Interview with Denise Corner-Sciano, 04/24/2017

UW Oshkosh Campus Stories
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Kayla Dionne: Today, I, Kayla Dionne am here working on the UW-Oshkosh Campus Stories Oral History Project for Quest Three: Oral Campus History. It is 5pm on Monday, April 24th, 2017. I'm on the phone with Denise "Deni" Corner/Sciano to talk about her experience on the UW-Oshkosh campus. I will send her the Deed of Gift which she will sign and send back to me. This will take about 60 minutes of Deni's time to tell me her story. So, Deni, where did you grow up?

Denise Corner/Sciano: I grew up in Cedarburg, Wisconsin.

KD: And what was your community like?

DCS: In general the community was a farming community. There were more farmers there than there were, other professions. We had a lot of people that did have another have another profession that committed to Milwaukee and we had the town 00:01:00was very small back then. We had one bank…

KD: Wow

DCS: One dentist, one orthodontist, well actually three because they were all in the same offices. (Laughs)

KD: (laughs)

DCS: And they had one chiropractor, it had one grocery store, one, a couple of butcher shops, things like that.

KD: Mhm.

DCS: A few restaurants, a few restaurants, no fast food, the first time I went to a McDonald's and the closest one was when I was in about 5th grade or 6th grade and we went to see the capitol in Milwaukee, I mean in, in Madison and that was the first time I went to McDonald's.

KD: Wow!

DCS: And then, then they put in a, a pizza hut in the next town over. Otherwise, we didn't have that food.

KD: Wow, that's interesting.

DCS: So, it was a small town. We had our own police department, we had a 00:02:00library, one high school, one middle school. And our middle school was in two buildings, two very old buildings that were each, I think two stories high with a basement, and we had classes in the basement too.

KD: Was, what grade level was your middle school?

DCS: It was 6th and 7th grade, and then 8th grade was in High School. KD: Oh, okay

DCS: Until they built another middle school, a really nice middle school that was podded KD: Mhm

DCS: It had, like, it looked like a spider. It had a central body KD: (laughs)

DCS: And then the legs went out to the different pods, and then, that's when our 8th grade finally moved in so that it was 6th, 7th and 8th together, and I think that was probably in like 1978 I think. I was already in college then.


KD: Mhm. So you had to, you were stuck in a little school, you were stuck in the basement.

DCS: No, no. We had classes in all different levels of each middle school, of each one of the schools, and you went, you interacted between each school, because if you had math there were like several math teachers and, and either you're 6th grade math or 7th grade math, you would go to one of those teachers. And all kind of stayed together because they kept their curriculum close.

KD: Mhm.

DCS: So yeah you were all over the place in 6th and 7th grade. KD: Okay, did your family emphasize education?

DCS: Absolutely! My father was the principle of our high school, and my mother was the I guess the right hand man, the secretary for the middle school principal.

KD: Okay.

DCS: So, yeah my parents were educators.

KD: And I'm assuming they went to college because you said your dad was a principle. DCS: Yes, in Iowa.

KD: Yeah, okay. DCS: Mhm.


KD: What did they teach you DCS: And we were--

KD: Because they were so involved in the education, school system?

DCS: Well, first of all I knew since I was very, very young that my parents told me always that I was going to college. So it was never, an, it was never an, an afterthought, suggestion

KD: Mhm

DCS: They always said, "You're going to college." KD: (laughs)

DCS: And, and so also there were four kids in our family, I was the oldest KD: Mhm

DCS: Of all four of us got college educations. KD: Okay

DCS: We all graduated.

KD: Did they all get a Bachelor's of Science degree in Education? DCS: No, two of us did.

KD: Oh okay.

DCS: Myself, and the brother after me did. And then one got his degree in finance. KD: Mhm.

DCS: And the other got his degree in, it wasn't social work and it wasn't psychology… I can't remember what his degree was, but something along those lines.


KD: You had mentioned you had four siblings, was it-- DCS: No, three.

KD: Oh, three.

DCS: There was four in the family, I have three brothers.

KD: Was that kind of hectic? I don't have a brother so I don't even know what that's like. (Laughs)

DCS: No, it wasn't. It was, you know I was the oldest one so I was always the one blazing the trail and doing my own thing. And we were all athletes so we stayed pretty busy.

KD: Mhm.

DCS: And we lived on a farm, so you know you're always busy. There's always the animals and the bailing and all kinds of stuff. We rented the house we lived in, our family was pretty poor because back then when you put my mother's and father's salaries together, I don't think they made $18,000.

KD: Wow.

DCS: Together. Right. KD: Wow.

DCS: And, and my dad had been teaching at many years at that point, and the two of them together. So we rented a farmhouse, we lived on a farm, and then another 00:06:00farmer rented the barns and the land. Then in the summers, I would work for them as well as other farms, and do work, you know shoveling the manure.

KD: Mhm.

DCS: Spraying the lime, whatever they needed I would do it, and I would just ride my bike all over the place, and make extra money. And I ironed clothes, and I babysat and I just did whatever I could to make extra money. And when I went to school, my mom and dad didn't have any money even though they kept saying, "you're going to college, you're going to college," they never they didn't have any money to help me with school so I worked for, I went to school at Oshkosh for six years, and paid for all of my education myself. It took me six years to get my four year degree.

KD: Wow.

DCS: And I worked in, when I was there, during the week, Monday through Thursday, when I was in school 'cause I didn't take classes on Friday if I couldn't help it

KD: Mhm

DCS: Then I could go home and work in restaurants and make really good money. KD: Right.

DCS: So I could pay for everything. But when I was there, I worked in the 00:07:00cafeteria, and then, my junior and senior year I was an RA but they changed the name during one of my years to CA.

KD: Mhm.

DCS: Community Advisor, so then I could get the free room and board. KD: Right.

DCS: So, yeah. But it was expensive, well it is expensive! KD: (laughs)

DCS: So KD: Um.

