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. [:Afterword - April 26, 2015: I will continue to transcribe entries until August 9, 1965, the last day I wrote in a one-year diary.]
Phyllis and I went to town this afternoon, mainly to pick up our cured meat at Richard's, which they forgot yesterday. I went to the new fabric shop that Don and Virginia Smith have opened. I got some red and gray paisley print Indian Head cotton for a dressy dress. At the library I renewed my card - I guess I haven't used my own since before I went to college. James Koerner's The Mis-Education of American Teachers, which Mr. Carey mentioned a long time ago, upsets me, but it's nice to know some of the criticisms. I'm now reading A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.
Phyllis complained last summer of being bored - this summer it's beginning to catch up with me. I guess I'll just have to start doing things. I keep thinking how much I'm going to miss college. This afternoon we had a nice rain shower and a little hail. Phyllis and I amused ourselves watching several TV serials. I did some ironing. I like the passage that Dr. Hawkins referred to in his commencement speech about the "wild violets poking their purple heads up through the rusty cans." We were going to go to town but "missed the boat" when Mom and the girls didn't stop for us after school.
My last grades from Park College came today. I got an A- in education seminar and all the others were B grades. It wasn't until my senior year of high school that I didn't get any C's, and college turned out to be the same way. And I got all A's and B's for my education courses. I can't figure out why the college didn't give any departmental honors this year. I sent my application for my teaching certificate to Mr. Carey and asked him about graduate credit from the teachers' conservation camp. Phyllis and I went out to Reif's Dari Sweet for lunch.
This afternoon Phyllis and I went with Jim to the university library in Iowa City to help him look up information for a physics research paper and assist him in writing out some note cards. A librarian referred to Jim as "your son." I don't know whether to take it as an insult or a compliment. We ran across an interesting thesis about speech training at Park College and William Jewell College. I decided to start going to Grandpa's Sunday School class. Mom and Dad went to call on Mrs. Weerman tonight. Mr. Weerman died suddenly a week ago Thursday morning.
Mom, Phyllis and I had quite a day - we seem to have gotten quite a bit done. We took the storm windows down and put up the screens. Actually, the others did more than I did, especially tonight when I dropped a window and fell when they when they were putting the windows on top of the inside of the garage. We cleaned the church for Virginia, took two lunches to Daddy in the field, I ironed, they cleaned house and put things in the attic. Virginia and Ann went to Wilton Junction for the large group instrumental contest. After the new band uniforms got here last night - by plane from New York - the band only got a III. We all feel sorry.
This morning Phyllis and I took Ellen to Iowa City so she could take a 12:10 bus to Des Moines and from there to Shenandoah. She had planned to take a train, but the Mississippi River floods have put a stop to passenger service. We decided it was too hot to stay in Iowa City to shop. I hadn't had my hair set long enough after washing it this morning, so I about looked like a Beatle! I wrote a letter to Mrs. Cowan and several thank you notes this afternoon.
Let's see - what did I do today? I read the May Reader's Digest and found it had some very interesting articles. Sharon came in for lunch and we had pizza. I need to wash my hair, but I'm going to attempt to get up early to do it. Oneita came this evening for the cancer drive. She asked if I'd like to help with the Campfire Girls camp. I've also been asked to help with Bible School, so with the possibility of the camp, organ lessons, etc., I should find enough to do this summer. I also hope to read and sew, not just "talk" about that.
This afternoon I made three posters about the mother-daughter program. Helen called to tell me I was to do them, this morning. I took them to the bank, store and post office. Coming back past the store I saw Mr. Griggs reading his Journal with a picture - I recognized as mine - from the sidewalk. Park had sent an announcement of commencement and a nice review of my activities and accomplishments. I went out to visit with Grandma for a while this afternoon. Tonight Mom, Phyllis, Ellen and I went over to the church to help Isabelle, Mrs. Reif and Mrs. Peters make mint and nut cups.