Once Upon A Time……..

Once upon a time, years ago, I was a keen student in the Geography Department at Middlebury College in Vermont. My keenness for the subject was enhanced and/or re-enforced by 2 excellent professors. I applied to 3 graduate schools to further my knowledge. One of these was the University of Washington here in Seattle – my first choice. I am not sure how it happened but I never heard back from them. So I was left with the University of Wisconsin and Northwestern University. Both excellent schools, but if I recall correctly Northwestern offered a more attractive teaching assistantship to help finance my studies. So off I went to the Middle West – Chicago and Evanston Illinois. Part of the program at Northwestern was a 6 week field course in Platteville Wisconsin. All promised to be a big adventure – and it was!

The 6 weeks in Platteville were so different from my undergraduate studies at Middlebury. We were a small group in Platteville, about 20 of us and 1 or 2 professors. We were housed in a local college dormitory. 24/7 we were all together, an intensive immersion in an academic program. The highlight was to go out in the evening to The Black Cat bar!! Howard, Roy, Bob, John, Jim, Eunice, Margaret are a few of the fellow students I can recall. We explored the surrounding area which included a dip into Iowa or Nebraska. Professors Powers and Jones were our mentors.

When the 6 weeks concluded, I went NW to St. Paul Minnesota to visit my Middlebury friend Bonnie for a week. Next I went south to meet Jim (from the field course) in Des Moines Iowa. Jim had gone back to Evanston to collect his car and then drive west to his home in Salt Lake City. Amazingly we met as planned in Des Moines and then travelled West to Salt Lake City. This was long long before the days of internet instant and constant communication. I look back and wonder at how smooth and easy it seemed to be.

to be continued

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