DCS: What I had to, what I had to spend in one year was more than my mother made in her salary.

KD: wow. And you paid for it all by yourself.

DCS: 100%. I might have gotten, I figured it out one time. I might have gotten maybe $500 from my parents over the six years where they maybe give me a little bit of cash here and there, but otherwise no, I paid for it all myself.

KD: Wow. That's incredible. And do you have any student loans that you're still paying for? DCS: No.

KD: Wow!

DCS: Nope, I paid for it all myself. KD: Wow!

DCS: I had to quit school once for a little while so I could make more money, and it was not easy to get a degree.


KD: Mhm. When did you think you begin to think about college? As soon as, as soon as you were--

DCS: Probably, well since they always told me. I never really thought about it, I just, ya know KD: You just went. (Laughs)

DCS: This is the middle school you're going to go to and this is the high school you're going to go to, it wasn't any kind of thought until maybe when I was in high school and it was time to fill out the application. And back then, of course we didn't have computers. So you went to the counselor's office, and you picked up an application that was for the University of Wisconsin Systems. And then you would fill out the same one but you would put in the different name of the school. So I would fill out the University of Wisconsin- Oshkosh, and then fill out all the same stuff. And then the University of Wisconsin- Madison or the University of Wisconsin- Steven's Point. And it was all the same but you would put the different name of a school in and then you would send it to them.


KD: Wow.

DCS: And that was how you applied to schools. KD: There's no copy and paste. (Laughs)

DCS: And I was, excuse me?

KD: I said, "there's no copy and paste"

DCS: No! (Laughs) Nope, none of that. So then you would, and then I was accepted at Oshkosh, and Madison, and Steven's Point, and a few others. And I chose Oshkosh because I would go to Madison for the wrestling, the wrestling state tournaments…

KD: Mhm.

DCS: And I kind of felt like when I was accepted there, I kind of felt like it wasn't a place I really wanted to go. I felt it was too big for me.

KD: Mhm.

DCS: I wanted, I liked a smaller campus that was easy to, to get from class to class. KD: Right.

DCS: And even though it was about the same distance from home, I just felt better about going to

Oshkosh, it was more that more small-town-me from Cedarburg as compared to being 00:10:00from Milwaukee. Now, if I was from Milwaukee and I went to one of those bigger schools for high school I probably wouldn't have blinked about Madison. But I didn't feel, I didn't feel I was ready for it, so I chose Oshkosh.

KD: That's interesting, because I, that same thing happened to me too! (Laughs) DCS: (laughs)

KD: What would you say, what do you remember most about your early education, like what teachers inspired you most to keep going to school, obviously besides your parents?

DCS: You mean when I was a kid? KD: Yes.

DCS: When I was in elementary school? Middle school? Which grade, what grade levels are you talking about?

KD: We'll talk about high school.

DCS: High school, and what was the question again? KD: Which teachers influenced you the most?

DCS: Well, of course my father because he was a teacher and he was a principle. So, he influenced me the most. And you know this might be a little unusual 00:11:00because not only was he my dad, but he was my principle too.

KD: (laughs)

DCS: And then, of course, the farmers were number one in, in, in employing but number two were teachers. We had more teachers in town, ya know that was the next thing, were teachers

KD: Mhm.

DCS: So all of my parent's friends were teachers, so I would have to say that my coaches in high school, absolutely, because I was an athlete, my coaches. You know, I, I respected them quite a bit, and I would say not necessarily teachers though either, probably a lot of my friends were going to college. So, teachers, coaches and friends were very encouraging about going to school. Counselors, of course, our school counselors, you know they'd say "what do you want to do?" and 00:12:00then you'd tell them, and then they'd help you to reach your goal.

KD: Right, right. You'd mentioned, your coaches influenced you. What kind of sports were you apart of in High school?

DCS: I was a gymnast, swimmer and a diver.

KD: And, how do you think that helped you prepare for college?

DCS: Well, obviously the discipline of being on time is really important. KD: Mhm.

DCS: The, yeah I'm going to have to say that all those sports, the discipline of being organized. You have to, in order to participate in sports, you have to be organized, with your classroom work to make sure that you've completed everything, and you've done well at it and you organize your time in such a way you either study or you eat or you sleep, whatever it may be that you are to 00:13:00manage your time well. So, I think the sports, as far as discipline, to stay committed to something and to do your very best and practice, practice, practice, or the time management. And also, I'd have to say eating, I think that eating the right foods…

KD: Mhm.

DCS: And having, having respect for your body, and respect for your team to do well. I think the respect issue was probably pretty big back then too.

KD: Mhm. Do you think that's helped you a lot today?

DCS: Absolutely! Absolutely, I think it's, it makes you who you are, I think as long as you value the lessons that you've learned. You have to have a good value system, and I think I did because I think that church helped a lot too, growing 00:14:00up we were active in our, in church, in our community and having a family of church members besides your own family, and knowing that you have to do well and you want them to be proud of you makes a really big difference too.

KD: Mhm. So because you wanted to make your family proud, would you say you were a pretty, pretty good student then?

DCS: Yeah, I wasn't a straight A student but I was A's and B's. KD: Mhm.

DCS: So, I was always comfortable. I didn't have, I didn't have the lofty goals of wanting to be the best in my class. Not, I, I never wanted to be the best in some, in education. (Laughs)

KD: (laughs)

DCS: But, competitively competition was really important for me, and as an athlete I always wanted to be the best because that was something I knew I was good at.

KD: Mhm.

DCS: You know, so. KD: Um--


DCS: You know I would say competition was a big part of, of what I was about too when I was younger.

KD: Mhm. So do you remember your first day of your freshman year? DCS: Yeah.

KD: Was there a kind of orientation you had to go through?

DCS: No. No, there wasn't. Back then, it's kind of funny. Back then, people didn't go, come on campus and check out the campus. I mean maybe some people did but we didn't, we were poor. My mom and dad weren't going to drive me, you know an hour and a half up there to check out a campus.

