Interview with Angel Liddle, 04/23/2018

UW Oshkosh Campus Stories
Rachel Steel, Interviewer | uwocs_Angel_Liddle_04232018_uc.mp3
Campus Stories Oral History Project (UWO Audio Series 51) |


´╗┐RS: My name is Rachel Steele. It is April 23 and it's around 1 o'clock, and I will be interviewing--can you please state your name?

AL: Angel Liddle

RS: Alright, so to begin I'm just going ask you a little bit about your background. First thing is where did you grow up?

AL: I grew up in Kenosha Wisconsin, so right on the border of Illinois and Wisconsin.

RS: Okay can you tell me a little bit about the community?

AL: Very different from here, it's pretty diverse. We, I mean I had a italian friends, puerto rican friends, all sorts of mix race friends, it's it's a lot more diverse than Oshkosh, it was a little bit of a culture shock coming to Oshkosh from Kenosha.

RS: Okay yeah.

AL: I will say that.

RS: Yeah, not a problem. I'm from Oconomowoc Wisconsin.

AL: Okay sure.

RS: So it's like not too far but still a difference. Ok, did the people you grew up around typically go to college?

AL: I would say it was a pretty good mix. I had quite a few friends that went to 1:00college and quite a few that didn't. So, I mean even if you look at my graduating class, I mean the percentage that actually graduating verses what should, you know?

RS: Yeah, should've.

AL: Who I started going to school with that is a pretty different number right there. In terms of my family I had one sibling that went to college but my parents didn't or anything so.

RS: Okay, then you answered my next question. So are you the first one to go to college or is your sister the one.

AL: My half sister was the first to go college, out of my immediate family, she's older than me so.

RS: And then, where did she go to college?

AL: She went to Lake Superior State University in upper Michigan.

RS: I visited that school so.

AL: Okay.

RS: So then would you say that your family kind of emphasizes on going to college or not really since they didn't?

AL: My parents expected me to go to college, yes, yes.

RS: Okay so what type of work did your parents do?

AL: My mom most of the time growing up she was cleaning. So she cleaned 2:00apartment buildings and she actually cleaned Carthage College, she cleaned there for a little bit. And what was and then, she started cleaning at a company called Ruud Lighting in Racine. She was given a great opportunity once they got to know her and see the person that she was. She was finally given an opportunity to kind of better herself. She was hired as, promoted as a human resource assistant there. And she actually ended doing that for, I don't know it was something like fifteen years or so, before she ended up retiring doing that so.

RS: Oh wow, that is amazing actually.

AL: Yeah, yeah, she was given a great opportunity and they just saw something in her that she could do more and clean and so she happened to do that. My dad always worked in factories. He always did mechanical stuff in factories, nothing that you had to go to school for but that you had to be trained on very well. So 3:00he, his last job was from Bombardier, which they make like Evinrude and Johnson Motors, like boat motors.

RS: Oh ok there we go.

AL: So that's that's what he, when he was done and he was laid off around retirement age so he just stopped working.

RS: Okay so then you said got promoted for HR. Since she was just cleaning, did she have to go to college to get a degree or she was just?

AL: No, they just thought that you know, they pushed her. I will say she's said that her, she had a fantastic boss and her boss definitely pushed her and know when she thought she couldn't, you know, get the computer side of things because she obviously wasn't in my generation of growing up with computers and things like that. She was pushed by the people around her and you know, and encouraged that you can do this. She learned her way through it.

RS: That's really good, yeah my sister just graduated from college and she's 4:00doing HR; so that's why I was asking 'cause I wasn't sure. Ok, so what were the values that your family tried to pass onto you?

AL: I would say it was a little bit of both as far as hard work, but also you know I was expected to get a job when I was fifteen. I started working so and even before that I was babysitting in the summers and stuff like that, so I was definitely expected to work. It was never going to be like you just get all the money handed to you and you know, and not that my parents had a bunch of money to begin with. But it was expected that I was going to work; however my dad really instilled in me that to take advantage of every opportunity. So he really helped me out you know. I was really involved when growing up in school; I was involved in tennis and dance and band and things like that. And he wouldn't just 5:00let me do it like halfway, like if I was doing tennis I took private tennis lesson, if I was doing flute you know playing flute in band, I was taking private lessons. He, you know when with dance came around and they want you to go to a competition in Florida, he's like I'm paying for you to go to this competition. It was just, he wanted me to have these opportunities that he never had, take advantage of everything you have put in front of you so.

RS: That's super sweet. So, then going off of that what were some of the lessons you grew up from your community and then what did that teach you going into college?

AL: I would say again, growing up in Kenosha you grow up with a lot of different kinds of people and I actually grew up right down the street from a probation office. And we, I had friends in high school that were going to that probation office and checking in and things like that. And my thought process was always, there's good in all people like people just make wrong decisions and - but 6:00there's good in everyone. So I think that was something instilled in me from my parents and my community also. And so, it was something that drove me to the decisions I made later in life were based off of there's always good in people. You know what are they gonna decide, what kind of mistakes are they going to make and what kind of consequences are those mistakes gonna have, so.

RS: Okay and then do you have a family of your own?

AL: I do.

RS: And then, would you put your values that you have and that you learned onto your own?

AL: Yeah. You know I always think that it'll be interesting of how I can instill that into my son, because he is going to be growing up in Oshkosh. My husband is born and raised here, so we're definitely staying in Oshkosh and having him grow up here is gonna be a different, different than how I grew up. And so I always 7:00think of how to instill those same things and still have him be involved with other people and cultures and not view differences as so different. Be open to differences I should say; so that's definitely gonna be something important for me to instill in him even though he's not necessarily gonna get the opportunities that I did, to actually engage with a lot of different cultures and ethnicities and people.

RS: So then do you think you're gonna push him to go to UWO?

AL: You know I actually don't want it, push him. And the reason I say that is because I think one of the best things was to be able to go away from home and go to college. It's not the same experience if you're within town, I mean, if you were to ask my mom she wanted me to stay and go to Parkside so badly. She cried, "Why did you have to go there?" She was really upset about the whole 8:00thing, but I really just wanted to get out and go someplace away from home. I wanted to be away from home and it was the best decision I ever made. The experience of living on campus and having to meet new friends and new people and kind of start over, it's just, I think everyone should have that experience. And I want him to have that experience and that's why. I mean obviously I loved my time here so that has nothing to do with that, it's just that I want him to go away some place.

