New freshman students, returning students and Rocky’s athletes bustled around on the first day of classes Monday, planning challenging futures for themselves.
“I want to be an FBI agent,” said Kristina Felix, 17, from the Orange County area of Southern California. “I have an academic scholarship to Rocky Mountain College. I will have a triple major in sociology, psychology and history-political science.”
A graduate of San Juan Hills High School in California, she said she played lacrosse and rode horses to stay fit and looked forward to the fitness tests and other difficult requirements demanded by the FBI. She said she liked her new roommate and was excited about starting at Rocky.
“I had a really good day on the first day. My acting teacher [Gerald Roe] is really funny,” she said.
She was dressed in a long shift with earth-colored patterns on it, and her rust, mocha and beige garment blew around her legs as she walked into her dorm, Anderson Hall.
Another new freshman, Chance Windham, 18, from Newton County, Texas, described his talent in math.
“I’m going to take the Compass exam in math to get out of that low level math, like algebra, and into calculus, which is Math 1700,” said Windham in a friendly and charming Texan drawl. He also said “Ma’am” a lot.
His roommate, Colton Wood, 18, from Cody, Wyo., said he needed to go get a new “Bear Card,” which allows entrance into most buildings, computer labs and the cafeteria.
The two freshmen were enthusiastic about their large room, which was home to only three students instead of the anticipated four.
“It’s great. We got this huge room with only three guys,” said Mr. Windham. He also said he came from a small high school.
“In Newton County Independent School District - it’s right between Texas and Louisiana - I had only 390 students in my whole school,” he said. There are about 1,000 students at Rocky Mountain College in total. He said he had to get to his exam and departed along the wide curving walkway leading to the math exam.
All the way on the other side of the curving walkway, past the math exam building in front of Fortin Hall, Rocky’s athletic facility, athletes from three of Rocky’s teams waited for practice to start. Returning junior Mike Lopez, 21, from Venice, Fla., said he looked forward to playing left tackle in the offensive line of Rocky’s football team, The Battlin’ Bears. But he said he also was stricken by the first academic assignment.
“I already got my first homework in math,” he said.
His teammate, Sonny Ah Kui, 21, from Maui, Hawaii, said he spent the whole summer in Montana - not Hawaii - and he looked forward to playing right guard this year on the football team. He said he was glad the new year had started.
“It is exciting to meet new people and new professors,” he said.
Senior Darryl Alexander, 23, from Compton, Calif., said he was on the basketball team, which won a national championship two years ago. He said he is a specialist in shooting the ball.
“I am just waiting for basketball and for graduation in May,” Mr. Alexander said.
And finally, a blonde volleyball player, Breanna Geck, 19, a returning sophomore from Huntley Project, said she enjoys being a hitter on the team. But she lamented she has much longer to wait until she graduates from Rocky.
“I’ve still got two more years left,” she said. About the first day back at classes in Billings, she said, “It was fun and exciting today meeting new people and having new classes.”