Interview with Ellen Eisch, 12/01/2016

UW Oshkosh Campus Stories
Kayleigh Palmisano, Interviewer | uwocs_Ellen_Eisch_12012016.mp3
Campus Stories Oral History Project (UWO Audio Series 51) |


KP: My name is Kayleigh Palmisano, and I am here speaking with Ellen Eisch at nine AM on November 31st [should have been corrected to December 1st] 2016. We will now begin the interview by gaining some background knowledge on Ellen and her life growing up prior to attending the University. Ellen attended UW-Oshkosh during the years of 1982-1984.

EE: Correct.

KP: Alright. So we are going to begin. Where did you grow up?

EE: I grew up in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin.

KP: Oh, kind of close to me. I am from Muskego.

EE: Oh, really. Okay.

KP: Tell me about the community you grew up in, what types of work did people in your neighborhood do?

EE: Um, middle class. We had a lot of kids in our neighborhood. Grew up, moved there when I was seven, and then lived there until, you know, after college. Lot of kids my age, so we spent a lot of time in the neighborhood playing with the kids in the neighborhood. I think, probably some factory workers lived in our 1:00neighborhood, not a lot of real professional jobs. I don't remember a lot of our friend's neighbors. There was one that was a firefighter, but I don't remember any doctors, or lawyers. My mother was an R.N. but I don't remember any other medical type people in our neighborhood.

KP: Did the people you grow up around typically go to college?

EE: Yes. Even though we were middle class, it was pretty much you are going to go to college.

KP: So you grew up with the intentions of going to college?

EE: Yes, mhm.

KP: You did mention that your mother was an RN, but what did your father do? Or your grandparents? What were your other family members like?

EE: My parents were divorced when I was young, my father was a physical 2:00therapist, but was not around a lot. It was basically just my mother raising us. We really did not have any other family members around. I had a grandmother that was still alive, down in Illinois. I would see her maybe once a year. A grandfather who lived up north in Wisconsin who I would see a lot during the summertime. My mother was born and raised on that farm. So we would go up there and spend maybe a couple weeks at a time. So I think that I knew my grandfather a little bit more, but that was about it, no real aunts and uncles around.

KP: Did they go to college? Or did the emphasize college on yourself?

EE: my mother yes. Again, it was just assumed that we would go to college. I had 3:00a sister that was six years older, and she went into nursing. But I don't think my mother ever really talked about what we would go into.

KP: So that was kind of up to yourself?

EE: Right. And then my, cousin who was a year older, cause at that point I was spending a lot of time there during the summer. My uncle was a bachelor at that time and my cousin and I would spend the summer up there, and he was going to from Illinois, go to the UW extension in Wausau and get an Associate's.

KP: So, was that like a technical college?

EE: No, it's part of the UW system. It's not a tech. It's part of the UW system. 4:00It's called UWMC.

KP: Is it a four year or a two year?

EE: You would, some people went there for an associate's degree, but he knew that he was going to go on and do something more with it. So when he started talking about that, and he was going to spend those first two years living on the farm and commuting, then I just naturally thought I am going to do the same thing. But then, there was a lot of talk about college, not from my grandparents at all. Just basically from my mother, and girlfriends in high school. Where are you going off to college and stuff like that?

KP: That sounds like us, ugh we are all going to be so far. So, going on. Where was your family from?

EE: What do you mean?

KP: Parents, did they grow up also in the same city?

EE: My mother grew up in Edgar, where this farm was. Just west of Wausau. My 5:00father grew up down in Illinois, a small town in Illinois.

KP: Oh okay, so he moved there?

EE: My mother when she graduated from nursing school. She went to work in Milwaukee. And my father was a physical therapist at the hospital. So they met down. Wait no, I take that back. They met in St. Luke's in Racine.

KP: Oh okay, St. Luke's was where my dad worked.

EE: They both had the chance to--They knew that Racine was getting really pretty bad. Now this is my sister telling me. Now this is my sister telling me, I was too young to know that. There was some drugs coming into the area down in Racine.

KP: So becoming unsafe?

EE: Yep. So my parents moved us out of there, like I said, when I was six they 6:00moved us out of there, and shortly after that they got divorced.

KP: Alright. Did they move around much? I guess no, because you said you pretty much moved around in the area.

EE: Yep.

KP: What were the values that your family tried to impart?

EE: We had to work hard, we had to be honest, be courteous to everybody. I remember everybody basically at my school, were basically middle class white kids. My mother worked in a nursing home down on the East side of Milwaukee. And worked with a lot of African Americans, and I remember the first time I saw an 7:00African American. I was like, oh mom. And we were taught, hey we are all equal, and you treat everybody whether they are black or white.

KP: That is awesome. What values, lessons, did you grow up learning in your community? Did your neighbors or anything, influence you?

EE: I don't really think so. I mean, growing up, it seemed like all of our parents were instilling the same things in all of us. We were all very similar. We would go home, when you came home you knew you had to do your homework before you could go out and play or before you could do anything on weekends, you had 8:00to have your homework done. So I don't think there was any one family that had an influence. I think that a lot of my influence and my hard physical work came when I went up to the farm in the summer, because my uncle was a bachelor. He was a one man farmer, so we were expected.

KP: So he did it all on his own?

EE: But, I mean we were expected. I was driving the truck around when I was twelve, because I had to go pick up hay bales. I was driving tractor when I was twelve. So I think that my Uncle instilled very hard, don't sit around. Constantly keep working.

KP: that could be an influence, too. Because if the people around you were also doing their homework before you could go out and play, then it was like, okay, 9:00we are going to go out and do our homework before we could go play.

EE: Right, Right.

KP: Now, do you have any children of your own?

EE: No children, No pets. Easy life.

KP: Hey, that is good for traveling. Now we are going to move onto family. Describe the home that you grew up in.

