Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Wednesday's Walk-OSU

Ever since I can remember, there has been a kind of rivalry among my extended family-aunts, uncles, cousins-when it comes to colors. Some of us like red and some of us like orange. I'm referring to, of course, OU and OSU (Oklahoma University and Oklahoma State University). Around here, most people come down firmly on one side or the other, there isn't really any in between (unless one of the teams is playing Texas-then you are allowed to cheer for the other team).
I happen to bleed orange. Always have. Even before I understood what a college was or why you would go there, that's where I said I would go. Back then, it may have had something to do with wanting to irritate people and stir them up, who knows, but somewhere along the way it got stuck in my head that I needed to go to OSU. So, when the time came, that's what I did.
My experience at OSU was a little different than most. I was married when I came to OSU-we were married in July and I started my classes in August. I never lived in a dorm or a sorrority house. I lived off campus in a "house"-and I use that term loosely-with my husband. So, there were some experiences that I missed out on-I don't have all those "crazy room mate" stories to tell, no memories of people on my floor, didn't go to any parties. But I also missed out on making a lot of mistakes that so many kids make at college, which is a good thing. My focus was on my classes, my home, and my husband.
I started off at OSU planning to major in Psychology. Why psychology? I don't know. I think that I really didn't have any idea what I wanted to do but felt like I need to have an answer when people asked my what I was studying, so I decided that was a good one. I actually only took one psychology class at OSU. Anyway, when I was in my second year at OSU, I found out that I was pregnant with Dakota. It was then that I heard about the Early Childhood Education program. I immediately decided that was what I wanted to do. What could be better for someone who had kids than to be a teacher? So, for the rest of my time at OSU, that's what I studied.
I am so thankful for my the time I had when I was in college. Daniel worked very hard for us during that time (sometimes two jobs) so that after Dakota was born I didn't work again until after college. I still say that was the time when I was the best mom I've ever been. I would drop Dakota off for a few hours a day while I was at class, and then I was home with her the rest of the time. It was perfect. I got just enough of a break and some adult time each day and was free to enjoy my baby the rest of the time. Not that things weren't hard. But, looking back on it, it was all very much worth it.
I graduated in May of 2000 with a BS in Family Relations and Child Development. I earned my teaching certificate to teach Early Childhood-ages birth to age 8 (or PreK to 3rd grade in public schools). Here are some pictures for my graduation day.
Here I am! Yes, I was the nerd who wore the cords from every honor society I was in. But, hey, I worked hard to earn them and I was proud to wear them.

Daniel and I. We had already proven lots of people wrong by making it through those first 4 years (and by me actually graduating from OSU-married at 18 and with a baby at 20). 9 years later, we are still proving them wrong.

I did have a (very) few close friends at school. By our last year, we practically spent the entire day together every day. This is Brandon, Michelle, me, and Twila. Unfortunately, we haven't stayed in touch as much as I would like, but thanks for Facebook, it's getting better.

Here is the sea of graduates that day. I am out there somewhere!

And here I am with Dakota. Did I mention to you that she attened her first class at OSU when she was less than a week old? She was a smart girl from the beginning.


Debbie said...

What wonderful memories you shared of those days. I have to commend you on your dedication to get your college degree despite the challenges in your life at that time. It helps I'm sure to have a husband who is supportive of your goal too. Good for him.

You're probably right about missing out on some of the college times but maybe you avoided many mistakes that many of us made at that time in our lives. It sounds like things are working out good for you.

It's nice to visit you and share your memory today.

Linda said...

Hi, I am not red or orange or any other color when it comes to football or any other college sport,...or any sport actually. But I have a husband who loves football and is a Husker fan.

There is a sweet gal at church who is a little younger than me and she is an OU fan and they go to every home game,...and even some away games I think. It is cute how excited she gets about football with her husband.

I can see that it is fun for people, but I just never got into it all.

I didn't go to college and I had 3 kids by the time I was 22. So, I was kinda busy back in the days when they were little.

I think your little girl is cute and I like her name. I have heard it before but I don't think I know any Dakotas.

I commend you and your husband for your hard work and your completion of college and on your nine year marriage. May you have many more happy years together.

Thanks for joining in on Weds. Walk today.

God's Blessings!
Linda @ Truthful Tidbits

Kate said...

How cool! You are a very determined lady! Good for you, and what a great example you set for your kids!

Lynette said...

We did it the other way round - I was the one who worked while my husband got through university! I think your "house" may have been a little like ours!! Our first baby arrived just a week before his final exams - not sure how we managed but we did!!
I trained as an early years teacher too - no job quite like it!
I enjoyed reading your memory today,