Interview with Jamie Cowling, 04/16/2017

UW Oshkosh Campus Stories
Kendra Cowling , Interviewer | uwocs_Jamie_Cowling_04162017_uc.mp3
Campus Stories Oral History Project (UWO Audio Series 51) |

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Kendra Cowling: So, today is April 16th, 2017, the time is 4:00pm. I'm Kendra Cowling, and you are?

Jamie Cowling: I am Jamie Cowling.

KC: And we're at the home of Jamie Cowling, recording for the UW Oshkosh Campus Stories Oral History Project. So, getting right into it, where did you grow up?

JC: I grew up in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Not too far from here.

KC: What was the community you grew up in? Like what type of people lived there, and what did they do?

JC: Well, my neighborhood was, I think, mostly what you would call middle class. I lived not too far from Lambeau Field, so a lot of people in my neighborhood 1:00were very into the Green Bay Packers, so that was definitely something that a lot of people did in the fall time was either go to the football games, or watch the football games, so that was kind of a big part of the community. One of the big industries in our area was paper making, paper mills. So a lot of people I knew, including my own dad, worked in the paper mill industry.

KC: What was your family like?

JC: I don't know, I think kind of pretty typical, Midwestern. We, for most of my life, we lived on a dead-end street, so when I was younger, a lot of our days were just kind of hanging out in the neighborhood with the other kids on the street. There was a woods at the end of the street so we would play down there a 2:00lot, bike around a lot. We would have block parties growing up, so, like, once a year or so everybody would just kind of get together and hang out and celebrate, so that was mostly what my younger years were like. And then as I got older, junior high school, I went to Lombardi Junior High, and then I went to Southwest High School, so just kind of a lot of school activities, in sports a little bit, school dances, that sort of thing. We went on family vacations once in a while, so just kind of a-- what I think would be classified as a standard sort of middle class upbringing.

KC: Did anyone else in your family go to college?

JC: Well, interestingly, my parents had not gone to college, and they really never pushed it or anything like that. I mean, when we showed interest, my 3:00parents would help with, applying for financial aid and that sort of thing, but they never really pushed us to it. My older brother did go to college, and he almost finished, I think he got through until like, his very last semester. I don't even know to this day if he ever finished it. And then I went to UW Oshkosh, and my younger brother, Jack, also went to UW Oshkosh. And then what's kind of interesting about it is after we all went to school… Oh, I forgot about my younger sister Jina, she also went to school, but she went in Michigan. But, after we all graduated, then my mom decided to go to college, so she went to UWGB, and graduated after the four of us went to school.

KC: So would you say education was valued in your family? Or not until later?

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JC: I think it was valued as far as… like it was definitely expected that we finish high school, and that we do reasonably well, it's just that after high school it wasn't really focused on. But then I think later on, once my parents saw the rest of us achieve further education, I think their views on it shifted a bit. So, yeah, I mean there was a value on it, it just didn't necessarily include college in the beginning.

KC: So, did your family always live in Green Bay?

JC: My mom and dad were both raised in Green Bay, so yeah, I mean our roots have always been there, and now I live in Neenah, so I didn't move too far away from 5:00home base. So, yeah, Green Bay is kind of the home base for us.

KC: What kind of work did your parents do, aside from the paper mill?

JC: So my dad always had a couple of jobs to support the family, so he worked in the paper mill, but then also on the side he had some other kind of odd job things. I know one, he worked at Amerhart, where did a little bit of advertising type of things. And then my mom always worked full time in office roles, so they actually both met working at the Press Gazette in Green Bay. And then went on from there to other jobs, but yeah, my mom… well, I don't think she was actually always full time now that I think about it, I think she was part time some of the time, but they were office jobs until she got older, then I know she 6:00worked for AT&T for a while, she was in the communications business, and she also worked, I think, at Metal Craft, another company in the Fox Valley, so, yeah.

KC: I recall your father was in the Navy at one point, was that when you were around, or was that before?

JC: He was in the Navy before I was born. So he was in-- like in the early sixties, and I was born in the late sixties. And I believe he was only in for 4 years, so he was out before I was born.

KC: do you think it affected the way he raised you, his experience.

JC: I would say so, I think everybody's history, parts of it, impact their 7:00future lives so I-- I imagine to some degree, whether it be the discipline he learned in the military, or-- who knows what other factors it may have been. But yeah, I think anybody's life experiences impact their future decisions, and how they handle situations.

KC: Did your parents have any goals for you, or did you have any of your own goals when growing up?