EE: It was a two story and we had moved there again when we were six and were so excited when we moved there because we had an upstairs. And we had what I called a winding staircase. But it was not. But in my mind it was, because, you went up 10:00and there was a landing, and then you turned and it went up another. So it was like a winding staircase. I mean you would walk up most of the way and then there was a landing, and then you would turn and go up the last four steps but I thought it was a winding staircase. We only had- there was only my mother and us four kids, and us girls had bedrooms upstairs but we only had a half bath up there. My brother and my mother were downstairs, and the full bath was down there.

KP: So you would have to go down there to shower every morning?

EE: Mhm.

KP: What were your family routines? What was it like growing up in your house?

EE: You know, we were not a family that traveled. We really- I don't think we really had the money to travel. I know that my father- shortly after my parents became divorced, became disabled. He had some accidents at work in the PT department, I believe it was. So he was on disability and I remember that us 11:00kids would get social security, but we never knew how much we got. But I remember my mother always- all of that money from the government went into a savings account to pay for our college. So- there really was not money to travel. So we did not travel, our vacation- would like I said- be a couple weeks in the summer go up to the farm, and then when I started going up there when I was ten, and my mother would take me up there for the summer and I would stay up there the entire summer, so then she would come up, you know, maybe once or twice and visit. Otherwise, I was-

KP: Were you homesick?

EE: You know, once in a while I would get homesick. And you know, probably when 12:00I got to be about fourteen or fifteen, I think that I was thinking awe, I am missing a lot. But then when I was sixteen and I was still doing it, most of my friends had summer jobs. So, it's not like we could run around. I had some cousins up at the farm, so I had friends to do stuff with.

KP: So it kind of felt like a home away from home?

EE: Right, right. Our routine, we had a pretty simple routine. You went to school, and you came home. Whoever's turn it was to do the dishes, and Saturday's we had to clean. Sunday's we would go to church. That was our routine.

KP: So your family did impair like faith and religion, and stuff? Or was it just kind of like?

EE: My mother was pretty religious. This was my idea of CCD. I could not wait 13:00until we got to be in high school, because rather than going to CCD, we could volunteer to take care of the young children in the rectory and I mean rather than going to church, we could do that. So my mom was like-

KP: So was that during church?

EE: Oh yeah, and I was like all for that. And my mom was like, now you are going to have to go to the next service to hear church. I was like no, no, no. In the rectory, they have got the whole church we can hear everything that was going on. So she like bought into that one, so I was like bonus, we don't have to go to church.

KP: did they actually have it playing in there?

EE: Yeah, they did. So, yeah. My mother was religious, but you know. I was not 14:00that religious. Occasionally- usually when I was with my sister, the more religious one. I am like, okay, Christmas, let's go to church together.

KP: yeah see that is how my family is, we will go to the holidays. I mean I went through CCD and I was confirmed when I was in high school. I mean they definitely want us to be religious. I mean I try. It is really hard to go while I am in school. I mean none of my friends are like, let's go to church. So I mean when I am home I will try to go.

EE: I mean, when I was here- I never went to church when I was here. I mean on Sunday mornings, oh my god. Such a hangover from the night before there was no way that I was dragging myself to church.

KP: Which was what we should be doing.

EE: Oh, I know. Praying for our sorry souls all weekend long.

KP: Okay, now we are going to move onto education. Now tell me about the schools 15:00that you attended. Now tell me about the schools that you attended while growing up. For example things such as, teachers, cities you might have went to, or subjects that you enjoyed.

EE: Starting when I was young?

KP: yes, elementary, middle, high-

EE: Elementary down in Wauwatosa, Lincoln, Stinkin, what you been drinkin, beer, wine, or turpentine.

KP: What was that?

EE: That was our little song about school. We went to Lincoln elementary. Walked to school, until about fourth grade I got a bicycle. So I could ride my bike to school.

KP: How far did you guys live?

EE: About a mile and a half, so it was not bad. You know, I don't remember many of my teachers. I took German in sixth grade, and I really like [Fraunschminz]. 16:00She was my German teacher. So I don't really remember much on from there. Been an awful playground.

KP: Did you continue German or did you only take it in-?

EE: I took it in seventh or eighth grade. Longfellow junior high, so that was 17:00back when we went seventh, eighth, or ninth. It is in Wauwatosa

KP: Oh okay, I have definitely heard of that before.

EE: Again, seventh, eighth, and ninth, as opposed to now I think it's sixth, seventh, and eighth and it is called transition school or some crap like that.

KP: Cause now, my middle school is fifth through eighth. But I do think they have junior highs, or that is what they called them. Like seventh and eighth.

EE: Well ours was seventh, eighth, and ninth. And it was called junior high. God I had this crotchety old English teacher. Oh my god,

KP: Isn't that funny, that we remember the ones that-

EE: Oh my gosh. He was diabetic, we all thought he was going to die. He would be like chomping on chocolate bars, I would be like oh my god, my brother was a diabetic. And I am looking at him going, I don't think a diabetic should be eating solid chocolate bars. I don't really remember much about that. I enjoyed math. Hated science, hated that.

KP: Not science, math. I am just horrible at math. I will never understand it. Here I am in nursing, I was just about to say that I hate science, but that is all that I do.

EE: But, a great school to go to for nursing.

KP: Yeah, I know it is. It's a great school.

EE: High school, yeah. We partied a lot in high school.


KP: Was that when the drinking age was 18?

EE: Yes, it was very different, and the group of girls that I hung around with, they hung around with some older guys, so you know. It was- what party are we going to tonight? On the weekends.

KP: So not during the week?

EE: No, non-ugh.

KP: So were you guys still enforcing getting your stuff done before?

EE: Yeah, oh yeah.

So you guys were still doing pretty good in school?

EE: I mean, we weren't- [Anne Pereth] was probably the smartest one in our group. All the rest of us, were pretty much just the middle of the road.

