Interview with Juliana Flavin, 11/30/2016

UW Oshkosh Campus Stories
Dominique Hastings, Interviewer | uwocs_Juliana_Flavin_11302016.mp4
Campus Stories Oral History Project (UWO Audio Series 51) |

0:00

DH: Alright, Hello Juliana, my name is Dominique and this is November 30th at 10 am in Polk Library.

JF: Good morning.

DH: So I'm just going to start with some questions on your background, could you tell me about where you grew up?

JF: Yes, I was born in Springfield, Ohio, um and I was about 5 years old my father um came to work in Menasha. So from 5 on I was living in Menasha, WI. So that's where I spent most of my time growing up.

DH: Alrighty, so what was the community like that you grew up in?

JF: Well, um it's a very small community with 15,000 people in it and at that time it was called the Twin Cities Menasha and I don't know if people know where that is around here but it's probably about 20 miles from Oshkosh. It was just a small community, nobody locked their doors that kind of thing. Everybody knew 1:00everybody. Um, so when you were walking down the street ya know, people said "hey stop that I'm telling your mom" and when you got home somebody had already called and said somethings. So that's the kind of community it was.

DH: That's nice. So everyone was looking out for each other.

JF: There's an old saying "it takes a village" and it did.

DH: That's nice to have that. So did the people you grew up with typically end up going to college?

JF: Um, it was starting because I was born in 1950 so I graduated from high school in 1968. And um that was people, but I was the oldest so I was the first, my mother had some college. Um but left and then met my dad. Then my brother went and my sister went. So all 3 of us graduated from college.

DH: Okay, that's good then. So what were your parents and grandparents like 2:00growing up?

JF: Well let's see, my parents had um started their family later in life, they were like 30 years old so that was kind of unusual at the time, they didn't get married until they were 25 and then it was about 5 years so around then that was it was more common to be married at 20 or 21. And my mother was a nursing assistant. And my father was a photo engraver and had a trade and worked as an attendant. My mother stayed home with us until I was maybe in high school. I think a sophomore in high school. Then she got a job at Theda Clark [spelling? name of hospital] hospital. And then she went back to work ya know because that was the thing for women to enter the workplace again. Um and they were good 3:00parents, they provided for us and ah I mean what can you say, they weren't helicopter parents or anything like that. Ya know they sent us to Catholic Schools and Catholic High Schools so they paid all the tuition and um made sure we went to college, we graduated and got degrees. They were quite proud that I was a teacher because that was something ya know, teachers my mother felt like that was something that was a great profession. My brother is a CPA now and so she would have liked that. Both of my parents have passed away. My sister is a recruiter for engineers. My mother, my parents would probably wonder about that. Ya know because it's not something straight like a doctor, a lawyer, or teacher.

DH: So when you were young, did you move around a lot with your family?

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JF: No, um once my parents moved here that's where we stayed. We stayed in the Valley and then even in my early life I came to school here at Oshkosh University and I lived in Oshkosh for a while. And I am still kind of back in the area living in Shorewood, which is just outside of Appleton. So I didn't really move. I've traveled but always come back here.

DH: Okay, so what kind of work did your parents do?

JF: Well, like I said, my father was a photo engraver um and now they do that all by a computer but in the olden days when he was learning it as a trade they etched on cylinders with acid to print it out so he worked for a magazine. And then when he labeled ya know and they made packages and so if you saw something 5:00from tissues that was what he had done. He etched on that cylinder that was printed. It is kind of a lost art now like I said they can do that all with computers now. It was a real talent then.

DH: Okay so what kind of values or lessons did you learn from growing up in your community?

JF: Well we were raised Catholic and um so I would say that those kind of values from the Catholic Church talked and practiced and we were expected to go to mass every Sunday and go to confession and be there for all feast days and ya know the days of obligation and I grew up in a time when Lent was no meat on Fridays 6:00and those kinds of things so since kind of moved away from that but um ya know that's how we were raised. Listen to your parents and addressed adults as Mr. and Mrs. and when your friends came over we had to greet them at the door. So ya know that's kind of how we were raised.

