I've recently started reading a book called "The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl" by Timothy Egan. The Dust Bowl is one of those periods in history that I remember studying in school, but don't remember much about. I'm trying to rectify that with this book. I'm not too far into it, but already I'm intrigued.
It's quite interesting to see the lessons we still haven't learned repeat themselves. For instance, when people realized there was money to be had in farming No Man's Land, offers of credit came flowing in during the 1920s. The banks rarely said no, and people started taking out loans for all kinds of stuff, such as tractors, houses, etc. As I read this, I thought, "Well, I can see where this is going..." The outpouring of easy credit and mounting of tons of debt sound awfully familiar, huh? Also, the devastation to the land as people tore it up in search of a quick buck parallels the environmental destruction going on throughout the world today. It's no wonder the land fought back with the Dust Bowl. Another lesson that caught my eye was the swindling of people buying land; the founding of Boise City, Oklahoma, is a great example. Two developers sent brochures to people telling of how amazing this place was, complete with pictures of gleaming houses, tree-lined paved streets, and a train station. It wasn't until after selling 3,000 lots that people realized it was a sham, and not one bit of what they were promised was true. This reminded me of the time I spent as a mortgage banker in 2007, trying to help people who had been swindled into subprime mortgages with shady terms. I'm curious to see what other parallels exist between the days of the Dust Bowl and our modern day.
The dust is beginning to settle on my time here at Ivy Tech. I only have one final left (for Spanish 202 on Thursday), and then I'm done. My graduation ceremony was Sunday, and it felt amazing to walk across the stage and be recognized for my efforts (though, truth be told, it doesn't feel quite as final when you have finals AFTER the ceremony, harrumph), as well as to have my family cheering for me. I've worked really hard to get here, and it's paid off. I graduated magna cum laude (would've been summa cum laude, had it not been for the two classes where I didn't finish with an A, which--surprise, surprise!--were both math classes), I've already been accepted to Purdue, and now I can say I have a college diploma. I've overcome a lot, and though it's taken me four years to graduate, not once did I ever consider giving up. I'm proud of what I've achieved, and am looking forward to what the future holds in store. I'm grateful for what I've experienced at Ivy Tech, and will look back on my time here fondly. Onward and upward I go!