American in Spain

NCSSM, Class of 1996

December 14, 2009
North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics

My parents are visiting, and they brought a set of photos that I haven't seen for a very long time. They are photos that I took just before and during my high school graduation from the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics on June 1, 1996. Needless to say, it was quite a blast from the past. There's nothing like a photo of the dorm room you lived in fourteen years ago to bring back a flood of memories. My time at NCSSM was definitely the peak of my academic career. Everything (i.e. a four-year bachelor's degree in Computer Science from NC State) after that was a slow glide downhill. One thing that amazed me – but shouldn't have given my current blogging photo-tagging tendencies – was what a good job I had done writing on the back of the photos the first and last names of everyone in the photo and what university they were going to. Some of them also had cheeky comments, some of which I will share below.

Also funny was that the back of the photo paper is watermarked, "Kodak, Official Sponsor of the Olympic Games." I guess that would be the Atlanta 1996 Summer Olympics. Ha!

North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics

The front entrance to the school. The first year, I lived on 3rd Bryan, on the third floor of the building you see. One of those was my window.

Tim and Erik

My roommate, Tim Carle. We got along great. Also, he looks just like this now.

Tim Juggling

The back of this photo reads, "Tim, practicing a trick that Erik taught him." This is the door to our dorm room in Hill House, Room 206.

Arthur Williams, moving out

My good friend from across the hall, Arthur Williams. We played many an hour of Warcraft with a null modem cable, and later an ARCnet coax cable, running across the hall.

Victor, signing my yearbook

Arthur's roommate, Victor Lee. The roommate matching algorithm that the school used matched me with Victor our first year. We lived together for a couple weeks before he, very troubled, came to me and asked if he could switch roommates. It turned out to be a great move for both of us.

When they mailed us our roommate assignments a couple months before moving to the school, Victor called me to make arrangements on who would bring the CD player and the fridge, etc. At the end of the conversation, he said, "So, what are you?" I said, "Huh?" He responded, "You know, like I'm Korean, what are you?" Laughing, I said, "I'm just a white kid."

Bucky, packing to leave

My friend, Bucky. He was always fascinated by dinosaurs and is now a successful paleontologist. A couple years ago he was interviewed by news clown Bill O'Reilly.

Arica holds photo booth photos of her and Roger

My friend Arica.

Arica and Erik

See? I told you she was my friend. This must have been moving day, because otherwise they didn't allow girls into the halls of the boys' dorms.

Susan and Roger

Roger Mills-Koonce, failing to hide his interest in Susan. Susan was my prom date.

Pizzy Paul

My friend Paul, who would spend many an hour on that sofa, which followed me from NCSSM to my college dorm, and then to my college apartment. Paul is now a work colleague of mine.

My computer in 1996

My computer and desk in my dorm room. That little vertical laser printer on the left was amazing. I love that the word "HOME!!" is written up on the M. C. Escher wall calendar.

Roommate Tim in Room 206

The other side of my room, including my roommate's desk and rear end. Note the contrast of his Catholic wall calendar to my Escher one.

Hawk snoozes

On the back of this photo is written, "Hawk Hawkins. He likes to fall asleep in other people's rooms." Funny.

Hacky-sacking in 2nd Hill

Playing hacky-sack in the hallway. In the middle is Michael, the only person in these pictures to attend my wedding. He and I started several small companies throughout college and are still work colleagues today.

Eric and Anne

On this photo is written, "Eric and Anne in the 1st Hill Lounge, their second home." These two were inseparable since Day 1 of NCSSM and all throughout college. A quick Google search tells me that they somehow waited all the way until 2003 to get married.

Bored, 6:00 AM, Graduation Day

I love this photo. On the back is written, "Bored at 6:00 AM, Graduation Day".

Graduation Day with Parents

Graduation day with my folks. On the back is written, "Photo taken by Roger Mills-Koonce." What a bizarre detail to have recorded.

The Graduate, NCSSM Class of 1996

The Graduate himself. That piece of paper might the be one I'm most proud of.