Life is a full of surprises, growth and reflection. This couldn’t be more true for Krista Sanders, a familiar face at the McConnell Hall front desk.
Mrs. Sanders is a long term Denton resident, having been born and raised in Denton back when it was much smaller.
“I think I had a great childhood in that I lived in the suburbs. Even though it was the middle of Denton, we had that kind of place here. It was the kind where I could run around the neighborhood and do what I wanted and be home by dark.”
After going to college in Utah, she had to readjust to very different surroundings. For one, Denton grew tremendously in size. In fact, according to a recent news article, Denton is forecasted to continue tremendous economic growth.
“I met and married my husband [at college], but dragged him back home. Having gone away to college and coming back, I realized how much it had grown. Everything between the racetrack at the very Eastern side of Denton through to Aubrey is new within the last 15 years. It was really mind blowing.”
Development comes with a wide array of repercussions for local businesses and culture.
“You see it in the small things. They are bringing some more chain stores in and the ma and pa shops are going out of business. That’s sad, but there is also so much more that is being brought into Denton: more people, more cultures…it’s interesting to see.”
Yet, perhaps the most profound effect is the small changes to how kids grow up. Mrs. Sanders describes how she rejoices in the lessons of parenthood.
“Where we live now, I would not be comfortable with my son doing the same things that I did as a kid [going out to play]. That has more to do with being wiser. Not wiser than my parents, but knowing now what I didn’t know when I was a kid.”
Apart from witnessing the growth of the Denton community, Mrs. Sanders has embraced the smaller community feeling within TAMS, fostered by a diverse student population and unity among students who are highly motivated, both personally and academically.
“I love the students at TAMS. I feel like you guys are more accepting of other people than other groups of students. You guys come from a mindset where you know what it’s like to be different. You guys like academics, you want to go for different things, you want to say hi to people, you want to have your clubs and you want to be social. You take all these aspects of you into every conversation.”
Her smile widens as she continues to talk about TAMSters’ characteristics.
“I’m really impressed. You guys are really responsible…for the most part. I don’t see every aspect of your lives, but when you have problem, you guys come talk to us about it. You take the initiative to say, ‘This isn’t working in my room and I need to fix it.’ rather than leaving it.”
If you aren’t sure what to mention to Mrs. Sanders, don’t fear: she has diverse interests: photography, writing, reading (she is always looking for enough time to read), Batman and more.
“I love when people come talk to me. I think that’s really cool because I didn’t see a whole lot of that when I was in college. It’s nice to see that community you guys have – it’s infectious.”
One thing she would appreciate is a brief introduction before talking to her/making a room request, because it’s hard to keep track of everyone. Sanders has about 70% of all names down, but there are often overlaps between first, last and both names.
After almost 4 months at TAMS, Mrs. Sanders fondly recollects her first memory. It was her second day of work and she was at the desk by herself for the first time.
“A student I had never met came up and was like, ‘Hey what does harassment mean?’ Then they asked ‘Would this be appropriate?’ and gave me a situation. I immediately respond ‘No, that wouldn’t be appropriate.’ And then the student just disappeared. I guess on one side I was glad that this person felt comfortable enough to talk to me. I can neither confirm nor deny who it was, but it just was an initiation on my second day.”
In the coming semester, hall directors have some added responsibilities for front desk staff, but one thing is for sure – they will always appreciate a small hello or conversation from TAMSters.