Friday, June 19, 2015

Menomonie (muh-nom-uh-nee)

            The first thing I did when I was accepted to this program was look up Menomonie (a name which only upon arriving did I find out I was painfully mispronouncing) on Google maps.  I had never heard of the small town half way across the country from my home in the San Francisco Bay Area, and it is definitely different from where I live.  Menomonie is the sort of small town that has been depicted in movies countless times and seems to embody American values.  I’ll miss the vibrant and boisterous city of Berkeley which has been my home for the past three years, and of course I’ll miss my friends and family, but I am excited to grow to know this small town. 
In many ways Menomonie and the sense of community that I see here is refreshing.  It seems like everyone knows each other here.  People stop to chat on the street and our professors know the names of the people who run the countless small landmarks.  On Tuesday we went to see the Ludington Guard Band, the longest running town band in the country I’ve been told, and I was amazed by the number of people supporting them.  The opportunity to work within this community is thing I am most looking forward to this summer.  It is so exciting to participate in a project that is so closely tied to the community, and it is even more exciting to see a community that actually cares about the project.  Accepting this position I was really just hoping to learn some more about economics and build my resume a bit, but having realized that this research has the potential to actually be meaningful in the community has made me all the more enthusiastic to be a part of this team.  I’m excited to get to work and maybe also drink some Wisconsin beer.


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