KP: So, It wasn't like any of you guys were choosing partying over-

EE: No, no. Most of us were involved in some service organizations. Red arrow, 19:00until we got kicked out of that for drinking. Key club, so we liked, all of us girls liked to do the same thing. I was one of the only ones, Diane and I were in gymnastics. The others weren't really in sports. So our Friday nights, were going to a football game, or going to a basketball game.

KP: That was what I loved most about school. The football games.

EE: And then the dance afterwards. We always had a dance afterwards.

KP: What were your goals or aspirations as a young person?

EE: Ugh, I didn't have any. You know it was like, okay. [Goodtenug] Good enough. Okay, that was good enough. I will get through college, and I will figure something out.

KP: So you didn't really have an idea? It was just kind of going with the flow?

EE: I knew I wasn't going to go into nursing like my sister. I didn't have 20:00enough compassion. Neither does she. I don't know how the "h" she made it.

KP: And is she still working as a nurse?

EE: No, she became a nurse anesthetist.

KP: Oh, so she's making good money.

EE: But, now she is retired from the VA

KP: I thought about doing a Nurse Anesthetist. The demand is so high though. Because they are starting to get on the same level as doctors.

EE: Well, as a matter of fact. My sister was the president of the Minnesota nurse anesthetist and had a big lawsuit against the docs. All of the anesthesiologist did not want them in the OR's, or anywhere, and they fought the doctor's and won. So doctors are pretty, protective of gas passers. They don't want gas passers around. But, I think that there are still some hospitals that 21:00really believe in them. Isn't Oshkosh- aren't they considering- next year, aren't they going to start a nurse anesthetist program?

KP: I don't know, I would have to look into that. I am sure they are, because I think a lot of school's are getting so much more common. People are looking into Nurse anesthetist programs.

EE: I still love that Oshkosh is getting more- is doing some nurse practitioner and PA programs. Which I think is just the best thing.

KP: So many people do come here for the nursing program. Because it is one of the best in the state. So why not incorporate more medical fields, and attract more people. Because they have such a high name right now.

EE: What year are you in the program?

KP: I am a sophomore. So I am doing still gen eds. So then I will apply in the fall. So it is a two and a half year program. So I will probably do it in about 22:00four and a half or five. So not bad, but I should have done a little bit more advanced courses in high school, to cancel out some credits, but in high school, I was just like I will do just the basics. I am listening to all of my friends, that had some science courses crossed off, English courses crossed off, that took up so many credits in my semesters. But oh whatever, I am happy with where I am at. What interested you about college? Was it just kind of your parents talking about it? Or did you have any friends in college?

EE: My cousin, he was at UWMC. Like I said, I just kind of knew I was going to go to college. But let me tell you. Little sisters weekend, when my sister was at UW-Oshkosh, get me there as fast as I can. I had so much fun.


KP: Were you and your sister really close?

EE: You know, we weren't really that close, she was a nerd in high school. I mean, it was like, study, study, study, and I was like party, party party. And even when she came up here, oh god, she was going to be such a stick in the mud. And I came up one little sisters weekend, and she was drunk. And I was like, oh my gosh, my sister drinks. She can be a lot of fun. So she did loosen up,

KP: You seemed like the toned down sister, that was like come on, go out.

EE: UW-Oshkosh loosened her up. Prepared her for life.

KP: I mean that is what it is known for. Did you consider going anywhere else? Or was it just kind of like, you visited your sister, and just was like, okay 24:00this is where I wanted to go.

EE: The plan was to stay on the farm for two years, and go to UW for two years. And then transfer somewhere, and I didn't really know where I was going to transfer to. But then, after a year. I thought you know what, I want to live in a residence hall. I want to be a part of campus rather than driving in, I mean I had a twenty five- thirty minute drive. Sometimes in the winter it would be a forty minute drive. I carpooled with some girls halfway, but still. If there were any parties, we would have to drive back. So I knew I wanted to be on campus, Gene went to Oshkosh. I don't even remember applying, and I told my uncle I was leaving at semester. And my uncle was like, what you told me you 25:00were staying for two years. And I said, you know what, I'm done. So, I transferred here, and started spring semester.

KP: So you went there for two years?

EE: A year and a half, and then I finished here.

KP: What did you intend to study?

EE: An accountant, I was going to be an accountant, but I thought God this is hard. So then I thought, I was going to be a business major. Well, I love like marketing, I can't remember some of the other classes I took in business. And then I thought, eh. I don't know what I should do. A friend of mine from high school was here, so I started talking to Linda. And she said, I am in a brand 26:00new major it's called human services. Because, I myself wanted to be involved in some sort of service organization. And, she said, why don't you go and talk to- I think I went and talked to a counselor about it, and asked for some more information. I could do human services, and I already had a business minor. So, my initial thought was I would be involved in a girl scouts, and do the business aspects of it, rather than the programming aspects of it- so get more involved in business of a non-profit organization or something like that. So that is when 27:00I had finished with my minor, and then my last year and a half, I went into human services and part of human services was nine-credit internship.

KP: Did that take majority of your time?

EE: What I did, was spoke with a guy that was in the program, and he was interning at the county and I wanted to get into personnel and I thought well maybe- I talked to some of the professors. So maybe I could get you an internship. I did not have a car. So they thought well maybe we can do something in Oshkosh. So that summer before my last semester, the summer of '84. I 28:00interviewed with [Norb Savattas] who was the personnel director for the city of Oshkosh. He took me on, as an intern. So that was my nine credit internship,

KP: So that was over the summer?

EE: No, that was my final semester. So I had to be a full time student. So I took a Monday night English comp or something. That was my final semester, was working at the- interning.

KP: That's really nice, to gain all of that experience.

EE: Oh it was, it was really nice. The city was happening to be in the midst of all of their labor contracts. So I was sitting in on all of labor contract negotiations plus doing some hiring for the city, so it was kind of everything that I wanted to do. I was not quite into the labor negotiations thing, but I 29:00was doing backup statistics, and researching different things. When I graduated, Norb said listen, I can't pay you, there is no money for a paid intern, but if you could get a job, and still put in some time. I can introduce you around, and I know someone will get you a job.