DH: Okay, so do you have children?

JF: I have one daughter.

DH: Do you feel like you have used those same values to raise her?

JF: Yeah not in the Catholic Church, I mean she was baptized. as were my grandchildren, but I can say we don't practice my faith in that way of going to mass on Sunday's or even at the holiday's but I think there are still those beliefs. I would say that yeah be kind to others and I have started to become 7:00politically active with the Women's Center. Social justice was really important and equality and those kinds of things. I think those basis are there but took them in a different direction.

DH: Alright, so that's all the questions I have for background so moving on to more on your family specifically. What were some of the family routines you had? Were you a close family growing up?

JF: Yes, I would say we were. My mother got us up every morning and we got up and had to be ready for school and out the door. We wore uniforms for school so it wasn't so much of a fight about what you were going to wear. And then we 8:00came home and um first my father was working shift work so he wasn't always there at dinner time, he might be on second shift. We always ate at a certain time and had to be home at a certain time. My mother was not a very big one for us having dinner at other people's houses. I mean she kind of felt that we should be in our own home so that's what we did. And on Sunday's it was mass and then we came home and had a dinner and the house was quiet. In my early days stores weren't open on Sunday's, sometimes not even gas stations. Yeah can you imagine, I don't know how people survived. So ya know, or we would take a ride in the car and we would all go in as a family and take rides as a family. Yeah so that's nice things that we did. But it wasn't but we had games. In the 9:00winter there might be Tarzan movies on in the afternoon and we got to pop popcorn and watch the movie. It is completely different from life today and what people do but that's what we did.

DH: That's nice. So could you describe the home that you grew up in?

JF: You mean like the physical home?

DH: Yes.

JF: It was three bedrooms and I shared a bedroom with my sister and I remember telling my students one time that we shared a room and they were like "ooohhh!" like I was impoverished. Because they all have their own rooms ya know. But it was a nice house um yeah three bedrooms and I had a brother so he had his own room and my sister and I shared a room. And um one bathroom so ya know eventually my father did some remodeling in the basement so we had a shower room 10:00down there because as we got older we were big kids and we needed to shower so there was more room. But yeah so that was nice. But we had a television in the living room but I remember we got a portable TV, we could move it on a cart so we could move it into our bedrooms. So that was kind of in and we had a fireplace and it was cozy and nice and that's how we lived. Practically on top of one another. That was our home.

So how many years apart were you and your sister? My sister and I are nine years apart. My brother and I are three years apart.

DH: How was that sharing a room with her? Were you two close?

JF: No, we really didn't get close until later when my mother became ill and 11:00then died and it was during that time that my sister and I were closer because she is in the area. She lives in Wauwatosa now but at the time she was um living and working in Appleton. So we were physically where my brother lives in Florida. He wasn't always able to be here, ya know it took arrangements to fly and get up here. So we became close after that and now we do lots of things together. We get together a couple times a month ya know I go to her house. Her and I will travel together and that's been the nice thing so um she and I have gotten closer but it wasn't like that. I think 9 years at that time seemed like a lifetime. Ya know and...

DH: Especially when you are younger.

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JF: Right, when you are older 9 years doesn't seem like anything but that time it wasn't, we weren't all that close.

DH: What about the neighborhood, was it changing a lot when you were living there?

JF: Well I know that the neighborhood is certainly changed now ya know when I was in the neighborhood where there were kids and we were all kind of the same age. We played kickball in the streets and ya know and organize stuff like that and hide and seek but I know it has changed now um my father sold the house a long time ago because he was in assisted living for many years and so the house went way before that and when we saw the neighborhood changing he sold his house. There were still a few houses where the original neighbors that I knew lived but some had younger couples and were having children so it was kind of changing.

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DH: For education now, can you tell me about the schools you attended?

JF: Well I went from first grade to eighth grade at St. John's Elementary School in Menasha. Then um for high school I went to St Mary's Central in Menasha. So those were the only 2 schools that I went to, we didn't have a middle school. Just elementary and then to high school.

