Corruption in the Campus Administration; Pregnancy Scare–College Memoirs: Life at Roanoke–January 1993, Part 2

Insurance Mix-Ups and Corruption in the Campus Administration 

During class, we’d have 15-minute breaks.  I’d go hang out with Derek and whoever was with him, so I was often late back.  I would bring up the time and they’d say, “Aah, so what?”

One day, we went back and Derek said to the teacher, “I see you’ve started class already.”  The teacher only smiled.

On the 14th, a girl came downstairs asking for a cigarette, so Derek went into a nearby room with equipment and said over the loudspeaker, Does anyone have a cigarette to lend this poor girl?  She came back downstairs with one, not knowing about this, and Derek said, “It worked.”


After my medical bill was submitted to my parents’ insurance company, the insurance company declined it.

Mom apparently thought the bill was submitted to the school, and just waited for them to pay it.

Only later did we discover that it had never been sent to the school.  So instead, Mom got another bill.  On or around January 14, she asked me to see the nurse about it.

On the 18th I went to the nurse, expecting to get it all resolved.  I don’t remember this meeting at all.  I do remember Memadmin calling me into her office soon after.  She said,

“I saw the maintenance crews out there salting the hill all day.”

You’ll recall that I saw no salt whatsoever on that hill.

She then said, “The nurse said she never told you the school would pay for the medical bills.”

I had written to a friend on December 7, “The school is paying for my medical expenses, the nurse tells me.  Yay!”

Did Memadmin just accuse me of lying?  Peter must have given her the impression that I lied all the time, even though I’ve always avoided lying, to the point of telling my teacher when an answer was mistakenly marked correct on my test.

After a bit of discussing, possibly even arguing, she decided to send the bill to the school’s insurance company.

Mom soon called.  A representative of the insurance company called her, and said I should tell the clinic, “The insurance is pending.”

I used that exact wording, but to the surprise of Mom and the rep, it didn’t work.  The woman I spoke to was surprised I wasn’t getting the bills myself.  (They went to my parents in Indiana.)

Mom finally decided to pay the bill and let the insurance company give her the money for it later.

One day, I got a call from another insurance representative.  He said, “Will you accept a payment of $500?  Will that be enough?”

Not only would that pay my bill, but it would compensate me for lost wages.  I said, “Yeah, that’s fine.”

For some time, I wondered if this thing beyond my control would hurt my credit rating.  (Apparently, it didn’t.)

While working for an insurance agent several years later, I learned that such mix-ups are common with medical insurance.  Many people get their bills sent to a collection agency while waiting for the insurance to pay.

As for Memadmin, some new information has come to light which may explain why she treated me the way she did, not just this time but those other times I had to deal with her and she acted like I was wrong no matter what was going on, and Peter was right–no matter what I said.  From what I recall, he was friends with Memadmin.

In maybe 2007 or so, Catherine’s second husband, Ben, who used to work Security for Roanoke in the early 90s, told me he once had to break up a marijuana-smoking group of students–and Memadmin was there, smoking with them.

Peter started smoking marijuana after he broke up with me, and he was friends with Memadmin, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he smoked it with her.

Get all buddy-buddy with Memadmin, and now your side of the story is listened to, but not your ex-girlfriend’s.  Don’t forget that he had no qualms about lying.

Meanwhile, Memadmin tried to frame Ben, saying that he was the one making obscene phone calls to the women’s dorms (explaining the rumors that the obscene phone caller used to work at Roanoke).

It was soon made obvious to those in charge that he’d been framed, but the administration was afraid he’d sue them if anything else happened, so they didn’t let him keep his job.

He told me that Memadmin considered everybody to be as corrupt as she was, so that would explain why she thought I was lying all the time.

Pregnancy Scare

On Friday the 15th, Shawn had been in a good mood for the past few days, and kept sitting with my group at meals.  Then he asked to come over and watch TV with Clarissa and me.

He brought Heavy Metal; later, he playfully scolded me for knowing there was sex in it: “You knew about it and you still agreed to watch it.  Shame on you!”

But come on, everybody knew what was in that movie!  How could he have not known?

None of us had seen it before; Clarissa and I hated it, with the breast fetish and the sex and violence, while he said it wasn’t as good as he thought it would be.

The VCR remote malfunctioned right when Clarissa tried to fast-forward through a sex scene, so Shawn tried to fix it.  (The benefits of having an engineering student for a friend: He later got some more supplies and fixed it.)

He lay beside me on my bed, as usual.  Once, while Clarissa was out of the room, he asked if I wanted to get frisky; I was trying to attract his attention with various poses, but he started moving his hand in places he shouldn’t, with my roommate right there in the room, so I had to stop him.

