Best time of my life

atkin colby

I grew up in a middle class family.  In high school I knew I wanted to go to college and be a teacher.  I worked really hard to save up money, and I ended up here, at Colby Hall at Illinois State University.  I was assigned the BEST roommate ever, more on that later!

We had the best time freshman year in Colby Hall with our floormates.  Made lots of friends, had lots of fun, even while living in a tiny room with a bathroom way down the hall.

StudentDorms_1973_C638B_ACCESS

This is a sample of the room that I shared with my roommate, Kathy, aka Fonsie.  We did not have curtains, or a TV.  Just plain simple basic room.  But when we pulled our beds out for the night, we would lay there talking, talking, talking, and Fonsie would teach me to sing.

Together with our friends across the hall, we became Little Sisters to the Lamba Chi Alpha fraternity, which introduced us to Greek life.  They were a pretty hard core frat, with lots of brothers that had just come back from Vietnam, and smoked pot pretty much all the time.  This was all very new to me, as I grew up in a bubble, lol. They introduced me to beer, and I became a huge fan.

lambda chi

Not a very impressive house, lol, but we had lots of fun there.  They were invited to leave campus for quite awhile, but I hear they are making a comeback this year.

We met a lot of new friends in the Greek life, and decided to “rush”.  We only had local houses back then, not national sororities, due to a clause with an Illinois State University  donor.  So we became members of Alpha Lambda Kappa.  It was a small house, and we all crowded in there, and became very close sisters!

Then the clause time was up, and all the National sororities and frats descended upon campus!  We finally chose to become Alpha Delta Pi, which is the oldest sorority, started in Macon Georgia.  Our symbol is the Diamond, and colors are blue and white.  Unfortunately I don’t have a picture of our original house, but here is where the ADPi girls live today.

ADPi

Aren’t they just beautiful girls!  How I wish I was back in college!  Seriously the best years of my life.  Even though I didn’t have much, and had to work while going to school, I had the love of my sisters and a feeling of family that I never had experienced before.  My roomie and I were inseparable, and we shared most everything!

So time passes.  I got married pretty much right out of college, and lost track of sisters over the years.  I always wondered about them, but this was way before the age of social media!  And life just gets in the way.

But about a year and a half ago, I was on Linked In, and saw my roomies brother listed.  I emailed him and asked him for Fonsie’s email.  She answered me!  I found her!  And she had kept in contact with others!  I was so excited!  We planned to meet up, it was about this time of year, one year ago.  We met for lunch and talked for hours and hours!  I was ESTASTIC!  So happy!

Sorority 4

Kathy is the one of the far right.  I think we all held up pretty good!  So we all have stayed in touch, and reached out to ever more sisters we found.  And lo and behold, we had an even BIGGER reunion this past summer!

Sorority 6

Aren’t we a bunch of hotties?  We had the best time, again talking for hours and catching up.  Now, since we went to a teacher’s college, most of my sisters were teachers.  I never became one because I changed my major to business due to a student teacher assignment that my parents did not approve of.  BUT.  After talking to all them, and a retired teacher friend of mine from the pool, I decided to try and become a Substitute Teacher this past summer.

It took me months and lots of time and effort and money and testing and assessments and a whole lot of other stuff, but in September, I finally achieved my dream from so long ago and became a teacher!  Luckily, where I sub, they actually let you teach.  I love it so much.  It invigorates this old lady!  I actually cried when I came home from my first teaching day!

AND.  Today.  I will see the Fab Four again!  We are meeting for lunch, just like we did last year at Christmas time!  I’m so excited.  I love these girls so much.  Stay tuned for a new picture shortly!

You get paid the big bucks

dollar

I remember when I worked at a small manufacturing company.  I was part of Management, and we had lots of hourly workers who ran machines in the plant.  There was one cafeteria that was shared by all.

Being a social person, I was friendly with everyone, no matter what their position.  I enjoyed talking with them at break time etc.

A couple of people started to tease me/joke with me about how I had a nice office and good job and made the “big bucks”.  It didn’t really bother me at first, but then I got to thinking about it.

One day, when someone made the usual comment, I looked right at their table and said, “Well, if you want to put yourself through 4 years of college by working until midnight every day your junior and senior year of high school, and then working 40 hours a week away at college while going to classes, be my guest.  Then get a job at a Fortune 100 company and work on average 60 hours a week while going to grad school, taking a double load of classes and summer school, to get your MBA.  Then fight your way out of an abusive alcoholic boss situation at work and end up here.  When you’re done with all that, then come to me and say you want the big bucks too.  By then you will have earned it.”

There was silence for a few moments.  Most people probably assumed I came from a wealthy family who sent me to college and gave me everything I needed.  Nope.  Not the case at all.  I worked for every dime, took out school loans, repaid them immediately, and never had any of the luxuries at school that my friends did.  I joined a sorority mainly because it was cheaper to live there than at the dorms.  Most of my sorority sisters would call up daddy on the phone to replenish their checking accounts.  Not me.  I was out working.  I worked at the local Burger King as the night shift manager, doing scheduling and bookkeeping etc.  Then I got a full time job working for the Comptroller of the university, who let me leave to go to class.  He was a great boss, and I am indebted to him forever.

Anyway, I got a great education, and I feel good about how I got it.  Nobody handed it to me on a silver platter.  I did have lots of fun in college, I mean, I was in a sorority, hello!  And I worked my ass off in grad school, and got great grades.  I am PROUD of myself for these accomplishments.  I got them on my own.