KD: Right.

DCS: And so, I don't know. Maybe that was an option. It certainly wouldn't have been an option for me.

KD: Mhm.

DCS: But, my first day I, we drove in like a lot of, like everybody else does. My mom and dad pulled up with the van, we took all my boxes out of the van and there were maybe, I'm going to say four or five boxes, not big boxes and, then 00:16:00they drove away.

KD: Wow.

DCS: And so then I, I just one by one carried my boxes to my room, I started, I picked out which side of the room I was going to be on, (laughs) and started unloading my boxes, and you know hanging my clothes up in the closet, you know because I didn't have very much.

KD: Mhm.

DCS: And then I thought, "okay, everyone else is moving in, and I'll get to know other people later." And I just, that, that was when I, that was my orientation. I just took off and I walked around campus! (Laughs)

KD: (laughs)

DCS: And, and, just, just looking around to, to check it all out, to see where my classes were going to be, where the, where the administrative hall was…

KD: Mhm.

DCS: Where the medical building was, where the gym was because I knew I'd be working out, where my cafeteria was, and I walked way over past, what I would call the biology building, the big science building…


KD: Yeah

DCS: And then I heard, I heard over by the one of the commons, over by the library, I heard a band playing. And I thought, "Oh, I'm going to check out this band and all the music!" So I walked across campus and, so I was listening to the band, and then decided to go back to my dorm and started meeting the girls on campus. And that was my orientation, and school started the next day. Classes started the next day.

KD: Okay.

DCS: That was, that was how it went down. KD: (laughs)

DCS: We did have meetings on our floor, you know we met our new, our RA, you know we learned where the mailbox was, that sort of thing, but pretty much back then you found your way on your own.

KD: Mhm. Did, did you get lost on your first day of official classes? DCS: No.

KD: That's good.

DCS: No, because that's where that organization comes from was I, I kind of knew where everything was. I checked it all out and knew where I had to be.

KD: Mhm, do you feel like your high school really prepared you for the first couple of weeks of college?

DCS: I don't know. I don't think so, no. You know but then, I think that high 00:18:00school is just school. It's, you know, and I think the one thing that prepares you is the desire to do well, and so if you're that kind of person if you choose to go to college, you know, you're investing your time and money and you're going to make sure that you know where you're supposed to do, it's like a

job, you certainly don't show up late and you know where you have to park when you get to your new job. So it seems to me, no. They didn't prepare me for it, and I don't know if they even had classes on preparing for college back then you just went to college.

KD: Mhm.

DCS: And figured it out. KD: That's interesting.

DCS: We were not held by the hand. KD: (laughs)

DCS: To say, you know, "oh, well." We didn't, they didn't, they didn't do that back then. (Laughs)

KD: What were your classes like? Because I know now, we pick classes and every Monday, Wednesday, Friday they're typically an hour hour, and Tuesdays and Thursdays they're an hour and a half. So, were they kind of similar to that?


DCS: No, no. We had, we didn't have a ton of classes on Friday because back then they knew that most of the kids went home to work

KD: Mhm.

DCS: And, and that's just the way that it was. There was some classes on Fridays but rarely afternoons. So it was usually, if it was Monday, Wednesday, Friday, it, you, usually it would be morning classes. It was, you know, Tuesday and Thursday, and Monday and Wednesday, and we didn't have any classes that I knew of that were an hour and a half. Most of them were in lecture halls, not most of them. A lot of them were in lecture halls, you know basics were in lecture halls. And then we had the, the labs.

KD: Mhm.

DCS: And then we had a lot of the smaller classroom things, for the smaller classes. KD: Right.

DCS: Like Spanish. Spanish would never be in a big lecture hall. Or, or French, or you know certain classes. Or like microbiology class was not in a, in a big 00:20:00lecture hall. Maybe it is now, but back then, no.

KD: Mhm. Do you remember a lot about your general education classes?

DCS: No not really. I know that I needed to take some, but back then they called it, "klepping." I tested out of a lot of things. So they called it, "klepping out," so I klepped out a lot, of a lot of classes. So there was a lot of generals that I didn't have to take.

KD: Mhm.

DCS: You know, I took a higher level math class, and all I needed was maybe one more math class, and I didn't need anymore. So I was lucky there, that a lot of the general ed stuff I was able to test out of.

KD: Yeah, you got super lucky. (Laughs) DCS: Yeah.

KD: Do you remember a couple… DCS: I don't know.

KD: Sorry. You can keep going. Do you remember any of the classes that went really well for you, or the ones you enjoyed the most?

DCS: Yeah I think I, I would have to say the ones I enjoyed the most were the 00:21:00ones I minored it. So, I loved art education, I loved all of the art classes. I loved biology classes. I did not like chemistry at all.

KD: (laughs)

DCS: But that's just me. KD: Yeah.

DCS: Educate, once I decided to go into education and get my degree in education, I guess I, I guess I really did like the methods classes a lot. I thought that, I thought that they were really good. And I, remember them a lot, and I, I loved French, I loved Spanish, you know, and of course I minored in those, so, you know, the kinds of things I liked, I tend to take more of and then I got minors in them.

KD: Right, that makes sense. DCS: So, yeah.

KD: Do you have any professors that, that were either really good or really bad?

DCS: You know, to tell you the truth I don't remember a whole lot of my 00:22:00professors that were good, which is really bad on my part because I guess the big thing was just studying well, and,

and passing your tests. And I would go to lectures, but I really wouldn't go and visit teachers for anything…

KD: Mhm.

DCS: I was good, I was a good self-motivated studier, and I was a good note taker. So, I can honestly say I didn't really have any affinity towards any professors. But there were two that were terrible.

KD: (laughs)

DCS: Two that I remember that were terrible and what was bad about it was that one was a French teacher, and he was the only French teacher. So, in order to get a minor in French, I had to stay with that one the whole time.

