Wednesday, May 04, 2005

(Not Really) Feeling Minnesota [Part I]

The other day I had to cover a math class (which is funny, because I am an English teacher). So there I am working with students on math questions (Trigonometry no less), and they get done early. As they are not used to me and most don't really know who I am, they decide to ask me some questions about myself. First one out of the gate: "Where are you from?" Easy, "East Coast. Born in New York." Having lived in Minnesota for five years now, the response I got was not a surprise. One student said, "Oooohhh. You're not FROM here," and the rest of the class started murmuring. Immediately the questions started coming from all over the room:
"Why did you move here?"
"Did you really think you'd be happy here?"
And on and on it went. I don't mind answering these questions, because I'm used it after all this time. Since the day I first moved to the land of ice and snow (and it has snowed for 9 of the last 12 months. I mean, come on! May snowstorms?) people have treated me very differently. Heck, I even have a title: Transplant. That's what Minnesotans call someone not from the Land of 10,000 Lakes who lives here. Once you're branded a Transplant, the name sticks to you forever. I was once introduced at a party as, "This is my friend, he's a Transplant." Gee thanks. Great intro.
Anyway, over the next few posts, I will explain the things about Minnesota that I like as well as the things that drive me nuts. So, we'll be covering cliques, passive-agressive natures, terrible driving, beautiful settings, the lack of taxes, and the fact that there are
11,842 lakes, not 10,000.
I'll leave you tonight with this: If you really want to piss off a die-hard Minnesotan, bring up the Coen Brothers'
Fargo. Many Minnesotans took offense with the film's portrayal of Minnesotans. As one former co-worker used to tell me, "That's not how we really are, don't cha know?"

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