Friday, July 25, 2008

Thinking about the past

Damn you classmates.com! A website where people from High School or College can find out what old classmates are up to these days. I've had a profile for quite a few years and get emails some times about people visiting it. I recently figured out that I can also look for college friends (I previously just thought it was mostly about High School connections). I had to grab my college year books to remember who people where. As usually with this site no one I liked or hung out with is on the site. It did prompt me to contact the Alumni department and get them to send me a yearbook for a year I didn't have! The yearbook and the search for old friends on classmates.com brought be down memory lane. So let me tell you a little bit about where I spent my first years out of high school.

I attended Whitworth College in Spokane WA. A small Presbyterian college set on a beautiful campus in a small eastern Washington town. I attended Santiam High School in Mill City OR population 1500 or so and the student body was about 200 and my class had something less than 40 students. So I wanted to go to a smaller college where I would have the chance to participate in all sorts of things and not be thought of as a number. Whitworth is a unique school I think. It has a lot of tradition probably like most Colleges do. There is a religious feel to the school but it wasn't overbearing. At the time I enrolled I had all sorts of ambitions. I started out as a Psychology major with the idea of being a youth councilor either through the church or professionally. Within the first year I realized that psychology majors where CRAZY! I also found a job within my first month on campus working for the stage crew. I was always into theater in high school and I even had a drama course I was taking. I quickly changed my major to theater at that point. I schemed my way into taking a winter term in London to study theater and funding it with my student loans. I spent the following summer living on campus and working to pay it all back. I ate spagetti-o's and Top Ramen all summer. The next year I took a computer programming class to fulfill a math requirement. Turns out I loved computer programming and was quite good at it. I got an A without trying too hard. So I switched my major again to computer science. I also found out that there was good money in programming and the hours were a lot more regular than theater. I spent my next summer working at a theater arts camp on California where I met my wife. I took a year off from school and then returned the following fall. It turned out to be too hard to work, go to school and be married all at the same time and something had to give. So I left half way into my 3rd year and moved back to Southern California where my wife's family lived and started my career in computers.


I have often thought about my time at Whitworth over the years. I don't regret making the decision to leave and my choices afterwards have led me to some great memories. But I do wonder what happened to the people I knew then. Where are they now and what type of choices did they make. It was a great time. I was young but independent. I lived in a dorm my first year and then moved off campus during my 2nd year. I hung out with the stage crew and the the staff the managed it. I didn't get involved in as many other groups or activities as I thought I would. The college was huge compared to my high school days. The other day I was thinking back about how we used to play Frisbee golf on campus during lunch breaks in the summer. The course was so unmarked that if you didn't learn it from someone else you'd never know where it was. So I googled Whitworth College Frisbee Golf and found this link called 95 things I love about Whitworth written by a student Dec 2007. Most of it I connect with except for the newer stuff since I was there from 81-84. Looks like the Frisbee (disc) golf is alive and well. Of course they are now called Whitworth Univerity, I don't know when that happened? When I ordered the missing yearbook I sent my payment in for it and got a letter back thanking me for my donation so I guess now I am an official donor to the school?


Anyway. Fond memories.







1 comment:

The Frog Queen said...

It was JT singing Oh what a beautiful moring from Oklahoma at his concert that took you back to your college theater days wasn't it? Great, now I am singing it too!