KD: (laughs)

DCS: And I hated him! He was so boring, just boring. And, so I then got sick of 00:23:00it and I switched over to Spanish. And I loved, they had a multitude of Spanish teachers, and I loved them, and they were awesome. And I think it was because I tested into a higher level of French and I didn't have to take any of the beginning French, and so I didn't need to take much in order to get the, get the minor.

KD: Okay, that makes sense. DCS: Because I tested high. KD: Yeah.

DCS: But then there were, was a science methods teaching class, science teaching methods and that teacher was a scumbag. And he would go to the students' parties and things and…

KD: Woah.

DCS: And he was just, he was bad news.

DCS: And two tests that I had, I had almost the exact same answers as the girl next to me. She got A and I'd get a D.

DCS: I went to the Dean and they didn't do anything about it.I got a C in that class, in science methods. And science is my number one, I mean if there was 00:24:00anything I was good at, it was science. That guy, that guy screwed me royally as far as my grades went… and, and even though I complained, I had to go through so many channels to complain about him. It was terrible. They would listen to me, but they wouldn't do anything about him, and I don't know if there was something going on with why he was still there. I know he's not there now. (Laughs) You know, it's been too long.

KD: (laughs) yeah.

DCS: But, but back then I felt that this, that the opportunity, that if you had a teacher that was poor, a poor teacher, you could complain all you want and there was nothing you could do to, to fix the situation even if you had evidence that proves that my grade, my test was the same as the girl next to me. You know, as far as she would get the answer right, I would get it wrong.

KD: Mhm.

DCS: And there was no, there was nothing you could do about it. And so I think that has probably changed. Back then, it was not good.


KD: That's horrible.

DCS: So, you just avoided teachers like that. And you know, you know, you just do your best. KD: (laughs)

DCS: And you know what, it teaches you lessons in life because you know, you're not always going to get along with everybody. You're not always going to have your way, and sometimes you are going to get screwed--

KD: Mhm.

DCS: And you just have to continue to persevere and continue to go for whatever your goal is. So, and that's what I did, you know. And even my parents wrote letters.

KD: Wow.

DCS: And that didn't matter.

KD: And it, wow. That's insane to me. I feel like something should have been done. We actually read an article about a professor who did something similar to that and got fired, but then he got rehired because he was a good professor but, if you do stuff like that, you are not very good.

DCS: Well and apparently, he was complained about quite a bit, and because I 00:26:00wasn't the only one.

KD: Mhm.

DCS: I was just one of many that complained about him but there must have been some reason why the University didn't, you know, chose to keep him. Or at least not review my work or other people's work. You know, that was the least they could have done was reviewed our work.

KD: Mhm.

DCS: And they wouldn't even do that. You know, so that was the only, otherwise I don't really, you know have anything else negative, or remembering was, it's sad that I remember the bad…

KD: (laughs)

DCS: The bad, the two bad teachers that I had. One was boring and the other one was bad. But otherwise, I was extremely happy there.

KD: Mhm.

DCS: I thought that, I thought that in general my teachers were spectacular, very knowledgeable. KD: Mhm.

DCS: You know, I know that I had a teacher, in, I think it was Chinese literature and it was for a culture class. Oh, she was spectacular! Just loved 00:27:00her, I just had, I had really great teachers in general.

KD: That's good. I feel like most of the professors on the UW- Oshkosh campus are really really good professors and they deserve to stay here. For sure.

DCS: Well, and actually, you know, as the years have evolved, and laws have evolved, and the need to, to be accountable for your actions…

KD: Mhm.

DCS: I think that has really changed the landscape between students and teachers. KD: Yeah, definitely.

DCS: You know, so, yes. So.

KD: Your freshman year you lived in the dorms. Do you remember which dorm you lived in? DCS: Yeah, I was in Taylor hall.

KD: Okay.

DCS: And then I was in Taylor hall for two years, and then, let's see, where else was I? Well I know I was an RA in Scott hall. You know what, I was in Taylor hall for three years.


KD: Okay.

DCS: And I was in Scott hall as an RA for two, and then I lived off campus when I was a student teacher.

KD: And when you lived off campus, did you have a car? Or what was your method of getting to class?

DCS: No, (laughs) I hitchhiked. KD: (laughs) Really?

DCS: Yeah, hitchhiked everywhere until the year I got my student teaching and then I bought a

$500 Gremlin. And I drove a Gremlin and I drove it until it died, it was a good little car. But otherwise if I needed to go home, I would, because we didn't have ride boards and I pretty much knew everybody who was in my town, so if I were going home then I could catch a ride there.

But then I also got a boyfriend, my very first day of my freshman year and his parents owned restaurants, and so later on I started working for them, so then 00:29:00I'd ride in with him, ride to Milwaukee with him. But most of the time, if I needed to go somewhere, I hitchhiked.

KD: Wow. (Laughs) I feel like if you wanted to hitchhike now, it would be way more concerning if you hitchhiked now than if you hitchhiked then…

DCS: So.

KD: Because like you said, everyone knew each other.

DCS: Right. But, that being said, I think, I think that it was not the brightest thing for me to do. But I felt comfortable doing it. My father was a wrestling coach, I had three brothers, I grew up on a farm, I didn't put up with much shit.

KD: (laughs)

DCS: And I beat up a couple of guys in the past so I kind of felt like I was okay. That being said, I would, I would be weary with each ride.

KD: Mhm.

DCS: I would always, I, you know, sometimes I would, someone would pull up and I just wouldn't feel comfortable and I'd just say, "oh, sorry! I see my friend 00:30:00coming, I'm going to take this ride, but thanks anyway!"

KD: Mhm.

DCS: And I'd let them go. I always tried to keep my, my mother would say, my wits about me. So I kept my wits about me and you know, would make good decisions. I never had a ride I was, that was a bad ride. Not once in this five or six years I was hitchhiking, I never had a bad ride, so.

KD: That's good. That's really good. (Laughs)

DCS: Yeah but I couldn't, I wouldn't say that today because there's ride boards. There's too much opportunity out there to find a safe ride.

