About the diary writer
- Barbara McDowell Whitt
- Kansas City, MO, United States
- A 1961-65 Park College Diary is a transcription of nightly entries I wrote on the pages of one-year-diaries, starting when I was a junior in a small town Iowa high school. Now, in 2014 you are invited to read with me the pages I wrote 50 or more years ago.The current entries are about my junior year at Park College. 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.
The LLC scavenger hunt and square dance were a lot of fun but exhausting. Fred is so hard to get along with at times. I think he likes to be the "star," and he likes to be contrary, too. Several times when things got goofed up during the square dance he would have the circle almost mad. He didn't come till 10:00 because he went to a youth banquet in Platte City to give a talk on Hawaii. I had lunch at Gattons and then we went to the Antioch shopping center. I got a navy rayon and silk jumper and polka-dot blouse for Easter. There was a news bulletin this afternoon that one of the boys' dorms at Tarkio burned.
I went to a party at Copley tonight. I sure like dancing with Fred. I was even game for one fast dance in which he worked up a sweat. I've got to learn how better. I worked tonight, too. I didn't quite finish the algebra test, although some other kids didn't either. It was kind of hard to think of things to write for the government test. At midterm I have C's in government and algebra and S's in everything else. The Board of Student Publications and Narva staff met this afternoon at 4:00 but I only had to stay 15 minutes. I've decided to run for WJC Chairman so I'm getting signatures on my petition.
I have both a government and an algebra test tomorrow and Evelyn has government and children's literature tests. I'm beginning to get tired of studying government. After I wrote my outline so fast last Monday, Mr. Reynolds wrote on mine that it was one of the best he received and it looked as if my paper had great possibilities. He also stopped me this morning to say he liked my question last night. Wow. Fred and I walked down to Parkville this afternoon. I mailed Virginia her present. I got a B+ on the organization and administration test.
I've just spent most of a day pursuing outside interests within the liberal arts tradition. I went to the library to find out more about snail fever (schistosomiasis) when the question arose when I was trying to think of something to ask Dr. Bentley Glass, Johns Hopkins visiting geneticist, for extra credit for geography at the president's house following tonight's lecture. Thanks to a referral by Dr. Hamilton to an article in Scientific American and Dr. Beatley's mention of it in his lecture, I think I "scored" with my question on sickle-cell hemoglobin. Mom wrote that [my cousin] Martin Estep has cystic fibrosis of the pancreas.
I've just been coming up with all these original ideas - I hope I get to use them - as part of my children's book about Spills and "You've got to HAND it to McDowell" with a hand of "cards" (my pictures) in case I run for proportional representative. Fred didn't come up tonight but called to say he had a lot of homework and also a headache. I went to the algebra review session. I got up at 5:00 again this morning and now I'm getting to the place where words and lines jump when I look at them so maybe I should go to bed. I sent for some Laura Ingalls Wilder materials.
No one can do their algebra so I guess I don't need to feel alone. I got up at 5:00 and finished reading my book at 7:00. I wrote the outline from 10:00-11:00. Our SNEA meeting tonight was very worthwhile. Mr. Gioia, Park Hill world history teacher and Park graduate, spoke on teachers' professional organizations and obligations. We had a few more there than usual, too, although for a while I wondered if we would. I baked Fred some gingerbread tonight. He enjoyed looking at the feature articles I wrote last summer - especially the one about Carol Whetstine and girls track. Judy Slemmons scored 64 points in a basketball game back home.
Gee, I can't win! I don't have my book read (100 pages yet to go) for which the outline of the paper is due tomorrow. I was sitting in the lounge with Fred at 10:15 (after having said at 9:50 that I had that to do and probably should go do it) when who should walk in but Mr. Reynolds with some papers for Cheryl to grade. I could have died. That means my paper`better be good and that I better get on the stick. Fred went to Forum tonight and Evelyn and I went to see the movie, "Hiroshima, Mon Amour." This was a beautiful day. Fred brought his book, O Ye Jigs and Juleps, for me to read. It's so cute.
We went to the play, "The Apparitions," tonight. It was put on as part of the Latin American series. The scenery was excellent, and it was a good play. Karen and I worked on the yearbook this morning. We finally created our own cover. We finished our first layout. I can't remember what she had said she would do when that day came. I read my book for geography this afternoon. I wrote to Mr. Morris about working at the Journal office again this summer. It was windy like "in like a lion," but I guess the wind didn't know it was February 29 and not March 1.
Fred and I went to the Parchie Playboy Club tonight. It was okay (at least we had our own good time) but the atmosphere was sort of heavy and people weren't very receptive to the program. Tonight at supper some of the guys were "drunk" and acting accordingly - it was so disgusting. Not a single person came up to see the doctor tonight so he didn't even come out after calling to see if anyone wanted to see him. I only got a 61 on my geography test, but the comment, "This is truly a better paper than the score indicates. It is mostly B quality. Please obtain that next time." I got 35 out of 40 on the children's lit test and 81 on the algebra test.