Interview with Abigail Martin, 04/25/2017

UW Oshkosh Campus Stories
Josh Mounts, Interviewer | uwocs_Abigail_Martin_04252017_uc.mp3
Campus Stories Oral History Project (UWO Audio Series 51) |

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Josh Mounts: Alright, this is Josh Mounts with the UW-Oshkosh Campus Stories Oral History Project. It is Tuesday, April the 25th of 2017 at 7 o'clock p.m. I'm here with Abby Martin and we're here to talk about her experience here at Oshkosh. I have sent her the Deed of Gift, she's read through it and signed it, owns a copy, she sent it back to me, I have the signed copy that I also signed and we're going to be talking for approximately 60 minutes about her experience here at UW-Oshkosh. Let's get started. So, Abby, if you wanted to start off just telling me a bit about where you grew up and your hometown and what it was 1:00like there, that kind of thing.

Abby Martin: I grew up in Mequon, that's M-E-Q-U-O-N, it's weird spelling. It is just north of Milwaukee, it's kind of a bubble. It's a suburb and kind of a small town, I'd say, not too big compared to other people I know. Pretty wealthy suburb, once I moved on from high school I realized that that kind of wasn't the norm for most people, lots of country clubs and things like that. A lot of my friend's parents were doctors or lawyers or had their own businesses. I went to Homestead High School, it was a really big school as far as sports. 2:00Sports was a big deal, especially football. When I was in high school we won state three years when I was there, so that was a pretty big deal. Do you have any other specific questions regarding that?

JM: You touched on how, when you grew up and went through high school, you realized how it was not like the norm, do you want to explain what you meant more about that?

AM: Actually when I moved to Oshkosh was when I realized a little more that, I mean I always knew Mequon was wealthy but I didn't really realize as much. My mom was a stay-at-home mom, like a lot of my friends' parents, and when I graduated high school I kind of learned more, or met more people that had both 3:00parents were working, some parents had multiple jobs and maybe didn't have as many luxuries as we did growing up in Mequon. But it's one of those things that you don't really realize until you're old enough to see the outside world.

JM: You said that your mom was a stay-at-home mom, what type of work did your father do?

AM: My dad owns a business, it's called Pope Scientific, pope like the pope, but actually it was my grandfather's business, so he worked his way up and now he runs it.

JM: Ok, so your family is from Mequon, the Mequon area? For a few generations 4:00at least?

AM: My mom was born, so Mequon is in Ozaukee County, my mom was born in Cedarburg. She lived in Cedarburg and Grafton which both are a part of Ozaukee County, they're both a little more north of Mequon. But then, when she was in high school, she moved, her family moved to California and then she moved back right after she graduated high school. And then my dad, he moved around a lot when he was a child and they moved to Mequon when he was like a junior in high school. So my dad has been in Mequon since he as a junior in high school, and my mom moved back in her early twenties.

JM: Ok, and did they both go to college or did they just stay around and just happened to meet there or how did they go about meeting?

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AM: How did they meet?

JM: Yeah, how'd they go about meeting?

AM: They actually met at a restaurant in Mequon that my mom worked at. I think someone kind of introduced them and set them up, I'm not positive.

JM: Ok, very cool. So you mentioned that you attended Homestead, did you attend other local Mequon schools through grade school and middle school?

AM: Yep, I went to, well actually, I started off in private school for 4K and kindergarten. And then I actually doubled kindergarten, my birthday was in the summer and my parents didn't think I was quite ready for kindergarten, private school starts in mid-August and I had just turned four. So private school two years and then I went to kindergarten for the second time in public school. 6:00Then after that I went through public schools until high school, all of high school.

JM: Ok, what were these schools like? How was Homestead, how would you describe Homestead?

AM: Pretty big, I remember we had like five to six minutes in between classes and I always thought that was a really long time, I know some high schools are bigger but a lot are not that big, so it was a pretty large building. And we had a lot of, a variety of, classes that I don't think all schools might have offered: there was lots of different art classes and drama classes, a lot of different honors classes. It was a very strong academic school. English was particularly tough, I know we, I'm not sure if we were, I'm sure we were ranked 7:00well as far as other schools, but we were kind of known for having a really tough English program. Pretty preppy, it seemed like everything was revolving around sports.

JM: So going through that type of school, when do you think you first started thinking about college and start planning for that?

AM: I think I started thinking about college probably like sophomore year, maybe like as a freshman in high school, just thinking about it. At the time, I had always wanted to be a teacher, so that was my goal and so I didn't really think about it too much until… late freshman year early sophomore year and then started getting more serious about it.

