About the diary writer
- Barbara McDowell Whitt
- Kansas City, Missouri, Alexandria, Virginia, United States
- A 1961-65 Park College Diary is a transcription of the nightly entries I wrote on the pages of one-year-diaries, starting when I was a junior in a small town Iowa high school in 1960. Now, in 2014 you are invited to read with me the pages I wrote 50 or more years ago. I grew up on three farms 30 miles from Iowa City. I was the oldest of four daughters and sometimes referred to my sisters as "the kids." We helped our parents but we also had good, wholesome fun - a characteristic I took with me to Park. Park College was 300 miles from West Chester, Iowa in Parkville, Missouri, which was, at the time, a small town on the Missouri River ten miles northwest of Kansas City, Missouri. In 2000 Park College became Park University. Today Park has additional campuses and is large and thriving. It was one of the first educational institutions in the nation to offer online learning.
It's all over, but as of 4:00 this afternoon I feel as if I've been had. In spite of all my efforts in algebra, I got a D for the course. I was there when Miss Konkle was figuring up the grades. She sure gave enough D's and F's. That sure wrecks havoc with my otherwise beautiful record this trimester. I even got a B- in geography. I didn't like the 50 points on the children's lit test, but I thought the government test was okay. Oh, that algebra bit slays me - I certainly worked hard enough. I've been getting my things packed.
Last night as I was reading back over my geography test, I made the discovery that I had forgotten to answer Part III - 10 percent for supporting the inclusion of a geography course in a liberal arts education. I stopped in to see Mr. Reynolds and he let me write on it for ten minutes - as a partial credit compromise in case it makes any difference on my final grade. After talking with Mr. Gault and Mr. Hougland, it doesn't even look as if we can have our own phone in Stephens - due to lack of available extensions. Becky brought over the tennis racket and balls I won for selling the most chocolate bars. There were tornado alerts here tonight.
I feel quite confident that I did the best possible on the arithmetic and geography tests. I should be assured of at least a B for each course. This afternoon I brought my suitcases and trunks down from the attic and went down to Parkville to get some boxes so I could get started packing. After supper Evelyn went with me down to the laundromat to dry clean my winter clothes. The first load took 45 minutes, but it got stuck on the second load and went for two hours. On our way down, the fire whistle blew when we were across from the fire station and then Jim appeared out of nowhere. He had been getting advertising in one of the stores.
Now I'm studying for the arithmetic test. I'm getting drowsy though. I didn't do too well on the algebra final, but then I don't think anyone else did either. I only hope I have enough total points for a C for the course. Mr. Carey gave us an A- on our project. Mrs. Steelman, Evelyn and I were the only three left to discuss it for our oral final. I got my book reviews back from Mrs. Gehrenbeck. I guess she was impressed. She also said my oral report was superior and gave me a C+ on my book. This afternoon I arranged to have Nancy's two trunks taken to the Parkville depot and went down to take out insurance on them.
That was a fast hour I spent doing things away from my algebra book. Now I'd better get back to it and stick to it. I hope for some sort of miracle on tomorrow's test. Baccalaureate and commencement were today. Both were impressive. I'm glad I was able to see one Park College commencement before my own. It certainly will mean a lot to graduate from a small college. It seems so strange with most of the senior girls moved out of the dorm. But we junior girls are enjoying ourselves at the same time. Well, here comes my sixth finals week.
I've been reading Barbara Ward's The Rich Nations and the Poor Nations almost all day and I still have ten pages to go. I had intended to finish it this morning and do algebra this afternoon. I've been trying to repress all thoughts about the latter. All of the seniors are packed and ready to move out, and their parents are here for commencement. This morning I took Patsy Michaels, who will be a freshman in the fall, to Mackay and Hawley. She stayed last night in Stephens guest room. I also helped the Browns - he's here for an honorary degree - get settled. We talked about the old Park College.
I worked tonight, and then, for the cause of small dorms, went to Hawley to collect signatures. The nine we have on ours look rather poor compared to the 207 Chestnut has collected. Oh well, just so they sign one of them. A note from the president and deans today stating our requests they would grant us excluded our own phone, but we think we can get one. I got up at 5:00 and worked every spare minute to finish my book reviews by 1:00. I got a C+ on the last geography test and a B on my government paper. Dean Pai approached me briefly about the possibility of working next year as an education department assistant.
Dave Mogle, the new president of Chestnut, and Lu Bates came up tonight to discuss the problems the small dorms are having. Then Dave and I went down to Nickel, and he, Glenn Petrie and I came up with a neat proposition. However, I think we've already hit a snag in that Chestnut may not be seen as a small dorm. At least it took my mind off the algebra I can't do. I'd like to try to finish my children's book reviews by tomorrow's class time. Nancy and I walked down to the river this afternoon. It's really muddy. I typed the health center reports.
It looks as if three of my four years at Park will have been spent in Hawley. I wrote a letter to the deans yesterday with two proposals in lieu of moving the Stephens women, but the letter I received this evening makes it seem as if it was to no avail. I've been struggling with algebra - so glad it's almost over. I was the only one who went to the algebra review session again. After Gary helped me, logarithms seemed a little easier, but not much. I give up on what we were supposed to read ahead on. Dr. Neighbor had the education majors tell how we would promote what we have learned in American government to our class. Evelyn is babysitting for Griswolds.