The Saratoga Sun -

By Mike Dunn 

Settling in Wyoming


Four-and-a-half years ago, I set foot in southeast Wyoming for the first time. As a young, arrogant, long-haired 18-year-old kid walking into the University of Wyoming, I had no idea at that time that this area would change my outlook on life as much as it has.

I originally hail from the small town of Nine Mile Falls, Wash., about 30 miles northwest of Spokane.

I lived there for about 12 years until I decided to go to UW without even setting foot on the campus first. I didn't care where I went to college, as long as it was far away.

I am not exaggerating when I say at the time I chose to go to UW, I couldn't even find Laramie on a map. I just kind of assumed it was "probably somewhere near Yellowstone".

Despite being extremely incorrect on the whereabouts of my future home, I instantly fell in love with this state.

I decided to major in Religious Studies. I am sure you are thinking "what do you do with that degree?" That was a question I should have asked my freshman-self. Unless you want to be a minister, there are not a whole lot of trades one can do with that major. I just had a general curiosity about world religions.

It was not until the beginning of my third year of college that I started work in journalism. With no previous experience but desperately needing a job that would fit my school schedule, I became a sports reporter and opinion columnist for the Branding Iron Newspaper at UW. I pursued journalism as a hobby even after I was no longer a staff writer, as I continued to write opinion columns.

After those two-and-a-half years for writing for the Branding Iron (not to mention spending thousands on college), I finally received my Bachelor's degree in Religious Studies. I got done with my last final for school at 12:15 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 9. I started work with the Saratoga Sun 21 hours later.

I bring with me my dog, Izzy and my girlfriend Kayla. Kayla will be finishing her student teaching in Gillette but plans to move back down to Saratoga in the beginning of May. We are all extremely thrilled to be staying in Wyoming and happy to start our lives together in Saratoga.

Everyone I have met thus far in Saratoga has welcomed me with open arms and I hope I get the opportunity to meet you all. Every day I continue to meet friendly and welcoming people and I am loving this town more and more everyday.

My promise to you as a reporter is to be honest in my reporting and to be as unbiased as possible. I will always keep an open ear towards any of your concerns and keep an open door to anyone wants to visit.

I wish to be as welcoming and as open to you as you have all been to me.


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