Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Going back...waaaaaay back.....

by Jeanne Adams

I got an invitation to a landmark reunion the other day. I knew, in a vague sort of way, that it was coming up. I knew, in a vague sort of way, that the years were passing. But jeez, there's all this family stuff, and work stuff, and writing stuff and blogging things to be done. How can it possibly have been SO many years since graduation??? Where does the time go? Wasn't it just yesterday that we....No? Hmmmmm.

I have to confess that my college days were not wild. Not by a long shot. (Kinda bummed about that, even now. Sigh.) I was very young when I went back home to North Carolina for college. Jail bait, in fact. My confidence was all in my academics rather than in my ability to socialize. I chose my college based on the fact that they gave me scholarships. I worked my way through school and got it over with, so to speak. As one of four kids, two of whom were also in college when I went in, money mattered.

So did size. (Snicker. Size always matters, you know?) I wasn't ready for a 30,000 student body kind of place. So I went for history and quality. :> I went to Mars Hill - yeah, yeah, I've heard ALL the planet jokes, since the next town over is Jupiter. Mars Hill College is a liberal arts college in Western North Carolina, established in 1856. Fabulous place, seemingly in the middle of nowhere, but where I saw the Moscow Symphony, the Vienna Boys Choir, the fabulous acrobatic group Mumenshanz (http://www.mummenschanz.com/), and a variety of groups from China, India, Taiwan, and so forth. Mars Hill has a fabulous music department so I heard wonderful musicians from all over the world, and from all over the United States.

Mars Hill is also the home of the Bascom Lamar Lunsford Festival (http://lunsfordfestival.com/) now in its 40th year. It's one of the foremost bluegrass festivals in the US, honoring the "Minstrel of the Appalachians." Wonderful music from men, women and children of all ages, races, and persuasions performing, jamming and generally filling the mountain air with a magical, powerful reason to remember the old music and to sing and dance. (Think O Brother Where Art Thou, and the Down from the Mountain tour)

Although dedicated, Mars Hill's not a huge sports school. However, it's clogging team has performed around the globe. It turns out business majors who've become CEO's, ministerial students who've taken churches from small to mega-church status, and turned out some pretty decent citizens, present company hopefully included.

But Mars Hill is small. It's idyllic in some ways. It's like going back to Dirty Dancing's mountain set and living there for four years. (In fact Dirty Dancing was filmed about an hour south in Lake Lure. Gorgeous! Check it out at: http://rumblingbald.com/LakeLure/index.aspx)

I loved living there. All these years later, I still miss seeing the mist on the mountains in the morning. I miss seeing the colors of fall sweep down the hills or seeing snow dust the peaks even as the "fireworks of fall" flood the valleys with reds and golds. I love going "home" to Mars Hill. Corny as it is, I'm an Alumni with a capital A, who tries to support my school even from afar.

That said, I'm a totally different woman than the callow girl who picked up her diploma, turned her tassel, and grinned for the camera posed between equally grinning parents. To paraphrase a Dr. Suess title, Oh! The Places I've Gone! There have been a lot of changes in these intervening years. The organizers of the reunion were social even back in our college days. They don't remember me that way, if they remember me at all. (I suspect a quick look-up in the Yearbook was called for when I contacted those in charge of the event!) I'm incredibly social now. It'll be interesting to see how THEY react to the twenty-first century ME! Ha!

So, tell all. Where did you got to school? Did you love it or hate it?

Have you gone back to a high school, college, uni, or prep school reunion? How was it?

Were you a party girl/guy, a loner, a geek, a Greek or did you put your head down and get through it?

If you were to go back today, with all you've done and all you've learned, would your college pals recognize the "new you"?

Just for fun...what's your team's mascot? Mars Hill is the Lions, which always cracked me up, given that it's a Christian school...

102 comments:

Jennifer Y. said...

Can it be?

Jennifer Y. said...

So, tell all. Where did you got to school? Did you love it or hate it?
I went to Berry College in GA...a small private college. It was a beautiful campus and I really liked the class size and people.

Have you gone back to a high school, college, uni, or prep school reunion? How was it?
Nope, and truthfully, I don't want to...LOL...I hated high school and college was just "eh" for me really.

Were you a party girl/guy, a loner, a geek, a Greek or did you put your head down and get through it?
I was a bit of a loner/geek...but then I always have been. High school was much rougher than college though. I never really fit in anywhere though.

If you were to go back today, with all you've done and all you've learned, would your college pals recognize the "new you"?
Probably...sadly. LOL

Just for fun...what's your team's mascot?
Ours was the Viking...which also cracked me up because some religious morals were the foundation of the school and religion is big on campus...yet Vikings were orignally pagans. The college was founded as a school for the rural children and became a high school which then became a college. When the founder was alive and ran the school for children, church attendance was mandatory, I believe...now it is nondenominational and people of all kinds of faiths attend.

Interesting tidbit about my college: The films "Remember the Titans," "Perfect Harmony," and "Sweet Home Alabama" were all filmed there. Alas, no Patrick Dempsey or Josh Lucas sightings for me though *sigh*

Donna MacMeans said...

Congrats Jennifer - you beat me by minutes.

I'm a proud graduate of Ohio State University - Go Bucks! The school mascot is Brutus Buckeye and yes, a buckeye is a poisonous nut.

