Please note: The travel described here occurred in the past. Today, I do not recommend that anyone who is, or may possibly be, pregnant travel to this state. A miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy cannot be safely treated under this state’s current laws. Please care for yourself and travel to places where your life and health are valued.
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…