JC: I mean they weren't necessarily outlined as goals, there were expectations. You know, going to school, getting homework done, if we were out we were expected to be home at a certain time, so there were certainly expectations, but not necessarily, like, life goals or anything like that. And when we were in sports, for the most part it was our choice to get involved in the sports, and 8:00to kind of make our way, but they never really… well I guess they didn't really… I mean they certainly had an impact, but they didn't really push us in any specific directions.

KC: So when you did decide to go to college, did any of your friends decide to go too?

JC: Yeah, I think almost all of my friends went to college, which was probably part of the reason why I decided to go, even though it wasn't a direction that my parents necessarily pushed me in. But it just seemed like something that-- everybody had for their future plans, and I felt like it was just an important part of growing, and learning something to get into a career that was going to make me happy.

KC: Do you think you put the same emphasis on your own children's education as, 9:00maybe, you did your own? Since your parents didn't emphasize college?

JC: I think so. I mean I went to school, I graduated, I was certainly on the 5 year plan, it took me longer than it took some other people. But yeah, I think it was definitely a benefit to me, so I think it's important for my own children to also get a college education. There's so much that not only you learn in the classroom, but just social and growing experiences that I believe just really help you later in life.

KC: So what first interested you in going to college?

JC: I think it was just knowing inside that it was going to be in my best 10:00interest. Like when I first started college, I really didn't have a clear direction or focus on what my degree was going to be, I just kind of started and I did pick up major right off the bat, which was psychology. But during my stay at school I changed my major 5 times, so I didn't have a clear focus on exactly what I wanted to do. Coincidentally, I ended up with going back to psychology. So yeah, I think it was just more of a general motivator knowing that it was going to be an important part for me to advance in life.

KC: Okay, so then what made you decide to go to UW Oshkosh as opposed to anywhere else?

JC: I think there were a couple of factors, one was I was not a 4.0 student so I 11:00knew that I couldn't necessarily go to certain Ivy League schools and that sort of thing. I did like the idea of Wisconsin schools, number one being close to home, but number two, from a cost standpoint, they were more affordable for me, and Oshkosh just seemed like a good choice. I mean it's really the only school I applied to, and I was thankful that I was accepted, but it was kind of close enough to home, yet far enough away to have some independence.

KC: Did you know anything about UW Oshkosh before you started attending it?

JC: Just from what I learned on campus visits, going through tours of the University, so I think I just had enough of the basics to kind of understand the 12:00layout of the campus, and just kind of the basic concepts of what going to college was like.

KC: So then what was your first impression of the school once you got there?

JC: Yeah, liked it. I lived in North Scott, 7th floor I believe, coed floor, and it was nice. It was just kind of a nice community of students. It was just… comfortable. You kind of got to know the people who lived around you, and my first impressions were good.It was certainly a little bit scary the first few days, weeks, but I settled in.

KC: What do you remember about your first few weeks at school?

JC: Well I remember there definitely being a sense of freedom, I mean growing up by I would call my parents strict, so I always had curfews and things like that. 13:00So it was a little bit of getting used to being an adult for the first time on my own, and kind of learning when to get myself to bed and those sorts of things. So it was definitely… there was a learning curve there for me in the beginning.

KC: What was it like in the coed dorm? Did you think you would prefer a women's dorm or anything?

JC: No, it was fine, I always had a lot of guy friends and girlfriends growing up, so it was comfortable, was no problem for me at all. I kind of liked it.

KC: So then, what were your classes like in your first semester? How did you do?

JC: Well, because it was all kind of a new atmosphere for me, I did not do so great my first semester, I definitely had to buckle down my second semester and 14:00the rest of my years there. But yeah, I took my sense of freedom pretty seriously, I stayed up late too many nights, I probably skipped a few too many classes, so I didn't do so great. But after the first semester, I definitely got my feet wet and definitely started to settle down a little bit after that. But it was good, I liked it.

KC: So what made you decide to start with Psychology?

JC: I don't know, I just always found that to be kind of a fascinating field. And then there were certain aspects to it, like before really exploring it I never really understood the multiple sides of it, like I just thought of psychology as more of an individual basis. But then I learned about I-O (Industrial-organizational) psychology and how organizations use psychology to 15:00place people in the correct roles and to help guide people who need direction. So I just found it kind of fascinating, the many levels of it that I really wasn't previously aware of.

KC: So then what made you decide to change to the second major you picked?

