Blast From My Past!


I am indulging in a few lost memories tonight. Today my husband and I drove to Indiana to pick up our “new” truck. Actually it is a 1979 truck but hubbys new toy. We made the drive through Oxford, where I went to college. Miami University of Ohio to be exact. Did you know that Miami University was a school before Florida was even a state? Yup, the university was in business before Florida was even part of the US.

Memories of a different life, time, and place lazily drifted through my mind. I remember the sights and sounds of young voices laughing and talking and studying together. I remember the beauty of the campus with all the big trees and the cobblestone roads. I remember going to Millett Hall to see Elton John in concert with my mom. (That is a whole nother story!).

It struck me how quiet the campus is during the holiday break and yet, life is there… people are still walking the downtown, drinking coffee, and looking at the storefronts. I saw a few college kids but this time the people were mostly residents, older folks, enjoying the quiet too, I would think.

When I was at Miami, I was a driving student. I was not a resident student. I happened to live close enough to drive every day. Somehow, it is not the same thing as living on campus. Two of my cousins did that. They went to Miami too and since they were from Virginia, they lived on campus. I was so jealous.

While attending Miami University (Ohio), I did do a few memorable things that I wanted to share. Since I was a non-traditional student (I was divorced and had 3 kids), I commuted to my classes. At some point, I came up with the idea that students who were parents needed help. After recruiting a few other parents, we formed the organization SPOC. It stands for Single Parents On Campus. To the best of my knowledge, it is still in existence today. My daughter (who also attended Miami) said she saw my name as a founder of the group. I had forgotten, to be honest, because it seems light years since I was such an activist. I am not really an activist, but I do tend to make ideas happen then move on and forget about them once they are implemented.

 I also remember my classes and a few of my professors who made an impact on my life and education. One of my favorite profs was Donna Klaaren, my anatomy & physiology teacher. She was an RN who was married to an orthopedic surgeon. Many did not like her, but I found her to not only be approachable, but a mentor as well. She wore high heels each and every day, and she was in her fifties or sixties at the time. She was clear, concise and demanding, but she was also fair. Point in fact, while I was in her class the first time, I found out I was pregnant with my third child. I had to drop my semester classes because it was a high risk pregnancy. She not only made it easier for me to come back afterwards, she helped me so it did not imfluence my grades or GPA. She was not my advisor, but she took time out of her busy life to mentor me before I left to have my child and after when I returned.

Another of my favs is Ms. Allred. She was my western civilization prof and she was also the professor we chose to help us in forming SPOC. She was a divorced single parnet and so she seemded to be the right choice in an adivsor. I remember once we had a get together at one of the members homes and I gave her a ride in my beat up old clunker. What a hoot!

One of my kookiest profs was my psych teacher. He was British and always came to class int he same clothes, day after day, carrying a beaker with a mysterious amber liquid in it that he would sip during class. Mr. Cooper was his name. I took the first level class, went to class every day, learned all the important theories and junk, then proceeded to get a minor in psych. Yeah, I would show up at the first class each semester, get a class syllabus, then only show up for tests. No books, or anything. Finally, he approached me and asked how I was doing it, because I had solid A’s in his classes. I did not have an answer but he told me I had a natural apptitude for the science of psychology. Hmm, who knew?

My connections to the university go further when my daughter graduated from there as well. She was not only a student but also had her wedding on the campus. Her husband is also a graduate from Miami. When you marry someone who graduated from Miami or if you both went to Miami, you are considered a Miami merger.

Anyhoo, these memories all came flooding back just by driving through the town of Oxford, Ohio. A trip down memory lane, unexpected, but refreshing to open my mind to the past.