Interview with Sharon Radley

UW Oshkosh Campus Stories
Jasmine Pickett, Interviewer | uwocs_Shaorn_Radley_04222016.mp3
Campus Stories Oral History Project (UWO Audio Series 51) |


JP: Ok. So we're recording. My name is Jasmine Pickett and we are currently in the Student Success Center in the Career Services. If you could, just tell me your name?

SR: Sharon Radley, used to be Sharon Trampf.

JP: Alright. So Sharon could you just tell me a little bit about where you grew up?

SR: Yeah. I grew up not too far from Oshkosh, it's South, in Ripon.

JP: Ok, and what it like growing up in Ripon?

SR: Ripon was a small town but it did have a college so I had college professors living in my neighborhood. And I think that made a difference, culturally. They were music professors, so we were attending some activities at the high school as well. We had a very progressive high school. It had a swimming pool and big media center at that time. Otherwise, it was small-town living.

JP: Ok, and what was your family like?

SR: My family was a bigger family, which we had many in our community that had 1:00many kids. There were six in my family, and the second oldest for me.

JP: And who were the six people in your family?

SR: Well, the six people were my mom and my dad, both were alive. Then, there was my brother Tom, he went to school in Winona, Minnesota. Then, my next youngest would be my sister Kris, she went to school in Madison, and a couple of other places. Then, there was a brother Mark who was an Art education major at Eau Claire. My sister Judy who went to Madison and my youngest sister went to Madison.

JP: Ok, and did your parents go to college?

SR: No, and that's one thing that I think is unique about our family with six kids, all of us went to college.

JP: So, how did they decide that they wanted to go to college?

SR: Again, I think it was the Ripon college influence. We attended a lot of college activities, football games, homecoming activities, so we were very aware 2:00of the college being there. I don't think that any of us had any job or career aspirations that wouldn't require college. We all had that idea that that's just where we would go.

JP: And you said that, you went to… you had the Ripon college influence?

SR: Yes.

JP: How so?

SR: Again, it gets back to who grew up next to us, we had two music professors. They were friends with our family, so we got tickets and invitations to attend concerts or plays. It was just there. Homecoming parades were on Saturday mornings. The games were on Saturday afternoons. We lived probably about a block away from the football field, and so, often, I would go with my dad. We had homecoming floats being built by the fraternities right next door to our house, so it always looked like a lot of fun.

JP: Right, did that kind of influence your decision to go as well?

SR: Yes, and I think also throughout school I was always questioning myself 3:00about what I would want to do, and I did gravitate towards the arts. So, I had influence through my high school art teachers as well. And we also did get some student teachers here from Oshkosh, which took me on a tour here through campus and it was an easy drive from Oshkosh, so I remember doing that.

JP: Ok, so when did you get…You mentioned art, so was that when you guys got started?

SR: Yeah there were actually two student teachers in high school that were out of Oshkosh, so I asked the quite a few questions and one actually invited us to come over here. So that's when we. I did a tour and saw the art department and I can remember a student teacher. I was asking him questions about it and one thing he said was, "If you would rather be in a studio working instead of laid up writing papers that would be for you." And that's what I chose.

JP: What was your experience like being an art student?

SR: Well, I lived at Scott Hall. So the first thing was a very long walk or ride 4:00or the bicycle, carrying portfolios, which, of course, would blow in the wind when you'd get in the main drag out past Dempsey there. So let's see. It was. Projects were difficult in the dorms. They often asked you to use materials that you had no access to unless you went home. And of course, dormitory living, there you didn't have portable phones. So you had a wall phone, and if you were calling home, it was long distance charges so that kind of kept you… it curved you from being in touch with your family so much. And yeah the art department, when I first started I didn't know a lot of people there and then later or maybe a couple of years ago I substitute taught at UW-Stevens Point. And I realized how few people knew of each other's names in those classes. And you leave, and you go away, and there may be a handful of people that you leave knowing and 5:00remembering. So, I still am in touch with some of those art ed majors. We have a group that we get together every year, so it's been 40 years of that. So yeah it was like, dormitory living was a little more difficult. When I did substitute up in Stevens Point, just to give you an example of lack of materials living in the dorm or even, I think, off campus you have so few belongings that the students in the art department ran out of paper towels. And they don't have old towels to use as rags. It was just…I had to bring those for students. Just the lack of belongings. I don't think you guys have old towels yet. You're getting your first set about now (laughs).

JP: When you lived in Scott Hall did you have a roommate?

SR: I did my first year. And then, you had to pay more to have your own room. And…The first year, the first semester I had a great roommate, the second 6:00semester I thought I wasn't gonna get anybody, and I got somebody that I thought was not really college material. That was less pleasant to live that way, but… Then, the second year, I had my own room. So, I think it was sophomore year that upperclassmen had that option. I was thinking about these things on the way here, and one of the things that you probably don't have anymore. I was at school here the first year that they decided to go co-ed with the dormitories.

JP: Ok.

SR: That would be 1974/75, my sophomore year I believe, somewhere in there. I was in an all-women's…yup this is the dormitory (shows picture of her in front of Scott Hall). That was me as a sophomore. This was all a women's wing, and on the other wing I wanna say that it was also women. Scott Halls North had the co-ed, so girls would be on one wing and guys would be on the other. But up to 7:00this point, we had, there was like a monitor in the evenings from seven o'clock on. They would take the student ID's of the guys, if they were gonna have guys up in the room.

JP: Mh-hmm

SR: They would have to sign in and then… (Laughs). So different now. Then, if you had. If the guy hadn't left your room, the monitor would come up and get you or send security to come up and get the guy out. We had methods (laughs). We found out that when there were fire drills. Often times there was a door at the end that had been broken and it wouldn't have been replaced for a while so we would use that to get guys up through the fire exit [laughs]. There was a way, ya know.

JP: Right. That sounds pretty interesting.

SR: Oh, also what was different at that time, and this is kind of an important 8:00one. 18 was legal drinking age at that time, so what that presented in dormitory living was St. Patrick's day was in session at that time use to be a huge huge drunk celebrations around here. They used to close streets. I can remember in Scott Hall, seeing people from out of town sleep in the hallways. It was pretty crazy. And it was right about in that time period, during the St. Patrick's that someone in one of the high-rise halls had opened the elevator and fell down. They were basically-- I don't know if they died or if they were extremely disabled after that accident, but that was what was going on at the time, which was kinda crazy. So, they put spring break during that time to get the students out of Oshkosh. I think that's probably when it is now.

JP: How did that elevator incident affect the students right afterwards?


SR: I was really creepy gossip. Everybody had heard about it… and it wasn't in my hall… and of course the campus is big enough that you hear about the stuff and you can't really…ya know, I think that's kinda what curved the change of student life…being shut down during St. Patrick's Day. But I mean, I brought this. This was kind of an interesting thing (pulls out article from Advanced Titan). This was a copy of the Titan, it think.

JP: Mh-hmm.

SR: The Oshkosh Advanced Titan. So they advertised it right there too at the same time.

JP: Yup.

SR: So it was a big deal here.

JP: I heard about this as well. We talked about this in our class.

SR: Mh-hmm. Yeah, and I mean, other than the incident happening and I don't know if I was in the dormitories then or if it was just before… I think it was while I was at school there. And it was just like horrifying news, ya know 10:00and… The kinda student that I was would questions, well how drunk was this person to, and you know, to be able to open those doors. So, again, I think it comes to what I hear… at least at UW Stevens Point, accidents happen with students being drunk and to use a buddy system somewhat.

JP: Right.

SR: Because students do wonder off, and have gotten lost and of course you're right there on the river. So yeah, that was during that time. And the other thing that impacted I think student life too was as an art student, we had studio shows that opened down at Priebe Gallery. And at that time because the students were able to drink, they did serve wine. So. Not anymore. Whether it's good or bad I don't know but we were able to drink as seniors in high school so that's what we came in on campus with that.. You could drink. There used to be some also, probably after I graduated in 1978 cause I still lived near campus. 11:00They started something on campus called Mingle and Tingle…. And it was supposed to. Because students could drink there was a happy hour that was supposed to allow students to congregate with staff and professors. And it didn't. It wasn't that. It was a big student party every Tuesday. I remember (laughs). And yeah, I had friends… my roommates were still in college so we frequented that. Then, strangely, the person who organized it turns out to be on my teaching staff in Waupaca.

