First off, my real name is not Roo. Roo is my Tau Beta Sigma nickname given to me by my big sister - Joan "Mags" Hill (love ya big sis). My real name is Lady Katherine Denise Waddle. Lady does not appear on my birth certificate - in the fall of 2000 my mom and I discovered that my great-great-great-great grandparents had conferred upon them the title of Hildalgo by the King and Queen of Spain. We found out that the title is passed down perpetually to all descendants so guess what - I'm a Lady. Katherine comes from my matrenal great-grandmother. Her name was Katherine Rosella Woods. Denise is the feminine form of Dennis. My mom picked out Denise for my middle name because she knew a pastor's son named Dennis who was killed in a car accident. So that is my real name. You may call me Kathi, but if you're in Kappa Kappa Psi or Tau Beta Sigma then you better be calling me Roo.
Now that I have explained my name, I guess I can tell you the specifics on my birth. I was conceived in Fresno, CA on the sunny side part of town (no kidding). I entered the world on Sunday October 20, 1968 at 9:41 pm in Merced, CA. I was the first born child to my parents - Troy and Virginia Waddle (yeah it explains a lot doesn't it? Just wait - it gets better). We lived in El Nido on a ranch my dad was book keeper at until February 1969 before we had to move into Merced for a month (my dad had lost his job). We ended up moving to Porterville, CA in March 1969 where I grew up.
I led a happy existence til August 6, 1971 when my favorite sister in the entire world was born. Beth was a cute little bald headed blonde baby - what big sister could not love that? When I was 5 years old I decided that since my friend Julieanne had a baby brother that I needed one too. So I knelt in front of my bed one evening and prayed. Apparently God was listening (He always does) because on January 1, 1974 my brother Tim was born (that's right a New Year's baby).
So now the family was complete. I attended the fine schools of Porterville, CA. I went to West Putnam for Kindergarten, Westfield for 1st-6th grades, Bartlett Jr. High for 7th and 8th grades and Monache High School for 9th-12th grades. When I was in the 4th grade, my mom thought it would be nice if she enrolled her first born in piano lessons. Big mistake on her part - I fought practicing and my mom hated it. So three months later she took me out. I guess it was a little too late to stop the seed that had been planted. Between the family getting together for singing, my dad and my uncles playing guitar when they got together, my mom playing piano for us, my dad playing piano for us, and me being in piano lessons for three months there was no way I could escape it. When fifth grade hit I went to the cafeteria when the announcment came for those interested in playing an instrument to go directly to the cafeteria. I went down - my insturment of choice was the drums. The drums you ask? Why when there are so many other beuatiful instruments that would not annoy my parents? Part of the reason was I had overheard my mom and my coordination teacher talking about how maybe if I took up the drums it would help with my perceptual motor difficulties. I guess the other part was there was a hidden percussionist in me just waiting to get out. I had so much fun being a part of music groups. That was where I really blossomed. I went on to be in the Awesome Monache Maruader Band where I played cymbals (by choice - I loved it!). Little did I know that my love for band would lead me to other better things when I got to college (but that's another paragraph that you'll just have to read later on this page).