I went to OSU because of the offered scholarship and because it meant I'd have to live on campus. In hindsight, I think that's important. A lot of growing up occurs when Mom and Dad aren't around to bail you out. I lived in a dorm. No greek tendencies whats-so-ever. (Though my husband is a something Phi something).
I was a academic but I sure had fun too. I became educated in many ways.

I had to leave OSU after two years (no more money) and went to work, married, moved but eventually came back to finish and get my degree. Let me tell you - college is a lot more fun when you're not married, and when you're not older than the rest of the students.

My high school no longer exists, but it was Greenhills HS. The team name was the Pioneers but I don't think I ever saw a mascot.

Jennifer Y. said...

You've made me think about mascots...in my life, I have been a Raider, a Tiger, a Jaguar, and a Viking. LOL I started my school years as a Raider and ended as a Viking (unless I go back to school).

Sounds like a shapeshifting marauder.

Jennifer Y. said...

By the way, Mars Hill sounds a lot like my college. Small and scenic...I chose Berry for many of the reasons you mention. One of my fave things to see each morning were the deer that roamed the campus. They were everywhere.

Anna Campbell said...

Jeanne, what a lovely post. It made me think of those idyllic American colleges you see in the movies (NOT movies like National Lampoon!). Because my high school experience was so rotten, I absolutely adored university! I felt like I'd been locked in a box and then suddenly let out (mind you, we are talking boarding school here, so the box thing isn't that far away from the truth!). The University of Queensland campus is gorgeous. It's on a bend of the river with lovely big old gum trees and lakes and native wildlife (I'm not just talking about the boys from the colleges!). There was a fantastic sandstone cloisters with gargoyles like something out of Oxford, except it was full of jacaranda trees. I loved Great Court! I wasn't really a loner although I certainly wasn't a party girl. I was really reluctant to break outside my comfort zone, though - think that's something about being young and insecure. Looking back, I wish I'd been a bit braver. But I still look back on those three years with great fondness.

Hey, JY, congrats on the chook!

Natalie Hatch said...

Hated high school, went straight to university afterwards and then dropped out, wasn't ready for it. But when I went back years later I found I really enjoyed the challenge of learning, and two Bachelor Degrees later I'm loving life. See I could stick with something in the end (family story too long to explain).

Christine Wells said...

Jeanne, great post. Love your description of watching the seasons at your college. It sounds simply beautiful.

I went to a university that was wedged between the botanical gardens, the river and the business district of our city so it wasn't a very awe-inspiring campus, unfortunately. We had some good times, though and since I went to a very strict all girls' high school I became a bit of a party hearty girl when I got to University and there were--gasp!--boys! The only night I stayed home was Monday when I wasn't cramming for exams. Those were the days!

Christine Wells said...

Hey, Jennifer Y, congrats on the Golden Rooster! He's heard you're coming to National and he's already laying the groundwork, making plans...

Jane said...

High school and college was alright. I regret not going away for college. I think that would have made me more responsible during my college years. I also wish I partied more. I was neither popular nor an outcast and had a group of friends. Haven't been to a reunion yet. I wouldn't know what to expect and I think some people won't recognize the new me.

Helen said...

Well done Jennifer

Great post Jeanne
I went to Bankstown Girls High School and had lots of fun at school didn't go to uni I did 4 years in high school got my school certificate and started work in a bank

We had a reunion in 1993 and lots of the girls turned up I had a ball seeing everyone talking drinking it was a long night full of memories and lots of laughter I think it is time for another one.

I was pretty much a party girl but I had a boyfriend when I was 15 and then married him 5 years later

Yes I think that they would still recognise me I am still the same old Helen
We didn't have a mascot with an all girls school we did lots of sport but no mascot.

Have Fun
Helen

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Jennifer Y! Congrats on the GR! And I know exactly where Berry is. :> SOmeone I knew transferred from MHC to Berry, but now, I have no recollection of who it was. Ha!

Have to say I know exactly what you mean about high school and college being "eh." I was so anxious to just get through it...

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Donna, you poisonous nut you! Heehee. I'd forgotten that Buckeye's were poisonous.

Jennifer was LOL about your litany of mascots. Mostly pagan too, I notice. A theme here? Heehee

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

BTW Donna, I agree that it's waaaaay easier to go when you're young, innocent and single. I went back when I was older, less innocent and single. No fun when all the guys are waaaaaaay too young for you. Ha!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Yeah on breaking out of the box, Anna! I know what you mean about not getting out of the comfort zone. I think that's why I went to Mars Hill as opposed to Duke or the U of NC. The smaller atmosphere was what I needed. Even so, I felt like I'd been let out of a box, as you described it. Ha!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Ha! Natalie, I can sense some of that story. I resonate with tat, given the piano lessons, violin lessons, etc. I SO wanted to be good at something other than singing, but I'm not. :>

Congrats on the two BAs. What was your mascot? Was it two different schools for the two diff BA's?

Suzanne Welsh said...

Yeah Jennifer! Treat the GR well today, my friend!!

^5's my fellow Buckeye, Donna!! GO BUCKS! I attended two schools at the same time. THE Ohio State University, where I did my basic undergrad courses and the Mount Carmel School of Nursing. (Now known as the Mount Carmel College of Nursing and is the only free standing independent college of nursing in the US.)