JP: Oh.

SR: And I did not know. And he told me at one time, he said they, between him and the other people that were organizing the event, somebody stole the till, and that's when it ended. So it was crazy. Oshkosh was kind of a party school.

JP: (Laughs) Oh yeah.


SR: Still is probably.

JP: A little bit (laughs). Yup so…

SR: The drinking age made a huge difference. I'm sure it did because we could come in as freshmen drinking. Our first party was at South Park and I walked, I went with my roommate down and in South Park is kind of a distance from campus.

JP: Mh-hmm.

SR: We found rides to get there and my roommate and I decided would walk back and it was a big mistake. We didn't, we really didn't know where we were going but I had frequented Oshkosh once in a while so we just kept heading in one direction and we eventually saw the high-rises. But it was a very long walk and at our dormitory party we had beer. So, that was a big change that's not on campus any longer.

JP: So, you were part of the bar life a little bit?

SR: You know, at the time through college, I had a boyfriend who did not drink, so I didn't really go out to the bars that often. And, I mean, there were people 13:00I'm sure that went their daily. But, it was once in a while if the dormitory girls were saying "hey, let's go" I would jump along, but it was. I really wasn't into drinking that much at that time. Probably more into the bar life after I graduated and lived in Oshkosh. I had a different kind of social life then. I was busy as a student.

JP: Tell me about your boyfriend at the time?

SR: He was a student here also. He was a biology major and he eventually went into education. He lived nearby in Omro and he drove the school bus for his family business, and he was occupied with that most of the time and if I were to tell anybody in college. It would be like forget the boyfriend. I would advise that. It's like, I think I missed out on other activities because-- I saw a lot 14:00of good movies-- We did a lot of fun stuff that were around Oshkosh but probably spent more time than I could of with other people… Or activities. That was very occupying of my time outside of school.

JP: Right okay. Did you change your major at any point while you were in college?

SR: Nope. I wanted to be an art teacher all along, and actually, friends of mine from that time period high school and college we said most often careers that were discussed for women, at that time, when we graduated in 1973 would have been teaching and nursing. And that's what every single one of us picked up a career in. It was a lot of nursing… Every once in a while it was business majors but technology wasn't even available to us, so it was like that couldn't 15:00of even of been a career chose. So typically, women were going for teaching and nursing. Typical female jobs.

JP: Right. Okay. Did your parents influence your decision at all or…?

SR: Not with my major. I kind of did my own research talking to other art teachers, talking to the other teachers that we had that were from Oshkosh. Decided that I'd kind of like to do that I think teaching was always. I was always interested in doing that. I grew up and I was in Girl Scouts. I was achievement oriented and liked working with people. I don't-- My parents did not go to college so they could not answer any kind of attitudes about that… to me. But it was just sort of what I saw for young people through Ripon College doing and I just decided that that's what I wanted to do. So I picked a career that I thought that I could do well in. Plus, I… I excelled in art as well. 16:00That kinda helped in picking things that you're interested in.

JP: Right. What did your parents do for a living?

SR: My dad was Specialty Advertising. Which a lot of people don't know what that is, and we spent one year living in Ohio so he could go down work for a company. He learned who suppliers were and he came back to Ripon and started his own business, so he was self-employed for the most part. And what that is is selling yardsticks with your business name on it, or pens or pencils. That's what Specialty Advertising is.

JP: Ok.

SR: So he did that and my mother… She was a coordinator for the Girls Scouts in our city. So she found leaders for when she was a Girls Scout leader, Cub Scout Leader. Worked for the church, a lot of volunteer work, but she also did some work for the state, working with the blind, and then she worked on the 17:00hotline for abused women. And then she also worked in a drug store for some extra money. So she did a lot of different things. Whatever it took to keep us going.

JP: And you mentioned that your mom worked in a church? Or she.

SR: Yeah we were Catholic so she worked in a Catholic church. It was called the Rosary Sodality where they would prepare the meals for the funerals and all of that sort of thing. But she also was in a women's club in town and they… That was kind of a charity group and they worked for different things. She volunteered in those areas.

JP: So other than that, what role did the church play in your home?

SR: Well it meant church every Sunday morning. My dad would get on his high horse and we would have to do confession. Are you aware of what that is (laughs)?


JP: Yes (laugh). Can you still explain what is please?

SR: Yeah and they don't do it anymore now. It was just now all your sins have disappeared magically by attending a service. Yeah you'd have to. That was ridiculous as an eight year old you'd be thinking about what did I do wrong. What sins did I commit because the Catholic church, more or less, insinuated that you needed to go to confession at least once a month. And as an eight year old how much trouble can you get in? So you'd really make stuff up and for me and other people I talked to, we'd make stuff up and say "I was mean to my brothers or sisters" or " I might not listen to my mom or dad." So you'd go in this little booth and it's dark in there and on the other side of the screen was sitting this priest and they say this little thing with a sign with a cross and when was the last time you attended. And then you tell what you did wrong. And then they give you a penance where you're supposed to say. Usually it was ten "Hail Mary's" and two "Our Fathers." And then you would go out and say those real quick and your life would carry on. But it was always kind of a nerve 19:00racking thing that you're talking to… And they made it so secretive. Because you would go in a booth and close it. It was almost like you were voting. They would close a curtain behind you and you would talk to this guy who's in the dark side and a screen and you'd tell him what you did wrong. So we always laughed, my brothers and sisters laughed, about that because it was so ridiculous we didn't know what to say when you come in, but our father was pretty strict about that. I didn't marry Catholic. When I got married, I married someone who I met after college. And he's a comedian now. I'm no longer married to him. But we did not get married Catholic. We got married outside, we were hippies. We lived on a farm that had. Now this was self-imposed. It wasn't because we had to. I eventually got… Well, I'll let you finish asking questions. Cause I can…

JP: If you would like, you can continue.

SR: Oh ok. Well what happened is when I got done with college I got a job in 20:00Kewaskum, which was towards Milwaukee for three years, teaching middle school. My apartment was broken into by kids that were truant so I got a quick study on what life was like when you start to get closer to the city, ya know. Kewaskum was a small town, but it was maybe about an hour from Milwaukee. Kids were breaking into my apartment on weekends. So after my third year of teaching that level, I left and went to Wautoma and taught high school for nine years… Art… And about that time that I made that move is when I was meeting the guy that I was going to get married. He was a graduate from UW-Milwaukee and into Social Work. So when we got married, he had a house in the country and it was without plumbing and we lived like hippies for about the 12 years of our marriage. But by the time we got a toilet, we had gutted the house inside out and it was an old old farm house that we got rent free. And so we had chickens, 21:00we had pigs and we raised our own pork and chickens and all that for a while, while I was teaching. And which he was working. So that was kinda crazy. And then pumping water for your bath at night…We had a metal tin tub next to a wood stove, we were living the hippy life when we didn't really have to (laughs). Yeah that's ridiculous but we did. And about twelve years after that it was work because it was like you would get home from work and you'd have to haul wood. I learned to split would and yeah (laughs)…

JP: (Laughs)

SR: Kept me in good shape but we had this place out in the country and it costed us very little so we replaced all of the windows, remodeled, and the last thing was the bathroom. And about that time I was done with the marriage. So we had 22:00one son. He lives in New York City now. And the guy that I left behind in marriage is now a comedian.

JP: And your son lives in New York. Did he go to college?

SR: He went to school in Madison. He works in medical technology now. So back when we were trying to pick a name for him we were trying to think of something oh kind of respectable that would sound good with a doctor, MD name or an attorney at law. And little did we know we had no clue where computers would take us that he's a medical technology consultant. We could not have dreamt that job up for him because we didn't know anything about that then. The computer stuff was still new.

JP: Did he consider being a doctor at all?

SR: No, I think law. He was considering law for a while. But he really really 23:00would like to be a musician.

JP: Ok.

SR: And I told him that because my practice now is being an artist so that kinda lead into me leaving my marriage because I wanted my own space to do what I wanted to do with my art. He had that around him for his upbringing and his dad was writing and performing comedy before I left the marriage and then I was doing art work. So he's kinda got that artistic flair in him from being around us. I think if he could quit his job and just make it on being a musician he'd love that. But there's just… He's living the high life right now. I don't think he could give up the steady money, which you would have to do if you're just going to cliff jump and say "I'm a musician."