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JM: And at that time, going into junior/senior year when that's getting closer, what kind of schools were you considering going to?

AM: I was always thinking about Oshkosh, and then I applied to UW-Green Bay and UW-Steven's Point. I had also toured St. Norbert's in De Pere… didn't like that, after I toured that I definitely steered towards going to a UW school.

JM: So you really wanted to stick in the UW system, why do you think that is?

AM: Well the big reason was just money-wise, I'm the oldest of four children, so 9:00that was that was kind of a big thing. I also had a tendency to get very homesick so I wanted to, it was when I was younger I did, so I didn't want to be too far away from home. So those schools were good, especially, I remember, Oshkosh, before I even toured it, I always thought it was the perfect distance. It was about an hour and a half away from my hometown.

JM: So why do you think that you finally decided to come here rather than the other two, mostly the distance?

AM: The distance and then, honestly, Oshkosh was the first school I think I toured and I just knew right away. I just felt comfortable and I really liked it and then I kept like comparing the other schools to Oshkosh. Like I kept 10:00saying "oh I liked this better at Oshkosh, or I like this better at Oshkosh" and we had this amazing tour guide when we went to visit and I think that really helped and I just felt really comfortable and it was the only school I went to that I was like "ok, I can see myself going here", like it didn't seem so far off in the future, it's all pretty daunting but… yeah, I don't know, it just felt like it would be like the best transition.

JM: So you toured here prior, you said, and you felt comfortable here so when you first started here, your first semester here, what were your first impressions? Did it meet up to how you felt about it, still kind of nerve-racking a little bit?

AM: It was definitely nerve-racking. It was very overwhelming because there's 11:00so many new things and I remember just feeling very overwhelmed because I didn't know where to get my books, I didn't know where all my classes were or how to get there and it was kind of just like that experience of starting something new and figuring out all the details that was overwhelming but I met friends right away and other students in classes and it all went pretty smooth.

JM: So pretty smooth, that's good to hear (laughs). Was that a common theme throughout your first year here? It doesn't sound like you had a very difficult time kind of adjusting…

AM: Yeah, no I didn't. I think, looking back, the hardest thing might've been just socially kind of becoming a young adult and I was pretty gullible (laughs), 12:00I think it was more of like learning social skills, like, you know, not everyone's as nice as I am or people have their own motives, more of just becoming like an adult I think that kind of mad-- I don't know if that makes sense but it was more like I was meeting different people and I'd become friends with them right away and then a couple months later there would be lots of conflict or drama, or I'd maybe like hangout with someone and realize they're not maybe the best influence. I think it's just that experience of meeting so many different people and I kind of had to learn how to become kind of smart and kind of protect myself a little more because I wasn't really used to that, I don't know if that's because of my childhood or what but I kind of had to step back and be a little more cautious.

JM: So do you think that your senior year, how different was that to how you 13:00ended up developing your first year here? Was it like pretty similar or was it kind of like a drastic development, grow-up, what do you think about that?

AM: As far as academically, I felt very prepared, I felt over prepared. I remember going to some classes and just thinking wow some of these assignments we would have had to do in freshman or sophomore year of high school and we had to do them freshman year of college. As far as just like how to behave and how to act in class I felt very prepared. Discussions and especially papers, I remember sitting in some classes freshman year and I was just bored because a 14:00lot of the professors had to go over certain ways to form a paper and that was just something that had been like really drove into me through high school and so as far as academically I felt very prepared.

JM: Yeah, that's kind of what it seems like. Homestead seems like a good transition, very good transition…

AM: Yeah it was, actually. It wasn't too bad, which is good because the other stuff… It's just like a big change: moving out of your parents' house, and I lived in the dorms and you're really like on your own and it was nice that school was… it was difficult, it was difficult, but I felt definitely prepared and in the right place. I didn't feel like I was overwhelmed or anything.

JM: Speaking of classes and that kind of thing, you said earlier that when you 15:00first started thinking about college in sophomore year in high school you wanted to be a teacher, was that your first declared major or did you change your mind at all during your career?

AM: Yes, that was my first, I was actually early education and special ed. major and actually that was one of the reasons I also picked Oshkosh because they had a five-year program with that double major. I wanted to be a teacher my whole life and then I think it was sophomore year of college I just started kind of feeling discouraged. I remember freshman year, kind of what was going on like all politically as well, I think some of the professors might have been discouraged and I remember going to meetings and professors would be speaking about how not very many of us would be getting jobs and the difficulties… 16:00which, you know, is nice to hear because it's like reality and they weren't sugar-coating it, but the process for an education major and the different tests and the way you get into the program I thought was very discouraging and around sophomore year I just started not liking school, which I always loved going to school, I always was prepared and did my assignments on time and so to be kind of down and a little depressed and not excited about being a teacher anymore I kind of… I called an uncle and we decided that maybe I just needed to switch my major and then I changed it to journalism.