DH: Did you enjoy school and did you have good teachers?

JF: No, hahah that's why I became a teacher! I mean I had good teachers I must say in fairness, we did have good teachers. But we did have a lot of nuns. They 14:00weren't always the kindest people so there were times in school I thought "boy nobody should have to go through this." Also too ya know it was, we were raised that if something happened at school like if we were in trouble at school, then we were really going to be in trouble when we got home. That was the expectation that there was no goofing around. I remember coming home once and saying Sister, I don't know, so and so was really crabby today and really mean to us and my mother just said to us "well the whole class must have done something to make her that mean." Hahah so it was always our fault which was kind of interesting. So kind of jumping ahead, that's why I went into education. I never ran my classroom like that, I mean I was, I felt I was always kind and 15:00caring. Ya know, education changed too, I don't know if we are going to talk about that later. Education in itself changed in school to when I was teaching and in my final years, kids didn't do homework and you would ask them and some parents would say "well he's too busy at night, too many sports and he had to go to soccer then he went here and there and he doesn't have time for homework." I just felt like it was kind of changing where we weren't as supported by parents as teachers were in the early education days.

DH: So what grade did you teach?

JF: I taught 6th grade. Well when I was first, um teaching I taught at a 16:00Catholic School and I had some sub experience then I taught in a Catholic School for a while. I also taught up at the Reservation at United Nation and I taught 6th grade up there and I loved that. That was really a good experience, everybody should be a minority for some point in their life because you really learn a lot about people and life and ya know it's kind of a good position to be in. I certainly was a minority on the res. so that was good then I got a job teaching 6th grade literature. Well first it was language arts and social studies then we started to call it literacy then social studies. I loved that and I loved 6th grade and middle school, it was fun. They could be rascally.

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DH: My sister is in 6th grade now so I can relate.

JF: Oh wow, so you have some age difference there too.

DH: Yeah, 7 years. So I understand the age difference.

JF: Pretty soon she will, ya know she probably looks up to you and probably tells people about her big sister is away at college, that's nice, that's cool.

DH: So you said that you knew you wanted to be a teacher, because of that, but did you know that at a young age?

JF: Ummm, no I think, I don't know, I think I finally went through it in high school. I, we had a club, the 'future teachers association' or something and we were a bunch of kids in high school thinking 'oh we are big shots' ya know. They took us on a tour of the campus here, we came down on a Saturday and toured. I was just like 'wow,' we went into the residence halls and saw their rooms, and 18:00we saw all these people strolling across campus. And we were a sophomore or junior in high school and then I just kind of came and did it. I did come to school for a while in the 70's and I did that whole dropping out thing, kind of craziness and then I came back in 1980 and buckled down and then I graduated in '83. Then I did it all. I had a lot to overcome because my grade point average was so bad then I left school because I was there in the 70's and just kind of playing at it. Then when I went back, finally I graduated with honors and I was proud because I really pulled that grade point up. I appreciated it a lot more 19:00when I came back I was 30 years old. So hopefully I should have matured and I did haha. I really buckled down and sometimes I think about that too, I think hm sometimes that saying 'youth is wasted on the young' you can kind of just go back and do things over but um ya know that's what I did but then I worked, I didn't go into teaching right away, I got a job with Winnebago County as a service coordinator. And what we did was provided money for ah various agencies, non-profit agencies, in Winnebago County to provide services for cognitively disabled adults. And so then we ended up going to the group homes and the CBRF's and making sure they were getting the services they needed. I did that for a while. Then I went back into teaching and finished, and retired from 20:00teaching. So that was good.

DH: Did your parents support you in going to college?

JF: Oh yeah, they were very disappointed when I was doing all that dropping in and dropping out stuff. They were like 'oh, come on'. And um ya know those were kind of tense years but uh with my parents but ya know, then when I went back they were very proud and it was a great thing to do because that's what you should do. It worked out well.

DH: Did you put the same emphasis on your daughter's education?

