Tara Westover grew up in far southeastern Idaho in a landscape familiar to many in the Gem State, a valley dominated by ranches and ringed by mountains. Her daily life, though, was anything but normal.
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00:00:01today on readers corner Terrel Westover author of the memoir educated hello and welcome to readers corner I Marcia Franklin with Idaho public television sitting in for Bob castra he's on a well deserved vacation after retiring from fifteen years as the president of Boise state university have no fear
00:00:28though he'll be back and I know he's looking forward to devoting even more time and energy to readers corner in the meantime I'm pleased to welcome today's guest author an Idaho native Terrel Westover miss Westover grew up in far southeastern Idaho in a landscape familiar to many in
00:00:45the gem state of valley dominated by ranches and ring to by mountains her daily life though was anything but normal the youngest of seven children Westover was raised by parents who deeply distrusted government and authority figures she didn't have a birth certificate she never attended public school and
00:01:05she never visited a doctor or nurse at age seventeen the %HESITATION terra taught herself enough to pass the AC T. and be accepted into Brigham Young University she went on to earn a doctorate at Cambridge university in England and be awarded a fellowship at Harvard the story of
00:01:23her remarkable journey and the personal traumas that haunted her along the way are the subject of her memoir educated right after its publication in February two thousand eighteen educated shot up to the top of the New York times best sellers list praised by critics as harrowing and one
00:01:42of a kind the book is being translated into twenty three languages now miss Westover who still lives in Cambridge England will be coming to Boise in February two thousand nineteen as part of the cabin's readings and conversations series she joins me today by Skype from New York City
00:02:00Terrel Westover welcome to readers corner thank you for having me on the show well first of all congratulations as I mentioned your book hit the top of the New York times bestseller list as soon as it was published and even now for months later as we're talking it's
00:02:14still on that list can you describe a rise than I am I would say can you describe with the past four months have been like for you I know I can there were it's it's just been really busy I mean writing a book is it something that you
00:02:32just do you know your loan and you sit in a room and there's nobody there and you you write this thing and you don't know if anyone's ever going to read it even when you say you're going to publish it it's a strange thing because you're not there
00:02:46when people read it you know you don't witness any of this so there's a strange disconnect in my head where I still feel like this is something that I wrote alone in a room and it's just really strange I think you know when people come up to me
00:03:01and talk about specific things in our %HESITATION there's just this kind of reptilian part of my brain that is still thinking how do you know about that %HESITATION my laptop so honey do you do you have an idea in your mind to what do you attribute the book's
00:03:15success do you think it's a permanent interested in how you grew up do you think it's not that %HESITATION I don't think so I think that those kind of memoirs of extreme upbringings are kind of been there done that you know just a little bit so I hope
00:03:31it's not that for me the the survivalism and my parents extremism you know they didn't believe in education so we didn't go to school and they certainly don't believe in public education %HESITATION they didn't believe in doctors and hospitals we never went to the doctor I didn't have
00:03:44a first advocates I was nine all of this it is it is extreme but I think of that more as the setting of a story let's just the setting is just the backdrop and I think the story of the family about education about about kind of difficult or
00:04:00maybe even toxic relationships and and what happens when you try to ask for change within your family these are things that I think people and people experience in all kinds of families and I don't think you have to have a radical parents or radical upbringing to experience these
00:04:16kinds of things so I tend to think it has to do with the themes of education and what it means to become educated also just what it means to grow up and I think that's universal for everybody up part of what it means to crop is just learning
00:04:29to to define yourself both in connection to an and that kind of distinction from your parents certainly and %HESITATION we'll get into this more but I I read it as a a story about the life of the mind as well and the development of the life of the
00:04:44mind up did you have an audience in mind when you wrote the book though or were you writing it mostly for yourself in a way I I don't know if I had a particular audience in mind it's a different kind of writing when you write a story for
00:04:57other people then when you write for yourself because when you write for yourself there's a lot of things that are just meaningful to you because it's your life ninety writing for the people you have to impose a discipline on that because you have to not put things in
00:05:09and unless you can create that kind of meaning for someone who doesn't know about it it's just it's a very different kind of writing but I think yeah I mean you said it would be about the life of the mind I think for me the questions the but