JM: During your switch, were there any classes or professors that you remember 17:00that helped to steer you in that direction? Or why did you choose journalism specifically as opposed to, I don't know… nursing is a big thing here. What was your thought process to get to specifically journalism?

AM: I don't quite remember actually, but I do know… I think I didn't want to get into something too specific, like nursing or education. Also I was in journalism in high school and I was on the school paper so that was something that was kind of a little bit familiar and I think I just narrowed it down, I definitely am not a math or science person but I wanted something that I could definitely use. So journalism just kind of viewed as something similar to like an English or a Communications major which, depending on what path I went to, 18:00would open lots of doors for me. As far as the teachers, I remember now having opportunity to get a minor, and I really like history and always like history and I had Professor Kuhl and then I had Professor Rowland I loved both their classes and I wanted to take more, so then that was exciting because I could have a minor in history.

JM: Ok, you mentioned that you had written for the paper back in high school, did you end up writing for the Advance Titan here?

AM: No, I did not. I was a… I went with public relations emphasis and that was… I was pretty shy in college, I didn't branch out a lot, that's one thing 19:00I kind of regret, I wish I had been a little more involved… but no I did not participate in the AT.

JM: Ok, I ask about that because actually I was looking back in the archives of the Advance Titan and I came across an article… you said that you minored in history? Or you wanted to?

AM: I minored in history, yes.

JM: Ok, because I saw that you were a part of the history club…

AM: (Laughs). Yup, yes I was.

JM: I read this thing, this article about you first of all being the vice president in 2015, you want to tell me a little bit about like the History Club and why you joined and what kind of stuff you did there?

AM: Oh sure, it was one of the best decisions I made just because it was the 20:00first club I really joined and participated in and I kind of joined on a whim. I was actually out, at a party, and someone I knew was, at the time, their girlfriend was the president of history club and I said that I had just changed my major and was minoring in history and would love to go to history club meetings and then she said that she was actually looking for board members, and so I jumped at the opportunity and I became secretary the first year I participated. It was small, it was hard because the club had had difficulties with… what is the student… OSA?

JM: Yeah.

AM: With their funding, so we were in the process of getting our funding again and it was a very small club, it did not have a ton of members but the board members were all very enthusiastic and the events that we came up with were 21:00always a good time. And then I just kind of continued and was President one year and then Vice President the last year that I did it.

JM: In this article I also saw that, this was specific about you helping organize and hosting an event for Wisconsin Public Television doing this Wisconsin Hometown Stories series, do you want to tell me a little about what you did for that and what that was about and how long that lasted?

AM: When was that… I honestly don't remember too well. I think that was my senior year?

JM: Yeah, the article was dated in 2015.

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AM: Ok… honestly this sounds terrible but I don't remember much about it (laughs).

JM: (Laughs). Ok.

AM: I was like doing finals and I remember going and someone recorded me (laughs). That sounds so bad, I feel terrible. I honestly just don't remember too much about it. I remember going on and I remember coordinating with someone from the AT who filmed us. I feel bad, I can't remember, I'm sorry (laughs).

JM: That's alright (laughs).

AM: I remember it being in spring, my last semester, so I was probably just… my mind was on information overload.

JM: Yeah, right? What kind of other things did you guys do in the History Club then?

AM: The best thing, and I just saw that it's still happening or it did just happen, was Bowling with Professors. I don't remember who kind of came up with 23:00it but I think… well Professor Kercher was the head of the department, I think he still is head of the department, and he oversaw the history club and I think he might have mentioned it or somehow we like talked about we wanted to do an event with professors and then somehow, through all of our discussions with him and the other board members we came up with Bowling with Professors and it was such a good time, I miss it (laughs). My goal is to one time come back and hopefully it'll still be going on but overall I was kind of the head person on it and we created this event and it was open to everyone, so you didn't have to be a regular attendee of history club meetings or even a history major or minor. If you were interested in history you were invited, but most of it was history 24:00majors and minors. And from what I remember we had a pretty good turn out and professors would come and then we would put one or two professors on each lane with about three to four students so it was a great time because students got to interact in a one-on-one basis or at least in a small group with a professor and see them outside of school and just talk more about life and bowling and laugh and see them in more social atmosphere which I think was great because sometimes I think students get a little overwhelmed and maybe are discouraged from going up and talking to the professors, so this made it easier for students to open up a little bit and feel more comfortable because it wasn't in a classroom, it wasn't about something so specific, it was more of a social event. And then it 25:00was fun because a lot of the professors would bring their kids so it was fun to see them in their role as like a parent too. Sometimes I think we just take classes so seriously and then you kind of forget "oh yeah, they do have lives" (laughs) "outside of school, and that's just their jobs" and it just lightens it up and makes it feel a little more fun.