RS: No, I totally understand that. I mean, I live an hour and 10 minutes away from here. And it's still a difference, like I have my own car this year but last year I didn't, so I kind of felt like I have to be here a lot. It was a different experience. So, what were your family routines like? Growing up, like kind of, like what was it like growing up in your house?

AL: So my half sister and my half brother, the oldest two, they weren't around a 9:00lot for my upbringing because their older. So they have a different mom and they were older and they chose to kind of live with their mom more so than with us. So they weren't too involved, so it was really more so me and my sister who is 5 years older than me and she was never, we're very different people. She was not really the social person and she wasn't really planning on going to college and she was just kind of happy with status quo, I guess I would say. So routine was kind of focused around me. It sounds kind of terrible, but I had a lot going on versus her so it was definitely the things I had going on and you know, again, getting me to tennis or flute. Like I said I worked, I babysat, I had all these things going on so there was a lot of attention on me. This is sounding 10:00terrible. So - but my parents were really good at establishing like going to bed on time, you know you have this going on, so they kind of helped. They were kind of the runners of the scheduling and routines and stuff like that.

RS: Okay, did your neighborhood change much while you were growing up?

AL: I don't know if I would say it changed much while I was growing up. I mean, again, I probably had a different upbringings than other people maybe in this area did. Because, you know, in Kenosha you could be in one area that is fine and then all of a sudden a block away it's a totally different area. Again, I grew up down the street from a probation office, so you had, you know, it was like our street wasn't too bad, but then right down the street you had apartment buildings that had security cameras in their parking lots. And, you know, I 11:00remember growing up hearing sexual assaults and that in the area, and, you know, my mom would tell me don't walk on that side of the street, walk on the other side of street, when you're gonna visit your friends over there and stuff. So, again, would've it been different if I grew up here? There's not really an area in Oshkosh that I would be afraid to go in, to be honest. And there was areas like that where I grew up, but did it change while I was growing up? I don't think so, I don't think it really changed that much.

RS: Ok, have you been back since?

AL: Yeah, my parents lived in so they moved not too long after I went to college, a couple years after I went to college I believe. They moved to Racine, which is not really much better.

RS: Haha, yeah I know.

AL: I think it's worse than Kenosha, but they lived out in the county a little bit. But -- so, when I went back mainly it was kind of to the Racine area. But I would go visit friends occasionally in Kenosha, but I honestly, I miss some 12:00things about it. I miss the culture, I missed the Mexican food and the Italian food -

RS: Yeah.

AL: - the stuff, you know, there was to do in the area, but would I want to raise my child there? No, I don't, and I'm ok with not having him be raised there for all of the bad stuff that comes along with it. I mean, by the time I was graduating college, I guess this maybe is different, by the time I was graduating high school we went from when I started high school being able to leave for lunch cause we had open lunches and you could leave.

RS: Mmm hmm.

AL: You could come back and no big deal. When I was graduating, you had to wear a picture ID around your neck at all times.

RS: Oh wow!

AL: You could only enter, you know, one door after. You know, when school had started there was only one door you could enter. They checked your ID, you know. It was very different, and it was because, I guess, of fights and things like people coming in who didn't go to school there and causing things that shouldn't 13:00have been happening in this school. So, I guess that did change now that I think about. That was definitely, you know, it was - they restricted things a lot more by the time I was done with school than they - and we had a lot more kids there, too. I mean, I graduated with 420, and I don't - it was a lot of people. It was pretty packed, it was pretty packed so.

RS: Yeah I had around 300, around there so.

AL: Haha, yeah.

RS: A lot. So, obviously there's a huge difference from living there to here. So, what are those differences that you pinpoint?

AL: Like I said the people, it's, you know, coming here was like "Where's all the diversity?" and it looked like it was basically campus and that was it. Haha.

RS: Ok, haha.

AL: To me, as an outsider coming in to Oshkosh, it was like if it weren't for 14:00campus, would Oshkosh have any diversity? Like, where would everyone be? So, that was a little different, and when I first came here, just thinking this was just like a college town versus Kenosha being a bigger city, and having more going on and not being far, like, from Chicago and Milwaukee and being able to do all those things. It was like kind of figuring out what to do around here, you know, and what was around. I remember thinking it was crazy. In Kenosha, streets are one way and avenues are the opposite direction, and it all is numbered. So, streets start at one, and they go from there, avenues start at one and they go from there, and then I came here and I was like why is everything named?

RS: Yes, all names haha.

AL: How do you know where you're going? Haha. How are you supposed to know any idea where a street is if you don't have numbers that are in sequence? So, that was one thing that I remember thinking was crazy, because I had never, you know, 15:00had to follow directions really outside of, you know, going to Chicago or Milwaukee which was totally different then.

RS: Oh yeah!

AL: You know, just a city with no street numbers was crazy so-- I mean I guess there are some here, but it's just crazy.

RS: No, I get what you mean, yeah.

AL: Especially around campus with all the one way streets, too.

RS: I know, in Oconomowoc we have no one way streets. We may have one or two, but it's always double. So when I first started going here, I'm a sophomore, when I first started going here, I would look both ways, and I would forget that it's a one way.

AL: Yeah.

RS: So, I just thought that was funny. Ok, so I know we talked about your high school a little bit, can you tell me what kind of student you were and what things you liked to do when you were in high school?

AL: So, like I said I was pretty involved. I did tennis, dance and band in high school. Band I ended up not doing my senior year because it was a huge time 16:00commitment; they really wanted a huge time commitment, and I was like "I'm kind of done with this." Like I had no intention of doing anything going forward after that with music.

RS: Okay.

AL: So it was just like "Ehh, I'm done." So, in my senior year they also had the opportunity to go into Carthage or Parkside and get some college credits and do some college classes. So I went to Parkside my senior year for 2 or 3 classes, 3 classes I think. That was nice, again, to get outside and do something different, and obviously I get good enough grades to do that. I mean, I wasn't like an amazing student doing like all these AP classes or anything like that; I think I did some Honors English, but other than that all my classes were normal except for English. So I did good, I mean, I did well A's and B's. I think the only time I got less than that was Spanish, that was rough for me. But otherwise it was always A's and B's for me so I did well. I will say I was probably little 17:00bit of a closet naughty girl somewhat? In that, I definitely part took in some of the badder parts of Kenosha and did things that, you know, drinking and stuff like that and partying when I shouldn't have been by any means. But my thought was that I always, you know, I'm doing good in school, and I'm involved in extracurricular activities, so I'm all ok, everything is fine! Yeah, as long as I'm doing well it's fine. Looking back oh my gosh I wish that I would've been smarter but it is what it is you can't change that now. Haha.