00:05:20the book asks are are a lot about change and the coming and you know whether your first south is your only true self or whether you're allowed to change and what happens when when the people close to you %HESITATION maybe can't allow you to change your discounts for
00:05:36whatever reason accept any other version of use so I was raised in a family that had very specific and very extreme beliefs and when I made the decisions you try to educate myself when I was sixteen I thought a text book I taught myself enough algebra two kind
00:05:50of it's great to the A. C. T. and be admitted to Brigham Young University you know that put me on a a past that was in a lot of ways in opposition to my parents and so for me that choice of education and change it was always going
00:06:04to come with a lot of complicated questions about how to be loyal to my family and also try to be loyal to myself in some way and what what was I going to do it if it turned out that it was impossible to be loyal to both speaking
00:06:19of loyalty you do have a statement in the beginning of your book that %HESITATION clearly indicates this is not about Mormonism or any other religion for that matter although you were in fact raised LDS why did you feel the need to put %HESITATION that qualifier for want of
00:06:36a better word in there are a couple reasons you know my dad was Mormon he was all the S. but he wasn't representative of the Mormon church or if your typical of the S. person in everyone of my town is of the S. and everybody went to school
00:06:49they went to the doctor and they had %HESITATION certificate so I don't feel like it's the religions that explains the way that we grew up I have hypothesized I think my dad had something like bi polar disorder into me my feeling has long been that the bi polar
00:07:03disorder probably because the religious extremism and not the other way around so I just I just didn't wanna out a story or create a story that would just increase people's prejudices or confirm stereotypes that people have of what a religious person is or what conservative person is or
00:07:20what Idaho person is I felt like there's a way in which you could say my dad is a caricature of a survivalist but he's also a really full and complete human being and he loved his family and worked hard and worried about how he was gonna keep the
00:07:32lights on and food on the table and he's a lot more complicated than than his kind of radical ideas so I really wanted to move away from from stereotypes as much as I could you mentioned %HESITATION you didn't have a birth certificate %HESITATION you know that was not
00:07:48uncommon in the beginning of the twentieth century people had their babies at home for instance why it why was it that your parents in this instance up didn't want to have a birth certificate for you and their other six children you know I don't always now my parents
00:08:04definitely had a skepticism of the government they didn't like to fill out paperwork if they didn't have to do it and so I my my dad I think it started when my dad became very he started to develop these kind of extreme ideas about medical profession so he
00:08:21developed kind of theories about doctors and that they might be trying to harm you that that later would become quite spiritual and he would say that it was kind of simple if you visit a doctor that actually god wouldn't hear you if you visit a doctor because that
00:08:33was so simple so he began to develop these ideas that would make him not want my mother to have the children in a hospital but wanted her to have her last four children at home which she did I don't know if the reason that they didn't register us
00:08:48for rest your kids was because of the just reluctance to file paperwork or if it was just kind of maybe a bit of casual laziness about you know once we were at home it's a it's a whole extra step to get a birth certificate known hands uniform so
00:09:04I don't know exactly why they didn't but it could have been either of those things where we don't have time to go into it and there's some things that I think people should just read in the book but it's a very interesting story about how you got one
00:09:15no place in setting is extremely important to your book and I think you're really exquisite in your descriptions of setting but you don't name your home town in in Idaho it's not too hard to figure out which town it is so why did you go with that approach
00:09:31you know man this book is the about estrangement it's about people who have different memories of the past and just different ideas in general within a family and I think any time that you're writing about people who are alive you have to try to be sensitive about protecting
00:09:46their privacy as much as you can and so I have never wanted to be the source of identifying my parents if I could avoid it they've identified themselves in in a lot of ways and in in interviews that given but I I don't want to be the one
00:10:00who does that you know many people wait until they're older to write memoir not only because their story arc is more developed in their life but also because of a fear of hurting people that are still alive so they wait for some of those people to pass away
00:10:15why did you decide to write this memoir so early in your life and did you worry about criticizing people who are still alive I did I absolutely to it and I I I think I had to really way why I wanted to write the book %HESITATION against the
