#33 In Roads-Teagan

There are a bunch of kids playing volleyball at the camp playground and I sit on the swing next to one of the player’s girlfriend as we watch. I introduce myself to Teagan and tell her I love her name because it’s so different. She shrugs and tells me her parents were hippies. Teagan is a very sharp 17 year old who just graduated from high school and is headed off to college. She’s got a game plan and is on her way to study psychology.

Upon hearing that I ask if she has some crazies in her family and she laughs, looks skyward and nods slowly. “Yes I do, as a matter of fact.” She tells about her incarcerated uncle and the things he’s been through lately but says his issues are actually drug related. “Come on, we’re in Humboldt County, I mean seriously,” she waves her hands as if to indicate an obvious point since the area is well known for growing pot. I mention the whole theory that pot is a gateway drug and she scoffs.

“No, pot is not the deal. This is a huge meth area and it’s a real issue but the big problem is the system. The cops arrest people for being crazy or on drugs or whatever but then there are specific laws on what can and can’t be done with them so they have to release them. Then they are back out on the streets with no support and there are no programs for them. If they get clean in jail or whatever then they are released with no follow up care, it just makes it worse. There’s not enough help for them. We need a better way to deal with these people and to get the support they need.”

Her friends have finished their game and call her to go swimming with them. She tells them she’ll catch up.

I ask what she’ll use her degree for. “I might take business psychology and use it in advertising but with the way the economy is, I don’t know. By the time I spend eight years to get my degree, who knows what the world will be like but yes, I probably will end up as a counselor.” I’m pretty sure she will be great at whatever she decides to do, but the world needs more people like Teagan. I wish her good luck as she shakes my hand and goes off to be a teenager.


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