Monochrome Monday #70

Happy Monday! It’s the last week of classes for the semester and I have so much to do, but I feel numb to it all. I have a research paper due on Thursday and I just started it last night (does it count as a research paper if I’m literally just typing up my class notes…). I have another research paper and my teaching philosophy due next Tuesday. I also have a bunch of papers to grade for the class I TA for. This is what it means to be a graduate student. But I’m taking some time out of my busy schedule to post yet another Monochrome Monday. Everyone needs a little pick-me-up at the start of the week, so here’s what I have to offer:

Long Hair and Cowboy Boots

Long Hair and Cowboy Boots. I think that’s the defining characteristics of this throwback. This was, like, spring break 2011 or so (actually, yes, this was definitely spring break ’11 because that was the last time I (technically) went home for spring break). Anyway, it’s been a while since I’ve featured my friend Mary Jane on the blog. This was back before both of us got ridiculously busy trying to prep ourselves for changing the face of education. Both of us are in school to (basically) become teachers of some sort. She’s just a little cooler because she wants to be a chemistry teacher and work with exceptional/special needs children. I think that makes her brave and wonderful because how many people want to do something that amazing and inspiring?

But that’s Nashville for you.

What does that have to do with anything?

Well, I recently read this article about how more and more celebrities are choosing to live in my hometown. Not that we’re a Mecca for celebs or anything, but it’s not uncommon to see Nicole Kidman, Jack White, or Taylor Swift, all of whom currently reside or once lived in Nashville. Which means we have a lot of talent. Talent like students who aspire to greatness, rising to the challenge of educating those with special needs who deserve a quality education just like everyone else (see that connection I just made there? Teehee). What I found astonishing about the article was the number of comments that were like, “Why would you move to Nashville? Tennessee is a red state. How dare they ruin such a place with their liberalism (or) watch out, you’ll be brainwashed by those conservatives!” What even, people? If anything, Nashville is the bluest, most liberal place in the entire state (not that I would call that a hard feat to achieve…).

Even more, people chose to live in Nashville because it’s diverse. We’re the perfect mix of hipster, country, urban, international and modern. We don cowboy boots in the summer and beanies in the winter. We sit in coffee shops year round and going to concerts is a nightly occurrence. But we’re also just a simple, quiet kind of people. I wouldn’t say there’s too much hustle and bustle (save for, you know, rush hour traffic and major events like a Vandy-UT football/basketball game). People come here (there…since I’m in Honolulu right now) because there’s a sense of community and southern hospitality that many bigger cities don’t have. Also, Nashville is just downright beautiful and perfect for photography. (Look at me bring it back again. Connection making! My professors should be proud.)

Take the above image for example. It was taken at the Greenway. I had never even known about its existence until Mary Jane introduced it to me a few years back. I would pass it all the time when going to Target or out to dinner. Nashville has a lot of places like that; hidden treasures to discover whenever you’re looking for adventure. And when you find those places, you want to capture them and spend as much time there as you can. My home is carved into the face of one of the most beautiful valleys in the country and filled with some of the most talented people in the world, celebrities and ordinary folk alike.

And all we want out of our simple lives is long hair and cowboy boots. Yeah, that’s Nashville for you.

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