JF: Yeah, I did with my daughter Jennifer and I think I passed that on and she passed that onto my granddaughter because my granddaughter is here [UWO] too.

DH: Right.

JF: And so my son in law went here and my daughter and my granddaughter so um ya know it's kind of a cool thing. I'm happy about it.

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DH: That's neat that you all went here. So what interested you about college? Or why did you consider coming?

JF: I think the whole thing about college was the idea that you can think new thoughts and you're exposed to all kinds of people and ya know there is some routine there but there is also a discipline, you have to start disciplining yourself because nobody is saying to you the next morning ' did you read those pages?' Ya know, it's kind of like okay you can decide not to but you will pay that price later on so I think it teaches a lot of good things so yeah I did enjoy college and especially my experience at the Women's Center, it was ya know, I met Gloria Steinem [name spelling?], I drove her around in a car. She 22:00spoke here, and Bella Abzug [name spelling?] who were influential at the time. Those were good experiences to have. My daughter remembers them because she was younger so ya know Germaine Greer [name spelling?] she remembers her and I have little artwork done by her. And those names ya know have kind of fleeted from the past but ya know they were important and influential women for the time. So it was a very good experience.

DH: I'm glad to hear that, so how did you choose UW Oshkosh?

JF: Um, I don't know I think it was here and I wasn't very forward thinking at the time and ya know I think Oshkosh gave me the education that I needed at the 23:00time and um like I said I came on that student tour and it was like 'this is a great place' and so I came and I was here.

DH: I felt the same way when I saw the campus.

JF: Yeah it is really beautiful. It is really nice and it has a good faculty and I will say when I was working with the education department um you get to know your professors a little bit differently and you're working with them a little closer. There was nobody that ever disappointed me. They were very good and very knowledgeable and strong and committed and that's what you want.

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DH: That's the best quality in a teacher, I think, when they are passionate.

JF: Yeah they are and they are interested in you and that too I saw that here, I felt that. Um ya know, it's not as big as Madison where I think you could easily get lost and it's just kind of a close knit community even when we read about the Chancellor and the Vice Chancellor and they are always among the students doing something. Ya know and when I get my Oshkosh magazine the professors who are doing things and being very involved and I think that speaks volumes about the education on the campus and the kind of education you get here.

DH: Yeah definitely, now moving on to a little bit more about your college life.

JF: Okay.

DH: So the first time you came here was what year?

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JF: Well let's see I graduated in '68, um I would say the early 70's so '71.

DH: Okay so did you live on campus then?

JF: Um no, I lived in an apartment because I was older, even then, and I had Jenny, I had my daughter so I was able to live off campus as a single mother. I had an apartment and she went to the UWO daycare.

DH: That's nice, that works out well.

JF: Hahah it's kind of interesting.

DH: What were your first impressions of UWO?

JF: I liked it, I mean I think it was, people were full energy and something was always happening. That's what I liked about it. The campus is pretty and the professors are interested and other students were friendly and you just kind of 26:00got to know people. That's what I really liked about it at first.

DH: What were your classes like?

JF: Ya know, it's been a while. I remember introduction to sociology, I liked that one. Math, I always struggled with math. So that was, I mean I'll never forget that. And um I do remember my education classes, oh art, because we had to take art as an elementary major and some music, I struggled with the music. I remember we had to play a little tune on the piano and um I remember going down into the practice rooms, I don't know where they were located, they were in the theatre, but in the music department you could go down there would be pianos and 27:00there would be music and I am down there 'deee deee dee' and the people next to me are playing these beautiful pieces, and I'm just trying to do chopsticks. It was like a Woody Allen film. I still laugh about that one, they probably thought what is going on in there and hahah so that was kind of a struggle, the music. But yeah I remember some of the other classes where we talked about English and learning phonics and the teaching of the phonics oh my gosh ya know, which is probably something when I was leaving education. There wasn't that emphasis on phonetics on spelling and all that. I remember my practice teaching 28:00and um my practicums and how exciting that was. So pretty soon I'll have my own room.