I had other interests growing up - like animals. We had 2 cats while I was growing up - Jingles who was a beautiful Calico cat we found on the front step when I was 6 years old - and Maxwell House Coffee Waddle (Max for short) - a beuatiful long haired kitty we found under the house when I was 15). We also had a few dogs when I was gorwing up. My first dog was Bingo - we got rid of him when we moved to the house I lived from the age of 5 til I left to go away to college (and then moved back into a few times after college - hehehe). We got Blackie when I was in elementary school. He was part lab and part collie, but we had to get rid of him when he bit the paper boy. Then there was Tillie - she was a big fat black lab that belonged to our friends on the next street. She used to follow my brother home from school because her own family's kids never played with her. She started staying for days at a time and eventually they said we could keep her :) The there was Gretchen - we found her when I was in junior high. She was part daschund and so cute. We did not have her very long - my mom opened the door one day and called Gretchen from across the street (not thinking she was a dog and would not look both ways before crossing the street). Gretchen got hit by a car on her way across the street. My mom felt bad and when she called my dad he told her about someone who had Queensland Heeler pups for sale. Well how could my guilt ridden mother resist the pleas of her 3 devasted children? We ended up with Bunny who was one of the best dogs we ever had. In addition to animals, I apparently liked drama. My sister and I used to put on plays for my mom and my grandma. The we'd try stuff on the patio. I also enjoyed reading a lot - I used to spend hours by myself reading. My favorite books as a kid were the Little House on the Prairie books, the Mrs. Piggle Wiggle books, and the Misty of Chincoteague books (a series of books about a horse named Misty). I also got the traveling bug impalnted in me as a child because my parents would take us on all sorts of educational vacations - to see the California missions, to the Hungtington Gardens and Libraries, to the beach, and a few long trips to see our cousins in Oregon. Oh and I grew up in Christian home (thanks mom and dad). Some of my fondest memories are of mom and dad hauling us three kids and a bunch of kids from the neighborhood to church. I went to camp in the August of 1980 and ended up having my life changed forever - I accepted Christ my last night of camp. My friends I had in the youth group (most of which happened to be in band or colorguard) were some of the best friends I couldhave at that time. I also had a wonderful youth pastor - Larry Underwood - that had an incredible heart for us. I miss him a lot - he passed away in June 1991.
So that was growing up in a nutshell (did I mention that I like to write? hehehe). I graduated from Monache High School on June 6, 1986 and then in August I started my college career at College of the Sequoias in Visaia, CA (3o minuted from Porterville). I chose COS because 1. my parents said I had to go to a junior college first and 2. it had a marching band. I got involved with the band - Mr. Weston became one of my all time favorite directors. I played cymbals there too - Mr. Weston called me his Monache Flash :) I also got involved in student government. My freshman year I was Freshman Representative and my sophomore year I was Student Senator of the Fine Arts Division. I started off a music major when I got to COS, but music theory quickly squelched that idea. So my sophomore year I switched to psychology and have not regretted it since.
I transferred to California State University, Fresno in the fall of 1988 where once again I was in band. That was the first year they had Kappa Kappa Psi and Tau Beta Sigma. I could have joined then, but I was not ready for it. I needed to get adjusted. Apparently it only took 2 years for me to get adjusted because in the fall of 1990 I did one of the smartest things I could ever do - I rushed the Eta Omega chapter of Tau Beta Sigma. I was a part of the Zeta class and there were 15 of us in my pledge class - 5 KKPsi pledges and 5 TBS pledges. Oh and before you ask why Tau Beta Sigma - well I will tell you. Tau Beta Sigma is the National Honorary Band Sorority. So now do you see a pattern? I love band, I was in band, and what better way to be more involved than to join Tau Beta Sigma. I enjoyed my 12 week pledge period (well not really - I was beginning to think it would never end). We ended up being intitiated on December 3, 1990.
My first full year as an active member I was the Alumni Secretary (which apparently sparked a love for alumni stuff). I was not an officer my last year because I wanted to get my little brother and my little sister (we had a chapter policy that said officers could not have littles). I did - I got SNAFU and Echo in the fall of 1992 when they were a part of the Iota class. In addition to my involvments with Tau Beta Sigma, I got to serve as the Vintathlon Coordinator for Vintage Days 1992 and then the Boowtowm Coordinator for Vintage Days 1993. I also got involved with the Cross Cultural Student Awareness Network and met a lot of other cool people. So college was fun - stressful at times, but overall it was fun.
Oh I guess you want to know if I ever graduated from Fresno State. I did that in May of 1991 when I got my BA in Psychology. Then I stayed for two years to get my teaching credential in May of 1993. Yes Roo is a certified teacher in two states :) I spent my first year suffering for the Lord in a private Christian school teaching Fourth Grade half a day in Bakersfield, CA. I moved back home in 1994 where I met someone that was about to change the course of my life (well God changed my life too - but he placed someone in my life to get me to a different point).