JC: That's a good question, I don't know. I think my interests started to change a little bit, I mean I had taken, certainly, some psychology classes, but then I just kinda started getting an interest in journalism, so I explored that for a while. I also thought politics, international politics, sounded kind of exciting and fun, so I kind of… I explored that for a while. But yeah, ultimately, it all just kind of circled back to psychology. So I think I could say I got 16:00distracted by some other interests, which was okay. I mean it was good, I think, to kind of look at these other opportunities and take a couple classes in these other areas to determine what my true interests were. And then I just circled back to psychology.

KC: Do you think your changing majors affected how long it took you to get through?

JC: Oh, for sure. I mean I took some classes that I ultimately didn't end up needing from a degree perspective, but again, I don't in any way think it harmed me, it just took me longer to graduate.

KC: Do you remember what your gen-eds were like?

JC: There's just a few that kind of stand out to me, (laughs) coincidentally it's the more physical of the ones. I remember taking a bowling class in the… I think it was called The Underground, at the time, of Reeve Union. And then I 17:00also remember taking a biking class where we had to bike around Lake Winnebago. That was no easy feat for sure. But yeah, as far as the gen-ed classes, they were fine. I kind of felt like they were just… something to get through, because it was part of the requirement. At the time, I really didn't personally place a lot of value in them. Some of them felt like I just had to do it to get the number of credits needed, but then once you get more advanced into your degree and you start focusing more on the classes that are in your major, then things kind of, I felt, got more interesting.

KC: Do you remember any of your not gen-ed classes very well, then?

JC: Yes, there were certainly a couple of psych classes that really stood out. 18:00One was… I'm trying to think of the exact name of it. I think it was "the psychology of drug use and abuse" or something along that line. And that I found to be really interesting, there were a few standout points in that class. And then the psychology of… I can't remember the exact name of the class, but it had to do with sexuality, and we had one of the doctors from Neenah, who was a sex change doctor, came in. I remember his presentation. So yeah, there were definitely a few standouts, and then I know in some classes we had to… Like, other students had psychology projects, so we would go to the psychology lab and take some of their tests and stuff. And I remember sitting in front of computers 19:00and having to do like… take certain surveys so that they had material. And then I remember doing that myself as well. My very last class, before I graduated, I needed this five credit class and it was in the summer, and I ended up having to go down to Madison to take it. So that one I remember, number one because it was a five credit class, and it was… pretty difficult, and it was crammed into-- I think like five weeks in the summer, so that was pretty intensive. And when I moved down there, the only place I could find to live was in a fraternity house. I was living in this big, huge fraternity house. A girl friend of mine also needed to take a class that summer, so we both went down there. But yeah, so certainly there was some classes that stood out, or that I remember more than others.

KC: Did any of your professors stand out to you?

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JC: Not necessarily. I was not really a student that interacted a lot with the professors. Like I would go to class, and I would do what was necessary to do, but I think I was a little bit intimidated. And so I didn't talk to them as much as I, in retrospect, probably should have. So, no, I guess I didn't have any in particular that really stood out as being particularly inspirational or anything like that.

KC: Where did you spend most of your time on campus?

JC: Well when I was a freshmen, I had met somebody who was involved with the Reeve Union Board, and he had encouraged me to join that. So I did that for 21:00almost… actually, I think I was on the Reeve Union Board, or as we called ourselves at the time, RUB'ers, and Jerry Bloesl was out advisor. I spent a lot of time in the Union. I started out on the publicity committee, making posters and banners for movies and different things like that. And then, ultimately I became the treasurer. So I spent a lot of time in the Reeve Union. And then actually I ended up in, it was called The Newsstand at the time, where people would rent movies and buy snacks and that sort of thing. So yeah, Reeve Union is where I spent a lot of my time.

KC: Did you go home much? Like for visiting or anything?

JC: Not too often, I didn't have a car. I did find a girl who put a note on the bulletin board. I don't remember if it was in the Union, or where I saw it, 22:00but… So I would catch rides from her once in a while. I don't know, I'd probably pay her five bucks for a ride up to Green Bay. So on occasion I would head up there. And also my dad came down a few times and would pick me up and bring me home for holidays and vacations and stuff, or weekends.

KC: So then what was it like living at the fraternity house?

