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South Carolina Honors College

Subarus, Trucks, Giraffes, and Unity

by Kristin Rotchford

When seeking to improve an area composed of many people – in this case, South Carolina – one must first take note of demographics and distribute surveys accordingly. These surveys, however, can easily become biased. Perhaps you use a web ad to target specific groups of people. These types of surveys are called “voluntary response surveys,” and they lead to bias when distributed to a chunk of rabid Subaru owners. These people may complain that there are not enough recreational bike trails in their area, and while a valid concern, it may not be indicative of other groups' feelings. A good example would be those poor souls whose primary concern is they can’t drive their squatted (read: dangerous) trucks anymore. But alas, it just so happens that the voluntary responses are the loudest and the proudest. Some about granola, some about diesel.

While paying mind to the concerns of residents, more problems may arise. What is this small group of people who have responded that their greatest, most pressing concern is whether the giraffe will bear a calf this year? Never mind. A survey was sent out to the Columbia zookeepers. See, that's the problem with surveys. The real way to do it is a lottery. Not only do the proceeds benefit our schools, if you win the evening Cash Pop draw, you’re now in for some good ol’ mandatory testing! It’s all for the good of the state – of course. 4, 25, 39, 55, it doesn’t matter. If you win, we need you here in our twisted sort of jury duty. Lucky you! While you’re here, tell us how to improve. Are taxes too high? Is housing far, far too expensive for you to start a family? Are you worried about safety, and schools, and inflation? Is the country music too loud? Is the sweet tea too sweet? It’s all written down– just fill in bubble A, B, C, or D.

In my humblest opinion, I think the greatest way to improve our grand state is unity. If we could somehow get the Subaru owning granolas, the good ol’ boys in their trucks, the zookeepers dragging the pregnant giraffe on a leash behind them, and everyone else to a round table – it would be great. Nay, it would be terrific. Or maybe not a round table. Maybe the table is a giant plastic cutout of South Carolina. Maybe it’s not really a table at all. Here’s a new idea. I propose our “roundtable” take place at a barbeque restaurant. With vegan options. Swell, now everyone’s included.

Over a wonderful, gargantuan (millions of people will be there) round of ribs, cauliflower nuggets and barbeque sauce, and sweet tea, we would all have the chance to say our piece in a civilized manner – lest this become a food fight. And while we’re at it, forget all about the fact that this “roundtable” will take more than days, more than weeks, maybe even more than months. It may take years. But that’s okay, because we’re South Carolinians. We’re all here – together, because this is our state. And when someone has something to say, we all sit down and listen politely – sweet tea optional. And if you don’t like all that, then sweetie, bless your heart. 

Kristin Rotchford

About Kristin Rotchford

Kristin Rotchford is a homeschool student in Wellford. The daughter of Delsa and Tim Rotchford, she loves fashion and looks forward to pursuing an extensive list of interests including math, writing, art, history, and business as she prepares to transition into college. 

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