JP: Right. Did anyone else in your family go into the medical field?

SR: No. I'm trying to think. Everyone else is in… (Thinking). My older brother 24:00is in Health Insurance, but nobody is doing anything in medicine now. And I actually think that Tyler, my son's name is Tyler, his knowledge of medicine is probably minimal. He didn't have any medical background when he graduated. He was a Psychology major and Italian major so he ended up in medical technology. There's a big place in Madison called… Epic Software. He got in there.

JP: Ok.

SR: He… I guess I found out that what they do is they like to hire college students right out of college because they have medial, they have technology experience and then they give these young people fabulous salaries. But about 25:00after two years, if you don't fit their idea of their company they have the students sign a non-compete. And bye, they go away. So, you can't really claim unemployment, but that's what happened to my son. So for two years he had to find something else to do and then after that non-compete has passed he didn't realize that he could get into the consulting of the same software. And then he's doing very very well.

JP: Does he have any children?

SR: No, he lives with a girl in New York and that presents itself with some problems because he was thinking that he'd breakup with her but in New York you can't just move out. You have to… There's a housing issue there, so he stayed with her and that's where they live now, in Brooklyn. So he and his girlfriend, so no grandchildren for me.

JP: As a child what were your goals or where did you see yourself?


SR: Well my whole question in my mind I can still remember in the third grade. And I can also remember there was an art professor from Ripon College that came in and talked to our classes and I can just always remember thinking how is this whole growing up thing supposed to work? That's always been my question. And it still is. How is it supposed to work? I didn't know anything about insurance but I heard people talk about it and I didn't know what it was, and I didn't know about investing money or how to do any of that. So I think that was my one question always just looking at it. Adults or looking at older people at the age that I'm at now I still wonder what happens or goes on and what's expected of me and what do I have to know to get by. So that's always been my question. And I think even in choosing careers, what could you do? How is this supposed to work? 27:00Am I supposed to have a job? Pay for things? That was always my question.

JP: Did you eventually… Did that question kinda get answered as you went through life?

SR: What I've discovered now, at 61, is that life really does come to you. And the advice that I gave to my son was to pay attention to everyone that you meet, the situations and circumstances that you're in because everything does connect. Everything is there for you to get it figured out. It just depends on how aware you are of your surroundings. Who you're meeting, why you're meeting them, why you are where you are. So it's a series of lessons that you'll always be learning and picking up. And that the clues are always fed to you.

JP: Yup. You're right. What was you experience like in high school?


SR: I just saw some high school friends last weekend and we have maintained out contact. I have quite a good… Probably more friends from high school who are still in touch than college because so many of us have a longer history that we… being in a small town a lot of us went to elementary school together. On Facebook, people are posting things from kindergarten and you're like "oh I remember" and you can almost tell who's who. My high school friends, we have a very tight group of friends. We served together in pep club, drama productions, and basketball, football games. There were no girl sports for us. Cheerleading was it. There was a girl's athletic association, but that was just kind of a girls fun night in the gym. We didn't have organized sports. We were a really 29:00tight group. I have a really good tight circle of high school friends still. And we try to get together. There's a group of about five of us and we get together about twice a year.

JP: And is that how you maintain your friendships?

SR: Yeah I kinda have to. Facebook helps and the internet is so easy. What I found too is that they are living the married life and most of their kids are getting older. But my mother had told me that once too she said. You know I think I was grumbling to her or something "well nobody's around anymore" and when you graduate from college and you have a real breakdown of all of your friendships. Your high school friends are off doing something else. They went to maybe a different college and their off going somewhere else. And college friends are off finding their jobs so when you get into a new job place you're looking into who're my new circle of friends. And your job place does become 30:00your circle of friends. But now that I'm retired I realize that those were work friends and so… and I'm getting back to making time for college and high school friends. My mother had said that to me, she says that "oh everybody is busy having kids right now, there will come a time when you can get back together with them." And you know and it does take some effort on your part or their part. Usually I find that if I contact people that I have been out of touch with they want to get together. It's just a matter of everybody getting wrapped up in their career life and family life. So then when you retire that starts to wind down.

JP: So you mentioned that career friends become, you know, your friends. Do you still maintain some of those friendships?

SR: Well you do on Facebook. Their posting stuff all the time and you just put the little like thing on. But is that really contact? You know… I don't call them to do things… if I see them out, we always chit chat and visit. But now 31:00I'm kinda out of the loop of if there's a faculty gathering or party. When I was first retired, yeah you get inviting to the first year maybe the second.

JP: Right.

SR: The only person that I am really close to and in touch with and visit with more is the other elementary art teacher who is also retired.

JP: Ok.

SR: So yeah that all changes when you retire and there's still doing the stuff that, you know, their doing the rat race thing. It's like they have to go to school every day and all I hear from them is that things have gotten worse (laughs).

SR: Which make me happy I am where I am, but it's like I have an appreciation for how busy they are. So yeah that changes.

JP: Alright. And what was your experience like being an art teacher?

SR: Well it was funny because when I student taught here at Oshkosh, my 32:00supervisor said that we'd like you to have a… Art ed major is a K though 12 certification.

JP: Mh-hmm

SR: And they'd like you to have a student teaching experience with elementary and high school. But because I knew myself all that well. I said "I'm never teaching elementary, I don't want to teach little kids, I want to teach secondary." So my student teaching experience was middle school and high school.

JP: Right.

SR: And when I graduated, I started with middle school and then I went to high school after nine years of high school and… of course, looking about like I'm a high school age student. I really was kind of sick of the place. They started to cut my program and make me part-time. I looked for another job and strangely not far from where I live was the opening in Waupaca. And I was scared to death even though I had 12 years of teaching experience. It was to teach little kids.

JP: (Laughs).

SR: And I hadn't done any student teaching in it and I was just like. And where 33:00they put me. I was teaching art in elementary school for a district that was growing very quickly. They were outgrowing their size. I had to teach art on the gymnasium stage with gym classes going on simultaneously.

JP: Oh my.

SR: Yeah it was crazy. I had to go find my own space to teach. Because they were gonna put me right in the gym until they said no you can't here because our bag lunch kids eat lunch here. It's a totally different world (laughs). You kinda have to wing it and go with it. Then I was a traveling art teacher. And I developed a theory about this because I would here high school teachers say that the elementary teacher had it so easy.

JP: Mh-hmm.

SR: And I would hear the elementary teachers complain and say "those high school teachers get an hour for prep every day, we don't." So I had to weigh them out in my head and I thought high school teachers really do get a horrific attitude 34:00that they have to deal with. And when you deal with that daily, it weighs you down and burns you out so with little kids they come in really wanting to learn. Everything is new. Every experience is neat and cool. So that made teaching at that level a lot of fun. What I didn't like was yeah the high school teachers had their prep. Elementary, it was like my last year teaching. My busiest day, I was teaching eight classes in a day. I had half an hour off for lunch. I had not even five minutes. There would be a group waiting in the hall way and one leaving. I would have to go find someone, because these are little kids, to watch the kids so that I could leave to use the bathroom. And that's when I kinda knew that I was done with teaching. It was like, ya know, they just don't have any respect for me and my physicality. And I couldn't go to the other end of the building to get my mail. I was expected to be up on all of my emails 35:00daily but they didn't give me. They gave me like a half hour prep before school and a half hour after school. That's what I got. So the schedule was getting to get really rigorous. Even though they were more fun. I went from teaching probably in high school. And my student load was for all of my classes might have been about 120 kids to elementary where I had almost 500 in a week that I had to see. And of course all of those little kids wanted you to know their first name, so that was more challenging. After you go in the hang of it and you knew some of the kids and the family names, that part was easier. But handling the schedule and juggling getting paints ready, that was much more rapid fire method of teaching.

JP: Right. So is that the reason that you're retired?

SR: (Laughs) Have you heard of Scott Walker?