KP: So it's like you almost found your little niche?

EE: I did, I ended up going into labor negotiations, and I got hired in May. I had graduated in December, so by May I had a full time job.

KP: Are you still working there?

EE: No, I worked for a law firm representing labor management negotiations for 30:00two years, then two gentlemen who were independent negotiations, hired me away, and I worked for them for about a year and a half. And at that point, I was engaged and when I got married I did not work anymore.

KP: Now we are going to move onto UW-Oshkosh, and your time here. The fun stuff.

EE: Woo-Hoo!

KP: I can't wait. So you did mention, but why did you decide to go to UW-Oshkosh. What was most important to you in making that decision?

EE: Because my sister had been here, and I knew the campus. I liked that- too me it was a small campus.

KP: I have an older cousin, she's a senior now. So, my family would come up here for the homecoming game, so it was just familiar to me. I had applied to Whitewater, but I always knew I wanted to go to nursing. It was just familiar, 31:00Madison was too big. Their acceptance rates are not as high as Oshkosh, where there aren't as many that apply, I would rather go here where I had a better chance at getting in.

EE: I just read, 92% of UW-Oshkosh nursing students that take the boards, pass, the first time.

KP: And that's what makes it so high end, some of the kids that are in this program, have jobs before they are even graduated. What did you know before you attended? Did you have any prior knowledge before you applied?

EE: Here at Oshkosh?

KP: Well I guess you kind of said you did, because of your sister. What were your first impressions of Oshkosh? What do you remember about your first weeks 32:00at school?

EE: My roommate. I move in at semester time.

KP: Did you pick a roommate, or was this random?

EE: Random. Stufart.

KP: Did they have where you could pick your roommates?

EE: No, you could pick your roommates.

EE: So, I move into Stufart. I was this prim, and proper. Monogrammed, everything. My mother and my sister moved me in.

KP: Now, what age were you at this time?

EE: I did not turn 18- I was the youngest one in my graduating class. I did not 33:00turn 18 until November of my first college year. I was 18, 19- so at that point I was only 19. I moved at semester. Some of the girls- my sister had been a CA in Stufart- Stewart. So I knew it, I knew there this side and there was that side, and we were attached by a lounge. I knew Stewart, I move in, some of the girls came in, the CA came in, Danphew, Denise--That is another story. She had 34:00lived on my sister's floor. She came over right away, because she knew my sister. My roommate was not there, some of the girls came in and were like, so Tracy is your roommate, Tracy--I am like alright. Can't wait to meet Tracy. So finally somebody comes in, and they are like, Tracy isn't here yet? You know, everybody is talking about Tracy. What's the big deal with this girl?

KP: And you are like, oh no, what did I get myself into?

EE: She is an administrative move, from Scott hall. Oh my god, WHY? Because she opened up the window, she had her windows open, and was throwing tampons out the window, and it hit the chancellor, or the vice chancellor. They tracked her down. And kicked her out of Scott hall, and that's why she is in this all girls- 35:00My god. What is this girl going to be like? She finally shows up. I am sound asleep. It was one o'clock in the morning, and she comes stumbling in. Who the hell are you? I am your roommate. What, they didn't tell me I had a roommate. Oooooo.

Was she really scary?

EE: She was scary, but we ended up getting along.

KP: I was not sure where that story was going to go.

EE: She was such a partier. The guys- she was very pretty. I don't even remember what she was studying. The guys that lived there- in the house across from Stewart- I can't remember the street that is. Is it Lincoln? It might be Lincoln. That was when we each had a phone in our room. Well the phone would 36:00ring. Is Tracy there? Ah no, no. Oh okay. There would be like- the phone calls at midnight. Tracy. Just a minute, Tracy it is for you. She was like, yeah okay, okay, I will be right over there. She wore these cowboy boots, she would put those cowboy boots, and she would plop plop plop- she was probably drunk. Plop, plop down the steps, and fifteen minutes later, she would come back up. What the hell Tracy? They aren't home. Alright--she would get into bed. The phone would ring. Tracy, where are you? We're waiting for you. All drunk, and "gin'd" up, she would go down and do it again. All they were doing was messing with her, and 37:00they would not let her in.

KP: She would fall for it all the time?

EE: All the time, she was just stupid. We had some great-fun girl times. None of us were really that serious about school. I think I was smart enough, I remember my sister Gene saying, Ah, I don't know if I am going to be smart enough to go to college. She said just go to class, all the time. Professors want to see you at class. Most of what they talk about, is going to be exam. Take good notes, and I had a really good memory. I could memorize- I could see them. Roman numeral one, letter A, number one, two, three. B. One, two. I could memorize my notes.


KP: As long as you were there, and taking good notes you were good.


KP: I honestly think that is the trick though, as long as you go, zone out for an hour and pay attention. Then you can go and do whatever.

EE: I know, and I told my nephews that, just go to class. Don't skip class. Bugs the hell out of professors.

KP: Then they will know- especially. I love to sit right in the front. Okay, I am sitting right in the front. They will totally notice if I am not there. Like they incorporated you guys into the conversation, so sometimes he's done that. And then it's like, okay crap. I wasn't there today.

EE: What was the question? Some of my memories?

KP: What were your first impressions?


EE: So yeah, that was my first impression. Being able to- of course. When I was up at my uncles, I had to- I had to clean the house, I had to do laundry, I had to make meals. I had to go to the laundromat, we did not have a washer and dryer. Plus I had to do chores, I was in the barn. All the sudden I got here. I get to go to the crammers, the commons, and not have to do that. Going to the commons, grazing for hours. Oh my god, and scoping out guys at the commons.


KP: Blackhawk?

