Friday, November 28, 2008

Peculiarities of Provo

(Also, Salt Lake and BYU):

Before we begin, I have to direct you to my friend KE's posting about being from Provo, which expresses my own feelings about being from this city pretty exactly:

  1. It's really quite beautiful here. The mountain turns gorgeous colors in the spring, when it is green; in the winter, the few times when it is white; and in the fall, when becomes a gorgeous blanket of oranges and reds and yellows. In the mornings, especially winter mornings, the frosty whiteness of the world is breathtaking (along with the cold). And you can still see some stars here, and stars are beautiful no matter where you are.

  2. We have world-class dancing. Which is to say, we have the world's two top ballroom dance teams within about ten miles of each other (one at BYU, the other at UVU). Some people would say: not many people really care about ballroom dance, let alone team ballroom dance-- but I personally find it impressive. I have heard thirdhand that BYU goes to the dance championships in Blackpool, England (you know, the city featured in both the American and the Japanese Shall We Dance movies) every third year, and that the UVU team goes the years that BYU doesn't go because "we might as well not travel thousands of miles to have them beat us."

  3. We also have language. The department chair of my current department (Linguistics and English Language) told a story about how he was at Macey's (local, heavily-Mormon-supported grocery store) and there came an announcement over the PA system asking if anyone in the store spoke Russian. When he wandered by the service desk a few minutes later, there were two young men chatting away with an older couple-- in Russian. This same department chair, William Eggington, is very proud of himself for being the guy who came up with the idea for the "I speak (name of a language)" buttons that they used in the 2002 Winter Olympics. I could go on, this being one of my favorite subjects, but I will press forward with...

  4. We have Polynesians. Salt Lake City has the largest population of Maoris (natives of New Zeland) in the world outside of New Zeland itself, which is why when Whale Rider came out, our own SLC was one of the premier cities. What, you haven't seen Whale Rider? Go watch it. Now.

  5. Orem City Library
  6. More orchestras and choirs than you can shake a stick at
  7. I think that's enough, for now

1 comment:

kjh said...

I too love Provo, and Utah Valley in general.

I have to agree with those who call life in Provo "sheltered." However, we tend to differ on the judgment of this as a negative thing! I would far rather have my children here at their tender ages, and I'm grateful circumstances have allowed me to make that choice.

Another aspect of Provo is the unusually high number of stay at home moms, and the cultural support for them. This alone might be responsible for the exceptionally high quality of our school, in spite of our (criminal) lack of financial support for them. Just think what we could do with more of said support....

As I have visited other places recently, it has struck me how unique it is to live up against the side of a mountain. Many places with mountains do not have such stark, high cliffs practically in the middle of their city. Also, being in this valley and having a lake here affect many many aspects of our lives; I really do love it here.