JP: (Laughs)


SR: He was a big reason and I think that that whole thing, the right to work was about getting some young people in there. Well yeah I was starting to feel like a young person needed to do my schedule. I did know the young person that took my place afterwards and he couldn't believe it, how much they had him running. Yeah it was pretty much the whole thing with Scott Walker. I happened to be 56 and not never thought of retiring. I was getting worn out but I didn't really realize it until I stopped doing it but it was another person that I taught with that was about my age. She said "well I'm gonna retire but I bet you could." So I kinda cliff jumped on that one. I didn't even had having any meeting about what I had put in my retirement or what there was for me.

JP: Mh-hmm.

SR: I had said that if I needed to bag groceries I will (laughs).


SR: So I quit and it's all worked out. The whole. And that's what I would say to anybody too is getting a new job. In part because of that whole idea of Scott Walker requiring people to put into their retirement. I do think that that's a concept that's going to become a concept that is common, national. Labor forces. The Unions are going to get cut. That was a big reason. I was teaching art. Had our school district not had enough money for funding from the state and they weren't giving us a contract because I think they were waiting to see what he, Scott Walker, was gonna do and how it would affect their budget. But being in art I realized that they could easily say to the classroom teachers that "you're gonna have to teach it, we're getting rid of the art program." And because they would not give me a written contract…or not just me… Our district all of 38:00them in here: Appleton, Neenah, Menasha, and Oshkosh was the rumor that they were getting the contracts they had the year before. They were not doing that in our school district and I thought that they could just cut me. Without a union, they could just say "you're gone because, you know what, we don't need you and we don't have the money." So rather than wait to see what the school district was going to do, I left at 56. The best thing I ever did (laughs).

SR: But what I would say to people who are starting out with jobs. Plan for your retirement. Even if it's $50 a month that you set aside.

JP: Mh-hmm.

SR: And because I don't think that you can count on those benefits always being there. The year that I started my job they wanted me to sign something my first year. It's like here you need to sign this so that you can have so much taken out for retirement, and as a college graduate I was kinda shocked. I was like I 39:00don't want any taken out, I have loans to pay for.

JP: Right.

SR: I signed it because I was part of the union and they took care of the negotiations for salary. So there are no negotiations for alary anymore. You get what you get. So I was also at that point where the union was dismantled so I had no one to bargain for me and thought you know I may be getting less than what I'm making. It was a good time for me to get out, but planning ahead is what the union did. IT kinda automatically helped me. They had us putting money in.

JP: Right. So how do you think college prepared you for your art career, as an art teacher?

SR: Well see I have a career as an artist now too.

JP: Ok.

SR: I haven't gotten it out but I'll show you. Right now, I have a whole nother 40:00thing. I've got my art studio next door to my house. So I had that newly built when the house next door to mine burnt down. So I think that one of the biggest things that I learned as an art education major here that I noticed. And you probably… What is your major?

JP: Biology.

SR: Biology. So you may know some professor that are great scientists but not great teachers.

JP: Mh-hmm.

SR: And I had that experience as an art ed major. There were great professors that had an education background and knew how to teach. And then there were the artists that you would just kinda try to get through their class and figure out what are they looking for, what are they asking about? So I started to learn as an art teacher methodology changed. I guess I went from when I got to high school it was more about letting kids do what they want but you still had to 41:00have a framework so you could grade them. And now they call them rubrics. All that sort of thing. So I guess I was very… And when you have 500 kids you had to be extremely organized and step-by-step directions. And it was strange because I had a lot of parents telling me, "Why don't you just put the paints out and let them go?" And it's like they didn't understand that there were concepts that were being taught in art classes and that might have been just a change from when they had art ed and to when they had it with me. I guess I've always stayed busy with doing art and what I always tried to impose on my students was that you can do whatever you want, you can be a biology person. But art is something that you can do even if you are working as a fireman.

JP: Mh-hmm.

SR: It's something that kind of enriches your life a little bit more and for me it's what turned into what has been a great retirement career. I guess that 42:00would be it. I didn't not. Now, had anybody told me in college that I would be living somewhere with a view of a lake and the house next door was gonna burn down and that's where I got to build my studio. I would never. I would go "How is that gonna happen?" And that gets back to pay attention to the things that are happening around you. And I saw the house next door burning down and I kept my eye on it and people were going through it and I thought maybe it was gonna get sold and it happened when I was gonna go get Chinese food. The owner was there and… Or the worker to the owner she said, "Are you still interested in buying the property?" And it happened like that within a week I bought it, and I had to have the fire mess taken down and that what happened here so. I guess it goes back to paying attention to who's around you.

JP: Right. So describe this house to me, please.


SR: Ok, well this is actually all studio.

JP: Ok.

SR: My house would be, and I can leave this (flyer) with you.

JP: Ok.

SR: My house would be located on this side (points to flyer) and this is all huge room. Measured about 25 by 25 with a bathroom in the back so it also works as a guest house. When I have company they stay there. So I advertise with these flyers and I have a website and that's where I. I go in here to work. If it's extremely cold I may turned the heat down and stay in my house, but it's right in an area where a lot of tourists come and it's connected with a chain of lakes. And there's like 14 lakes. So a lot of people are there to see the lakes. I got a pontoon boat. Which is a great tax deduction for this business. See that's what I mean. You start to get… You fit things together. I never had 44:00business courses so if you find a business that's related to what you love to do like this one is. It's great because everything that I… I get to develop this property and at the same time using it as a tax deduction. Are you familiar with what those are, tax deductions?

JP: I've heard of them but could you explain what they are?

SR: What you do is you just submit. Now my accountant handles this but there are certain things that if it's business related at all you can submit those expenses when you do your taxes and it'll take from having such a large income.

JP: Ok.

SR: Because you're basically investing in yourself. So all the mortgage for this building and I had this one built new. The mortgage for this building and all of the expenses for this building I submit to my account as a tax deduction. Which 45:00now seeing that I am retiring and hearing the other retirees that you'll be looking for deductions because eventually your salary increases if the market is well because all of my money is invested in the market. And if the market does well, I get my pay raises that way.

JP: Right.

SR: But this too. Any money that I make through sells through here counts as towards my income. But to offset that, tax deductions are kinda nice. I have a pontoon boat and what I do is. This is just a scene (shows picture in flyer). I go out on the chain of lakes and these are landmark paintings. So I've done paintings of them and I've done prints. Now a lot of people who vacation there, and there has been generations of them. My name is getting around and known for doing some of these of the lake. Noe this one was purchased from Theta Care Hospital. I was doing a lot of artwork of travel. So I've been to Ireland, 46:00California. It's there and available to public on my own hours. People want to pin me in hours. I'm like I don't do that. I have a doorbell that rings in my house. It's a very old fashioned method way of doing business but I don't want to sit there and clerk a store every day.

JP: Right.

SR: And when people. When the weather's nice people don't really shop. They're out on the lake. So very close to a lake community where I am. Waupaca itself is in another town which is another entity but I live out of town closer to these lakes in a town called King.

JP: Could you describe that town for me?

SR: King?

JP: Mh-hmm.

SR: It's like incorporated and it's got one of probably the biggest veterans home in the state, which is located across the street from me. That's probably the biggest employer in King. There's lots of little shops for tourists and a 47:00couple of bars, little restaurants. There's one that's located right on the water so people in the… if they're on the chain of lakes, they're somewhere around King. So it's very touristy there.

JP: Ok and what are the people like in King?

SR: (Laughs) The year around people or the summer people?

JP: Both.

SR: Both. (Thinking) People in King what are they like? Well, during the winter it's like a lot of… you'll get your snowmobilers in there, ice fishermen, and people who just locally come there for dinner. I'd say middle class. Summer everything changes. It's like you've got a lot of influx from Illinois. But the chain of lakes are the most clear waters I have ever seen for spring fed lakes 48:00but I have met many people. Many people come from out of state. Delaware, California, Florida. They all have places on the lake. That changes the goings on in King quite a bit and even downtown because even shopping. Everybody is there of vacation. They want and demand service like yesterday and you kinda get sick of that as a local. It's… They make their demands for their two week vacation, so there's a lot of that. The traffic changes. You have people who don't know where they're going. Or you have people from Illinois that want to drive super super-- (Laughs). Are you from Illinois?

JP: (Laughs) No.

SR: They go super super fast. That's our biggest group of people who come in are from Illinois. But actually on the chain, they come from all over. On the chain 49:00of lakes.

JP: Did you go out by the lake when you were out here on campus?

