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Reflections on Roane State

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As graduation inches nearer (just over a week and counting), I felt compelled to write something about the time I spent at Roane State Community College (RSCC), the people I knew, the times I had. It's safe to say that I will miss many of my classmates and teachers there. It's really hard to believe that I'm already graduating (cue up cheesy, sentimental music now).

It doesn't seem that long ago that it was the fall of 1999, and I was somewhat dreading to idea of going back to school. Heck, I'd just finished up four years of high school (which I would rate just below the time I got into a yellowjackets nest), and was totally lost. I guess my philosophy could be summed up like this: "What now?" I didn't know what to do. I was extremely apathetic. Then came day one of RSCC.

When the dreaded day finally came, I wound up in a classroom sitting in the back with two girls I went to high school with and a guy from Oak Ridge named Corey. The girls have since disappeared, but Corey remains a good friend. There was also a guy named Jeremy who I hung out with for a while, until he too disappeared (he was rumored to have gone into the military, but I don't know for sure). I remember sitting in class until the teacher walked in who looked very strangely like a certain marketing teacher I had in high school. I guess that wasn't a good way to start the year. But she turned out to be pretty nice, if not a little flaky.

What would a freshman year of college be without Comp I? Yep I had that, and hated every second of it. I can't say the teacher was bad, but he was an easy target for ridicule because of his arrogance. It was in this class that I became friends with Samantha, who is still around today. And we still joke about our wonderful teacher of Comp I.

I also managed to get my first A in algebra in, well, ever I guess. Sure it was Elementary Algebra, but I still loved it (getting the A that is, not the class). Having a good teacher in class, as well as having a mom at home who was also an algebra teacher, no doubt helped, though.

Then there was U.S. History, before 1877. With Mr. Thomas at the helm, anything could happen and usually did. One of the greatest teacher I've ever had, and one of RSCC's finest, Captain (as he called himself) Thomas made me take an interest in history. Actually, I had always been interested in it, but it was under him that I first began to consider it as a major. Good ole Captain Tomas had a great effect on my life, and I'll never forget it.

The first semester at RSCC was a good time, but I didn't really do much other than go to classes. Still, the classes were much better than most of what high school had offered (even Comp I). Overall I guess you had to declare semester one a success.

Semester Two, in the spring of 2000, was even better. I survived the Y2K crisis for another semester of Thomas' class (1877-Present), getting a B in College Algebra (and in high school they thought it couldn't be done!), and a speech class with a new teacher named Michael Golebiewski. That was a fairly uneventful class (though loads of fun), but our paths would cross again later. Psychology was another good class, and Comp II was, well, Comp II.

During my second semester, I met my friends Joey and Mandey, both of whom are still around today. Joey is in a rock band, which is very cool. I hear he plans to move to Portland this summer, and he will certainly be missed. Mandey was always fun to be around, but unfortunately, I don't see her as much as I would like anymore. It was also this semester that I applied for the great Southwest Field Trip.

The Southwest Fieldtrip lasted from May 18 until June 2, 2000. It was probably one of the greatest events of my life, and I got to learn hands-on, which I best in my opinion. Led by Gary Hiedinger and Bruch Fisher, we got to see the Grand Canyon, The Rockies, Mesa Verde, and much more. Everybody on the trip was cool, too (shoutouts to everyone, especially Lisa and Billy).

That summer I also took American Litt II. That is probably best left forgotten, however.

The Fall of 2001 might have been the worst semester at RSCC. Not that it was really all that bad, but it was hard, and I didn't enjoy most of the classes. I guess the bright spots were Sociology, where he had some unique political discussions, and bowling. By the way, our bowling team, consisting of myself, Jesse, Patrick, and Matt were the champions of the class with a 20-5 record. Wahoo! Go us!

The final semester at RSCC, I became the extra-curricular king. This might have been the best semester there, all my classes were extremely cool. I ended up in Golebiewski's (Mr. G.) class again, this time for Fundamentals of Acting, and had a blast. I was also on the newspaper staff. I was assistant stage manager for a play (which wasn't quite as bad as I might have led many to believe at the time). Mr. G was pretty cool, and definitely made things fun. Though there were some disappointments (the nixed Pied Pipers, the erratic schedule of the newspaper, and the cancelled European Trip), I definitely gained more than I lost. I had lots of fun in both the Playmakers and the newspaper staff (not to mention getting five hours of credit in the latter!), and I will remember them.

Without getting too sentimental, I guess I should send kudos to these people: I know I'm leaving some out but if I am, I'm sorry. I still remember you: Joey, Mr. G., Corey, Samantha, Jeremy, Captain Thomas, Ben (though I've wanted to kill him at times), Amy, Amy (yep there are two of them), Michael, Mandey, Brian, Dr. Charton, Dr. Miller, Cindy, Justin, Mr. Stone, Mrs. Herd, Mary, Casey, Yona, Heather, Dylan, Christina, Alyssa, Josh, P.J., and countless others. Keep in touch!

John Brown can be reached at


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