About the diary writer

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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 with the University of Iowa and the Iowa Writers' Workshop. 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's flagship campus is in Parkville and there are an additional 41 campus centers across the nation. Park was one of the first educational institutions in the United States to offer online learning. Beginning August 10, 2015, 50 years after I wrote my last entry in a one-year diary, I've written Park related Blogger blog posts to keep A 1961-65 Park College Diary "current."

August 25, 2017: Student Teaching in the Parkville R-5 School District in 1964

In the fall of 1964 some of the other education majors and I did our student teaching in what was then known as the Parkville R-5 School District. The R-5 indicated its designation as a reorganized school district, meaning that neighboring towns' former school districts had merged with the Parkville district. Today it's known as the Park Hill School District.

Under the direction of a Park education department professor, Dr. Young Pai, some other elementary education majors and I did our student teaching in September, October and November of 1964 in the district's Southeast Elementary School. Miss Mary Dyer was a third grade teacher there and was my supervisor as I learned teaching skills while in her classroom. She was a no-nonsense, little tolerance for deviation from her norm, strict teacher, and her students respected her.

I believe the following headings, which I compiled in 2014 while transcribing my diary's 1964 entries on a daily basis, tell the story of my ten weeks as a student teacher:

Friday, September 11: Met Our Supervisors for Student Teaching 
Monday, September 14: Observed Miss Dyer Teach Her Third Graders
Wednesday, September 16: Taught the Third Graders Their Spelling Lesson 
Friday, September 25: Will Begin Teaching Reading on Tuesday
Sunday, September 27: Made an Outline for Third Grade Indian Unit
Tuesday, September 29: Reading Group Did Well on Their Seat Work

Monday, October 12: "Housing" Part of Indian Unit Went Well
Tuesday, October 13: Worked on "Clothing" of the Plains Indians
Friday, October 16: We Are Half Finished with Student Teaching
Wednesday, October 21: Sat in on Two Parent-Teacher Conferences
Thursday, October 22: Southeast Principal Came to Observe Our Classroom
Sunday, October 25: Made Up a Test as Part of Indian Unit
Tuesday, October 27: Dr. Pai Came to Observe This Morning
Wednesday, October 28: The Indian Unit Test Results Are Quite Good

Monday, November 9: Students' Notebooks Have a Total of 806 Pages
Tuesday, November 10: Feeling Great After Parents' Insights Tonight
Wednesday, November 11: Tom-toms and "Sound of the Medicine Man"
Sunday, November 15: Will Try a Different Approach with Worksheets
Monday, November 16: Am Ready to Teach the Class All Day Tomorrow
Thursday, November 19: Starting Salary Next Year Will be $5000
Friday, November 20: Student Teaching Efforts Were Appreciated

Evelyn Gatton and Kathy Webb went with me in my parents' 1961 Chevrolet to Southeast in the mornings on a Monday-Friday basis. It was the one semester that my parents in Iowa agreed it was necessary for me to have a car on campus. The above diary dates' titles are the ones that I gave precedence to over Park College studies, activities, student interactions and my personal reflections that were given titles on other days and nights at Park, in Parkville and in Kansas City. On most nights I also wrote about Miss Dyer, the third graders and Southeast even if they weren't "headline" news on a given day.


July 19, 2017: Making Purchases for Park in Iowa City and Washington, Iowa

I began thinking more about what I wished to take with me to Park on January 7, 1961 when I purchased the first of what would be six diaries with leather-like covers. Until then I had written in other assorted diaries. I wrote entries for the first six days of 1961 in a notebook and later transferred them to the new diary. I used the six diaries - each in a different color - to record my time at Park.

My three younger sisters and I earned a limited amount - $25 from time to time - for our summer time help with hay and straw baling on two of the three farms we grew up on. That allowance plus babysitting income helped with the purchases of goods I wanted and needed for my first long stay away from Iowa.

Here are some diary entries I wrote about my new 1961 diary and other purchases made "in town" which was Washington, the county seat where I was born 10 miles away from the farms, and Iowa City, 30 miles away, where my mother had received her M.A. in Education on August 9, 1961 from the University of Iowa.

Saturday, January 7, 1961 - New Diary for 1961 Looks Like College

I bought this diary in town this afternoon. I think I kind of splurged - $2.50. I feel kind of funny writing in it, kind of afraid of it or something! But I think it looks like college. Virginia took Julia Hobbs to the matinee, "Polyanna." I got Karen Yoder some hand lotion since she's my FHA secret sister. Phyllis is trying to type at least the bibliography of her research paper. She doesn't know much about the typewriter, that's for sure. I didn't seem to get much done today. I got dinner - Mom was at her Saturday class - did my English, and that's about it.

