I told you that I was going to spend the next few weeks transcribing my memories and my experiences from UW-Whitewater. Before I tell you about UW-Whitewater, I think you need to know a little more about what I was leaving behind in Northwest Arkansas.
When I applied for and accepted this position, I had a lot to teach people in Wisconsin about life in Arkansas. For one, AR stands for Arkansas. It’s not Arizona, or Alabama, or Alaska. I don’t see how you can guess the last two, but I’ll allow it. Next, Arkansas is in the Central Time zone, just like Wisconsin. We are not in the Pacific Time zone.
I also had a lot to learn. For example, I have a southern accent. In Arkansas, everyone thinks I sound like I’m from the north (and that’s before I ever moved to Wisconsin!). They laugh when I say “y’all”, “down”, and “put it up”…amongst other things. And, when someone asks to go to the bubbler, they’re not trying to make you laugh. They want a drink from the water fountain. Don’t say Coke. It’s soda…and they mostly have Pepsi. Very few people drink sweet tea here, but a beer? Just about always. Oh. And wearing a Packers jersey to church on game days is not acceptable, but expected.
The thing I missed most about Northwest Arkansas, was the people. Now that’s not to say that the people in Wisconsin aren’t great. It’s just not the same. I had never missed my family and friends like I did when I moved here. Over these two years, there were plenty of days where I wanted to jump in the car and make the twelve-hour drive home. I missed my mom and dad, and my siblings. I missed going to play mini golf, going to Arkadia (Circus Charlie!), and their company in general.
I missed my friends from college and home. My friends were no longer available for Moe Monday, Taco Tuesday, or shenanigans. I had no one with whom I could shenanigan-ize. And yes. I totally made that a word. I missed my friends at Young…their attitudes, their smiles, their amazing perspectives, their laughs, and the fun that we had together. I missed watching them learn sight words and colors and signs and numbers…and how to steal their friends’ lunch trays without getting caught immediately.
I left behind sweet tea, sunshine, “bless your heart”, and all things holy about living in the South to come to Wisconsin…to what in my mind was, both figuratively and literally, the frozen tundra.
Tune in Thursday to read about what I found in Wisconsin. **Thursday has obviously come and gone without my next post. Don’t worry. It’s coming! (added 4/4/14)**