We flirted quite a bit.  I discreetly offered him a pop, then a brownie, because his breath was bad, but he refused.  So I offered him gum.  He said, “All right, then–Why, does my breath stink?”  I just smiled.

Once, during the movie, I was eating pretzel sticks.  He said, “Why don’t you take a handful out and eat it that way?  It wouldn’t make so much noise that way.”

I said, “You eat pretzels your way; I’ll eat ’em mine.”  So I put the bag in a different position to cut down the noise.

As usual, I got Clarissa to join me in guy-bashing every once in a while; Shawn retaliated with a remark about girls taking two people to think of one thing.  I wanted to hit him with Woof Woof, my stuffed Santa dog, but instead pinched his arm–hard.

He almost fell asleep once.  Several times, he cuddled up against me, and had me put my arm around him.  I began playing with his hair.  Clarissa got up, saw us, and gave me a funny look, so I laughed.

Around midnight, just when I thought he was leaving to go back to his room, and followed him to the suite door to say good-night, he got me into the guest room instead.

Things grew intense for three hours, with things we had never done before.  I won’t go into detail, just that while we did not “go all the way,” we did some very dangerous things.

I will say that afterwards he was calmer, sweeter, tender, not like the last time at all.  It was almost as if that scary scold session never happened.

I went to the bathroom, then found him sitting in the lounge, by a chair.  (Not in a chair, but on the floor?)

I sat beside him, and we talked for another two hours!

He eventually moved to the couch, and I soon came over.  He lay on the couch, and I sat beside him, often resting my head on the side, or on my folded arms on the cushion, putting my head close to his.

Clarissa woke up at 4am, saw us there in the lounge–him lying on the couch, me curled up on the floor with my head by his–and Shawn asked if she had a bad dream from watching Heavy Metal with us.

I can only imagine what she thought about all this.  Pearl, my prayer partner and Shawn’s confidant, and Clarissa were the two people on campus who knew the most about what was really going on between Shawn and me.

Shawn and I talked about our relationship, me wondering why he didn’t feel for me as a girlfriend, him not knowing.

But the way he behaved that night was tender, more like a lover.  He played with my hair, pulled it out over my face.  Once, he cupped my chin in his hand as I told him something.  Once, he said,

“You’ll find the right guy some day.”

I said, “How many times will I have to fall in love before I do?”

“A lot of times, love is hard to distinguish from lust.”

“I don’t think that lust applies in this case.”

I was trying to tell him I loved him.  I don’t know why I didn’t say it directly.  He didn’t understand me.

He said, “I’m going to leave now so I don’t fall asleep on this couch, and go to bed.  I’ll take that soda now, if you’re still offering it, so I have enough sugar to get back to Grossheusch without falling into a snowdrift and being found there the next day.”

I gave him my last pop.  He hugged me, saying, “Now that’s a friendly hug.”  He dozed off on the way back, and lost his can.  The next day, I found an orange streak in the snow and a stray Orange Slice can.  He slept until 5pm, so I didn’t see him again until Sunday.

He seemed in a better mood now, so much so that even Cindy noticed, smiling at me at meals, inviting me over to sit with him, exchanging smiles with me, being easy to get along with….It was enough to drive anyone crazy.  But I was too relieved by his good mood to think of that.


One day, Derek borrowed one of my textbooks.  He asked how he’d get the book back to me, and I said, “My number’s in the book.”

He was suave, a flirt, a musician and theater major, and I believe I flirted with him on occasion, so I must have done so now.  He told Clarissa I was really sexy about lending the book.

So I had her tell Shawn that, to get him to look at me differently.  He made a wry, surprised smile.

For a few days, the 24th through the 26th, there was a pregnancy scare, due to some things we did.  We knew the basic way to get pregnant, not being idiots, but  weren’t sure if certain things we did could also cause it.

I waited anxiously for my late period, while he talked to a married friend and did some research.

While he said he’d marry me if such a thing happened, neither of us wanted him to ruin his life plans because of this, and I didn’t want a marriage with love on only one side.  I was frightened.

It turned out we had not done what would cause virgins to conceive.  I also didn’t know, back then, how to determine my fertile period, though it was so late that month that something could have happened.  Apparently this fear is common among Evangelical girls who haven’t had PIV sex, the “phantom baby,” according to Pure: Inside the Evangelical Movement.

When my period started–10 days late, on day 45 of my menstrual cycle–I called him to a private meeting in the suite.  I told him there was nothing to worry about.

He held me for a while as we stood, and I pressed my body against his in a hug that seemed to link us emotionally.  We decided we had gone too far, and not to do those things again–though this resolution did not last long.