DH: Yeah, that's exciting. So what kind of student were you at that time?

JF: I think when I went back from 80-83 I was more serious and went to all my classes and I didn't cut classes. I did the work, I kept up on it and ya know, I studied and I was serious about it. I was able to do things through the Women's center too. So kind of getting in that routine. I graduated with honors so I pulled myself up from a 2 point something. So ya know it was just taking it 29:00seriously and working hard.

DH: So can you tell me more about your involvement with the Women's Center?

JF: Yeah, um with my involvement I got in there through Tom Segnance [name spelling?] and I think that Tom has passed on now, I think. Mary Skorheim [name spelling?] and uh we, I directed the Women's Center at the place in Blackhawk Commons when I first started here and in a small room then we moved over to--um the administration hall. What's it called?

DH: I'm not sure, I'm blanking.

JF: Me too, since it's been 30 some years. Oh my gosh it will come to me. It's 30:00where administrative offices used to be. But anyway a lot of administrative people, like the Chancellor and everybody was located there. And so was the Dean of students. So we moved out there to the second or third floor, we had a place there and I think that was the year that, the last three years that I was here were those three years. We had a lot of problems with funding and nobody really wanted to fund us and I think that the Women's Center even closed for a while. 31:00Um and I don't know we had a budget and we had some really nice comfortable furniture that we had put up there. If it was open, you could come in, anybody could come in and sit down and relax, we had a nice big lounge area. I don't know what happened to all of that but anyway when I was at the Women's Center we would have a women's week in March and we would invite in speakers and we would have women speakers. We did things with women artists. Ya know, sometimes it's hard to leave that back in the 70's and 80's when women were still, in a lot of ways, struggling with issues and equality and acceptance and all of that. So it wasn't, we weren't always like I remember a couple of times coming in and there 32:00would be notes up on the door with horrible names on them and once we found a letter that had been slid under the door and the person said that we should be moved off campus, it was no place for Women's Center and what was this all about. 'Men haters' which was farthest from the trust. An interesting time and hahah but there was some really good, positive things that we tried to do. Sometimes we were invited into classrooms to talk with professors and women's studies would stop by. I have to admit, I have lost touch with a lot of that for a lot of years and so I have tried to ask my granddaughter about it and she 33:00knows where the Women's Center is located and things like that. But she is not as active in it because with her social work she is trying to take, well she has a women studies minor and she has to pick up some other things and she has done some other kind of work so um so she is not as active in it. I don't know if a lot of that has been lost or it's kind of hard to say. I think young women today are accepted more and that's alright, that's a good thing. But ya know it was kind of, we felt like we were back in the days of the struggle. Hahaha. It's kind of interesting and I get nostalgia now. Hahah.

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DH: How did you decide to get involved with the Women's Center?

JF: Yeah, I came to campus and I was kind of looking for some kind of student activity to get involved in and I just kind of ran into people who I met in a gathering at someone's house and they said 'hey, we are at the Women's Center and there is a lot of good material there and books to read'. We had conversations and things in common so I went and then they're older so when they graduated, ya know, they needed somebody to take over and in my naivety I said I would do it. So that's what I did and I stayed for those years.

DH: Did you meet a lot of people on campus that you are still in touch with today?

35:00

JF: Um, no. I mean I met a lot of people but I haven't stayed in touch with them. Some moved and others, for one reason or another, we drifted apart and so I don't really see them. My life kind of went in another direction of working and raising Jennifer. Then every once in a while I would be at a conference and run into somebody from school, which I knew but I really haven't stayed in touch with them for whatever reason.

DH: What are some of the things you remember about the campus and how it is different now?

JF: Well, I can't really speak for now because I'm not really on campus often. I 36:00mean physically the campus has grown and the buildings and the services that are provided I think are fantastic. We didn't have that beautiful health center over there with the rock climbing wall and the whole thing. Where is that? What is that halls name? I don't know.

DH: Oh the Rec Center. Student Recreation Center.

