What’s a Sconnie?

I am a Sconnie!

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Have you ever heard of this term? If you’re not from Wisconsin, you probably haven’t.

When I began college in 2001, I was your typical naive college freshman. Although I had traveled around the country a little, I didn’t know how different (not in a bad way) people could be depending on where they grew up in the country. Like I said – naive. I lived in a private dorm my freshman year and met people from all over the country: Minnesota, New York, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, and California.

One obvious difference I noticed immediately was how some of my fellow female college students stood out; the girls often wore brown Uggs, big sunglasses, North Face, and threw their hair into a I-just-rolled-out-of-bed ponytail. Their attitude was one of confidence and sometimes superiority (or at least how that’s how I interpreted it as an 18 year old). These UW students, during my four years there, slowly became known as Coasties. Many of them were from the East Coast but sometimes girls with a similar look or “swagger” were from Chicago or Minnesota.

*Side note: One reason UW has so many students from New Jersey and New York is that in the 1930s, it was common for universities to have a quota on how many Jewish students were accepted each year. The UW had no quota and welcomed them. Often times, when a parent attends a university, there’s a gentle (or sometimes forceful) push for the child to also attend the school; I would guess this is why the UW still has so many students from the East Coast.

My best friend my freshman year was from New York, but I definitely would not have labeled her a Coastie. I also became friends with girls who would’ve been deemed Coasties, so I have no beef with them. Like I said, I was more intimidated by them.

I have no clue who created this term and don’t know how people from the East Coast feel about it. But there was obviously enough of a difference between non-east coast students and these Coasties that this label was developed.

From the Coasties came Sconnies: people who embrace the Wisconsin lifestyle (according to Urban Dictionary). IMO, I always thought a Sconnie was someone who went to UW and was from Wisconsin. Again, I don’t know who created the term, whether it was a Sconnie him/herself or a Coastie in “retaliation.”

While researching this topic, I came across two videos: “I’m a Coastie” and, in response, “I’m a Sconnie.” (Check them out on Youtube if you’re interested.) Both drop stereotypes that are of course not true for everyone from the respective states but I take as being all in good fun. For example, I like cheese and beer but also drink Starbucks, wear big sunglasses, and have a pair of Uggs.

Anyways, all I’m trying to say is that I accept the Sconnie label and embrace my UW, beer-drinking, cheese-eating culture. While not all labels are positive and there’s an obvious difference between accepting a label and having one thrust upon you (that is a whole different conversation and one that is a little too heavy for this forum), I am totally happy wearing my Sconnie shirt.

I will be at the Badger game tomorrow as well. Go Badgers!

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Questions:

Thankful Thursday

I remembered! Starting this morning as I wrote with my students (my writing classes begin with ten silent minutes of “free writing”), I began thinking of what I am thankful for. Now that the day is over and I am reflecting, I realize I had a freaking awesome day.

Driving Alone into Beautiful Sunrises
I drove alone this morning; while it saves lots of money carpooling and allows me to be productive (e.g. take pictures of my hair in the backseat), I miss driving myself also. Because of coaching, I used to drive alone three to four times a week for about seven months of the school year. The quiet time with my iced coffee and terrible (but amazing) rap and hip hop music or talk radio got me ready for the day. I had no option to grade quizzes or essays like I do now, or even the ability to feel guilty for not grading. Anyways, I felt happy driving into the sun this morning.

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Craigslist
Every so often, I decide we have too much stuff that we don’t need or use and that we need to sell all of it on Craigslist. In the past I have sold a bookcase, an iTouch, a Sam Adams beer mirror, and a car. And today I sold two camera lenses! I had only gotten a couple interested emails, including one that was obviously a scam, but this one was legit. The girl and I chatted and texted to exchange information about the lenses and met at Target. She was a girl (Brody said that even though she sounded like a girl on the phone, she might not be one), she was alone (Brody was worried she’d bring someone and they would kidnap me and he’d have no one to do his laundry…jk), and she was normal (don’t we all fear that the people selling and buying on Craiglist are creepy?). If anyone wants a flat iron, I still have that available on Craigslist for $15.

Babies
A couple who Brody and I met a few years ago just had a baby. I called and offered to bring dinner over for them, assuming they hadn’t had much time for cooking or eating “real” meals. Rachel asked if I wanted to stay over to enjoy the dinner with them and Baby Jordan and watch the Badger game, so I did. I made Spicy Thai Beef from Skinny Taste and brought Ben & Jerry’s Cinnamon Buns ice cream (new pint, not Brody’s).

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Jordan’s parents were sweet enough to let me hold him for about half an hour. He just slept and sucked on his pacifier. I wanted to bring my camera to take a picture, but I forgot. If I only had an iPhone…
Here’s a picture of him from Facebook; check out all of those skin folds!

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Jordan is not even three weeks old and he is still a little guy. He was 6 lbs. 10 oz., lost a few when he got home, and is now getting close to 7 lbs. It is just insane how little everything is – their nails always blow me away!

The Badgers
Yes, they lost, and that is sad, but it also meant my principal declared today a spirit day. This means that we are allowed to wear jeans, but we had to wear either Wisconsin or Marquette gear. My unprofessional attire for the day included jeans, short sleeve red Sconnie shirt, and black Havianna flip flops. I looked at myself in the mirror around 10am and realized I looked like a twelve year old. My Wisconsin shirt did serve as a “teachable moment” though, as many of my students did not understand the term Sconnie.

To end this day, I will leave you with a quote I found this morning said by Fitzhugh Dodsen:
“Without goals, and plans to reach them, you are like a ship that has set sail with no destination.”

Question:
What are thankful for today?