Under the great blue skies.

It’s official now. I’ve been accepted into a graduate programme in history.

It’s not where I’d ever thought to go, somewhere in the middle of the middle of the middle of the USA. It’s a mid-sized university in central Minnesota. The state tends to be liberal, though in the past decade it has grown somewhat more conservative. The specific part of Minnesota is quite conservative, an area populated primarily by the descendents of sensible Lutherans from Germany and the Nordic countries with relatively little diversity. The city, St Cloud, is quite safe and life is quiet. The people are welcoming but a bit staid, sobriety and orderliness are requirements in order to get on well with the population.

The university itself receives a satisfaction rate of over 90 pc, is fully accredited, and is cheaper than a comparable university in California. The cost of living is also significantly lower. I accepted the offer, naturally. Though the course selection is somewhat limited, it’s adequate.

This is a bit of luck, or at least it seems to be. The promise of a change of life, a change of settings which was desperately needed. San Francisco, a disappointing city in which to live, has grown ever less acceptable. Getting assaulted by another student in class, getting harried by an obsessed fan, getting clawed on a bus, losing thousands of dollars in fraud, having to run from hoboes begging for money, having to try to avoid the wrath of a drug-addicted drag queen whose affections I spurned have all been a bit too much to live with.

A life, a quiet life, along the shores of the great Mississippi in a region famed for its dullness, its blandness, its decency is something I very much look forward to.

Author: Christopher-Dorset

A Bloody Kangaroo

22 thoughts on “Under the great blue skies.”

  1. Hello Christopher, well done.

    You seem genuinely pleased about the move, good luck.

    I had to have a look where you are going and thought that fellow members might appreciate a map.

  2. Christopher, you seem to have packed a lot of experience into life’s book so far and I wish you all the best in your next chapter. Sorry to read that SF now disappoints. I enjoyed it 25 years ago.

  3. Btw, as a youngster like you, in 1969, I visited Minneapolis St Paul on biz – extremely cold, blue skies. I dropped into a department store to find a few gifts to take home and at one counter told a young woman what I was looking for. She piped up: “Hey, girls! Get aload o’ this Englsih guy! Say it again so they can hear it!” I left in disorder. No doubt globalisation has brought them kicking and shrieking into the real world by now!

  4. Oh boy you’re going to be cold!
    Best wishes and congratulations for having escaped San Francisco.
    A bit of peace and quiet is probably what you need.

  5. Christopher, very best wishes on the move. I guess you deserve continuity of peace! I too am starting anew next week, in a new job, having spent the last two years in refuge. (Well sort of .. but that’s another story.)

  6. Good luck on your move. I believe St Cloud is not that far, at least in American terms, from Fargo, North Dakota. If you ever saw the film, I guess you know you will have to dress up REALLY warmly! 🙂

    Although I enjoyed a few quick visits to San Francisco, I do not think I would want to live there.

  7. Christopher: Seriously, budget for some really good winter clothing, January lows are probably in the minus thirties and record lows in the minus forties. There are some beautiful parts of the country in Northern MN. Try to get up to the Boundary Waters Wildlife area during the better weather. You will enjoy St. Cloud, the people and the headwaters of the Mississippi River.

  8. Janus: Minneapolis/ St Paul have changed quite a bit since then. They’ve become rather
    more cosmopolitan. The airport also has direct flights to London, Paris, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Tokyo, usw.
    In the more rural regions I stir up quite a bit of excitement. The people there are not used to receiving a lot of visitors and are genuinely excited when someone from somewhere else comes along.

    CO: I am well aware of how cold it is, that’s when reason why I want to go there.
    That way if an idiot neighbour loses his keys after a late-night drinking binge he’ll just
    freeze after a few minutes letting me get back to sleep.

    John Mackie: right there! Right there exactly.

    FEEG: San Francisco is a bit like a trashy, low-class version of London.
    So long as one stays in the main tourist areas it’s okay. Leaving them might
    become a bit more dangerous. One also doesn’t wish to grow unduly curious about
    what is just a few blocks away from certain sites.

    LW: I’ve already looked at Arctic boots, UGGs, and Inuit suits.
    I also have the fortune of being able to fly away for much of late December and

  9. Janus :

    Christopher, you seem to have packed a lot of experience into life’s book so far and I wish you all the best in your next chapter. Sorry to read that SF now disappoints. I enjoyed it 25 years ago.

    My mother always told me stories about my family, including stories about relatives who died long
    before she was born. Most men in the family have either lead short, unhappy lives or
    have lived extremely long, relatively healthy, though disappointing lives. The women’s lives
    haven’t necessarily been much luckier. Hence, my desire to resist defeat and insist on
    living without giving up easily.

  10. Live your own life, Christopher and try not to let previous generations’ history influence you. You are your own man. 🙂

    I hope you enjoy your new placement.

  11. Crikey, I love my ancestors’ history. They were fascinating. Live an exciting life, it is the only way to be happy, as opposed to content or even miserable.

    I first went to SF in 1980. Had some interesting adventures. Maybe I will post.

  12. Thank you, Boadicea!

    I’ve also given serious consideration to undertaking a bit of extra study in agricultural business. The community college in St Cloud offers a good programme, apparently all online, in agricultural management.

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