KD: Yeah.

DCS: So, it's not like it was back then. And, and hardly anybody that I knew, hardly anybody had a car back then.

KD: I can imagine. (Laughs) DCS: So.

KD: Did you, you said you met your boyfriend on your first day of your freshman year, how did that come about?


DCS: I was walking by the library, and going to listen to that band. And there were five guys throwing frisbees. And, as I got past them one of them hit me in the butt.

KD: (laughs)

DCS: So I picked it up and I threw it back. And I kept walking, and the guy I threw it back to was my husband. And he was super cute, Italian boy, you know, just really cute back then. They wore these…

KD: Mhm.

DCS: They wore these little Levi cut off shorts, no shirt, no shoes, long hair KD: (laughs)

DCS: And you know, real brown because he was a roofer in the summer, so he's real brown. KD: Yeah.

DCS: And just real cute. And I kept walking and he hit me again… KD: (laughs)

DCS: And I picked it up, and I saw the guys kind of laughing and I kind of thought that they were picking on me.

KD: Yeah, yeah.

DCS: And so, I picked it up, and I threw it the other direction as hard as I could-- KD: (laughs)

DCS: And I'm sure he just could not believe I could throw it that far and 00:32:00(unclear), working on a farm, and you know being fit…

KD: Right.

DCS: And I kept right on walking. I thought, "I'm, I'm not even going to listen to this band, I'm going back to my dorm."

KD: (laughs)

DCS: And, and this is my first day and I haven't even been on campus for thirty minutes, you know--

KD: (laughs)

DCS: Walking around, and this guy's picking on me and I keep walking, and he catches up to me and grabs my arm. He goes, "what did you do that for?" and I said, "because you're picking on me!" He goes, "I wasn't picking on you."

KD: (laughs)

DCS: And I said, "yeah you were." And he goes, and I said, I kind of like pulled my arm away from him and I kept walking and he goes, "meet me here tonight!" and I'm like, "yeah, right!" and I keep on going, but the whole way back I was thinking, "oh my god he was so cute!"

KD: (laughs)

DCS: And, and that was it. KD: That's funny.

DCS: The girls when I got back to the dorm, we're all kind of meeting each other and somebody else said, "hey! Has anybody been on campus yet?" and I yell, "I was!" And they said, "did you see any cute guys?"

KD: (laughs)

DCS: And I go, "um, yeah!" KD: That's so funny.


DCS: And, and I said, "Yeah, we're, there's a band playing tonight, why don't we go?" And so a whole bunch of us from the dorm after a whole bunch of us had, you know, dinner, we all… and everybody then, you know, ate in the cafeteria.

KD: Mhm.

DCS: It wasn't really an option to do anything else. We ate at the commons. We ate at Blackhawk commons, and, and so we all went out there and there was Dan, and he was all dressed in these grey corduroy pants and a pretty white button down shirt

KD: (laughs)

DCS: And, and this big gold medal hanging around his neck, and so I saw him and all these guys and all these girls and we all just kind of chatted and my roommate ended up dating one of the other guys. They only dated for a couple months, but that's how I met him, and seven years later we were married.

KD: That's awesome. DCS: (laughs)

KD: I love that story!

DCS: (laughs) It was pretty good, and for many years for anniversary presents 00:34:00I'd give him the newest, new single frisbee, whatever was new on the market--

KD: Oh, that's adorable!

DCS: (laughs) You know what else is really funny, is that he never really paid attention to, you know the cards I would give him…

KD: Uh, huh.

DCS: So for his anniversary, I gave him this one card where it was this groom in a black suit, and it, and it, he's on a tightrope and he's carrying the bride in her pretty white dress…

KD: Mhm.

DCS: And I can't remember what the card said on the inside, but I noticed he never really looked at the card so I gave him the same damn card every year for like twenty years!

KD: (laughs)

DCS: (laughs) and the funny thing is, I put the date, I put the date on the card… KD: uh huh.

DCS: And then I gave it to him, on the back and he never looked back their 00:35:00either (laughs) KD: (laughs) oh my gosh…

DCS: So FYI, they don't look at stuff like that.

KD: That's so funny. You had mentioned when you went to this band, you went with a bunch of the girls from your dorm, did hang out with them often or what is just…

DCS: Um…

KD: Kind of every now and again?

DCS: Every now and then I think. Not so much because then I, you know, Dan became my boyfriend.

KD: Mhm.

DCS: And I, used to, I used to write a lot, I loved keeping journals and so I wrote in my journal back then, ten days into school that this was the guy I was going to marry.

KD: Wow.

DCS: And, you know I ended up marrying him years later, but not, not so much because everybody went home on the weekends.

KD: Mhm.

DCS: So there wasn't, there wasn't really people to hang out with on the weekends, unless you were stuck there working or studying because you had 00:36:00something big that was due, and so Thursday night was the date night to go out. And everybody would go to this club, this bar, club thing, dance place…

KD: Mhm.

DCS: Called, "Mr. Lucky's." And it was behind Mars, there was a restaurant there called Mars, and it was behind there. And that's really where everyone would go to hang out. On, on Thursday nights, and they had great music, and, and they had a big dance floor, and we would dance and dance and dance. It was really kind of fun. So that was a favorite place to go and so if, if people on your floor like to go out we would do that, and then there were a lot of dorms, would have parties in their basement. And back then, you could drink. And so you know, the, the drinking age was 18…

KD: Mhm.

DCS: And so, you could get, you could get a keg or two of beer and then we had parties in the basement and they'd bring in, you know, pizza or something, whatever they wanted too and we would have dorm parties in our basement, that were, you know, basically legal parties.


KD: Yeah

DCS: And, you know so that was always nice. Every once and awhile in Albee hall, they would have a, have a band come in and we would have an event there. And then sometimes, you know, right across from Taylor hall was the big, oh gosh. What do they call it? You know where you work out and they have all the equipment…

KD: Oh, the gym?

