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The North Wind

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Hello! My name is Joleigh Martinez, I have been happily working for the North Wind since Sophomore year of my NMU career. I am majoring in Native American Studies and double minoring in Construction systems...

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

THE END — Me, sipping my tea, as I prepare for my last few days at Northern. Finishing college is a tad more anxiety-inducing than I expected, but it feels good nonetheless.
Opinion — A nervous editor's reflections on time spent at NMU
Harry StineDecember 8, 2023

Satire — My Backup Plan: Joining the Twin Oaks planned community

Joleigh Martinez/NW
UTOPIAN SOCIETY — The Twin Oaks Intentional Community, a stretch of land I plan to escape too if my career flops. Twin Oaks has been in operation since 1967.

Real quick, a few things about me. I’m in my last semester at NMU. I major in multimedia journalism, I minor in multimedia production and political science, and I work two jobs. Last week I worked nearly 50 hours. I often think about life after college, and how I will work even more and sacrifice even more of my time.

You see, what I took out of my multimedia journalism degree and my political science minor, is that the pursuit and sharing of knowledge is important, but I also learned that everything just gets kind of worse as you get older. Things get harder, bills pile on, and I never seem to stop being tired.

So that’s why I planned out some “insurance” if this whole news/politics thing doesn’t work out. You see, if nothing works out for me, I decided I can always run away to Virginia and join the Twin Oaks Intentional Community. Twin Oaks is the closest thing we have to a true socialist community in the U.S., a patch of land filled with agricultural work, shared living spaces, and no live TV.

But most importantly, it’s disconnected enough from Northern and the Upper Peninsula that I can completely remove myself from society and start over. Literally nobody will know I’m there. I just have to make sure I don’t post about it. At Twin Oaks, I will share nearly everything with other people, not out of a sense of socialist ideals, but out of a sense of total and utter defeat. 

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This may place me at odds with my fellow Twin Oaks community members, but I don’t care. I’ve spent the last four years learning the best way to create a story, so I certainly know how to lie. Besides, in this economy, room and board in return for manual labor sounds like a sweet deal, so who cares if I barely have any personal belongings?

At Twin Oaks, income is shared with the rest of the community. This removes the pitfalls of the class system and puts everyone on level ground. This is actually very good news for me, because I have no money. I have almost nothing to lose, except the miniscule thread which I refer to as my self-respect.

I should say, the Twin Oaks Intentional Community was created as a place that values community, nonviolence and conservation, while fighting against racism, sexism, and all other forms of inequality. The community aims to create a peaceful place where people can live in harmony, seemingly free from the capitalist hellscape that we live in.

This all makes it the perfect place for me to run away too. Nobody will know how obnoxious I am. Nobody will know I lied about reading Infinite Jest because I thought I’d sound cool. Nobody will even know that I wrote my first college essay about a Friday the 13th sequel. People will think I’m a chill, mild-mannered guy who likes Mark Fisher, but not to the point where I over explain his essays like I do in my normal life.

Always have a backup plan. If things get too hard, you can always give up and escape to an experimental utopian outpost where you can pretend you’re a normal person. Just don’t pick mine.

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About the Contributor
Harry Stine, Opinion Editor
In 2021, after one year of college and a semester of studying as a Public Relations major, I realized I wanted to be a journalist and not much else. After eagerly applying to be a Copy Editor, without even knowing AP style at that point, I started doing the occasional contributing writer piece for The North Wind. My frequent topic was satire. When I heard The North Wind was going through another round of hires, and a spot was open for an Assistant Features Editor, I applied in a heartbeat. I still do the occasional satire piece, but I take great pride in exploring NMU and Marquette for my topics, and finally having my head wrapped around AP style.