Special Collections Oral History Program
Barbara (Barker) Congdon
Campus School 1953, 1954
Campus School student teacher 1962
WWU BAE 1963, MEd 1970
Interviewer: Tamara Belts
Date of Interview: October 16, 2005
Location of Interview: Interviewee's residence, Wenatchee, Wash.
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This interview was conducted with Barbara Congdon at her home in Wenatchee, Washington, on October 16th, 2005. The interviewer is Tamara Belts.
TB: Today is Sunday October 16th, 2005, I am Tamara Belts and I am here with Barbara Barker Congdon. Sheís both an alumna of the Campus School and an alumna of Western, and she student taught at the Campus School. I have three forms to go over with her here of potential questions. She has just signed the Informed Consent Agreement and so we are about to proceed. Part one is the Campus School alumni questionnaire and our first question is how did you happen to attend the Campus School?
BC: My mother was going back to school to get her BA. She had a two year certificate from Montana. In about 1945 [they] needed teachers [so badly] she was able to teach with an emergency certificate. To continue to teach, she had to get a BA so she went to summer school at Western. She took my brother and me with her. I donít know that we were involved in the planning; we just all of a sudden were spending our summer in Bellingham. We were there for two summers in a row.
TB: What was your brotherís name?
BC: Keith Barker.
TB: What were the years and grades of your attendance?
BC: I think we were there the summer of 1953 and the summer of 1954, so it was between my seventh and eighth and eighth and ninth grades. It was junior high time. I graduated high school in 1959 so I think thatís about when it was.
TB: Do you know what kind of fees that you might have paid to attend Campus School?
BC: I donít have any idea at all. I assumed they needed us to practice on. I know that my mother paid for a special recreation program in the afternoon.
TB: Where did you live in the summer while you were going to Campus School?
BC: We lived at two places. One was the corner of Garden Street and I believe Chestnut, towards the college from Holly. It was a great big rooming house that was on the corner. I think that was the first summer. We had a kitchen that we shared with the other people that were there. I think there were a few students but also people like my Mom, older students coming back to school. The other year we lived on Forest Street near Sycamore, down where it starts to curve to go towards Fairhaven. It was a small house that maybe had two families. The second year a friend of my motherís, Mrs. Gibson and her daughter Virginia, went along with us
TB: How did you get to and from school? And then please share any favorite memories of that experience.
BC: We must have driven. I mean, thatís almost a mile down to the Garden Street place, and the other too. I donít think we rode the bus, so we must have driven back and forth. I think we had a Nash Rambler at that time!
I remember the Campus School, but also I really remember the things that happened during those summers.
I remember that we planned and decorated the Campus School gym for a dance and that was a big deal. In junior high in Poulsbo the senior high and a junior high were all together in one building, so junior high kids didnít have anything other than all school sock dances after football games. As you went in the front door the gym was on the left. It had these floors that were made out of wooden blocks that were all laid on end to form the floor. It was very different and was kind of a hard, funny floor. I remember the smell of the Campus School and the smell of the gymnasium. Maybe Iím a person that remembers smells.
I seem to remember that the classes were grouped by grades: fifth/sixth for my brother and seventy/eighth for me. I remember feeling that the teachers were practicing on us. I donít think that I remember particularly being aware that they were being graded or that they were being observed. I remember there were a lot of them. We may have had six or seven, but I remember it wasnít just one teacher. And if there were a lead teacher, I donít remember. I have no memories of any of the personalities of the people, but I remember that there were a few there.
One of the really exciting things for my brother and me was eating lunch in Edens Hall. When school got over (it must have been 11:30 or 12 because we just went to school mornings), we would walk over to Edens Hall and meet my mother. We got to eat lunch at Edens Hall every weekday! This was big time! I also remember the smell there, that downstairs cafeteria. I can remember seeing all these little dishes filled with Jell-O cubes and tapioca.
You know what? It just dawned on me. Iíve got some little pressed glass dessert dishes in the cupboard over there and I think thatís why I have those. Isnít that funny? I had never thought of that before, but I just saw those dishes and they called my name. I now collect clear glassware. Isnít that a hoot?
