Saturday, May 29, 2010
Greeting from Wichita!
My apologies for not writing sooner. Twenty-one hours in a car spread over two full days and four hours sleep meant that I arrived feeling punch-drunk and sleep deprived. We drove 14 hours the first day and took a break outside St. Louis, whereby I only managed to toss and turn my way to around four hours sleep. Today I got a bit more rest, though in truth I am still not entirely where I need to be. Even before I was diagnosed, I always had to have several hours uninterrupted sleep to fully recharge. Now I know that doing so absolutely essential to my health.
First impression are these: I really thought I had left behind the Bible Belt when I moved from Alabama, but I’d have to say that Kansas is even more conservative than the South. Of course, this shouldn't really surprise me. This is the very same city where abortion doctor George Tiller was gunned down not long ago. I can understand why. While on the journey out here, we passed sign after sign imploring motorists to repent or face eternal damnation. The number of churches and roadside crosses is fairly staggering, I must say, which is really saying something based on my region of origin. Recently the Quaker church here which has served as our home base of sorts has been the victim of vandalism and theft, both to the building itself and to cars parked outside in the lot. Though this sort of behavior has been excused as a product of teenage hooligans, I wonder if there is some correlation between the Tiller killing, because this gathering is clearly much more liberal than the rest of the city and state. After all, Tiller was killed inside his own church.
We’re being housed on the grounds of a Quaker university which goes by the name of Friends University. It is a small private liberal arts college. I’ve been told it features an excellent music, ballet, and oddly, zoo science program, as well as one or two other strengths. This is fairly typical with colleges and universities of this size. The student dorms, which is where we bunk for the night, are very nice, no older than five or six years old. They are set up not unlike a motel, with six beds are housed in one suite. The air conditioning wasn't working in my room last night, meaning everyone else fled for one that did. I relish the opportunity to have more or less my own space, so I stayed in the room to which I was originally assigned.
Even in my reduced state of efficiency, I was still able to write a Feminist critique, which I've posted here before this entry. I've also taken several pictures, which I fully intend to post on my Flickr stream when I get back to DC. They will also be posted here by mid-week. I'll try to post a bit more throughout the day, though I'll be in workshops and small group activities most of my waking hours.