Tuesday, June 27, 1961 - A Smith-Corona Typewriter for Graduation

I have discovered that Virginia wrote at the bottom of this page. I used her rollers to set my hair after Mom gave me a permanent. I got my typewriter [graduation present from my parents] in Iowa City this morning. It's a Smith-Corona Star-Mist Blue Galaxie. It's sure nice. I bought a new lamp for my room here at home, Magic Mascara, and Mom got me some pants for college. I just put a film into my camera. I'm going to try one more film in spite of the dusty lens. It's been a long time since I loaded my camera. I talked with Jerolyn and Mrs. Kleinschmidt in Kresge's.

Friday, July 28, 1961 - A "College" Shopping Spree with Mom

Mom and I went on a "college" shopping spree while the kids [my sometimes name for my three younger sisters] went swimming [at a municipal pool in Washington]. I used my graduation money [from friends and relatives] to buy a Remington Princess electric razor - light blue. I also got a good girdle, three blouses, an orange (tangerine) bulky cardigan, mattress cover, pillow, hose, and blue suiting and green gingham to make two new dresses with. We also got my watch back. It looks like a brand new $50 watch. I babysat for Fudges tonight. The rest of our family went to the donkey baseball game, but it wasn't as good as the donkey basketball games were.

Saturday, August 19, 1961 - Still Shopping for Things for College

All the things Mom has bought me for college! Everything we got today were things I need and a lot of it we were able to get on sale: my iron, wastepaper basket, summer and winter hats and gloves, two purses, fountain pen, key case, green belt for my dress (which I finished making tonight), alarm clock, slip, three bras, swim suit and cap, and replacement buttons for my car coat. It's just like Christmas! I started cutting out my winter dress. I decided to do it on the back side of the material.

Wednesday, September 6, 1961 - $25 More Spent on College Purchases

I went to town this afternoon and got my driver's license renewed a month early. I took $25 and came home "broke." I'm costing too much to go to college. I got a rust colored suede cloth hip-length jacket that reminds me of one Mom had at Berea [College in Berea, Kentucky, that she and my father graduated from in 1941], two brown towels to have extra, rollers, bobby pins and hair net, etc., and some cologne. I (with Mom's help) altered my magenta dress. The blisters that were on my arm yesterday are going down. I must have gotten them from poison ivy, oak or sumac while I was mowing grass. We're in a 40-mile-wide "sonic boom corridor" from St. Louis to Minneapolis. We've had two since Friday.  

June 29, 2017: A June 1965 Remedial Reading Program at Park College

As an April 1965 elementary education graduate of Park I had been asked, earlier in my senior year, by Dr. Young Pai to help organize, supervise and teach in a summer remedial reading program. Doing so augmented my preparation for the third grade classroom at Oakwood Manor Elementary School in the North Kansas City school district to which I had been assigned for the 1965-66 school year. My preparation from practice teaching at Southeast Elementary School in the Park Hill school school school district guided my lesson planning for myself and the other Park students who assisted me as teachers in our program. The Park Hill district allowed us to publicize our program among their parents, provided the students and loaned us testing materials and books to use in the program.

I count that summer of 1965 experience as a key factor leading to my discovery of the guy, in June 1971, who would become my husband in June 1972. In the late spring of 1966 I read in the Kansas City Star a small item about applying to be included in a summer of 1966 National Defense Education Act (NDEA) Institute in Remedial Reading at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. There were two prerequisites: to have had prior experience with a remedial reading program and to have completed a three-hour education course in the supervision of reading. I had completed my involvement with our month of June 1965 reading program for children of the Parkville community. In the fall of 1965 I saw on a school district bulletin board a notice about a 3-credit-hour course on reading supervision to be taught by Dorothy Hunt, supervisor of elementary education for the North Kansas City School District. I signed up for it and was admitted by Miss Hunt.