DCS: Yeah, the gym. Everyone once in a while they would have a huge band come in there and they'd fill the whole place. It wasn't the gym though, it was where they have all the competitions, like basketball--

KD: Oh, Kolf. DCS: The track…

KD: The Kolf Center, I don't know if that's what it was called then. DCS: Yeah! The Kolf Center.

KD: Yeah.

DCS: That's it, so we would have big bands there, we'd buy tickets and go to that. A lot of times I would go early in the morning when the band would come to set up…

KD: Mhm.

DCS: And, I would talk to whoever the roadies were and I would get a backstage pass. And I could just go.

KD: Oh--

DCS: And I would never tell anybody that's what I would do. KD: (laughs)

DCS: (laughs) Because I didn't want other people doing what I was doing… KD: Yeah, I would! I wouldn't want--


DCS: So, I'd get backstage passes all the time. Sometimes I'd get two and I'd give one to Dan, boyfriend. (Laughs)

KD: Mhm.

DCS: And so we could go in, and, and go in the backstage and, and do that. That would be pretty cool. But, no I didn't hang out much unless there was an event within our dorm. And then of course when spring would come around, and then the sun, you know, would start warming everything up, we'd all go outside. The guys would throw frisbees or footballs, there would somebody blasting music out of their dorm, out of their window. And we'd all just kind of hang out there, in the little, in the little quad area, we called it outside of Taylor hall. And we'd just get some sun, and listen to music. And some of us would be studying, but you know get some sun and hang out like that.

KD: Yeah.

DCS: That would be about it, no we didn't do a ton of stuff together. So--

KD: Do you, when you were a CA, what were some of your responsibilities? Because I've always wanted to be a CA, well for then it was an RA, but I never knew what 00:39:00that entailed.

DCS: No, when I was a CA. That was the first year they changed it to. CA. KD: Oh, okay.

DCS: And well first, we had to do, we had to come to school early, and set up the floor. Like put in the big bulletin board when you first come up the stairs so they can see what the events are, or whatever. My floor was called the zoo, and it was the second floor. And it was, that floor had not seen the same CA to make it to the whole year in like fifteen years, because it was wild.

KD: (laughs)

DCS: We had the boys on one side and girls on the other. And it used to be an all one sex floor. KD: Mhm.

DCS: And they decided to make it two. They were trying to find a way to keep it from being the zoo. Well I, I, I embraced the zoo. So my big first bulletin board was all about, "Welcome to the Zoo!"


KD: (laughs)

DCS: (laughs) And what was interesting was, well first you had to, we went to this camp, off of campus and we through all different kinds of team training exercises. We learned about, you know the psychology of kids, you know, that age.

KD: Mhm.

DCS: You know, what you can learn in a really quick time. And we learned to recognize depression, anorexia, bulimia, kinds of things. You know, things that were more, help with the health of the students…

KD: Right.

DCS: But then we had to we had to put together all kinds of different programs that were educational or we had to do it once a month that were the kids would all come in, I'd order some pizza and we'd have some drinks or something, and then we'd talk about something that was relevant at the time. Maybe something that had to do with study habits and preparing for midterms. Or whatever it may be. But I would try to put the educational programs together. We maybe only had to do three a semester.


KD: Mhm.

DCS: So I would do that, and then I would, I would put the program together, I would get it approved. The other thing we had to do was work the front desk, which I loved working the front desk. Picking up shifts--

KD: Mhm.

DCS: There because you meet so many more people. KD: Right.

DCS: And so I liked to do that, we would have regular CA meetings where we'd talk about different prog, different problems or, or that our, our head residence would do some sort of a

training thing. That, you know, something that was always pretty fun. And then we would, I guess some of the big responsibilities of course is checking the kids in at the beginning, meeting the parents, you know letting them know who you are, that sort of thing. And I guess always being there for them if there was a problem, but the, the hardest part was we had some pretty rowdy guys on my floor. And if they'd get, if they'd get written up three times, they were basically put on probation and the fifth time they'd get kicked off the floor, 00:42:00well that never happened.

KD: Oh.

DCS: Even though it was the way it was supposed to be, it never happened. KD: Mhm.

DCS: And it was really difficult because we had some pretty loud, partying kind of guys. And even though the cops would come up there multiple times, we could not get them out. And I think it had to do with their parents being alumni and…

KD: Oh…

DCS: And we said, "move them to another floor!" KD: (laughs)

DCS: And that's not-- KD: Yeah.

DCS: So that was a little hard as a CA trying to continue to deal with the problem children KD: Mhm.

DCS: And, and, but I was the first one to make it through a full year, and I'm only five foot tall.

KD: (laughs)

DCS: I'm only five foot small.

KD: Yup, me too!

DCS: But the other thing that happened was since we were, since there used to be all one sex floor, they had to divide our bathroom and put up a wall, so that 00:43:00the middle wall was the, the sinks were on each side.

KD: Mhm.

DCS: And then, then were the toilets and then were the showers.

KD: Right.

DCS: Well we had, we had a wall put up, well nobody liked that wall. And so they kept putting holes in the wall and pretty soon, they'd come back and they'd patch it, they'd fix it and pretty soon the wall just came down. And so here we were, they couldn't keep spending the money to put the wall up and fix the wall because as soon as they'd fix it the next day, somebody poke a hole in it the size of a person…

KD: Wow.

DCS: And so we ended up not having a wall. We didn't have privacy, they just said, "well fine, then you don't get a wall." We didn't care if we had a wall up or not. The guys stayed on their side, the girls stayed on their side. And every once in a while if there were too many girls taking showers, and somebody needed to take a shower, she'd just go over to the guy's side. They were the same showers.

KD: Mhm.

DCS: But it was the guy's side. Nobody cared. It was only the administration, 00:44:00and probably the school itself that didn't like that.

KD: Yeah.