JM: And you said that you think this is still going on, today?

AM: I just saw that, I follow the history department on Facebook and I saw that they were hosting it a couple weeks ago, so hopefully it was a success because that would be very exciting if it continued because I was a part of the first and second Bowling with Professors.

JM: That's cool, I did not know that. I had not seen that when I was researching.

AM: Yeah, it's really fun (laughs).

JM: That's awesome. So what kind of other things did you do besides studying, 26:00obviously, and History Club like on campus? Were you part of any other extracurricular clubs or activities or anything?

AM: Early in college I would, not bounce around but, sometimes go to different events. I think I went to a couple CRU meetings like freshman year, first semester… let's see, I'm trying to think… (laughs)… I don't know. I would go to events like if there were big events going on at the school I would go to that. Freshman and sophomore year I went to some football games. I really liked football and I missed football from high school, so this was freshman year, we had a group of friends that we'd always go to the games and I think I went to the homecoming game, so that was fun. It was a lot different but it was 27:00fun… I'm trying to think, it all kind of just blurs. I remember going to like different events at Reeve but I would never, besides history club. That was the only club that I was really interested in or really invested in.

JM: Ok, let's take it a little off campus. How was your social life? You mentioned you kind of felt out some friend groups, like meeting people, that didn't quite fit. How was your social life? You said you began living in the dorms, how do you think that that eased you in to becoming a social college student?

AM: The dorms were fun because there were like people around all the time, and I 28:00remember it was fun having all these other women to hang out with and, it sounds silly but, we'd all hang out and do each other's hair (laughs). It sounds really ridiculous but it was kind of fun and it made it… I remember once I moved out of the dorms, and I still talk with people about this all the time, we feel lonely now because we always had someone to go to dinner with or just go to the mall with or even walk to the bookstore or even go do homework with, like there was always someone around. So that was… actually probably a big part of making it comfortable. It was really easy to find someone to hang out with, so you never felt really lonely and then everyone was going through the same thing. So I think that was super important. My fiancé actually went to Oshkosh for several years and he never lived in the dorms and I think that's something he missed out on, just meeting other people and kind of branching out from your 29:00friends from back home, because I didn't really talk to many friends from back home at that time, I had a couple and now I don't really talk to any of them. So in a way it was kind of nice to like find more of your friends and not just be friends with someone because they lived on your street or something. And then… let's see… where was I going, sorry I got distracted (laughs). What was the question?

JM: (Laughs) Just talking about how do you think… yeah, the dorms and your social life…

AM: Well it made it easy to find friends, and then I was supposed to move into a house with three other people, and I was in there for like two days and there was a lot of drama, so I had to move out and live by myself. And I ended up living over by the Paine Art Museum, and that was probably one of the other, I 30:00could add that to the list of great things or great decisions I made at UWO, in addition to the History Club, moving by myself was actually like one of the greatest things. I just lived in like a little one bedroom but it was great, because I had to do everything by myself and I had to figure out all these things and so that was just… I completely grew, as a person, from doing that. So I lived… my last three years of UWO I lived alone, which was great (laughs).

JM: So you lived in the dorms first two years…

AM: Yeah.

JM: And then last three… Ok. Were these people, these girls that you moved in with at first, were they like friends from the dorms originally?

AM: Yeah (laughs) they were friends from the dorms, and then there was just 31:00drama and I'm not a confrontational person and I was kind of singled out and so my parents were just like "let's just get out of there". But it was actually great and I'm so glad that happened because it just was so much better for me to be on my own. And it was one of those things that I learned about myself because I never thought I'd be able to live by myself, I tend to be a pretty anxious person, but I was very comfortable living by myself and I grew a lot and I learned a lot of things, like silly things, like how to fix your toilet (laughs), little things I would never really have had to do because I always just tended to have someone else help me do them.

JM: You mentioned that you dropped out of touch with some of the closer friends that you had going to Oshkosh, are there any… your friends now, are they consisting of people that you met before college, during college, after college? 32:00What kind of make-up would you say that your friend group is?

