From the Editor
I throw around 'y'all' enough in conversation to appall my grandmother. Unlike most students who grow up in North Carolina, half of my family lives in California, which means my grandparents live the lives of 'cool Californians.' At least they think they're cool. And they think that only uneducated Southerners use 'y'all.'
I'm reminded of this every Christmas when I slip a casual, 'What do y'all want to do?" into conversation. I can't help but anticipate my grandmother's, "Shannon. Do you really use 'y'all?'"
I've been thinking about it and, well, I guess I do. The phrase came upon me gradually; I never thought I'd one day be a 'y'all' user, but now that I am, I'm quite proud of it.
'Y'all' is just one of those words that encapsulates Southern culture; it's warm and inclusive; hospitable, even. It's never self-righteous or egotistical. And on a campus that wants to use 'first-year' for 'freshman,' it's an easy way to remain gender-neutral (try saying "hey guys" the next time you're surrounded by girls). If you're a non-native like me, 'y'all' is one of those phrases that bring a sense of belonging.
And I'm far from being uneducated, just saying.
I won't claim to have the deep Southern roots of heavily twanged natives. But I'd like to think that I'm still a product of Southern culture. In ten years, I've grown to love eastern barbecue, sweet tea and Civil War history. Most of all, I've grown to love being obsessed over Tar Heel basketball.
Throughout my Southern education, I never thought I'd one day fall into editing a magazine. But here I am. "Blue & White," like Southern culture and 'y'all' is just one more thing in life that's surprised me.
That said, I love embracing these pleasant surprises, and I couldn't be more excited to bring you our first issue of 2011; we have a mix of Southern and quintessential Carolina stories to share.
Our new "Southern Charm" columnists share typical Southern beverages (page 8) and offer a Northern perspective on why the South can make you homesick (page 9).
Speaking of homesickness, transfer graduate student and varsity basketball player Justin Knox spends some quality time sharing a thing or two about grad school aspirations and, oh yeah, basketball (page 16).
And my favorite part: the raw power of a group of female boxers who have long since shed that 'Southern Belle' stereotype (page 10).
I hope y'all enjoy!