Interview with Linda Weyers, 04/26/2018

UW Oshkosh Campus Stories
Tanor Ecklund, Interviewer | uwocs_Linda_Weyers_04262018_uc.mp3
Campus Stories Oral History Project (UWO Audio Series 51) |


´╗┐TE: Alright so the date is April 26th, 2018. I am in Neenah, Wisconsin. Then, I am interviewing Linda Weyers which is in Santa Cruz, California. Is that correct?

LW: Well, I am going to go ahead and mention the pronunciation I use, which is "Wayers."

TE: Okay, Wayers. Okay. And then the interview is for the Campus Stories Oral History Project. So the first I have for you is where did you grow up?

LW: I grew up in Little Chute, Wisconsin.

TE: Okay. Alright. So, like the community in Little Chute, was there any, like, specific types of work that people did in your neighborhood, or anything that was just like typical for people who lived in Little Chute to do?

LW: Well, I think my first answer to that is that there was a family connection with the different paper mills in the area. Little Chute itself did not have a 1:00lot of employment. We, I think a lot of people also went to Appleton for different insurance agencies and things like that.

TE: Okay

LW: We were more of, I don't want to say a bedroom community, but I was there so long ago that we just didn't have a lot of industry.

TE: Okay. Alright. So like for your family, what were your family members like? Like were they normal class or?

LW: Yeah well okay so the family in general was definitely middle class. No one was really rich and no one was really poor. Let's see, the community was pretty much middle class too. Yeah we were pretty all solid middle class.

TE: Okay. Alright did people in your family or around where you lived in typically go to college or anything like that?


LW: Not really. It was interesting you gave me the questions in advance so I could evaluate that. There was only one other person in my family, you know my extended family of cousins that maybe two went to college and 4 years ahead of me and at least 8 years ahead of me. It wasn't the common thing for my family.

TE: Did your parents emphasize on you going to college as like an individual or what made you decide to?

LW: Okay at the risk of being a little personal here. I was pretty much raised by my mom. My brothers and I were pretty much raised by my mom. Between a combination of things, one was that they inherited a lot of natural intelligence, I would say from both of my parents, and I was a good student in 3:00high school, and I also had sort of an adventurous side and it just made sense to me to try and go to college and see what else was out there in the world.

TE: Okay. Alright. So you said you were raised by your mom. Were your parents divorced?

LW: Yes, they were. They were divorced when I was 6. And my mother remarried when I was 16 and there was some time in there when no one was actively monitoring my progress and it is kind of an interesting anecdote that at one point I think I walked into a high school counselor's office and asked about college. And what I recall is she was surprised that I hadn't applied anywhere yet. And yeah it was a bunch of late applications.

TE: I can kind of relate to you because my parents are divorced as well. So I 4:00can see where you are coming from there. So did, not to get personal or anything but did you, how was that with your parents being divorced. Did that affect your education at all?

LW: In one way it did because I am pretty sure I would have gone abroad if I felt confident enough. I was really fluent in Spanish, but in the terms of the classroom but I didn't have an emerging experience. And I toyed with that idea but I didn't feel I had someone that was really actively fostering me in my family. My mom, for granted, she was the single earnings winner because my dad had some health issues and really wasn't providing for the family. Did I finish answering that?

TE: Yes that's pretty good. So around the house when you came home was your mom 5:00home? What was a normal day for your childhood?

LW: No, my mom worked. She worked at the time at Thilmany which was in Kaukauna which I think is International Papers now. It was bought and sold a few times. My brother and I were some of the original latchkey kids and in my small community of about 5,000 and at that time I think there was only one other divorced family. That felt a bit stigmatized as well.

TE: Wow.

LW: I managed to hold my head high.

TE: Okay so a little bit about your education. So, what high school did you attend?


LW: Little Chute public.

TE: Little Chute Public? And you went to Little Chute all the way from elementary all the way to high?

LW: Well, I was in the same town -- okay, so I don't know how germane this is, but I went to kindergarten and then first grade in Neenah, and then, um, second through 6th at St. John's Elementary school in Little Chute, and then transferred to the brand new junior/high school.

TE: So you did a little moving around with schools and then finally went to Little Chute?

LW: A little bit of moving around is consequential in terms of kindergarten and first grade, but it was also a bit of a bummer not to continue to at St. Johns because they had a better education for academics, but we did have some 7:00financial issues at that time and then so did St. Johns. They actually closed when I was a sophomore so within four years I wouldn't have been able to finish my high school diploma at St Johns anyway.

TE: Oh.

LW: Very interesting time there.

