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Old 06-24-2008, 08:56 AM
 
Location: Alexandria, VA
148 posts, read 579,653 times
Reputation: 120

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Being a teacher I have the summers off so can spend 2 months in my home State of Minnesota and live in my lake house next to a small town in Northern MN.

Ten months of a year I live in Alexandria VA. It is a big city right next to Washington DC. Alexandria is incredibly ethically and economically diverse. It is no longer the nice Southern Town it once was. It seems like few people speak English as their first language anymore and it is a true United Nations of People. It is also a very competitive tough town where people do not know their neighbors and few people will have anything to do with each other unless they share a social class and can help the other person somehow. If someone would pass out on the street I doubt most people would care.

The small town I live in during the summer in Minnesota (Detroit Lakes) is 99% white (mostly German and Swedish backgrounds), friendly in a cool stoic way and totally self contained. It seems most people know of each other and are concerned about what they are up to. Traffic is light and living is easy. There are fewer diversions so conversation and small talk come easier and the pace is slow. Such a welcome cange from Alexandria.

As I move from one world to the next I wonder how people from small towns with less life skills and maturity make the move from small town living to a big City like Washington DC.
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Old 06-24-2008, 09:01 AM
 
Location: In a chartreuse microbus
3,854 posts, read 5,302,124 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by total_genius View Post


As I move from one world to the next I wonder how people from small towns with less life skills and maturity make the move from small town living to a big City like Washington DC.
Maybe it's my imagination, but does every post authored by you end in a snide, snarky comment geared toward the small town folks? As for your question, I'm sure you'll let us know the answer to that in due time.
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Old 06-24-2008, 10:37 AM
 
Location: Alabama!
5,849 posts, read 15,935,833 times
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Please define "life skills."
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Old 06-24-2008, 11:57 AM
 
Location: Alexandria, VA
148 posts, read 579,653 times
Reputation: 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by Southlander View Post
Please define "life skills."
Life skills for this example is the ability to handle the day to day challenges of living and working in a multi cultural, multi ethnic, fast paced big City with a harsh dog eat dog culture and incredible competition and a feeling of isolation.
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Old 06-24-2008, 10:19 PM
 
5,772 posts, read 13,723,327 times
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I know what you're saying about cities and their local networks, where people seem disinclined to lend a helping hand if you're not connected to their political network. On the other hand, though your summer town sounds like a friendly enough place, I've known small towns that had their local webs that were hard to break through, where people tended to be really cool toward outsiders. I guess it depends on the individual place.

As far as the big cities go, I've never lived in DC, but people who have tell me that the phenomenon of what's in it for me if you expect me to help you is especially prevalent there, because the city's main industry is politics, so it attracts a lot of kiss-up, cut-throat, wheelin'-and'-dealin' political kinds of people. In general, though, I've found that the best way to get along with the varied kinds of people you meet in cities is just to relax and be friendly and non-judgmental. The other guy is also dealing with negotiating an environment with a multitude of ethnicities and backgrounds. Keep it on a human level, where you and the other guy both understant that you may not quite read each other perfectly in every detail but you make the sincere effort to communicate in whatever way you can, and it usually works out. It helps too if you're ready with a helping hand in satisfying the other person's curiousity about your culture and background--when he wants to know, not when you want to impose it on him--while showing a sincere interest in learning something about him and where he's from as well. I know this may sound a little too simple, especially for the complex world of the big city, but it's a good basic place to start.
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Old 06-24-2008, 10:30 PM
 
835 posts, read 2,083,573 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by total_genius View Post
It is no longer the nice Southern Town it once was.
Oh great this is what's gonna happen to where I live.


No offense, but I think in general that a lot of people in places like NYC and LA really don't understand the rest of America.
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Old 06-24-2008, 10:35 PM
 
3,597 posts, read 7,703,815 times
Reputation: 2878
Quote:
Originally Posted by total_genius View Post
Being a teacher I have the summers off so can spend 2 months in my home State of Minnesota and live in my lake house next to a small town in Northern MN.

Ten months of a year I live in Alexandria VA. It is a big city right next to Washington DC. Alexandria is incredibly ethically and economically diverse. It is no longer the nice Southern Town it once was. It seems like few people speak English as their first language anymore and it is a true United Nations of People. It is also a very competitive tough town where people do not know their neighbors and few people will have anything to do with each other unless they share a social class and can help the other person somehow. If someone would pass out on the street I doubt most people would care.

The small town I live in during the summer in Minnesota (Detroit Lakes) is 99% white (mostly German and Swedish backgrounds), friendly in a cool stoic way and totally self contained. It seems most people know of each other and are concerned about what they are up to. Traffic is light and living is easy. There are fewer diversions so conversation and small talk come easier and the pace is slow. Such a welcome cange from Alexandria.

