Stop the violence!

On a whole, Indiana is a pretty low-profile state. In the election, eyes were on the Midwest swing states surrounding us, and we weren't among them. We're the quiet corn-farmers who call our state 'The Crossroads of America' because we have more miles of interstate highway per sq mi., and no one has any reason to stop on their way through. Recently, however, Indiana's been in the news more than we would like. The country is still talking about last week's ridiculous fight between the Indiana Pacers, Detroit Pistons, and fans. The center of attention has been on Indiana's own players and how they attacked fans in the Detroit stands.
And, more seriously, today, a high schooler in Valparaiso, Indiana stabbed classmates with two knives he brought to school. The Ball State shooting by campus police, involving a Taylor grad, is back in the news. To top it all off, a report released Monday ranks an Indiana city- Gary of The Music Man fame- the fifth most dangerous in the nation.
It's funny, contrary to what the news is portraying, Hoosiers are not dangerous, violent people. Just to clear that up. I feel safer living where I have in Indiana than anywhere I've lived. Indianapolis is a clean, safe city. Carmel even more so. Upland is the epitome of friendly small-town America.
On a different note, I can't believe I'm saying this. It has only been fairly recently I've warmed up to Indiana. I previously thought it was a cold, horribly boring state. While those things have yet to be refuted, I've finally seen good things in it. Spending the summer outside of the suburbs and city gave me a glimpse of the beauty of the landscape. Spending time outside the urban areas also has shown me the value of smaller, tight communities found all over rural Indiana. I now see this dull, chilly state as beautiful.

In other news, I cooked a sweet potato casserole today got a good chunk of Christmas shopping done. Shopping and cooking: this can't be Joanna.

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