I met Matt Brown in the summer of 1994. He was an interim youth pastor at the First Southern Baptist Church in Porterville. We met at Bible study and ended up getting to be really good friend. He was about ready to embark on his senior year at California Baptist College in Riverside, CA. I was ready to go back for my master's degree and was wanting to attend a Christian college this time (I did not have the oppprtunity to do that as an undergrad). I was interested in getting my master's degree in counseling. I also was ready to try southern California. I looked at Point Loma Nazarene College (I grew up in the Nazarene church) and California Baptist College. CBC won hands down - it was smaller, it was cheaper, and I knew at least one person there. So I applied for the spring semester of 1995 and lo and behold I got accepted. So I started on my Master's of Science in Counseling Psychology at California Baptist College. That really changed my life. I got involved with the AWANA program, I found the
church that has been the place I know I belong (Southern Baptist), and I met a wondeful guy (Gary Burch) that would be the insteument to get me to a new and better place for me - Texas.
So I had fun at Cal Baptist and ended up graduating in July 1997 with my master's degree (and thus obtaining more education than either of my parents had - they have their BAs). I went to Korea in January of 1998 to teach English - that was a blast. I came back in March of 1998 just in time to hook back up with Iota Alpha and Eta Omega and attend California State Day with them. I subsitutued and taught in Porterville until February 2001 when I ended up as a Social Worker in Bakersfield (I did not move - I commuted an hour to and from work).
I got content to stay living in Porterville - I figured okay I can hang with this. I miss Gary a lot, but he'll eventually move back out to California. I can chill with seeing him on vacations. Well apparently God had other plans for me. I found out in April of 2001 that my landlord was planning to move back into the house I was renting in June. When my mom told me I was not heart broken at all. This was the chance I was looking for to take that leap of faith and head east to the land of Texas. I conferred with Bobby Duncan (SWDAA VP) and he was generous enough to let me move in with him for the summer. So with that set, I headed east Memorial Day weekend in May 2001. I made a stop in Sedona, AZ for two days - I was WDJAA VP of Projects and we had an officer meeting on Memorial Day. I got settled in Okalhoma for the summer and applied with the Dallas Indpendent School District. I got hired at their job fair in June and on August 1, 2001 after I had recovered from National Convention, I headed
south on the 35 to Waco. I stayed with Gary for 11 days and drove back and forth to Dallas for 11 days until I got a place to live. I attempted to be the roommate of a teacher's daughter, but it was not working out - I was confined to the living room because the spare room never got cleaned out and she had a big greyhound and I had my two precious kitties. So in September I got my own place in Mesquite. I hated my school I was teaching at so I quit December 20th. I got to spend the second half of the school year teaching 3rd grade at a private Muslim school. I really enjoyed it a lot.
So now that brings me to now. What the heck are ya doing now Roo? Well I have had an interesting summer. God has been working a lot in my life. I have found my hopes and dreams again and realized what it is I have been called to do. I will be substituting this fall and am praying that I get hired as the school counselor at the new elementary school campus in Ferris, TX (26 miles south of here). God has called me for a special purpose and I am on the verge of fulfilling that. Gary and I have hit a rough spot in our lives and he's working on figuring stuff out. You'd think that would be a bad thing right now, but it has been just the opposite. I love how God will put other people in our lives :)
Other quick notes of interest. I was the WDJAA VP of Projects from 1999-2002. I am currently the North Texas Area Representative for the Southwest District Alumni Association (SWDAA), I am on the Tau Beta Sigma History Task Force Committee, I play percussion in the Mesquite Symphonic Band, I have been asked to run for Publications Manager for the Mesquite Symphonic Band, and I have two adorable kitty cats - K.C. and Holly. Oh yeah and I play percussion, clarinet, a little piano, and have been teaching myself to play guitar (I can play E, F, and G on the bottom string - woo hoo).