Lunch was cafeteria style so we could choose what we wanted to eat. Eating out was a big deal because we only went out to eat two places: a Chinese Restaurant in Bremerton and at the Port Gamble fancy hotel for Motherís Day. I think I remember my Mom giving us money to pay each time. I donít remember that we had a ticket.
After lunch we went to recreation. It was designed for students with children. This was a great idea as it gave her study time without worrying about us.
One of the really cool things was swimming in the swimming pool. I lived on the bay and I had the salt water right in front of my house. I had swum in a lake but I had never been in a swimming pool. That was a big deal, the chlorine you know, and this great big indoor swimming pool in the PE building. I remember the tile all around and the swimming suits. Has anybody told you about the swimming suits? Oh my god. They were the worst. They had two styles; were dark gray, some kind of wool and they were ugly! Everyone had to wear those suits in the pool. It had something to do with keeping the pool clean I guess. You were always hoping you would get the good suits, not the bad suits! That was the trauma of recreational swimming!
Also recreation took us on field trips. I remember Dr. Flora took us to the tide pools out at Larrabee State Park. He made quite an impression in junior high, needless to say, quite an impression. When I went to Western, the first time, he was a biology teacher and I took his class on biology for elementary kids; great teacher, especially for non science types. He was the college president when I did my graduate degree!
Recreation was fun. I think maybe they took us up to Canada, maybe on a bus. I donít remember what we did but I remember going up there to Stanley Park. We went over to Lummi Island Reservation. Thatís who made this skirt. Are the Lummi Island weavers still in existence? What ever happened to them? Do you know about them?
TB: I donít, no.
BC: Well this was a big economic enterprise for Lummis. If you had one of these skirts, you were with it. They werenít cheap either I donít think. I remember my mother and maybe some other woman and my brother and I going over and watching them weave. They were all set up and they had a window and you could watch. We picked out our skirts. This one was my mothers and I have one thatís dark green with some kind of Indian dolls all around the bottom. The skirts and the weaving were quite well known.
TB: I actually now just realized I think my mother had one of those.
BC: Do you?
TB: Yes. Iíve seen that before, weíre from Bellingham.
BC: See here? This was around the top. I was thinking the other day that I should take the skirt off the waistband (unless somebody else wants to preserve it) and use it as a tablecloth or a throw. Iím sure Iíll never wear it again and itís just hanging in my closet. Look at the lines from the old hems. They show where the styles and skirt lengths changed. My mother took it up and she took it down. She probably wore it to school for teaching.
TB: I am familiar with the basketry; I think they do a lot of basketry but I hadnít heard about that, although like I said, Iíve seen that before.
BC: Well it was very important. And look at the quality; itís pretty darn good here. They were known for weaving a fine product. Evidently all the women that went to summer school at Western went out and treated themselves at the end of summer. So now I have two skirts.
I remember another thing. Some evenings we went out to eat. It was just us, our family Ė a cafeteria that was downtown. I would say maybe across from the Leopold. I want to say Maxwellís
BC: I bet it was Manningís.
BC: Howís that for memory?
BC: That was a big deal for us (you notice all the food things here!): to go down town and go through the cafeteria, instead of cooking. I remember roast beef, a scoop of mashed potatoes with gravy over the top and weird mixed green vegetables.
But back to Campus School; I took classes that were special to me. One was wood shop. For a girl to take wood shop at any time, let alone in the seventh or eighth grade just didnít happen. And I made this tray! I noticed today it says on the back ďB.B.Ē Barbara Barker. I must have cut it out, sanded it and stained it and itís been put away forever. It was in my stuff I got from my mother. I said, ďOh, I donít believe this!Ē Anyway, thatís my tray.
The other great class was typing, another thing that was totally unheard of for junior high kids. You didnít do that until you were probably tenth grade maybe or eleventh grade. I think we had those big black Underwoods with the clackity keys. I can remember it was touch-typing and RT, FG, VB, EDC. I remember walking across campus moving my fingers and saying those letters to myself. When I went back home in eighth grade, I was handing in typed reports. That was really important. Thatís what kids do now, it means nothing. But I really learned how to type properly. I think they even did dictation that we typed as we heard it, just like my high school typing class. I think that was really probably one of the more significant things I got out of there. That was cool.