I lived on campus which was a good and bad thing. Good because I was away from my parents and had to do some growing up, being responsible and finding myself. Bad, because I was away from parents and found some things about myself, had my first drink, my first real heart break and way more fun than I should have and still passed with decent grades, hehehe

And yes, Buckeyes are poisonous nuts!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Christine, had LOL about Monday being the only "stay in" night.

Oh, and who's gonna be watching over that chook at National? I'm afraid, very afraid, about letting that bird loose amongst the unsuspecting Romance Writers.

terrio said...

Congrats on the GR, Jennifer!

Jeanne - your campus sounds beautiful. I drive to Knoxville several times a year and driving through western NC is one of my favorite parts. I went to my 10 yr HS reunion back in 2000 and it was bad. Like not a day had gone by since graduation. Same cliques and not a single one of my friends (we were the outcasts) attended.

First time around I went to The Art Institute of Pittsburgh so no campus, sports, or mascots. And I was a total party girl. Lets just say my weekends started on Tuesday.

Now I attend Strayer University, a college with mostly online students aimed at working adults. Again, no real campus, sports, or mascots. I'm mascot deprived!

For HS, it was a Catholic school so the mascot should come as no surprise. The Crusaders.

I don't think anyone would have trouble recognizing me from my outward appearance, but I'm definitely not the same girl they knew.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

BTW, from your description Anna, I SO want to see the U of Queensland when I come over there.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Jane, you described it perfectly. I did go away to school, but I kinda just moved through it. I wish I'd taken more chances, spread my wings a bit more and been "seen" if you will.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Helen, you wild woman you! Heehee. Sounds like y'all didn't need a mascot, you did all right on your own making fun and sport and good friends.

So glad your reunion experience was good. I'm hoping...

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Suz, you wild woman you. Ha! I admire you for knowing that you wanted to be a nurse from the get-go. Obviously if you did OSU and Mt. Carmel at the same time and are STILL a nurse, you had some idea of it early on.

Me? I'm still figuring out what I wanna be when I grow up. (Besides a writer, that is. If I want to be anything other than a writer, that is...) Grins.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Terrio said: I don't think anyone would have trouble recognizing me from my outward appearance, but I'm definitely not the same girl they knew.

Oh, so true for me too! Ha! Had to LOL about the weekend starting on Tuesdays. Wow. Mars Hill was in a "dry" county, so no alcohol. We had to drive to the next county - the county seat of Buncombe where Asheville and the Biltmore House reside - for alcohol. There was this store, right on the county line. They painted a line right down the middle of the store. On the Madison County side, chips, dry goods, cups, mixers, etc. On the Buncombe county side, beer, wine, etc. Ha!

Kate Carlisle said...

Jeanne, what a lovely post--and great pictures!

Congrats, Jennifer! Yeah, watch out for that Feathered Beasty. Be sure to check for cameras. And see you in San Francisco!

Let's see...college...did I go? Hmm. I think so. Was I a party girl? Uh, yeah. Anyone surprised? I didn't think so. :-)

terrio said...

Jeanne - the first time I'd ever heard the term "dry county" I had no idea what it meant. I was in college at the time and worked with a girl who had attended a college in a dry county. I was amazed and asked, "What was the point of going to college in a dry county?!"

LOL!

Joan said...

Well, I was in a similar situation as Suz. Went to Kentucky Baptist Hospital School of Nursing but took my college courses at Bellarmine University.

http://www.bellarmine.edu/

Bellarmine is also a small liberal arts college set in a bucolic enclave in the midst of Louisville. I went back and over the course of 6 years part time received my BSN. I enjoyed the learning 10x more as an adult. Even thought about taking a minor in philosophy. "The World According to Joanie T" LOL

Stayed in the nursing school dorm which was only about 16 miles from home :-)

As to reunions, I'd gone to about 3 high school ones. The last being a landmark one where I learned all the popular kids had come to be tired, run down, sad looking people. While I looked pretty darn good!(in comparison).

Mascots? HS were the Panthers and Bellarmine the Knights!

I'd forgotten that Buckeye's were poisonous.

Claudia Dain said...

Oh, the memories! I went to high school in CT where I was not a party girl. Who can stay out that late? Plus, it's always freezing!

I went to the University of Southern California, a gigantic private university in the middle of downtown Los Angeles. I loved it! I was a Greek, still am. I have never been to a college reunion, but my sorority sisters and I are still very close. We get together every few years someplace in the US to play for a weekend. They're a fun bunch of women.

My mascots have always been Trojans! USC is the campus that is often used to film eastern establishment colleges because it has that look---old brick and ivy. The Ivy League school of the west, with the price tag to match.

PJ said...

I loved high school but didn't make it back for a reunion until 35 years after graduating. It was a multi-class reunion and it was like we'd been apart for a few months instead of all those years. Everyone recognized me instantly so I guess I haven't changed that much in appearance but inside, I'm much more confident and outgoing. My hs mascot was a panther.

I moved from a town of 1800 to Michigan State, an university of 42,000. There were more people in my dorm than my hometown. I loved dorm life, had no interest in going Greek. My college boyfriend was a hockey player so I had a dual education; academics and partying. Those hockey players do know how to party! MSU's mascot, Sparty the Spartan, has the distinction of being voted “Buffest Mascot” by Muscle and Fitness Magazine.

