About the diary writer

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Kansas City, Missouri, Alexandria, Virginia, United States
In the first half of the 1960s, as Barbara McDowell, I wrote nightly entries on the pages in 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. Now, in 2014, you are invited to read with me the pages I wrote 50 years ago when I was a senior at Park. 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.

Called Karen on Stephens' New Extension Phone - Wednesday, September 30, 1964

I've just finished grading 30 third grade attempts at writing paragraphs - all the way from "excellent" to "hopeless." I talked to Mr. Edwards this morning about some things in connection with Harvest Festival. We also talked briefly about admissions. At long last Stephens has our own phone - extension 69! It's just like old times in the cottage - now when "our" phone rings, we know it's for one of us. My first call was to Karen Garner Carter who's really interested in being of any help she can with king and queen plans. I observed science in Dixie Blankenship's third grade for half an hour. She's a Park graduate who also had Miss Dyer as a supervising teacher.

Reading Group Did Well on Their Seat Work - Tuesday, September 29, 1964

It's getting so that when I sit down I don't know what to write because there's so much to write. We had a half-hour house meeting tonight. Judy, Evelyn, Rosemary and I are going to see what we can come up with for some lounge furniture. Jim and Charlie came down to the education library tonight and together with Evelyn and me , drew up the final list of king and queen candidates. I was pretty proud of the results of teaching my first reading group. It was the low group, and they actually followed directions for and did very well on their seat work and work book pages.

Topic of Conversation in the J.R. was Iowans - Monday, September 28, 1964

Bonnie and I studied music in the education library after I got out of the student council meeting. Terry Brown and I were on one of our favorite topics - Iowans - in the J.R. tonight. I was thinking about John Ramirez when in he walked. Bryan Peeke is on campus, too. Miss Dyer was pleased with my reading and Indian outlines. She said not to worry about the fact that I find it hard for them to follow directions for written assignments - she has the same trouble. I'd like to petition Congress for a 34-hour day!

Made an Outline for Third Grade Indian Unit - Sunday, September 27, 1964

I got quite a bit done today and, remarkably, faster than I thought I would. Part of the time I spent in Alumni studying music theory for our test on Thursday. Evelyn and I met with Charlie during sack lunches and narrowed down the field of king and queen candidates. Jim had a soccer game so couldn't be there. I've been looking up a lot of information for my Indian unit. Thanks to the Instructor magazine and material Mom saved for me this summer, I had no trouble making my general outline.

New Lowells Put on Suits for LLC Initiation - Saturday, September 26, 1964

We had an LLC initiation in Herr House lounge tonight. Afterward we played charades. We seem to have quite a lot of nice guys - bless their hearts for putting on suits to come tonight. They went to the movie as a group. The Lucernes lost 10-8 to the Elaines in softball in a game we deserved to win. My watch stopped - I think never to go again. I think I'll just get a new one since this one wasn't too expensive. So it ran a year and a week after I thought the Missouri River had gotten the best of it when Flo's, Gabe's and my canoe tipped over. I painted the file in the education library while Evelyn and Doree arranged books.

Will Begin Teaching Reading on Tuesday - Friday, September 25, 1964

Half of Stephens is waiting up until Copley comes at 1:15 to surprise the Hawley girls with a party on the patio. We're invited and we're looking forward to their root beer floats. I came home really loaded down with books today. Tuesday I'm going to begin teaching reading, and I also have to get my Indian unit outlined. Miss Dyer's mouth dropped open when she found out I'm working 12 hours a week. Dr. Pai gave me a paper that he wrote on The Free Will Problem and Moral Education and wants to know my reaction.

Stephens May be Getting an Extension Phone - Thursday, September 24, 1964

It looks as if Stephens may finally be getting our own extension phone. And I guess the guys in the cottage have finally decided on a name (Johnson Hall in honor of Dr. Johnson). We had a pop test in art class. Luckily I had read enough of the outside reading to do what I hope is reasonably well. Vigan from Iran drew a back view of me while I was reading philosophy in the library tonight. I used Margie's original game from phys ed in elementary schools at recess today.

Still Have 30 Spelling Papers to Grade - Wednesday, September 23, 1964

It's after 12:00 and I still have 30 spelling papers to grade. My letter home will just have to wait. Rosemary, Kathy and I and a busload of other kids, mainly LLCs, went in to the Paramount to see an "electronovision" screen presentation of Hamlet, starring Richard Burton. Most of us were disappointed, but the more you think about it ...... This wasn't my best day at school. I felt as if I was having a little difficulty with discipline (help!?!). As I left the room, I heard one girl say, "I hate you!" I'd rather she'd shot me in the back, almost!

Will Need to Write a Research Paper for Dr. Pai - Tuesday, September 22, 1964

These days are unbelievable in speed. I hate to think that my college days will soon be over. We met with Dr. Pai this afternoon for our education seminar. He said we won't meet every week. We have to have a research paper on one aspect of a school system. It seems rather unnecessary on top of everything else. I once had nightmares about having to have Dr. Pai as a student teaching supervisor. The third graders liked my "Crows and Cranes" game tha  f t I made up for physical education for elementary teachers. Marcena fell down and hurt her arm, but everything worked out fine and she kept on playing.

Seem to Have Become Known for Ambition - Monday, September 21, 1964

It seems as if I have become known for my ambition. But many Park students are very dedicated in many things, one way or another. At the student council meeting tonight we aired the current week's problems. I had the spelling lesson today and had to admit to my first "teacher's goof." I had "road" instead of "rode" on the board. One of my students, Jeri, gave me a cattail from her grandmother's farm. That compensates for three strung acorns Kathy got from one of hers the other day.