Near the end of my participation in the NDEA Institute I was asked by the director, Dr. John Sherk if I would like to have a graduate assistantship in the reading center at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. I told him I'd like to have one more year of third grade teaching experience to which he agreed. In September 1967 I began my graduate assistantship under the supervision of Dr. Sherk, Dr. Robert Leibert and Dr. Warren Wheelock. I tutored elementary grade students who had been assigned to our remedial reading program. I supervised graduate level students who were also tutoring while working toward their own graduate degrees in remedial reading education at UMKC. In June 1968 I graduated with a degree in education with specialization in reading. The next day I began working for the Allyn & Bacon, Inc. textbook publishing company as a consultant in elementary education. I worked with salesmen and school district, college and university personnel, and state department of education officials in nine states: Colorado, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas and Missouri.

So where does my guy enter into all of this? Scroll back through this blog by clicking on Older Posts (at the bottom right corner of this and previous pages) until you reach August 21, 2015: Waiting for Mr. Right - and no, this blog is not about Republican politics.)

If you are computer savvy I invite you to do searches via the search bar in A 1961-65 Park College Diary - http://parkcollege1961-1965.blogspot.com/ for:

June 1, 1965                
June 2, 1965
June 8, 1965
June 29, 1965
June 30, 1965

Those are dates for which I composed a reading program related blog post heading when I was transcribing 1965 diary entries in June 2015.

Thank you for continuing to read A 1961-65 Park College Diary in 2017.

Saturday, May 27, 2017: From Park College to Book Expo America

Park College (now Park University) in Parkville (suburban Kansas City, Missouri) was and is about books, books and more books. Book Expo America is the book publishing industry's largest yearly event, being held in New York City from May 31-June 2, 2017. Its schedule of author presentations and list of publishers showing their books can be found at http://www.bookexpoamerica.com/.

Book lovers and bloggers who will not be attending the event in New York can participate in a corresponding Twitter event May 31-June 4 known as ArmchairBEA that can be found at http://www.armchairbea.com/ or on Twitter @ArmchairBEA. My Twitter handle is @BarbaraMcDWhitt. I have registered as a 2017 participant. For my May 2017 update on A 1961-65 Park College Diary (http://parkcollege1961-1965.blogspot.com) I've chosen to find titles of some of the books I read at Park and what I said about them (in excerpts from longer diary entries for each day shown):

September 17, 1961: I just finished reading the first two books of Ovid's Metamorphoses. If only I hadn't had to read so fast, I would have had it down pat.

November 25, 1961: I'm reading The Cyclops chapter of The Odyssey. I remember that story - I wonder if we had it in grade school.

December 1, 1961: I got a B+ on the examples and C on the essay of The Iliad test in world literature.

January 20, 1962: I spent the afternoon reading Lucretius in the library and in the women's lounge in Mackay.

February 25, 1963: In French we have been reading the play, Orphee, that we are going to see at the University of Kansas next Monday night. I finally got the part in Cocteau: Scandal and Parade read that we were supposed to read, so now the play reading will be much easier.

March 4, 1963: Tonight the French class and Dr. Hampl went to see the French plays, Orphee  and L'Apollon de  Bellac, at the University of Kansas in Lawrence. They were very good and I understood most of what was going on in the second one and understood nearly everything they said in Orphee.

April 10, 1963: By getting up at 5:00 and reading in every spare minute until 3:00 (about three and a half hours) I managed to get enough more of Les Miserables read to  give a decent report on it. After all my times of renewing it before I started reading it, it felt good to take that book to the library and leave it.

February 24, 1964: I'm enjoying reading Facing Mt. Kenya that Karanja loaned to me.

April 6, 1964: I gave most of my oral report on Facing Mt. Kenya today in geography. I'll have to give my conclusion on Wednesday.
July 26, 1964: I started reading George Orwell's 1984. Maybe someday I'll get more of the books read I should have read long ago.

November 30, 1964: John Dewey's The Quest for Certainty is interesting but I'm getting bogged down in it. I need to condense 300 and some pages into a four-page book review for philosophy that is due tomorrow since I didn't turn it in today.

May 5, 1965: James Koerner's The Miseducation of American Teachers, which Mr. Carey mentioned a long time ago, upsets me, but it's nice to know some of the criticisms.

August 18, 1965: This afternoon I read more of The Elementary Teacher in Action that Mr. Fuller gave me to read this summer. It has a lot of good ideas covering most areas connected with teaching. I've decided it might be fun to arrange for pen pal correspondence with another third grade class.