Joan said...

I'd forgotten that Buckeye's were poisonous.

I thought they were chocolate and peanut butter? :-)

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Party girl, Kate? You? Say it isn't so...mwah-ha-ha...We had a feeling about you, wild woman! Heehee. Just kidding. So what was your Mascot, Kate?

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Terrio said: "What was the point of going to college in a dry county?!"

Ummm, I don't know? Ha! I think it made the highly pious Board of Advisors feel better to know that it wasn't readily available. The downside of that, since college kids will be college kids, was that it meant said kids were DRIVING to Asheville, partying, then DRIVING the dark, windy mountain roads back to campus. Not Good.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Oooh, Joanie, the campus looks pretty. Loved the statue of the Saint with the student standing next to her. Someone has a sense of humor. Heehee. (The caption denotes that the bronze is the saint, rather than the coed. Snork)

I'm wondering about the "how everyone looks" thing for my reunion. Hmmm. You should pick up that philosophy course, Joanie. I LIKE the world according to Joanie T - mostly because it includes scantily clad, heavily muscled Romans. :>

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

TICD a Greek!? Yeah, you! I wish I'd had the chutzpah to pledge. Those I know who did, made lifetime friends. :>

Okay, why am I LOL waaaaay too much about your mascots being Trojans?

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey Terrio, what do you think of Strayer? I've heard good things about them and have contemplated picking up a course or two there...

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Wow, PJ, talk about culture shock, going from small town to Michigan. Wheeeeee. Having heard dear Anna talk about the Hockey Hunks, I'm betting you DID get a lesson in party. No hockey at my alma mater, but lots of sports. Hockey hadn't made it that far South. Snork.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Ooooh, Joanie T - the chocolate and peanut butter ones, buckeyes? YUM!!! Didn't you have a great recipe for those at Christmas? Slurp.

p226 said...

The closest I've come to going to a reunion was "alumni weekend" at the military school I attended.

Nothing had changed at the school. But that's the way things go at a military school. Same uniforms, same traditions.

I didn't see anyone I recognized from my graduating class. Our actual "reunion" had occurred in a neighboring town.

Shit, come to think of it, my 20 year reunion is coming up next year. I wonder which one I'll attend... (if any) ... the military school one, or the public school one.

I'm not sure I care to go to either. The crowd I ran with back then was ... well... criminal. A lot of those guys, I know where they are. Seems like all my friends either became cops or went to prison. A few of them are active in the local business community.

One of my best friends through most of my high school years, last I heard, was doing 8 years for armed robbery in a NC prison. Another ended his days about five years ago in a murder suicide. One manages a Bob Evans restaurant now. He cleaned up his act, I guess. He was a pretty good kid, but we all had a penchant for substance abuse. I think he may have shaken his demons as well. Cleaned up... got married... had a kid or ten...

My best friend... a guy I consider to be my brother even though I haven't spoken to him in four years or so... I last saw at his wedding. Found himself a good girl. I hope he's keeping it together. You'd be horrified if you knew where he came from, and how he grew up.

These were my friends back in the day. Either in military school, or public school, we were the problem children. The ones found on the streets more often than the classrooms. If I go to a reunion, I'll not see these guys. And honestly, most of them, I don't want to. Who I'll see instead are the jocks. The preps. The anonymous. The rich, pretty girls I dated, but never cared about.

The streets were really my school. And they don't hold reunions.

Kate Carlisle said...

I swear it's true, Jeanne! And our school mascot was a dragon. Yes, we had a mythical beast for a mascot. No Vikings. No Trojans. No Tigers.

But lest you go thinking this mascot was a powerful and mighty dragon, let me quickly add that this particular dragon's skin was--brace yourselves--brown, orange and white POLKA DOTS.

No wonder I drank! LOL

jo robertson said...

Great post, Jeanne. It's always fun to walk down that memory lane. I went to school in the west and for this Virginia-bred girl it was an eye-opener.

No humidity! Bread and shoes didn't mold at an equal rate. My hair didn't frizz. The mountain peaks were sharp and snow-capped most of the year.

I went on scholarship too and lived off-campus with a great bunch of girls from all over the world. Great fun, and the best part is that's where I met and married Dr. Big.

terrio said...

Jeanne - I like Strayer. I've taken almost all classes online so you lose some connection there. And it's easy to scrape by in some classes while harder in others. I would think it's like most schools, depends on the Prof.

If you have a local campus, I'd recommend checking them out. Without the option of online and summer evening classes, I never could have gotten my degree. Still can't believe I'm less than a year from finishing. The last two and a half years have flown by.

Jennifer Y. said...

Since I learned of the GR's nefarious activities, he is now searched before entering (and leaving) the home...and is currently being guarded by my cat that thinks she is a parrot...long story. LOL

Cassondra said...

Jennifer, congrats on the GR!

This was a great post Jeanne. Your campus sounds SO beautiful. I went to a small school like that for the first two years. Lived at home then. Linsey Wilson College. It's now Lindsey Wilson University--it was 2-year then, four-year now. I don't remember a mascot there. Never been to a reunion at Lindsey.