RS: Yeah, but you still [did?] pretty well in school, so [unclear]

AL: Yeah, and that was my philosophy, as long as I did well in school and you know I was ok, so.

RS: So, how important was school in your family, in your community in general?

AL: I would say pretty important. Again, my parents always expected me to go 18:00college. It was just an expectation for me. Some of my friends grew up that way, others didn't. I had great - a great advisor, I would say, at school.

RS: Okay.

AL: And he was super helpful, again, my parents didn't have a whole lot of money, so he was super helpful in making me apply for every scholarship I could apply. I mean, I think I remember applying for like 13 scholarships.

RS: Wow.

AL: And I got 2. It wasn't a huge amount; I mean, one was $800 and one was $500, but it was $1300 dollars I didn't have going into school.

RS: I was going to say it still helps.

AL: So I was gonna take it and [unclear]. To me, that was worth all the 13 applications.

RS: Hahaha, yeah.

AL: I mean, you know what probably that's like to apply for those, there usually not super quick.

RS: I mean, I should I think I only applied for like 2. I should've done way more, but I kind of gave up.

AL: He really helped motivate me and get me to do that, and I'm glad I took the time to do that so yeah.

RS: So, if your parents didn't push you to go to college, would you have chosen 19:00that on your own to go, or just not really?

AL: I think I would have, yeah. Again, I wanted to get out of Kenosha. I wanted to go away some place and experience things for myself. So, I think I definitely would. I mean, when I was growing I remember thinking at one point I wanted to be a dentist growing up. So, I was -- like, I had all these things in my head of - you know, things obviously change as you get older, but I knew I would have to go to college to do these things. So I think that was always just in my head that I was just gonna do that.

RS: Okay so what were your goals or aspirations as a young person?

AL: You know, again, it always changed depending on the age. I probably could've told you, I mean, I think at one point I wanted to be a lawyer, like, you know, all these different things you think of. But I wanted to go to college and do 20:00well and have a family and be successful, I mean just your [unclear] typical things I guess.

RS: Yeah I'm gonna ask this again even though we kinda went over it.

AL: Sure.

RS: But what did your family or other friends I guess who didn't go to college, talk about or say about college? If that makes sense.

AL: Sure, you know, my family like I said they always said it was important. I never really talked to my sister about her feelings on it, or my brother either didn't go to college; I mean we just really never talked about why you didn't go to college or what your thoughts are or anything like that. I would say for friends that didn't go, again, I think there was just not really an expectation of them going for a lot of them. They just grew up in different households that - that just wasn't the norm, it wasn't what was expected of them. They weren't, I mean I have one friend that I'll never forget - he was Puerto Rican, and he 21:00grew up in a family of drug dealers, to be honest.

RS: Wow.

AL: He just wasn't going to; he had no expectation of going to college.

RS: Yeah.

AL: It was no one in his family thought he needed to. It was just like "This is what you're gonna do someday when you grow up."

RS: Wow.

AL: There was no expectation, and I just remember how do you blame him for that? You know what I mean?

RS: Yeah!

AL: Like how do you blame him for growing up in a family that there is no expectation of anything different? What do you think he's gonna do? Like, I mean, that's what he's surrounded by, that's what he's gonna do, and you can't blame him for that. So, again, it was a lot of different people that I grew up around.

RS: So did your friends who didn't go to college have any opinions of you going to college? Or were they just like happy for you or just thought it was like not needed or?

AL" I think it was a mix of both. I think there was some people that were like, "Man, everyone's leaving, you know, I'm gonna be left here alone." You know what I mean, you had some of those people, and then I had friends who went all over 22:00the place, so it was like you had people going to all different colleges. So you was like, you know who's gonna stay in touch, who's gonna come back, who's not gonna make it kind of a thing. I did go with a friend of mine, we came to Oshkosh and roomed together our freshmen year.

RS: Oh ok.

AL: So that was kind of nice, knowing someone and going in with someone was nice, but at the end of the day we didn't. After our freshman year, we went our separate ways and nothing - there was nothing like a blow out or where we just hated each other. You know, it was nothing like that, it was just we made different friends and we just went separate ways and that's ok.

RS: Haha yeah.

AL: Like, I mean, if I saw her today we'd be friendly and everything would fine, it's just we'd followed different paths.

RS: It's so - I think it's kind of fascinating to hear that stuff because you're friends here and then just time changes everything. It's just kind of odd.

AL: Yeah, yeah.

RS: So how did, or, here, I'll ask this - so when did you think about college? 23:00Like, when you were just thinking about like what you wanted to do when you were older or was it just?

AL: Yeah, I think so. I think when, in, when like grades -- well, you gotta get good grades because you want to go to college. So, it was like, yeah, anytime you thought about grades and school, it was- the goal is you have, you're gonna go to college, so you have to do well, you have to get good grades, you have to do well in school because you want to do this in the future. So, it was I guess a constant thought process really.

RS: Haha. So what interested you about college specially?

AL: Obviously, wanting to have a career and wanting to do something. I didn't want to be like my parents. I mean, they supported me, and I'm so thankful for everything they did for me growing up, but I didn't want to be - I mean, I remember my mom coming home crying from Carthage 'cause she hated doing that - she hated it. And I'll never forget that. I mean, she didn't work there long 24:00because she absolutely hated it, but it was terrible to see her absolutely hate her job. You know, seeing my dad laid off from his factory job, you know what I mean, just-- And not that, that can happen anywhere, but it was just like, I want to have more control over what my future looks like. And I felt like this was the way to do it, was that college was going to give me more control over what my future would look like.

RS: Yeah, no, I totally understand. My dad, he barely finished high school so he didn't go off to college because he wasn't really a good student, so he did delivery, and he's been laid off for a couple months now. And my - then my mom got laid off, even though she's been to college for like 20 years because she kept going back.

AL: Okay.

RS: So they've been struggling and everything, so I totally understand. So what schools did you consider going to?

