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Kansas City, Missouri, Alexandria, Virginia, United States
~ About: A 1961-65 Park College Diary ~ As a high school girl and then a college coed in the first half of the 1960s, I wrote nightly entries on the pages of one-year diaries. In January 2010 I began transcribing the entries into a blog and gave each one a title. I grew up on three farms within 30 miles of Iowa City and the University of Iowa with its Iowa Writers' Workshop. As the oldest of four daughters, in my diaries 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 is 300 miles southwest of 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. My last post was on May 22, 2018. I may be followed on Twitter @BarbaraMcDWhitt.

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.  

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