00:10:31possibility of upsetting someone who I cared about and that was really difficult process to be honest %HESITATION I felt like it had to be written when I was younger and the reason I felt that you know I I went through this this really difficult process of of being
00:10:47disowned by my parents and then eventually they offered me up a pass back into the family if I kind of %HESITATION inter can't some of my beliefs and some of the things I'd said that I could come back as a family and I made the decision not to
00:10:59do that I made the decision to remain strange for my parents and when I was going through this process and it really is a process of a stranger and I think it takes months or even years I felt I felt really isolated and I I felt like I
00:11:14was the only person who would ever had this happen to them and I know now that's not true it actually happens to a lot of people a lot of people struggle with relationships and how where to put the line and how to maintain the line and try to
00:11:27maintain their own sanity despite difficult relationships in our lives but at the time I was going through it it seems to me like I was completely alone and there were some books that people had written about these kind of experiences that as you said they tended to be
00:11:41written when people were older when they were towards the end of their lives and I think those books are valuable but they're very different and they didn't necessarily the you know the estrangement feels different at the end of your life thirty forty years down the road I think
00:11:56the way that you feel about it involves over the decades and I was twenty eight and my parents were in good health and I was in good health and I knew I was going to be living with this decision for a really long time and it wasn't settled
00:12:10it was completely chaotic and I didn't understand the feelings that I had I didn't understand how it could be possible that I could love someone and still choose not see them anymore what I could miss them everyday and still be so grateful that they weren't in my life
00:12:26and I just felt like like there was such a benefit that might be possible for other people in a situation like I was in but I think I felt like there was just a gap there I think stories are so important to us and telling us how to
00:12:41feel you know they tell us when they're supposed to be proud when we're supposed to be ashamed and I just feel like this was a story that %HESITATION it needed to be told from that point in time and and waiting way thing would have made it a very
00:12:55different story I'm Marcia Franklin sitting in this week for Bob because struck on his show readers corner I'm talking with terror Westover about her memoir educated is amazing to me that you had both the presence of mind to walk towards this instead of away from it and also
00:13:11the courage to do that and you remind me of someone I know here in Idaho who did grow up in a very similar fashion to you and %HESITATION I wrote her %HESITATION to tell her I was doing this interview and asked her if she had any questions for
00:13:26you and she said you know I have not been able to read her book yet I feel as if it may create some PTSD or bring up PTSD %HESITATION feelings what would you say to somebody like her who is still struggling she's probably a couple years older actually
00:13:42than you are what would you say to her I think people here in their own way you know and I think for some people probably putting putting difficult things away and not thinking about it maybe that is the right call maybe that's the right choice for them I
00:14:00think I think for people who find story helpful I think it's because it's very difficult to work out how you feel not just about other people but about yourself how do you feel about the decisions that you had to make and you know I I would say there
00:14:16were a lot of years I was really angry at my parents and I think the reason I was so angry is because I'm not because I hadn't forgiven them but because I hadn't forgiven myself I was really angry at myself for having made the decision not see them
00:14:29anymore and because of that I had to constantly bring up every terrible thing they'd ever done and constantly tally up to try to justify myself to try to make it try to make it okay and that was all about them and how terrible they were and it it
00:14:46took me a lot of years to work out that you know the best way forward for me at least was not to make it about them but to make it about myself and what what I needed to send not that I can see my father anymore not because
00:15:00he deserved a Knox is a terrible person because he isn't any any doesn't but because I I simply needed I needed that space so it was it was more about valuing myself than about hating someone else and that that was a really peaceful way for me to to
00:15:16move forward and I think I hope that some people will will read the story and and and they can they can judge me that's why we have stories to so that we can kind of identify with characters and decide what we think about the choices that they made
00:15:29and and hopefully work out just how they feel about their own decisions maybe by seeing how they feel about my decisions they can work out how they how they feel about their own but for for people who don't want to do that or feel like the best thing
00:15:42to do is put it away %HESITATION I mean I'm in no position to tell someone how how they should move forward in their lives to tie really their call you know I really like how your book presented so many paradoxes are union situations one is that while the
