Chicagoan receives less than warm country welcome in Granby
To the Editor:
When I was hired to work at Drowsy Water Ranch in January, I had no idea how different life would be out in Granby. I expected the usual differences from my suburban Chicago life: higher altitude, more sun and of course, harder work. But I never knew what I was getting into.
Being situated seven miles from the edge of the town limits of Granby – and eight and a half miles from the nearest grocery store – without a car makes getting into town difficult but extremely necessary when paired with the lack of cell phone reception at the ranch as well as fully functioning internet. When I signed up to work here, I didn’t know that areas existed without 3G-cell service or high-speed internet.
As a rising sophomore in the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, I was given the opportunity to be a peer adviser to the incoming freshman Medill class. The job of a peer adviser is to advise and support incoming students throughout the summer and their first school year. This includes answering emails and making sure they’re sending in all necessary documents and emails. All of this requires regular internet access and cell service in order to call the students who aren’t compliant with the emails. One can see how being at a ranch with no internet and cell service makes it difficult for me to adequately do my job. I never thought I’d be in a situation where I’d be without the ability to communicate.
Being a Northwestern student, and from the North Shore of Chicago in general, has a stigma attached to it. I always was aware of the stereotypes – I must be bratty because I’m from the North Shore, or that I must be pretentious because I go to Northwestern. Northwestern is an incredibly welcoming and warm community. I was never judged based on my high school or hometown. Here, some people could not have been less welcoming and judged me from the second they learned about where I go to school, my hometown, the fact that I chose to participate in Greek life at Northwestern and that I don’t like country music.
My open-minded attitude that I went into this experience with was shattered. I could not have been greeted with a less hospitable experience – something that I was told was quintessential to small-town American life.
Granby offered me a lot: a job, a place to stay for the summer and most of all and a different world to compare to my own. Spending months here has solidified something I never knew about myself: Being from the city is something I wouldn’t trade for the world, but I wouldn’t be who I am today without this amalgam of experiences.
Formerly Granby, now Chicago
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Backcountry permits for the Indian Peaks Wilderness will go on sale online on later this month, according to the US Forest Service.