Moss, is humor writer from Tennessee. She writes a
weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny
things that happen to everyone.
She has written for the Daily News of Kingsport, Griffin Journal,
Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton
Advocate, and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News
Journal. She has been
published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks
at Guidepost Books. Her articles have appeared in
numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.
She is a
former board member and past Editor of the Columnists.com, website of the National Society of Newspaper
oldest and largest professional organization
for columnists. She is the Web Editor of
Humorists.com and a founder of the Southern Humorists writers'
organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of HumorColumnist.com.
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Online Since 1999
is one of the country's smartest cities, exclaimed my honey,
reading from the computer. "They are one of the four
cities in the US with the most educated people," he
continued. "It says so right here in the Yahoo
"Oh, yeah? If they are so smart then why do they smoke so
much," I asked? Sometimes my mouth is faster than my
brain. When I think of Raleigh, Durham, or Winston-Salem, I
tend to think of cigarette manufacturing and assume that
people consume what they make.
It seems, however, that cigarette smoking has fallen into
disfavor and cigarette manufacturers fell into hard times. So
cities like Raleigh reinvented themselves and became
technology and healthcare centers drawing from nearby
universities like the University of North Carolina and Duke.
As it turns out, North Carolina is not even one of the states
with the most smokers, at least not according the statistics I
was able to find. So much for that theory.
"So what city is the number one smartest city," I
wanted to know.
It's Washington, D.C. The smartest people in the country are
the ones running the country. That was reassuring for a while,
until I realized it is not necessarily the politicians that
are smart, it is the contractors, lobbyists, and lawyers,
those attempting to influence the policy makers. Washington
attracts people with degrees because they are the ones wanting
to change government.
Of course, I then wondered about my city. We have never been
especially known for having the smartest people in the world
in Tennessee, and constantly fight our redneck image.
Nashville was not on the list of the ten smartest cites, just
as I figured. However, it was not on the list of ten least
smartest either, those with the lowest education - but Memphis
Strangely, at least to me, places like Las Vegas and Orlando
were also low on the scale of people with higher education. It
seems that these are cities that cater to tourists and draw
lower-educated people to work in less skilled jobs. The smart
people are those who visit, but not those who stay.
Nashville is somewhere in between. On one hand we are an
entertainment Mecca, drawing tourists in with the country
music business. On the other, we are a healthcare and research
center with large universities. Before we were Music City, we
were the Athens of the South. Maybe we are somewhere in
between now, maintaining a balance.
But there is still that troublesome tobacco thing. Southern
states tend to have the most smokers and Tennessee is right
there among them, puffing away, with even more tobacco users
than North Carolina. Washington, of course, ranks pretty low
in tobacco usage.
I don't know why I read and get caught up in these studies. Do
they really mean anything? They simply show with numbers what
we know or suspect to be true anyhow. And if the numbers vary,
there is always an explanation of why.
But, if the politicians are not making the statistics for
education climb Washington, I would feel much better knowing
that it was due to the Department of Defense, rather than
lobbyists or lawyers.
Copyright 2010 Sheila Moss
Nashville, TN 37219
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