News Archive

Common Reading Features Bragg

By Megan Harris Messenger-Inquirer | Posted: Saturday, August 18, 2012 12:00 am

Through the "Celebration of the American Worker," Pulitzer Prize-winning author Rick Bragg will join staff and students at 1 p.m. Sept. 6 in Owensboro Community amp; Technical College's Blandford Hall for an open discussion on the country's less appreciated "dirty jobs."

Common Reading committee members chose Bragg's novel "The Most They Ever Had" as the centerpiece for this year's campuswide program.

"We really want to get at the underlying theme here, about the economy and how people are feeling about losing their jobs," said Kaye Brown, assistant professor of English at OCTC. "I think the thing we're getting out of the book already is how valuable positions are that so often we don't even think about."

Brown was drawn, she said, to a sample Bragg penned about his brother in "The Most They Ever Had."

"He would be the one that if you called him stuck on the side of the road, he'd show up with the right tools and magically get things going again. It reminded me so much of my brother," she said. "And where is that, the respect for those undervalued skills?"

Students should appreciate the less glamorous talents, she said, especially ones that may not come backed by a four-year degree.

"If you ever have a bad plumber come out, you really appreciate a good one," she said. "That's part of our mission here at OCTC. Our students are learning first-hand what American employers are looking for in the work place and that corresponds to the soft skill learning OCTC encourages."

Following Bragg's visit, the campus will host related events Nov. 5-8. Brown said organizers are open to good ideas, community input, skills demonstrations, exhibitions and more. For more information, contact Brown at (270) 686-4587.

Megan Harris, 691-7302, mharris@messenger-inquirer.com