AL: HA! So I actually applied to quite a few of them. So, my dad is Native American, so I have the advantage that I am minority, and people will definitely 25:00have different opinions on that. But I applied to let's see La Crosse, Marquette, UW Milwaukee, UW Parkside and UW Oshkosh.

RS: Wow.

AL: So I applied to 5 schools. The thought process was Parkside, I would apply to Parkside because of my mom really just wanted me to go there, so I was like whatever I'll apply and back up plan, I guess. UW Milwaukee was a possibility because it was close, but it was still away, but actually I had a boyfriend in high school, and he was already at college. He was older than me, and he was going to UW Milwaukee, so I didn't want to go there, because I didn't want to be the girl who followed her boyfriend to school, like I just didn't want to be that girl. La Crosse was, ended up, I was just like it's just too far. I mean, it was 4 hours from Kenosha.

RS: Oh wow.

AL: So that was a pretty - I was like, I don't know that I'm ready to go that 26:00far from my family, you know? Um, Marquette, my dad really wanted me to go to Marquette, and he - that was where he was like, you could probably get you know assistance, some sort of help because you're a minority, like you know what I mean? Like it's helpful.

RS: I was gonna say, if it helps it helps.

AL: And so he really wanted me to go to Marquette. He thought that would be really really cool. I, on the other hand, was not so sold. I really did it because he wanted me to. Like, I really was not sold on it. I was like, I'm not gonna get that much assistance, I don't want to be paying off student loans forever. So, Oshkosh was kind of the mid-point in all of this, and then I had a friend who was going to school here that was a year older than me, and I came to visit her my senior year of high school, and I had a lot of fun and thought it would be fun to come here, so that's was what kind of made my decision.

RS: Yeah, nice. Ok, well that kind of answers one of my questions about that. 27:00So, now we are just gonna get into your college experience at UWO. So, my first question is gonna be if you can state the specific years you went to college.

AL: 2000-2005

RS: Okay. So I did more research on that. So, it's the 21st Century, it's the century of change and everything, so, I know, did you like really pay attention to politics when it comes to elections and presidency and everything?

AL: I would have voted in all of the elections that were going on at the time, I would really have to think back to what was actually going on, but yes I did.

RS: Okay. 'Cause then I know that was the year of the election of George W. Bush, so I just want to state that. And then I know 9/11 happened.

AL: Yes!.

RS: So, I wanted to know if that affected you at all, or if it affected your college experience?

AL: I mean anytime asked where were you, it's like, I remember walking down 28:00Algoma to class and people, everyone is walking to class around the same time. And hearing someone in front of me say something happened. And getting to class and everyone being like no, everyone is just going to different rooms and watching what's going on. 'Cause I think I was going to Clow, I had a class in Clow, and they said yeah, everyone's just going ,you know, wherever you can watch it, and just watch it. And they can pretty much - everything was cancelled that day, you know, classes were cancelled. So, I went back to the dorm, and I mean if you walked down the dorm hallways that they - everyone, had it on. I mean, every single room you could hear the TVs playing the news, and I sat in our room with probably five or eight other girls and just-- we just watched it. I mean, all day, like we just sat there glued to our TVs, like we can't believe this is happening. I actually had one of my friends that lived right across the 29:00hall from me, her boyfriend was in pilot school in Florida.

RS: Oh, wow.

AL: So, you know, she really wanted to know was he ok? What is he doing? You know, is he in the air? Things like that. He ended up being fine, but when you heard stories about this person or that person, you know what I mean, like how it affected different people. But it was, it was just a very weird feeling like I said just being - it was like echoing just news everywhere in the dorms, every room was just-- and it was just quiet. You know, other than that, it was just quiet 'cause everyone was just glued to their TVS watching what was gonna happen.

RS: So, was school different from that point on, or was it like, did everyone kind of like come from it, or was it still like a little weird for a few weeks?

AL: I would say it was a little weird. I mean, you know, it wasn't here in Wisconsin. You know what I mean, like there weren't that many people that had a personal tie to someone who, you know, was there. So, I would say it went back 30:00to somewhat normal relatively quickly, but there was - I mean, things definitely changed. I mean, spring break that year, you know what I mean, it was like when you wanted to go, what were you going to expect, what do you have to do? Like, there was definitely - or do you not go on spring break now? People were scared, like it had a different feeling for sure. Everything, everything changed after that, but somewhat normal I mean, fairly quickly.

RS: Yeah, I was thinking that since it wasn't here, but when I saw that you said you went to school here from 2000-2005, I automatically thought about 9/11. 'Cause like I've talked to my parents about 9/11, and they're like yeah, I remember [unclear] but like never actually talked to like anyone else about it. So, I really wanted to bring it up and just get your feedback.

AL: Yeah.

RS: And then, I know 2001 was about Apple bringing iPods and cellphones around 31:00and stuff. Was that like, a big thing or is it - did it not really like?

AL: I remember iPods being more so of a big thing. You know what's funny, just thinking about some things that are different now then what they were when I was in school. We had room phones, like we had landline phones in your room.

RS: Haha what?!

AL: They don't have that anymore. Like, you don't have landline phones. We had landline phones in our room. And you would pay to make long distance phone calls. Oshkosh calls were free, but if you made long distance phone calls you each had your own phone bill. Like I would get my own and my roommate would get her own, like I think you had to put in a code or something if I remember correctly. So, I had a cell phone to avoid having to pay the long distance. That was my first cell phone was because I was coming to college, and I was gonna be 32:00using it to communicate with my parents and stuff like that.

RS: Oh my gosh!

AL: So, that was the only reason, like, I really had a cell phone to begin with was because of that. But you -- we - all had landline phones, and you had a directory that you could look - I could look up anyone that was living on campus. And I could look up their phone number because you had a phone book for campus. [unclear]

RS: [unclear] That's interesting.

AL: So, that's very different from things now. You could also smoke in the dorms. My freshmen year, they did away with it my sophomore year.

RS: Okay.

AL: But my freshman year you could smoke in the dorms.

RS: Wow.

AL: There were smoking floors, so there were certain floors you couldn't smoke on and floors you could. I lived in South Scott and 6th floor South Scott.

RS: Same!

AL: You could smoke. Oh really?

RS: Yeah.

AL: Oh my gosh, I loved living there. So I lived there for both years and freshman year you could smoke in the dorms. You were supposed to have your door closed but.

RS: Gosh!

