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Tuesday, August 17, 2004 

A Different Kind of Culture Shock

When Jay and I went out the other night, he talked a little bit about Culture Shock because he moved to Italy for a bit. He described the waves of emotion that one goes through: at first nothing but total fascination and awe, then severe homesickness and everything in between. That reminds me of when I went to North Carolina State for college which was, granted, not all that different from Maryland. However, there were some good ole boys there. NCSU has great veterinary and animal husbandry and agriculture programs, so southerners from the farm come to the "big city" (Raleigh) to learn the latest in farming, and then head back to the farm where they will live the rest of their lives. So both them and me were going through our own versions of culture shock. Which brings me to my story:

I can't remember when this took place, but it was some time early on in my NCSU career. My friends dragged me to a Farm House party, which, I swear to God, was the name of the fraternity. Not the nickname, no Greek letters involved, it was just FH. Awesome. So I go, and get separated for a minute and this guy comes up to me in, I swear to GOD, overalls, cowboy boots, and a bright orange baseball hat that hunters wear. And he starts talking to me and immediately realizes I'm not "from dez parts." So he asks me where I'm from. Now, when I first got to State I would say I'm from Maryland, which meant I had to explain where Bowie was in relation to Washington D.C. (not far) so I quickly got sick of that and started telling people I was from D.C. just to speed things up. Back to the story:
Guy: So where ya from anyways?
Me: I'm from D.C.
Guy: Davison County?? Well, I'll b'damned!
Me: (silent with mouth agape.)
It was hysterical! I'd never been a single place in the USA where D.C. didn't automatically mean Washington, D.C. as in our nations capital. I met plenty of people there who wished it was Richmond and that the South had won the war. And after the initial shock, I grew to appreciate that part of them. They'd explain NASCAR and prowrestling and the nuances of "ya'ont'to," "ain't" and "fixing ta." Good times, good times.

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