Texas A&M • 1995-1999

Timeline posts are a chance for me to get my life in order.  Literally.

1976-1978 • Belton

1978-1980 • Schonaich

1980-1985 • Fort Knox

1985-1989 • Erlangen

1989-1995 • Belton

Here’s where the photos get sketchy, because I don’t have a scanner and photos of photos don’t rock. But this one was worth it… Bonfire 1996.  Did the over-sized flannel give it away?  My favorite photo ever.

In 1995, I packed up my little maroon (garnet) s10 pickup and headed 90 miles down Highway 6 to College Station, Texas and Texas A&M University.

I entered as a BioMed major, determined to be a pediatrician.  My life quickly altered course when I pulled a 1.91 GPA after the first semester (Statistics & Probability, M/W/F, 8am, anyone? I’ll take “Classes Katie made a D in for $1000, Alex.”). It became obvious that my honors cords had not prepared me for actual test-taking in higher education, and my Belton High straight A’s would not be translating to the college scene.  

I switched Kinesiology with a focus in Outdoor Education, which- at A&M- was ropes courses.  I knew I could teach, but I knew I could not be inside.  It was a perfect fit.  My only regret is that my major did not include a teaching certificate.  I basically majored in awesomeness without any standard of recognition across the USA.  But, hey.  I was employed for 10 years in my field and that’s more than most can say.

My first dorm was Keathley (Northside) with potluck roommate Lisa who was dating Chris.  They both loved Jaegermeister.  Not a fantastic start to the living situation, but things quickly improved when Lisa graduated at semester and I pulled in Janna from a couple doors down.   Janna introduced me to Dave Matthews and naps, Steph, Erin, Christina, and every other awesome person I ever met that first year.

My sophomore year, Janna moved off-campus and I took a job as an RA on the first floor of Hobby Hall (also Northside).  My roommate was April, and Mandi lived down the hall.  Hi, Mandi!

My junior year, Mandi and I moved into the same apartment complex as Janna and the rest of the girls.  Our apartment was G4.  There was a pool and a playground.  I shared a room with Nicole who is now a prosecutor in Hillsboro… watch out.  Hi, Nicole!

My senior year, Mandi got married and Janna and Christina and eStephanie moved into G4 with me.

I worked at TAMU Outdoors for 3 years strapping canoes onto people’s Honda civics and selling climbing gear.

Eddy took me to my first dance party- for Ol’ Ags? Right?  Hi, Eddy!

I sang in a small gospel group called His Voice out of Central Baptist.

Lyle Lovett married Julia Roberts and lived down the road. Sometimes, they would go to Olive Garden.

I was a Young Life leader for Navasota High School.

Email was brand-spankin’ new… and weird.  I remember Heath setting up my account up and thinking, “when will I ever use this?”  I also remember that my handle was ‘cinderelly.’  Be kind.  I was young.


Absolute best time, best people of my life.

I worked my way back up from that 1.91 GPA to graduate with a 3.19 GPA.  My last semester was a mandatory internship, and I took a job teaching at the Camp Highland Outdoor Science School in Cherry Valley, California.

What did you major in?


About texasnorth

TexasNorth is a little farm in Western Michigan. It's home to 5 chickens, 25 longhorn cattle, a coonhound (Banjo), 1 barn cat, a husband, and 3 ridiculously funny children. The mom of this zoo has been known to mow the lawn in a skirt and roast marshmallows after dark. View all posts by texasnorth

11 responses to “Texas A&M • 1995-1999

  • aligryder


    Wow. I’ve been following your blog via email for about a month now and loving it, like my cousin Anna Foster promised I would.

    Today is the day my oldest drives off in his packed car to fish camp– in about two hours no less. As I pour my first cup of coffee, sit on my front porch to contemplate this, open my phone’s email, here this is: your blog today about your glorious college years at A&M. Coincidence? Not in my book. I think it’s God.

    So now, my eyes are are damp with joy at the reminder of the fun and future my son is about to have there. Thanks Katie. And thank you Lord.

    Alison Gryder

    On Aug 16, 2012, at 7:04 AM, “App

    • texasnorth

      Oh, Alison, I’m so glad you stopped by! Anna and I had such an amazing time at A&M… it’s truly an amazing place. Huge and small and old and new… it’s really amazing. Your son is going to have a blast!!! And Fish Camp is the perfect way to start. My mom and I made the mistake of stopping to ask for directions, which led to a campus police escort… which led to a lovely Welcome To The Real World serenade by all the Fish Camp counselors when I pulled up. Ah. Good times.

  • Amy B.

    Bonfire (can you believe it no longer exists?), Fish Camp, potluck roommates, Hobby Heartthrobs, Central Baptist, “best time, best people of my life.”

    My first e-mail account was Unix-based, green letters on a black screen, CTRL+Z was send. Someone set an account up for me my freshman year, but I really had no idea what I was supposed to do with it so I totally forgot about it until my junior year and only then vaguely remembered it being set up for me, when I finally had need to send e-mail to someone and tried to set up an account (again).

    And now, I officially feel old.

  • hopefulleigh

    This is awesome. I started out as a secondary English Ed major. Graduated as sociology major with a concentration in social welfare and a psychology major. Makes perfect sense, right?

  • stephanie

    o Lordy! what memories. setting up my email account with janna in the basement of Leggett…roger the green letters on the black screen! i think I attended Bonfire ’96 with Scot Pollok which explains why i am not in that picture. meeting you for the first time in S’Bisa…Sa-GREASE-a! janna and i off campus coming to pick you up all the time from Hobby. Rock climbing together…Rock? Rock On! Roomie date nights while watching Felicity. the G-Force! Sigh. There was some studying in there somewhere. They were the best of times. makes me miss ya tons!!

    • texasnorth

      Oh, Felicity. And now, I think I may cry.

      SCOT POLLOK WITH ONE T! Oh, my heavens!

      And you and I met (and ate together alone, without Janna… our first alone friend date) on Valentine’s Day. Is that not hilarious?! I remember because there were hearts hanging from the cafeteria ceiling.

  • Nicole

    thanks for the shoutout. i missed living in G4 my senior year! and i really think that hershey mint cookie chocolate candy should have gotten an honorable mention.

  • Margie

    My first bonfire was ’85, and it was the year we played t.u. for Cotton Bowl honors (an 18 yr wait for us) at Kyle Field. And – can you believe it? – bonfire didn’t fall ’til 12:45 am. It boded well for the next day’s game; we won, of course, and won the Cotton Bowl game, too. Awesome days, those.

talk to me

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: