About Me

My photo
Recent retiree--35 year's experience teaching reading, English, adult basic education and volunteer leadership skills. Started this blog to exchange ideas and commentary with friends and others having an interest in joining the discussions. Greatest life accomplishments include: 1.organized my 3rd grade class to check out library books for me to get around librarian's weekly limit--Amazon.com, the Mullins Elementary 3rd Grade Class of 1956 is still waiting for "thank you" notes; 2. volunteered in the Peace Corps, island of St. Kitts, West Indies; 3.taught adults to read, earn their GEDs., and speak English as a second language; 4. bought a border collie puppy for $6, got evicted rather than give him up, and began a life-long love affair with all things "Dog"; 5. joined a physical fitness boot camp in my mid-50s--don't mess with someone who's been doing regulation pushups in wet grass at 5:30 a.m.; 6. walked across Northern England with best friend Sally--over 80 miles from the Irish to North Seas; and 7. travelled to many foreign countries for pleasure and work.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Corner Room in Thompson Hall


Memories of school year friends is the Fun Monday topic for March 1. Our host is Wendy at Wendishness who comes across in her blog as a very good friend indeed. Wendy asks that we share some stories and photos of friends we had many years ago. Do we still keep in touch with them? I'll use some scrapbook pages to tell you about three college freshmen who shared the corner room in Thompson Hall women's dormitory at Morehead State University in 1964-65.

This is a photo of me at our shared desk looking out from our corner room. The scrapbook caption reads: "Faye reading a few lines from you know who or what."


They did not want me. Claude and Sharon had gone through elementary and high school together. They planned to set up this little cozy home away from home in Thompson Hall. They managed to snag a second floor corner room where they could supervise all the comings and goings in the front of the dormitory. Then they got the notice that one more person would be assigned to the room. I was the interloper, and an odd one at that, I'm sure. Claude and Sharon came from stable middle class families in a small town. I was country with country ways. They made a secret pact to make life miserable enough that I would move out.

In these photos Claude is the one on the far left. She always got up early to study in that fetching print robe and fluffy pink roller cap. Sharon is the pretty one hunting for Claude in the bathroom. I'm the Irish washerwoman in the bottom photo. Our rooms didn't have showers so I always got up early in the morning in order to have some bathing privacy down the hall.

In the scrapbook these photos are labeled "dorm life". Moving clockwise you see the vending machines, source of chocolate french pastry cakes that fueled our late night studies. In the next photo I'm asleep between classes in the top bunk. The outsider got that bunk. The sink was by this bed so every morning Claude threatened me with bodily harm for brushing my teeth too loudly. Moving on around there's our shared desk. Each of us had a shelf. We didn't share many classes since we each had different majors. I do remember having a folk and square dance class together though and helping each other avoid dancing with the nerdy guys--in the 60s you wanted to dance with the "tough" guys. The lower left photo was our neighbor's room across the hall. Ours was the same size and there were three of us to share. No wonder Claude and Sharon didn't want me in there.

I roomed with them for two semesters before deciding to move out of the dorm and live with a family to help with college expenses. By that time we were great friends. I loved spending weekends with Claude at her home. We circled Frisch's on Friday and Saturday nights with the local boys and went bowling. Claude's parents were strict Baptists so no matter how late we stayed out, on Sunday morning we had to be in Sunday school. We also tried to make one last circle of the boy haunts before heading back to campus on Sunday evening, but had to go to evening church first. We sat on the pews closest to the door so that we could be out of there at the last stanza of "On Jordan's Stormy Banks."

(Embiggen this image if you really want to read a page of freshman earnestness.) Only an overly dramatic college freshman would need to write an epilogue to friendship. This was in my going away scrapbook which they made for me when I left the dorm. As you can tell, we came to accept each others' little quirks and behaviors. They appreciated the extra room, I'm sure. I was happy to live with a rollicking young family in a nice home. But to quote Claude and Sharon, the sentiments may have been "trite" but they were sincere as well.