AL: Yeah, that didn't happen, and people would sit in the hallways and smoke. 33:00So, I was not a smoker so it was weird, because even like I would go home and bring laundry home my mom would be like you smell like smoke.

RS: Yeah, be like it's not me I swear.

AL: Yeah, it was, but that's very different. Obviously, now they're talking about a Smoke Free Campus, which I think is great and fantastic. But it's just kind of funny because that's how much changed since I went to school here, and you could smoke in the dorms back then.

RS: That is actually very interesting.

AL: Sorry, I think I went off topic there but it's just something I remember.

RS: I had a question later on about technology so you are good on that part. Ok, so we answered why you decided to go to UWO, do you have anything else like, was like the main reason why you just decided to go there or go here? Or was it just based on like visiting and [unclear].

AL: Yeah, it was really based on visiting and the distance that it was far enough away but it wasn't too far away.

RS: Yeah. Alright and then did you know, since with visiting did you get to find out more about campus before about it? Or did you know?


AL: Well, I didn't do like an official tour or anything, but I got to at least see and visualize like what it looked like, meet some people. You know, we stayed in the dorm with her and things like that. So it was a really cool experience, and I felt like it wasn't so big and scary. Like I looked at campus, and I was like this doesn't look ginormous, like I'm not gonna get so lost and like way too big. [unclear] It didn't appear crazy big.

RS: Yeah like some colleges are like oh my gosh it's overwhelming.

AL: Yeah, so it didn't overwhelm me, I just felt calmness, ok, I could do this, you know. Like, this is attainable, like, I think I could do this so.

RS: Alright.

AL: It made it more real, I think.

RS: Yeah. So, then what was your first impression? Just that, or did you have others?

AL: Everyone I met was really nice, and I mean just all the interactions, people 35:00were really welcoming, very nice. Yeah, nothing else really.

RS: Alright. It's good. So, then can you tell me a little bit about your first day, if you remember at all? Might not.

AL: So, I will say move in, no, first day of like classes and everything?

RS: Sure, just your first day, I guess, like if you wanna say move in day, or if anything stuck out to you like the first few weeks of school.

AL: Yeah I could say just like the first like week probably. Moving in was so hectic to me and so like oh my gosh, and I will never forget our window faced Wisconsin. Right? That's Wisconsin?

RS: Haha, I'm sorry [unclear] I'm not good with directions.

AL: Right outside to the parking lot of Scott, so the street that the parking lot of Scott.

RS: That way, ok.

AL: So, our window faced that way. And that corner house there had I think a 36:00bunch of frat guys living in it and they were sitting out on the like, and they had signs that say drop your daughter off here.

RS: Oh!! Lovely--.

AL: And I will never forget my dad had his camcorder, like the big like camcorder.

RS: Oh no, the old fashion one.

AL: Yeah, and he was recording out my window saying "Angel, never go to that house."

RS: Did you ever go to that house?

AL: No, no, can't say that I did. But it was, it was pretty hectic, and I remember our parents being like really we have to move you in on Labor day weekend? Like, that kind of ruins Labor Day weekend for us. [unclear].

RS: My parents were not happy.

AL: Not much we can do about it then. So, it was pretty crazy to kinda take that all in, and my parents were just amazed like, how small of the room it was going be, They were just like woah, where's the rest of your room right now? Where are you to going realistically do this? But, again, it made it easy that I had my friend that was living with me. I remember there was an Odyssey event going on, 37:00where they told you like you needed to go to like this orientation type thing.

RS: Oh, yeah, everything was scheduled.

AL: Yeah, and me and my roommate were like no. [laughter]

RS: [Laughter] You didn't go?

AL: No.

RS: What?

AL: We really just didn't want to at all and so we, I never went.

RS: See, I thought we would get in trouble 'cause like always there on time, we have to go.

AL: Yeah, that's what we were, are they gonna do if we just don't answer our door? Like what if we just don't go, like what are they gonna do? So we just didn't go. Who knows what I would've learned had I actually gone but--

RS: Honestly, they just went over like all the different colleges and stuff so.

AL: Yeah, we just didn't go, and I remember just kind of like meeting people and kind of getting to know. Like you kind of knew that you, at least I thought like I kind of knew I would get along with certain people right off the bat. Like, I 38:00have the girls that were from Oak Creek across the hall.

RS: Ok.

AL: And then I was like I'm gonna get along with those girls I bet. And then the people that you

[unclear]. Like I met this girl that was from Barneveld, which is this really tiny town outside of Madison, and she had one fast food place in her entire town, and I was like where did you grow up? Like, how is this possible? You know, it just getting to know the different people is kind of funny. That's what I remember most, I think, about [unclear] not even classes so much, like I don't even remember what I thought.

RS: Well, then I won't ask that question.

AL: Oh, haha. Yeah, I don't, I don't even really remember what I thought about, I mean I was an undecided major so it was just all gen eds, and so I don't think it was really excited about any of them, so it was just.

RS: No, I don't think anyone is.

AL: Yeah, I was like mhmm kay, it's class is class you know?

RS: So, then I was gonna ask you what your major was, 'cause on the sheet that I got it said you were a Criminal Justice major, so did you end up going to that or were you?

AL: Yeah, so I was undecided from my first two years, and then I was a social. 39:00So, my idea of what I wanted to do was I was going to be a probation officer. I was going to go back to Kenosha or Racine, and I was going to help all these people, you know, that I grew up with and that made these bad decisions and I was going to make them better. [unclear]

RS: That's cool, that's a good idea.

AL: Well, it was a good idea. So, my junior year I was a social work major, so for a year I was a social work major, and then I realize you'd have to apply to the major, and you have to do so much volunteer work, and so I started doing volunteer work, and then I was like again I'm not one of these people that [unclear]. I need money, like, my family is not paying for me to you know, they helped me, but I - they couldn't pay for everything.

RS: Yeah, no.

AL: So, I was going to have student loans and there was just, it was too much, it was like ok, so I could go to school for criminal justice, and I could do the 40:00same thing, like you know. I could be a probation officer either way with either major. So, my senior year I changed to criminal justice which is why it took me 5 years, why I was here from 2000-2005 because I changed. I was undecided, then I changed my major and that's why it took me until 2005 to graduate.

RS: Ok, that's interesting. So, then do you remember what the program was like at all?

AL: Yes.

RS: Ok, can you tell me a little bit about that?