JC: Well it was very interesting, truth be told, it was pretty filthy. You could tell it was a bunch of guys that lived there. I had a room that I was subletting from somebody, the carpeting in the room was so incredibly nasty that I talked to one of the guys, and I said, "Can I get rid of this?" and he's like "Yeah, you can get rid of it." So I rolled it up with the help of a friend and we threw 23:00the carpeting out the window (laughs). So I remember that, and also the summer that I was living there was the summer that I had met my husband, so I went to a family wedding during the summer, so I do remember him coming down and picking me up for Fourth of July. But yeah, it was fine, I really… (Laughs) What I remember the most about living in that frat house was cleaning it. Like the restroom, the bathroom, the shower was so incredibly gross I spent a whole afternoon scrubbing it down so that I would feel good using it. But it was interesting, there weren't a whole lot of people living there in the summer, I think most of the people who lived there full-time went home. So there were just kind of a few of us that hung out there that summer.

KC: So is this when you were a 'little sister'?

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JC: No, I wasn't doing that. When I first started at Oshkosh I had met some people that were in a fraternity and they asked me to come and be a 'little sister', so I did that for, I don't even know how long, probably two or three years. And then when I was a senior at Oshkosh, I don't think I did that, I was friends with all those guys, but I wasn't a little sister anymore. So the fraternity in Madison, that I stayed at, the frat house, it was a different fraternity, so it wasn't even affiliated with what I did at UWO.

KC: Could you quickly explain what a little sister is?

JC: Well, I think it was just, I don't know… At the time it was probably explained very differently to me, I don't know, but it just the frat house, all 25:00the frat brothers, lived in the house near the UW Oshkosh campus. I think it was Delta Sigma Chi, and they just had what they called little sisters, it was just friends that were females that would hang out with them, and I think they called us little sisters just, I don't know, kind of a term of endearment, but it wasn't anything super official I don't think. It was just that they were friends of ours and we hung out a lot together.

KC: So what are some other memories you have of your college friends?

JC: Well I do remember with the fraternity, they did have something called a shipwreck queen (laughs). It's just kind of a funny memory where each year or every few months or something they would pick a little sister that they had fun with or whatever, and they would all vote and at one point in time I remember being voted the shipwreck queen, which just meant that-- I think the award to 26:00signify my winning of this was… I don't even remember what it was exactly, but I'm picturing a toilet seat, but that just does not sound like anything that a person would appreciate. But I did, I felt special. But, anyway, so it was just a fun time. But friends at school kind of evolved, it changed over time. When I stayed in North Scott I had a certain group of friends, and then I did move to Taylor and I had a different roommate there, so-- I maintained some of the same friends throughout, but it seems like each time I moved to a different location I would have kind of a different group of friends I would hang out with, it just kind of evolved. So in Taylor, I was there for one year, and then after that I 27:00moved into some apartments on High Street and the same roommate I had at Taylor is who was my roommate there. And one of the things I remember about that is our apartment flooded because somebody in the apartment above us, I think they let their bathtub overflow or something, so, I do remember having to move in and out of there a couple of times. And then I moved to Jackson street, which is kind of far, I didn't like being quite that far away. And that was with a bunch of friends from the Reeve Union Board. And I also lived in what I called the gingerbread house on Elmwood Street, which is still there, looks very much the same as when I lived there with the pink and mauve siding paint on the outside. So I lived there as well with some friends from Reeve Union. But yeah, so it 28:00kind of evolved a little bit over the years but there were definitely some consistencies since I was on the Reeve Union Board for so long, and a lot of my friends were too. We certainly stayed friends throughout the years.

KC: Have you stayed in touch with any of your friends?

JC: Some of them, I travel quite a bit now for work so it's much more difficult to stay in touch, but I do have some friends that I'm still in touch with that live in Wisconsin yet. So, a few of them, but not all of them for sure, but definitely a few.

KC: Do you remember what it was like to work on the Reeve Union Board?

JC: Yeah, it was fun. I had to learn to drive a campus van because we would go on retreats once in a while, and somehow I would be the driver. So I remember 29:00having to take driving lessons to get approved to drive the van. We would go to these retreats once in a while, and… Maybe retreat isn't even the right word, I know that there were retreats, but we would go to these functions where a bunch of bands would play, and comedians would perform, and artists would come in, and we would just check out all this stuff that were at these… they were conferences, essentially. And then we would decide who we wanted to bring to our campus to perform, so I know we saw Denny Dent there. He's one of those performers that performs to music and he'll use his hands dipped in paint and he would create a painting to music, and you couldn't tell at all what it was, and then he would flip it over and you could totally see what it was. Like I think he did Jimi Hendrix, and he did Statue of Liberty and nowadays I see more of 30:00those types of artists on TV. But yeah, so we would go to these conferences, check out all the entertainment and different things, and then we would get together with other schools, so let's say there were like five universities in the Fox Valley area or within our region in Wisconsin, and we would all come together and if five schools would agree that they wanted to get a certain performer, then that performer would go from university to university and it would save us all money, because they would come to the area and then travel within three or four days to a bunch of schools, and then we would all get the benefit and save on travel expenses and stuff. So it was neat, it was kind of an interesting learning experience.

