You are one hell of a college, in a wonderful small town.
In the past, when I would tell people I lived in Farmville for 7 years, they immediately thought I was joking and referenced the Facebook game, Farmville, not the quaint Central Virginia town where I learned SO much about life.
My sophomore year (2000-2001) brought “the great fire” that destroyed the Rotunda. I lived in South Tabb (with my still BFF, Katie) and distinctly remember giving the fire alarm the middle finger that night. “South Tabb” was connected to “French” and filled with freshmen, who liked to pull the fire alarm. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary.
I left my room without my eyeglasses or car keys. I didn’t return to my dorm room until several weeks after the fire and ended up bypassing my final exams, having a car key cut just to drive home half blind.
The beautiful and historic Rotunda burned to the ground.
Now, when I hear a fire alarm, I grab the essentials and hope for the best. Because where there is smoke, there is fire.
No, it did not take me 7 years to get my Bachelor of Arts in History from Longwood, I actually graduated in 3 1/2 years (December 2002). I cut it short and returned home to spend time with my mom, who was receiving her first round of chemotherapy. During that time, I got my teaching license from Old Dominion University.
After my short stint at home- once I received my social studies teaching license and when my mom seemed to be in remission, I returned to Prince Edward County for my first year teaching. I was 22. I taught 11th grade US History. Most of my students were 17….”trial by fire” doesn’t seem to adequately describe my first year.
My two best friends were still enrolled at Longwood. During my first year teaching, I found myself in this weird world where I pretended I was still in college…..but all the while I was also getting a swift education about being an adult and the teaching profession…..
Soon after my first year teaching, I decided it was time to move home to Chesapeake.
Yes, my mom was still sick but that’s a story for another time.
My last 11 years have been spent teaching, learning, getting hitched to my “sweet boy” and having 2 beautiful girls.
There were many reasons I moved back home. Longwood, It wasn’t you, it was me….
But I never got a chance to thank you.
Thank you for teaching me about the best profession on earth, teaching.
Thank you for introducing me to my best friends, Katie and Kristen.
Thank you for preparing me to be a rockstar in life. (Slightly) Kidding….
Thank you for my favorite professors, Dr. David Coles and Dr. Larissa Smith (now Ferguson). Longwood is lucky enough still to have them in the History Department.
Thank you for showing me that you can burn down a building but not halt the traditions that permeate the core of the awesome institution that is Longwood.
P.S. I’m so proud of you for hosting the (only) Vice Presidential Debate.
Are you a fellow Longwood alumni, how would you like to thank Longwood??