About the diary writer
- Barbara McDowell Whitt
- 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.
I got up at 5:00 to work on my paper, stayed here and drank tea for breakfast, and finished at 10:00. My rough draft, by my nature, looks like a final draft. After all of our work on the survey, the superintendent said that the principals should meet with us to discuss the program first before they are distributed. I had thought Dr. Pai was getting over-anxious. They also think it probably should be on a referral basis, that a survey would bring in too many responses - which I had also been concerned about! Grrr!
I'm back to my old ways of having to do a paper at the last minute. This just has to be a rough draft, but then for me rough drafts are all but finished products. After much consideration, I'm going to get up at 5:00. I want to give it the best possible under the circumstances. I typed our letter to parents, their survey, and the explanatory letter to the teachers for the remedial reading program the education department wants to have this summer. It took Evelyn and me all afternoon to help Mrs. Ground run them off, staple them, and deliver them to the three Park Hill District elementary schools.
Goodness, I slept till five till 11:00 so I didn't go to church. I miss church when I don't go. I don't see how so many kids can "never" go. This afternoon I read music. I'm trying to decide what to write for the rough draft of the paper Mr. Chronister wants on Tuesday. I wrote up our remedial reading survey on the basis of Mary Sue's and Dee's suggestions. We just didn't think it was necessary to try to get it done yesterday and run off as Dr. Pai had suggested.
I haven't told anyone, but I received a letter saying I have been accepted for inclusion in Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges. This is a tremendous honor. I guess my contributions to Park College have meant something to the people responsible for this, at least. Evelyn and I spent the day in KC and nearly shopped the town out. I got a brown and a tan sweater, flared dark plaid skirt, and Christmas presents for my sisters. My Stephens and senior pictures were done, too. I saw Lilies of the Field and then went to the LLC Brig party.
So I've finished my student teaching. I don't believe how fast those ten weeks went! The class and Miss Dyer had a party for me - punch and cookies - at 3:15. They also gave me letters they had written and they are so sweet. I'm really going to miss them. I can imagine how attached one can become to her own students after a year. I went with Karen and Bruce and Kathy and Tom to the Gold Buffet - "compliments" of the business office for the work we did on the Narva. Tom drove my car.
It was neat going to school in the snow. We've gone in all kinds of weather now. Beauvais' tomahawk mended perfectly and the handle even covers up the crack. I won't know what to do with myself after tomorrow. The feeling is bad enough now, the fact that tomorrow is the last day. We went back out for a faculty meeting at 4:00. That school is really on the ball. Mr. Fincher said their starting [yearly] salary next year will be $5000! Pre-registration for my last trimester at Park was today. I played LLC basketball tonight and made 4 of our 10 points.
It's snowing. I hope we can make it to school in the morning. We've been lucky as far as weather has been. I don't know why it took me so long to do one set of lesson plans and grade language papers tonight. Miss Dyer didn't seem very concerned about the broken tomahawk. Dr. Pai came to observe again. They weren't at the best by any means, but I'm not too concerned. I don't think he's too keen on it being "unreal" either. It will be interesting to know if he has any criticisms.
My first day of "teaching" was a wonderful experience. Nothing out of the ordinary happened until after the first buses had gone. Then some of the kids were up by the Indian table - others were helping me with the bulletin board - when I heard a terrible crash. Beauvais' Indian tomahawk had been dropped and was in two pieces! I hope that the cement that Judy and I went to the Red-X to get tonight holds it. And my day was so nearly over! Well, tomorrow is another day and Dr. Pai is coming to observe. I've been working on my Northwest Indian worksheets.
We had a student council meeting tonight. Then I took Evelyn home so she could get the cupcakes for Kay's birthday and we had the party tonight. Even though I'm going to teach all day tomorrow I've done all there is to do and have finished sooner than usual. I won't have time for a lot of the Indian unit tomorrow, so since we'll just finish what we had for today, I didn't have any worksheets to make. Then my reading plans were done sooner than usual, too. I didn't get my bulletin board up since the rain kept the class in for recess and phys ed.
I worked on Tuesday's reading lessons this afternoon and this evening. I made five worksheets, four of them original. I'm going to try a little different approach with the Indian unit tomorrow and not have so much detailed information on ditto copies. I'll try "telling it" to them as they do worksheets with less detail. I worked on a new bulletin board - questions and pictures for five groups of Indians. I treated Evelyn at the ACC Hamburg Castle.
Tonight I went with Evelyn, Mrs. Gatton, Kathy and Elizabeth to hear the Independence Messiah Choir again. It didn't seem to take as long this year. I didn't think it was quite as good as last year, but then I probably wasn't so critical in my first impression. Evelyn went with me to the Kwiki Car Wash in Riverside from 1:00 - 2:00 this afternoon while I washed my car. Mom wrote that Daddy had washed the two at home, so I decided to do likewise.
I finally got a chance to write a birthday thank you letter to Grandma Kay and Schwartzes and Grandma and Grandpa. Jean, Flo and I went to Dr. Myers' house tonight for coffee along with others in the philosophy class. It was a very enjoyable evening. What a week of student teaching! Things went wrong again when Carol had an accident because I didn't let her go to the restroom. I'm glad I inquired of Miss Dyer as to why she was crying so that I was able to explain that Carol was the fourth in a row to ask to go to the restroom and I only let the first one go.