TB: Thatís been mentioned before.
BC: Has it?
TB: Yes, the typing.
BC: Isnít that a kick? We must have had those old black Underwoods.
TB: For some of the kids that were regularly in Campus School though, they apparently felt like they never learned to write cursive.
BC: Oh, really?
TB: They printed. They typed. But they apparently all have really bad cursive handwriting or distinctive because they never really learned how to do that.
BC: I remember handwriting in grade school, but I donít remember anything at the Campus School, any kind of instruction anyway. I do remember the typing and that was a wonderful leg up. I have papers my mother saved from high school. Iím blown away by the quality and the lack of errors. I must have really gone over them and retyped them. A major job, but it certainly didnít hurt me academically. It was great fun.
I donít remember very many kids. I remember this one guy whose name was Jack who I just thought was absolutely the coolest blonde haired guy. His dad was the principal from Puyallup. He came back the next year and oh how happy I was. Other than that, thatís probably the only person that I remember. I have some black and white photos of the dance. As Iím going through stuff, I will dig them out and put them aside and at least let you look and see if there is something that you might want to use for your exhibit. I will keep my eye out for that kind of thing.
The other major memory I have is of a writing contest; much to my surprise I won the darn thing. I have the prize that I got, and I have what I wrote. If I had known about the upcoming exhibit when I was going through my things I would have put them aside. In fact, the story may have been when my mother and brother and I were out on Lummi Island visiting the weavers. We were driving along the water and we stopped because we saw this Indian guy down on the beach and I think he was carving. So I went down and I talked to him. Well doggone if it wasnít one of the Hillaires who are leaders of the Lummi tribe. He told me this story, this Indian legend, and I wrote the doggone thing down, handed it in, and I won!
TB: Oh, terrific!
BC: Is that a hoot? I still have the story I wrote and the prize, a small ceramic pin of a crab. Thatís another thing related to summer school that just astounds me, but everything was just rightÖmy mother knew enough to stop, he happened to be there, and to be who it was, a Hillaire, an old man who probably died long ago.
TB: Thatís wonderful.
BC: So anyway, thatís the other thing that I have that you might be able to use. I think that was a good ego thing Ö to think, I won. I donít remember it being a major amount of effort, but now that I look back on it, it wasnít bad!
TB: Well you had the foresight to gather that personís story if that wasnít your assignment.
BC: We just went to see what he was doing, and once I got home my mother, being a great teacher, probably said, ďYou know, that contest, I bet that Indianís story might be a really good thing for you to write about.Ē Maybe I came up with it, who knows. Anyway, I did it -- that was the good part.
TB: Now where was the lunchroom? Iíve heard people talk about it but was it in the basement?
BC: On the main floor, ground level, of Edenís Hall. You know where the stairs are? I went in there not too long ago and it was totally changed, but you know the big steps up? As youíre looking at the building, you would have gone in the right side at the bottom of the stairs. There was a door that went in there.
TB: So you wouldnít have gone up the stairs?
BC: No, we did not go up the stairs. We went in flat and it was pretty much a third to a half of the bottom of the building. I lived in Edenís Hall when I was a freshman and a sophomore. That would have been 1959 and 1960 and they were still feeding people there. As a matter of fact, thatís where I met and got to know Mike Phelps. He worked in the kitchen there. Kids came from on campus and off campus. There were three meals a day.
TB: I know a lot of faculty ate there, too, the single women and occasionally some unmarried men.
BC: That was it; thatís where we ate.
TB: How about any favorite classmates?
BC: I only remember Jack. I was only there for two consecutive summer quarters.
TB: You didnít remember any of your teachers really?
BC: I do have a remembrance of Frank Punches as I recognized him when I was in the [education] department at Western. I think Punches must have been in our classroom at some point.
I remember Dr. Flora from the field trips to Larrabee Beach with the recreation program. I think the kids who ran it were students who were in PE or maybe education. During those years most college students were adults like my Mom and older students, very few ďcollege kids.Ē
TB: Like the summer PE teachers? They may have been hired to run the program as a summer job.