TE: So when you were in elementary school or middle school or high school were there any important subjects that influenced you or teachers that maybe helped you through school and maybe the divorce, your parents going through a divorce that helped you through that?

LW: I had a great physical education teacher, Sherry Simon and she channeled a 8:00lot of positivity. Not precisely for my circumstance but just in general. Let's see, what else. It was kind of that era where there were just some stronger women showing up and it's likely that she was gay. I don't know that anymore, but I'm pretty sure she was so that was kind of interesting as well. At the Catholic school there were nuns so that was kind of an eye opening experience that my chemistry teacher was a woman as well. Strong women that way. I did get interested in journalism and I have to say it was the time of deep (unclear) And 9:00Watergate situation when I was in high school. That got me into the Washington Post and writing about it. So I started getting more interested in journalism in high school and I there was only 120 kids in my graduating class. But I was on the newspaper.

TE: I actually went to Winneconne so Little Chute was in my conference so I know a little bit about Little Chute. It's kind of the same size as my school so you said you did write in high school? You were writing already?

LW: Yes I was. But not extravagantly or anything. I was just reporting on stuff. It was just local stuff not national at all.

TE: Wow. That's really cool.

LW: Oh, haha. I just remembered the other interesting thing is that when I was a 10:00junior in high school I became a statistician for boys basketball team and I used to call in the notes to a radio station so that was kinda fun. I got to hear myself on the radio which was pretty fun.

TE: That is cool.

LW: You would make up some little story like "The Little Chute Mustangs Got Walloped" but some little phrase like that. I was never wanting to be in broadcast. I was more comfortable in print.

TE: As a young person what were your goals in life?

LW: Well probably coming from personal experience, but it was about being self-reliant. I didn't have any strong goals growing up. I just wanted to be able to support myself. I also think from a psychological standpoint I wasn't 11:00too secure with having my own family because it didn't work that well in my family. I would say the independent aspect was important and to be able to support myself. I never really and I didn't have any goals to be rich or big into politics. I just wanted to be self-supportive and a contributor to society most certainly.

TE: Was there any goals that you think your parents may have communicated to you that they had for you?

LW: I was thinking about that a little bit. It was probably more just values. Not so much goals, but there definitely was that expectation that I would be a 12:00productive member of society but not a specific profession. I think that my mom was just really distracted at that time. She was a wonderful person. She split when I was 6. She didn't date for 7 years and that's pretty good looking back at it. I think she was distracted. But the values were always there. Being honest. Being kind. Be helpful. That sort of thing.

TE: Okay.

LW: I didn't get a whole lot of direction. I probably could have been a lot more confident if I had more direction. I feel pretty good for what I have done, but it's just interesting when you get dealt that deck of cards.

TE: Yeah. You have to play with what you're given. When you decided to go 13:00further into higher education or college what did your family members think about that?

LW: I think they were happy. I think they were supportive. Even though we never really talked about it, I think that is what they did want for me.

TE: When you were growing up and going to school did you always think about going to college? Or when did college come into your brain and that is always what you wanted to do?

LW: I remember encountering that question and I don't remember what I thought about it right now. When did I really start thinking about college? I guess when 14:00I started high school. I just felt my like with the different subjects being presented that I felt a pull towards adulthood and wanting to know more. I'd say probably my sophomore year in high school. I kind of knew I was going to go but I didn't know the process. I didn't know what was the starting of the year. So crazy.

TE: So when you did decide to go to college, how did you decide what college to go to?

LW: Okay so since I didn't have direction I decided I was going to go to Madison. That was my first choice. And were talking that my application went in February, possibly as late as April and put in several applications because at 15:00that point my guidance counselor said "it's pretty late so you better put in a few." I knew I wanted to go to a Wisconsin school but at that time and probably still I thought perhaps Madison had the best reputation for having. I went to a summer two week or one week thing in La Crosse the year before so I applied to them and I applied to Oshkosh and honestly, initially it was because of proximity. So what happened was, of course, Madison had already closed off their admissions and there wasn't room for me. So I said, okay, La Crosse or Oshkosh. Then I thought Oshkosh makes sense because it's closer. It wasn't based on some 16:00strong pull to some program at the time, but inherently I knew and it came quickly for me that there were really more opportunities for me at Oshkosh. I was a big fish in a small pond in a way where in Madison I would have been a small fish in a big pond. In hindsight it turned out to be a really good decision for me. I got involved in all kinds of things -- as your questions get there. Is that the question, why did I choose Oshkosh?

TE: Yes. That's perfect.

LW: And once I decided I wanted to go to Oshkosh and hadn't even registered because I was going out West to be gone out west all summer, in '76 bicentennial 17:00year, I was registered, of course Madison then sent a letter saying they had room for me because they went through their melt. Do know that term?

TE: No. What does that mean?

LW: I work at a college so that's a term we use quite a bit even though I don't work in admissions, but over offer and that means people either decide to go to another college or they decide not to go to college at all so it opens up spots typically. I had a good enough academic record to get in the first time, but I was just too late.

TE: Gotcha, one thing that is interesting the 3 colleges you applied to are the exact same colleges I applied to.

LW: Isn't that interesting.

TE: That is very interesting. Exact same.

LW: There is a reason these things happen.

TE: Yeah. Wow. You said you and your friend, did your friend go to Oshkosh too 18:00or no?

LW: No, she was older than me, true confessions. We had 2 girlfriends that were her age. A year summer before in 1975 and I don't know what got into them, but we couldn't be outdone, they decided they were going to hitchhike out West. So they came back and were like "oh such a great time and were never in any danger and these truckers were always picking us up and they were happy for company!" Anyway so of course, we had to do it too. We told our parents and we lived. It was quite the adventure and it felt good knowing I was already registered for my classes.

TE: So UW-Oshkosh. What did you know about UW-Oshkosh before you attended it?


LW: Well, obviously I knew they had a journalism program because I wouldn't have applied because at that point I already knew what I wanted to major in. Besides that I don't know if I knew anything else.

TE: Really?

LW: I do not recall touring the campuses or like I said I did with La Crosse when I did a week long summer thing and I think I walked around Madison or visited, but nothing formal. That's a long ago memory. It wouldn't have been much. Everything was last minute and I made orientation, but a lot of that summer I was gone.

TE: Alright. What were your impressions the first day of UW-Oshkosh?


LW: I liked it. I was in Taylor Hall the first year. My parents dropped me off, by that time my mom was married. My mom and step dad dropped me off. Of course the typical that was kind of a lonely feeling. I am pretty [unclear] person so I just started exploring things. I liked the way the campus was laid out. Coincidentally, the conference I was just at was at UC San Diego. Of course it's much bigger, but really like the way their campus was centralized as well. Probably many are, but where I work things are nestled into trees and they have to do special building sites because we have limestone under some of them and instability because of earthquakes and all that. I like the way Oshkosh was organized. I like it centralized. I like the residence halls. That was the first 21:00day. Pollock Alumni House was adjacent to the Taylor residence hall and Reeve Union was close and the book store, the cafeteria. I liked it, I was never too much into sports so that time I was relatively close to Kolf, but I didn't go there that much.

TE: Okay, What were the classes like?

LW: Like the freshman term, and you probably experience this too, but I felt a little bit of a rude awakening because I didn't realize that everyone was pretty much as smart as me or smarter. And so I took, I know for sure I took an honor's 22:00composition course and that's where I really encountered that. My first term I struggled to get an A in composition and ended up with a B in the course as I recall. It was my first large lecture class introduction to environment or something. I felt really stimulated by my classes and challenged. I got involved in student government my freshman year. Don't ask me why, I wasn't involved in it in high school, but yeah I was elected. I think it was like two people from each class but I don't recall. That was stimulating as well. I felt a lot of freedom to explore things and tried to do my best in my classes.

TE: What did you think about the lecture pit because that's a little different than being in Little Chute?

LW: Yeah right, I felt like a fly on the wall. I would never dare raise my hand 23:00after a question in that big of a setting. I don't even think there were sections? I mean there were teaching assistants, but they were there to grade the work. I don't recall having separate meeting times. Telling you the truth, most of my classes were pretty small. I only had a couple of big ones and you know you always have that one professor that will put you to sleep. I had one history class and think I went to one lecture only and never went again and I just read the book and got either a B or an A. Mostly they were great; I had a lot of small classes. I was a Lit minor or an English minor and those were all small. The Journalism class was relatively, well the intro to journalism was 24:00big, but I felt that the Environment class was bigger. The history class was big, but mostly I felt like I could be seen. I felt that I could ask questions and that's one that I don't think I would have had much of at Madison.

TE: Yes. I was just going to say that. So you went for Journalism. How was Oshkosh? How did they offer it?

LW: There were 2 sequences that you could choose between. I started in one and ended up in the other or maybe I had enough points for both of them. I started in the editorial sequence and ended up, my last year, gravitating towards the marketing sequence, but I worked at the Advance Titan and did a little bit of 25:00reporting. What was the question?

TE: That was perfect. Did you have to get into the journalism section of the school? Did you have to apply?

LW: I don't remember applying I just remember that was the major I was listed for. I think that's how I was admitted to the school and I just started taking the classes and the sequence that they set forth.

TE: Okay. Just because I am going to school for being a business major and I have to apply for the business school.

LW: Is there a journalism school there now?

TE: I'm not sure if there was.

LW: I don't recall applying to it, I just recall saying that was just my major 26:00so then taking the courses in the sequence.

TE: Do you remember anything about the general education classes that you took?

LW: Lemme think about the gen eds. They were definitely more of the bigger classes certainly. I relayed one anecdote about the history class.

TE: Yup.

LW: I think they were relatively comparable to what you have at most institutions. I don't remember learning anything startling in any of them. I do remember an intro to sociology class. That was pretty big as well. I think they were good for their purpose of introducing concepts, not great detail, just 27:00general overviews of areas.

TE: Did your gen ed classes last about 2 years then?

LW: I hope not. I don't remember that. I mean I did have some classes that transferred in. I remember this now, but took an early version of advanced placement. I don't remember how I got turned on to that. There was an extension? Is there a UW Extension or something in Neenah or Appleton? I took some extension course in journalism and that gave me credit for that that counted towards college. A lot of my Spanish came in from high school and counted. I would say honestly I think I was only in my gen eds for a year.

TE: Really? So you took a lot of it in high school then?

LW: I took some in high school and I was thinking the last that year you didn't 28:00even have to take a math class so I didn't have to take math.

TE: Wow.

LW: I know.

TE: That must have been nice for you.

LW: Yeah, I guess so. I didn't mind math, but it wasn't something I was really drawn to so it's okay that I didn't have it.

TE: So you said you were advanced in high school, what kind of student were you in college then?

LW: I was, you could probably use the word diligent. I had fun, don't get me wrong, but I pretty much knew why I was there and my goal was to graduate in 4 years. When I came in I saw how easy it was to be distracted. There were a lot of classes that seemed interesting. I even registered voters for the 1980 election to get an extra credit to make sure I got out on time. I wanted to get 29:00my degree and move forward.

TE: Wow, when you were on campus where did you spend most of your time?

LW: I was in the dorms for 2 years so I mentioned Taylor freshman year. My sophomore year I was in Fletcher and that was a coed dorm and that's where I met my two best friends that I'm still friends with today even though one lives west of Chicago and the other one is by Milwaukee all these years until about a year ago. Now in the Minneapolis/St Paul area. We still exchange birthday cards and I've seen them both within the last 2 years. So?

TE: Wow.

LW: Pretty cool.

TE: That is really cool. What were the dorms like when you were there?


LW: The girl's dorm, was I don't know, kind of silly I guess. Not really sorority oriented but I just liked [unclear] I should really say my freshman year, of course, I had a shared room, but by the time I became a sophomore there was some option, I don't know how we figured it out, but there was option for having your own room so that was really appealing to me and there were a number of us that had our own rooms in Fletcher. Then one wing was female and the other wing was male, but there was nothing preventing me from going to each other's rooms and so I felt trust in the system letting us, and that was a time when birth control became an option as well so more than just condoms and you can just use the pill and stuff. It was a good experience to be trusted to live in a 31:00way that we could intermingle.

TE: Yeah.

LW: We could go have a beer in each other's rooms or watch a tv show together. It was just so much innocent fun stuff that happened. It was great. Other places like Reeve Union, let's see where were what else. A lot of my classes were in Dempsey Hall. Advanced Titan offices, I spent a lot of time there because after I was reporting I was a sales rep for the advertising side for probably a semester then I became the ad manager for the last semester. So I spent a lot of 32:00time there altogether my last 2 years. Those were the primary places.

TE: Okay. Was there any construction when you were there? Like any buildings getting built?

LW: I'm sorry im trying to remember, I just go through so much of that at our current campus. I do believe that the mounds were installed while I was there, but I believe they were subsequently leveled I can't remember when that happened. But buildings, the two giant Scott Hall and whatever else was already up. No I think they were planning on it. There was some building I think the Student Health Center that they were going to tear down because I think they were going to build a parking lot or something. Back then there were 1 or 2 houses on the campus but I can imagine that isn't the case anymore.


TE: Yeah, no.

LW: I know I did an editorial on one of the houses and some people were challenging me on and I don't know why I felt the way I did and that's one of the reasons I got out of the editorial sequence is because I realized, I don't want to be defending myself all the time.

TE: So you said you lived in the dorms did you have the option of commuting because you lived in Little Chute I guess?

LW: Well, first of all I didn't want to. By my junior year I lived close by and was in walking distance I actually lived. I met a sweetheart there and lived there for a year, but unfortunately that didn't work out. Who knows what happened there, I had some ideas, but I lived close by there I think I moved to 34:00my own place on Jackson Street so it's still all. I didn't want to commute. I liked being close to campus. I mean my mom and my stepdad were kind of newlyweds and I had one sibling at home for a year then he actually went to Oshkosh as well for a year, but he dropped out and went to the fire science program at Appleton Tech I think, Fox Valley Tech. He was a fireman for 33 years. He just retired a few years ago, but he was stuck, not really stuck, but he was in Scott Hall. That seemed like it was a party zoo hall. I don't know maybe it was Fletcher or Scott, I don't recall, but it was one of the two high rises. I definitely wanted to be on or near campus. I had no interest in commuting.

TE: Okay. So since you lived on campus did you go home a lot?


LW: I went home on Holidays. I had a grandparent that passed when I was there so went home for that. One summer I lived, actually my freshman year, I rented a nearby, like someone subleased to me, the year that Elvis Presley died, I was living between campus and the bar scene. Was in easy walking distance. Then I got jobs in the summer, but I was on campus during the semesters and worked during the summer in Appleton pretty much. All 3 summers after that.

TE: Oh. Okay.


LW: I got an internship my last year so that was super cool.

TE: Really? Can you tell me about that?

LW: What?

TE: Can you tell me a little bit about that?

LW: Sure. I had a friend, one of my two good friends that actually had an internship in Wausau at Century Insurance because her family was in that area and she said something about Post Crescent so I actually got an internship in the ad department there and sold ads and did some design but mostly sold. It was super cool to be like working in place that was my main source of news back then.

TE: Yeah.

LW: I almost stayed with them, but there opening was in Milwaukee and I was actually living with a grandparent at the time and she fell and broke her arm so 37:00just came back. I just started working for Fleet Farm in their small in-house advertising agency.

TE: So you did a lot of advertising I see?

LW: I did. I say I switched sequences by then. Some of the luster of writing wore off. I kind of felt like I had to be clever all the time and I wasn't up to that.

TE: So you said before you were an advertising sales rep?

LW: Yes.

TE: Can you tell me a little bit about that?

LW: Well, the one you mean at Oshkosh?

TE: Yeah, Oshkosh.

LW: Yeah. It was divided up into zones. I don't remember precisely who were all the people orall the accounts that I had serviced, but there was some cold 38:00calling and there was some established accounts. And were just expected to go in and ask them if they wanted to do advertising or renew their ad. Some of them were on a contract so we were able to get some contracts as well. Wonderful, wonderful real world learning experience. In the safety of the college it was the reason I got my internship. No question.

TE: So you moved from being the advertising sales rep to the advertising manager?

LW: Yes.

TE: Wow.

LW: Yes. So I had a team of like 5 of us and the interesting part of that, and I know you're a business major, but there some of a source of pride in being able 39:00to tell the editorial side because there were so many pages we could run basically every week because we had to pay for it. There was a production run and it actually was on paper back then. So we really felt like we contributed to the success of the paper at that time. There were some national ads, probably some cigarettes back then. You know maybe an alcohol ad or two, but there were some national companies that placed ads. Some of it was just freebies but there was definitely a production of people walking on streets and knocking on doors.

TE: Yeah doing that advertising right?

LW: Yes. It's a win win they want to be in association with the campus as well 40:00and they want us to be aware of what they have to offer so I always thought of it as a go-between.

TE: Okay. Next question. Do you remember any important social issues or political issues on campus when you were there?

LW: I don't necessarily remember campus on [unclear] anecdotally I remember at Reeve Union a streaker running through. But the context at the time, Carter was in office. I don't really remember the Iranian hostage situation. I don't really remember a lot of protests or signs being carried. It was kind of a quiet time 41:00on campus. More towards the exploring the freedom of women's rights and like I mentioned before, being on the pill. Things like that and of course the environment was a big deal but I don't recall, oh there was that gas crisis. I remember being in line for a really long time one time and I knew there was a national reason for it but really no social issue on the campus.

TE: Gas. What year do you think that gas crisis was?

LW: Either 78 or 79 because I got my first car the summer between my sophomore 42:00and junior year because I worked somewhere in the paper mill plant. I basically sat in their giant machine for part of the time and on a conveyor, what do they call those? Automated conveyor belts.

TE: Yeah

LW: Almost ran the tow motor but they scared me on purpose because they wanted the job. So I'm looking at this sheet they printed out and ran back in the United States and to overthrow the [unclear]. Come to power after the Iranian revolution in 79 so the gas crisis.

TE: So switching gears a little bit what did you for fun during college?


LW: Okay. That's a good gear switch. So, let's see what did we do for fun? There wasn't that much fun in my freshman year. I think I was really trying to dial it in, with the student government and stuff, but when I got into the coed dorm and met people and we went to Reeve Union a lot. I think it was called Mattle and (Cayttle?). We did kind of a Friday night thing and gather so there was that kind of thing going on. Then there were bands and there were movies and we hung out in each other's rooms. Certainly we were smoking pot already back then. Yeah I remember one time I had this brilliant idea that there was some drink recipe called swamp water and it had Midori liqueur which was green and you could buy 44:00these glasses with an alligator that said swamp water on them and so I thought that was such a great idea to do that in one of the lounges on our floor. So I basically had an unofficial drinking party where some people brought out bongs. We watched Saturday Night Live. That was big back then. It came out a few years before. Oh I don't know, we rode bicycles, pretty typical stuff.

TE: Okay. So for activities on campus did you like go to homecoming or any of the dances?

LW: I did not go to Homecoming. I would say we went more to bands and danced at bands. I didn't really go to a fall prom. No I definitely wasn't a sorority kind of person, so yeah.


TE: So you said you went to bands? What was that like?

LW: Oh, I don't know. You know we would just listen, get drinks. Sit around, talk when they weren't playing and dance when they were so normal.

TE: Where were they?

LW:I wanna say that they were in Reeve Union. That's what I remember.

TE: Okay.

LW: So Kolf had some. Muddy Waters and something else. I don't remember who else, but there were a couple outside there. I don't really remember too much other outside music.

TE: Okay.

LW: Yeah. Was it Muddy Waters or BB King? I think it may have been BB King. I thought it was a pretty big dude. Yeah I think it was BB King.

TE: Was there any other school activities you did on campus?


LW: I was in Ad Club for a while and I know I was some representative on a committee. I don't remember what it was about anymore. There was some administrative committee they needed a student in my class to do it and then I mentioned that the first year was the government and pretty much Advance Titan stuff after that. I did a spring break one year that was sanctioned by UW-Oshkosh. Went to Orlando then to Fort Lauderdale.

TE: That's cool.

LW: Yeah it was fun. I did some fun stuff that was planned through my 47:00Shakespeare class by a professor, I don't remember his name. He arranged for us to see Hamlet in Minneapolis/St Paul. Way cool. One of my classes my senior year was a marketing and sales type class and my stepdad was involved. He was a salesman for Unisource and I traveled around with him for a day and that was interesting to see the different types of packaging that he represented and the different kinds of products it was used for and you know I was so grateful to the class to even have that connection with my stepdad or reason that you know to be going out on the road with him for a day. That was really cool. I think any time you can get some outside learning that's definitely a jump on knowledge 48:00for sure.

TE: You seemed like you're very involved though so I think that helped you a lot?

LW: Yeah. I was pretty curious and liked to try different things so, some of it took a little bit of courage. I'm not patting myself on the back here I'm actually feeling a little bit intimidated when I say it, but I remember saying oh I don't know if I can pull this off, but I just did it anyway.

TE: So it seemed you spent a lot of time on campus. Did you spend a lot outside of campus?

LW: No. I mean we would go downtown and shop. I think there was a mall at that time, yeah there was definitely a mall because I remember I got my watch there for my graduation gift. I don't know what it's called now, but if there was an art show at the Paine Art Center and some little gardens, we went to the EAA. 49:00Just some of your basic Oshkosh, oh yeah St. Patrick's Day we were out in force that day. Watched a Volkswagen get tipped over. There used to be a rowdy back then. Not sure if there still is. Yeah, you know, we had our share of going out to the bars. Kelly's was the closest to campus. Then there was some Marvin Gardens. What else was there? I was a pretty good foosball player so I tried to find people that were good at that. That was fun

TE: Were there any other places you liked to go inside the city of Oshkosh besides by campus?

LW: Nope. I mean my medical needs were taken care of there. The Student Health 50:00Center was there. And I met my same friend that worked at Century Insurance for an internship. Was a ticket taker downtown at the movie theater. I think I only saw one movie there, which was Platoon? No? What was the one that was out of Africa inspired. I'll have to think about that for a minute. Joseph Conrad. What was the other big army movie back then? Martin Sheen was in it, but anyway we'll have to look that up some other time.

TE: Alright.

LW: It was big deal back then. So, yeah no I didn't do that much off campus. I pretty much stayed on campus or went home for the most part.

TE: Okay. Switching gears a little bit again. When you were at school was there 51:00more men or women on campus at UWO?

LW: I am not sure, but I would say it was either even or possibly a few more men, but I don't know. My feeling that is was pretty even.

TE: Okay. So do you think being a woman that impacted the kinds of activities you were involved in?

LW: Oh yeah. Oh yeah. I was not interested in organized sports at all at that point, but I mean for the last 15 years I've played beach volleyball so that's 2 people on a side. So you know that's been a real important social and exercise outlet for me and I rode my bicycle a lot even back in college. I rode my bicycle from Oshkosh to Little Chute in one day. I don't even know how far that 52:00was, but I was more of a bicyclist and more of an individual sports person. Don't get me wrong I've been a very devout Green Bay Packers fan, but I really wasn't into sports in college. I know we went to watch the gymnast at one time. I know there was a really good gymnast back then. And that was interesting, but I had done enough football and basketball in high school.

TE: Okay. So on campus how did you guys socialize?

LW: Well when I was on campus it was really Fletcher Hall and the kinds of things I already mentioned before and then and around that same time I moved off campus and we would just go hang out at each other's houses.

TE: Okay.

LW: Even when I was a sophomore in Fletcher Hall some of them moved off a year 53:00before so we would party at each other's houses and things like that. Yeah.

TE: Okay.

LW: We didn't have Uber back then.

TE: Yeah.

LW: We did a lot more drunk driving unfortunately. Yeah, but we're living to tell it. Yeah, I had a car, but you had to park it pretty far away, but that way I could get home when I needed to.

TE: Was parking a problem on campus back then?

LW: Well my memory of it was they called it a remote lot, but it was by Kolf so it wasn't that big of a deal. I didn't have a problem with it.

TE: Okay.

LW: I earned my money for my own car so it wasn't like I my family gave it to me so it was important for me to get one so I could go back and forth without making arrangements.


TE: Gotcha.

LW: How did I get back and forth my first two years. I don't even know now that we're talking about it. Maybe took a bus?

TE: Back home on the holidays you're saying?

LW: Yeah. Because I didn't work my first summer so I didn't get my car until my junior year I don't even know how I got back and forth my freshman and sophomore years. Maybe we did ride shares. I don't remember that. We didn't have enough cars to just give me one so I don't know. That's a good one.

TE: Alright. This might be a difficult question for you, but let's see if you can answer it.

LW: Go for it.

TE: What was the racial makeup of UWO while you were there?

LW: It was very predominately white Caucasian. I had one friend in particular that I quasi dated that was one of the few black people. I remember his first 55:00name, but not his last name. He was a sweetie, afro, tall but yeah way heavy Caucasian. I don't even think I saw anyone that was Hispanic heritage or Asian the entire time I was there. I'm sure there were a couple Asians but I don't remember seeing them. Maybe one or two people of Native American heritage since there are a lot of reservations in Wisconsin but that's more a conjecture than a memory.

TE: Okay.

LW: And since I didn't hang around too much in sports there were maybe more African Americans there, but I didn't see them so I don't know. It was just my friend Cory. So I don't know.

TE: So when you were going to UWO what was the popular major at the time?

LW: Nursing.


TE: Was it nursing?

LW: And probably business

TE: Really? So kind of the same as it is now.

LW: Is it the same?

TE: Yeah.

LW: I would thing they had the most majors. My sweetie was a business major and I didn't have any friends in nursing but it was clear to me that was a popular one.

TE: So being a journalism major where were most of you classes at?

LW: They were mostly in Dempsey Hall. Yeah most were there and I also remember the photo lab was there too and that was pretty cool. I got to work with chemicals and develop my own photos. It was very cool.

TE: Okay. So now thinking back about college how did you feel when you finished college?

LW: How did I feel?

TE: Yeah.

LW: Oh I was elated. Maybe a little nervous about what was coming next but I was 57:00just really happy to have the experience and to go forth. Yeah, it was exciting. A wonderful time.

TE: So since you've been out of college what have you done?

LW: Oh okay. I thought you were going to quantify that with years there. So what have I done? So I mentioned a couple things already. That internship. That's one of the reason I was excited because I had started with the Post Crescent. Worked at Fleet Farm for a year and a half. And without going into a lot of details I mentioned my mom got remarried and there were 5 kids in that family and the younger of the two boys was stationed at [unclear] Air Force Base and I went up with my parents to visit and didn't come back. So I lived there for 5 years and 58:00did a couple of odd jobs initially and essentially I worked for a cable television company the entire time and then I had some friends from Alaska that moved to the big island and they assured me they could employ me and encouraged me to come visit them so I did. I went to the big island and for a year and a half I lived on the Kona side and I worked for my friends initially then I worked for/ managed a chiropractic office for a year. The guy was pretty cool. He was well enough known. I'm sure you know that Ironman happens there.

TE: Yeah.

LW: And one of his clients, Paula Newby-Fraser who won two or three times. You 59:00know the first female across and I remember meeting her and giving her a hug. Just felt really good. He was a [unclear] kinesiologist and it I learned a lot about applied health there. And then I decided I was going back to school. I went back and got a teaching credential started on the Kona Side finished on the Helo Side. Met somebody who I got engaged to who had 2 aunts on the big island and whos dad was the brother of the 2 girls that were Californians and basically he was visiting his 2 aunts and we met through a mutual friend that we meet through the chiropractor office and we fell in love. I finished my lengthy 60:00supervised class. I finished all my coursework in Hilo and then I moved to California, Davis California and finished my credentials there. Made it to California. Then the 1st recession hit. That was 91 and since I didn't have any established connections in Santa Cruz, which is where he wanted to live because he didn't BA here. By October I had a job at the University so I've been, I'm in my 5th job. I just completing 26 years there. About every 5 years I change but mostly been, I've been an analyst for 10 years, but am a department manager, academic administrative manager for 3 different departments. Sociology, physics, 61:00and now environmental studies. And there's been some changes over the years, but it's kind of like being an ad sales manager. You know I've really never thought about it. Got a team. We all work together you know I manage the budget. Make sure things aren't going to hell in a handbasket and they do good work. At some point I'm eligible for a pension but the wages here definitely lag the cost of living here by a great deal so I always say it's smoke in mirrors that I managed to stay here as long as I have. I own 2/3rds of a home because the bank still 62:00owns the other 3rd. But it's appreciated a lot so if I decided if I want to leave I could live anywhere else and buy a decent home so it's been an interesting road.

TE: So you say that college prepared you for your life pretty good then?

LW: Absolutely. Absolutely. It gave me the confidence to try new things and the opportunity to be in a leadership position and I felt good doing that. So yeah I would say very much so.

TE: Okay. Good.

LW: Even though I kind of walked into it backwards right? Not really knowing where my interests were or where my strengths lied. Yes definitely.

TE: Okay. So now just some wrap up questions.

LW: Yup.

TE: Have you had much involvement in UWO since you graduated?


LW: I have not and it's really more because I've been at such a distance all the time. I mean within 2 years I was gone. I mean I've contributed, made some donations. I haven't been there in person but now my friends have gone to at least one homecoming together. And I think they make it a point, they've gone onto campus a few times when they come back and forth from Milwaukee to Eagle River or something like that. But no, when I come back its for 10 days and there is so much family things and there is some family things going on and you know the older I get the more important exercise is so I don't want to be sitting anymore. I don't want to be driving every place so you know. Yeah I do want to 64:00go back and I will. I am not that far away from retirement now, at least that's the way I see it or need to see it. I want more freedom and flexibility and not to say how old I am but 26 years in one place is getting up there now not to mention the 5 years the cable company put on. So yeah.

TE: So when is the last time you have been to UWO?

LW: Maybe 5 years after I graduated. I came to EAA one summer and then went through campus to walk around a little bit but didn't really connect with anybody. Just kind of walked around and said "this is where I used to live and this and that." That's a long time


TE: Yeah. So I bet right now it would be a surprise.

LW: I'm not in favor of that but that's the way it ended up working out. So I'd say probably 1985 was the last time I was there.

TE: Wow. So last question. What advice would you give to a current student at UWO?

LW: Okay so I definitely foreshadowed on this before but I strongly believe in any kind of internship or experiential learning component. So critical for kind of flexing your muscle and seeing if it fits because you can sit there and listen to someone talk all day long but until you marinate in the [unclear] and get yourself in where people are doing the work you won't really know.

TE: Okay.

LW: That's definitely my top advice. Is there anything else? Get the best grades 66:00you can and have the most fun possible. Right?

TE: Yeah.

LW: Also the one thing that struck me was that first semester was that "holy cow these people are all brainiacs. So just to know that though you did well from where you came from, and you will do well there, but you will have that humbling step probably initially. Anything else? Oh yes, for instance if you are a biological person you will want to be in the lab and do stuff in the lab. Like for me working at the Advanced Titan was my lab so it goes along with hands on 67:00experience and to my long term success. Try to look for an opportunity where you could be a leader or want to do that down the road and helping in nursing or whatever. Follow your heart and look for ways to express what your values and your passions are in the real world.

TE: Okay. That's perfect.

LW: Okay.

TE: Well, thank you for your time.

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