When I was growing up, Kansas might as well have been Oz. It felt about as real then, before my parents moved from our small New England town to the Plains. I moved in with them not long after, while I was taking time off from college. Looking for something worthwhile to do, I ended up in an accounting course at Johnson County Community College, in the Kansas City suburb of Overland Park.
My professor, Ellen Fisher, had been teaching Accounting 101 since the early 1980s, and to me, a transplant, she embodied the best of the Midwest. She was humble, chipper, and very, very nice. I asked the dumbest questions about the most rudimentary concepts. She burst with enthusiasm as she broke them down into terms that even I could understand.