00:15:59landscape you lived in was so beautiful it was also a place of hazard and that included your father scrap yard in which you and your other siblings work talk about how your father made an income that way and what your work sometimes entailed so my dad ran a
00:16:16junk yard salvage yard which basically meant for a lot of the time we would just sort salvage metal into you know we sort copper from aluminum from steel in order to sell it so it could be really dangerous work it didn't have to be as dangerous as it
00:16:31was you know my dad for whatever reason just didn't seem to have that bone in his head that tells a lot of people this is dangerous we should do it a different way which slow down and I think with the book when the hardest things for me it's
00:16:43been trying to convince people that it was a malicious you know we didn't get injured all the time because my dad didn't care about us I I think it's not taking care about our safety he just wasn't able to keep us safe he wasn't able to understand the
00:16:55risk and for me I I think the most %HESITATION the strongest bit of evidence for that is that the worst injury that happened to my father scrapyard happened to my father so he was removing a fuel tank from a car and he made the decision that it was
00:17:10unnecessary to drain the fuel first from the car of because it which take too long and so he just let our clinic cutting torch and started and start cutting the tank off even though it it was half full of fuel and and of course what happened is is
00:17:25that the car exploded and my dad was he was burned terribly and he nearly died and of course because my parents don't believe in doctors are in hospitals they didn't take him to a hospital they just treated at home they had no more scenes they had no I
00:17:38the and I mean yeah he nearly died in the recovery was months and months and to me it just kind of shows my dad it's it's not as though he was very careful with his own safety and then very flippant with ours it's not as though when we
00:17:54were injured he you know he would take himself to hospital but he wouldn't take us and he denied us medical care I mean he really sincerely believe that the doctors were going to injure us and a strange as it as it is to try to explain to someone
00:18:08if that's your belief then denying your children of medical care that's that's what love looks like so it's one of those very complicated situations where a family situation can be can be difficult can be toxic but without any without any malicious intent at all so it sounds like
00:18:28you don't I think what's difficult for some people is to not take into the the doctor part of it in your mother you know treated with herbs and tinctures and essential oils and still have the successful essential oils business some people would view not taking your own children
00:18:44to the doctor or the hospital for an injury or an illness as a form of abuse yeah that's kinda I mean I I I I don't disagree again I just I don't think it comes from anything intentional their beliefs are so sincerely held you know when my brother
00:19:01lives like on fire it was covered and third degree burns or I got impaled by a spike through my knee we never treated any of these things the hospital I mean whenever a tetanus shots and we were working in a junkyard all the time and it sounds to
00:19:14people like this is just a callous disregard for life and it wasn't you were sincere release that my parents how old that doesn't mean that they're not abuse and it took me quite a long time I think to be able to understand that complex fact that people can
00:19:30be abused seven not mean two people can love you and still hurt you and that's kind of what I was saying about making it about yourself not about them because I think people can be incredibly hurtful to other people without meaning that meaning it and for me I
00:19:43think it took me a long time to walk away from this relationship so one of the reasons was because they're good people and %HESITATION they Love Me and I love them and the love was real and their good qualities you know really worker at my dad really was
00:19:56a good person my mother my mother could be incredibly kind of self sacrificing and I and my dad as well and for a long time for me it was easy to take the good in them in our and and use it to the kind of justify the pot
00:20:11and continue subjecting myself to things that were really damaging to me and I suppose that's why in the end I found it so much more peaceful to make it about myself and what I what I needed and what I felt like I deserved rather than what they were
00:20:28doing %HESITATION or whether I thought it was the right thing or or specially whether I thought they they meant to harm me because they never did I'm not sure if you're aware but there's you know more than half the states in the country including Idaho have what are
00:20:40called faith healing exemptions written into their child abuse and neglect laws basically if a parent such as yours claims that their religious beliefs prevent them from taking their child to a medical professional even if that child dies they can use that as a defense and there are some
00:20:55child welfare advocates and lawmakers in Idaho have been trying to modify that law unsuccessfully do you have thoughts on that should those faith healing exemptions be written into the law I don't think that they should cease personally but I get why it's an incredibly thorny issue I think