As I move from one world to the next I wonder how people from small towns with less life skills and maturity make the move from small town living to a big City like Washington DC.
Yeah... I've been to Alexandria, and I do not at all see how that in any way constitutes "big city living". It's suburban block after suburban block. Old Town is nice, the waterfront is nifty, but it's not a big city by anyone's understanding.

For that matter, D.C. isn't a big city. It's mostly a place where office buildings for the government are housed.

In response to city living, though, I grew up in Chicago suburbs and moved to the city immediately after, so I have a skewed perspective. I'm accustomed to studios and lofts that take a lot of creative redressing before they are suitable.
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Old 06-24-2008, 10:55 PM
NCN
 
Location: NC/SC Border Patrol
21,135 posts, read 21,875,914 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guestposter24 View Post
Oh great this is what's gonna happen to where I live.


No offense, but I think in general that a lot of people in places like NYC and LA really don't understand the rest of America.
I think you are exactly right about that. We used to live in a very rural area, actually I still do, but where I grew up was more so. We had a saying, "You can move from the country to the city, but you can't move from the city to the country." People who had lived in Southern Florida, The Northeastern United States, or other countries were just totally lost when they tried to move to our area. They did not know how to function on a daily basis. Cities are easy; everybody is crazy there. LOL

We have lived in Denver, CO., several towns and cities in NC with Charlotte the largest and according to my Dad, the city with the most trees he had ever seen. That was his comment when he was helping us move into our duplex in the Myers Park area. I might live in DC but I am not sure I would ever learn to drive there. I found town living too confined and we have a home in the country again. Give me wide open spaces. I would probably like your home on the lake if it was high on a hill overlooking the lake.

It is probably not nice to say this, but the most mixed-up person socially I have ever met was a person whose husband had worked in the Pentagon. Her entire life seemed to be a contest for trying to be more important than other people. She tried to rate people as to how important they were by determining how much education they had or by how rich they were or how much money they earned. She seemed to think she was too important to speak to some people. Unfortunately for her, she didn't have a clue what real importance was in our area. For instance, that little girl working as a receptionist who is much less educated than you and lives in a trailer at the edge of town may have more social standing than you do, because she just may be the mayor's niece. So again it is my feeling that it would be less hard to adjust to the city than to adjust to the country. Country living is much more complex.

Last edited by NCN; 06-24-2008 at 11:10 PM..
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Old 06-24-2008, 11:00 PM
 
835 posts, read 2,083,573 times
Reputation: 249
Quote:
Originally Posted by NCN View Post
I think you are exactly right about that. We used to live in a very rural area, actually I still do, but where I grew up was more so. We had a saying, "You can move from the country to the city, but you can't move from the city to the country." People who had lived in Southern Florida, The Northeastern United States, or other countries were just totally lost when they tried to move to our area. They did not know how to function on a daily basis. Cities are easy; everybody is crazy there. LOL

We have lived in Denver, CO., several towns and cities in NC with Charlotte the largest and according to my Dad, the city with the most trees he had ever seen. That was his comment when he was helping us move into our duplex in the Myers Park area. I might live in DC but I am not sure I would ever learn to drive there. I found town living too confined and we have a home in the country again. Give me wide open spaces. I would probably like your home on the lake if it was high on a hill overlooking the lake.

It is probably not nice to say this, but the most mixed-up person socially I have ever met was a person whose husband had worked in the Petagon. Her entire life seemed to be a contest for trying to be more important than other people. She tried to rate people as to how important they were. She seemed to think she was too important to speak to some people. Unfortunately for her, she didn't have a clue what real importance was in our area. So again it is my feeling that it would be less hard to adjust to the city than to adjust to the country. Country living is much more complex.
I was speaking in general but especially a small town.

I don't live in a small town but I still don't think a lot of people in NYC, LA, etc. understand the rest of America.
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Old 06-24-2008, 11:45 PM
NCN
 
Location: NC/SC Border Patrol
21,135 posts, read 21,875,914 times
Reputation: 23217
Quote:
Originally Posted by guestposter24 View Post
I was speaking in general but especially a small town.

I don't live in a small town but I still don't think a lot of people in NYC, LA, etc. understand the rest of America.

Yes and I was agreeing with you and then I got carried away. The only part of the question directly related to your post was that I agree. The rest was my personal experiences. I hope I did not offend you by the things I said. I have noticed some of the posters on these threads are not able to comprehend what some of the country posters are saying. We probably do not understand them either. I think it is good that we have this forum though. I have learned a lot on here and have tried to educate a few people too. Sometimes it works and sometimes it does not.

Am I right in thinking that you have traveled extensively. You got your understanding from somewhere!
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