Sunday, April 30, 2017: Writing in Iowa and Missouri - Then, Again and Now

A 1961-65 Park College Diary begins on January 1, 2010 - 50 years after I was a junior at West Chester High School in West Chester, IA and includes my 1960-61 senior year at Mid-Prairie High School in Wellman, IA. Three farming communities - Kalona, Wellman and West Chester - each had a high school, but after some of us were ready for our senior year we all squeezed into what was previously known as Wellman High School in September 1960 and graduated as the first Mid-Prairie class in May 1961. I was privileged to have Mrs. Gladys Kephart as my English teacher all four of those years and was proud to receive all A's for my eight semester grades in English. I "tested out" of English composition as a freshman at Park in September 1961 and took world literature.

Here are diary snippets that chart some of my writing experiences in Iowa and Missouri:

Park College Autobiography - Saturday, November 19, 1960:

I spent the morning in Iowa City at the University General Library looking up books for extension of suffrage - that I decided to write on for my next government research paper - and got some information on Joan of Arc in English literature. Phyllis went to the math library for her geometry research paper. This afternoon Mom and the kids [as I sometimes called my three younger sisters] went to town and I worked on layout for the school paper. I began writing my autobiography for my Park College application.

Park College Autobiography - Wednesday, December 7, 1960:

I just got home from babysitting all evening for the Fudges while they went with the teachers to the Captain's Table to treat Howard and Mabel. The kids went to the youth fellowship silent auction at the church. I finished my autobiography since I didn't do chores tonight. Thankfully I managed to get as much chemistry studied in study hall as I would have at home. We had an FHA meeting in fifth period.

Enthusiasm for Writing Papers - Wednesday, October 30, 1963

I just finished my social studies paper - finally! I still have a short one to do in the morning for theory and technique - on the use of opaque and overhead projectors. I wish I could put as much enthusiasm, for the most part, into the end result of "studying" as I do for writing papers. Karen was over tonight to help me with the posters and Narva pictures. I got a pretty gold pin with gold sets from Mrs. Cowan. Everyone though the personality test was rearlly awful.

Impressed with Quality of Writing and Character - Saturday, December 12, 1964

I went with Winnie to the play, "A Street Car Named Desire," tonight. Jan Studer, a freshman, did an outstanding job with the lead. This afternoon I worked on chords and music fundamentals for Tuesday's test and recorded music playing. Evelyn and I practiced her song some. We're going to see if Mr. Chronister will let each team present just one song instead of two in our allotted fifteen minutes. I had such a nice talk with Dr. Myers in Mackay this afternoon. He said he is very impressed with the quality of my writing. And he said something about my character, "especially for a girl" - and a whole lot more.

Wrote on Eight Aspects of Education on Written Comps - Tuesday, April 6, 1965

Written comps are over, as we knew sooner or later they had to be. This is something that it's hard to believe is over. I didn't think they were too bad. We had to write on two concepts of the mind, attitudes and values, learning theory, and curriculum, organization and administration. I received a letter from the North Kansas City school system [a large geographical area of Kansas City North in Clay County north of the Missouri River and not just the smaller city named North Kansas City on the district's southern border] inviting me to make an appointment for an interview, so I got one for next Tuesday. Now I've been studying for the social psych test tomorrow as if it were another comp.  

Monday, March 27, 2017: Memories of Park - March Happenings 55 Years Ago

While re-reading my diary entries I've found that I've occasionally incorporated a writing occurrence of each of my parents into my commentary. In the diaries my mother wrote in at Berea College in Berea, KY from 1937-41 she sometimes wrote phrases instead of sentences. When I wrote "Now to anatomy test preparation." in my entry on March 29, 1962, I was intentionally copying her. She began writing in diaries when she was eleven. So did I.

Long after my college years I've read letters that my dad wrote to his parents during his 1937-41 time at Berea. He often wrote that an event was "real good" or "real nice". Likewise, on March 18, 1962 I wrote that the movie "Bridge to the Sun" was "real good". The number of times I used the "real" phrase while in college - before I had had the opportunity to read his letters - tells me that it was a "like father - like daughter" form of writing that passed from him to me.

The month of March has always held special memories and meanings for me. Perhaps the spaciousness - conducive to kite flying - of our last farm (before my dad left farming to become an administrative assistant and bookkeeper at Mid-Prairie Community High School) caused me to think of that pasture as I wrote my March 18 entry. I was likewise undoubtedly thinking of my forthcoming spring vacation in Iowa. Here, then, are five posts written in my first March in Missouri - 55 years ago this month.