JF: Yeah we had the pool, Albee, so I would swim in the pool in the morning, early in the morning. And I just think the services that are there like the emergency lights and people being able to get escorted back from classes or just the way the campus is laid out, how it is kind of blocked off now and they provide things on campus so kids don't have to leave and go into or use Oshkosh 37:00all that much. There was always some kind of tension between the townies and the students and they would think they are so 'hoity toity' they are in college, kind of thing. Hahah. I think there was sometimes too used to be a little more violence than now but I don't know if that has subsided or not. But I did read that somebody broke into someone's apartment and left a heart in a plastic bag, that was in the Titan and I'm like 'what the heck'. But ya know, in the years that I was here there was a girl that somebody sexually assaulted them and I think she was killed in her apartment. There were things like that, that have happened, but very few and far between. I see the campus really and the university really providing for the safety of the students. My granddaughter 38:00talks about the alerts she will get and my daughter gets them. It seems that the university administration is more open in trying to get information to the students and keep them safe and protected, and provide. The bookstore in the Union. The Union is just gorgeous. It was much smaller and things were much smaller when I was here but it is beautiful now and the services that students are available to. It's great too. It's a very classy campus, I must say.

DH: When you were going to school here was your apartment close to the campus?

JF: Uh no, I lived way down on Central Street. Well it wasn't all that far. It was in walking distance so yeah.

39:00

DH: Did you feel like you spent a lot of time on campus then?

JF: Yeah I did because I could pick up my daughter from the daycare center and we could have lunch and I could bring her over to the Union or things like that. That was, yeah I did. I would come back in the evening and do things here. Especially if we had some Women's Center Program, we would call in people and they would do programs for us in the evening. We would have a room in the Union upstairs, a meeting room, and they would give talks. We did things like phone safety. Who ever has anything about phone safety? Now with people calling and haha now when I think about it, it was almost archaic programs. Or a Women's 40:00film festival, we take women as directors and producers for granted now. There was a time when there weren't such things as that and ya know. Women's films and women artists and writers and ya know, they have made strides so you don't have to do programing that brings it to people's attention anymore.

DH: Besides the Women's Center, did you take part in any extracurricular activities?

JF: No, with studying and raising Jenny kind of took up my time so yeah.

DH: How old was she when you were in school?

JF: Let's see, she was in first or second grade.

DH: Okay, what was one of the main things you remember from being here?

41:00

JF: I guess, one of the best things is knowing the community, I stayed in Oshkosh for a while after graduating then when I worked for Winnebago County I really go to know Oshkosh and uh how things worked with the county so that was neat. I do remember living here and spending a lot of years here. Jenny went to school here and graduated from Oshkosh North. That's where those early years of my life, my 30's and 40's probably were in Oshkosh.

DH: What were the bars like?

42:00

JF: Hahah the bars. Well Thursday night, what is it about Thursday night? Hahah that was the night to go out. We would go to Mable Murphy's down on Irving Street, is that still here?

DH: I'm not sure.

JF: And um then there was the B&B, oh my gosh, yeah, we would go there a lot. It was, I mean, I couldn't go out a whole lot because I would need a sitter. But yeah there was quite a, then around here too, Molly McGuire's, is Molly's still here?

DH: Yep. I think so.

JF: Yeah, Molly McGuire's. A lot of those bars on that strip, a lot of them 43:00aren't here anymore. That used to get really rough and rowdy. I mean down there. There was a lot of, a rough area.

DH: A lot of violence?

JF: Yeah I would say there was lots of fights down there, I would say a lot of that is cleaned up now 'cause those bars aren't there. It was like that. Hahah so anyway, that was always the big thing, a lot of people went out drinking.

DH: Were there any main political or cultural issues on campus at that time?

JF: Umm, well to us, at the Women's Center it was women's issues. And women's 44:00safety at night on campus. I think the acceptance of women and politically, well we came out of the 70's and um things were politically charged then but um not too much that I can remember. That's sad.

DH: So now, I am going to ask some questions about after college, were you able to find a job teaching right after you graduated?

