Tombstone is More Than Just Gunfights

I like most book genres. Right now on my list toward the top would be thrillers, historical fiction and non-fiction, and kid’s fiction (my daughters and I have just begun listening to the first Percy Jackson audio book at night before bed).

The book I’m reading now is a non-fiction, a short paperback with photos having some really interesting information on Tombstone, Arizona and the goings-on at the O.K. Corral back in the 1880s. We visited there a couple of weeks ago and it left me with a burning need to find out more. *Let me point out that the Old West historical stories never seemed to interest me much, but I am amazed at how much I would like to learn more about the settling of the American West.*

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So after this book, shown above, I will also be reading (and reviewing) Lady at the O.K. Corral, about Wyatt Earp’s common-law wife, Josephine.

In keeping with my earlier promise to keep my posts brief (and hopefully interesting), here is a tidbit I’ll bet you didn’t know about the miners who worked the silver mine in Tombstone back in the 1880s.

Excerpt from Tombstone: Wyatt Earp, the O.K. Corral, and the Vendetta Ride 1881-82 by Sean McLachlan:

‘The reality of Tombstone for most people was a dreary ten-hour day, six-day week working the mines. They lived in wretched shacks as dirty as the mines they worked. A miner’s most prized possession wasn’t a gun but a cat. Cats were essential to good sleep, as they ate the rats that would crawl over miners at night and disturb their slumber. A miner had to guard his cat, as cat theft was one of the most common crimes.’

I can’t tell you how surprised I was to read this! What an unfortunate way to live, and thank goodness for the cats! When in Tombstone recently they never said a word about the lives of the miners, so I’m really glad I found this book, it makes it all seem so much more real to me.

I haven’t finished the book yet but am so far finding it entertaining and informative. Will be reviewing it when I finish.

Thanks, readers, writers and lovers of the written word, for coming by! -Li

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Community College and the Teenager

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This post is dedicated to a high school girl’s experience in starting college early; the good, the bad, and the ugly. I’ll bring you new stories as her experience progresses.

Let me also say, I’ll keep most of it short and concise. There’s nothing worse than reading the blog of a blustering, complaining, whining windbag. ☺

And finally, no, I’m not selling anything. 5 – 10 minutes of your attention will give you some idea of what it might be like to supplement your teen’s education at a local community college, even if it’s just a night or summer class for a half credit. Not to mention the feelings they’ll have of accomplishment and independence.

My daughter (from here on out known as Izzy) goes to a high school that makes available to their sophomore, junior and senior students free classes at the community college nearby. This is a great school from what we’ve experienced so far, though she is still new there. There are high school/honors classes available on a small campus with less than twenty students in each class. The rest of the classes available are taken through the community college. I have heard all about how students can (and do!) graduate from high school with an Associate degree! (These types of schools are becoming more and more common, if you’re interested check it out in your area).

All paid for by the high school, by the way. We are required to pick up the tab for her textbooks, which you know can be a hefty amount of money if you have to buy new. We’re learning how to avoid the pain of that, and learning fast. As I find places to get deals on books I’ll pass that on to you, friends.

A few days ago we went in and registered Izzy. All went well though the wait is consistently 30 minutes or longer because, of course, there’s always going to be someone in there who needs help with college stuff. She turned in her paperwork, was enrolled in the class she needed, and we headed out to another building, where we were sent to get her school ID. She was officially a college student now, at age 15!

Izzy gets into her class and all is well. The instructor treats her like an adult and is somewhat nice, and most importantly, professional. He expects Izzy to do the same as everyone else and turn everything in on time (which is all done online now, no more disorganized messes of papers in their backpack). There will be no special treatment because my daughter is a little younger than the others.

The only problem here is…Izzy can’t do her homework assignment until she is hooked up with something called CANVAS through the college website, this is how they turn assignments in now.

To make a long story short, this is day 3, and that’s how long it took us to get the CANVAS thing taken care of. Two trips to the Admin building at the college, 3 phone calls (totaling over an hour of hold time).

I mentioned to Izzy that she needs to file this memory away in the “what it feels like to be an adult” file. Meaning, when you want something, you have to do what it takes to make it happen, no matter what. You can’t give up, no matter how frustrated you get.

After it was done she was all smiles. “That was totally worth all the trouble,” she said simply, her eyes shining. I smiled back at her, glad to be a part of this new adventure in her life called higher education.

I’m Li and this blog is devoted to the written word in whatever form that might take. Thanks for reading!

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