KC: So is that what the Reeve Union board did mostly, or were there other things that they did back then?

JC: Well, it was mostly campus activities. We would bring in bands and speakers, we would pick movies to play, we would advertise the movies. So we really 31:00focused a lot on the activities surrounding… And that happened in the Reeve Union. So we had a president, a vice president, we followed parliamentary procedure, that was another interesting learning experience. There were just different committees and a lot of what we did just focused on things to enhance the students experience on campus.

KC: And you said you worked at the Newsstand? Which is… it's the food place in the underground, right?

JC: Well the Newsstand at the time, I know that the Union has evolved quite a bit over the years, at the time it was on the main level. If you were to walk up those stone steps into the Reeve Union, it was on the right hand side as soon as you walked in the door, so it was just a very convenient location. I'm not sure 32:00what's there now, if anything is there right now, it might be offices. It was right there and wasn't very big, it was just big enough, a tiny little convenience store and it didn't have nearly as much as the convenience store has now. I don't know what it's called now, but the one that sells the sodas, and the snacks, and everything. It didn't have nearly as much stuff, it was definitely a smaller scale. But I loved it, it was great.

KC: Were you involved in anything else on campus?

JC: No, the Reeve Union Board, I spent a lot of time there, so it was definitely enough to occupy my time outside of my classwork. I do know when I was involved as a little sister in the fraternity, we would sometimes do things like with the Homecoming parade, I remember being in the Homecoming parade one year. I don't 33:00remember exactly what… Oh, I think it was duos, I think the theme was duos and I was one of the Bartles and Jaymes, which was a wine, a popular wine cooler at the time. We submitted an entry into the parade as Bartles and Jaymes so I was dressed up as a guy representing wine coolers (laughs) for our Homecoming.

KC: Did you do much off campus in the surrounding community or anything?

JC: Not really, I think a lot of my volunteer time was really focused on campus with the Reeve Union Board. I didn't really do a whole lot off campus quite honestly.

KC: So you didn't go to any bars or you didn't go around Oshkosh to anyplace?

JC: Well we definitely went to bars. We went to house parties probably when we 34:00weren't old enough to be going to house parties, but we did do that. And we went to some of the bars, I know a lot of them aren't there anymore, but we had… I remember The Library was one of the bars just off campus and what I remember from there is playing Neil Diamond music, Sweet Caroline stands out in my mind. We went to Barney's quite a bit, that's not there anymore. Kelly's, which I think is still there, so yeah we would definitely hang out at Kelly's. Molly McGuire's I think might still be there, we spent quite a bit of time there. Those were for nights we wanted to hang out and dance and that sort of thing. So we definitely did things just off campus in the bar evening weekend mode. But as 35:00far as interacting with other people in the community outside of that, I really didn't do much.

KC: So what was… what were the bars like? Was it mostly college students?

JC: It was mostly college students on most days and weekends, but during spring break when a lot of the kids would go home or go on spring break, then it would seem like more of the local people would come into the establishments. So sometimes the crowds changed. I did… I remember one of those weekends, I think it was spring break one year, there was an older gentleman that had come in to Molly McGuire's and I started talking to him for a while. So from time to time we would interact with people that weren't college students.

KC: So what was social life like back then? Did you have any relationships or… 36:00what sorts of things did you and others do?

JC: Well we studied, we would go out on certain nights, I know Monday nights were popular nights to go out, and then the weekends as well. I did have a boyfriend for a while, but I didn't always date. I was pretty content to just hang out with my friends, and hang out in the dorms. I did… I really liked being in the dorms, I thought it was kind of a great community of people that you saw on a regular basis, you got to know… kind of like its own little family.

KC: What do you think it was like to be a woman at UW Oshkosh at that time?

JC: It was great, I was never really into… I don't know, like gender 37:00differences, I mean I just felt like a part of the UW Oshkosh community, I never felt like I was thought of as being there as a woman versus just a regular student attending the university. There were no negatives, it just didn't seem to be a big thing. All the students seemed to be held on the same playing field, I felt.

KC: Do you think it's different than it is now?