EE: No, we were at Elmwood commons. Which was right by Stewart. It was like Stewart. I don't even know if the building was still there. Right across from the library.

KP: Reeve union?

EE: Okay, right where reeve union is, there is the library. Right across from reeve, do you know where Hoe hall is? Horizon village? I call it hoe hall. There was a building there right on the corner. It took us right out the back door of Stewart.

KP: Was it a little coffee shop?

EE: No it was a commons like Blackdog. Like Blackhawk. See we have nicknames for everything, Blackhawk was just for the towers. Just for the Scott Hall kids. 41:00Most of us, went to Elmwood. It was nice and close.

KP: Did you just hang out there? Do homework there?

EE: No way, just dinner hour. There was this guy. He was so cute. We always saw him at dinner, his name was Dinner. Come on, let's go and have dinner tonight. A wild roommate, and not having to do dishes. Sitting around, I don't remember- we did not have TV's in our room back then, there was a TV in the lounge. If we wanted to watch TV, we would go down to the lounge and watch TV. More hanging out with people, I don't remember much of classes, and know that I went to them 42:00all the time. I was- our door was always open.

KP: See, now that sounds so fun. I was on the seventh floor of South Scott, nobody had their doors open, nobody was social. And I lived on an all-girls floor. My roommate ended up moving out, I hung out with girls that lived on top floor of Evans. I hung out with all of those girls, and my roommate would come along with me, but then she found her own friend group. So we were in our own kind of worlds. One of her friend's roommates moved out, and she was like, oh do you care if I move in? There was no problems between us, so then I actually had 43:00my own room. It got kind of lonely, especially when my floor was not social.

EE: That's too bad, all the doors were always open.

KP: Yeah, that sounds like so much fun. I had a couple friends that lived in Fletcher which was just crazy none of the guys or girls ever had their doors closed, they were just always all over the place.

EE: Fletcher was only upperclassmen. And I never moved over there-

KP: See, now that one is known as the crazy one, dirty fletcher.

EE: When I was on campus, it was Scott hall. One of the goofy young girls, in fletcher with us, she graduated early from high school, she was more concerned about ironing her Ralph Lauren oxfords, that's all she did was iron, and sit 44:00around, I remember her telling this story--She's like, I got lost today, Where were you? I can't remember her name. Shew was like, I was by Scott hall, I was like what the H are you talking about, I was by Scott hall. We don't have a Scott hall. We have a Scott Hall, okay, you have to show me this, tell me where Scott Hall. It was south Scott, but the S fell off. So she called it Scott Hall. Yeah, that was wild, those kids in Scott hall, those were the wild ones.

KP: A lot of people, say- before I came here. My aunts had all gone here, were like, you have to live in South Scott or the Scott hall, I don't think it's that crazy anymore. Here I am, I am like what the H, what is this? Granted, I did 45:00meet fun people, they were all the way across campus. In the winter time, who wants to walk over there at nine at night?

EE: Back then, we never worried, about campus security or anything. We wandered wherever we wanted, whenever we wanted.

KP: Now we have those safe walks, I mean I am walking five minutes. As bad as that is, I don't even consider that.

EE: You know, I will tell you, another impression of mine, is Campus was my world. We didn't leave campus.

KP: You did not go home to visit?

EE: No, not a lot. No. I did not have a car. Most of us- we did not have cars. Not a lot of kids had cars. Maybe the upperclassman, us- None of us really had 46:00cars. If we would go out, we were going to Kelly's. We weren't walking- way down to the corners.

KP: Did you guys ever go downtown? A big thing now, is going downtown and Main Street, and going to the bars there. So Kelly's is a big one for pregaming, or French's, and then they will go downtown.

EE: No, no. We never did that. We never ventured far. Campus was our world.

KP: That actually sounds- so many people my age go home. They drive to Appleton. Not really- everyone stays here. Did you really mention anything about your classes?


EE: Eh, I don't really remember much of that.

KP: How did you do your first semester? And later on?

EE: I did fine. I think I was probably an above average student. I wasn't- I was getting some A's, I don't- I think basically some A's and B's.

KP: So there was no shock going from high school to college?

EE: No, I did not feel any shock. I remember at UWMC, when I registered, they were like- Oh, and this is your locker number and this is your locker partner. I started laughing and I go, excuse me? We are in college? Yeah, but we have lockers. And I'm like, really? And [Pete Voegel], he thought he was God's gift to women. It's like, really? You know, he is like. Okay, I will meet you at the 48:00locker. I was like, what are we in high school? I mean yeah, I think I was probably an A, B student.

KP: That is pretty good, you got to party all the time, and be an A/B student. Nicely done!

EE: Good memory.

KP: I need one of those.

EE: Only thing that got me through.

KP: Did you remember some of your general education courses? Did you take sciences, english?

EE: I basically did all of that up at UWMC. I took biology up there, took my English, my math courses up there. I did take some math when I came here. But I spent more of my time here, in business courses. Of course in my human services courses.

KP: So you spent more time here, more in depth on what your career was going to be. Did you remember any of your classes well?


EE: I loved my marketing class. I had an English class with [Dr. Flarity] he was the creepiest, creeper guy. Doctor [Flarity], he was writing a book, and he pulled me aside one time, and I thought. Oh god, this creep is like flirting with me. That is to be expected, I wasn't this big- I was just a party girl. Guys weren't dating me. I was just partying. He started flirting with me. He was like- would you like to--he had written some poems, would you mind reading some of my poems? I took it back, and I read it. At that point. I was a CA, I had all 50:00of my girls sitting around me, I was reading them these poems. They were these erotic poems, we were laughing so hard. Oh my god, this creep, this creepy professor. Bbbblaaahhh, Ewh. Ewh. Ewh. He was this skinny, scrawny, Ewh. I don't even know if he is still around. I think it was [Doug Flarity] or something like that. Marketing. I don't remember a ton of those courses. I remember we had grant writing, and I hated that. Oh my god, that's when I was like- I hope I never have to write a grant to get money for something. I will find another way to get the money for something.

