About the diary writer

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Kansas City, Missouri, Alexandria, Virginia, United States
My professional name is Barbara McDowell Whitt. In the first half of the 1960s, as Barbara McDowell, I wrote nightly entries on the pages of one-year diaries. A 1961-65 Park College Diary is a transcription of those entries beginning on January 1, 1960 when I was in high school in Iowa. I grew up on three farms within 30 miles of Iowa City. As the oldest of four daughters, I 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, on the Missouri River ten miles northwest of Kansas City, Missouri, and across the river from Kansas City, Kansas. In 2000 Park College became Park University. Today Park has additional campuses across the nation. It was one of the first educational institutions in the United States to offer online learning. Now, in 2014, I invite you to read with me the diary entries I wrote in 1964 when I was a senior at Park.

Train Was 3 1/2 Hours Late Leaving Union Station - Friday, December 18, 1964

My train was three and a half hours late today so I got to Fairfield at 7:00. But at least a day time delay beats having to wait all night. I got up at 4:30 and finished my paper at 9:00. I took it down to Dr. Pai's office (he wasn't there) after finding a clamp type folder at the bookstore. Then I hurried back to pack, and Chuck Young took me to the station at 10:30. Phyllis and Sharon got to the Burlington station about 5:00, and then they waited for my train. It's good to be home again. I always like, among other things, looking at Christmas cards. Kyle Shown [a friend of Dad and Mom from Berea College] was killed Sunday when his car was hit by a train. Mom and Dad went to Illinois for the funeral Tuesday.

Paper for Dr. Pai Will Include an Appendix - Thursday, December 17, 1964

I'm racing against time, but with my continued rate of perseverance I should be able to finish my paper for Dr. Pai without much trouble in the morning. It's 12:30, and I'll get up at 4:30. I've decided to include some of the tests and other information in an "appendix" at the end. I hope the bookstore will have a folder to hold it all. Evelyn and I did a good job with our oral presentation for music, I think. I finished my music paper (21 pages) this morning. Mr. Chronister had me type the Education 301 test.

Wrote Six Pages, Began Revising Another Paper - Wednesday, December 16, 1964

I wrote the introduction (six pages) of my paper for Dr. Pai and then began revising my paper for Mr. Chronister. Time is the problem once again. I don't know if it's worth it or not. For all my conscientious efforts, I missed 12 on the art final. There were 6 scores above mine, 7 below, I noticed. I don't know if I can still get an A for that course now or not. Honestly, I've never come closer to my chance for making the Dean's List. It would be nice once. I met Mrs. Gatton at the post office at 8:30 this morning to get a book I wanted.

Ache, Feel Ill, Nervous, Tired From Last 15 Weeks - Monday, December 15, 1964

I ache, feel ill, nervous, tired - in other words, the strain of the last 15 weeks is feeling its "final" outburst. At least I don't have much to be worried about as far as finals are concerned - just the oral music presentation. I think I did okay on the oral and chord playing parts of today's test, but on the written part, one can never be sure with Mr. Chronister. I hope I didn't "un-convince" Dr. Pai of "anything" after today's seminar discussion of motivation theory. If I can only write a good paper, I should be okay.

Skipped Lunch to Participate in Fast for Freedom - Monday, December 14, 1964

Our study break to open our Christmas stockings was a lot of fun. Kathy had my name. My "gadgets" were Mickey Mouse scissors, a toy bank, magnifying glass, compass and squirt gun. We had everyone looking for the key to the bank when I threw it away with the wrapping paper. More fun! We had a half hour student council meeting tonight. There wasn't a quorum so no action could be taken. I read more on motivational theory tonight, but haven't gotten too far studying for the music test. I must get busy. I gave Evelyn a basket filled with nuts and peppermints. I skipped lunch along with others - money saved is for UCCF [United Christian College Fund] Fast for Freedom for southern Negro families.

Choir Members were in Kansas City TV Show - Sunday, December 13, 1964

I attended my fourth Park College Christmas choir concert with Judy and Margaret. It was very good. We also saw some of the choir members sing three songs in a special program of Christmas music from the Kansas City area in a taped TV show at 1:00. It was fun to sit by kids who were in it and listen to their reactions. We had a guest speaker for chapel. Judy and I helped usher today. I do believe we were the only ones there not fulfilling chapel attendance. I've been reading in preparation for my paper for Dr. Pai.

Impressed with Quality of Writing and Character - Saturday, December 12, 1964

I went with Winnie to the play, A Streetcar Named Desire, tonight. Jan Studer, a freshman, did an outstanding job with the lead. This afternoon I worked on chords and music fundamentals for Tuesday's test and recorded playing. Evelyn and I practiced her song some. We're going to see if he'll let each team present just one song in our allotted fifteen minutes. I had such a nice talk with Dr. Myers in Mackay this afternoon. He said he is very impressed with the quality of my writing. And he said something about my character, especially for a girl - and a lot more.

Spoke with Two Women at KCMSD Board Building - Friday, December 11, 1964

Stephens gave a Christmas party for Nickel in Millsap Lounge tonight. It really was a lot of fun. We played games, pulled taffy, in general goofed off, and we gave each guy a Christmas stocking (one for Dammitt II, too) and a tree for the dorm. This afternoon I took a bus in to talk with Dr. Marion Simmons and Mrs. Virginia Brown in the Kansas City School District Board of Education building about our remedial reading program. They gave me many constructive insights. Maybe this can be a "start" toward "working my way up in educational circles."

With an A on Art Notebook, Hoping for A in Art - Thursday, December 10, 1964

One final is out of the way. I'm hoping for (and I think should get) an A in art. She graded some of our notebooks while we took the test. I got an A on mine. The LLCs lost to the ACCs in basketball. We led at the half, 9-7. I made 7 points, all in the first half. We had a Stephens birthday party for Barb Page - it turned into a "complaint" session. Then Leslie's committee met to talk about our party for Nickel. Dr. Pai said Miss Dyer made no comment on my student teaching evaluation. I don't know how to feel about that.

Holly Came Again for Her Tutoring in Reading - Wednesday, December 9, 1964

It was nice to see Holly again today. They had called Monday to say she had a cold but I didn't get the message. I had a talk with Evelyn this afternoon. She was upset about her student teaching evaluation. (Miss Dyer hasn't returned mine yet.) Tonight I've been re-reading for our art test. I hope I can get enough read tomorrow so that I can do my best. I have my notebook finished except to get together my magazine pictures.

People Have Been Congregating in Our Lounge - Tuesday, December 8, 1964

We have most of the dorm's stuffed animals in "watching" our tree. And it's amazing how many people have been congregating in the lounge the last few nights. We're having to lock our lounge door at night - we don't want anyone to "steal" the tree! I've been typing up pages for my art notebook. If I can just make it through next Tuesday "with flying colors," I'll really be able to have a ball Wednesday and Thursday. I won't have any finals left except an oral music presentation with Evelyn.

Christmas Tree Looks Nice in Our Lounge Window - Monday, December 7, 1964

Stephens had their traditional Christmas party tonight. Mom Hawkins and the Hamiltons were the only ones who were able to come. We trimmed our little Christmas tree, which we have in our lounge window, and it looks very nice. I went out to Chinn this morning to talk to Holly's fifth grade teacher. Dr. Pai let me take his car. I don't know why, but the Huffords didn't make it again this afternoon. I missed my first student council meeting. Since I wanted to be here when our party began, I just didn't go.