AM: I think they're almost all from Oshkosh or maybe they didn't go to school with me but they were living in Oshkosh. Right about the time where I changed my major I had someone actually introduce me to a group of guys and we started hanging out regularly on the weekends and I'd bring my friends, my girlfriends over and we had this thing, they called it the Clubhouse. And we would like hangout and party at their house and then we actually still all meet up, now we've all graduated and a lot of us are in different states and such but a couple of us always try to have, we call them Clubhouse Reunions, and that's something we'll probably do forever if possible, so that's really cool. And then, one of my best friends I met in North Scott freshman year. And then my 33:00fiancé I met when I was going to school, he was out of school at the time but, through mutual friends. So then all of his friends are from that area so I would say the majority of my friends have some sort of connection to Oshkosh. And even my friends that I have down here I met because someone I knew at Oshkosh introduced us and then now we just both happen to live in Milwaukee.

JM: That's awesome, I was going to try to ask about this, I remember that you had said that you were getting married soon, correct?

AM: Yes, Saturday (laughs).

JM: Very soon. And you met your fiancé here at Oshkosh, you said that you met through friends, is that what you said?

AM: Yup, we met through mutual friends and we met at the Varsity Club, it was like a friend's birthday and he came with another friend.

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JM: Very cool. How long ago was that?

AM: I think we met in like 2012, but I was actually dating someone else at the time, but he had a couple mutual friends at the time so I think it was like 2012, 2013 I met him.

JM: Very cool. How was being in a relationship on campus, how was social life with that? I don't know how to ask that better (laughs).

AM: (Laughs) Well actually it was kind of fun because I only had like one boyfriend in high school, and then I dated actually quite a bit in college and that was fun because it was just a lot of different people with a lot of different personalities and so I think that just sums up to me growing and 35:00changing my mind and kind of learning like I don't… just because I thought I was going to be like this doesn't mean I have to become this person. I had one not so great, actually very bad, relationship freshman year and that kind of shaped me too and made me a lot stronger, and again, learning to protect myself a little more and be a little more cautious of who I hang out with just because I was so, I think part of it was just I kind of grew up in a bubble, where it was a safe area, and all that I really had to worry about was like mean girls, versus I had to kind of wake up a little bit and realize that people had motives and they weren't always nice and things like that.

JM: That's very cool. So other aspects of social life, what are some other 36:00things that you can remember about activities on campus, off campus dealing with social things? How did you meet people? What sort of things did you do? You mentioned you met your fiancé at Varsity… what was your typical weekend, I guess?

AM: (Laughs) My typical weekend, well once I was 21, it was mostly spent on Main Street. We went to CBCs a lot, and Barley and Hops, and Peabody's, and I actually, for a few months during my last semester, or summer going into last… actually no, it was my last semester… second to last semester, so last year of school, I bartended at CBCs from summer until fall, and that was a blast.

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JM: What other kind of, did you work much in college or just focusing on studying?

AM: I worked as a nanny. Sophomore year I joined this website called care.com and it's kind of like a Facebook for nannies and babysitters and now it's this huge thing but at the time it was not very well known of, but I put in all my information and my interviews and all my personal experience and I get background checked and then I met this family in Oshkosh who had a three-month-old daughter and I got the job and I nannied her until I left Oshkosh. So she as almost four when I left and then she had another sister at that time and she's actually going to be my flower girl, so that's pretty cool.

JM: That is cool. What would you say, those are pretty hard to compare but, 38:00what was your work experience like? Was it easy to cope with, did you enjoy it, was it a drag sometimes?

AM: Nannying was really fun because it was perfect with college, because it was flexible as far as how the parents' work schedules went, it's flexible, and then I could do work there. So that was fun. And then when I bartended it was harder to manage school and at the time I was bartending I was sill nannying and in history club and a full time student, so that really ate up my free time and so that's why I had to stop bartending. There just wasn't enough time to just kind of have some study time and also just have some, you know, quiet time so it 39:00kind of was… my schedule was a little too crazy my last year. So I kind of had to wind it back a bit.

JM: What were some of your favorite memories of your social life set aside from school, the pain of school? Like what were some of your favorite experiences or memories or activities, events that you took part in at your time here?