JC: Well I'm not on campus very much anymore, I know society in general tends to put more focus into gender inequality or equality issues, so I think society as a whole focuses on it more. I'm not sure how it is on campus if that's a big 38:00thing, or how current people feel about that.

KC: Were there any major campus issues while you were there? Like political or cultural or educational?

JC: They didn't really stand out to me, I know that we had some diversity groups that would hold certain functions and events to celebrate what they were interested in. Different ethnic groups would have certain events, or bring in specific speakers or something like that. But they kind of did their… They would plan things, they would promote them, people would go, but there weren't any sit-ins or big social rallies or anything like that that I remember.

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KC: Do you remember world events from that time?

JC: The one that really kind of stands out to me is… I remember Desert Storm and I think it's because I had a couple of friends that were in the ROTC (Reserve Officers' Training Corps) and ended up having to do some sort of service with it. I don't know that they necessarily went overseas. I know one of the girls did actually, so it may not have even been ROTC, like maybe they had actually joined the military. Yeah, I don't remember the specifics of their involvement with the military, I just know one of the girls ended up having to leave for a few months. So yeah, that stands out to me the most because it impacted, certainly, some of the people that I knew.

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KC: So, I know Chernobyl happened in 1986 or something, do you recall anything about that?

JC: Well, I mean I remember it, but it doesn't… It's not a stand out moment for me as far as my college experience goes. Like I don't remember anything specific surrounding it that related to my time at school.

KC: The internet became public at that time, didn't it? Was it something that affected your college experience?

JC: Well, not really. I mean at the time, technology was still kind of… It was there, I know we had computer labs at school where we could go and type paper 41:00and print stuff, but we certainly did not have Wi-Fi in the dorms, I mean I didn't have my own laptop, most people did not, in fact I can't think of anybody who did. We would all have to go to computer labs to use the computers there, or the library to research stuff. I think it was there, it existed, it just hadn't become common enough that we utilized it.

KC: So email or anything wasn't a big thing?

JC: It wasn't a big thing, I don't remember having, and it could be that I'm just forgetting, but I don't even remember having a university email address or anything like that. It wasn't until I graduated and started working for other companies that I really remember email.

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KC: So how did word about things get around campus if it wasn't mass emailing?

JC: It was all fliers, like the ride board where I found that ride, that girl who gave me rides to Green Bay, she had posted it on the board. Campus jobs, I mean I found the job at the Newsstand because I went to the administration building and looked at the board that had jobs posted. Like I was saying, I would make these posters, these banners, that we would hang at Reeve Union to promote the different events that were going on there. So I think most everything was fliers and postings around campus.

KC: What do you think you learned with all your experience at UWO? It doesn't have to be classes, but just in general.

43:00

JC: I think it was mostly just the social experience of it all, just the experience of deadlines, expectations, how communications can help. I mean certainly there were some professors that were much better at communicating than others. So it just really prepares an individual for life in the, quote unquote, real world. It helps you understand once you get a job, your first career job, just to understand deadlines, and the importance of doing a good job, and the importance of asking questions to make sure you understand fully and can complete a project adequately, and to fulfill the full expectations of what somebody's looking for. So certainly the classes in and of themselves are 44:00educational, but to me it was more the whole experience of learning how to interact with others and how to meet expectations of others, both in your social life and in your career.

KC: Do you think you have any stories from your time on campus that you'd like to talk about that you haven't yet?

JC: In a specific area, or just in general?

KC: Just in general.

JC: Well, there is the gentleman that I had referenced earlier, there was this… I guess I can call him elderly, he was probably at least in his seventies, if not close to eighty, that I had met one afternoon. I think I was hanging out at Molly's at the time. And the gentleman… We just started 45:00chatting, and we were there for a while just… He just lived in the Oshkosh community and he had asked me if I would go to dinner with him that night, and although it seemed a little strange, I kind of thought, "You know, he's just lonely or something, looking for somebody to talk to." So I had agreed to do that, and his name was Elmer, I don't know what his last name was, but what I do remember that I think is kind of funny, is that we went to a restaurant named Elmer's, which I don't think is around anymore, and if it is, I just don't know. But we did go to dinner that night, I think I ordered the lobster because he told me to order whatever I wanted, and as a college kid I thought that was pretty amazing. But I do remember when he was driving me back to campus that night he had this corncob pipe on his dashboard, and I noticed it and I'm like, 46:00"Oh, what is that? What kind of tobacco are you smoking?" And he told me that it wasn't tobacco, he said that his son had gotten it for him. And I said, "Well, what is it if it's not tobacco?" And he said, "Well, I've got pretty bad arthritis, and my son told me that this would be really helpful for me, so it has marijuana in it." (Laughs) And I was pretty stunned, and he asked me if I wanted to try some. I certainly did not, because it just seemed too bizarre at the time. But I was stunned, I was pretty fascinated and I asked him a number of questions about it. I'm like, "What do you mean your son gave this to you? Like what? Where does he get it, like what are you talking about?" But it was very interesting, but he said for medicinal purposes it really helped him, and who was I to argue with a guy smokes pot from a corncob pipe? (Laughs)

