Again, I must detail the places I will go and the reasons for my travels.

First, however, I will provide a bit of background for anyone who has not been following me or my situation very closely lately.

I have been a student at Antioch College since September 2003, and in January, I was sent to North Carolina to work at an alternative mountain boarding school as an intern. In the last four months, I have taught Algebra to two students on a daily basis, as well as two electives (one in Cartooning and a reading group on The Arabian Nights). I also went on a trip to Florida with a group of eight students, and had a great time with some great people in the sun on beaches and keys. In the last month, I have gotten some exercise, read a lot of poetry, and bought some stuff on ebay. I will be leaving North Carolina in almost exactly a week.

I will be heading back to South Dakota, my boyhood home, to see some friends and relatives once again. I have not seen many of these people in over eight months, some even longer than that; and I hope to cement the relationships that I have come to consider lifelong friendships even more solidly in the coming weeks.

South Dakota has some great people in it. The tragedy is that for the people that I know and love who live there, there are not very many things to do. To be sure, the few things that there are to do in that part of the world in one's free time are pretty meaningful and can be interesting, but I fear that a lack of variety can lead to an equal lack of inspiration. It seems to me, that in a place where there is so little opportunity to vary the amount and type of activity on even a daily basis, that is also a place where there is a great danger of stagnation, repetition, and (most often) dangerous close-mindedness.

I hope not to leave the impression that South Dakota is full of Republican right-wing-bible-thumpers who wouldn't tell you the time of day unless you asked with a "halleluia," or a "praise jesus!" appended to your query. That is just not the case. As with any place in the world, religious fundamentalists exist, it's just that in South Dakota, the voice of the Christian Right speaks pretty loudly.

How loudly you ask? I believe just loud enough to get this pile of steaming crap through the state legislature. South Dakota, as of February 10, became the first state to ban abortions, only excepting those that must be done to save a mother's life--in spite of the Supreme Court's declaration that states should not be allowed to regulate how often or for what reason abortions should be done. From the article--"It's not pro-life, it's pro-litigation." Read the article, it may turn you away from South Dakota forever.

I will be leaving Celo, North Carolina one day later than I originally planned, so as to make some money before I go. I will arrive in Rapid City, SD on the 3rd of May, 2004, and stay for about two weeks, to see friends and be happy, and try to ignore how much the politics of that state make me cringe.


Posted by daniel at 16:49 | Comments (0)