AM: I'm trying to think… I mean there was a lot, it's kind of hard to… it's just one of those things you don't think of too much. One, I remember when I was a freshman that's when the Packers won the Super Bowl, so that was really fun. I remember we actually watched it in North Scott in the lounge area. My CA had 40:00like a Packer party, so that was fun. Let me see… I don't know, there's so much that happened that it's kind of hard to like narrow down certain things. One thing that was… when I started living in Osh, especially in summer that was a blast, the farmer's market was amazing. Learning more about the importance of eating local and just the health benefits, that sounds really boring but also it was just so much fun to go like on Saturday mornings. At one point I would try to go every Saturday and get cheese curds and all those fun things and socialize and hangout, so that was something really cool and I still 41:00go back to the farmer's market when I can.

JM: I think I remember hearing you say that you met some people at some parties, to be expected, but were you much of a go out to house parties kind of person? Or was that more when you turned 21 and hit the bar life?

AM: I was not, I was very like a goody-goody (laughs) I mean I did some fun things but I was not, we did go to house parties that's when I met that group of friends, but I was… I'm a very cautious person and so, not too much. And I had never been to, I had been to a bare once, before I turned 21 so that was kind of my first time, once I turned 21 that was the first time I really had bar 42:00experiences so that was really fun and different because you know some other students went before they turned 21 and I was not one of those people. I was very cautious and like I didn't have a very crazy social life by the beginning of college. I will totally admit to eating microwave meals on the weekends and watching Indiana Jones on TV in the dorms. That totally was me, so I was not much of a party person. But when I turned 21 I really liked Main Street, I thought that was really fun I liked that atmosphere. I was not into the campus bars, that just wasn't my… wasn't really the type of people I liked to hang out with, but Main Street was really fun to me.

JM: So I have to ask, I know this wasn't, Pubcrawl back when you were in school 43:00is probably pretty similar to what it is today, did you and your friends attend Pubcrawl or did you try to keep your distance at that point?

AM: I really went to one, but I didn't even make it out to the bars, there was a party beforehand, but that was just a crazy experience. Looking back you go "my goodness", like "that's kind of gross" (laughs). Like we were drinking and the activities, it was fun at the time but, you know, it's not the best life choice, and then I was like "ok, I'm good", I got a t-shirt and… those things are fun but I kind of felt uncomfortable when people were so crazy, like it was fun but I definitely think that's one of those things that's hard because it's a really 44:00fun time when you're with your friends but you look back and it's just not the best… it's not the greatest idea as far as like the city and the effects it has on them. It's totally fun and I loved it when we did it but I can like see, looking back I can see, why a lot of people had a lot of concern for it… and I think there should be because there's a lot of people that like to go have fun and drink but then there were a lot of people in college that probably should have slowed down a little bit.

JM: So Pubcrawl and house parties, not really your favorite thing, bar life more adult kind of in a sense, that kind of brings you to the end of your career 45:00here, how did you feel approaching your last year, your last semesters of college? You were super busy with nannying and bartending close to the end, how did you prepare for after college… how did you feel building up to graduation?

AM: I didn't have a lot time because there was just so much to do. I remember feeling a little sad, right after I graduated, especially the following summer, I was like "I miss school", I especially missed all my history classes it was just kind of this thing that the first half of my college experience I enjoyed it but I remember feeling kind of like you don't quite fit in and there's a lot you don't know, not just academics but as far as college works, there's a lot about the school, about certain processes that you don't know about and then 46:00honestly it was my last semester, I just felt so much bigger and I didn't feel like school was so gigantic and you feel so comfortable and then you finally [inaudible] like "that's it" (laughs) "you're done", it was crazy because there was so much going on and the amount of stress is just insane, I mean nothing can really prepare you for that because it's just a lot. Just all the work you have to do and then just the getting ready for graduation, that's a huge life change, so that was a little difficult to deal with but I just remember now, looking back like "oh I miss it" because I feel like you work up to a certain point and then you get to a place, my last semester was very social, very outgoing, and then I was a lot more confident. I was starting to build relationships with 47:00professors where I would discuss, I would be one of those students that would stay after class to finish discussing the lecture. I remember thinking freshman year that when people did that like "oh, they're so weird" but then I would get so into what we were discussing that I was like wanting to talk to them or talking to some of my journalism professors, asking for more help and feeling comfortable enough to really use all these tools that had been given to us… so it's kind of like you finally get comfortable and then it's like "ok, you're done". But, overall, I think it all went pretty well, it's pretty crazy like how much you change over the four or five years.

JM: What were your plans for, you know, looking forward, after graduation? Did you have an internship or a job offer or a career spot lined up for you for 48:00after graduation?

