Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Thanks for the Memories

From August of 2006 to May of 2008, I attended Clearwater Christian College where I earned my Associate of Arts degree in General Studies. This past Friday, I learned that the college would be closing its doors.

And that's sad. I'll never be able to show my kids where I went to college. I won't be able to pop onto the campus anymore when I'm over that way. It seems strange to think that a place where I grew so much as a person, a friend, a Christian will no longer exist in the way that it did.

But I will always have the memories that I made at that wonderful place, and, as I'm feeling rather nostalgic this week, today you get to be regaled with stories of my short college history. Where do I even begin?

When I enrolled at Clearwater, I had every intention of going for my bachelors degree in elementary education. God had other plans, however, and what ensued was a whirlwind of a two years and my AA. I cannot say enough good things about the professors and faculty of Clearwater Christian College. They stayed with me through three different majors and made it possible for me to graduate in 2008 by finagling my schedule into something do-able my final year including an independent study in which Dr. Mattice committed to meeting with me personally on a weekly basis to get a history credit that I needed.

So having said that, let's start with some memories of the amazing professors I had the privilege of sitting under.
Me with Dr. Ralston ~ Graduation 2008
Me with Coach Carver ~ Graduation 2008
One of the first classes I took was a comp class with Miss Hermes. I bombed the very first paper I wrote, and I remember thinking, "If this is what college work is going to be like, I'm never going to make it." I went to Miss Hermes during her office hours to discuss the paper. It turns out, her TA had graded the paper, and, after reviewing it, Miss Hermes raised my grade and discussed what she expected and how it could have even been better. She ended up being one of my favorite professors, and I took as many classes with her as I could.

How about sitting through classes with Mr. Partridge hearing about his Catholic Italian upbringing and stories of snitching his mother's meatballs after calculating how many Hail Marys it would take in confession afterwards? AND THEN HE DID HAIL MARYS IN CLASS!

How about College Algebra at 7:35 AM with Professor Kellogg when I couldn't stay awake to save my life? One time, he came up to me in the gym and said, "Hey could you close your eyes for a second?" And when I did he said, "Oh Hannah! I hardly recognized you awake." Most understanding guy on the planet.

Or what about el ed classes with Dr. Youstra hearing about how Clearwater Christian College is like a shoe factory? "We mend the souls, ship the heels, and send them out in pairs."

And who doesn't love Coach Carver? That man has a genuine love for people that is unequaled, and I'm so thankful I was able to sit under his teaching. I worked at a camp the summer between my two years at CCC, and Coach Carver wrote to me and prayed for me.

And no one who took Earth Science the spring semester of 2008 will forget that 20-page paper on the Florida everglades. I think we were all seniors who needed to pass to graduate, and that class was the most agonizing one I took. I guess it didn't help that I didn't read the book on the Florida everglades and waited until the night before it was due to write the paper. I still don't know what grade I got in that class, but I know I got my diploma so I must have passed it.
Unit P ~ Christmas Banquet 2006
Unit X ~ Christmas Banquet 2007

What about Christmas banquets and Greek events and speed dating in the gym right after your parents dropped you off freshman year?

What about trying to find a private place to cry your eyes out that very first week and realizing two other girls in your unit were doing the same thing and bonding for life over it?

What about gaining that Freshman 15 because one of your unit-mates worked at Dunkin and brought home a dozen donuts every night? (Thanks, Jackie!)

What about blaring Beyonce's Irreplaceable and singing at the tops of our lungs anytime we drove anywhere and packing six people into my '93 Ford Taurus at any given time?

What about paying all my room fines (or late fines) exclusively in pennies in an act of protest until Ms. Bennett finally demanded that I sit in her apartment and roll the pennies myself anytime I came to pay?

And speaking of late fines, how about befriending every single guy in the security shack so they'd wave me through when I was getting back to campus late from work...again?
SDC ~ Community Service
Cougar Baseball
How about joining the Greek whose community service was taking Panera-donated bagels and coffee to the local firefighters? (SDC for life!)

How about being a loyal Cougars baseball fan and cheering the guys on at every single game?

What about sitting in Cathcart for hours talking about everyone who walked by? The nice guys taking the girls trays to the window? Or those pumpkin pancakes I would drag myself out of bed for? (Ok, so Kym would drag me out of bed for them, but you get the idea.)

What about working in Joy Club and making a difference in the lives of kids living in a bad neighborhood?

Or taking friends home to my parents' house every weekend because we just had to get off campus for a little while, do laundry, and feel like we were free?
The Original Four
Monday Night Starbucks Club
Rebekah Germano, Lauren Town, Me, Kristi Ricker
What about starting the Monday Night Starbucks Club with Ben, Micah, and Ted and all of us racing back to campus right at curfew from Safety Harbor Pier?

And speaking of Safety Harbor, how about being thrown into the fountain or walking the trail to see groups of CCC students watching movies on their laptops?

How about meeting Milton at The Village Inn for ice cream one night and going in wearing only socks because my shoes were so gross after work?