My high school mascot was the Indians--no longer a politically correct mascot--but my school is holding out probably because of its award-winning band. One of the best (though very small)in the country. They don't wanna change their name ya know?

I was such a strange girl. My friends were all boys but I didn't date. Once I turned sixteen and could drive legally I was always off at a gig somewhere (I was a singer and later, played keys for country and gospel acts). So because I didn't do the high school night life, I wasn't popular, though I had a few friends who didn't follow the crowd. I hung out with the vo-ag guys (was FFA and all that) and in the art room --they were the only things I enjoyed about high school. The rest I hated.

Been back to two high school reunions and likely won't go to any others. The ten year one was crowded but there was hardly anybody was at the last one.

Then I went to Western Ky University to finish my BA and go to grad school. But I did it over a long period because after two years at WKU I got married. So when people ask me what year I graduated, I don't know. It was kind of "okay stop signing up for 400-level classes and start taking 500-level ones."

I wasn't unpopular, but I was always staring at the world through a camera lens! I was a photojournalism major and when you're a WKU photog major you don't do ANYTHING else.

Wasn't Greek, and now I wish for and realize the value of that sisterhood--that friendship and bond with a group of women that comes from a sorority.

I was also kind of opposed to towing the line of what I did or didn't do, how I dressed, etc, for the sake of fitting in, and my college roommate pledged, and boy did she ever have to tow those lines! That's still not me. However, now I value my female friendships above all other relationships except that with my husband, and I envy that close bond Claudia speaks of with her sorority sisters. There's a great value in having friends who've always known you I think.

WKU's teams are the Hilltoppers and the mascot is Big Red. You can see him and read about him here:

http://www.wku.edu/bigred.html

He was recently in the running in a national comp for Best Mascot, but I believe he lost out to a ginormous school up north. He got robbed. He's way cute and really cool.

Cassondra said...

terrio said:

Without the option of online and summer evening classes, I never could have gotten my degree. Still can't believe I'm less than a year from finishing. The last two and a half years have flown by.

Wow, Terrio, that's GREAT that you're so close. I honestly don't know how you do it. You OBVIOUSLY have a lot of energy. You do this, I assume you probably work too, and you spend time visiting online, and with us here in the lair as well. That's amazing!

Andy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cassondra said...

Jennifer Y said:

Since I learned of the GR's nefarious activities, he is now searched before entering (and leaving) the home...and is currently being guarded by my cat that thinks she is a parrot...long story. LOL

Jennifer, good for you on the searches. But you have to tell about the cat who thinks she's a parrot....tell.

Beth said...

Well, I didn't go to college (okay, I went but it was only for 3weeks so that probably doesnt't count *g*) And while I didn't hate high school, I was excited about being done with the whole experience.

I went to my 5 yr class reunion and felt so out of place. There I was married, in the middle of building a house and pregnant with my second child while most everyone else was finishing up college and still partying. Needless to say, I didn't have much to talk about with anyone and no, I don't plan on going to any other reunions :-)

Our mascot was (and still is - my son goes to my high school *g*) an Owl. Fierce, huh?

Pat Cochran said...

In high school I joined the drill corps, which helped bring me out of my "shy shell." After graduating
from Jefferson Davis HS (mascot is
a Panther), I began attending our
every-5-year reunions. Prior to
the 20 year reunion,I joined the reunion committee and discovered that is the way to enjoy the gatherings. In 2004,I chaired our
50th anniversary, sharing a great
time with a group of special Houstonians, the 1954 JDHS grads!!

terrio said...

Cassondra - I do have a full-time job but it gets slow (like this week!) and I end up online all day. Then it'll get crazy and I might get online once a day. Hard to tell.

Then there's school, single-motherhood, planning my local chapter conference, planning my company Xmas party, writing, blogging, living. LOL!

But to be honest, I do have down time and I actually think my life is easier because I don't have a spouse to worry about or more than one child. There are lots of people way busier than I am and I don't know how all of you do it with a full household.

Jennifer Y. said...

Jennifer, good for you on the searches. But you have to tell about the cat who thinks she's a parrot....tell.

We have this cat that feels the need to ride on someone's shoulders into and around the house so I said that she must have been a parrot in another life. I still live with my folks and every day she greets my dad when he gets home from work by hopping in his truck and refusing to get out until he has let her on his shoulders for a ride into the house. It was cute the first couple of times...but now every one has to watch his or her back or she'll jump up on it when you aren't looking...her little claws going into a back are not fun, believe me, I know. She's sneakier than the GR.

p226 said...

Jennifer,

I thought our cat was the only one that does that. Same deal. "Aww cute," rapidly progressed to "OW MY BACK."

Cassondra said...

Jennifer said:

We have this cat that feels the need to ride on someone's shoulders into and around the house so I said that she must have been a parrot in another life.

Oh, FUNNY! Well..not the part about getting clawed up. That's not funny. But I've never seen a cat do that. Interesting. And P226's cat does the same thing! Huh. None of our cats have ever done that.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

P226 said: The streets were really my school. And they don't hold reunions.

No they don't and I don't guess you'd want to go if they did. Might be a threat to life and limb. :>

Great line, BTW.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

OMgosh, Kate! Brown, orange and white polka dots? What a terrible thing to do to a perfectly good dragon. ugh. :> I'd drink too.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Well Jo, I agree, any place you get to have fun, learn something, and meet the love of your life has a LOT going for it! Ha! So what was your mascot? (Besides Dr. Big?)