00:21:16it's the tendency in Idaho in a lot of other states to prioritize the rights of parents over the rights of children and I think we have to ask ourselves why why we do that with things like that of the foster care system I've I have a brother who's
00:21:34been a foster parent several times now and watching what the kids have to go through before they will terminate parental rights and and just let them find a home it's just very clear to me that we take the rights of parents and we put a much higher premium
00:21:50and on a much higher value on the rights of adults only two children the book is called educated so let's talk about your education %HESITATION you had nominal home schooling but it really wasn't that much was it there wasn't a lot of formal schooling I was taught to
00:22:07read by an older brother I think my mother worked quite hard to the home schooling when my older brothers were younger I was the youngest of seven by the time I came along there wasn't a lot happening you know I never I never listen to a lecture from
00:22:19my mother and I've written a safe my mother I never took an exam first exam I ever took with ACT which I don't recommend for your first exam ever up so I we we had some books in the house that we didn't have a lot of text books
00:22:34we just didn't have so when I wanted to learn algebra a you know I had to go by by text books we didn't have it and then the only person you could teach it's me as my mother and she'd kind of forgotten most of it so it was
00:22:47it was a challenging situation to try to get an education because my mother was very busy she was running up a business use running a farm she had a lot of a lot of kids and then at a certain point it was just kind of beyond her ability
00:23:00to teach did you yearn to go to school %HESITATION there's a scene where you talk about the school bus down below your house and seen that I did sometimes because I eighty I was a lonely kid on the you know I never there were other kids in the
00:23:13town the I went to school I never went to any other houses they never went to mine I had very little interaction with them I wanted to be normal I think sometimes but it in general no because I believe that my family were living the Wright way into
00:23:28my dad said the home school was was god's plan that it was that it was more righteous thing to do than going to school which he said was kind of an abomination I think you have used that word so I thought we were more righteous and I I
00:23:42thought we were living the right way and this was just a a price that you paid to be one of the large chosen people you dedicate your book to one of your brothers Tyler who encouraged you to take the ACT and go to colleges as he had several
00:23:57of your brothers did go on to college %HESITATION how did you have the sense that you could even go in and and do this you know my brother Tyler I think it was signals came entirely from hand high had a violence older brother not Tyler and another brother
00:24:15who I call Sean in the book and we had a very violent difficult relationship and my my brother Tyler came home from college and witnessed a little bit of that I don't think he knew the extent of it but he witnessed a little bit and just became convinced
00:24:30that what I needed was to get out of there and so he said to me teach yourself enough algebra teacher self not grammar to just great to the C. T. it's one test and then go to college and so that's that's what I did I didn't know if
00:24:45I guess at the time if I did that successfully then I would actually be in college and being in college without having a formal education has its own set of problems you know so I just wasn't ready for college you can trick your way into university by telling
00:25:02me your home school but if you weren't home schools you know you're gonna get there not know anything so I'd never written an essay in my life I thought Europe was a country not a continent I raise my hand to one of my first lectures and ask what
00:25:14the Holocaust was because I'd never heard of it %HESITATION I'd never heard of the civil rights movement they were just you know I bat but learning curve was was really steep and then socially I just wasn't prepared I never been around people my age %HESITATION I've never really
00:25:31been around a lot of people at all who are in my immediate family so there was also just a pretty extreme social gap which wasn't held by the fact that I thought I thought they were all kind of sinners and gentiles because they went to the doctor and
00:25:44they've gone to public school and so I was at Brigham Young University looking around me thinking this den of sent you know that's what I found I found that so interesting that we think of that institution is conservative but for you it was uber liberal wild way while
00:25:59the thirteen yeah other close people are just all the movies that they saw %HESITATION I thought I thought it was just literally that they went to the doctor I thought was so simple and I thought was the spirit can't be with them if they're if they're going to
00:26:14the doctor so and a lot of ways I isolated myself pretty thoroughly this is Marcia Franklin with Idaho public television and I'm talking with terror Westover about her memoir educated readers corner host Bob Custer returns next week it is amazing to me that you persevere though any push