KP: So you said you were an A/B student, your work ethic in school was very 51:00high, you had valued that. Where did you spend most of your time on campus? Did you go home much?

EE: No.

KP: So where did you spend most of your time?

EE: In somebody's room partying. Didn't go to the library- like at all.

KP: So you just did homework in your room?

EE: Yep, pretty much my room. But never with- not with the door closed.

KP: So, it was open, and friends could come in?

EE: Yeah, you know--I was never one that would cram, It's not like I would stay up until two or three AM. It's eleven o'clock, if I don't already know it, then I won't know it. Okay, it's good enough. Let's go on. Spent a lot of time in the 52:00commons, staring at guys. Yeah, we did that a lot. I was involved with USRH.

KP: Did you want to tell me about your experience with that position?

EE: I had gotten on campus in January, and I knew I wanted to get involved with some sort of campus organization. I started going to our home meetings. I started going to USRH meetings. I got involved--pretty involved with them. Met [Wendy Pundt] and she was like, hey I want to run for president of USRH, do you want to be my VP? I'm like--alright. Before the semester ended, I think that is 53:00when they had the election. She and I- she must have done most of the campaigning, I don't remember doing much campaigning. I really enjoyed the organization, I thought it was a great organization. We ended up winning the election, so then that fall I was spending a lot of time at our USRH office, which was over in Scott hall. Wendy and I- we had a treasurer and a secretary. There were four board members, we had keys to that office, we could go there whenever we wanted. I spent a lot of time there, at that point I had wanted to 54:00start- floors and halls- to put on parties, needed money. We were trying to figure out fundraisers for them. I put together a campus wide aluminum can recycling program. Where you would recycle aluminum cans, and whether it went to your floor fund, or your hall fund- we would provide the bags and then every other Friday we would get a pickup truck and go around and pick up all of the aluminum cans and take them to the recycling center and keep track of how much people were recycling. Third floor, Scott hall, wanted their own fund. This is how much you get, third floor Scott hall for all of your aluminum cans. We would give them a check once a month. It went into their floor funds, from there they 55:00could do with it what they wanted.

KP: That is a great idea.

EE: I was pretty involved doing that, so I spent a lot of time, that one year, in the USRH office.

KP: It did say that you were a CA in 1984, did you want to tell me a little bit about that experience?

EE: Sure, I didn't go through the CA program. I didn't want to go through all of that hassle, you had to go through a lot of interviews and a lot of different things. I just did not want to be bothered with all of that. Finished school in May, they had picked most of the CA's at that point and I got a call, I 56:00immediately went up to the farm, I got a call from [Jill Endry's], we were short some CA's, some kids have dropped out, and I know the leadership abilities, I think you would make a good CA. Would you like the job? That is how I got a CA job. I was like okay, that is good. Bonus, I did not have to go through all of that stuff. Loved being a CA, I was a CA in Downer, Donner. First and second floor guys, never understood that. Yeah us girls, third and fourth, had to haul all of our crap up third and fourth. I was third floor, had a great group of girls. Fun, we had a good, Donner was a good hall. We had--the guys on first 57:00floor had suites, on first and second. All it was, was two rooms were made into one. They didn't have bathrooms or anything like that. They just had opened up two rooms, so that you could have two rooms. You could walk through the two rooms and wouldn't have to open up the outside door. You could come in both of those doors, but once the doors were closed, there was an opening to go from this room to that room. We just thought that was the coolest. On second floor, [Tommy Stamper] and [Throb, Rob] they were in a suite, and they turned one of 58:00the rooms- the four guys all bunked in one room and the other one was called "Pete's Happening Tap." and it was a bar, so we would go to Pete's happening tap and you could keep a tab. One of them had-

KP: And this is the dorm rooms?

EE: Oh yeah, but of course we weren't allowed to have barrels. We couldn't have barrels of beer. We could have them downstairs in the basement, but not in our rooms. As CA's we were trained, okay if you go into a room and you notice there is a lot of plastic cups, you know that there is a keg somewhere and they are not allowed, you have to find out where the keg is, and you have got to bust the party up and send everybody on their way. We could have them down in the 59:00basement but not upstairs. The guys never had beer at Pete's happening tap, but there was always mixed drinks. Three drinks for two bucks or something like that, and you could run a tab. One of their roommates was a karate guy, he was like the bill collector. When they needed money to go buy more booze, they would start pounding on doors, Pay up your tab. This is how much you owe on your tab. You gotta pay your tab up. And then they would buy more alcohol. One of them had worked at- he had a route. He was steeling mixer, so he would walk in with cases of Seltzer or club soda or tonic or something like that. [Jim Anderson] was our 60:00hall director, he was kind of a stick in the mud. I remember the four of us, we had limited visitation in our hall. That means that members of the opposite sex could only be in rooms until two in the morning.

KP: I read in a newspaper article in the advanced Titan- we had to do research prior to this, and it did say that they were trying to pass something saying that you could go until opposite sexes rooms at all times, because it used to be restricted.

EE: It used to be really restricted, much before my time. But in Donner hall we were a limited visitation, at two A.M. all members of the opposite sex had to be out of the rooms. I was dating a guy at that point and I remember us sitting down with Jim Anderson. Let's clarify this limited visitation, because I 61:00remember telling Jim Anderson straight out, I am dating this guy, and I know I am a CA, at two o'clock I am not going to kick him out of my bed. All of the other CA's agreed. So we said- a lot of these parents put their daughters in this because they didn't want them in the virgin vault. Dogster hall, oh those poor ugly girls that lived in Dogster. This was like, the parents could feel like--Okay, at two A.M, those boys would be kicked out.

KP: Did they not think that anything could happen before two A.M.?

EE: Yeah, I know.

KP: What is the difference?