AL: Yeah. There were pretty big classes. Criminal justice - I don't know if it's still a big deal here, but it was kind of a big deal then. I mean, a lot of my classes had like 60-70 people. So it was - it seemed to me like it was pretty big, it was very male dominated, you had a lot of people who wanted to be cops.

RS: Mmm hmm.

AL: But at the same time, it was just hilarious and ridiculous to me, because you had all these guys that were like from country towns, and they're like "I want to be a cop I want to go, you know, back to whatever place you never heard of and be a cop." And it's like, do you think that's where they're hiring cops? 41:00Be realistic, you know you're going to have to be a cop in Milwaukee or you know what I mean. That's where the jobs are actually going to be, and they would talk - I mean, I remember having people come in and talk about a job being available in Southeast Wisconsin. And these kids, being like, oh I say kids now, at the time they were my peers, but they were like "No, I don't want to go there, I would not go there and be a cop." And it's like what do you think you're getting yourself into?

RS: Yeah, exactly.

AL: [unclear]. I could at least say that being from where these kids and not want to go. I could say this, what did you think you were getting yourself into here? What do you wanting to do with this? So, that was kind of frustrating for me to see that and just kind of like, I just wanted to roll my eyes at all of them, and be like oh my gosh. How are you this naive and you're going to be cops? You know? It was a little weird, but I loved my classes. To this day, I still find this stuff super interesting, like I loved learning about that stuff, and I struggled my first two years of college in terms of grades. I really 42:00struggled, I didn't do so great with the gen eds, like I didn't you know, like they weren't classes that I really wanted to take, and I didn't do well with them. I struggled and actually got to the point of being on academic probation to where I had an advisor. Yeah.

RS: I had that too at one point.

AL: Yeah, it's not fun, but I mean she was like you need to get yourself together, figure out what you're going to do to bring this up, so I had to retake a few classes. Which was another reason why it took me 5 years 'cause retaking classes just didn't help your situation.

RS: No.

AL: And then I think the first time you have to do that you realize, I just paid for a class that I took twice. Like, I paid for this twice because I just didn't concentrate and just didn't do well. And so that kind changed things, you know, between that and wanting to be done at some point. Kind of made me turn things around and figure out what I wanted to do, but once I started doing the social 43:00work and criminal justice, both of those classes I did really well in. When I actually made the Dean's list my final semester.

RS: Congrats!

AL: I mean, it was just that's how much of a turn around. [unclear] because you're taking classes that you actually enjoy and you want to learn about. So, things definitely changed once that happened.

RS: Really good. So then, 'cause on here you were, I'm not going to say this right; facilities management? Was that the job you had here or do you have that currently then?

AL: Current.

RS: Ok.

AL: So when I was going to school, because of being Native American, I kind of was sought out by Multicultural Retention programs to get involved and things here. So I did, I was like ok this well this seems like fun, I could get involved with these and it was a whole new group of people to have fun with right? So I joined the American Indian Student Association and got to know some 44:00people through that, and they were looking for a student assistant in Multicultural Retention programs. So I started working in there, I think it was my freshman year that started working in there. So my freshman and sophomore year I think I worked in Multicultural Retention programs.

RS: Yeah, yes.

AL: Then, so I started getting involved with American Student Association and I think it was my freshman year, then I did Multicultural Education Center. They used to have a student board, so I was part of the student board and then my sophomore year I became president of the American Indian Student Association.

RS: Wow.

AL: Yeah, that was a huge leap, and I really didn't want to do that at all.

RS: No?

AL: But the girl that, I think she was a senior, that had been president was leaving and she kind of was like "You really could - you need to do need, this 45:00you're gonna do well with it. I really need you to do this," and I was like "Uhh-- I really don't want to, but ok." So, I did it, and it was fine, it was hard, it was a lot of hard work. I am very proud to say that there was the first pow wow that was had on campus in like 15 years or something like that. They hadn't had one for quite a few years before that.

RS: Ok. Can you actually explain what that is?

AL: Oh sure! Yeah, sorry.

RS: Oh, you're fine.

AL: So the pow wow is different tribes get together and have different groups, I'm going to explain it as a group. It's more so like a drum band, so like you have drummers and they sing music, so you have different groups from different tribes that do that. So, you bring a bunch of them together, and then you have a bunch of different dancers that do different specific dances. So, I mean, that's 46:00the whole gist of it, it's just different dancers and drummers from different tribes getting together and different dances mean different things. Usually vendors are there that sell their merchandise, you know, like they make dream catchers or dresses and [unclear] stuff like that. So, I kind of helped organized that, and put it all together and it was like a lot of hard work and a pretty good experience, but it was something that I was like "I'm done with this," like, I don't, and I want to pass this on to someone else. But, I got to meet some really cool people and interact with some awesome people, and yeah, it was just fun. I mean, it was fun, it was just hard work, it was really hard work, yeah.

RS: No, that's really cool you were involved in a lot of stuff.

AL: Yeah, yeah I had a lot going on, but I mean it was good. I loved, you know, meeting all the people that I got to meet, and I'm actually been the Hispanic sorority on campus, I think it's Gamma Alpha Omega, I think it's what it is. 47:00They tried to recruit me, and I actually went and met with them, and I was just like I don't want to do this, it was just way too much. But for me I really just don't want to, but they're super nice girls, and still friends with some of them till this day. It got me really involved.

RS: That's good. So, out of the people you've met do you stay, other than those girls, do you stay in contact with most of the people you've become friends with from college or is it kind of just?

AL: The people that I lived with on 6th floor South Scott are some of my best friends to this day. They are the people that are the most important people of my life really outside of my family. Even though we are, I mean my best friend is in, she's actually outside of Kenosha and I have friends in Madison, I have one in Appleton. So, they're kind of all over the place but we, I mean, we would do anything for each other to this day, and that's why I didn't really go back 48:00to Kenosha that much after that. I mean, I met an amazing group of people here that were my best friends from that point forward, so it all thanks to 6th. I always say that 6th floor South Scott was what, you know, made our lives different from that point on because we all became best friends. So, I mean, we watch our kids grow up together now and stuff, it's really neat.

RS: Oh, so I had a question I'm just going to revert to different question. I had it and it just went right out of head for some reason. So doing more with college, what was your most rewarding college experience? If you have one?

