banner image
A Time To Speak

You know, somebody actually complimented me on my driving today. They left a little note on the windscreen, it said 'Parking Fine.' So that was nice.

Tim Vine


Chapter Eleven

In which everything is just fine, for now

Alecia

Victors

How do you describe your college experiences to people who are not familiar with the school? Do you put Foothills on your resume?


As a long time faculty member, this was an issue I really hadn't had to confront. My whole life is taken up with the university. It's where I teach and where I live, and all my friends come from the school. Even my church is affiliated with Foothills, as the school requires. I know that we are different from the outside world, but since I don't have to interact with the outside world very much, explanations are not needed.

Peter

I wish I could forget I ever went there. If I have to tell people about it, I just tell them I was in a cult.


Mitch

I tell my colleagues all about Foothills. It's pretty funny to do when I'm all in drag and looking like RuPaul on steroids. They're usually laughing too hard for me to go on by the time I get to describing my sophomore year.


I must admit that I had to look up RuPaul. Thank goodness I did it on my home computer and not the one at work.

Neville

It doesn't come up very much, but if I'm with people I trust I tell them the same thing Peter says—Stan and I were born into a cult, and we were blessed enough to break out of it after years of doubt, frustration, and anger. Professionally I have to put my education on my resume, and I am certain that I have lost opportunities for jobs because the name Foothills Christian University was on it.


Dennis

I think it's kind of harsh to call it a cult. Did you think of it that way when you were there?


John

Every damn day.


Dennis, a plumber, was another new member. There were new members almost every week.

Win

I guess I'm luckier than most. I teach in a Christian school where most of the faculty also comes from FCU. And my family, of course, are almost all FICs, except for some cousins. I've never had a problem with it on my resume. I can imagine it would be an issue if I ever applied at a public school. Foothills is kind of famous.


Stan

Infamous, you mean.


Katrina

I've been unable to work for seven years because of my disability, but back when I was in the work force, I constantly had to explain my association with FCU. They kept asking why I went there if I knew what it was like ahead of time, and I would have to keep telling them, you don't know what it's like.


Regina

Yes, you really don't know what it's like to grow up and be told all your life that you ARE going to FCU, whether you like it or not. If that's the only place your parents will pay for, then that's where you go. Honestly it never occurred to me to go anywhere else.


John

I was in the same boat. My parents said they would pay for me to go to college until I earned my degree or turned 21, whichever came first. And the only colleges I could choose from were Servants (gag!) or FCU, so I picked FCU.


Peter

Is it possible that there's a worse school to go to than FCU?


John

Sure, try Servants.


Brian

Hi, I'm new here and just had to jump on this thread. I graduated from FCU in 1988 and now I pastor a small church in upstate SC. I've had times where I had to work in the secular world, and explaining FCU to some people is a strange experience.


John

Oh, it's my cutlery thief buddy. Never thought you'd be a pastor.


Brian

Hi John.


John

Brian and I got into a lot of trouble together back in the day.


Brian

If I did or said anything obnoxious back then, I apologize.


John

That's all right. It was a long time ago. How's your sister?


Brian

Which sister?


John

The cute one of course. The one you would never let me go out with.


Brian

She's fine. Married now with a couple of kids.


Starr

Welcome to the page, Brian. Good to have you here. Explaining Foothills to outsiders is impossible. Don't even try. Most of us here are old enough that our college degree plays a minor role at best on our resumes. Nobody else in my family is a FIC, so sometimes I have to explain a lot of things to them in order to make even a simple point about the school. It's not worth it. Just tell people you went to a secular college and avoid all the strange looks you'll get if you say Foothills.


Alecia

Yes, welcome to Brian. To everyone: I'm curious about this subject. What about the school do you find hard to explain to outsiders?


Dennis

Telling people that it wasn't a cult!


Katrina

Having a dress code to go to class every day, a dress code that includes nylons for women, no matter how hot it is. It's part of how they oppress women.


John

And a tie for guys. And being required to go to meals. They don't have it now, but try telling people that we were required to go breakfast on Saturday mornings, fully dressed in business type clothes. Nobody will believe you.


Neville

The constant persecution of members of the LGBQT community. The way we were marginalized, humiliated, and ultimately cast out, just for being who we were.


Craig

There's about six years of my life where I can't relate to outside people. The six years I was at Foothills, I followed their rules about no TV or movies, and there was no internet back then. I've had to spend time listening to music that was popular then, and watching movies from that time, so that I can understand what people mean when they make references to things. I feel like a foreigner in my own country when that happens. The first time somebody said, "Wax on, wax off," to me, and started making those circular hand motions, I thought he was mentally ill or having a seizure or something.


Regina

I totally understand. I've managed to catch up with a lot of the cultural stuff, but it still comes up sometimes. The other day a close friend of mine quoted a line from Dirty Dancing—you know, that one about nobody puts Baby in a corner?—and she was totally shocked that I had never seen the movie. I had to tell her, "Remember, I was in college when that came out, the same college that censored Chitty Chitty Bang Bang!"


John

Tell me they did not do that.


Regina

I swear to God they did. That scene on the beach where Miss Truly Scrumptious walks around with her skirt blowing up in the wind.


Dennis

They allowed a movie with a female lead character named Truly Scrumptious, but they had to avoid all appearance of evil? My head is blowing up.


Mitch

Miss Truly Scrumptious sounds like a gay porn star. I should know.


Faith

A film, Dennis, not a movie. FCU does not show movies.


Craig

Yes, they did censor that MOVIE. (Faith, seriously??) I was the one running the equipment that night. Believe me, it wasn't censored in the control room. We had to see what we were trying to block out, of course. I was happy to volunteer for that duty. I always hoped they would tell us to censor one of those old 50's movies by Annette Funnicello, like Bikini Beach or Pajama Party, but it never happened. Maybe in another fifty years they'll decide those movies are okay to show on campus.


Katrina

If they do, they'll STILL call them "films", not movies!