DCS: But, it was what it was. The next year, they put up a wall that was like, a real wall, not just drywall. It was something you couldn't break through.

KD: Yeah.

DCS: I think if you had a sledgehammer you probably could. So, no I really liked being an RA and a CA. I really liked that I was able to help a lot of people.

KD: Mhm.

DCS: To get through their freshman year, or their sophomore year. We did have one guy, one guy that died on our floor but it wasn't at, on the floor. He was an alcoholic and he got hit by a train.

KD: Oh wow…

DCS: (unclear) So you know, of course the parents have to come clean out his, his stuff… KD: Mhm.

DCS: And that was hard. But he came with some pretty serious drinking issues. KD: Yeah.

DCS: So the drinking issue is very, is very difficult, I think. Because they come back sometimes drunk, and then of course you had to deal with, with St. 00:45:00Patrick's Day. And we were the first dormitory off of the strip. And that particular year, they ended up, they started this snowball fight. And they took out all of the windows on the first three floors. And it was March, and it was cold!

KD: Woah.

DCS: They took them out with snowballs, and ice balls. KD: (gasps)

DCS: So here we are, and we're just going into the weekend, and it is freezing cold, and it's, the snowstorm time, and we had to turn off all the electricity off when all of this started, so all of us RA's and CA's went up to the roof 'cause we had a key to get up on the roof, and we watched what was going on. They brought in the National Guard at some point, they were flipping over cars, it was unbelievable! And we had to stay there that whole weekend and we had, they brought in all this plywood and they plywooded up all of the windows, but it was freaking cold.

KD: Wow.

DCS: (laughs)

KD: I heard about the riots in Oshkosh, and we, that's the reason why we're not 00:46:00allowed to stay here on St. Patrick's Day anymore, is because of all the riots that would happen. But I did not think that happened at all.

DCS: Yeah, it was bad. It was pretty bad. KD: Holy cow!

DCS: (laughs)

KD: So, besides that whole campus "issue," would you say there were any big political or cultural issues that occurred when you lived here?

DCS: You know, I don't think so. I know I was there through two voting sessions, and no. Not that, you know that people always go around and say, you know, who they're voting for, and kids would get involved, but nothing negative.

KD: Mhm.

DCS: I will say though, that my, my closest friend when I was there, she happened to be in five of our classes freshman year, first semester.

KD: Mhm.

DCS: We were in five, which was a rare thing happen. And so we started 00:47:00recognizing that we were in each other's classes, and then we took a lab, we were in lab together. And her partner didn't show up and neither did mine, and so we became lab partners and then we ended up just becoming very close friends, and she was black. And my community that I grew up in, didn't have any, any people of color except Hispanic. The first Hispanic family moved into Cedarburg when I was ten years old.

KD: Mhm.

DCS: Or eleven years old. Otherwise, we were, they were really white. And, not that, I mean we didn't know any different, and we weren't prejudiced or anything, it was just it was a German farming community, and you know…

KD: Right.

DCS: And it's not like there were any black farmers, it's just the way that it was. KD: Yeah.

DCS: And so when I went to college, and she and I met, we got along just great! We were both athletes, we loved to run. We had a lot of the same interests, and so we got along really well. In general she did not have, you know, she never 00:48:00complained to me about any kind of cultural issue that she had to deal with, even considering we were in Oshkosh, and blacks were not just, were not real popular.

KD: Right.

DCS: So I mean there weren't, there weren't, there weren't a ton of blacks, but it wasn't an issue--

KD: Mhm.

DCS: You know, we didn't have anything like that I really recall or remember. So.

KD: That's good. Would you say there were more men or women that attended UW- Oshkosh when you were there?

DCS: I think there were more men at the time.

KD: That's interesting. There's a lot more women now. (Laughs) DCS: I've heard that!

KD: It's like 60:40. (Laughs)

DCS: Oh, well! (Laughs)

KD: And then you had mentioned that in high school you were involved in gymnastics, swim and dive, and then you ran when you came to college. But did you join the gymnastics team or the swim team or anything?

DCS: You know, I did join the gymnastics team, but the other gymnasts that were 00:49:00there were much more committed than I was. And I really, I was paying for my own education, and so I really could not afford to, to get bad grades. And I didn't feel that I was going to be a real valuable part of the team

KD: Mhm.

DCS: So I did not, I, I didn't, I didn't last after the first year. I just wasn't, and, and I was burned out.

KD: (laughs)

DCS: So no, I didn't get involved in any sports in college. I did only, you know like, maybe some club kinds of things that might have to deal with. I was on a canoeing, you know intramural stuff. I did volleyball, I did all kinds of intramurals.

KD: Right.

DCS: That were inner, intercollegiate.

KD: I've never heard of an intramural canoeing club. I bet that was fun!

DCS: Yeah, well you know what, it was a lot of fun! We had, that was one of the things that I had my group do when I was an RA. We had, we were a part of the canoeing.

KD: Mhm.


DCS: So the canoeing. So.

KD: That's awesome, how did you feel when you finished college? DCS: Relieved!

KD: (laughs)

DCS: I cannot tell you I was so tired of studying, since I was there for six years. It took me six years to get my degree.

KD: Mhm.

DCS: And I was tired of studying, and I was so glad I didn't have to do it anymore. KD: (laughs)

DCS: But it was a relief, and really happy. Super happy, so so accomplished. KD: Mhm.

DCS: You know I really felt, I really felt like I did a good job and I did something really good for myself, you know. I was just real proud of myself.

KD: Did you ever question your, your degree decision? Or, were, did you always want to do education?

DCS: Yeah, no I was always changing my mind. That's partially why it took me six years. KD: (laughs)

DCS: Because I think if there had been some sort of a system where they could have evaluated what your talents and skills and things like that were, back back 00:51:00then it would have saved me some money, of course. But I think that all things that I liked and that I studied I still would like to learn more about again. But after a while I felt like like I loved biology.

KD: Mhm.

DCS: But what was I, what was I going to do with it? KD: Right.