SR: No, I saw that they had sailing classes. Are you talking about the lake or the river? It's a river.

JP: Oh. River. Sorry.

SR: Yeah it takes you out to Lake Winnebago. You're correct.

JP: Mh-hmm.

SR: No, I would never swim in that water.

JP: Did you do any art by the lake or anything?

SR: No, I actually didn't look… It was very industrial towards the river towards campus. Woodland, which is right in front of the art center used to go through. So now it's just kind of in a plaza there where you can walk and there's no traffic. And I think they made it into parking for the Art and Communication building. But, in fact, the art department built a new kiln and ceramics department closer towards the river. But I didn't have any classes over there so the furthest that I would have went towards the river would have been Kolf Sports Center. And I really didn't attend many of the sporting events here. I think I went to one homecoming game, football. Never attended a basketball… 50:00I went to a gymnast meet at Kolf. But other than it maybe being the site of concerts. There's a big field over there too.

JP: Mh-hmm.

SR: There's probably something else there now too. We had outdoors concerts over there too, a little bit. But no, I never did paint here. I was usually busy in college with assignments. And it wasn't until I got to painting and doing my own artwork when I left and if you have some spare time that would have been homework time. And that's what I kept doing was artwork.

JP: And it's to my understanding that you did work study while you were here?

SR: Yes, I did. Quite a bit.

JP: Tell me about that.

SR: They gave me more work study hours than I had hours available to work. So I worked for a professor named David Hodge who just recently just retired from 51:00here and he had a wonderful art room in the campus school. And art majors who were going to be in art ed were required to do some. They used to bring students in every once in a while so that we had more of a classroom scenario but what I did for him was. He had just a wall of still life. I mean an unbelievable amount of old objects and a collection of things. My job was to dust it and…

(Sound in the background)

SR: That may be my phone. I had to dust it. I was mat-- Actually he did have a big influence on my…

(Sound in the background)

SR: Shoot I thought maybe turning this (looking at phone) down. Well, I'll just ignore it. But he. This professor David Hodge had a big influence on my art ed background. Because he had me for… And actually as an artist he had some 52:00contraption that he had tons of art because he had written books. And he wanted tem matted so I used to take. And some of them were Japanese students. There were pictures by children from all over the world from his research. And he would give me a stack of them and he would say "I want these matted." So I learned to cut mats from him. And I cut mats like you wouldn't believe now. So that was really. That was a good studio experience even though he was an art ed person. And he couldn't believe how much I did for him. I was like are you kidding me. I got so many hours here. I learned how to fire a kiln through him even though I never took a ceramics class. And he served me well because afterwards when I graduated my first year in Kewaskum, somebody from the Chicago area school found out that I had had him for training I think that they called him and said "do you have any of your students, we would like to have someone." 53:00Because they had been familiar with this art ed book. And they called and I went for an interview. But I what I didn't know at the time when I first started teaching was how to get out of a teaching contract. And they did not want to break a contract for me at the Illinois school. [Unclear] habit of doing that. Had I see said don't worry about it I would have paid a fine and then left. That might of sent me in a whole nother direction. Had I know about how to get out of a contract. But it's your first year that you're so grateful to that you have a job so it's like oh you couldn't do that to them.

JP: Right.

SR: So I lost that opportunity. But it was there. All through that professor. Then I did something in the art department. Where I just basically managing [unclear] equipment. And if students needed to rent out a machine for that or come in and look at slide. I was the person who just kind of sat in there and nobody ever came. So it was like a sit job. Just kinda sit around in there and 54:00check stuff out. So that's what I remember about work study for the most part. But that I remember about campus school. Was the professor who had the biggest influence.

JP: And what was a typical assignment for you like?

SR: For art an art assignment?

JP: Mh-hmm.

SR: Well… if it was a beginning class. Like a basic design class. They usually. I can remember professor Osbourne said that "you need 10 pieces of various medium and mix medium all matted and framed." And we would submit those. It was a painting class that. They usually gave you a number of how many things that they wanted you to submit.

JP: Ok.

SR: My first painting class. Even though I'm a painter. I had a professor that was more of an artist. He kinda like rolled on whenever. Sometimes he didn't 55:00show up. You were just kinda expected to come to this studio and work. So I worked on my own, skipped class. And then when I submitted work that I had, he said someone else had done it and I. It was mine. It was just that I had such a lack of direction from him. I was jumping all over with different styles of work. Not really knowing what he was looking for. So it was probably freedom that was allowed that I didn't. I needed more direction. But yes teachers usually in the art department. If they were studio classes would say that we need this many projects. And if there was specifics to it they would outline whatever that was for you.

JP: Did you use any of these assignments that you did in college to assign…?

SR: I was almost gonna do it but then I said "she doesn't want that." (Laughs). 56:00I almost brought one of my… See what they did have in the art department that is no longer there and it's too bad. They had a fibers department. And it was…. Heather McPherson was the instructor. And I think that when she retired they just never replaced anyone. That was. They had huge looms. Floor looms that are probably still sitting there unless they sold them. But we had weaving department in my high school and it kinda flowed right into college. I think I probably did more work in the fibers department through weaving and fabric design. I had three semesters of that. I wasn't very impressed with the painting and structure that I had so I kinda put that. I shelved it until I got a good watercolor instructor who got me back into painting. But the fibers department. A lot of equipment that had two rooms and that in the art department. And it was weaving. Was a big part of it. And they had like big eight and four harness 57:00looms. It was. It was a good experience and I actually used a lot of weaving when I taught. And the kids like that hands on sort of thing. I do have projects that I did from that era. We'll call it an era (laughs). Weaving that I had done and now I actually. I am still. Even though I am a painter, I am applying a lot of… I'm working fabric and quilting. I'm doing quilted paintings. So a lot of that still stuck with me and just the knowledge of different material using fabric designs and different paints. Now that's all changed too. But dyes.

JP: Right.

SR: In fact, some [unclear]. So we got hand dyes handouts a lot. I don't know when you want me to bring this stuff out but. Or you can keep asking questions.

JP: Ok.

SR: In my notebook. I'm looking at some of this stuff that's in my notebook and 58:00going oh my god that was in my ethics class. Do I use any of this stuff now? I don't know. Some of it I can't remember (looking at notebook).

JP: What do you remember from that class?

SR: I remember the instructor. And see this was [unknown]. I left all of my pictures. I had them out on the kitchen tables and I had to. (Pulls out picture) Ok that was me probably when I had just graduated.

JP: Mh-hmm.

SR: That was my first. That was a teaching photo. So none of this. Ok so this stuff: outlines right here. Mental health issues. That might have been health class. And I wrote so neatly too.

JP: You did.

SR: My god. I must have had plenty of time (laughs) (Looking at notes in notebook) Ok. (Reading notes) The perfectionist, the specialists. These are outlines of different types of stereotypes that we applied. The know-it-all.

JP: Mh-hmm.

SR: Use all that stuff all the time once you're aware of it. The bully. That was 59:00actually a film. We took notes on films that we saw. Yeah-- And now I do right yet. I do a lot of… I got involved at UW-Stevens Point in my Masters. Because I got a Masters in Science of Education. But with an art emphasis. They were god enough to allow me to take studio courses. But I started journaling through my graduate course and got involve with the writing group. So a lot. I still write but what I write about now. Used to be kinda therapeutic when I'd be going through things but I really don't mess with any kind of therapy now. Cause I don't have anything to complain about. I'm retired. It's pretty nice. So what I do make notations in my journal about now is just things that I notice about life. Life philosophies. Things that I have come to find that I keep coming back 60:00to the same idea. Change is inevitable. Those kind of things.

JP: Right.

SR: I am still handwriting those. But this stuff. No a lot of this I can't. This is the first time that I have had it out in decades (laughs). And I thought this may be the last time that I'm going to look at this stuff because it's a lot of stuff that I won't use. Don't think I'll use. Then I looked further and there's some handouts. Ok (Pulls out picture). This. There's a story behind this. Looking at this picture what do you think it is?

JP: Jesus (laughs)?

SR: Yes. So I had an English professor here on campus and it was only English comp 2.

JP: Ok.