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Woohoo Terrio! You're on the homestretch now! Congrats on that. The local Strayer has both the online option and in-class options as well as a couple of biz courses that mix the online and in class stuff. I'll check it out.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Jennifer, you have to watch the GR around cats. He's been known to subvert his guards, bring them into his influence and get them to feed him extra data about the household. Cats know everythign, of course, so he particularly likes getting one to cross over to HIS side of things...

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Cassondra WKU sounds pretty cool. Love the mascot. Ha! THe raised eyebrows make you think he's been up to something.

I guess the whole conformity thing is why I never pledged anything either. Despite being a rampant extrovert, I'm not much of a joiner. Or a follower. Grins.

But like you I've come to so prize my relationships with my women friends that I see why TICD and others value the sorority sisterhood so very much.

Cassondra said...

Jeanne wrote:

Cats know everythign, of course,

Amen Amen!!!

It's scary, really.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Well Beth, I don't know about the school mascot being fierce, but I wouldn't want to tangle with a real owl. Those talons can be 2 inches long. Ouch!! I think I'm most worried about my reunion in that my life's gone in such unexpected ways. I didn't stay married to the PK, I didn't have kids with him, I don't sing in the church chior (although I would if I could find a church I liked!) and my boys are young. Most of my MHC pals married out of college (I did too, but no kids) and now their kids are nigh on to grown if not already out of the house. OUCH. Different stages, like you said.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Wow, Pat, that's super! I think the women who are putting this together sound like a lot of fun. I didn't "run" with them in college, but they sound like my kind of people now! Ha! Do you like being on the Panther reunion committee?

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Wow on the cat-on-the-shoulder thing Jennifer and P226. Like Cassondra my first reaction was "cool!" then I thought about those claws.

It prompts an even sterner warning about letting the GR subvert the cat though. One that's smart enough to get to higher ground and scout things out from a moving vantage point? Hmmmm. Guard the guard, Jennifer! :>

Cassondra said...

Jeanne said:

Love the mascot. Ha! THe raised eyebrows make you think he's been up to something.

He HAS been up to something.

He's the only guy with the...uh...nerve..to try to steal me from Steve.

We were dating at the time, and walking down the sidewalk near campus, and Big Red tried to take me away from my date. Steve just stood back and I could see his mind working, figuring out exactly the best way to take down a big red neanderthal towel creature.

You haven't lived until you've been smooshed up against the big red fuzzy chest. *grin* He pulled me away in a big bear hug and then tried to shove Steve the other direction.

Poor Big Red. He never ends up with the girl.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Cassondra said: You haven't lived until you've been smooshed up against the big red fuzzy chest. *grin* He pulled me away in a big bear hug and then tried to shove Steve the other direction.

Poor Big Red. He never ends up with the girl.

Alas! Poor Big Red indeed. I think the whole "smoosh you up against the chest" thing is a ploy. A ploy, I tell ya! Do you think the GR is behind that too? Snork!

terrio said...

This talk of Big Red reminded me of something. My HS rival team was Big Red HS which had a stallion for a mascot. We played football in their stadium and being in band meant spending time standing around beneath the scoreboard. Atop the scoreboard was a large black stallion that actually turned and spit fire. But the best part about it, it was anatomically correct. LOL!

I don't suppose you could have a very intimidating stallion if he's been neutered.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Oh, the jokes in band for the fire-spitting, anatomically correct stallion...the visual... OMGosh.

Pat Cochran said...

Jeanne, after our 50th anniversary,
I decided to "retire" from the
reunion committee, although I dearly
loved working with the group. I
still keep in touch with them and I am looking forward to our next(55th)
gathering!

Pat Cochran

Ellen said...

I went to a large school--The University of Texas--because my parents graduated from there. But I was only there for two of the four years.
I stayed home and attended a community college -Del Mar- for the first two years. Money was the reason for that. I can't say I hated it but I was happier at home in the community college.
I have not been to a reunion for high school and since I attended three of them I doubt anyone would even know who I was.
In college I was an outsider [partly because I was a serious geek and partly because of the size] and doubt anyone would know me there either.
Del Mar mascot is the Vikings and UT is the Longhorn.

limecello said...

Hm... why would a Lion be a funny thing? I'd say a goat would be a worse mascot choice for a Christian school...
I went to a huge school - The Ohio State University, and I really like it. It's a great environment. I went based 100% on scholarships. I joke that I made a deal with my parents - I would go to OSU, and they would buy a new house. (Both parties carried through.)
I also didn't party much at all. I was involved in a Christian group - and was on leadership for my first three years, so I was very conscious of my actions and repercussions.
Now, it makes me sad I didn't party more, and I feel a bit cheated at times :P. Especially because senior year, when I was "free" everyone associated me with the group.
Hello fellow Buckeyes!
Hmm... for mascots... I've been a Bulldog Pup, then a Lion, then Cougar, then Bulldog (the grown up version ;)), then a Buckeye... and a Zip/Kangaroo O_o.

Claudia Dain said...

Jeanne, Jeanne, mind out of the gutter, girl. Tsk. Can I help it if a proud Trojan warrior and the fields before mighty Troy get used as a PR device? I ask you.

