Monday, February 13, 2012

Stephens College

I was a "Stephens Susie."  Stephens is an all girls college in Columbia, MO.  I don't really feel worthy of the title "Susie" since I only lasted one year and it wasn't a stellar year.
How'd I get there?  Well when it came time to think about college I realized I wasn't really interested in anything.  Back in the dark ages, women were either teachers, secretaries or nurses.  None of those careers appealed to me.  I only applied to two colleges - Central MI University and Stephens. 
If I'm remembering correctly (and I've already made it clear that my memory isn't very sharp), CMU declined my offer to attend.  I know!  Can you believe it?  Did I mention I didn't exactly shine when it came to grades in high school?  No?  Well, let's just say I was never a candidate for the honor roll.  I did have a good time, though.
So, how'd I end up at Stephens?  First of all, it was not a "finishing school" like my friend, Tom Richmond, likes to tease me about.  He drags out the tired old line, "Yeah, Ellen, went to a finishing school and didn't stay long enough to get finished."  hahaha - not! He says that with his best Texas twang.  Still not funny.
Oh, I digress.  How I got to Stephens:  first of all, I'd never heard of it until I met this really cool girl who had been there.  She lived at Lake Doster.  That should have been my first clue but I was 16 or 17 - what the hell did I know.
So after CMU sent me the big "no thanks" letter (their loss) I applied to Stephens.  They sent a representative to our house!  For a face-to-face interview!  Another clue I overlooked.
We used to laugh about the "driveway test."  We truly believed that if your driveway was long enough, you got in.  In our tiny teenage minds we equated a long driveway with wealth.  Apparently ours made it by a few inches.
I could go on and on about my performance at Stephens (nope, no honor roll) and the classes I took (dance, flower arranging and another that had something to do with reading newspapers everyday which - I didn't) but I just realized that wouldn't exactly put me in the best light so let's bring this puppy home, eh?
The plus to my one year at Stephens is that I met my husband when his all-boys school invited us to a "mixer."  I'm also still in touch with 2 friends; one being my former roommate.
So, am I sorry I went to Stephens?  Absolutely not.  It's been the fodder for many good stories and today's blog entry so I'm calling that year a win/win.


  1. I had never heard of this school...interesting story, Ellen. Wordpress just had the theme "regret" for their weekly photo challenge--there have been some great thoughts and comments about the subject. I am with you...why regret decisions? Even if a decision/choice/path was a horrible and learn (I am not saying this about your decisions--just clarifying). Life moves on and so should we. Got lemons? Make lemon bars--duh. ~~Bliss (

  2. I am proud to say that I must be ONE of those two remaining friends from good ol' Stephens. We can all try to trace our past reasons for the choices we made, but when it comes down to Ellen, she and Pete were bound by destiny. So why others may tease that she did not get "finished" - all I can say is "Kuddos, girl - you did get your MRS. degree" - and you still have it!

  3. So, we should chat about the all-girl college experience. I went to a women's college, graduating class of about 35 as I recall, and it was possible to get a degree in equestrian studies. Early morning classes in PJs--not unusual. Weddings on horseback were known to happen. Every single student left for a term abroad in junior year, at the same time. The more years that go by, the stranger the whole experience appears in the rear-view mirror. You should tell us about some of the remarkable experiences you had at Stephens. I think you're holding out on us.

  4. Hey, Hey ..... former Stephens roommate here !!!! Very prestigious school back in the day .... not quite sure we would agree with THAT but nevertheless, we had a lot of laughs .... Still remember the night you met Peter at the mixer !!! Didn't you take a class in making hats -- Millinery 101 ???

  5. No, Les, no hats. Flower arranging, I remember there was a trampoline involved with my phys.ed requirement and a dance class. I also remember being taught how to file my nails? Does that even sound right? What class could that have been? OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Manicure/Pedicure 101, of course !!!!! .... my, weren't we quite the brainiacs !!! I remember arguing with my mother because she wanted me to take Typing & Shorthand so I could be a "sexetary" but I wanted to take Biology & a math class .... fast forward to 2012 to see who won that battle .... I do suppose she had a point, in that typing would have helped me "text" faster !!!!

  7. My mom got mad at me one summer when I answered her friend's question as to whether or not I was enjoying college with: It's fun! Oops! I got my hair cut there while taking "Personal Appearance" class and was probably my only good grade. We were not allowed to wear pants on or off campus unless the temp dropped below freezing. But, Ellen, we did have a good time every weekend with our guys. Ellie, Carol, you and me...we never quit! God love the Greyhound Bus! *ps only lets me sign as anon! - Julie!