Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Old School Try...

meandmom said...

I LOVE this idea! What did you study in Tennessee?

(Sidenote- The Mom from meandmom or I'm OK, You're OK, is the coolest. She is a hard working single mom of two delightful, insightful, smart girls. Although I would love to see her post more often, I totally know that I could never do what she does, and I'm in awe of the fact that she even blogs at all.)

When I was in high school I thought that I wanted to go to the University of New Mexico. It was far enough away from my home town that I could "start anew", but still less than a days' drive. I even applied early so I could qualify for a reciprical agreement between Colorado and New Mexico that would make me elligible for instate tuition. I think that I knew where I was going before Christmas of my senior year. I chose New Mexico because I wanted to be a deaf ed/elementary school teacher, and UNM was the closest school that had both.

Up until the spring of my senior year I had never been to New Mexico, much less the university. All of my university visits, or drive-bys, had been at U of Colorado, Boulder, or Memphis State University (where my parents went,) read=old, ivy-covered brick. Traditional-looking colleges.

(Tracey is now laughing-possibly even squirting liquid out of her nose. She knows where I'm going with this, I'm sure.)

One three day weekend in February we left on a Friday afternoon to drive to Albuquerque to do the full-on college weekend: tour the campus, see what we could see, and explore the city. Of course we arrived late in the evening to our hotel so we would have to wait until morning to see what we could see.

Industrial adobe.

On Saturday we went to the university to take the tour. We saw the 8 story adobe, or 'southwest style' library, and the less-than-desirable neighborhoods surrounding the university, and decided that we'd had enough of Albuquerque and headed back to Denver. Yes, less than 24 hours into a 3 day weekend, and we were headed home.

(My apologies to Albuquerque and those of you that live there. I have since been there and really enjoyed my stay, and I'm sure that there have been great changes since I was there. Remember I was a young and stupid 17 year old.)

For those of you that are still with me, you'll remember that I said that it was February. Now, after seeing and not liking UNM at all I was in a quandry. I had applied at one in-state school that I really didn't want to go to but I was resigned to go there since I hadn't applied any where else.

In the middle of all of this my mom went to visit an old friend in Knoxville, Tennessee. She returned home raving about how beautiful the city was, and that the university was "old school" like I was expecting. If you have ever been in east Tennessee in April you know what she means. Blooming dogwoods, sunny skies, mild temperatures. What's not to like?

So, off went my application.

I was accepted.

I committed, sight unseen. (You see the pattern, right?)

Well, I went to orientation and it was ok-save for the dreadful July heat. The university was beautiful, and I was ready for my adventure.

I arrived on campus, moved into my dorm, and started sorority recruitment. I don't remember much about my first roommate-she moved out pretty quickly-and I was alone for the rest of the semester. I did join a sorority, dove headfirst into greek life, and all that it has to offer. Oh, I guess I went to classes because I didn't fail anything (that I remember.) As a freshman I pretty much studied general ed-english, history, that kind of stuff. I also took a gymnastics class. I remember that because when all of my friends were complaining about gaining the freshman 15 I had lost it. I was working out, and not eating much, and drinking A LOT.

I know that my parents must have known that I was unhappy there-my 'emergency' credit card had lots of emergencies on it. You know, the emergency outfit, the emergency dinner at Copper Cellar, complete with cocktails. There were also the calls home at times that I should have been out having fun-Friday night, anyone? During the football games? What was I thinking? Anyway, yes, I was pretty unhappy.

I returned after Christmas vacation to winter in east Tennessee. Gray, gray, and more gray. My mom remembers me calling home one time saying that I hadn't seen the sun in over 2 weeks. Sunshine is a must in my life, no matter what the temperature is I really need the sun.

By spring break, I had had it. I was going home. (UT was on the quarter system at the time so I had finished 2 quarters.) I spent the week deciding what to do with my parents, then going back to the dorm to pack and then driving home.

So, the short answer to "What did you study at Tennessee?" is sorority, drinking, consumerism, depression, and knowing myself well enough to know that I'd had enough.

P.S. I will answer the second half of your question in another post.

P.P.S. Have you checked out the Compassion Blogs today? You really need to!

Headless Mom


Steph said...

What are you saying? That all colleges don't have the beautiful scenery like you described...ivy growing on the beautiful brick walls, lush green grass, and huge trees...couples with sweaters tied around their necks, girls in tennis skirts...

I am depressed now. LOL

Did you ever become a deaf-ed teacher?

Sam said...

Things I Remember - Albuquerque being kinda dumpish. I remember not liking the school, either. I was 15 and stupid, but I remember agreeing that it wasn't anything to write home about.

Things I Don't Remember - I don't remember leaving after only a day! :) I also don't remember having an emergency credit card.

Funny thing is, I applied to basically two schools and got accepted to both: University of Alabama (old-school school) and San Diego State (not quite boxy adobe UNM, but decidedly not old-school ivy). Went to SDSU and got disenchanted with life on Montezuma Mesa after a few years as well. Colorado is much more suited to my tastes. :)

Anonymous said...

Headless, you are making me blush! I studied much of the same and I didn't even switch schools! Nope....I took the 5 year degree in sorority, drinking and Linguistics was in there somewhere too.

Anonymous said...

I left Colorado right after college for the East Coast. Two winters of never seeing the sun made come running home again. Home, where BTW, it was 70 degrees and beautiful today...