I did the whole sorority rush thing because my mother *made* me (and she wasn't even in a sorority). I'm so glad she did. It made college life in a mega university in a gigantic metropolis perfect. I lived in a sorority house with 75 other women. You share a bathroom with a woman and you're bonded for life.

Natalie Hatch said...

In Australia schools don't really have mascots or cheerleaders for that matter, we have school sports and all that but it's different, very much English school programming. We would go to games to support our school, but it wasn't a priority like some American schools. I guess it was just a 'hey we're playing today want to come along?'
I went to a public school, but at the time it was one of the best in the state (not anymore).

Joan said...

You should pick up that philosophy course, Joanie. I LIKE the world according to Joanie T - mostly because it includes scantily clad, heavily muscled Romans. :>

And don't forget the swords....of multiple kinds ;-)

Joan said...

The streets were really my school. And they don't hold reunions.

Can we say poignant?

p226...you awe me.

BTW, that would make a fantastic first line for a book (or variation).

I'm so glad you found your way back. As JR Ward might say, "You are a man of worth."

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Have you gone back to a high school, college, uni, or prep school reunion?
I did go to one high school class reunion, it was an experience I don't think I would want to repeat. I didn't go to college.
How was it?
It was awkward, no one knew who I was.
Were you a party girl/guy, a loner, a geek, a Greek or did you put your head down and get through it?
More the loner/geek type, I was the kid sitting in the corner reading.
If you were to go back today, with all you've done and all you've learned, would your college pals recognize the "new you"?
My high school pals didn't recognize me.
Just for fun...what's your team's mascot?
A solid white Husky. We had a live one and a poor kid that dressed up as one. I swear that kid lost 50 lbs during one game.
Interesting tidbit about my high school graduating class. Our motto was sex, sin, men and wine, we're the class of 69.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi Ellen! Its tough when a school's so big, isn't it? As I said, I'm betting the organizers of this reunion thing had to go look me up! Ha!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi Limecello! Another Buckeye! Yeah! As to the Lions for a Christian school, I always thought it was funny because, biblically, lions EAT Christians, not party with them. Then again, you're right, a goat would be worse. Snork.

Good on you about the 100% scholarship! Had to LOL about you and your parents both keeping to your bargain. I think I regretted not partying for the same reasons. I didn't feel "free" to be me in the strictures of a Christian-based school, but that was my choice at the time, so I guess regrets are vain, right? ha!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Beg pardon, TICD, you are correct. You wrote: Can I help it if a proud Trojan warrior and the fields before mighty Troy get used as a PR device? I ask you.

Nope, you can't help it. And a PR device for so many INTERESTING things....Grins. Universities, Colleges...

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi Natalie! I think, in spite of cheerleaders in the US, most of the student body went to the games for the same reasons you described. "Hey, it's happening, wanna go?" Grins.

Gannon Carr said...

Fun post, Jeanne! Now to answer those many questions:

So, tell all. Where did you got to school? Did you love it or hate it? I went to the University of South Florida in Tampa, and I loved it!

Have you gone back to a high school, college, uni, or prep school reunion? How was it? I went to my 10 year high school reunion, but missed the 20th because we were living in Italy at the time. I did have fun seeing everyone at the 10th. Can't wait to see how much everyone will have changed by the time the next one rolls around.


Were you a party girl/guy, a loner, a geek, a Greek or did you put your head down and get through it? I was a Greek (Chi Omega and Sigma Chi little sister) and a party girl. But, hey, I still went to class and graduated with a great GPA.



If you were to go back today, with all you've done and all you've learned, would your college pals recognize the "new you"? I think everyone would still recognize me--I'm not that different.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Joanie, how could I forget the swords? Hmmmm. My favorite part.

And as to what you said about P226 being a man of worth, may I quietly echo, "Amen?"

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Dianna said: Our motto was sex, sin, men and wine, we're the class of 69.

Oh, that's Fab-U-Lous. Love it. :>

Interesting that your pals didn't recognize you at reunion. I think most of my changes are on the inside as people seem to recognize me pretty well. However, keeping in mind Cassondra's wonderful blog from yesterday, there was this kilt incident...

We have an Annual Ad(d)ams Family Halloween Party every year. Big Surprise, right? One year, I wore a long red wig, tartan dress, dancing shoes, etc. My DH wore a kilt - oh, my, my. I answered my own door and no one, to a person, recognized me with red hair. It was a hoot. Now I know, if I ever need to rob a bank, just put on a red wig. ha!

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Interesting that your pals didn't recognize you at reunion. I think most of my changes are on the inside as people seem to recognize me pretty well.
Perhaps I should rephrase just a little. I didn't have that many pals and they weren't at the reunion. Some of the women recognized my eyes, my face, my voice even. Not a one of the men recognized me.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi Gannon! Another Greek. You and Claudia Dain are meeting our quota of Sisters for the day.

Oooh, living in Italy. I'll bet that was fun!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Ah, got it, Dianna. Now if I were talking High School, I doubt any of them would recognize me. From the now-nonexistant glasses and sit-on-it hair to the flat chest, the changes from high school are waaaaay too dramatic. Ha! (And may I say, thank God?)

p226 said...

lol

I'm reading these comments about whether old schoolmates would recognize you or not. When I run into old classmates, they always recognize me, but they all say "I thought you were dead!"

