If you’ve read my blog, even a little, or if you know me in person, you know I have been bitten repeatedly by the travel bug. Yet it’s only been since earlier this year that I ever wrote about the year and a half I spent in Indiana. Technically, it amounted to three semesters, none of which I am terribly proud. I half-heartedly settled for my first school and it felt like I absolutely settled. My heart never belonged there, and I never viewed college as some magical four-year excursion to a future alma mater. Truthfully it, one, got me out of my parents’ house, two, did not require a math class to earn a BA, and three, offered me a sad, little scholarship. All in all, hardly worth remembering.
When I finally drove through its southwest corner more than three decades after I left, I decided it might be time to pull those cobwebs out of my skull and think about what I experienced during those months. A few times during adulthood I have been asked to produce my college transcripts, and I recall briefly that Indiana was part of my history. Oddly, I must remind myself that these memories are real, and not just assorted bits of a bizarre dream in a variety of unusual settings, none of which I question when I am asleep, but every one of which I consider random and disjointed once I awake. No, I really spent time in the Hoosier State. Recently someone said they were invited to a distant family reunion in some small Indiana town in the middle of nowhere, and my first gut response, which I managed to suppress, was, “What Indiana town isn’t in the middle of nowhere?”
The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
As I brainstorm the couple dozen memories I recall from Indiana, like the dorm beside the railroad tracks where I lived for one semester (see In The Stairwell from March 2021), I discover they all fit into one of two categories: the events, places, people, and experiences I liked, and the ones I really despised. I can only recall one memory that would categorize as “wonderful,” when I attend a celebration of the 200th Anniversary of the Ratification of the U.S. Constitution, headlined by former President Gerald Ford (see In The Words Of A President from June 2021). I even addressed him during the question-and-answer session. I remember the question, although I don’t recall his answer. I guess that typifies my overall Indiana collegiate experience.
There are moments in my life I absolutely wish I could forget, and it seems as though my years in Indiana assure me that wish can come true. My first forty-five semester hours were earned, sometimes barely, sometimes infuriatingly, sometimes without much effort, and they certainly weren’t pretty. So why share them in my fun-filled travel blog? If I claim to have visited all fifty states, which I do, I must admit that I have indeed been to Indiana. I won’t reveal any mind-blowing sights or bucket list adventures in the next few posts, but I will say that I did learn a few things, little of which I found in the lecture halls. Stay tuned…