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.
We had a senior class meeting tonight at which we elected Mr. McDaniel as class marshall to lead the commencement procession. We had a WJC meeting tonight - a case involving four freshman girls whom we decided should not be punished but have "letters of advice" sent to them. So I've been typing up a storm. Not wanting to neglect Seth, I met him later and he showed me a card game in the J.R. I'm back to my old ways again - "activities" are gaining precedence.
I gave my talk on Source and Treatment of Reading Problems for developmental psych. I did alright but not as well as I might have. Dr. Richard De George from Kansas University lectured today on the Soviet Union for part of the Russian lecture series. Seth and I went to his 4:00 discussion. He asked a question on Soviet education "for me" and I asked one, too. It has been very cold on top of our second snow within a week. Seth and I got into a long discussion at the library tonight.
Student council lasted till 8:30, then I hurried over to Herr House to talk with Terri Osuga about her WJC chairmanship campaign. Ironically enough, we have an upcoming WJC case, just before I go out of office. Then I met Seth in the J.R. and he went with me to the library while I, for the fourth time today, poured over periodicals about reading readiness. Dr. Pai, Mr. Carey and Mr. Chronister are in Chicago for a meeting. Seth gave me a little model of the Gemini space capsule. I can't figure out my special attraction - he says he could fall in love with me but is pointing out that he has graduate school and a strict Jewish background in the way. Amazing how alike we think.
I really can't believe that February has gone as fast as it has. The speed of time is really scary. Eight Sundays from today is commencement. Seth went to church with me. He hadn't gone to church yet this term so thinks he should be getting his attendance requirement fulfilled now. After dinner I heard a cat meowing in the woods. It was the cottage's cat, Mullet, lost five days. Seth rescued her, and after he returned her to the dorm, called me to thank me on behalf of the dorm. Coe made a good showing on College Bowl - we watched it in Hawley.
I had a fabulous time with Seth this evening when we doubled with Vivien and Charlie. We went to Mammy's in Riverside for a delicious steak dinner and then drove in to Kansas City to see Mondo Conde and Purple Noon. Mondo Conde is the one Nic recommended highly last summer, so I was glad to see it and liked it. Then we came back to Kelly's, the place that has begun to compete with Fritz's as a college hangout. Finally Vivien and Charlie went with us up to the observatory and looked at Mars.
Seth and I walked around campus and through Parkville, then went to see the Alfred Hitchcock movie, Vertigo. We met Vivien and Charlie coming out so they invited us to go along with them to Antoine's for pizza. Vivien and Charlie are a lot of fun to be with, and we'll be doubling with them tomorrow night - that's been planned most of the week. I feel as if Seth is having to spend a lot of money "on me," but I guess guys are used to as much. Holly came for reading again and I got paid this time. I should be pretty well set by the time I get my education department pay, too.
It seems incredible that tomorrow could be Friday again already. Seth met me at the library at 8:30. Later, back at the dorm, we witnessed this year's rendition of an old Hawley tradition - the annual simultaneous door slam. They weren't too synchronised in their efforts. Then they came running through Stephens entrance in their snakedance. Mrs. Hufford called to say Holly didn't feel very well so they wouldn't come again today. I typed my paper on Teaching Machines for developmental psych this morning.
I went with Seth to the Park Singers show in Alumni tonight. It was good. After french fries and Cokes in the J.R., I came back for a 10:00 house meeting. We've planned our Stephens dinner for March 7 and a party for the freshmen for March 16. Huffords weren't able to make it today. Mrs. Hufford called at 4:40 to say they couldn't get the car started. I sent my red brocade dress to Phyllis. She wants it for a dance. I didn't want to walk all the way to Parkville to mail it so took a chance that fifteen cents postage will be enough.
It snowed - the deep and drifting kind that causes schools - except for Park College - to close. I didn't have any classes since Mrs. Gibson couldn't get here for developmental psych class. This has been a neat day - first of all, the snow was relaxing. I talked to Dr. Frizzle and Dr. Radloff on the phone about their concept of the mind (for philosophy of education). Dr. Pai inferred that I am a stronger - as opposed to a weaker - student. He liked my last philosophy paper. I went to the library with and then watched a TV program about Leonardo da Vinci with Seth. Maybe we, too, can be "da Vincis"!
The freshman girls invited us down for pie and ice cream for George's Birthday. We even sang Happy Birthday to him. The student council meeting lasted till 8:30 - then I met Seth in the J.R. We watched TV over malts. The maintenance department cooperated in enabling me to "take the responsibility for" getting our hair dryer fixed--today--after the hood came loose from the stand. It's about time we saw some quick action from them. The house council members have been getting the parts of our new constitution together.
I don't suppose I accomplished as much as I maybe should have this weekend, but then, according to Dr. Patton, only half of one's college living is supposed to come from books. After supper Seth took me up to the observatory to see the sunset. We gave a family of four (the mother had been at Park in the '40s) a tour of the observatory since they were up that way. Tonight we studied at the library. I read more philosophy, as I also did this afternoon.
Tonight I went to the basketball game with Seth (McKendree beat us in our last game of the season), and then we went to the double feature, Godzilla vs. The Thing and The Brass Bottle. Both were about equally stupid and funny. I certainly enjoyed being able to share the experience of seeing the first views of the Ranger 8 moon shot pictures with Seth and Charlie Armentrout in the J.R. They'll probably be involved with similar research themselves in the future. Seth saw a cloud spread out from the area of impact through the telescope this morning.