So… I haven’t been posting in awhile. Not because nothing is happening but also because I don’t think absolutely everything that happens to me should be posted on my blog. I think it’s generally better to be reflective when posting then posting in the heat of the moment,
Anyway. I’m really glad to be back in Detroit. Now, I know most of you are thinking…but Sara, don’t you live in the suburbs, and that doesn’t count. This is true, but I do go to class in Midtown Detroit, 4 days a week, in the heart of the city.
I remember a conversation in our PCV transit house in Ouagadougou where we were sitting around the communal table and trying to decide what was the worst city in America. Almost everyone except me said Detroit. I asked had any of them actually traveled to Detroit? And of course, no one had. Sure, Detroit has had less than stellar moments, including the Kwame Kilpatrick scandal, bankruptcy and the auto bailouts, But no city is perfect.
A few weeks ago I went to Chicago to visit a good friend from U of I who is currently an M4 at Northwestern Medical School. I kept marveling at how nice it was to walk around the city and see everything and walk down to the lake, and take in so many cultural things like the Shedd, the Field Museum, and Lincoln Park Zoo. I was able to take the L and the bus everywhere we wanted to go. I told her that she was always welcome to visit me in Detroit.
While I was in Chicago, I was constantly getting Facebook notifications about a potential G24 stage (training class) reunion on Facebook and arguing over whether to have it in NYC, Boston, and Chicago. I thought about suggesting Detroit, but after that conversation at the Transit House, I knew it would be met with a resounding no. “Oh yeah, let’s go to Detroit and look at all the Ruin Porn!” That whole concept of “Ruin Porn” makes me sick. If you are coming to Detroit just to look for Ruin Porn you are missing out on all that the city has to offer. The museum district is fantastic with many museums within walking distance of each other. And don’t forget Dearborn! Some of the best food in the city and the Henry Ford Museum with Greenfield Village.
In general, whenever I welcome someone to the Detroit area they are generally less than enthusiastic at the offer. Sure, we don’t have mass transit (oh wait, it’s called the automobile), but things are picking up. Last weekend I went to Joe Louis Arena to see the ISU Skate America Men’s Free Skate and Ice Dancing Free Dance competition. We went to Greektown for dinner and it was HOPPING! There were a ton of people on the streets having a good time. The People Mover was super convenient and we were able to get right from Greektown to the Joe easily.
I am really glad to be in a metropolitan area for these post-bacc courses and not in a college-town bubble. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVED Champaign-Urbana, but things here seem more realistic. In my classes there are Nurses, Doctors, Genetic Counselors, (people who have actual jobs) and that motivates me even more to succeed in my classes.
In other news, I have recently become an RPCV applicant mentor, advising a Peace Corps applicant during the application process, and become somewhat of an “informal recruiter” at my university, working with a Regional Recruiter in Chicago to set up Peace Corps information Sessions and a table at the Student Center, all in the Detroit area.
Detroit isn’t what you think, a city brimming with culture and life. Sure, we might not be like NYC, Boston, Chicago, or DC, but there are some gems that you cannot find anywhere else right in our backyard.