DCS: I didn't have a teaching degree, I couldn't teach it, and back then Purina, I think it was Purina, the dog food company was one of the bigger higherers of people with biology degrees.

KD: Mhm.

DCS: Besides teachers, and I just didn't see myself doing that. And I guess because part of it was that we didn't have the internet and you didn't really have the opportunity to learn about the variety of jobs that were available in the United States, you know, it was, it was hard to make a decision on how I was going to spend my money and then know I was going to get a job when I got out, you know have that confidence of having a job.


KD: Mhm.

DCS: But now, you can look all over the world and find just about anything you want, anything! Back then we didn't have that so I needed to find something I was going to get a job in and I knew I could get a job as a teacher.

KD: Mhm. So what, what grade level do you teach?

DCS: I taught first through sixth grade. Well actually no. I could teach K through twelve. I think it was K through twelve. No, it was K through six because I substitute taught in high school.

KD: Okay

DCS: So, I taught high school, substitute taught high school and then I was a sixth grade middle school, sixth grade social studies teacher. And I didn't want to do that. I wanted to teach art, or I wanted to teach any of the sciences, but not social studies.

KD: (laughs) DCS: So.

KD: Did you teach social studies just because that's what they were asking for?

DCS: That's all that was available.

KD: Mhm. So you would say the job market was kind of… DCS: And then I…


KD: Thin?

DCS: Yeah, it was thin. Very thin, all the way around for all kinds of jobs. But then I moved to Texas, and I had a difficult time getting a job as a teacher here, so I got back into restaurant work then and became a restaurant manager, in restaurant, in marketing, I became a marketing director because of my art background. And then did that for quite a while. And then opened my own business in lawn business and landscaping, because I was good. You know, I worked on a farm and I liked being outside, and I was tired of the long hours of restaurant work.

KD: Mhm.

DCS: And, and then I started to have a family. And now I have another business. So. I have two businesses now. But took a relieve, and raised my children.

KD: Do you encourage your children to go to college as much as you did?

DCS: Oh, absolutely. Right from the beginning, they heard the same thing I did, 00:54:00"you're going to college."

KD: (laughs)

DCS: I have two in colle… well, one is a doctor now. One of my daughters is a, is an ER doctor. I have a, I have a son who is an EMT but he's got his own little business called: "Techie Tom's Computer Repair." and he's actually gone back to school to get a computer science degree, and he's at Colorado State University.

KD: Okay.

DCS: And then I have an adopted Russian and she was in school for a little while, but it's really not her thing. And then I have, another son who is, just works in restaurants. He doesn't have a degree or an education. He went a drug and alcohol route, and so he's messed up.

KD: Mhm.

DCS: But, the, the other three are okay. And it's not that he's messed up in that, he hasn't, he hasn't done anything to get himself a certificate, or degree or any kind. He's got no skills. So, that kind of not what I would like for him, but it's what he chooses.

KD: Mhm. So you would say college definitely helped you prepare for your career, 00:55:00even though, you didn't, you knew what you wanted to do but you changed your path a few times?

DCS: Absolutely! Yes. Absolutely. I don't feel that I would be as respected in a lot of the things that I have done. And and I don't feel that I would have the self confidence that I have in so many different things. I think college gives you a form of self-confidence even though you may not feel it the first two years, as you get older and you start communing with more people there, if you don't have a certificate or a college degree in something, you just are not respected by those who do have that.

KD: Mhm.

DCS: And you, you can't get a decent job unless you're your own boss. KD: Right.

DCS: You can't get a decent job. And I don't care what anybody says. If you 00:56:00don't have a certificate, and you don't have a degree you can't move up in companies. So yeah, yeah I've, I think it's one of the best things I've done for myself was getting a degree.

KD: Have you had much involvement in UWO since you've graduated?

DCS: No, I just get the alumni news. And I encouraged several of my nieces and nephews to go there, and I have my nephew, Vinny Sciano, he graduated this last year from Oshkosh, and he was on the football team, and he was a coach there, and he worked in the athletic department. So, my nephew Vince, graduated from there. And then I have another nephew John Mashavitz, not John, John just actually left. His brother, Matt. Matt is also a student there. And then I have a niece who, who graduated also. Melissa Storey. So I encouraged my nieces and 00:57:00nephews to go to school there and, and two of them graduated and one will be graduating.

KD: That's awesome, so it's kind of like a family… family event! DCS: Absolutely, absolutely.

KD: It's kind of funny you say that because I go here along with my second cousin and one of my immediate cousins, and my sister really wants to come here. So.

DCS: Right.

KD: I feel like this campus is definitely going to be DCS: Absolutely.

KD: And it's really nice because of how the college has expanded so there's so many different things so that they can…

DCS: Right.

KD: Get involved in. DCS: Right.

KD: Do you have any advice you could give to a current student like me?

DCS: Oh, I don't know. I guess the advice I would give is, just, just a second my husband is coming in the door. I'm getting an interview for Oshkosh, so 00:58:00(unclear) my husband is ready to go to dinner. Anyway. Our office is in the same building. I guess the advice that I would give is persevere and don't be afraid to change your mind about what you want to do and be. Study everything you're interested in.

KD: Mhm.

DCS: Absolutely. Even if it's not a part of your major, if you can take the time to study it, do it because you're not going to get another chance.

KD: Mhm.

DCS: And, I guess learn to balance all your balls in the air, you know. KD: Mhm.

DCS: Take care of your health, take, you know, take time to be entertained, you know but make sure you keep balance in your life. Very, very important. And learn those, learn those skills now so that later on it won't be so difficult. But balancing all the balls in your life, you've got to find a way to do it. And 00:59:00start young. And I guess another one of the pieces of advice is make good choices. I think that that one rule thing, make good choices, is so important and helps you throughout your whole life because one or two bad choices can either ruin things for you, or put you really far behind.

KD: Mhm.

DCS: So, you know. Good choices. KD: Okay.