TB: So itís almost like an extension of their training.
TB: Who did you sense were your classmates in that school? It sounds like somebody from Puyallup High SchoolÖ
BC: I got the feeling that in the summer, they were all just like me. Their parents were all going to school. I donít have any recollection of any Bellingham kids.
TB: How about any of your favorite subjects or classroom activities?
BC: Well, typing.
TB: Do you remember what kind of learning materials that you used mostly?
BC: I donít remember any textbooks, but I remember knowing that what was happening educationally was very different from what was happening in my school. And not just because of typing and wood shop, I just had that feeling that it was different and that it was innovative and that it was good.
BC: I donít remember working hard. I remember it as being Ö I donít know if I would say ďfun,Ē but I would definitely say pleasant. It was not like going to school. I had no complaints. It was great.
TB: Students during the regular year say the same thing, how much fun they were having all the time. What about the grading system? Do you have any sense of that?
BC: Not a clue. All I remember is getting that prize for writing. Thatís it.
TB: Do you especially remember any creative activities such as weaving, making things, anything else?
BC: No. Sometimes I think about what I did in college in the same building and I get confused. I remember doing an artwork thing, but that was in an art for the elementary class. It must have been upstairs in that building, No, I donít remember anything else. I remember the dance, making decorations for the dance.
TB: Now who all came to the dance? Was it just a dance? Was it just your classmates that were there?
TB: Was that maybe the end of the quarter thing?
BC: Probably. Iím sure they were teaching us leadership skills, to plan and work in committees. After learning those skills I went off to high school and did those things. I guess I didnít realize someone had taught them to me. I also was active in 4-H as a kid. Iím sure all these experiences helped me be Girls Club president in High School.
TB: I think you talked about this a little bit, but what was it like for you to be observed so often by student teachers?
BC: Didnít miss a beat. I didnít have any sense that we were being observed, just that the teachers were practicing on us.
TB: It didnít bother you at all that you didnít know for sure who the master teacher was?
BC: No, not a bit. I mean, they were my teachers. I donít remember any threat of grading. I donít remember any discipline problems. I donít remember being worried about my grade. I think that for me it was kind of a lark. Maybe because it wasnít really my school; it didnít count. But I do think that it might have been different for my brother Keith who was two years behind me. He had some academic problems, mainly in reading. Heís a wonderful writer, and I think maybe he got a little bit of extra academic help. I remember he had a unit on astronomy. Even I remember learning things about it, learning how to remember the planets in order: Men Very Easily Make Jars Serve Useful Needs Promptly. I never forgot it! Isnít that a hoot! And it was in his class but it made such an impression on me; that was a very innovative way to learn something. Mnemonic devices! Thatís what I was teaching my study skills students at the college! This is how you remember things!
TB: Any sense that there was like a theme for the quarter or anything when you were there?
BC: There may have been for Keithís class because of the astronomy. Itís interesting you bring that up. That may have been the reason I think about it as an innovative place. Learning built around a theme would lead to that wonderful integrated learning, I donít remember distinctively in my class, but I have the feeling, and remember I said I thought that things were innovative; I think you may be right.
TB: I just picked that up from other people.
BC: Yes, well thatís probably it, it makes sense.
TB: What out-of-class activities did you engage in? What did you do at recess? What did you enjoy most? Do you remember any games that you played? It sounds like summer school was only half a day then.
BC: Oh yes, we went to lunch and that was it for the day. I do remember some games with balls in the Campus School gym. We may have had PE outside. I do kind of remember that a little. There was something going on in PE now that you mention it that was maybe a little more interesting or a little more than what we were doing at home. The out of class activities were in the afternoon recreation program.
TB: Did you do any nature walks or anything up on Sehome Hill?
BC: Not that I remember.
TB: Did you visit the college itself? The college library, attend assemblies or sporting events or anything else at the college when you were at the Campus School?
BC: We probably went to the library when my mother was studying and probably went in the downstairs. Maybe thatís why Iíve always loved libraries who knows?