I wish I were kidding. But no, that's what they say. I laugh every time. When you hear it enough times, it gets kind of eery.

Caren Crane said...

Jennifer, congrats on grabbing the GR back from the Aussies!

I went to University of North Carolina at Charlotte, home of the 49ers. I went there because it was cheap, I could live at home and I could get in. It's hard to move to a new state in the middle of your senior year!

Actually, I went there twice. The first time, I spent the first semester as my usual egghead self, but met my college BFF in this Honors program we were in. We got all wild the second semester and started hitting the dance clubs several nights a week. Sophomore year was one big party. I went to classes, but had NO interest in school really. That was the last year of the first college stint.

When I went the second time, I was paying for it with student loans and just wanted to get through. I kept my head down, studied like a demon and got the hell out. I also met my husband there. That was my plan. It worked! I have no warm, fuzy feelings about UNCC, mainly because it bears no resemblance to its old self anymore.

I also have no affinity for the high school I graduated from (East Mecklenburg in Charlotte), because I only went there one semester. The high school I adored was the one I left behind in Nashville, TN. Give it up for the Stratford Spartans! Our colors were orange and black. Just ghastly on everyone!

I was invited to a landmark reunion at Stratford this year, but it is one week after the RWA conference and I'm speaking to my local chapter that day. I'll be missing it. Wah!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Okay, yeah, P226, hearing that a few times would be okay. Hearing it a lot? Yep, that would qualify as freaky.

Caren Crane said...

Pat, I went (for half of 11th and half of 12th grade) to John Foster Dulles High School in Sugar Land! We were to have the largest graduating class in the state when I was a senior: about 1200. That's not unheard of now, but it was in 1983!

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...
From the now-nonexistant glasses and sit-on-it hair to the flat chest, the changes from high school are waaaaay too dramatic. Ha! (And may I say, thank God?)

Amen sister!!!!!! I couldn't get anyone to look me in the eye that was of the male persuasion. Not even my 6th grade boyfriend whose initials were painted on my mother's antique table with fingernail polish. (I took a major whoopin' for that one)

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

**Clapping for the Stratford Spartans!*** Yeah!! :>

About UNCC, I've heard that from others, about it changing a lot. :>

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Oooh, Lord, my Mama'd'a whipped me for that too. Heehee. Nail polish, huh? Wow.

I went back, Dianna, after my sophmore year in college, short hair, no glasses, and some other...ahem...anatomical (growth spurt!) changes. Got a lot more attention. Hmmm. Didn't impress me one bit though. Amused me, though.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Wow on the large grad class for Sugar Land HS, Caren. Mars Hill's entire student body was 1800 my Freshman year. :> Smaaaalllll.

Caren Crane said...

Jeanne, Nancy knows better than I, since she teaches there *g*, but I went recently for my oldest sister's graduation. If someone hadn't been directing me, I would have had no idea where to go. What used to be the center of campus is now on the outskirts. Of course, they have the same crappy dorms and apartments, but I hope some new ones there, somewhere. It's gorgeous, though.

I think only 7 of the professors who were in the electrical engineering college are still there (and only 3 still teaching). Things change quickly!

Caren Crane said...

Yes, Dulles was a HUGE high school. It had been a large middle school next to a large high school and they combined the two into one enormous schools. Each end of campus had two long two-story buildings connected front, middle and back by a hallway. So, four buildings, each with two stories, then we had "portables" outside - a lot of them.

I recall I had classes on both ends of campus. It was one of those schools where no one used their locker because there was no time to go to it. Ever. We had 10 minutes to change classes and you had to HAUL to get from one end to the other, fighting the masses of people. Crazy!

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...
Oooh, Lord, my Mama'd'a whipped me for that too. Heehee. Nail polish, huh? Wow.

What can I say, I was in love! The fact that I stood about 4 inches taller than him at the reunion made for an interesting discussion.

I went back, Dianna, after my sophmore year in college, short hair, no glasses, and some other...ahem...anatomical (growth spurt!) changes. Got a lot more attention. Hmmm. Didn't impress me one bit though. Amused me, though.
I know what you mean, I am the same person inside you dolts.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

The thought of having to cover that much ground from class to class is exhausting! :> I'm glad my HS was smaller than that. Ha! Of course the dorms at Mars Hill were on opposite little mountains with campus in the middle. If you forgot a book...up the hill, down the hill. If you needed a sweater, up the hill, down the hill. I had great legs at Mars Hill. :>

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Dianna said: I know what you mean, I am the same person inside you dolts.

Exactly! :> Goofs!

Pat Cochran said...

Caren, That was a really big class
at Dulles! We had around 400 - 500
graduates in the June, 1954 class
and thought that was huge! That was back in the day when you had two
graduating classes per year: January
and June.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Oh wow, Pat, that's still almost a 1000 people matriculating per year. That's amazing.

Cassondra said...

limecello said:

and a Zip/Kangaroo O_o.

University of Akron?

Akron Zips?

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

:> Caught that one too, Cassondra, but have no idea what school. :>

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Okay, ladies and gents...I'm off to dreamland! Sleep tight...or if not, tawk amongst ya'selves...

Grins.

G'nite!