Week Thirty-six: Bridget Scoville

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List five things about your hometown that you wouldn’t trade for the world

I grew up in a small town. Well, it is technically classified as a Village. Total population was listed as just over 5200 people most of the time I lived there. Up until high school, my hometown had 1 stoplight, 1 pharmacy, 2 bars, 2 gas stations, and 3 churches. That was “in town,” I grew up outside of town in a small subdivision surrounded by corn fields. Today if you drive to through, they have about the same number of amenities, but five times the number of houses. No more corn fields or country, just houses. It’s really unfortunate because one of the things I would not have changed about my hometown is the open space.

My house growing up was located in the back of the subdivision on a corner lot on the end of two roads that had dead ended right by our house. The open space around our house allowed us a lot of freedom. We made a kickball/baseball diamond in one dead end road and a basketball court in the other. It was a little kids sports dream! No cars to worry about because you were playing in the middle of the road and no people to yell at you for being in their yard. There were 3 other houses that were located on the dead end road intersection, but they had kids the same age as me and my siblings.

We made up a pretty awesome country neighborhood “gang.” I mean gang in the loosest form of course. Those friends are another thing I wouldn’t change for the world. We got in so much trouble for playing hide and go seek in the corn field. My first kiss was in 3rd grade on a dare while in the corn field with the neighborhood friends. My baby sister tattled on me for breaking the no corn field playing rule, and I definitely got grounded. We raced bicycles up and down the streets. We made dance routines, pulled up vegetables from the neighbors garden (with permission…well most of the time), and generally spent all summer outside until mom or dad whistled that it was time for dinner. We waited outside for the bus together. If one household was running late and we saw the school bus coming down the road, we would run to their house, knock on the door, and yell “Hurry up the bus is coming!”.

The school system in was one of the best in the area. I feel blessed to have had the opportunities I did, so two of my hometown unchangeables deal with education. We had great teachers! Many teachers lived in our town and had kids in school with us. The teachers really cared about their students and provided as many opportunities as possible. Although I have no idea where many of those teachers are today I’ll never forget them. A few teachers in particular helped shape who I am today. To deter cheating my 7th grade science teacher would simply state, “If you cheat on my exam, you are lower than pond scum.” The high school principal started every morning with “It’s a beautiful day for learning!”, and ended every week reminding us “to make choices that pass the test of Spartan pride.” Although at the time I did not appreciated either of those, I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Not only were the teachers amazing, but the educational opportunities were amazing as well. I loved learning! I had the opportunity to take multiple advanced courses that my school was not large enough to offer. I could have taken courses through an online high school, through the local community college, through the University of Wisconsin Madison, or through another high school in the area. Had I gone to another school, I’m not sure I would have had the same opportunities.

Lastly, the community support was irreplaceable. The community seemed to follow the saying “It takes a village to raise a child.” You could not do anything in my hometown without somebody seeing or hearing about it. I mean everybody knew everybody and everything that was going on. It was the worst! You could never get away with anything, but the community always rallied together in times of need. Everyone pitches in to help out and supports one another.

I would be a very different person today had I not grown up in my hometown. I am grateful for my parents choosing to raise me in my hometown.

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Bridget Scoville is a pharmacist with a scholarly interest in the kidneys. She is completing a post-graduate research fellowship at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor. When she’s not working on research, Bridget can be found running, swapping stories over coffee, laughing with friends during dinner, or youth mentoring through Big Brothers Big Sisters.

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