Friday, June 1, 2007

Just Because I'm From Kansas City...

After senior year of high school, I left my beloved town of Kansas City, Missouri to attend school and swim at Indiana University. Previous to this big move, I had traveled quite a bit. I had been to 27 of the 50 states by the time graduation rolled around (I know this for a fact because I found a list of all the states I had visited in the back of my spiral notebook from Mrs. Hernon's Algebra class.) I mention this not to boast -because unlike most people my age, I have yet to leave the continent of North America- but to make it clear that IU was not my first out-of-town experience.

On one of my first days in Bloomington, the whole team got together to meet. We did the usual 'sit in a circle and introduce yourself, say where you're from, mention 2 interesting things about yourself, and list the events you swim' thing. This went off without a hitch, until it became my turn, "Hi, my name's Erin Smith, I'm from Kansas City..." Then the uproar. "Kansas City!? I've never met anyone from Kansas before!" "Do you live on a farm?" "Wow, how far is that?" "They have a swim team?" I was blown away. Umm, hello, Kansas City is in Missouri, and I don't think there are even farms within Kansas City limits. Does Bloomington, IN have a swim team, because if so, KC sure as hell does too. I had no idea that living in a city that had another state's name in it was such a baffling situation. After pointing out that I couldn't believe Kansas City was so intriging when we had a girl from Denmark sitting directly across from me,
I continued to explain about where I came from, and thought I did a pretty thorough job of clearing things up, until...Catch Phrase.

Much later in the year, February, in fact, we found ourselves again in the big circle. We were playing the game Catch Phrase. We had been playing for a while, when the Danish girl, Tina, got the game piece in her hand. Her clue was: "Smitty's (me) dad works on one of these..." "A farm" someone calls out without even one moment of hesitation. Tina hits the button and passes the game piece on, indicating a correct answer. I first shake my head in disapproval and disappointment. "Um, guys! My dad does not work on a farm! I thought I cleared this up months ago?" At this point the game has stopped and everyone is just laughing. I think it's a lost cause.