Saturday, July 01, 2006

On OZ

Ryan got made of pretty consistently when he first moved to NJ for talking so lovingly about Champaign. His friends started referring to it as “OZ.” While it may not be OZ, I understand the sentiment. Some days here I feel like I’m getting dumber, and not just from watching mind-wasting movies like Superman.

Growing up in a University town meant that people had a diversity of viewpoints and opinions. I grew up learning how to think and to defend why I believed what I did. (I blame my parents). I got into some really great discussions that ended with everyone’s mind stretched a little bit.

Attending the U for grad school only continued that process. Everyday I was forced to, at the very least stretch, if not exercise my brain power. As one of the most conservative people in my program, I often got into lively debate. Here, I’m a crazy hippie liberal and no one is really interested in having discussions that challenge their beliefs. People here are their group. Irish, Italian, Mexican, Catholic, Military, Union, all are group affiliations that define your beliefs, regardless of what you believe. I’m consistently amazed that people will go on about what they don’t like/believe about the Catholic faith and yet still consider themselves Catholic. Why? Because they were born that way.

The daily conversations here are about stuff and things. Women need their Coach pocketbooks. 16 year olds have birthday parties that cost more than my wedding. No one seems outraged that our Governor has broken nearly every campaign promise that he made. They’ll probably vote for him again. Because they vote Democrat. They just do.

I have a great concern that working everyday in a job that doesn’t force me to stretch is shutting down my brain. I can only hope that if I keep reading and keep trying to find new ways of looking at things I’ll stay nimble.

We’ve made some good friends here. I just really miss the people of the Emerald City.

3 comments:

sapsparky said...

I empathize with your fear of stagnating. To avoid it, I refuse to end my education. I think that I've now *not* been taking classes a total of one year since I entered school some 23ish years ago.

Jenn said...

I tried the whole school thing, but found that I couldn't make it work with my travel schedule.

sapsparky said...
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