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Where are you from? I like to ask that during orientation? It’s one of our questions, the kind that we ask when getting to know someone. We figure it tells a lot about the person. Like when you hear me talk or the way I think and I tell you I’m from North Carolina.

Oh, well, that explains a lot of things, you say. Same way it makes sense Bill Clinton is from a small town in Arkansas. It explains why the Kennedy family members all talk with a Boston accent.

When Mikhail Gorbachev was serving as the last president of the Soviet Union, the Russian people used to make fun of his accent. We never understood or could quite grasp it because we always heard him through a translator. But he had a strong accent from the southern state of Soviet Georgia. We snickered the same way when we would see the bright smile and southern drawl of Jimmy Carter from Georgia, the American one.

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