D’Juneau, why the question??  Awww, Just Being Jenny

I chose the assignment “What’s In A Name?” https://assignments.ds106.us/?s=what%27s+in+a+name&post_type=stufftodo&assignmenttypes=writingAssignments to explain early in the life of this website why the title, “D’Juneau?”  It happens to be a play on the name of my home of origin, Juneau, Alaska.  I left when I was only 4 but was imprinted on the magnificence of the mountains, waters and wild of the land. I was transplanted to the small town of Waukon in the middle of dairy farming in the Driftless Area of Northeast Iowa.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Driftless_Area

Juneau Alaska, taken from Douglas Island

Waukon.  Driftless.  What’s in a name??  Makes you wonder.  I always felt like an outsider and when I was 17 and out of high school, I walked on, drifted away, to college.  First it was only 20 miles away to Luther College and then the summers in Yellowstone, then the leap across the Rockies to Oregon State University.

But growing up, the word “Juneau” was an unusual name so whenever it came up, I always made it funny and still do, d’juneau?  Then, when people figured out how to pronounce it, the awkward and strange became familiar to them.  It also made me, the awkward and strange outsider from Alaska, okay and familiar to them.  All the while, they never knew what I was doing, which was simply working to break into, and belong in their circle.  D’Juneau what I mean?

Then there’s my first name, Jenny.  A jenny is a female ass and I can be quite stubborn, especially when someone tells me I can’t do something because I’m a woman.  Like when I was told I wasn’t allowed to go to Marine Corps Officer Candidate School because I was enlisted and married to an enlisted man.  Or that I couldn’t jump out of a helicopter and go SPIE rigging.  Or drive a tank, or go to Okinawa, Japan, pregnant while on active duty when women were supposed to get out of the Marines; or teach a platoon of women the manual of arms with rifles for a parade when specifically told not to.  All of these things I did anyway.  Just Being Jenny.

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Olivia

    That is so cool that you’re originally from Juneau! That picture is beautiful btw, I would love to visit Alaska some day. Have you ever gone back since leaving when you were young? And I bet moving from Alaska to Iowa was quite the cultural shock! I love what you wrote, you seem to have lived quite the interesting life and can’t wait to see more of your posts throughout the rest of the semester!

    1. admin

      Olivia, thank you so much! I’m so tired right now, trying to figure everything out–I wish I was faster with the learning curve so I could enjoy all of this! Yes, I went back to Alaska in 2008 but to Anchorage and Fairbanks. I plan to go back soon, maybe this summer or the next. I’m making a plan to work on my mom’s history sp it gives me an excuse. You must go! It’s the most awesome, wild, land! I hope to catch up with everyone so I can enjoy your adventures, too!

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