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After my arrival in Minneapolis, Minnesota, we traveled three hours north to Deerwood, Minnesota. The long drive showed me many parts of the unknown Minnesota countryside that ironically reminded me of home. Throughout the week, the other boys in the camp began to notice the differences in the “southern boys” to the rest of the kids. They were constantly commenting on our strange accents and the bizarre words we used. I can recall an incident when I bought a coke at the concession stand. I asked the cashier for a coke not thinking it would confuse her in anyway. She replied, “What kind of soda pop would you like?” I was puzzled by her remark and answered by saying, “just a coke please.” Right away, I could tell by the cashier’s facial expression that she found a great deal of humor in my comment. “We only sell Pepsi products so I’m guessing you just want a Pepsi,” said the cashier. To this day I am still not sure why, but I was furious by her comment. Nevertheless, at that moment I realized that where you are from has an effect on you language.
Over the years, the game of lacrosse has grown rapidly in the south. It seems like each year more and more high schools across the south are sanctioning the sport. However, it was not long ago that lacrosse was nothing but an old Native American pastime in southerner’s eyes. I on the other hand was familiar with the game because of its close relationship it has with hockey.
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I went to the camp with the idea of expanding my hockey skills; instead, I walked away with much more. Experiencing other cultures helps people grow and learn to accept one another. Even though northern people talked different, play different sports, and ate different food deep down inside we are all Americans.