool! I am glad you enjoy your job.