Mrs. Cody, Language Arts teacher and Foley 2003 graduate, looks back at her high school days.
Did you have favorite classes or favorite teachers?
I had several favorite classes and teachers. My favorite classes were Peer Helpers, Theatre, and French (I enjoyed French because our teacher gave us too much freedom). My favorite teachers were Mrs. Champion and Ms. Andersen. These women were so much more than educators to me! They were my mentors and sounding boards (they still are)! I was blessed to have them as my teachers and I am so thankful that God led me to their doors.
Did you go to prom?
I did go to prom, both my junior and senior year! I went with my best friend, Sean, both years! We were Prom Prince and Princess our junior year, but were robbed for the title of King and Queen our senior year by Mrs. Mary Beth Willis and her boyfriend of the time.
Do you do any extracurricular activities?
LAWD, I was the extracurricular queen! I was a Peer Helper and Leader, a member of the drama club, and performed in Little Shop of Horrors and Guys and Dolls. I was in Student Council, Key Club, Interact, and band until my junior year. I became Leo the Lion my senior year! I loved being the mascot! I also served the senior class as secretary. (I do have to make a shameless plug here.) When teachers tell you to get involved, we aren’t just blowing smoke!
I applied to Auburn in the fall of my senior year, but was deferred. A few weeks later I went to tour the campus and met with an advisor. I asked what I needed to do to be accepted. They said that my grades were good enough and my ACT score was ok, but that I needed to get involved. I had some how skipped out on listing my extracurricular activities. The advisor helped me update my application and no lie; a week later I received my acceptance letter! GET INVOLVED!!
Do you have any good stories to share?
I was crazy in high school. Seriously, I would do silly things just to make people laugh! One of the craziest (dumbest) things I ever did was not listen to my dad (imagine that)! I drove a 1993 Pontiac Sunbird (google imagine that beauty!) I thought I was hot stuff with this car, but to be completely honest, it was a hunk of junk. It would leak when it rained, the review mirror fell off more than once, the windows were constantly off track, and worse yet, I had to eventually ride around with my own battery charger so I could jump myself off. Do you know what it feels like to have to ask your friends to wait on you while you drag out your jumper cables to jump YOURSELF off? I became the queen of how to properly charge someone’s battery. When my dad put the charger in my back floorboard, he stressed to me the importance of NOT moving the charger; this was fine, for a few days. Eventually, I did move it to my backseat so I could slide my front passenger seat back and give a friend a ride home.
That same day, I volunteered to give a group of my friends a ride to dinner. I then moved the charger from my backseat to my trunk and we went to dinner. That evening, my friend Ashley Shepherd, called upset because the butt of her pants was missing. I did not fully understand what she was telling me, but she said that when she took her pants out of the washing machine, the butt was GONE. I was laughing as I hung up the phone and my dad asked what I was laughing about. I told him about Ashley’s pants and he immediately asked me where my charger was. I instantly knew I had screwed up. My dad went out to my car and ran a towel across my backseat; all of the stuffing started coming out. He was ticked. He took the backseat out of my car and spray painted two pieces of plywood black to serve as seats. This was my punishment for several months. My birthday present that year was a new backseat from the junkyard.
Where did you go to college?
I went to Auburn University! War Eagle! I met my husband there and made numerous friends! I marched in the Auburn Band our perfect season in 2004. I got to attend every game that year, play in the SEC Championship and Sugar Bowl, and we marched in George W. Bush’s 2nd Inauguration.
Why did you choose to become an educator?
I actually graduated from Auburn with a degree in Communication. I really didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do, but thought I wanted to be a radio personality. When I returned to Foley, I began passing my resume out to every radio station I could. Most of the stations wanted me to start as a sales representative, but I was offered an actual internship at Sunny 105.7 in Gulf Shores. I quickly realized I would not make enough money to pay for the gas to get me back and forth to work. I began substituting to make some extra money and realized I had totally missed my calling. I knew God was sending me into the mission field of education. I haven’t looked back since and I couldn’t be happier!
What do you miss about high school?
I miss the freedom I had and the money I could spend on WHATEVER I wanted. I miss my dad, a lot. I often wish I could go back and give him one more hug. More, I wish I could take back the frivolous arguments we had and words I said. I know how infuriating parents can be. I was grounded, had my car taken away more than once, and thought all my dad did was yell. I now realize, that I was BLESSED to have a dad that cared enough about me to punish me. I can’t plead with you all enough to treasure EVERY second you have with your family; time is precious.
Do you have a most embarrassing moment?
The basketball team was playing in Gulf Shores and as Leo I always performed during halftime. I actually grew a little fan base among the basketball moms. They would become excited when they saw me because they knew I would be dancing. I took pride in being Leo. I worked hard on mix tapes (yes, tapes, as in cassettes) and my routines. Gulf Shores had recently purchased a Dolphin mascot, but allowed several different students to rotate in the suit. They knew that I danced during halftime and talked another person into putting on the mascot suit. In the middle of my routine, I see a Dolphin coming towards me.
I always FEARED a mascot challenge, fight or otherwise. I always imagined my head falling off or me falling down and not being able to get back up because of those giant feet. When this dolphin came out it began doing its own dance moves. It was trying to challenge me to a dance off! In my fear of mascot rivalry (and because I KNEW I would beat this mascot in the dance off and didn’t want a lion/dolphin fight to ensue) I began to robot off the court. I know everyone was confused and my supporters were upset that I gave up so quickly, but they did not understand my fear! This may be one of those, you had to be there moments, but just picture this ODD looking dolphin dancing in the middle of the gym with and even ODDER looking lion roboting (is this even a word) off the floor.
If you could go back and relive your youth, would you do anything differently?
I would enjoy every second of being in high school. I had the WORSE case of senioritis and nearly burnt some bridges with some of the greatest people I know. I couldn’t wait to get out of Foley and had a bad attitude at the end of my senior year. I regret some of the decisions I made, but luckily I was blessed with teachers who forgave my actions and were more than understanding.
College life is wonderful, but so is this time in high school. There are people who you see everyday now that you may not see again until your 10-year reunion. Look around, take it all in, and treasure every moment you have and person you meet.
Thanks Mrs. Cody…Go Foley!