AM: I was still kind of unsure of what I wanted to do, at that point I really liked nannying and I was kind of like "I really kind of want to work with children but this is my major" so I was kind of on the fence. So what I did was I decided I wanted a job right away so I looked at nannying jobs in Milwaukee, which actually pay a lot more than up in Oshkosh, and so I decided to sign a contract with a family for a year and then I liked it so much that I wanted another year and then this past year I've taken some classes to go into early education to work at daycares so I'm actually applying for jobs right now for that, but it was super nice to have a job lined up so that I could focus on school because I had a lot of friends that were getting discouraged because they 49:00didn't have a job and that's just a lot of pressure to have all that stuff lined up but I think I signed the contract in like April so by the time finals came I had a job set up which was just a huge relief, like it was great because I could just focus on finishing school because there were like so many projects and last minute thins I had to do.

JM: So it seems like more so the nannying that you were doing as a job during your time here more prepared you for what you're thinking about actually going into, is that correct?

AM: Yeah (laughs).

JM: How does it compare to… doing your nannying here for that girl, how do you 50:00think it kind of prepared you for a more professional sense career out of college?

AM: Well I learned a lot just about like child development and I was watching this baby and she grew up, so I learned a lot just of everyday things and then just my experience in school just researching, I guess that's the history minor in me, I kind of took it to the next step and I said "ok, this is like my full-time job now, this is not just a part-time experience" so I take it super seriously and I'm always researching and just looking at different articles and different blogs and different information about child development and I'm trying to connect, network, and I do have a goal of opening up my own licensed in-home daycare which is this huge process and there's lots of courses and things I would have to do for that and so I think that'll be the day I can finally like 51:00pull in more of my journalism experiences, especially in public relations with just social media and blogging and connecting with families. I find myself networking all the time over at the park and meeting other people so it's kind of the experience of working one-on-one with a child with my job in Oshkosh and then just school and all these social skills and other skills you learn to expand and learn more, I'm constantly reading and trying to teach myself more things. So it was a nice combination I think of school and my work experience.

JM: So overall, I think I kind of know how you feel about this but, how strongly do you feel UWO prepared you for life in general? You talked a lot about how 52:00much you saw yourself grow and specifically living on your own, how has that shaped you to today? How would you say that?

AM: Overall UW-Oshkosh has really impacted me… oh there's just so much I could say. I definitely grew as a person, just from meeting people and going on that journey from the dorms and then moving into a house and then moving out of a house, moving into an apartment and you just kind of like… it was kind of a stepping stone. You know, I started as a freshman and worked my way up not only in school and classes but different life changes, found more jobs and moved in 53:00my own apartment and so it kind of flowed pretty well I guess. I think UW-Oshkosh really prepared me but I think people always focus a lot on the specific thing their going to school for and for me it was one of those experiences where it didn't end up how I necessarily thought it would, it's more the overall experiences and just the skills in going to class, being prepared, being on time, being scheduled, making schedules for yourself, like time management, communicating with people… simple tasks like emails and how to introduce yourself, how to be professional… all of that I think was so much greater to me than the specific courses just because of how my career is built. I think if I would have stuck with journalism I would have still been really prepared but just my mind went the other way and for someone who thought I was 54:00going to for sure be a teacher and it does make a little difference but I just learned so much and I found out little interests in myself that I didn't even know I had these interests, like history, I liked history but it wasn't until I started taking more history classes and joined history club that I really realized that that was a hobby of mine. So overall it was pretty great, I miss it. My fiancé thinks I'm crazy because he saw a lot of the bad things like stressing and crying over papers or classes but I do miss it, it was fun because it really… you feel like you achieved something, which you know I guess I did but it's kind of like this big mountain and once you kind of climb it it's pretty great, I feel pretty proud of myself and all that I've learned and the 55:00people that I've met… my experiences, my professors and classes and just the love of learning more, I always want to learn more and stay professional and keep challenging myself. It's a lot (laughs).

JM: Oh yeah, well it seems like you learned things on your own pretty quickly, you adapted and you matured very successfully but are there any things that, if you could go back to like freshman Abby or like senior or any time during your college career… would there be anything you would go back and try to talk to yourself about, warn you for, prepare yourself for… that kind of thing?

AM: I think I would have pushed myself more as far as my grades, I did well… 56:00but were very average throughout, and I think if I worked a little harder on time management and not allowed myself to get so worked up to the point where I couldn't finish the assignment or do well on tests I think I could have… I know I could have achieved better grades. And so I think sometimes I'm like "oh, I shouldn't have skipped so many classes", not that I skipped a lot of classes but I definitely would have been a tad more serious about it but again, that's one of those things that I was 18 (laughs), it's really different like you learn even I'm 25 now and it's crazy it seems like so long ago and I'm completely different then but I think that I could have definitely challenged 57:00myself a bit more and studied just a tad more, not that I wasn't, but it's kind of like learning to kind of focus your anxiety and not kind of let it overwhelm you because I was always feeling kind of overwhelmed and I challenges with anxiety and so I think that if I could have gotten a little better wrap on that I could have performed a little better in my classes.

