» BBTW 20
School is starting for a lot of people these days. Tell us your most memorable “back to school” related story.
I love back-to-school time. New school supplies are one of my favorite things ever. I get really excited, even in my 14th year of college past high school (HOLY CRAP), to buy new notebooks and pens at the start of the semester. Trying to think of a good story is difficult, though. Most of my college career has been online, since I’ve lived all over the dang place and haven’t had much time to settle in and do something without moving in the middle of it.
My most memorable first day of school is going to make me sound like a backwoods hick. But it was an important turning point in my life, nonetheless.
When I moved to Denver after high school I was really green, as far as diversity and big cities went. Even though I didn’t grow up in a small town, Norman has a small-town feel. The major points of diversity are on campus, and other places around town I was pretty sheltered in my own world of my protestant church, my group of nerdy friends, and my family. I had very few friends (or even acquaintances) of other races, and no friends of other religions.
Arriving in my first college class at the Community College of Denver (I actually lived in Aurora, but didn’t know till I moved that there was a college there, too, so I had enrolled in a couple of classes at CCD and then transferred the next semester) was an exciting and eye-opening experience. I had my Oklahoma twang, I was nervous, and I was new. I had zero friends. I had zero acquaintances. I was so very excited to see people of color, women in head scarves, people with accents from foreign lands! I met gay people who were out and proud! I had a professor who was rude and not coddling like my high school teachers had been! I had few expectations when I went in, but I thought, naively, that community college, even in the big city, would be a lot like an extension of high school. It was not.
My life changed abruptly when I moved to Denver. I would further change even more after I met Jim, after we married, after he joined the military, after we moved overseas, after we lost our Angel, and after Eriana was born. Heck, I continue to change all the time. But I really feel like that was the beginning of the changes that would take place in me. That one day in August of 2000, when I walked into a classroom of people, most of whom were nothing like me. It was fantastic.
This was, quite literally, the only picture I could find from the fall of 2000 that I could crop other people out of (you know, in case they don’t want their 13 years ago pictures all over my blog). I have more in storage, but this one was in my photo album. I had dyed my hair dark brown before I left Oklahoma. It was naturally very blonde before that, then (after it grew out it was a mousy blonde, but it naturally went a shade darker every pregnancy to the dark blonde/light brown it is now).