Senate Candidate Crosby Kemper Spoke in Assembly - Tuesday, March 13, 1962

I asked Roger Rikkola to the Hawley House Party Saturday evening. Our assembly speaker this morning was Crosby Kemper, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate from Missouri. If he becomes president someday I'll have met him! That reminds me, I ought to see if I could see former President Truman in Independence. We went upstairs in the gym to have more mat space, barbells and equipment for apparatus class. It was like an attic on a rainy day. Phyllis, Virginia and Ann are having tumbling and apparatus, too.

At Home We Get a New 1962 Chevrolet Bel Air - Wednesday, March 14, 1962

I have just spent exactly two hours on French. The trouble is, I didn't get started till five after 10:00. I wrote home tonight and then went to the anatomy lab for a while to study the bones. I had to go around to the side of the building and yell at them through the window to come and let me in. We got a new car at home, gee! A green Bel Air 1962! Our last "new" car was the 1949 Dodge. Our others have been used cars.

The St. Patrick's Day House Party Tonight Was Fabulous - Saturday, March 17, 1962

The house party was simply fabulous. Roger was so nice. He brought me a corsage. It was a green colored orchid. He didn't need to do that. At present a few of us on the clean-up committee are in the midst of putting things back in order. Our rainbow out in front looked real nice as did the lounge decorations. I spent all day with house party preparations - as did almost everyone. Oh, it was all so sharp. I'm really glad I asked someone, especially a boy as nice as Roger.

Arts and Culture Movie "Bridge to the Sun" Was Good - Sunday, March 18, 1962

I just made my date bars and am waiting for them to cool so we can eat them. Tonight I hope my anatomy sinks in for the test tomorrow. The arts and culture movie, "Bridge to the Sun," was real good. There was such a nice spring evening feel out after the movie. The white fluffy clouds were against the gray sky and it had just rained. This would have been a good day or weekend to go out to the pasture at home. Gee, two weeks till my first college spring vacation.

Religion and Life: John Fry, Presbyterian Life Editor - Thursday, March 29, 1962

One thing for sure, we are certainly taking spring vacation more matter-of-factly than we did Christmas vacation. It doesn't seem possible that it's here. I remember how far away it looked on the year's calendar of events. John Fry, an associate editor of Presbyterian Life, is on campus for Religion and Life Week. He had a good discussion in the lounge tonight and a good assembly speech. I got $33.60 for March through the 26th. Another rainy day following a beautiful one. It's happened at least three times. Now anatomy test preparation.


Friday, February 24, 2017: Memories of Park - Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer

During my four years at Park students enjoyed four distinct seasons. Fall changed trees on campus and in the surrounding woods into brilliant shades of orange and yellow. The same trees were stark brown or black against the white of winter snows. Spring brought out red buds in their reddish pink splendor. The green leaves of summer could appear in late April and last until they again turned to their autumn hues.

Here, then, are four entries noting such times:

A Dozen Red Roses - Monday, October 7, 1963

The phys psych test wasn't too bad but I probably did about the worst of anybody. Nancy and I went to Bob Young's campaign party in the Brig tonight. We bowled with Tom, Ben and Paul while George set pins. However, we didn't have time to finish our game. We had a house meeting tonight. After supper there was an LLC float committee meeting followed by Nancy and me going up to visit Margie in the health center. She has strep throat. We have been having beautiful fall weather, an Indian summer so far. It has only rained about an hour since we've been back this fall. This was Vivien's birthday. Charlie got her a dozen red roses.

Dr. Pai Liked Philosophy of Education Paper - Tuesday, February 23, 1965

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 implied 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"!

Spring Has Popped and Red Bud Trees Are Worthy of a Colored Film - Monday, April 23, 1962

We think this was the day spring popped. The red bud is so pretty. I should have a colored film in my camera. There were almost as many magazines to check in today as there were the day after spring vacation. I got a nice letter from Phyllis. Junean won a four year college scholarship to the State College of Iowa for  
sixth place in the Eastern Iowa Science Fair. I'm sending a post card to Mrs. Woodford to let her know I can help with Bible School.

Lowells Win Soccer Game, Everything is Summer Green - Monday, April 30, 1962

I guess I'll sleep in Margie's room to give her some peace of mind since the prowler may be back. A few of us were down cheering the Lowells tonight in the soccer game. We beat the Lances 3-2! I'm afraid Hal Henderson thought I was losing my mind cheering so loud. This was a cool rainy day. I think we had a week of spring and now everything is summer green. Oh, it's too beautiful for words.