JM: What kind of advice would you give to a current student that's attending Oshkosh right now, like me as a journalism major myself, like what would you…

AM: Oh really? (Laughs)

JM: Oh yeah! (Laughs) What kind of things would you pass on down the rope being a graduate, an alumni, from here?

AM: I would say to really live in the moment and when you find something that 58:00interests you to go with it and not so much always focusing on, you know, graduation and graduating with this one degree because sometimes you do change your mind, and I'm not just talking about changing degrees, but learning little things about yourself and certain interests and living more in the moment and not so worried while, you know, "maybe if I take this other class…" you know… not worrying so much about the outcome but worrying more about growing as a person and doing something because YOU want to do it maybe not something that your parents or maybe even people that guide you… I don't know if that makes sense… focusing more on really developing yourself as a person and finding out what you like to do and what you're good at and maybe what you're not good at and not focusing all the time on your major as a goal. Because I 59:00think that sometimes some students focus too much on that path and they might not end up taking certain classes that they wanted to because it won't go to that, but then you miss out on something you might have really enjoyed. So to do well and try to like go towards one point but to also find other interests and maybe do something… join a club that's totally off of what your major is, just to meet new people and explore that side of your interests more.

JM: Ok, so it seems like you look pretty fondly upon Oshkosh overall, whether it was the school itself or just, you know, the college experience. Do you have any plans on like coming back to visit or anything like that?

AM: Yes, I think about visiting all the time. I definitely would try to visit the journalism department and maybe the history department. I really enjoyed 60:00Dr. Gleason and so I miss his jokes, I follow him on Twitter and I like his pictures on Twitter. And then one of the professors in history, Professor Pickron, was kind of fun but like you sit there and you're thinking like "oh, these classes and the homework" and then you graduate and it's like "oh, I would just love to sit in that class just for one day and not have to be at work right now, sit in this photography class, or this history class". I definitely… I hope that the history club's Bowling with Professors continues because I would LOVE to come back and who knows maybe if it keeps going we can do an alumni version of it or something like that. My fiancé is from Oshkosh so I plan on trying to stay involved in UWO, going back to visit at some point.

61:00

JM: Well I will be sure to keep in touch with you, we're supposed to ask you guys if you want a copy of the interview, the transcript, the overall finished project so because I think this whole project is coming to a close and is going to be put together and presented like next year here on campus so…

AM: Oh wow, that's so cool.

JM: Yeah, so I'll be sure to, you know, let you know in the future because there's going to be like all sorts of alumni and it would just be a cool way to come back and, you know, touch base with professors and friends and stuff I mean I don't know if like your friends are part of this program either but like… yeah (laughs) I'll be sure to let you know about that so that you can maybe come back and bowl with professors and stuff like that (laughs).

62:00

AM: Yeah (laughs), ok that'd be great.

JM: Well that pretty much does it for our time. Thank you very much for allowing me to interview you and for talking with me and sharing all this awesome advice and re-living your own moments and all of that… so yeah, thank you very much for that.

AM: Yeah no problem, thank you.

JM: If you have any like photos of your friends, yourself, things you did on campus that you would maybe want to email me or share with me for the project I would really appreciate that whenever you get a chance in the next couple weeks… are there any other things you'd like to add here at the end?

AM: Nope, I think that's about it. Hopefully I didn't say "um" too much 63:00(laughs) I always realize I say that to myself (laughs).

JM: (Laughs) Not a problem, I mean I'm sure I was pretty bad too but… (laughs). Well awesome, I will be transcribing this in the next couple days so I will email you probably in those next couple days seeing if you want a copy of the transcript or the interview or both so…

AM: Ok great, yeah I'd definitely like a copy of the transcript, I think that'd be cool to have.

JM: Ok, yeah, not a problem. As soon as I finish it and it gets proofread, I mean I'm a journalism major myself but everyone makes mistakes… but yeah, I'll be sure to do that. Thank you very much again I really appreciate it, it was very cool to talk to you.

AM: Thanks, yeah you too.

JM: Awesome, well I will let you go, deal with wedding stress and I'll try and stay in contact with you in the next couple days and get you that transcript.

64:00

AM: Ok great, thank you.

JM: Thank you, have a nice night.

AM: Thanks, you too.

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