KC: Were there any other stories?

JC: Well, I… Well some of them are embarrassing, but one that I kind of 47:00remember, is… So we would go out, some of my friends and I would go out and party of course, and perhaps have a couple of beverages in the evening, and we came to figure out that at the end of the night, I think it was Rocky Rococo's, which was right by campus… We came to figure out that at the end of the night they would take the pizza that was left over, that people hadn't purchased, and they would put it in a garbage bag all by itself, not with other trash, and perhaps they were putting this in a bag by itself for themselves. But it would end up in the dumpster out back and my friends and I realized that it was warm pizza, might've been a little bit old by their standards, but to us it was still 48:00warm, we were hungry, it wasn't surrounded by other trash, and we would take it to our dorm rooms and we would have a little pizza party of our own (laughs). So yeah, I can admit that we, we, I say we, did some dumpster diving and had some pretty darn good pizza out of the deal. But I didn't realize it at the time, but I… after the fact I had figured maybe the workers did that for themselves, because why would they put it so nice and neatly in a garbage bag without other trash. But it didn't cross our minds at the time, so yeah, little bit of dumpster diving in my history.

KC: How did you feel when you finally finished college?

JC: Really good. I mean it took me a while, like I said I was on the five year plan, and then it was actually five years plus, because I had to take that final 49:00summer class at Madison. But it's absolutely a sense of accomplishment and it just kind of gives you… I don't know, it's not just a sense of accomplishment, and it doesn't just give you the tools that you need to pursue a specific career, it kind of gives you a sense of… What's the word I'm looking for?

KC: Achievement?

JC: Well it's achievement, but confidence. It gives you a confidence to know you've accomplished something that you can use in your life going forward. But it was, it was a confidence that it gives you that you've done something and now you can go on and… I think when I would interview for jobs (clears throat) I 50:00just felt like I had something to back me up, like I'm not just me as a person and carry with me what I learned, but it was just kind of an extra booster too, just on a lot of different levels makes you feel good. It's the achievement of it, it's knowing that you worked hard to accomplish something, and that you really have something to offer an organization that's willing to give you a shot.

KC: What did you want to do when you finished college?

JC: Well, I didn't really know. I mean I graduated with psychology, I didn't quite know what I wanted to do with it. I had done some research and I learned that actually some of the trainers at SeaWorld had degrees in psychology, and they would become animal trainers. So, I kind of thought some of that was sort of interesting, but I wasn't really in a frame of mind to move away. As I had 51:00previously mentioned, when I was in Madison, just as I was graduating, I had met somebody who I ultimately married. So, moving away wasn't really in the cards at the time. So I just started applying for various jobs. So, coincidentally, I never actually worked in the field of psychology, but I had an employer tell me that they hired me because of my degree, and that they offered me a higher salary than they would have offered somebody who didn't have a degree. And things kind of evolved over time, right now I'm a corporate meeting manager, and I travel all over the world, I'm on the road like a hundred or a hundred and twenty days a year. It's a career that I love, I enjoy, I do look at everything I do in my life as, in one way or another, relates back to psychology and my 52:00degree, but I never actually worked in that field. But I know that my education at Oshkosh and what I learned there helped put me where I am today. So, happy in my career and pretty successful.

KC: What was the job market like back then? How did it all pan out before you came to your career?

JC: Well I had applied for a few jobs, there were some friends of the family that had offered me to work at their company while I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do for a career. So I did work for them for a while, probably a year or a year and a half, and it was just kind of office work. They… I had some work I was doing on a Macintosh computer, I remember that, in their offices, one of the big, old, bulky ones sitting on a desktop in their office. 53:00So I did that, kind of got my feet wet in the industry, then I found a job in Appleton at an association, so I actually worked there for quite a long time, and my role there changed over time which is what kind of directed me into the meeting, planning, incentives business. So yeah, I always found work, but it wasn't necessarily in the direction I wanted to start, but it was something that helped me at least get into the field of business and then progress from there.

