Gay & Dusty’s Blog: Across the Nation, to Save Our Schools

Meet Gay & Dusty Blech who are traveling across the country by bicycle, to the Save Our Schools March & Rally. They have graciously let us follow their journey, in photos, journal entries and on our map. Here’s what Dusty told  Save Our Schools:

I have been interested in traveling across the country by bicycle for a number of years. I was a bicycle commuter to my teaching job for many years, encouraging my students to park their cars and do the same. I envisioned my retirement as one long bike ride. That hasn’t really happened yet, but I had a wonderful email from a former student who has been biking around the world. I will now seek her advice when venturing out of the country.

One of the wonderful things about teaching is the fact that eventually your students become your teachers. Such was the case with my clarinet playing too. I am an amateur clarinet player who learned the instrument and was inspired in my youth by absolutely fabulous public school music teachers. In high school I was fortunate enough to play with the Albuquerque Youth Symphony – a truly world class youth organization to this day. I will take my clarinet with me. Wouldn’t it be fun if some music teachers played at the DC rally? If a large enough group can be organized, I would recommend playing Carmen Dragon’s arrangement of America .

I became interested in SOS after reading Diane Ravitch’s book The Death and Life of the Great American School System. I was an American Studies Humanities teacher for 30 years. Diane’s philosophy about American Literature and history comes through in her book and is much like mine. Her chapter about Mrs. Ratliff pretty well describes my Humanities  team teacher of 30 years, Carol Hoffman.

I have wanted to ride across the country for a few years and I announced my intent to do that when I retired.  The SOS rally provided the inspiration.  My wife, Gay, is the technology expert and was a technology pioneer in Albuquerque Public Schools for many years. She will be in charge of the photos, videos, and emails. Thanks for all that you are doing,

Dusty and Gay Blech

DAY ONE: May 20, 2011

What a day!
What a wonderful beginning!
The weather was perfect.  People were friendly.  At Ocean Beach we met some teachers and students on a field trip.
San Francisco requires the use of the small gears – lots of challenging hills but two of us doing the work. Tomorrow on towards Sacramento.

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