Welcome to Bluefield at 100! Bluefield College is celebrating 100 years and has undergone a name change! Each week, in honor of this milestone, The Confusing Middle will shine the spotlight on an individual who spent time at Bluefield University, giving them a chance to fill us all in on where they are and how they’ve been doing since the college years. I hope you’ll join us back here every week as we get reacquainted with some old friends!
This week we’re hearing from Alyson Ridge!
- What have you been up to since your time in Bluefield?
Since Bluefield, I got a teaching job, got married, and have two children.
- Where are you living now? For how long?
I’m living in my hometown still: Gloucester, Va! There’s no place like home.
- Did you pursue any education after college? If so, what degrees have you obtained?
Two years after graduation, I became a Chautauqua Scholar through the International Order of the King’s Daughters & Sons (IOKDS) and spent a month at the Chautauqua Institution in NY. It was a very interesting time, and I got to listen to speakers like Jane Goodall and Arun Ghandi. I even took a steel drum course while I was there!
- Where did you earn your first “grown-up” paycheck?
York County School Division
- Who is your current employer and what is your job title?
I’m in my 17th year with York County Schools at Magruder Elementary as a Music Teacher.
- What are your hobbies? What do you end up doing in your spare time?
I love watching movies! I’ve always been a fan of Hitchcock films, but my all time favorite movie is Clue.
- Have you done much traveling? Where have you visited?
I haven’t traveled like I did when I was in Variations at Bluefield, but I have done a little bit of traveling state-side.
- Are you married? If so, who is your spouse?
Yes My husband is Philip Ridge. We met a couple years after my graduation from Bluefield. We both share a love for music. He sings and plays electric guitar.
- How did you and your spouse meet?
Technically, Myspace was my first attempt at contact… haha. But, I saw him in the grocery store completely unexpectedly and said “hi” before he even saw my Myspace message.
- Do you have children? What are their names/ages?
I have two sons: Sheppard age 9 and Joel age 7.
- Tell us a funny story about your kids…
Sheppard is our lovable villain. When he took the Hogwart’s House test, he was selected for Slytherin. Every year for Halloween that he’s been old enough to pick his costume, he chooses a villain: Darth Vader, Darth Maul, Storm Trooper, etc. This year he’s going as a giant whoopie cushion though! Joel loves cats, but we don’t have any. On a roadtrip, my cousin was showing him photos of cats to help pass the time. When looking at one of the photos, Joel announced “Awww, this one has heterochromia!” He had to explain to all of us what in the world that was.
- What was your favorite class at Bluefield?
Variations or Choral Arranging
- Which teachers influenced your life and made a lasting impression? Why?
There were a few, but Bryant Moxley is top of the list He always had a way of leading by example and teaching without it feeling like a lecture. If I ever had any questions, I knew I could go to him and I’d get an answer and a friendly conversation too.
- What was your major and/or minor?
I was a music education major.
- What did you want to be when you “grew up?”
So many things! Dancer, Opera singer, fashion designer, interior designer…
- What was your funniest moment in college?
There’s so many, but getting “talked to” by Dean Dan after post-it noting a teacher’s car was a golden memory.
- What was your most embarrassing moment?
I’m not sure. Maybe I blocked it out?
- What was the dumbest thing you did in college? Was it worth it?
I can’t think of anything dumb, per se. Maybe falling for Aaron Peck’s “updog” joke.
- What is your most vivid memory from Bluefield College?
Pledging with Alpha Delta, making some of the best friends ever!
- Was there ever something you wanted to do during your college days but never did?
I thought dating would be nice, but it’s probably best that I didn’t. I got to focus on my studies and my friendships.
- What was your go-to during Late Night in the Shott Hall dining room?
- Did you play any sports?
- How about intramurals?
- Did you pledge with a fraternity or sorority?
Unity Unity Unity! Shaboom! Alpha Delta!
- Were you involved in any other extracurriculars (theater, yearbook, clubs, etc.)?
I participated in the BCM and was a part of the student government, getting the title of Vice President my last year.
- What on-campus events did you enjoy participating in or attending?
I loved the concerts and BAM nights.
- Did you jump into the mud pit on Mud Pig Day?
Actually, no. I probably should’ve tried it!
- Did you have a work-study job on campus?
- Did you have a job off campus?
- Which dorm did you live in? Or did you commute?
All of them at the time(1st year, Cruise. 2nd year, Rish. 3rd and 4th, New.)
- Tell us your craziest roommate story…
I got to room with Pico my first year. I remember everyone had their nametags on the doors on move-in day, but ours were missing. She had taken it off and put them on the bed, making my spot top bunk and her’s bottom bunk. Pico always kept me on my toes!
- Which classmate influenced you the most?
It’s a tie between Alex (Taylor) Harding and Ashley (Connor) Branch.
- What plans do you have for the next 10 years?
Teaching is a career that’s become harder and harder with each passing year. I have a feeling that I’ll probably be retiring early within the next 10 years.
- Give us a quote to live by…
“Why is the carpet all wet, Todd?!”
Oh, is that not what you meant? I just want to say, Bluefield was great and so many great memories were made. I hope you’re all taking time to make new memories with the loved ones in your life today!
I want to thank Alyson for taking time to answer all these questions and for sharing with us this week! Come back next week when another Bluefield survivor takes the hot seat!
And if you spent time at Bluefield College and want to participate, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send you the full list of questions! Until next time, GO RAMS!