EE: I don't know. We as a group all agreed that we would only enforce it if 62:00there were some problems. If we had a girlfriend that was there and was causing problems, we would say, hey listen. We have a two A.M curfew, you're out. And same with, if there was a guy visiting one of my girls. Or [Lynn Zicker's] girls upstairs, we could say, hey, you are out of here at two A.M.

KP: So how did you know if they were in there? Could they sneak them in there and just have their doors shut?

EE: Oh sure, oh sure. We didn't care. I sat down, I sat all my girls down. Our first floor meeting, I sat them down and told them exactly what my expectations were of them. I told them that my door would basically be open all of the time and I told them about my expectations. I wasn't going to be knocking on doors at 63:00two A.M. telling their boyfriends that they had to leave. I am only going to do that if your boyfriend is causing problems. Our other understanding was that, no boys were allowed in the girl's bathrooms. If they were visiting on fourth, they had to go down to second. Any of my girls knew that the boys had to use the bathroom on the second.

KP: Did they have locks on any of the bathrooms yet? I know now you have to check out keys at the front desk at Scott hall.

EE: No, they are wide open. We didn't even have- we must have had keys to get in, because it was our- when we were on duty, each one of us had one night of duty a week. I always had Sunday nights--Every fifth weekend we were on duty. I 64:00remember when we were at- midnight, the doors got locked. Otherwise the doors were wide open.

KP: Yeah, see that is so much different than now. We have security stations that you have to sign into when you come home after nine PM or something, nine or ten pm.

EE: Not back then.

KP: So, did you participate in any extracurricular events like sports? Intramurals?

EE: Mhhm.

KP: Just kind of being in USRH.

EE: USRH. Probably, because I was pretty involved in student government. When I was living- when I was in USRH I was living in Failure--Taylor hall. I would 65:00always go to all of the floor meetings, the hall meetings. Homecoming Taylor Hall, we would have floats and would participate in all of the homecoming events. As a hall we would participate. I wasn't in--No. Mhhm.

KP: That sounds like it took up most of your time so it's not like you were just choosing not to. What were some of the memories you have of your college friends? I am assuming good.

EE: Oh my god. Yeah. Of course, Tracy. Never forget that chick. Up and down those steps, poor thing. I think I had some great guy friends, Brian and Mikey. 66:00They lived on second floor of Donner when I was a CA. The three of us did a lot together. After college I kept in touch with them. I had to ask special permission of Doctor Chitwood, when I finished being a CA, I wanted to return to that same floor for one semester, because I knew all those girls. I had to go and meet with Doc. and talk about Chitwood, and ask his permission because I wouldn't be the CA, but I would be living on the floor that I had been the CA. I 67:00think it took them a couple weeks to get back to me, but then he said yes it's okay. Just remember what your role is, that you are not the CA. I did not have any problems doing that. When I graduated, I lived off campus until I got my job. Those were girls one of them- all three of them had been on campus. I moved in with them and now I am closer to those three than anybody else from college here at UW-Oshkosh.

KP: So my next question was, do you still stay in touch with them?

EE: Yeah.

KP: So you guys are good friends?

EE: Yeah, yeah we are. And it's been just in the last four years. They were 68:00renting over on high street, and I ended up--one of the girls that I graduated with in human services, who I later found out was a lesbian--I didn't know that then--she wanted to break her lease because she had gotten a job, and I had said something- like I was looking for a place to live. Why don't you take over my lease, so I ended up moving in with these three girls, so I ended up moving in on High Street. They didn't talk to me for the first--month--and I thought, well I didn't care. I was working, I was going to city hall, I had a job at the grainery, my first jobbbbbb. I was waitressing at lunch. I would leave in the morning and would leave at 8:30 and would get home at 5:30. Finally after about 69:00a month, one of them asked me if I was a lesbian. Do I look like a lesbian? Well no, but you are Suzy's friend--No. I was just kind of in some classes with her. So then, we started having great fun. The four of us living in that great apartment. They kept talking about, oh we have got the best landlord. He is so damn, much fun. We had the best landlord. Well I ended up marrying the landlord.

KP: And now is that your husband still?

EE: Yes. So it has probably been us four girls, now get together--this will be.

KP: Awe, so you guys are still really close, and still get together?

EE: Like I said, it's been in the last three years that we started getting together.

KP: Wow, I hope it's like that with my college friends.


EE: Yeah, like I said we try to get together two times a year and giggle and laugh about stupid things we did.

KP: You and your landlord.

EE: Mhm

KP: Were there any major campus issues, political, cultural, educational?

EE: We were pretty well removed from the world. I don't remember any of sitting down and reading a newspaper, I don't remember any of us watching the news. I do remember, do you know where the square is--You know like where Albee Hall is, the back of the library, there is that square?

KP: Yeah.

EE: I remember there was some protests going on. There was somebody screaming at somebody saying that they were "whoremongers" and I don't remember anything more 71:00about it. We just sat there and laughed.

KP: And just confused.

EE: I had forgotten what they were even protesting. So no, I don't remember any big issues.

KP: Everything was just going smoothly?

EE: Yeah.

KP: Now post-college--How did you feel when you finished college? What did you want to do? So you said that internship really helped.

EE: I knew that- at that point. I knew that I was going to be involved in labor negotiations for the rest of my life. I was--I don't think I really enjoyed it. I didn't really enjoy it. I was just glad to say that I graduated.

KP: You graduated with something meaningful.


EE: Yeah. Alright.

KP: What things have you done since college? Any important?

EE: That is a good question--I enjoyed my working career that I could say that I gained a lot of knowledge. Understanding a lot about labor negotiations, knowing about the NLRB, knowing Union type business. I think that I gained all of that knowledge, but I was glad to get out of it. When Terry and I got engaged, I then moved here to Oshkosh. We didn't live together, he was developing the river 73:00mill, do you know where Fratello's is?

KP: Yes.

