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Posts Tagged ‘louisville’

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When I was finishing up my Masters in Teaching at Boston University, back when I still thought I might want to be a teacher, I got asked by the father of a friend from California what my plans were for after I graduated. I told him I was going back home to Kentucky to become a teacher. He smirked and chuckled, “Oh, really? I didn’t think they had schools in Kentucky!”

My goodness, sir, what brilliant wit you possess. And here I thought they didn’t have a sense of humor out on the West Coast, but look how wrong I was.

I’ve gotten lots of comments and questions from people about being from Kentucky. I have been asked why I don’t have a southern accent. I have been asked, in all seriousness, if I live on a farm. I have been asked how I could choose to go back to someplace like Kentucky when I’ve experienced living in a place like Boston, the implication being that someone who has been enlightened about what lies beyond the Ohio River could never go back to someplace as backward as that.

I try and respect the fact that many people just don’t know anything about Kentucky. I have had friends from Boston come to visit me who have made comments like, “Wow! You live in a real city!” I don’t find myself getting frustrated at them for not knowing what to expect. It does bother me, though, when the very people who claim to be so liberal and enlightened and respectful of the diversity of thought and persons that they find in a big city can’t find it within themselves to be respectful of a diversity that includes people who would choose to go back to a state where, yes, some people do very, very rarely marry their cousins.

Today, I was walking from my downtown office to my bank just a few blocks away. On my way there, I saw a large set-up where you can rent a bicycle for free; a group of people painting a random mural celebrating the “25th” of something and involving a wizard and what looked like an alien; a shabby deli advertising Krispy Kreme donuts and SA DWICHES across the street from one of the nicest restaurants in town; a cute guy; a cute baby; two dogs; dozens of large red penguin sculptures decorating a hotel; banners and posters for IdeaFestival; whitecaps on the Ohio River; the church where I spent many of my formative years singing in the choir; and six giant inflatable monkeys, each with a banner, which when all put together reads “EVERYBODY ALWAYS THINKS THEY ARE RIGHT.”

Yes, I do live in a real city. Just because it’s not big or intimidating doesn’t mean it’s not quirky and weird and nice, and ultimately, home.

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