AL: Let's see. You know, I would say it was probably either the pow wow, I mean that was a really big deal, it was very cool, I mean I was very thankful to be a part of that. It would be either that or it would be making it to the Dean's 49:00List after being on academic probation, almost being kicked out of school to finally making it to the Dean's List my last semester of school. It was either my last semester or second to last, I think it was my last though. One of those, I could go either way; I mean both of those two things were pretty cool for me.

RS: So I know we kind of talked about this a little bit about this before, but can you see any differences from when you went to school to what the campus is now?

AL: Well, obviously, they put a lot of money into things now. I mean, there are things here that weren't here when I was going to school. I mean the Student Rec and Wellness Center was not there, I mean, it was a thought process, but it wasn't there. This building [Alumni Center] was not here. When I came to school Reeve, still had the bowling alley in the basement.

RS: See I read about that in Advanced Titan, and it was like somehow a bunch of people ruined it, I guess, and I was like we had bowling alley? Like, that would 50:00be awesome.

AL: They had - I mean, it was so different. Reeve was like nothing compared to what it is now. They actually did all of that when I was a freshmen maybe, it was my freshman year when they might've been - when they first started doing renovations on it. Obviously, it had multiple since then but that was the first where they did the back end part like, where the food and the bookstore and everything, that was all done, I think, my freshman or sophomore year is when they did all of that. So, it was in process when I was coming. We had a lot of classes in Dempsey, and which is now they don't have classes in Dempsey at all.

RS: No, it's administration.

AL: Yeah, we had classes in Dempsey when I went to school 'cause we didn't have Sage at all either. Sage wasn't here.

RS: That's true, there's a lot of new buildings.

AL: Yeah, Sage wasn't here so we had classes there, Clow was obviously different because you have that whole addition, like between Clow faculty and--


RS: Like the nursing part?

AL: Yeah, yeah like that was not there. I, looking at Sage, going into Sage for the first time and seeing--

RS: Everything.

AL: Oh my gosh. I called my best friend right away and was like, "Do you know that they have a Starbucks, and they have food, and its right across from lecture halls?" Like they don't realize how good they have it, we did not have any of that. I mean there was nothing like that.

RS: Oh my gosh.

AL: Nothing. It's crazy. Yeah, we actually like - just for like, exercise and stuff, we did aerobics class in the basement of Scott. They had aerobics class down there. I don't know if they--

RS: How did they fit people down there? It's like tiny hallways and then we have laundry.

AL: Mhmm hmm. Yeah I don't think they had. The laundry was not that big of a room at all, so I don't know if they made laundry bigger maybe? But they had a big room.

RS: Yeah, do you remember like how many dryers you might have had 'cause we have 52:00like 12, so I don't know if they extended that. Because like it's a separate room, so I wonder if you guys were in that laundry room, I guess and did it? Or if it's a separate room.

AL: I don't remember, it wasn't a really big room though.

RS: Okay.

AL: It wasn't really big, so I would take mine home a lot.

RS: Yeah, I did that this year a lot. I'd take everything home; I didn't want to pay for it.

AL: Yeah. I don't remember how many there were, but it wasn't a very big room. There was one for North Scott and one for South Scott. But yeah, we did aerobics down there. We actually - I mean parking always been an issue, they didn't have the parking ramp when we went to school here, there was no parking ramp.

RS: Oh my gosh, it's like a lifesaver for me.

AL: Well and so that's -- they - because of the constant parking issues. Back in the day, I don't even know if you would know what this is anymore, but where it used to be Sears out on the frontage road?

RS: No, hahaha.

AL: Well, trying to think how to explain where this is. Like across from Lowe's 53:00there's that, on the other side of the highway there's a big vacant building. Well, next time you go over there you'll see it, and it used to be Sears and before that it was Kmart, and it was Kmart when I was in college, and Kmart was dead, obviously, because they're not there anymore. So, they would allow us to park there, and then they would bus us from there to campus.

RS: Oh my gosh, jeez.

AL: That was how they dealt with the parking issues then cause we had no parking ramp.

RS: That's like, isn't that too far, that's so far away. Oh my gosh. I'm surprised they did busing. I mean, now they have one that's by Campus Services, and then there's a little shuttle.

AL: So, Campus Services used to be Cub foods. It used to be a grocery store when I was in college. So, you could at least walk across river and you get our groceries and walk back, and a lot of people did that.

RS: That would be nice. I mean it's not too far anyways, like, I mean if you have to you just take the city bus but that's--


AL: But that's another big difference.

RS: That's wow, I'm like trying to picture what campus looked like back then.

AL: It's very different. Yeah, I mean, Fletcher obviously was not what it is now.

RS: Yeah, no yeah, they just did that this year or this past summer.

AL: It was not there at all. What is now the Student Success Center?

RS: Mhmm hmm.

AL: Was a cafeteria, it was called Elmwood Commons, but it was a cafeteria.

RS: Oh. So, then you guys had - was Blackhawk Commons there?

AL: Yeah, so you had Blackhawk and Elmwood, and Reeve didn't have that area because they were being - yeah, yeah. And then the - I always forget what this building is called now, the building where Equity and diversity.

RS: Yep. Equity, I think it's Equity and Diversity.

AL: Ok, that was a church.


RS: Yeah, they still have some like campus organization still go there for church stuff.

AL: Yeah, it had nothing to do with campus then.

RS: Oh. Interesting, I mean, they have I think, a community still uses it, but mostly there's like Catholic organizations, there's non-denominational, and I think Lutheran and some of them hold their services there like once a week.

AL: Yeah, I don't think it had anything to do with campus.

RS: Okay.

AL: It was just a church, so things were really different.

RS: So then obviously campus was a lot smaller than it is now?

AL: Yeah, yeah, like its campus services wasn't there at all. Everything was on this side of the river.

RS: So, if Horizon wasn't there it was just a hill? Or just?

AL: I don't even remember what was there or what for. Well, you know what, there was a dorm, there was a different dorm it was a smaller dorm. I want to say was it called Nelson? Maybe?


RS: I've never heard of that so.

AL: Yeah it might've been Nelson.

RS: Interesting. Ok, so we are coming up on time so I think I'm going to ask you two more questions. So, going off of that, I just want to do a little bit of like post-college. So, now since we know your job and everything, did you have any trouble getting any jobs right out of college or did it help you?