00:26:32through that and I was very touched by the scenes in the book of the professors who mentored you and really changed your life those professors one of whom recommended you for this special study abroad program at Cambridge university which of course change the course of your life yeah
00:26:49I have an amazing %HESITATION people just do amazing things to try to help me and it's another reason I I wanted to put the note at the front of the book that this isn't a story about Mormonism because again I I just think people are are more complicated
00:27:05and sometimes we reduce people to their simplest form and I I think it is just another form of prejudice when you take one fact about a person and just completely reduce them so you know I I had religious people in my life you were wonderful and I and
00:27:20religious people in my life were terrible and I can't quite work out that it's the religion that made the difference you know I had this I the bishop at the way you are the leader of the congregation and he he had some very traditional tears he thought that
00:27:33I should get married %HESITATION and was very encouraging of me for that and you know you not even our seventeen so this is the goal this is the path for you and that's a conservative kind of religious viewpoint for sure but he he was incredibly here he valued
00:27:48me as a human being and he wanted to help me achieve my you know whatever I wanted and so when I eat when I was in my sophomore year I developed and a terrible toothache no just unbelievably bad I didn't have any money to go get it fixed
00:28:03needed a root canal and I went months and I couldn't think six and not the money and he wrote me a personal check from his personal account I think it's for fourteen hundred dollars which I mean who who does that who who says %HESITATION here's here's a thousand
00:28:17four hundred dollars and I'm gonna give to this near stranger because I want her to stay in school because I was going to drop out of school and get a job so I can get this to six and you know I I just think people people are very
00:28:28complicated and I think that it's so easy to just characterize people and say oh here's this conservative bishop he he was trying to just you know forced her into the role of a wife and mother and I think he does believe those were his beliefs but he was
00:28:43incredibly generous and did more for me to make sure that I stayed and got my education than almost anyone now the same time that the life of your mind was opening up your physical life your actual life was bifurcated you would go home in the summer to Idaho
00:28:59went back into a situation that is a running thread throughout your book which is the abuse by another brother he is given a pseudonym Sean I'm this was another one of these union situations he was both your protector sometimes but he was also definitely an abuser and confronting
00:29:14the situation was what finally estranged you from you know a good half of your family was it hard to write about this or was it cathartic and I don't want to give a lot away I think people should read the book and and should understand the arc that
00:29:29you went through the things that were hard to read about the book weren't necessarily the things I thought would be hard I thought that the violence would be hard to write about it wasn't I think I'd kind of come to terms with it was much harder to write
00:29:41about the beautiful things from my life you know canning peaches of my mother or walking on the mountain gathering herbs with her these things that my childhood I love the most and these are things I had lost I I you know that's why I say the extremism in
00:29:55my family was kind of a setting because it was difficult to navigate my family's extremism in and we had very different views and I went off to Cambridge and they were living more and more radically and and their police for getting more more extreme but we were kinda
00:30:09navigating that we were finding ways to kind of be a family despite that and what broke my family apart wasn't my father's radicalism or my going to Cambridge broke my family apart wasn't even my brother's violence it was the response that my parents had when I confronted them
00:30:24about my brother's violence and that was something that the family unit's just couldn't survive in a lot of ways it wasn't the %HESITATION it wasn't the abuse that broke us that it was it was the cover up I think I find the footnotes in your book intriguing they
00:30:38acknowledge that your memory about certain events may be faulty and they provide alternate stories from other family members it almost feels as if this is the academic side of you coming in here %HESITATION but you know you have an interest in historiography and in who writes history and
00:30:54I thought actually was it a really intriguing thing to do an honest thing to do why and I ended up getting my PhD in history from Cambridge and I think yeah I think it's just the historian in me I did a lot of interviews with family to try
00:31:08to work out the timeline try to work out what happened try to make sure that I wasn't the only one who remembered a certain thing a certain way and there were some cases a couple of just big big important events that initially the people I had talked to
00:31:23her at all corroborated my version and then as I as I was writing the book other other versions came out and I thought right I'll try to write in such a way that that everyone's version as is represented in some cases it just wasn't possible is someone was
