Tulsa has become known in the last decade for its focus on local business and its hipster sensibilities. The “Oil Capital of the World” isn’t always the land of milk and honey, though.
Xander Freeman has lived in Tulsa his entire life, and it shows, both on his face and on his “This Land” tank top. The freshman anthropology major recently approached writers at the State-Run Media with a problem. One that he can’t drown in The Phoenix’s hazelnut frappes. The problem, according to Freeman, stems from the fact that his out-of-state friends “just don’t believe that Tulsa is cool.”
“It is my duty to show them the error of their ways,” stated Freeman in an interview at a local restaurant known for its brunch, “They just can’t see how much charm Tulsa really has.”
Freeman has garnered a reputation around campus for his zeal. To close friends, he is “an endearing man” who, as Freeman’s close friend and Iowa native, Natalie Rivers states, “has simply participated in a few too many downtown photo shoots.”
For most people, however, Xander is seen in a much different light. One student, who has asked to remain anonymous for fear of repercussion, referred to Freeman as a “fervent supporter of local music” and, even more horrifying to the student, “an aggressive Facebook event-inviter.”
Freeman’s persistence also pervades his classwork. Various sources have mentioned rumors that Xander is prone to creating events for local art shows and posting them to GroupMe discussions for class group projects. However, none of these seemingly dreaded non-sequiturs to classwork have come to light.
Exposition and Argumentation professor Dana Spears notes that, though she wants her students to “forge their own path through the world of argument,” she is hesitant to approve a full semester’s worth of writing on Xander’s current topic: the profound impact of Cain’s Ballroom on the greater American musical scene.
Unfortunately for Freeman, he has not yet found much success in converting his newfound schoolmates.
“The real problem children,” Xander notes between bites of his Elote puffy tacos and adjustments of his chevron patterned beanie, “are the St. Louis kids. Like, I get it,” Freeman says dismissively, “you’ve got an arch and you’re proud of it. Whatever.”
According to Freeman, the Golden Driller represents American history and culture “much more”, and that it doesn’t receive the respect it deserves.
Though Xander may be struggling with his new college demographic, he always has a trusty fallback: his group of friends from Booker T. Washington High School, who have frequently been seen together in attendance at Z104.5’s Low Dough Shows.
“We all just kind of get each other,” Freeman noted, looking wistfully into the distance and rubbing the tribal tattoo that wraps around his left bicep, “My Booker T. friends understand Tulsa. And I’ll convert the others, in due time.”