In 1973, I lived in Grand Forks, North Dakota, which is located on the Red River. Like the Nile, the Red flows northward, one of the few rivers in the world to do so.
That spring, a river wasn't the only thing flowing north from Grand Forks. My junior high school fed a steady pipeline of exchange students up to Winnipeg, Manitoba, which also is located on the Red.
I don't know how teachers picked kids for these trips, but I suspect only the best and brightest made the cut. Let's be clear: I've never been among the best and brightest in my life—which explains much of what follows.Read More