00:31:40wrong because there wasn't a way that everyone could be right and I you know I guess it was just the historian in me that at a certain point so you know what that is that is a footnote and you just say to people there are differences here there
00:31:55are distinctions between the ways that people have constructed certain memories and I wanted to take it a bit further and and I include a no on this but notes at the end of the book about the reasons a certain stories are perpetuated I think you know the reasons
00:32:12why I remember it one way that had to do with how I saw my father and and how I saw the rules of my family and their reasons that other of my siblings remembered it differently in the %HESITATION were based on the ways that they perceive my father
00:32:26and the rules of our family and some of that had to do with gender and some of that probably had to do with age some of my siblings are a lot older than I am they almost had different parents so you know my oldest brother was allowed to
00:32:37go to school which is just unthinkable for me I can imagine my father letting you go to school but he's twelve years older than I am so it you know he he's had a different father who wasn't quite as radical by that point to me it just seemed
00:32:49the most reasonable thing is to say you know this is a book that is a lot about memories is a lot about who gets to tell their own story who gets to tell stories about the past at at the heart of this book is me saying my older
00:33:02brothers violence and my parents saying that he isn't and that's what they say today in and that's what I say today so it didn't seem possible to write a story without acknowledging that there are different points of view and different memories that people have for someone who had
00:33:18never written in the style before I found your writing you know extraordinary that the words that you chose your metaphors are evocative in in and as I read the book I really could see it as a movie as a film do you think that that's part of its
00:33:32future I do now feel makes me very nervous because I think you have no control and have no idea what people do with it so I have no idea %HESITATION basically it's it's hard for me to imagine a film that people do say that I think I did
00:33:48write it in a in a filmic way but I I just have no idea what will happen in terms of a sound when a big believer as well and some things just need to be kept as a book %HESITATION where emanating from university this %HESITATION program and I
00:34:04would like is we start wrapping up here for you to talk a little bit about education and your views on it it changed your life that's the title of the book educated %HESITATION many people now are not sending their children to university or certainly not to four year
00:34:18institutions there's a concern that not only is it so expensive but also that it should really be preparing an individual for a job not you know a general liberal arts degree what is your sense about that my worry is kind of the opposite nonsense I worry the increasingly
00:34:37even universities are are becoming job training I think I think that education you know we used to have things in our education system that were that were for the individual to just live a better fuller richer life and those are the arts programs those of the literature programs
00:34:55and the music programs on the interferometer and increasingly I think in high schools and even in universities that makes up less and less of the education and what were allowing education to become is job training and work dropping all the things that are of benefit to the individual
00:35:12and we're increasing all the things that are of benefit to the employers I really think that that is use kind of violation of constant care items like not to treat people as as a means to an end but they should be treated as an end in themselves and
00:35:27I dislike the idea quite a bit of an education system that is again just replete with with courses that are to benefit companies and employers and make people into better workers but doesn't also have those things that are purely to benefit the individual and help them live a
00:35:46better life do you still consider yourself an Idaho and yeah I don't think you can never really get rid of that I'm glad that you can't I always feel when I am you know flying into the mountain west there's just a kind of relief that you feel if
00:36:02you grow up around mountains the moment that you're back around mountains there's just to kind of %HESITATION yeah I'm just a relief for a peacefulness that you feel and you didn't even know you're anxious until you're back why so look forward to tell the seeing what you continue
00:36:17to do I hope you continue to write I know you're not quite sure what's next and you may be doing some journalism writing but I really look forward to reading more of your writing and thank you so much for taking the time to talk with us that readers
00:36:33corner my pleasure and thank you for having me for listeners you have another chance to hear from terror Westover which he speaks at the cabin's readings and conversations series in February two thousand nineteen for more information check out the cabins website at the cabin dot work next week
00:36:49David gold field author of the gift degeneration wind government was good readers corners presented by Boise state public radio I Marcia Franklin sitting in for Bob Custer returns next week please join him as he talks to TODAY's leading writers about the ideas and issues that help shape our
00:37:07world at reader's corner

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