Where the wind comes sweeping down the plain

The tune to Oklahoma plays on the school bells as I hurry from the top of campus to the bottom. It is -7 degrees celsius but my Snapchat is blowing up with people drinking snakebites in the UEA square. My campus, is a dry campus.

Oklahoma is a difficult place for most people to point to on a map. Even, or should I say, especially for Americans. It is a sort of black-hole where old timey Western sets are still lingering, where oil dredgers line every highway. You can almost see Steinbeck reclining on a rocker, planning his next novel. I don’t fit in here, but it’s been nice trying. I forget how difficult this ‘study abroad’ task is, and sometimes I think I don’t give myself credit for it. Oklahoma seems permanently stuck in 2007, contactless is rare. But it is charming, in its own way. There are small pockets of hope and liberalism, a new generation pushing their way through the frat boys for attention. It is easy to find a boy studying Business because when his old man retires, the family fortune will come to him. He’ll marry a girl who’s only at school to meet a husband and she’ll stay at home with their six kids and they’ll live in Oklahoma forever. Some people want to. I am glad for the people who don’t.

As I trail along the icy path to school, I see the geese that have decided to make the path their temporary home. There can be up to 50 of them on the side of the road. I wonder if they’re lost; surely they can’t want to make Oklahoma their forever home? I pass the Greek houses and notice that some have remnants of last night’s parties: red cups and bottles on the front lawn. Yet others are pristine; their white grand columns saying ‘Mummy and Daddy told me I’m better than you’. It is a strange place that no one apart from the people that live here care about. Take me back to 2019, where people believe in climate change and evolution. I’m so over 2007.

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July 2021
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