Saturday, March 6, 2010

Packing Plant Memories

48º ~ full sun, the forecast calls for a high of 64º

Thanks to Facebook, I've reconnected with a good friend of mine from high school, who also went into English and teaches at the college level. Today, I read his amazing post about growing up in Waterloo, and the blue collar implications of that. He describes how the Rath Packing Plant is a personal icon of his, and it is certainly important to me as well, although I was more in touch with the rural side of things, growing up on the edge of a cornfield and having family that still farmed during the horrible 80's.

My favorite quote from this blog post addresses how we Midwesterners with working-class roots sometimes feel in academia:
I also think growing up in Waterloo gave me a certain blue collar mindset that usually serves me well but also creates crankiness since I work in academia, a place where sometimes being straightforward and at times blunt and also prone to being intolerant of bullshit are not prized characteristics.

Exactly! After a reading one time, an audience member commented to me about how much Midwestern straightforwardness there was in the poems, but then how they'd zing through with something amazing amid the bluntness. I loved that.

Oh, and my friend blogs with a pseudonym, so I'm honoring his anonymity.


Anne said...

I'm glad you tolerate our propensity for bullshit. I, for one, respect your forthrightness.

Sandy Longhorn said...

A., I think some of my plainspeak has rubbed off on you, esp. regarding a certain building and certain "concerns" some folks have about the entry status of a door. (I'm bs-ing here so I don't blow your cover.)