Once Upon a Time I Lived in a Dorm Called Brogdon Hall….

Brogdon Hall was the first dormitory I ever lived in … the year 1964. As I think back, it is almost like I am recalling the Middle Ages. The common collegiate practices would violate civili liberties now. Things like, you more or less ‘had’ to wear a beanie in your freshman year. Yes, beanie as in little billed cap! I must try to find a photo….if not, they were like the little caps that the Little Rascal, Spanky, and Gober Pyle wore. On occasion, you could find beanies with propellers coming out of the center. Our freshmen beanies were maroon and gold to add insult to injury. I don’t know why or anything else….sort of hazing but not. Ok, back to the story. Southwest-Texas-State-University-Pr.jpg

Brodgon Hall had a dorm mother, of course. And as far as I knew for at least an entire year, she could and would send you packing’ in no short order. In fact she had the rightful responsibility of maintaining the ledger of demerits for the things you were CAUGHT doing. After just a few demerits you were campused. A term for incarcerated for a specified period of time in your dorm room over the weekend. Maybe this is when I turned oppositional defiant. I don’t know. What I do know is that my friend, Cee, from Kaiserslautern American High School and I were roommates first semester. Somehow or another we had a bit of an attitude, or at least sometimes. Cee was always smarter about things and I doubt she ever for a minute wore a beanie. Anyway, part of dorm life in 1964 was nearl compulsory attendance to an after hour event called Vespers. I am sure it was totally non-denominational in spite of the name. But it was seeeeeerious business and they checked your room to see where you were at the designated time. In my mind’s eye then and now, most all the girls were really cute and full of themselves. Many were going through Rush. Another story for another time. Somehow or another I maybe we, liked the idea of NOT being one of the girls. We took some great pleasure in acting out so to speak. The best of all times was at the beginning, when we actually attended Vespers. Like all the rest of the girls, we wore pale pink or blue nighties with scooped necks and puffy short sleeves. The exception: Cee and I hoarded hair from my hair brush and right before the designated start of Vespers we would prance in just seconds late just in time to have the prissy girls see we had tons of hair coming out of our scooped neck nighties and underarms. Oh it was grand. They were just prissy enough to be totally grossed out. I wish I could do it again.

Hmmm, another something I remember is Modern Dance. It was the only class Cee and I had together. We were really impressed that there was nothing really to make you go to class, or so we thought. Modern Dance was at 8:00 in the morning taught by a young, serious minded dancer with looooooong hair. So, sure Cee and I went a few times. We became serious minded about the final and made up a very smart, modern dance to the tune of Hit the Road Jack. I can remember practicing in the basement laundry room for at least a couple of hours. We went to the final, preformed for our instructor and fellow students, pleased with our clever interpretations. Later in the week, we marched down to the studio to check our posted grades. This is also illegal now. We studied the list for our initials and what was this? Only two F’s in the class. They were our Fs. We took the time to find our instructor to sort out this error. Not. She very sweetly said that because we had missed all but maybe 5 days of class we received Fs. She had something called a syllabus to back her up, like we had ever read that! Now here is the irony. Twenty six years later after receiving my doctorate from TAMU, I started teaching at none other but my alma mater, SWTSU. AND, who should I meet at new faculty orientation but the Chair of the Dance Dept. It was her! Same woman! Well, now that I was one of the Academy I was pretty sure if I told her my recollections she would be just tickled pink. So I retold the tale. She listened with absolutely a flat affect. She never blinked, never smiled. At the conclusion, when I once again was stinking of fear, she said something like, “Not all students are really mature as freshmen.” And walked away! Damn, and I just figured we would become buddies and have lunches together. Not. I avoided her for the next 4 years.

I can’t find a single photo of Brogdon Hall from the 1960s but this is the Administration Building fondly called, Old Main!


2 Responses to “Once Upon a Time I Lived in a Dorm Called Brogdon Hall….”

  1. And to think I thought it all began in San Miguel…! Great stories. I can only imagine how many more there are in those archives…

  2. Lou Ann Weaks Says:

    Susan – Once again you have made me laugh until I cried and also sent me down memory lane. I hadn’t thought of this in years–in college, way back in the dark ages, my roommate and I enrolled in some kind of dance class and thought it was pretty much a waste of time. Anyway, we always showed up for class until after the roll was taken and then we literally danced our way out the door and to the sub. We must have been luckier than you because we passed the class!!!! Thanks for the memories. Lou Ann

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