CCU News / Opinion / World

50 States for 50 Students: Kansas

What is your name? 

Alex Pauli.  

Which state are you from? 


Have you lived there your whole life? 

Yes. I lived in the same house for 18 years and then moved to a house 15 minutes away for one year.  

Describe your state in three words. 

Flat, hospitable, and sunflowers – because Kansas is the sunflower state.  

Are you proud of being from your home state? Why or why not? 

Yes, I am. I think people from the Midwest are very genuine and I grew up where kindness was at the forefront of everything. I’m glad that my roots are somewhere simple because it’s given me such an appreciation for beauty like mountains and oceans. 

How did growing up in your state affect your childhood? 

I learned that I had to be grateful for what I had. My friends and I were forced to use our imagination because there wasn’t a lot to do. We didn’t have skiing and hiking so we would just go into the woods and pretend we were cowboys.  



Ope, let me sneak right on past ya. 



What kind of local traditions did your town have? 

BBQ. Lots of BBQ. Every major event was a BBQ. My dad is a certified BBQ judge. He goes downtown where there’s just a bunch of dudes with meat. Also the Chiefs are a huge deal.  

What was the culture like in your state/town? 

Again, very friendly. A lot of dinner parties and hanging out with people. Food was a big deal. Everything was focused around family, friends, and food. And BBQ.  

What kind of relationship did you have with your neighbors? 

Oh, I knew all of them. There was a trail system in my neighborhood. My neighbors and I  would bike and walk on the trail all the time together. I’d meet up with neighbors to swim and skate. I knew almost everyone in my neighborhood. Everyone would help each other out. 

What was your favorite thing to do in your home state / town? 

I liked to go biking and longboarding. I liked to hang out at a park with friends.  

Are there any foods that your state is famous for? 

BBQ. Pulled pork, brisket, any kind of BBQ meat.   

Is there any slang from your home state that you use frequently? 

‘Ope’ –  I use that a lot. A lot of Midwestern stuff like “Ope, let me sneak right on past ya.”  

Do you have any local celebrities? 

Paul Rudd is from Kansas City.  

What are your favorite and least favorite parts of your home state? 

My least favorite part is that there’s not much to do. My favorite childhood memories were leaving the state. I felt like I had to get out to have fun, especially during the winter. My favorite part of growing up in Kansas is how open my childhood felt. I would just get up in the morning and go biking with my friends. I could literally bike 20 miles if I wanted to. It was a very carefree and friendly childhood. 



BBQ. Lots of BBQ. 



What are your favorite and least favorite parts of Colorado? 

The mountains are my favorite part. I love everything about the mountains: skiing, climbing, hiking, everything. I don’t like that it doesn’t rain here. I miss thunderstorms. It will only rain for like 20 minutes here while back home it will rain for four days straight. I miss that solemn, chill feeling of when it rains.  

What drew you to CCU / Colorado? 

A lot of things. The mountains and the skiing definitely drew me. I was drawn to CCU specifically because of the media program and the opportunity to go to the Super Bowl with the media team. When I was looking at colleges, I felt like I needed to go to CCU but I didn’t know why because they didn’t have my specific major. But during my preview, they played a video about the Super Bowl and that blew me away. I was trying to find a reason to not go to a Christian school but this was God just really showing me that I needed to come here. And it’s paid off.  

How has living in Colorado changed your lifestyle? 

I dress a lot differently. Brands like Patagonia and Cotopaxi are more important to me now. My lingo has changed too. I shorten things now. I say ‘pow’and ‘steez’ and ‘yew’ unironically when I’m skiing.  



It’s flatter than a pancake. 



If someone were to visit your home state, what would you recommend they do? 

Leave. Go to Colorado. No but seriously, I would tell them to get BBQ. Good BBQ and… dude, that’s about it. All of the things that were fun growing up were things we just made fun. Kansas doesn’t really offer anything. Just BBQ, you get it. Maybe, go to a sunflower field.  

After graduation, do you plan on staying in Colorado, returning to your home state, or going somewhere else? 

I definitely will not go back to the Midwest. I would love to stay in Colorado or any state that offers that outdoor lifestyle. I want to stay out West for sure. 

What are the most common stereotypes about your state and are they true? 

The stereotype is that we’re boring. There’s always so many Wizard of Oz jokes – they’re not funny. Another stereotype is that we all live on a farm. That one’s not true.  

What is the most common reaction you get when you tell people where you’re from? 

They apologize.  

What is something surprising about your state that most people don’t know? 

It’s flatter than a pancake. Also, the good part of Kansas City is in Missouri. The Chiefs and the Royals are both Missouri teams.  


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