Straight out of high school I attended my Mother’s Alma Mater, Cottey College. It is a private all-girls school stuck in no-where Missouri. I learned a lot there, including a bit more about who I was. I stopped being the tall, super skinny dancer who was shy and didn’t ever think people liked her and became the tall, not as skinny dancer (on the side) who started to realize that maybe, just maybe, she wasn’t that bad of a person. The schooling wasn’t too difficult for me, I only really had to study right before tests except for the year of Spanish. Because I don’t do languages. I passed with a B. After taking Japanese for 4 years in high school, Spanish was a totally different experience and I was lucky to have such a great teacher. He was an older man, white haired and always red faced. This was because he was a heavy smoker. His spanish was accented with the lovely smoker’s coughs. He was always outside the hall smoking before class and was one of the first to leave after the 90 minute session to smoke again. During finals, he left the room half-way through to smoke again. But he was a great man, once you got use to him. He was always patient with me, even when I asked the stupid questions. I was so proud after getting a B the second semester after getting a C the first one. At the beginning of the first class, there were about 18 students, 5 of which had never taken Spanish before (myself included). At the end of the second semester, there were 7. I was the only Spanish virgin that survived.
I also managed to gain 3 pants sizes. Partially because I was no longer dancing 3 hours a day, 4 times a week. And partially because the food was SO GOSH DARN GOOD!! Our chef was amazing. Well, I guess I should use the present tense, since he’s still there. Dining was part of the tuition, so we got 3 square meals a day and 2 on Sunday. These always included hot food inside, a salad bar, sandwich bar and cereal. As well as full compliment of juices, soda and occasionally soft serve ice cream. You wouldn’t find me very often at the salad bar.
But that was a healthy gain. I no longer looked like a starving African child. At high school graduation, I was 5’10 and weighed 105 pounds. I was skinny. And awkward. And if I wasn’t dancing, I was usually tripping over my big feet, running into walls and falling down stairs. Once I gained some weight, I also gained hips and boobs, to balance things out. I fell down a lot less. I even had an easier time finding clothes. Did you know, they didn’t make size 2 jeans in long? At least, not anywhere that wasn’t $75+ for them.
The best part about Cottey? Getting to go to Europe for the 2 weeks of Spring Break. For free. The first week was included and we went to Paris. It was amazing, but cold! The second week, my roommate and a suitemate and I went to Germany, to stay with my roommate’s relatives. We had never ridden on a train before, and here we were going to go on a train for the first time. And none of us spoke either French OR German. Interesting to say the least, especially upon discovering the fact that my roommate had no contact information for the people we were staying with. But we made it there okay! And we had a week of horriblely entertaining TV, fresh eggs and bread for breakfast every morning, partying with the hot German Navy at the clubs and relaxing.
It was wonderful.
I highly recommend anyone who knows a girl looking to have an amazing college experience, off the beaten path to take a look at Cottey. When I was there, there were less than 300 girls, from 45 different states and 17 coutnries. A LOT of diversity and great experiences.
After Cottey, I transfered back to Oregon to the University of Oregon to continue my education….that’s when things really became interesting.