I noted on the 28th that,

The other day, he used words [referring to me] such as ‘going out’ and ‘dating’ about three times, even though he tried to reassure Clarissa that we’re just friends….

She told me her mom would be staying in the guest room, and kept glancing at Shawn as if he’d be a problem.

He said, ‘Why do you keep looking at me, Clarissa?  I’m going home this weekend.  We’re just friends.  Just friends!’–smiling all the while.

Yet a depression had fallen on me, just the same, and I didn’t know why.

On the 27th, he participated in a campus event where students competed in funny little games to win money.  When the MC called him up, he misread Shawn’s last name.

Shawn was totally hyper, so I figured he did well on his class presentation.  It probably also helped that I was not “in trouble.”

He bounced off the walls, and made faces and funny gestures the whole time.  When he had to wear bunny ears during Chubby Bunnies, he made bunny shadow pictures against one of the fake walls they put up.

He kept opening his mouth so wide and tucking in the marshmallows with a technique remarked on by the MC, that the MC said, “You could stuff a compact car in that mouth.”

When he lost at Chubby Bunnies at 12 or 14 marshmallows, he hung his head.

My friends and I were in a front row; when he had to blow up a balloon until it popped, Pearl and Sharon began yelling, “Shawn!  Shawn!”

He had his glasses off the whole time, and seemed like a totally different person up there.  This was the old goofy Shawn I remembered from freshman year, the one who played jokes on me in Krueger one night, the one who played with me and flirted with me, and the one who tried to get into the shower with me back in November, not the dead serious one who was no fun.

I wrote in my diary, “I’ve got to tease him about it tomorrow.”

I wrote in a letter that Pearl and Cindy “say he’s so sweet, and that so many guys on this campus are jerks….Another funny thing is that Peter and Shawn rip on each other when the other one’s out of the room.”


On or after January 28, Cindy, Jennifer, Pearl and I all sat in Pearl and Cindy’s room, chatting.  I said, “It’s the one-year anniversary since Peter broke up with me.  But it doesn’t bother me, because of Shawn.”

This may be when Pearl and I stayed in the room while Cindy went into the hall to say good-bye to a visiting guy named Luke.  I could see them from where I sat.  Luke wanted a hug; Cindy simpered and gave him one.  They acted shy and cute.

I asked Pearl, “Is there something going on between them?

“No,” said Pearl.  “They’re just friends.”

Apparently, my skills at reading people had improved.  Soon after, Cindy and Luke started dating.  They stayed together for many years, and everyone thought they would marry.

Shawn also liked Cindy, but she–like the others in the Group–wouldn’t want to go out with him in a million years.


Anna told me one day that she found a bug in her green beans.  She almost missed it because it was long and green.  She cut into it and saw little legs.


Winterim Break was from Saturday, January 30 through Tuesday, February 2.  Clarissa and I both stayed on campus.  We were prepared with plenty of food, since I remembered last year and warned Clarissa.

We had a restful, relaxing Break, doing whatever we wanted to, whenever we wanted to.  I would go down to the Campus Center to check mail, and listen to my Walkman on the way.  I loved it.  Shawn and Peter were gone; few people were on campus.  Some of our friends were there.

Pearl and Carol went on an educational trip to England for most of Winterim, obviously arriving back in time for us to talk on the 28th.  They even got credit for it.  (This is the event which I fictionalized in Bedlam Castle.)

They saw “The Phantom of the Opera,” and visited sites important in British literature, such as Bath and Stratford-on-Avon.

The advisers were Bill (my teacher for Persuasive, Sophomore Honors and Mass Media) and Thea (who had taught my Expository Writing class).

It cost a lot of money, so I couldn’t join them, to my dismay.  When they got back, Pearl gave me a map of Bath in the time of Jane Austen.


Cast of Characters (Work in Progress)

Table of Contents

Freshman Year

September 1991:

 October 1991:

November 1991:

December 1991: Ride the Greyhound

January 1992: Dealing with a Breakup with Probable NVLD

 February 1992:

March 1992: Shawn: Just Friends or Dating?

April 1992: Pledging, Prayer Group–and Peter’s Smear Campaign

May 1992:

Sophomore Year 

Summer 1992:

September 1992:

October 1992–Shawn’s Exasperating Ambivalence:

November 1992:

December 1992:

January 1993:

February 1993:

March 1993:

April 1993:

May 1993:

Summer 1993: Music, Storm and Prophetic Dreams

September 1993:

October 1993:

November 1993:

December 1993:

January 1994:

February 1994:

March 1994:

April 1994:

Senior Year 

June 1994–Bits of Abuse Here and There:

July & August 1994:

January 1995:

February 1995:

March 1995:

April 1995:

May 1995: