Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The Great Divide: Who I was and Who I am...(pt. 1)

So as of April 29, I am no longer an undergraduate student at IWU, and contrary to the fact that I haven't posted in like a month, I am still alive and ticking. Part of the problem is that I have been adjusting to the whole 40 hours per week deal, and I have 3 jobs. Excuses aside, I have tried to sit down and type this post up multiple times and I just haven't been able to type. Call it writers block, call it tired of typing, call it laziness, whatever you want to I have missed my blogging time. So apology placed-lets move on.

I guess for the next couple of weeks I want to look back at the 4 or 5 biggest catalysts to my personal growth and change over my undergraduate time. Around the end of March or the beginning of April (If I remember right) I started to think about what I was like when I first came to college, and how I think completely different than I did way back in the summer of '02.

I would like to start be explaining who I was when I arrived on campus the summer after my senior year of High School. I was a country boy who thought that Marion was a decent town (I still kind of do) that had enough to keep me occupied-I mean what more could you want than fast food, two bowling alleys, and a movie theater. Lets get serious, Marion is like 30 times bigger than Carson City. I was a well meaning nice guy who thought he had a bunch of stuff figured out and that I understood the world and my faith on as deep a level as I ever would.

What scares me today is that 4 years later I have seen things that have completely reshaped my view on issues, totally changed my view of Christianity, and totally changed where my calling has lead me.

The initial impact on my life started the second that I moved on campus, it was the fact that I am no longer living in Michigan. My good friend Jason says that I am doomed to forever live in Indiana (who knows it could happen), because I hate it so much. First of all that is not true but coming here, it was obvious to me that Michigan and Indiana were not completely alike. It was a good first lesson to learn.

I noticed the difference when I went into JC Pennies for the first time. I forget who I was with, but I went into the men's clothing section, and instead of finding the usual Michigan, Lions, Pistons, and Tigers gear, I found Colts, I-U, Notre Dame, and Purdue merchandise instead. It was a HUGE culture shock to me. I had never thought that places outside of Michigan would not include the major Michigan sports apparel.

Next was the people deal with the weather, Michigan weather is colder and has much more snow, so we're used to getting dumped on, Indiana is not the same. My first year it snowed every weekend, it was heaven on earth, but everybody around here complained that it was the hardest winter ever. Getting around was almost impossible, people did not plow the road, they left snow and the snow turned to ice, it was NUTS!

I guess my first year I learned that places are different, and that Michigan is not as normal as I thought, normal becomes where you grow up in. Hoosiers are normal when they are in their beloved flat state, Wolverines are at home when they are in the mitten, and Buckeyes are happy when they realize that they can spell Ohio.

I guess I learned that each place is different and that people while somewhat different, are pretty much all the same. So instead of looking for differences, it was up to me to look at people and try and find a common denominator. How was this person the same as the other people that I know back home. Or maybe better yet how can I make where I am home instead of always clinging to where I used to be.

(I still consider myself a Michigander, so don't ever confuse me for a Hoosier, but I guess I am ok with spending the rest of my life in Indiana. Everybody has to count the costs and sacrifice on some level....)