SR: It was a basic class that everybody was supposed to take. He had us reading about existentialism. And my god I have to tell you that this is how funny things work. Now years later, I met another graduate from Oshkosh. She went 61:00maybe like 10 years after I did. Had the same professor and we talked about the same thing. He taught us about existentialism. Reading all of these book and somehow he'd questioned us as students. He'd go "so Jasmine, do you really believe in God and angels floating around on little clouds up there?" He was the one professor that probably got me to question my belief system. Cause he made you feel foolish is in a class you were going to say yeah I believe in angels and they have wings and they are flying around. You do. You really do. And my paper for him had to be defining existentialism. The longest paper I ever wrote. It was 32 pages. And he was talking about this picture that looked like Jesus and I said to him…I said "I had found the picture that you're talking about." It came from a little store. Christian store up Main St. And I showed it to him. 62:00I said "I found the one that you were talking about and this is the guy." And he says this looks like a guy that I would date. So what he announced to the class was that this is some guys that Sharon Trampf. Ms. Trampf in the class would have sex with (gasps). And I was like I didn't say that (laughs). That was a little intimidating. So he. That was part of that class. I must have thought that that was worth keeping (Laughs).

JP: Yeah, that's quite the…

SR: (Pulls out a paper) This is what they used to have grades on. That's how we got our grades. Transcript. So 1976. And here I'm a painter. Let's see if my drawing. Oh it's a figure drawing class. I only got a C. That was an eight o'clock class. You know how that goes (laughs).

JP: (Laughs) Yes. Oh yeah. I have those.

SR: You see after a while you go I'm not signed up for any night classes and I thought I wouldn't take any eight o'clock.


JP: Right.

SR: See if you can get through in four years just taking classes from 10 til four. But I did take one session of summer school too to get through.

JP: Ok.

SR: I lived here one summer. So yeah. This is what they would give you for your grades. That's what you would be waiting for to come in the mail.

JP: Oh. So you got those through the mail?

SR: Yup.

JP: Ok. And how well did you do in your classes?

SR: Well-- (Looks at transcript) I see for Arts Survey I. I got a C on it but I never go anything lower than a C.

JP: Ok.

SR: So I was. I did graduate with honors. I think what makes the big difference is when you take all of those classes that are required. You usually take those your freshmen and sophomore year.

JP: Mh- hmm.

SR: When you're done with that. Your junior year and senior year are. For me it felt like that's when you got to the meat of what you want to do. And those were the most value classes. The most pertinent. The most interesting and where you 64:00picked up most of the stuff that you're really going to apply to your job. The first two years were like. I think my grade point average was lowered because of some of those classes I wasn't so interested in. Geology. Yeah I see [unclear] yet (laughs). But it's like. I just know what they're called. I take geology and another one called man in the biosphere. That was actually. I think I did have some notes from that. And that was strangely. One of the topics were talking about just how man's attitude changed about sex.

JP: Hmmm.

SR: Yeah. It was a big change for that time and period. Because that time period was not as open as it is now. Now we're talking transgender and all of that. And back at that time. Even discussion of being gay. It wasn't a term widely used. 65:00Gay would have meant happy (laughs). It's just a totally different thing now. None of that was really. That wasn't brought up in that particular class but just genealogy was discussed a little bit. So that was next to reproduction. Was part of it.

JP: What was it like being a woman on campus during the time that you were here?

SR: I thought about that when I. Actually this is personal. You might not find it from anyone else but I know that while it exists on campuses and when I hear about it now I realize it was probably more widespread. I had a boyfriend that was physically violent. And at that time when I was in the dormitories I went to see a counselor that was placed in the dormitory at ours in Scott Hall. And it 66:00was inevitable for that to break apart and not be with that guy but it took its own time. But I know that that was probably more common. I think that attitude with men were. In college. It was like well what were we doing. We were nursing majors and education. I did never feel slighted by guys on campus necessarily. I. Being a woman on campus… Is there anything specific that you're thinking about?

JP: No. Just in general.

SR: Oh. Ok. Something that probably. That shocked me when I first got here was like my freshmen year in the dormitories I had the sophomore girls walking right in the room and saying "and by the way, to get birth control here is what you do." And of course that wasn't available. But we were drinking and everything at 67:0018. But none of that was available to us unless you were. Unless your parents were extremely like… would be-- open. And they were saying that you go down to the health center and you tell them that you want to have. You had to have your annual pap smear and basically that you wanted this. And I think they gave them it right there. Prescriptions right there. There might have been a prescription. I don't remember going to a drug store to get birth control pills. So that was. That was first thing that I noticed. And it was like girls were going down in [unclear] to get it. At that time. And this does kind of relate to your question. There was never a question from gentlemen that you might have any sexual connection with of. About use of rubbers or condoms. Even though STDs were out there. There was never talk or discussion about them. The biggest 68:00concern was pregnancy and I think that most guys got so used to the women on campus having birth control on campus through birth control pills that they just didn't ask. And they did not present use of condoms. It just was not. I mean if I talk to my girlfriends. They would be like "no, they didn't care about that." They didn't even ask. A lot of them never even asked about birth controls because birth control pills or IUDs were so widely used. Something. It was more or less left up to women. To figure out the birth control issue. And we were just too stupid to think about STDs. Nobody was talking to us about those.

JP: So there were no. Now we have Health Advocates on campus. You didn't have any of those?

SR: Nothing. You were just kind of left to figure it out on your own. Or maybe. 69:00Usually it was like if you were going to the health center it was for: colds, sore throats, and that (birth control).

JP: Ok. How close were you to the girls on your floor? Or even in the building?

SR: I probably have more contacts with people from my freshmen year. (Pulls out picture) This group. I'm in touch with nobody. Even though I can point out. She was a sophomore. She was a sophomore. It's difficult. She was with me as a sophomore. The rest are freshmen. I really don't know where they are. Or I would know their names. She stopped to see me. She lives in North Dakota now in Fargo. She's a special ed teacher. I didn't even know what here major was when she was in college (laughs). She was next door to me. She's a phy ed teacher in Wauwatosa. I know that. But see the thing is. They don't keep their married 70:00names so I can't really find them.

JP: Oh ok.

SR: They might be in the. The Alumni Association made a big directory. You had to pay $25 to get something that's thick like a phonebook and you probably can find out some of them. One of my former roommates post- college. She got one and you could find maybe people who married. So it's harder for women if they got married and they moved on. You lost track and it's hard to track them down now.

JP: Right. What were some things that other students did during their free time?

SR: Frisbee was big. There always seemed to be a game of touch football with the guys and stuff. Frisbee and football. Let's see. On campus… We did go to. 71:00There were campus films. There was a little theater at the campus school. I remember those were like creaky old floors in there and stuff. They had free movies. The Union sometimes had free movies. They had Woody Allen Film Festival going on so you could attend that. They had stuff through the Union frequently. Bands coming in. They had alcohol. That was the… (laughs).That was a big big entertainment in itself. But. So we could go to the bars. That would be an outing. There was intermural volleyball teams for the girls. I know I was playing with them one year doing that. That was when I was in the dorms. Once you're off campus you're less apt to do those activities. Now my roommate. She 72:00was a roommate that I lived off campus with her. (Looking at picture) She was a phy ed major. She did all this stuff like going to football games to take stats. She would always be gone. And her. She was locked on with the activities through Kolf. I would have probably have been more locked in with activities through art so it'd be attend art shows and openings. And I would help set things up for the opening show with your wine and punch and all of that stuff. Watch TV. That was a big one. Soap operas. We all followed our soap operas. That was. I can't really think of any. A lot of times in the dormitory we were just hanging in each other's room just visiting.

JP: Sounds pretty common. Even today


SR: Well what you would do is you find out in college that your family is not like everybody else's family if you do any visitations to any of these girls' homes. You find out that their home life is a little bit different than yours. What you thought was normal is not. Not somebody else's normal. You learn about where they are from and sometimes they bring friends that are tending to another college. Although for weekends. You get to know them that way. That kind of networking.

JP: Did your family ever come up to visit you while you were here?

SR: I was only a half an hour away so the only time that my parents ever entered campus was to move me.

JP: Ok.

SR: And I did not have a car. My boyfriend had access with a car which saved me like a million times because if I need to get fabrics or anything for class. I had access to using his car but that really is a tough thing if you're on campus 74:00and you don't have any way to get around.

JP: Right.

SR: How often did you go home then?

