Monday, May 5, 2008

Heather Culligan

This is Heather and this is her place.

Who are you? I'm Heather Culligan, software trainer for the University of Utah Healthcare system.

What is your place? My place is the airplane observation area at the south end of the Salt Lake City International airport.

Sounds silly, I know, but there is a parking lot near the golf course where you could sit and watch the planes land and listen to the control tower talk to the pilots. At least, that was the case before the attacks on the world trade center on 9/11 since the parking lot is now closed.

Why is this place special to you? I was born and raised in Sandy and in my early teenage years I began to realize I didn't "fit in". I was raised in an LDS family and I did not agree with most of the conservative teachings of the LDS church and the community has a whole. As long as I can remember, my goals in life were to get out of Utah.

When I was in high school, I went out with a group of friends one night. It was the typical driving around asking "what should we do?". One person in the group drove us to this spot to hang out and I loved it. He and I were such good friends for many years and we frequently found ourselves driving to this parking lot to watch the planes land. We had some of the deepest conversations I have ever had about life, religion, etc. I found myself driving out there often when I felt frustrated or upset and just needed a place to clear my head. It almost gave me an optimistic hope that some day I would get out of Utah.

What do you enjoy most about Salt Lake City? The things I love are also the things I hate. The mountains, the people, and the politics.

  • The mountains/other scenery - GORGEOUS! But I suffer from hay fever. Luckily nothing some prescription drugs can't handle.
  • The people - there are some absolutely wonderful people here in Salt Lake. However, there is also quite the population of ultra-conservative and closed minded people.
  • The politics - on some level it is fun to be a progressive in Salt Lake because of the strong community of progressive people. However, the downside is you are often the victim of the ultra-conservative, special-interest, republican legislature.

What do you dislike about Salt Lake City? See answer above.

Do you have any additional comments about living here? On the surface, it is easy to believe the stereotypes that "outsiders" have of Utah but look a bit deeper and Salt Lake has come pretty cool stuff to offer (from the ignorant perspective of a native Utahn, possibly?).

How do you get around town? Due to my job, I am forced to drive to work many days. However, when I can, I bike, take UTA, or even walk.

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