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The Last Rodeo: A South Dakotan Intern’s Reflection On His Last Day in Mankato

The day has come, the final day of a summer internship here at Radio Mankato has arrived inevitably. Throughout the past three months, I have been writing up blogs for the websites, uploading audio content for our Mixclouds, cleaning out closets and vehicles and going out to events around the Mankato community, and all I can say is I wouldn’t trade it for anything. If I could go back to my first day and do it all over again, I think I would. Not only was it a great summer working for the station, but for soaking in a Mankato summer for the first time in my life, since I have had had South Dakotan summers for the majority of my life.

I have to say, after coming from a town called Claremont (never heard of it I’m assuming) a little town with fewer than 100 people (Go Honkers), the city of Mankato is a whole new world to spend a summer and thanks to my dear sister (shoutout to Justine) I was able to enjoy my time here. She got a job out here as an Occupation Therapy Assitant (still not sure what that exactly is) last year and has lived out here ever since. Instead of the only excitement coming from a train cart smack dab in the middle of our humble South Dakotan town or our only eating option coming from a gas station turned bar, Mankato provided many more options for my pleasure. After spending the past three, almost four months here in Mankato and the state of Minnesota, I picked apart a couple differences between the neighboring states and wanted to make a list:

  1. Vehicles – Seriously like, we still walk or ride our horses to get around from point A to point B. This summer was my first time driving a car and just like riding a horse, I go nice and easy, just ask Stunt Monkey or anyone who rode in a vehicle with me how I drive.
  2. Music – Hot 96.7 was my first time being exposed to pop music. The first time hearing a Cardi B was jaw-dropping, the lyrics were unbelievably provocative. The only music legal in South Dakota is country music, so Minnesota 93 and KRRW would be the only acceptable stations in the South Dakota territory, everything else is outlawed.
  3. Radio – What an amazing concept. Hearing music over airwaves from satellites in outer space is out of this world, literally. The only music source we get is when we gather around a campfire with our horses hitched and cans of beans in our hands and sing a couple of campfire tunes. Yippie-yo-yo-yay.
  4. Wi-Fi – People complain about the wi-fi or the computers being slow. You guys don’t even know because we ain’t got no technology. Go read any Little House on the Prarie book and everything you read is an everyday reality in South Dakota.
  5. Accents – Minnesotans got that distinct Minne-SOH-tan accent, everyone in South Dakota just speaks normal English.
  6. Jersey Mike’s – I believe we don’t have a Jersey Mike’s sandwich shop in the South Dakota territory, but man that place makes a fine sandwich.
  7. Netflix, Hulu, etc. – Unbelievable. All these television programs that can be accessed anytime anywhere. I will definitely be Netflix and chilling more often, or maybe more like Amazon Prime and commitment for this guy.
  8. Social Media – You’re telling me I can open up a Snapchat map and be able to locate anyone and know their exact coordinates? This is way better than a compass.
  9.  Millenial Lingo – I guess the word “bet” isn’t only something you do in a casino, but to prove that you aren’t a coward or something like that.

And finally…..

10. Clean water – I honestly thought people only drank from river banks and small creeks until I crossed the line after spending endless days and nights searching for some clean water. I guess you guys drink from plastic water bottles or filter your H2O. Very convenient.

All joking aside, South Dakota is pretty much the same from Minnesota. We all got the Midwest personality and yes we do have cars, but I still drive incredibly slow. Believe me, I’ve heard all the jokes. I also got jokes for being a South Dakotan but it’s all in good fun and I will miss that a lot around here. I’m going to miss Mankato and all the memories made here at Radio Mankato.I’ll miss marching the parades and throwing out too much candy or driving the van too slow or taking quick road trips from the station to get some food or to fill any of our station vehicles, but more importantly I’ll miss the people.  I was incredibly lucky to be able to work with a good bunch of fellow interns in which I look forward to a Summer Interns of 2018  reunion someday. I’ll miss Molly’s randomness and all the weird noises she made in the cubicle by the intern desk, always seeing our desk lady Rachel the first thing when I walked in and getting a “hey man” from her, and of course I’ll miss Stunt Monkey, because well, he’s Stunt Monkey.

I’d rather not say goodbye but rather see you later because whenever I come back around to visit the sister I might just pop in to say hello. Thank you to everyone I was fortunate to meet along this journey. Time flies and it comes and goes, but memories are forever. Thanks again Mankato.


-Intern Sam, a.k.a Intern South Dakota, a.k.a. coozie boy