SR: Hardly ever. Christmas (laughs).

JP: Did you get homesick?

SR: No. I didn't. That's why it just blows me away. It's like the connection that people have to there. Young people have to their parents is like calling them every day or talking to them every day. Nope. None of that. My mother would call every once in a while but it's like. Tell her that I'm at the library or gone elsewhere. We really weren't thriving on that. Now I wasn't really that far away from my parents either so I could probably have taken my boyfriend's car and went home for any afternoon and head back.

JP: Right.

SR: It wasn't really long distance.

JP: Have you been involved in the University since you graduated?

SR: Hmmm. Well I've supervised some student teachers that attended Oshkosh. And 75:00I did that through again my old art professor David Hodge. He kinda lined me up and would say oh we've got so many from Waupaca that want to student teach there. That I did. I did attend an alumni gathering that was in Waupaca that was on like a tour boat. That was fun. One thing that I wish they'd do again. I'd have to talk to the Alumni people. They did have alumni. I think it was a University. UW statewide reunion at the Brewers stadium. And they had different tents for all of the different universities. And I did. The alumni thing that I attended was very handy because it was in Waupaca and it was just down the street. When I got on it. I though what am I gonna have in common with any of these other alumni from Oshkosh that I never knew. It's funny because when you 76:00get together you start to talk about things like campus and you go is that hall still there, remember when we used to go to that place for that thing. Oh yeah. It's all different now. We really did have a lot to talk about. Just the campus being the point of discussion.

JP: That's pretty nice. Did you have any or did you come back to view any of the art galleries?

SR: Yeah. Actually I have. Coming back. I haven't been done is Priebe down there. But I have gone through the Union. I was in a Union. Somehow I was in an Alumni organized art show at the union that I brought work for. And it just seemed like it's poorly organized because we were waiting around for someone to drop the work off and pick it up. It was on display there for a month or something. So I did get to walk around a little bit and actually it was a girl 77:00that I met my freshmen year in the dorms. Still in touch with her. She's from Green Bay and we met down here. She was putting work in. We just kinda walked, took a tour. And we did go through the art rooms of the art department and look and go oh my god these room are all open. They're still as grungy as they were when we left them. A little bit. I'd been on campus.

JP: Ok.

SR: Parking is usually like the issue. It's like you drive by.

JP: It's always a big issue. So what other advice would you give to students who are currently at UWO?

SR: You guys have a different method of staying in touch. So I think that that would be easier. Actually, it's kinda sweet when you leave and you run into somebody that went to school here. It's like oh you're a Titan. Somebody actually said that to me. Oh you're a Titan. And I'm like.

(Laughs)Yeah I guess I am. It never felt like it while you're here. That's all you here about is the Badgers, the Badgers. And see my family is greatly 78:00divided. It's like we have my son and my two sister that were Madison grads. And it's like. They're like everything Badgers. So nobody talks about being a Titan in Oshkosh so when I see other people from Oshkosh. I do say that now. It's like oh you're a Titan. They stop and say "yeah, I am." But I'm also a Pointer.

JP: Oh yeah. That's right.

SR: Because I did my graduate work in Pointe. So it doesn't mean anything. It's just like I'm part of that club.

JP: Yeah.

SR: That's all it is. It is kind of a nice. The idea of an alumni. I don't do their activities or anything but when you meet someone from that campus it does kinda align you immediately.

JP: Right

I would say that that's kind of an interesting point. No advice there but I guess what it keeps coming back to is. You guys. It doesn't hurt to stay in 79:00touch with people that you have your past with. Because all of you when you leave will go out and branch out to different places but knowing each other yet is still another method of networking. And you never know who's gonna say "hey, you did dah dah dah, we need somebody over here."

JP: Yup.

SR: And it's common for young people I think to do that now. Whereas when we go done. You'll all go off and you had no idea how to connect. Connection is a big important part. And answering the question of how does life work? It's about connecting and networking and to find your way or to find your path. Always following it. What you love to do. If education and I mean people are still asking me to teach classes so that still follows me. I'm doing these wine and paint things that you've probably heard about those.

JP: Mh-hmm.


SR: Yes. I'm doing that too as another side link. But I think if you follow what you love to do ultimately even if it's not in the forefront because being an artist was always on a backburner for me. All I had to do was keep doing my art and developing it. Even though I wasn't always selling it. Keep your interests alive and stay in touch with those people that you met while in high school and college because everybody changes in that whole mix. And you never know who's gonna come back and be either right beside you teaching. Like the soccer coach went to school here and handled the Mingle and Tingle stuff here and I'm like oh my god you operated that. (Laughs) And he says "yes I did. I can't believe that you were on campus when I was." It does kind of lighten you heart as you get older and you think oh gosh what do I do now. Everybody that I retired here at school with will be in that same predicament give or take five years. We'll all 81:00be in that same age group. So to stay in touch with those people.

JP: That is very important. Well was there anything else that you wanted to go over?

SR: Well I wanted to bring this. (Pulls out Paper) I don't think you guys know what these are. There used to be sort of a copy machine. A mimeograph machine. I wonder if I have any of these. That's what these purple print is right here.

JP: Ok.

SR: So these are how we got out handouts and there used to be. These were like carbon so you'd be typing and you'd have this carbon thing underneath that would copy and you'd put it on this big roller that had fluid. And you would go [makes mimeograph sound]. This is the stuff. And sometimes you could get colored. But this was all taken off of your original carbon. This was the color of our print.

JP: And how long did it take you to print this?


SR: Well how many are you talking about? About 150 I need? You could set it on auto and it would go (makes mimeograph sound). (Laughs) So it'd look like is you'd be typewriting this and some carbony back so it'd go on this other thing and you'd fold it over, roll that and put in a little clipper thing here. And it would kind of go over this whole little roller. And then there was a fluid in the machine that reacted with the carbon. And you would just roll this thing and the first thing and even in high school I can remember. That fluid smelt so good that you would go (sniffs paper). (Laughs)And sometimes the paper would be wet and so the students would go "yay, right out of the mimeograph machine." That is like where we got our handouts. And then when they start coming out like this. (Pulls out a piece of paper) Then they were on a copy machine. But that is. This is sort of a keeper. (Laughs) Oh yeah. Here. This is one right here. So this is 83:00how it would work. There was like. This was the way it would come with a sheet over the top. And it would be blank. And then you would type on it. This would be the negative and the sheet that you took off was what you put on so this is what you would put the carbon on. The paper that came with this (laughs).

JP: It sounds like a long process. Well, compared to what we have now.

SR: (Flips through paper) Yeah you had to put it in your planning time. Yeah and it was the mimeograph machine. I don't know where those went, what junk yard their sitting in. So yeah see everything was done that way. Even our exams were given this way.

JP: Ok.

SR: I don't know if you take exams online now, do you?

JP: No, we have scantrons?

SR: See here. This is my own handwriting and I just write on one of those carbon things, take this paper out and it'd come on the back. And that's what you did.


JP: You had some nice handwriting.

SR: You did your work. And if you had to share anything with students. Let's see I have a junior year deficiency check that told us what we needed to take for classes. We got one of those. Apparently. It would tell you what you needed yet to graduate.

JP: Who did…Did you have and advisor?

SR: I did. I think I met with him once. (Laughs) I did and he was like an art history professor and I know I never took any classes with him. And I can't really remember. It was towards the end of my year that I found out that I was gonna be deficient of a political science course. (Going through old paper) So I ended up taking a independent study thing.

JP: ok.

SR: And he said "well you can read this book and do some artwork with it since you're an art major." And I was like ok anything. Whatever I gotta do. And I kinda went into. In a panic because I thought that I was. I thought I couldn't 85:00graduate. (Pulls out another paper) Here's substantialism that I started. So anyway, probably the last time that I'll look at this stuff. I'll throw it out when I get home.

JP: You might want to keep it (laughs).

SR: Well I do have a box at home that it can go back in but it's like when have I ever used this stuff. So here, I stapled this in. This was my research paper outline. That's when teacher gave you stuff then. Crazy right?

JP: Right.

SR: (Pulls out Advanced Titan article) So and then actually this was something I kept. I did do a. During interim. You still have interim, right?

JP: Mh-hmm.