KC: How did college prepare you for life after college?

JC: It was just the whole experience, it was just the different people that I met, people… A lot of my friends were from all over the United States, so I 54:00met a diverse group of people while I was at Oshkosh and I just think it was the overall kind of transitioning from high school to a career life. It was just a very… it was just such a learning curve there, of all the social experiences that I had. It's just a great time for a person to mature and figure out what direction they want to go in their life and give them time to just grow as a person. So that's kind of it it did for me, it just gave me time to mature and grow and become somebody that was employable in the business world.

KC: Do you think it helped you involve yourself in your community? Like of 55:00course not the Oshkosh community like you mentioned, but afterwards?

JC: Yeah, to some degree. Shortly, like within a few years after graduating I was married and I had children and-- It's all just such a learning curve, but yes, contributing to the community as a whole. We did some volunteering, but as you raise children and you want to give them certain experiences in life, you meet people and have certain experiences. Like at the animal shelter, we've done some volunteering there, which is something that I feel good about as far as 56:00contributing to the community, but I also think it's a good thing for children to experience, and get some of those experiences as well.

KC: Have you had any involvement in UW Oshkosh since you graduated?

JC: Not really, I really haven't. I've been on campus a few times since then, but I haven't really been involved with UW Oshkosh. Even though I live close, I think it's because of my career that takes me out of town so frequently that when I am in town and around, I try to visit family and friends and spend time with my husband and children. So… And then I still have a very busy work office schedule while I'm in town, so it's just, it's a challenge to try and fit everything in, so no I haven't been overly involved with the campus. I've been 57:00to a couple of plays over the last few years, I mean I've been on campus a little bit, but haven't really been overly involved.

KC: What are your thoughts about UW Oshkosh now?

JC: I like it, I mean I… Because when I was involved at campus and I was on the Reeve Union Board, I miss some of the nostalgia of the Newsstand and just the way the building used to be. I mean I think the improvements and enhancements are fantastic, and I understand that they were needed, but I do kind of… When I walk around I tend to let my mind wander a little bit and I think, "Oh, I remember when I worked there," or "I remember when I did something over here," or "I remember that long walk from North Scott over to Clow," or whatever. I think it's great, I remember very fondly, I do get a sense of 58:00nostalgia once in a while, I walk by a certain spot over by Taylor where I remember doing a pie eating contest once, so I picture the picnic table out there where we did that. I think it's great, I have very fond memories.

KC: Do you have any advice for current students at UW Oshkosh?

JC: Well, I think the key is to be involved to whatever degree makes sense to the individual. Whether you're volunteering in the theater to help with things there, or… I would imagine some version of the Reeve Union Board is still in existence, I don't know if it has the same name or not, but to be involved with that. I met so many great people there, and it just… It kind of gives you a purpose to be in the Union, and to be around other people and… Just a great 59:00opportunity to meet others from really different backgrounds all kind of wanting to achieve the same goals and that sort of thing. So regardless of what it is, I mean for me I would always push somebody toward the Reeve Union Board if they wanted to get involved, but whatever your interests are. I know that they've got different clubs, I'm sure there's a lot of different clubs and things have changed so much since I was there, I think they've got clubs for people who like… who are gamers, or people who are into theater or whatever. Whatever your interest is, whether it's art or whatever, I would just absolutely suggest getting involved in some sort of a club or activity. It just enhances your life on campus so much in my view.

KC: Anything else you'd like to say before we finish up?

JC: I don't know, I think just overall I really appreciated my time at Oshkosh. 60:00I don't regret for a minute that I chose to go to school there, I think it was a great platform for me to learn and achieve what I needed to to be a productive person in society. So I'm really happy that I went to school there, I'm glad that we had that in our neighborhood, so to speak, I knew that I didn't want to go too far away to school, so I just think it was a great campus, and it was the perfect size for me, I know that there are much smaller campuses and much larger campuses, but it was the perfect fit for me and what I needed and just kind of the right platform for me to become an adult.

KC: Okay, thank you for taking the time to do this and talk with me, and thanks 61:00for letting me ask you all these questions.

JC: Yes, well, it's been my pleasure, I appreciate the opportunity to do this. I haven't been very involved with the UW Oshkosh community since I graduated, so this is just a fun way to kind of relive some of those experiences and be a small part of the community again.

KC: Thank you.

JC: Okay, thank you.

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