Saturday, September 15, 2012

waaaait, i'm in nashville?

in case you have forgotten (which i sometimes do), i'm going to school in nashville, tennessee. NASHVILLE. country music capital of da world.  i was reminded of this the other night, when i went to puckett's grocery for restaurant week with a few old friends.  when we walked into the restaurant, we were bombarded by the sound of live country music emanating from the stage.  the waitress sat us down directly in front of the singers, and we immediately did one of those "LADY, we don't know sign language and we'd love to have an audible conversation" looks to the waitress.  she moved us to the back.

if you are enrolled in any college in the united states, it is very probable that you have heard the term "insert-college-name-here bubble."  when i went to bowdoin, it was the bowdoin bubble.  now that i'm at vanderbilt, it's the vanderbubble (see what they did there? two words into one? brangelina would be proud).  it's interesting how the bubble-ness of each college is manifested in tremendously different ways.

bowdoin is in a small-ass town - excuse my french, but it's necessary for the extremity of the small-ness - on the coast of southeast maine.  the bubble is more or less the town. brunswick exists of one downtown street deemed "Maine St" (haha!), and if you don't have a car, it's pretty challenging to move beyond that.  residents of brunswick embrace bowdoin students, and although the neighborhoods around bowdoin have probably been gentrified since the existence of the school, i didn't find the contrast to be too extreme.

in contrast, vanderbilt is in a huge city (okay, it's huge compared to brunswick, not, like, new york city), in which it's pretty simple to go anywhere with a bus, a taxi, or a car.  the bubble is the school itself.  the neighborhoods around vanderbilt change drastically in look, and because of my exposure to the neighborhoods, i know that they change drastically in economic terms as well.  in my experience, community members are not as quick to embrace vanderbilt students, and they sometimes see us as infringing on their neighborhoods, as "rich white kids" who have nothing better to do than volunteer their time.

just a little observation.  and i'm obviously over-generalizing this concept, and probably don't know enough about it, but it's cool to remind yourself once in a while that there is something beyond that bubble. like fried chicken and tim mcgraw (JK!).

"it's opener, out there, in the wide, open air."
- dr. seuss

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