Stephanie VanGuilder, 25, has lived in Vermont on and off for 7 years. She lives in Rutland. She is a licensed nursing assistant.
When asked if the community of Rutland is strong, VanGuilder said, “Certain parts of Rutland, yes. Other parts of Rutland, not so much.”
When asked what could be done to make the community stronger, VanGuilder said, “Get rid of the drugs for one. That’s a big thing, especially where I live. There are really good sections of Rutland. I’ve lived in them but I think drugs are a big issue.”
“I love Vermont.”
When asked if the practice of moving away for college and the average five year move rate for most Americans has the effect of ripping communities apart, VanGuilder said, “Yes. I think because of the drugs and a lot of the violence that you hear about and read about has a big effect on it. And there not being a lot of jobs. That’s in fact one of the reasons I moved away from Vermont. I found better work in Illinois and then I moved back because I didn’t have as great a support system as I do here. That’s why I came back because of family. I had a career started out there which I was able to advance in. If people really wanted to work they can find it, but a lot of people say, ‘Oh you live in Rutland? Oh isn’t that full of drugs and this and that?’ and some times it is. But if we all work together to make it better then there’s no reason why we can’t clean Rutland up and make this a happy place where people want to come. It’s not overly huge, but you can get by with what you need. And you have local colleges. You have the community college here. You’ve got Castleton. You’ve got Green Mountain. I mean there’s colleges here. I mean a lot of people just don’t like the town. And that’s unfortunate.”
“I don’t really know much about the politics of Vermont. I have a few family members that are on the PD and some that are sheriffs officers, but I try to keep to my own and if there’s something I can do to fix it then I try but I don’t try to push buttons.”
When asked if elementary school students should learn how to grow their own food, VanGuilder said, “Oh my God yes, please do. My daughter is five years old and that’s all she wants to do. ‘Mommy when do we get to grow tomatoes?’ She calls them amatoes, but she doesn’t like tomatoes, but she knows I do. ‘Mommy I want to grow flowers. I want to grow this vegetable, I want to grow this.’ That is a big thing that I don’t think is taught enough in schools. I mean I had a garden in school in West Rutland. I had one in Salem. And even if it’s flowers or vegetables, there needs to be more hands on, look you need to know how to sew on a button, you need to know how to balance a checkbook. You need to know how to grow food in case God forbid all the stores close down. You need to learn how to grow it. That would be ideal.”
When asked if she thought human instincts are as complex as other animals, VanGuilder said, “No. I think people rely too much on technology nowadays. They’re like, oh well if someone is, I don’t know say God forbid somebody had an artery slashed. What do we do? What do we do? Well, me being in the medical field common sense says apply pressure put a tourniquet on. But others are like…I don’t know. My brother almost lost his hand a few years ago and luckily his instincts were good because we have a lot of nurses in the family. But other people just strike me as I’m sorry to say but stupid. They don’t know enough they rely too much on their phone they’re constantly in their hand are glued to their ear. And I think if people read more and actually thought about certain things then it would be easier to get by on.”
When asked if she thought that emotions were instincts selected by nature for survival, VanGuilder said, “Yes. My brother could very well have died when he lost his hand. I very well could have died had I not been…I’m considered sensitive according to my family. I picked up on the fact that there was a lot of smoke in my house I almost died due to a house fire. My emotions were high because I was stressed earlier that day, but I don’t think people pay enough attention to themselves to think oh maybe I shouldn’t do that.”
When asked if schools should teach students about instincts and teach them to follow their good instincts, VanGuilder said, “Yes. I think that to a certain degree they already do that, but I don’t think it’s enough. I think there needs to be more emphasis on it.”
When asked if she supported legislation that would make it illegal to charge women more than men for similar goods and services, VanGuilder said, “Yeah. If we’re getting the same thing why charge women more? That actually happened to my mother and a few women in the family because they had to have car repair work done. And they made a big to do over it. And I think it’s ridiculous. Just because we’re women doesn’t mean we’re stupid. If we know that we only need our brakes replaced because we can’t do it ourselves, don’t try and con us out of more money and say oh you need this and this and this. No. If we know of something we definitely need done just do as we ask. Unless it’s going to blow up. There’s no reason to charge us more. If we need something done we need it done. It’s ridiculous.”
When asked if she would support legislation that would raise the age you could buy cigarettes in Vermont by a year each year until no one in Vermont was any longer old enough to buy cigarettes, VanGuilder said, “I’m not a smoker. I think that would be ideal, but as to whether or not it would actually go through I doubt. It would definitely make people save more money so they wouldn’t be spending it on cigarettes and Vermont would probably be hands down more healthy. Like I said, it would be ideal.”
When asked who her favorite Vermont band is, VanGuilder said, “I don’t even know if they’re still a group or not anymore but it used to be Thunder Road. They were a local band here in Rutland. They were really good. They were really big on country and some rock. They were my favorite. I don’t know who else there is really.”
When asked if courting rituals are dead or if they are still alive and healthy, VanGuilder said, “With the older generation they are. But say my age, no I don’t think so. I think it’s more let’s see what we can do to show off and see if we can get lucky. But I think if people grew up and thought about it and really wanted to have a deep long lasting relationship they would think back to say their grandparents and how they met and actually take time and effort into the courting side of getting to know someone.”
VanGuilder is on Facebook and she is interested in networking with fellow Vermonters.
When asked if she supported legalizing pot, VanGuilder said, “I don’t do drugs. I know people that do. In terms of say medical marijuana. But with what I’ve recently discovered where I currently live people are being held up in their houses over it. I’m kind of neutral on the pot matter. I don’t mind if you do it, just don’t do it around myself or my kids. Whether or not it is legalized. Sure whatever. I’m not going to be in on it. I don’t do it. I don’t need to. I don’t like it. I mean if it’s for medical purposes yes. Only for medical purposes but you have to have the proper paperwork for it. For it to be legalized for the general population, no.”