EE: The big building next to it? That whole area back there, there is a subdivision back there. That was one of my husband's projects. That had been a big big factory, and he demo'd everything and he laid out the subdivision. The big tall factory he converted into condos. He was involved in that, so I was able to--he was kind of winding that project down. I used my organizational 74:00skills to help him work on that because I was getting away from the labor negotiations, one of the gentleman--the two guys that I was working for. One of them broke it off, and one started a much bigger consulting firm that I didn't want to be a part of because I would have to have been in Madison. But Bruce, who I was still working with in Oshkosh, I would meet him for meetings and stuff like that. I got more involved with my husband's rental property. He was doing that, and had quite a bit of property in town. I just kind of got into the rental property with him, so then I wasn't working outside. I was just doing that. That gave us our time, that we would pretty much go down to Florida, most 75:00of the winter. Now I am finding down in Florida. We are down in the Florida Keys. There is a brand new museum, I am getting involved in that, and doing a lot of volunteering to be a dosant and things like that.

KP: Finding your little niche down there too.

EE: Yeah. Up here, we don't have time to get involved, around here, doing too much volunteering, because when we are here, in Wisconsin, we have three different places, so we just kind of cruise around, Okay. Let's go to the cabin, 76:00let's go up to our farm house and spend some time. My purpose is just to.

KP: Explore, and be yourself.

EE: And we do a lot of traveling. We do a lot of traveling.

KP: You're talking to the right person. My brother works for United Arlines.

EE: Oh.

KP: So I actually travel for free. I love to travel.

EE: Good for you.

KP: Yeah we just, umm… Before I came back to school we went to Rome. Have you ever been there?

EE: Loved it.

KP: Oh my gosh. It was amazing. Umm, have you ever been any cool places? Like, what was your favorite?

EE: Umm, you know I've been to so many places. My most unusual was umm, the Antarctic.

KP: Oh wow.

EE: Loved it.

KP: My gosh.

EE: Yeah. We, umm… we did a two week cruise to the Antarctic. So it was great fun because we… twice a day we would get into the zodiacs and go out and look 77:00for leopard seals and… and go… we could… we were allowed… they had it worked out what islands we could go on and walk with the penguins.

KP: Oh my gosh. I love listening to people and their favorite places to travel because like I've got to find time to do that.

EE: We umm. I love… I love wildlife. So we've been on a safari in Africa, umm, three different times and that's pretty special. Those are pretty special. Umm, yeah we've been some interesting places.

KP: Okay, how did college prepare you for your life after college? And how did it prepare you for life?

EE: I think it taught me discipline. Umm, I think I… I learned some… I think 78:00I learned some great organizational skills. Umm, I didn't really teach me about hard work because I think I had that.

KP: I was gonna say it seemed like you had… growing up.

EE: Yeah so it… I think it was more, you know, being responsible for my actions.

KP: Being independent?

EE: Yeah.

KP: Have you had much involvement in UWO since you graduated or like is this kind of like your first step in kind of giving back and being able to…

EE: Umm, probably one of my first steps. Ugh, Jean, the sister that's also in this program, her son went to school here and played soccer all four year.

KP: Oh okay.

KP: And umm, so you know I was coming back to go to his soccer games all the 79:00time. And umm, so I was somewhat involved in that. And because I live in town, you know, I, and I drive through campus a lot, I kind of know what's going on around on campus. And I read the newspaper so I know what's going on around campus. But otherwise no, I haven't really been involved.

KP: What advice would you give current students?

EE: Ugh, go to class. Boy, I will tell you. I really--my nephew that went to school here, he graduated last December. I don't think he was at all prepared for the real world. He basically came here to play soccer for four more years, 80:00he came in with thirty some credits, and it still took him four and a half years because he could only take twelve credits, I have to be done by two o'clock to be ready for soccer, and I am like--that's bullshit.

KP: And that is why they do that, all the athlete's get to pick their classes first, because they have that time limit.

EE: I wish that, this summer we road tripped out to visit some friends in the Hamptons, and then we were going to go up to Canada to Niagara, Niagara on the lake. You have got to stop at West Point. Because it was absolutely amazing. One 81:00of my high school, her daughter had graduated from West point, a couple years ago, I was shocked, I was shocked--at how disciplined those kids are. And I thought--every college--every college student should have to endure like one semester like that to really whip them into shape. My nephew is like struggling like--I had such a long day, I am like--what did you work nine to five? Mhm. I am just beat. Welcome to the real world. I really wish that number one, I wish that these kids weren't coming to college to play sports.

KP: I agree, it is becoming--a lot of kids oh I got a scholarship to go here to 82:00go play sports. It's not like oh wow they have a great nursing program. Almost all of my guy friends got scholarships for football, baseball or basketball.

EE: And I'm saying, okay well--what are you going to do after that? What are you going to do in four years when you are not big man on campus because you are a soccer star? I see my nephew struggling with that. I am thinking.

KP: I know exactly what you mean.

EE: Yeah. It really--You watch these football games. My third nephew is down--all three of my nephews were given scholarships for their academics. They 83:00are all brainiacs. My third nephew is down at northwestern in Illinois. I go to these football games--he loves the marching band. That is his bonus, they have a big 10 marching band. But I see these Alumni, they are like nuts for these sports. I look on the sidelines, here is northwestern. They have like a hundred and twenty five kids. And there is like what, twelve of you out there playing? What is wrong here? I wish that these kids realized that--it is all fun and games when you are in college--but college ends. It is the real world, study 84:00hard and build a good resume because a lot of these kids--you are fortunate you have a great major. Teaching--good major. Nursing--great major.

KP: You almost are in clinicals, where you are in real world. You are out--where you are going to be working.

EE: You are held responsible to show up at a certain time. Here is my nephew, he is living in this crap house, with some cute fun great kids but--it is done now. Now what are you going to do.

KP: I completely agree with that statement. That is good advice.

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