SR: I did an interim course where we went to Europe for… it was like about 17 days and we went to London, Paris, and Amsterdam. This was an article and I just thought that it was interesting because it was very much for its time 76. 1976. 86:00This was our University paper but I thought. But I thought. What they talked about. One of the first paragraphs they're speaking about. And here it is. The London folks with the. With Irish jokes. And that is kind of a racist thing. I didn't know when I was in college until I traveled to Ireland on my own later. That that was a minority group of people that suffered at the hands of the English quite a bit. It was by. It was told to me by some Irish people when I went there later in life that it was a Holocaust scenario. I didn't know that. You've heard of the Potato Famine. Later when I went to Irish Fest down in Milwaukee I found out that yes it was. It was a genocide of sorts. They really. 87:00The Irish people grew the food and a lot of the landlords were sending the food to Britain. Or England. So really they were a group of people. That is probably highly inappropriate by today's standards. To be writing about… Yeah we tell… They tell Irish jokes like we tell Polish jokes.

JP: Right.

SR: And that is not acceptable either anymore. So I thought that was kind of interesting that that was acceptable at the time and none of us really knew what was going on in Ireland to… see that as pure entertainment. So I thought that was interesting… They put it in the paper.

JP: Did you get any of the students' feedback back then. Or did they like talk about it at all?

SR: No, we looked at this like "oh look I was there, and I was there, and I was there and really. If they were using Irish people in jokes. We didn't really 88:00meet any Irish people. I thought that the people in England were very polite people. But I didn't know the history of the two countries that in fact yet British pretty much did take over Ireland. And they were subjected to serving the English and they put in charge people who were landlords. I mean you get a feel for what was really going on if you ever watch the movie Braveheart.

JP: Ok.

SR: If you ever saw that with Mel Gibson. The Irish people were really a down trodden group of people. And when I went there later in life. I took a trip there by myself to take a painting class. And it was some people that I met in a pub and they said that it was genocide. And they said "oh come on can't you just get over it." And they were dead serious. They're at piece now but I think that the Irish people have a certain suspicion about English people. They all get 89:00along supposedly but yeah that was. I got that out and then I read that and I was like oh my god they're talking about Muslims now. So it was right there. It was another part of it.

JP: I'll have to look more into that.

SR: Yeah it was as. If you see the movie Braveheart and they would. They would actually take like Mel Gibson's character. He would just marry a woman and the landlord was required to take her before the first eve of the wedding couple.

JP: Mh-hmm.

SR: And basically, try to impregnate her before the husband could.

JP: Oh my.

SR: I mean like genocide. They wanted everybody to be English blood. Or have English blood in them and they treated the Irish people as though they were poor and dumb and ignorant. And they tried to keep them that way. Yeah that was an 90:00interesting thing. So I've done since I've graduated I have done a lot of traveling on my own. My friends think that I'm kind of crazy for doing it but again I'm a firm believer in always…Even when I travel, things are always present then to you or people are put in front of you that you don't always notice when you're talking to other people.

JP: Mh-hmm.

SR: So I've done painting trips to Arizona. Where I was just pulling over the car and then painting. And I went and did one in Ireland that was affiliated to a class. And I've traveled up to New York. Part of New York State. An example there is I was camping and traveling and this was about two weeks after I got married and I went all by myself. I took the fairy across Lake Michigan. I found out that I got on the boat and they never took my ticket. Because I asked two guys that worked there. I said "how do. When do they take your ticket?" And they started laughing. So I have this way of somehow getting where I'm supposed to 91:00be. And I was staying at a state park camping. In New York. And about at 11 o'clock at night I went to use the [unclear] to brush my teeth and use the bathroom. There was somebody standing there from my high school.

JP: Oh wow.

SR: Out in New York.

JP: What a coincidence.

SR: That's what I mean. It's like weird stuff like that happens to me. If you're paying attention…

JP: Right.

SR: It's like I didn't have plans to meet her there. She was a year older. And she was standing there and she had long red hair. And she said she was traveling with her punk rock band into Toronto the next day.

JP: Oh.

SR: So I've had weird stuff like that happen to me so traveling by yourself you kinda get that.

JP: That has to make traveling nice though too.

SR: It does because people are like oh don't you feel like you're. You develop a. That other sense of your intuition. Like I have had moments like I'm getting out of here.

JP: Mh-hmm.

SR: I don't feel good about this. Otherwise, I did a road trip to Texas this 92:00last year for something. That was a Burn. Have you ever heard of those?

JP: No.

SR: Burning man. You never heard of burning man?

JP: No. I haven't

SR: It's a big celebration about fire.

JP: Ok.

SR: And it's. People go. Burning man is huge huge. I don't even know how many people come. It's organized but you… It's a celebration about fire. They have a big burn in [unclear]. The burn I went to was in Texas and I think it's sort of a release for people who live down there it's very conservative.

JP: Mh-hmm.

SR: So I think people go to these. It's like a four day event.

JP: Ok.

SR: There's no judgment on these. They have several of them in Texas that they told me about. I was told from a high school friend, "you gotta come down to this." So you go to this and it's like a four day camping spree out in the middle of nowhere. People in the nearest town do not even know that it's going on.

JP: Wow.

SR: You bring your music if you want music. You have a big group of people. I 93:00was in a camp. They named each little camp and you can just come and go to each other's camps. So it was maybe a thousand people at this. And the whole rule of it is that there are no rules. They do have you read some online that are like you can't do judgement.

JP: Mh-hmm.

SR: No coercion of any kind is allowed. You could nude. You can go in costume. You can go in a t-shirt and jeans. Nobody makes a comment. No judgment.

JP: Oh.

SR: It's a no judgement event. Nothing is for sale, everything is gifted.

JP: Ok.

SR: It's all based on self… What would you want to say? Your…self-reliance.

JP: Mh-hmm.

SR: When you come you are expected to have your own camping gear but if you don't then you go borrow. People will give you stuff and food. Like one camp. 94:00That's all they did was make grilled cheese sandwiches and then they would go through other people's camps and ask "ya hungry, do ya want this?" It's quite intense. And then on Saturday night they have this big arena with but big big huge tents with people camping and they burn [unclear] and it's a sculpture and parts move. And there's laser shows that go on but they did not do the big burn because there was a big ban in Texas.

JP: Ok.

SR: That they chose. They don't have a rule, they don't have to abid by it. But they just chose not to just for safety.

JP: Ok.

SR: So I didn't get to see that part of it but Burning Man, they have a huge burn like that as well. I think that it's just for people who just need to let loose. Because people in Texas told me that if they were ever caught doing what they're doing. Some of them are walking around without close on or. Tutu's were big. Men or women were wearing tutus and army boots up to here. I found out why. 95:00Because I would wear the longer hippy skirt, but this is in the middle of a field and pretty soon I'm dragging along tumbleweeds in my skirt.

JP: Oh ok.

SR: So you got a lot of grasses that are high.

JP: Mh-hmm.

SR: You go down there in a part of the country that we aren't used to and they're warning you about wild boars and snakes. And I'm like nope-- I don't know about wild boars. They said "yeah they're like deer." You hit one with your car and it can wipe out your car. The light up… Their eyes don't like up like deer do.

JP: Were you worried about this while you were down there?

SR: I was a little worried about that and then I asked the person who invited me down cause I was camping and they said check your shoes. Make sure that there is no snakes in them.

JP: Mh-hmm.

SR: Really when I got there, there wasn't much to be concerned about.

JP: Right.

SR: You see new people come into your camp. I guess you could go the other way if you're offended. But I had so many life drawing classes that I taught. I taught…


JP: Mh-hmm.

SR: And I was in here. So at Oshkosh we had those. That was a big shock for me to when I got art classes here. It was like life drawing (laughs). You have nude people.

JP: What was your first impression of that?

SR: Wow. She's really old (laughs). Because they had an older woman who was modeling. Her name was Holly. She was a really big, wide. Anybody from that era or was an art major in the 70s would have known Holly.

JP: Ok.

SR: We didn't know what she did. She seemed like a bag lady who got paid for modeling. That maybe helped me prepare for the Burn that I went on last summer. That was interesting.

JP: Well, thank you so much for taking the time out to do this interview with me. I really enjoyed it.

SR: This was kinda fun. Now where are you from?

JP: I'm from Menomonee Falls.

SR: Towards Milwaukee, right?

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