I wish that some people would take the initiative to do this instead of complaining about their dead end minimum wage jobs, or being too lazy to do anything.  I wish some parents would kick their kid’s butts in gear, instead of babying them.  Even though I wish my parents had been able to afford to send me to college, they actually did me a favor by making me work for what I wanted.

Cause that’s how you make the big bucks.  You EARN them.

 

Dave’s not here

chong

Seeing Tommy Chong on Dancing With the Stars this season has brought back some great memories!  Who remembers this skit from Cheech and Chong?

“Knock knock knock

Who is it

It’s me, Dave, open up man, I’ve got the stuff

Dave?

Right man, Dave, now will you open up the door?

Dave’s not here.”

Dave kitty

I thought this was the funniest thing when I was a freshman in college.  So my roommate Fonzie and I were sitting around our first Saturday night at school, bored, as we didn’t really know anybody yet.  We decided to prank call some “Daves”.  We got out the campus directory, and started dialing.  Most Daves didn’t play along, so we hung up on them, obviously they weren’t fun or good sports.  But I hit the jackpot with one Dave, who played right along.  (He must have been the recipient of similar conversations, lol.)  So anyway after talking and laughing on the phone for awhile, he wanted to meet up with us.  I told him I didn’t go out with strangers.  (But I didn’t seem to have any problem calling them up, ha!).  He said, I’ll be outside your dorm in 5 minutes, you can check me out and if you like what you see you can come out and meet me.

Well, I lived in the all girls dorm, nicknamed The Virgin Islands, on the 6th floor.  He lived in the coed dorm across the way.  After much giggling, my roommate and I did indeed see him standing outside in the court yard, waving to us.

Gulp.  Hubba Hubba!  Now, I lived in the Virgin Islands for good reason.  I was a good Catholic girl, and had never been on a real date, and was still waiting for my first real kiss.  Pathetic, I know.  So now I’m looking down on this drop dead gorgeous guy waving at me, and I couldn’t get downstairs fast enough.  Fonzie and I talked with him and his friend, and they invited us to go to an outdoor party in their quad.  We went with them, as they seemed like nice normal guys.

Wow.  I had the time of my life.  I can STILL remember every. single. moment.  Dave and I had instant chemistry.  He was tall, dark and handsome.  Funny.  Smart.  You know, the whole package.  I felt like I hit the jackpot, first week at school!

We got a beer from the keg.  My first beer, my first keg.  A night of firsts!  We sat down on grassy hillside to talk.  He started calling me Lady Guinevere, and I called him Sir Lancelot, because he was my knight in shining armor who rescued me from boredom in my dorm.

Some guys from his dorm had fireworks, so as it got dark, he went and got a couple of blankets from his room.  We laid back on the hillside and snuggled, watching the fireworks.  I can still remember it like it was yesterday.

Now I know what you’re thinking.  Cause I was thinking the same thing in the back of my mind.  Dark, starry night.  Handsome guy.  Pretty girl.  Beer.  Blanket.  What comes next?

Well my first kiss, of course!  It was…..incredible.  Awesome.  Life changing.  I felt like a real woman, for the first time in my life.

Now I know what you’re thinking.  First kiss.  What other “firsts” will I reach tonight?

My momma taught me well.  Or should I say scared me well.  I could hear her voice in the back of my mind, see her face.  She was always so concerned about me and my sister, and our reputations.  She was conscious of what people would think about our family.  And here I was, away from her all-seeing, all-knowing eyes, at college.  What would I do?  Would I continue on my night of firsts?

No.  Of course not.  I was a good Catholic girl, and he was a good Catholic boy, who was a true gentleman!  I never even had to stop him, we just kissed and snuggled, and it was very innocent.  He truly was my knight in shining armor.

She – Door #1

books

She gets out of bed to start a new day. A day that is different from what it should be. How did she end up here?

She ponders on her situation for a little while. Life has so many doors to choose from. It’s almost like a game show, but with long lasting consequences. Door #1, Door #2 or Door #3. Pick one. And if you want to, you can choose a different one. It may or may not be better. That is the consequence.

She thinks her first door was back in college. The fact that she went to college at all was a miracle. She was the first one in the family. Even her mother said that women just need to learn how to be a good secretary. But she didn’t want to be a secretary. She wanted her own secretary.

So she was on her own in college, working to pay for school. In fact sometimes she worked instead of going to class, which was ironic. She also had a lot of fun, for the first time in her life. But being on her own was a double-edge sword. Yes, she was free and could do what she wanted. But sometimes she didn’t do the most important things. Sometimes she put fun and working ahead of class. Good thing she was so smart 😉

It was hard going to college.  Many times she stayed at school instead of going home for breaks, so she could work.  Most of her college friends/sorority sisters went to Florida or on ski vacations with their families.  They were the ones who called their Daddies every week to deposit more money in their checking account.  She just stayed in an empty house and went to work every day.

She wanted to be a teacher. The only bad part about that was the student teaching requirement. You got to write down three cities of choice. She got her third choice, chicagoland. However, it was very south and very dangerous chicagoland. Her parents wouldn’t let her go. So she gave up her dream of being a teacher 😦 and decided on business, which was more practical.  It would serve her well in the future.

She was glad she went to college.  She was glad she stuck with Door #1.