College Stories from Teachers at Apex High School

College stories are always fun to hear. They are usually insightful and impactful, and sometimes they are downright, rolling-on-the-floor hilarious. They are even more fun when it’s a teacher telling them because the idea that they were once like us is mind-boggling. The idea that they also had embarrassing crushes, crazy roommates, sleepless nights with heavy textbooks and a concoction of Red Bull and black coffee, etc. makes us long for such memories when we get go to college. That, or we learn what not to do. Either way, it makes a good story. Here are some stories and advices from teachers here at Apex High School:

I got locked out of my suite by my suite-mates dressed in a ridiculous outfit. They called the boys next door to come out and gawk at me (I have pics.) Also, I was at State during two Sweet Sixteen runs. Campus was unbelievable, and I went and greeted the basketball team on their returns. I have pics of this too. And more memories of State sport victories (rushing the court during two Duke wins). Ask me more about these. I could talk for a while.

-Ms. Collis, English

Freshman year, English final exam day. I wake up with 5 minutes to get to the exam period. I jump out of bed, throw on some random clothes and start running. My dorm room (Sullivan Hall) was literally the furthest building away from where I had to go (Thompson I think). First off, by the end of my freshman year I had tacked on about 50 pounds, so this run was tough enough. About halfway though, I feel something streaming down my face. I instinctively wipe it away only to discover that now my nose is bleeding. I can’t stop though, I need to get to my exam! By the time I arrived and kicked in the door, I’m about to throw up from my sprint to class, my nose is bleeding, and the entire class is staring at me. Thankfully, the teacher saw the effort I put forth to get to the exam and she let me go clean up and finish the exam. Classic.

-Mr. Oltmans, Social Studies

So, everyone said Psych 101 was easy. Except that it was at 8am every MWF, (8am on Friday? after Thursday night?!!) and the professor ALWAYS wore the same construction-yellow sweater vest. Was he trying to psych us?

– Ms.Szep, CTE

In May of 1970 I was a second semester Jr. attending Illinois State University in Normal, IL. I was also an elected representative to our Faculty and Student Government and an adviser to the Student Body President, Chuck Whitte. On the 4th of May, student anti-war demonstrators were shot at Kent State University in neighboring Indiana. In 1970 the country was polarized pitting the anti-war movement, students, “hippies” and peace activists, against President Nixon’s “Silent Majority”, Red Necks, and Construction Workers. It was in this smoldering social and political environment that the spark of the Kent State killings ignited a blaze of student protest, violence, and bombings, across our nation’s campuses…. People were upset and panicked; business owners of the stores in Normal, IL took up firearms and formed a citizen vigilante squad to beat back the expected student riot that had occurred in other university towns across the Midwest… our Student Government provided volunteer student marshals who patrolled the campus in 4 hour shifts twenty four hours a day. We contacted our local phone company, General Telephone who provided our campus a portable Phone Hub with Watts lines that provided anxious parents technology to contact their students. This hub which was staffed by Faculty and student volunteers and acted as a crisis center to create a point of contact of Illinois State and the world… It was a very long five days, I took naps in the cots set up in the student government offices and did not return to my home over the next five days. I was rewarded, by experiencing what the actions of cool headed leaders, educators committed to maintaining a university as a place of learning and debate. We were successful, no student’ committed any acts of violence against the university or the town of Normal. No citizen vigilante organization inflicted violence on any student of Illinois State.

-Mr.Moncelle, Social Studies

I attended Furman University from 1977-1981. The mascot for Furman is a Paladin, which simply is a knight on a horse. There was a guy who lived in the Greenville, SC, area who owned a white horse and he used to attend the home football games. He dressed up in armor as a knight and, whenever the team scored a touchdown, he would ride up and down the sidelines on his horse. As the team would move closer to the end zone and a potential touchdown, the fans would begin chanting “We want the horse!” Well, as bad luck would have it, the guy was in a motorcycle accident and broke his leg before my sophomore year. He could not ride the horse, hence no chant and no knight on a horse when there was a touchdown. So a few of my buddies and I came up with a creative solution: we made a paper mache horse head and threw a sheet over two canoe paddles, and created armor out of aluminum foil and cardboard. Our plan was that, when Furman scored a touchdown, two of us would carry a third guy down the sidelines and back. Early in the game, Furman scored and out we came. Unfortunately, we did not anticipate how hard it would be to carry a guy on two canoe paddles up and down the sidelines, so we only made it to mid-field. Each succeeding time, we made it less and less down the field. Still, the students were happily amused – and we were exhausted by the end of the game. And, by the way, Coach Cooper was under the front of the horse, not the rear of the horse!

-Mr.Cooper, Social Studies

College is a great experience, so it is no wonder why our teachers at Apex High School are always ready to orate and  reminisce about the good ol’ college days. Ask some of your teachers about their college days, and it surely will get you excited to make some of your own. We wish Apex’s seniors a best of luck in their after-high school endeavors and hope they also create memories they can look back upon in coming years.

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