Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Bible College Adventures

I graduated high school at 16 years old, not because I was extra smart, but simply because I hated high school so much. I worked hard to get out of there as fast as possible.  I've always been a little older and cooler in my head so I felt like high school was a complete waste of my valuable time. I graduated in May, turned 17 in August and started Bible College in September.  Looking back, I wasn't even mature enough to be left at home alone, much less be in another state... at College. 

Indiana Bible College: scene of the crime(s)

A few days after getting settled in, there were auditions being held for "Chorale" (which was like a mini-choir that got to go on tours, etc).  I went down to the music department office and shamelessly dropped the names of my cousins who were chorale alumni in hopes of getting in with the "right" people (I'd always had a knack for being friends with the right people. Every time I changed schools as a kid, I would spend a day or two observing the class to find out who the cool kids were and make them laugh and then we'd be best friends forever).  

The "chorale" with our tour bus.  I liked to entertain people on the bus and be center of attention :) 

I met three seniors who seemed to be the coolest and I desperately wanted to be their BFF.  Again, being older in my mind often meant that I didn't have time for kids my age and I knew being friends with Seniors would be the key to my success. 

Jonathan was the one I immediately fell in love with and am still in love with to this day, but in a different way. After College, Jonathan moved to Cincinnati and is a current rock star around town. 

Chelsea was the beautiful and graceful one who was everything I wanted to be.  A true grown-up who I successfully corrupted. Chelsea also moved to Cincinnati after college.  I like to think that I was the cause of everyone discovering our great City. 

Corey was the Hilarious one who can still make me pee my pants with laughter.  Corey moved to Houston after school, but I have high hopes that one day he'll move to the promised land and we'll all be together forever. Maybe we could all live in the same house, like a bff compound. 

Jonathan and Corey = so cool. 

My favorite post-bible-college picture of Jonathan and I. He showed his bible college rebellion by never cutting his hair again, ever.  He still hasn't.

Beautiful Chelsea and her current family.  As far as I know, she didn't have any babies while we were in school :) 
Corey and some models that he pays to take pictures with him :) 

I asked them to take a little trip with me (one hour away) and visit my cousins they'd went to school with and they agreed.  I was so nervous that I spent about 2 hours cleaning my Bronco II and hiding all my sinful music so they'd see what a great christian I was.  The only tape I had in the car that wasn't hip-hop or Mariah Carey was an accompaniment track to a christian pop song (the worst).  I was so nervous about having the cool seniors in my car that I didn't even notice the track was on repeat and playing over and over and over again and that the cool seniors thought I was such a weirdo (they told me this after we were BFF's).

I made it into chorale and a smaller group with only 6 vocalists (and Jonathan was the piano player. What a dreamboat). The dean of music gave us a talk about how we had to be on our best behavior and get good grades, etc.  The only problem was that I didn't hear anything after "you made it". 

The smaller group I was in.  There were two sopranos: LeAnna Grissom (the tiniest, most precious and delicate human being on the face of the earth who was professionally trained and me, who was opposite of everything I just said about Leanna. She even traveled with her own travel pillow, just for "her face and not anyone else's greasy face") I'm the giant in the middle with the sensible shoes. I haven't always been into clothes.  

I was living the dream with tons of new friends and I was singing all the time.  The best part was that curfew was at 11pm, which meant I would leave the dorm at 11pm and hang out with my new bff, Jonathan and end up eating "Moons-Over-My-Hammy" at Denny's around 4am (quickly packing on my Freshman 55 - no one told me it was supposed to be Freshman 15. I gained less weight with my pregnancy than I did my freshman year.  At least I don't have to be that annoying girl that's all "I wish I had the body I had in college" ha. no thanks) 

You would think I would be exhausted from the late nights, but luckily I could just sleep until lunchtime the next day.  Who goes to school in the morning?  The only class I went to was choir (because it was fun) and Chapel (because it was pre-cell-phone days and I had to see what my friends were up to). Grades were released just before Christmas break and I'm not sure what I expected since I hadn't been to class in months, but somehow I was still surprised when I saw my GPA.  It read "1.8". Ouchie. 

I was called into the office of the Dean of Music and he informed me that I was going to be put on academic probation and if I didn't get my grades up, I couldn't sing.  I was certain I would only be there one more semester and since I didn't plan to come back anyway, it was party time :) I had a great second semester staying out all night with my pals and at the end of the year I said good-bye to my friends and went home.

Some other Bible College friends. Namely my cousin Craig (the boy on the right ) who stayed for about 1/2 a semester and the girl all the way left, Heidi.  She was my roomie and she was amazing. 

That summer I decided to come back for round two and although I couldn't sing the first semester, I was confident that in January I'd get back into the group and all would be well.  I studied hard and went to class and everyone was so proud of me.  Well, until I went home for Christmas break and tried to do an at-home dye job on my hair and it turned black as tar. At my school you weren't allowed to dye your hair... at all. 

I waltzed right back to school sportin' my freshy fresh so-black-it-was-blue hair and made up an awesome story about how I'd "just had the old highlights removed and this is my natural color, you guys".  No one bought that story and I was stupid to think that they would.  My friend Ben started calling me Lynda Carter (as in the lady who played Wonderwoman because my hair looked like hers. Ben and I liked to deeply layer our jokes). 

Lynda Carter.  Hair so black, it's blue - just like me in 1999.
Ben was the friend who liked to "encourage" me to do crazy things and then I'd get in trouble and he'd disappear somewhere giggling... with good grades and a cappuccino.  Given the chance, I think present day Ben would still do that to me on a larger scale. It's probably best he didn't move to Cincinnati after school or I'd end up in jail, again. 

I taught Ben how to drive a 5-speed (pictured) and he introduced me to Starbucks.

(Current Ben. He's aged very well) Ben: Hannah, do something crazy.  Me: Ok (does something crazy... gets in trouble) Ben: I can't believe you did that! I've just been over here getting good grades and such (and laughing at you).  Freaking Ben.
Upon my shocking return with new hair, one of my teachers actually said to me "Hannah Smith, what have you done to your hairrrr? it just looks... ICKY". Well, I thought her hair looked icky with her amazing hot sticks curls, but I was respectful. I said nothing and most likely just went somewhere and ate a pizza and cried. 

Hot Sticks - for super tight, disgustingly icky curls. 

Truth be told, I think the hair thing was a great distraction for all of the really bad stuff I never got caught doing at Bible College (and I'm quite sure there are others in my class who were grateful for the little things they got caught doing, too.  The breaking of the little rules created a very nice "look-over-here" affect). I was never allowed to sing again and although they didn't technically kick me out, I don't think any of the faculty members were too broken-hearted that I never returned (except for the dean of music, who is still my dear friend).

I learned a lot and took away some amazing life-long friends. Totally worth it.


  1. us preacher's kids who went to bible college. the adventures... although i was NEARLY arrested in bible college, i apparently did not have quite the adventures you did. lol

  2. Im officially requesting a weekly, "so this one time in bibe school..." segment.

  3. I still break into a sweat when I think of all of your antics! Many of my gray hair have the name HANNAH on them. HA!

    There are two people who make me laugh until I can't breathe. One is my awesome wife and the other is you, Hannah.

    I love you dearly & I count it an honor to be your "dear friend". PLEASE come see us. I need to meet your amazing offspring.