Vashti and Shorter Experiences
Shorter College was more than an academic learning experience for me, it was two years of learning about life. I got some of the good, the bad, and the ugly parts of life at Shorter.
Shorter College, a Southern Baptist College offered me a full scholarship because I was the Valedictorian of my High School Class at Vashti School. Vashti was a private Methodist girl’s school that took children from broken homes or those that had been in trouble or had too many problems to be in a public school. I was none of the above although I was thought to be mentally ill.
While my senior year at Vashti School was not the first time I had lived away from home, it was the first time I had some freedom to do things that I should not do. I drank alcohol for the first time and I started smoking cigarettes. Both were not permitted at the school and I felt a sense of real rebellion. I had been rebellious at home a few times by going too far on my bicycle or playing too rough or spending too much time talking with Mrs. Parks (an elderly lady that lived across the street and knew everything about everybody) and others. I did like the feeling of being more rebellious by not following the rules. Of course, a lot of other students didn’t follow the rules either.
The only consequences that the school imposed was to a friend that I helped get her boyfriend into the dorm and when they found them, I was in the same room. I was questioned by the staff and they understood my part of the plot and I was not punished although Donna was expelled from school and never saw her boyfriend again. The other thing bad that happened was when a group of us went to a concert in Tallahassee and I got drunk and ended up in the shower of a dorm room at FSU (Florida State University) where they tried to sober me up before we went back to school.
I enjoyed my education at Vashti and had excellent teachers. I was able to play tennis, learned how to fence, and took archery from my PE teacher. My favorite teacher was Bob who taught private piano lessons and was the choir director. I enjoyed studying with him and loved being a part of his large family. His family lived in one of the old dorms that was converted into a home for he and his wife and their children. Another favorite teacher was Chatterton, the chaplain and religion teacher. His sister was the wife of the principal of Vashti and he lived with them in the only real house on campus.
My last Thanksgiving with my Father was when I was at Vashti. Mom and Dad asked me if I wanted to invite someone to have Thanksgiving dinner with us and I asked Janice Glover. We went to dinner and my Dad died on December 20th. That was the last time I saw my Dad except in the hospital after his heart attack. On his death bed, he asked me to stop smoking, to be a lady, and to take care of my Mother.
Shorter had some great teachers and I was honored to take private piano lessons from the best. Because I didn’t practice enough for her, she assigned me to her assistant, Steven Parker. He was very good and I probably learnt more from him than I would have from Elizabeth Buday. I also took music theory from Dr. J. He was so wonderful and very helpful in helping learn theory from the beginning. None of my past piano teachers had any emphasis on theory although I did know the basic principles.
I had an exciting Geology teacher and enjoyed the beauty of rocks which we were able to work with quite frequently and I went on an archaeological dig to Ossabaw Island with Dr. Garrett. It was an excellent adventure and we all worked very hard but had a good time. Ossabaw Island is one of Georgia’s major barrier islands. Ossabaw contains 9,000 acres of wooded uplands with freshwater ponds and 16,000 acres of marshlands interlaced with tidal creeks. Read more about Ossabaw Island.