JF: No, what I did was um I got a job for a, with an agency. They were one of the agencies, I think it's called Clarity now but it was RCDD back then. They 45:00were receiving funding from the county to provide group homes for the cognitively disabled. I worked there for years and then, because I was known to people in the county because I worked at this agency, one position opened up for Winnebago County Department of Community Programs so I was hired there. I worked with them for a while and then I went back to classes part time. I mean a class here and a class there to earn my credits to get my teaching license. I got that renewed and then I was able to find a teaching job, I did subbing first and then I got a teaching job in New London at a Catholic School and um nope I first went to the Nation as a long term sub for 6th grade but there was always someone out 46:00on maternity leave or something like that so I was able to stay there for a while. And then I got a job because that long term sub job ended and then I went to the Catholic School in New London and worked there for about 2 or 3 years and then I got a teaching job in Sheboygan Falls. That is where I stayed until I retired but I was always going to find something closer to home because I lived in Sherwood and that was a 50 mile commute one way so I drove 100 miles a day. I was always going to find something closer to home but then I liked it there and I liked the kids and some of the families and the kids would have younger brothers or sisters and they would say "I can't wait to have you as a teacher". Then I would stay and you just end up staying, which was fine. It worked out okay.

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DH: Yeah, what was your favorite thing about being a teacher?

JF: I think just being with the kids, kids really keep you young and I was in middle school because I liked that and they have humor and they understand it. But they weren't in that stage yet where eh, I mean they still kind of liked you, they kind of liked teachers. So that was kind of neat. I liked making it special for them. I had a lot of learning techniques. I have a thumb and you put it on and you press the back of it and it lights up, ya know so I did that whole thing. Now I can't do that because Donald Trump does it all the time. Hahah. It would give the kids that thumbs up and it would light up and they would just ahhh it was, they liked that. On the first day of spring I would 48:00dress up as a bee, I have this big quilted bee costume and I would hand out little honeys and I would hand out pencils with bees on them and daffodils for the teachers. That was fun. The kids would always tell the 5th graders you get that next year but we aren't going to tell you. Just wait. Then I could make it special at Christmas, I would be talking and then I would say "the elves are looking in!" Then they would come in the day before break and there would be these little bags of coal but it was really gum. You can buy it at the Dollar Tree. I would dress up as a big gong when we would talk about China and we 49:00would make dragons and go through the building for a Chinese New Year. Anything you can think of to keep them interested in what we were doing. We did all this work on China now we can celebrate Chinese New Year. The stories and do reading circles and they could pick their own book and they each had a job and they would rotate jobs. That was better than we are all going to read this book together. And then they would tell other groups about the books and they it would get excited. It kept me on my toes and making learning interesting for 50:00them and we would go outside in the spring. Anything to keep them amused. Part of me was the entertainer and part of me was the teacher. And kind of doing that and they did a lot of group work, like making projects or reading together in groups and reporting or fishbowl conversations. I did, I liked that part of it.

DH: It seems like you did a good job entertaining them and making them excited about learning.

JF: Yeah when I left it was like I had PTSD and then you leave and retire. I 51:00liked it. That's another thing about this university. Every once in a while I would come back to this literacy conference in the spring. There was so many things that the college of education is doing to inspire the new teachers. I just hope these new people can stay and teach. The dropout rate is really high for the first five years almost 50%. It can be very stressful, especially with the way things are going now. Education has lost a lot of good teachers due to the things that have happened in our state and nationwide. They have good 52:00programs going.

DH: Alright, what kind of advice would you give to current students?

JF: Just use all the resources that you can here and put in the work because it will reap the rewards for you. Enjoy it here, these are good years of your life. I don't know if it will be the best but it will fly by. Someday someone will be interviewing you and you'll say "I can't remember the name of that place." But yeah just enjoy it, it's a great time. Learning at a university is just the best 53:00thing. Absorb it all.

DH: Alrighty, well that's all the questions I have. I really appreciate you coming and answering everything.

JF: Thank you. Yeah, it was very nice.

DH: Thank you.

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