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Big City Yearnings

September 19, 2012 | 4 Comments


Here I am, enjoying my small-town summer, and still reeling from my freshman year at college in Philadelphia. I always envisioned myself spending a few years in the city before coming home to settle down in the country. But the big city has really awakened in me a love of all that a sprawling metropolis has to offer. I miss the ability to walk outside and get lost in the crowd, or to go to the art museum and be surrounded by the Impressionists, even the simple joy of discovering a new book store. And I'm a biology major! But when I'm in the city, I miss the quiet solitude of living in a farm community, hearing the horses grazing from my bedroom window, visits to the local market, and stomping around barefoot. As you can see, I'm conflicted. I know that the country will always be my home, but how can a country girl like me satisfy my big city yearnings?




Welcome to life itself, F.R. This lovely conflict is shared by half the human race, thus the hankering of Philadelphians to own a weekend house in the Poconos, thus the great pleasure of my Manhattan friends to rent a house in Vermont in August and sit on a porch with their morning coffee. And thus the pleasure of my Minnesota cousins trotting around Central Park, visiting the Met, riding the A train, seeing Cole Porter's "Anything Goes".  Working out this conflict will only make your life more and more interesting, and one day you'll go to Barcelona and fall in love with things Spanish, or wonder if an Inuit village on the northern tundra isn't where you were meant to be. Good luck with all that. Just know that in majoring in biology, you chose right, kid, and thank goodness you didn't major in Communications. Or in English, God help us. The people I know who majored in biology seem happier and retain a keen interest in birds and bugs and protozoa, whereas my humanities friends burn out on all the b.s. It sounds to me like you're going to be happy wherever you are, kid.


I'm older than Mr. Keillor and can vouch for the quality of his advice. A music major myself, I continue to revel in the "lovely conflict" between stellar performances by classically trained pros and the the joy of Bluegrass jams or shape note singing in somebody's living room.


Biology is nice, but English is nicer. Besides, one can easily maintain an interest in biology (or astronomy or politics or history or ....) by majoring in English, which is the only discipline that encourages that. As one who is a successful English Major and interested in many things should well know by now. Bliss exists to be followed.

City and Country

What you do,
Not where you live.
Not what you take,
But what you give.

For be ye a slicker
Or be ye a bumpkin,
In Fall the frost
Falls on the pumpkin.

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