About the diary writer
- Barbara McDowell Whitt
- Kansas City, Missouri, Alexandria, Virginia, United States
- In the first half of the 1960s I wrote nightly entries on the pages of one-year diaries. A 1961-65 Park College Diary is a transcription of those entries. The first entry was on January 1, 1960 when I was a junior in high school. 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" or "the girls." 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 10 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 2015, I invite you to read with me the diary entries I wrote in 1965 when I was a senior at Park. In some of them I mention actions I took as president of Stephens, the women's honor dorm.
Seth brought me back at 10:00 since I started not feeling well up at the observatory after we went to the Park Singers show. It's a good thing I came back when I did. I was just now sick to my stomach. I suppose I picked up some of the flu that has been going around - I wonder how long my system has been fighting it off. I didn't think the Family test was that bad - but that's what I thought last time when I got a C+. No social psych class and Holly didn't come, so I enjoyed my half free afternoon for once.
It's 11:00 and I finally finished reading Family. Now I'd better hurry and begin reviewing notes - since February 4 - for tomorrow's test. This Stephens business at the end of the year is unbelievable. I spent an hour this morning talking with Mrs. McDaniel and Dean Miller, and an hour this evening talking with Kathy, Winnie, Jean and Mrs. Applebee. Mrs. Applebee is a guest of the college from time to time. The granddaughter of the first president, she has been known to exert influence, so we wanted her to hear our cause. Evelyn and Jim have a new light blue Volkswagen.
Another space flight first again this morning! Seth and I watched the moon shot pictures being transmitted live as the Ranger zeroed in on the moon's surface for several minutes before impact. It was one of the most fascinating things I've ever seen. Jayne was up tonight to talk about Stephens. I haven't seen any indications of hard feelings. Seth went to the American Physicists Society meeting in Kansas City to work (filing cards). He stopped past when I was tutoring Holly. He rightly accused me of using the "Pavlovian technique" (jelly beans for right answers!).
The vote for new Stephens members was long and drawn out because so many were qualified. We finally decided to vote for only nine for numerous reasons. Those to be asked are Diane Calvert, Ruth Millett, Jayne Humbert, Rita Hoover, Terri Osuga, Paula Hansmire, Trudy Henderson, Rosa Smith and Marthanne Gravis. I'm afraid there are going to be some hurt feelings among those equally well qualified who didn't make it. Mrs. McDaniel came up to talk to the house council about her duties and stayed a few minutes at the house meeting. I watched most of the Gemini two-manned space flight (Grissom and Young) with Seth.
Tonight I typed our outline that our group has been working on for philosophy. I've been writing Stephens membership invitations (without names) so I won't have them all to do tomorrow night. I had a hamburger and shake in the J.R. with Seth tonight. I left him sitting in Commons after we finished eating supper. He said he sat there thinking for half an hour. Becky Neibling came to our Family class to talk about her work as a juvenile court officer.
Dr. Hamilton gave the spaghetti dinner sponsored by Hawley second floor that he bought at the SUDC auction to the student council members and their dates, so Seth and I went to that tonight. He and I shared a table with Dr. Hamilton and had a very nice time. Mrs. Hamilton has the flu so wasn't able to come. This afternoon Nancy took Rosemary and me out to the McDaniels to talk with Mrs. McDaniel about Stephens since she, Mrs. Stewart, and Glenn Petrie's sister have become very interested in helping us out. I called her back this evening to tell her we'd like to have her as our sponsor (to help lessen problems between Stephens and the Dean of Women).
Seth and I went with Elliott and Babs to Mr. Wetherill's party for sociology majors and others tonight. I certainly do enjoy going to the homes of different Park professors. Jerry Howell and his German wife Gisela, friends of Elliott (he's a Park graduate) went with us - in fact, he drove. Afterwards we went back to their apartment for drinks and appetizers. Another couple (he's a soc major here this semester) came over, too. This afternoon I went with Flo to KC and we picked out a nice barbeque grill and five utensils for the LLCs to give the Johnsons since he's retiring. I got some undergarments, too.
Tonight I went to a synagogue service with Seth. He is Orthodox Jewish and this was a Conservative service, but there isn't too much difference. It was interesting - the Jewish was the only one of the religion field trips I missed. Afterward we went to the really neat Plaza III cocktail lounge on the Plaza. There was a combo, and we and our "quadruples" - Elliott and Margy, Kent and Mary Jo, and Dave and Carolyn sat around a little table in the center. It reminded me of the movies! I had a "grasshopper." Such a fabulous evening!
Seth and I just finished watching the Russian TV pictures of one of their cosmonauts. It was a two-man space flight in which one stepped outside the space capsule to become the first man in history to "walk" in the weightlessness of outer space. It's amazing that we can see pictures of it the day it happened. GREs were quite an experience. So many of the answers involved such a fine line of distinction that it's hard to know how one did. There were only a few questions that involved things I didn't know anything about.
As GRE time draws nearer I am wondering how quickly and thoroughly one can "review" or skim six books or so. I just haven't had time to do it sooner. Today Rosemary and I talked with Dean Miller about Stephens membership and housing - some topics never rest. After another spat with Seth, I ended up treating him very nicely. McDowell, you're impossible! Today must be a record for coldness on the date and the day before for warmness. There's so much difference in two successive days.
Stephens gave a little party for all of the freshmen in Hawley tonight in return for their gestures to us. We served green Kool-Aid and St. Patrick's Day cookies. (They thought they were having a roll call house meeting.) Dr. Pai conducted a "review session" for orals and comps tonight. I didn't stay past the point where he said "You don't all have to stay..." Tonight Nancy and Jean went to talk with the McDaniels who are going to do all they can to get Alumni support to help "Stephens remain Stephens." Sounds great! Seth gave me a pound of mixed nuts - nice to eat while studying for GREs.
I am no longer WJC chairman. The new members of the student council were installed at tonight's meeting. It has been a fast year, although we were installed a few weeks later. Mr. Colliver came to the library tonight (after calling the dorm) to get my help with the freshman seminar correlations he is working on for Dr. Pai. Seth helped me change the x and y variables to consistent scores before they can coded by machine. I hope to get a little reviewing done this week for GREs on Thursday. We had a birthday party for Winnie and Linda.