How about staying up all night with Karsch watching our shows in her bed and driving her roommate insane with our talking and laughing?
SDC Bowling Bash (1st Year)
Ice Skating Event (1st Year)
SDC Bowling Bash (2nd Year)
What about road-tripping up to Pensacola Christian College for the big rivalry basketball game, wearing jeans and holding hands with Chuck Tibbetts just to make the PCC kids mad?

What about just hanging out in the gym playing and watching intramural volleyball and basketball?

What about that Cougar discount at Chick-fil-a? (Oh, the weight I gained in college!) Or going anywhere within a 5-mile radius of campus and seeing fellow students? (Especially Target, Borders, Panera, and anywhere in Safety Harbor.)

Or how when I desperately wanted to be alone, I'd go to the Barnes & Noble off of 19, find a copy of Anne of Green Gables, and stay there for hours because the CCC kids all went to Borders.
Valentines 2007
Lauren Town, Allison Hohman, Me ~ Countryside Mall '06
Kymberly Murray, Emilie Klinger, Me, Amanda Karschner, Alisha Boley
How about instituting the Valentines Blind Group Date where we'd pick each other's dates out and not tell till we met to go out?

How about that time we went to Clearwater Beach and saw that little old man strip down after his run? (I still can't think about that without cracking up!)

And speaking of Clearwater Beach, how about going every chance I got but always by myself because my swimwear wasn't CCC-approved?

And speaking of dress code, how about the four-finger rule and that time I got demerits in my mailbox from some punk RA who "didn't want to embarrass me" by approaching me after the class we had together because my shirt was too low? (I'm still a little bitter about this one. The nerve!)

How about Unforgettable Night where Dr. Ralston cut me off in the middle of my rendition of Beauty & the Beast because we were running short on time, and I had given him permission beforehand to be brutal with me if he wanted? (He was the Simon Cowell in our American Idol themed Unforgettable Night.)

How about sitting in front of the library for hours talking about the deep things and forming relationships that would last a lifetime?
Unit P ~ 06/07 
Unit X ~ 07/08
And oh the memories from our "study tour" to Europe! That's a post in and of itself. Suffice it to say, I earned college credit to go on a trip to Austria (Vienna, Salzburg, Innsbruck), Italy (Venice, Florence), and France (Paris) in March of 2008. Let's look at a few photos from that amazing trip:
waiting to check into our room
J-Mor, Alex, and TG recreating the statue behind them in Vienna
climbing "the mountain" in the middle of the night in Innsbruck 
taking the most un-romantic gondola ride in Venice

losing ourselves in Venice and eating the best gelato in the world
on the ferry to and from Venice with Jen Bolan, Brooke Begeman, and Kym Murray
the infamous night train to Paris
squeezing onto a tiny white block in front of the Eiffel Tower for this picture
freezing our butts off in Paris but loving every minute of it
"booty in da air!" in Germany
Playing Golf every spare minute during our travels, glass-blowing in Venice, the opera in Vienna, nastiest weather ever in Florence, stuffing ourselves with the best food everywhere we went, too windy and snowy to go to the top of the Eiffel Tower, and making memories I'll never forget.

All of this and so much more leading up to this moment:

My college days were a blast, and I will cherish all these memories and the friends I have made forever. 
Thanks, CCC!

Share some of your own college memories (especially if you're a Cougar!) in the comments, and have a fabulous Wednesday!


  1. Well I'm not a Cougar, but all of this sounds like a blast! I remember coming to play vball against Clearwater when I was on the vball team and they were so good and we stunk it up! Your professors sounded awesome! I almost wish I had gone to CCC simply for the professors, because the counseling teachers at the school I went to were horrible...

    1. Oh man, I didn't even talk about Dr. DeWitt because I wasn't a counseling or psych major, but she was the bomb dot com too. It would have been so fun to go to college together. Oh well, hindsight is 20/20, right? ;)

  2. This post makes my heart smile. I'm so glad you had this college experience, Hannah!

    1. Well, I owe it to you and Dad. I almost included the memory I have of you and Dad sitting me down, telling me to quit the bad attitude, and make the most of it because I would finish at least 1 year. So thank you, Mom!

  3. Sometimes I wish I had gone off to college, for memories like this! So happy you had so much fun at CCC! Even if you did come home every. single. weekend. 😉

    1. One of those college memories involves hiding you in my room to spend the night and going to the beach! =)

    2. Hahahaha! I almost forgot about that! :D

  4. My favorite memory from that Europe trip was staying up til 2 or 3 AM in Dr. Ralston's room with a bunch of us playing Golf. So much honesty and wisdom in that one discussion. I still call Mr. Carver occasionally just to chat and catch up, and he always prays with me on the phone!

    College was so much fun. I loved always having someone to eat with at Cathcart or CFA. I think I went to that Barnes and Noble off 19 my senior year a couple times by myself or with Becki Jo for the same reason :)