Claude got married before finishing college, but she went on to become a very shrewd businesswoman in her hometown and rear a lovely daughter. We still stay in touch after all these years. We don't talk or see each other very often, but when we do, it's easy. Sharon married her college boy friend and I lost touch with her. I couldn't ask for two better roommates to start college life with.

Now be sure to check Wendy's Fun Monday sign up to read all about all our old friends.

BTW, I'll host on March 15 if no one else planned to.

14 comments:

The Church Lady said...

Faye - I always enjoy reading your posts and I appreciate your loving comments on my blog. You truly are a genuine "blogger friend".

I loved the letter from your roomy's! Sounds like you lucked out getting two good room mates who turned out to be great friends! I'm sure Sharon thinks about you and Claude. Maybe somehow you could get back in touch with her. Maybe she'll see this post on your blog??

Jan n Jer said...

That letter is so touching to me...it shows the true feelings of your room mates way back when. You lucked out and got two new friends out of the deal. I think about our grandaughter who just started her freshman year...she had two other room mates and it did not work out. She moved into her own condo(paid by Daddy)now she will never know if it could have worked or not. Thanks for sharing you special story with us Faye...BTW I agree with you about blogging friends n FB friends...I love my blogging friends and feel a special bond with all of them.

Patience-please said...

Yikes! I think you could have asked for better roommates: ones who were nice at first! I suppose the "winning them over" was hugely gratifying though.

It was a very touching letter.

Debs said...

I love these photos and think it's amazing to look back and think of friends that were made and what happened to them.

Well done for winning them round, but it couldn't have been easy starting college and rooming with two girls who had made up their minds not to like you.

Faye said...

church lady--as I mentioned in your post comments--there are facebook surprises, like the people who are interested in being your "friend." Have you noticed how often people put FB friends in quotes? Interesting.

janis-after I moved out of freshman dorm to live with a family, I actually moved back in for another semester of sophomore year because I missed that part of college life. Perhaps your grand daughter will too.

patience-it's a mystery how we three roomies actually became good friends. In the end we overlooked our differences and did.

debs-old photos tell some good stories, don't they? Example, what we were willing to go through to have "big" hair--bristly curlers, sleeping on our face to protect the bouffant. :-)

Gattina said...

What a nice story to read ! I never experienced college life I always lived with my parents during my school life.
Thank you for asking about our storm. In my area it was not so bad, we only had some blown of roofs, damaged cars and fallen trees, but nobody was hurt, fortunately. But in France and Germany it was terrible !

Sayre said...

That is so funny, starting the friendship with a little war. That often happens though - that initial adversaries become close friends once they get to know each other and have a chance to adapt to differences.

So nice that you were able to continue your riendship with Claude!

Jill said...

I lived in a Thompson hall for 2 years, and was the president of the hall! I never had a room mate though!I paid a little extra to have my own room on the honors floor. It was fun.

wendishness said...

You always blow me away with your posts, what a great writing ability you have. I'm glad to hear that you all ended up getting along and that letter they wrote is lovely.

I've posted mine finally, thanks for waiting and playing!

laurie said...

gad, you're right out of a mid-century english novel! i love it. the corner room. my goodness.

Faye said...

gattina-leaving home for college teaches a lot--some good, some not so good. Glad you escaped that storm.

sayre-the things that college roommates share can make them friends for life once they figure out how to live together.

jill-in Thompson hall only the dorm monitors had their own rooms--too much responsibility!

wendy-thanks for the nod. Some stories are easy to tell.

laurie-this story does have an old-fashioned slant doesn't it? Plucky wins over wealth and priviledge. BTW, I had a Mr. Darcy too. :-)

Victoria Derifield said...

This is the first time I've read your blog and I can't get over the word "embiggen". I've laughed all day--on and off.

Faye said...

vicki--thanks for stopping by via Facebook. As you probably noticed blogging and facebooking are a bit different--you get to be a lot more windy on blogs. As to the "embiggen"--I learned that from Peter, a blogger friend from Australia. Very handy.

Lane said...

I was worried when I started reading about your roomies but they turned out to be complete good 'uns. Phew:-)

Just love those photos - and agree entirely with Laurie.