AL: So, I totally went off what I was, I didn't do what I was going to do. My plans went out the window. So, when I was in college my junior, I think it would've been my junior year, I started - my friend was working for U.S. Cellular in sales. And she's making a ton of money and they need someone else so I start working for U.S. Cellular. Working part time in sales I was making $36,000 dollars a year and I was like why, what am I doing? I'm going to go into 57:00probation, make maybe the same amount if not less than what I am making right now working part time. What am I doing? You know? So, actually after graduating I decided to stay at U.S. Cellular, and I became full time sales person. And then I started to work my way up, so I became a sales manager, and then I became a store manager. So, I was there for many years, and while I was there they had tuition reimbursement, and so I knew that was something I always wanted to take advantage of because it was like, I would be stupid to not take advantage of that. And I met my now husband, he was my boyfriend at the time obviously. And we knew we wanted to get married someday, and we wanted to have kids, and it was like ok, I really need to do this. So, I went to school, and I wanted to get my MBA because obviously I was working business now and being a manager, and at 58:00U.S. Cellular I was doing a lot of the HR side of stuff. So, I was hiring people, I was training people, I was helping them choose their benefits, I was doing on board, you know, all of these 'cause you don't have anyone else to do it, it's you. And so I was like "Ok, I'm going to go to school, and I'm going to focus on HR 'cause it's something I enjoy. I train people all the time."

RS: So, kind of like what your mom did?

AL: Yeah, yeah, and so actually, during the summer I had helped at her work twice, two summers I had gone home, and I helped at her work. And I helped out in HR and stuff, and so I was like I could see myself doing this, like this is what I'm going to focus on. So, I went back to school for my MBA with the focus on Human Resource Management, and I actually looked at UWO for possibility. But UWO requires, or I don't know if they still do, but at this time they required that your Bachelor's degree be something to do with business, and not every school does require that. I needed to do online which that would've been, I mean 59:00they do online here too, so that wouldn't have been a problem. But I went through the University of Phoenix online, because they just require that you have so much business experience in lieu of a Bachelor's degree having to do with business. If you had business experience, that was fine to make up for that. So, I went to University of Phoenix and got my MBA, focuses on Human Resource Management, and U.S. Cellular paid for $24,000 dollars of it.

RS: Okay

AL: Which was awesome. I'm still paying back my student loans from when I was getting Bachelor's degree, so I can't get more student loans. I mean, that was the whole point of this was there going to pay for me to do this, why would I not take advantage of it? So, I went back to school did that, got it done and then I started working for-- I really just wanted a more family friendly 60:00position. Like, I was just done with retail, done with, you know, working the crazy hours and everything. So, I started working through Sprint, it was a little bit more friendly, it was not in HR yet, it was not what I wanted, but it was like, kind of like a compromise, like this is kind of more ok for my relationship with my boyfriend, who I never was seeing at the time. So, I started working for them as a national retail account executive, and then the opportunity at Lowe's to be the HR manager there. And so I took that and that was great, I loved it, loved the people, and then I got pregnant and had my son and realized still this is not still what I wanted to do. I mean it was a salary position that was definitely taken advantage as far as the year working there for couple of hours, and me and my husband quickly realized after my son was here that that was not going to work. We needed something that was more friendly 61:00for that.

RS: Mhmm hmm.

AL: So, I always kept an eye out for things that were opening here [UWO] because I had friends that worked here, obviously, I loved going to school here. So, I always kept things open, and I saw the office manager position for facilities management, and so I applied and I happened to get the position and its.. I love it, it's fun, it's been become challenging, I've taken on more responsibilities since I've been there and helped, I think, helped kind of figure out where this, we're doing a lot of inventory management stuff over there right now, and I've had to figure that out for them. So it's nice to be challenged but be done, and I get to get up with my son in the morning, I get to pick him up every night, and that's amazing.

RS: Well that's good, yeah. So, going off of that, I just have like two more questions.

AL: Sure.

RS: This one is so was, do you think going to college then, kind of worth it 62:00with not being not going after what you actually were majoring in?

AL: Yeah, a lot of people say that, and I remember even my sister saying "You're not using your degree." Like, my sister has a college degree saying to me like "You're not using your degree." When I was working at U.S. Cellular, and funny enough she actually now works at U.S. Cellular and she has a social work degree and, you know. But I had people say stuff like that to me, and the thing that I say though is I would have needed a Bachelor's degree anyways to get my MBA, so that's not always there. And I would not at all be where I am right now if I didn't go here and have all the experiences that I did and, again, I would not give up those experiences for anything like - I don't - where would I be if I didn't come to Oshkosh? Where would I be without the friends that I have now that I - that are my everything like I don't - without my husband, you know, what I mean? Everything fell into place the way it was supposed to work out. It 63:00definitely wasn't my plan by any means.

RS: Nothing goes to plan.

AL: Right, and you know that's ok, and everything that I think just happened the way it was supposed to, and I might not have understood that along the way, but now I get that I ended up where I was supposed to be, and that's fine. I mean, I'm happy with where I'm at now, and it's - I don't know, I don't regret it by any means. Again, those were the best years of my life were on campus, you know, in college. And I tell people that all the time, like I had a great high school experience that - I really did, obviously I was involved in a lot, I did a lot, it was a lot of fun. But at the same time, this is what shaped me to be the person that I was going to be, and if I didn't have those people in my life. I just don't - I couldn't imagine not having that - like don't look at as - oh my 64:00gosh I didn't do something. You know what I, do what I planned because it doesn't matter, I didn't - I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for that.

RS: No, that's amazing, and I love how everything came to a loop, like you still ending up working here like everything so.

AL: Yeah.

RS: That's really cool, so just to end with it, my last question would be what advice would you give to the current students that go here? If you can?

AL: Yeah, I would definitely say, you know, to not, I don't know how I want to say this, but to not get too down on yourself if things don't go the way that you want them to because-- I mean, you have to make your own path, and it's not necessarily going to be what you think it should be and maybe it's not what UWO thought? You know, they were going prep you for either, you know what I mean? But you'll get to where you're supposed to be eventually, and again these are going to be the best days of your life, so just enjoy every single minute of it 65:00because it's gone. It goes by so quickly, and yeah enjoy every minute and just appreciate the time and don't be upset if your plan isn't you know the plan that, the path that you end up on I guess so.

RS: Alright, well thank you again so much for doing this, I really appreciate it.

AL: Yeah no problem.


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