TB: Thatís actually where our office is, Special Collections is in the old childrenís section.
BC: Yes! I remember that; and going over to the gym.
TB: Did you play in the gym (main gym)?
BC: No, if we played in the gym, we played in the gym in the Campus School. I think there were two gyms. When you went in the main door, I think there was a gym on both sides of the hall, but I mainly remember the one that was left and it was cold and I remember those basketball hoops inside and the tiny windows protected with woven wire and the floor.
TB: Iíve heard about it and I canít imagine it.
BC: Well they took four by fours; they set them on end so you could see the growth rings. There were just all these blocks. Iím wondering if they were leftover from a mill or something. It seems that they were fir, so they must have been this deep or something, and that was the floor. Isnít that funny?
TB: Yes, people remember it.
BC: We went out to Lakewood a couple times too. I may have gone with the recreation program and probably also with my mother. We went out in the afternoon maybe a couple times and just enjoyed it. A lake was special, I remember the muddy bottom.
TB: Did you go canoeing?
BC: I donít remember. Boating wouldnít have been a big deal because I had my own boat at home. It was probably more innovative to go to a lake and [go] swimming.
I think the difference between public school and Campus School was the classes I got to take that I would have never had the opportunity to take at home. Also, the teaching techniques, but I only realize that now.
TB: And what further education did you pursue?
BC: Well, I got a BA in music education in 1963. Then I went off to California to teach a couple years and got married. My husband started school down there and then we moved back to Bellingham so he could finish his BA in education, and I got an MA in early childhood education. There was never any doubt of where I was going to go to college.
TB: Oh, really?
TB: Because of your own summer experiences there?
BC: Yes, I slid right in. I never considered going anywhere else. Maybe I thought about the University of Washington for two seconds. I was assigned to Edenís Hall. Heck, I knew Edenís Hall. I donít remember any concern about going away to school. I donít remember any fears. I just remember eager anticipation to go to college. I didnít miss a beat.
TB: You said you didnít have any fear. Thatís another thing a lot of Campus School kids said, they werenít afraid of anything, they werenít afraid to try anything.
TB: You only had two summers there, but thatís interesting!
BC: I came from a small high school, and so the Campus School experience gave me opportunities that I wouldnít have had. I had never been in a lab until I went to Western and took physical science. I never knew, I had never heard about Newton. I had no science background. Girls didnít take those classes. Maybe one girl in my whole high school took a lab class or took chemistry. So when I took physical science twice I got a D both times! I never knew what a Bunsen burner was! I had never been in a lab; I had never done a lab experiment. For a kid from a small high school, Campus School was a wonderful opportunity to be able to do that. You know, I didnít ride a bus; we were out in the country. But I had my own boat and motor. Iíd put it in the bay and go down to Poulsbo and see my friends. It was a little different. I was in 4-H. It was just a whole different ballgame.
TB: Well, are you still in touch with any Campus School classmates?
TB: But you do have Campus School memorabilia?
TB: A tray that you made, your award, and the paper that you wrote.
BC: Yes. My brother may have some things.
TB: So we may contact you about these items?
TB: Any other favorite memories of your Campus School days or any other comments that I havenít asked you about your time?
BC: I just feel very lucky and special that I was able to go.
TB: Can you describe more what the smells were?
BC: I donít know; Iím a person who remembers smells. I canít really tell you what it is, but if I smelled it again I would know it in a minute, absolutely. I would know I was in Campus School and I would know I was in the bottom of Edens Hall. And I definitely know the chlorine smell from the pool because it was heavy duty chlorine!
TB: Do you have any thoughts about the ramps that were in Campus School? A lot of people remember them. You were in high school so it might not be the same.
BC: The ramps! Oh yes, absolutely! I had forgotten all about them! Our classroom was on the second floor. The ramps were extremely cool because there were no stairs! I would have never remembered if you hadnít said something! They were wide and I think there was a banister about 3 feet high.
TB: And they were rubber.
BC: And they were rubber, black rubber. You bet I remember those! Isnít that funny? We would run down, stamping our feel and it would echo.
TB: A lot of people like to tell the story of how fun it was to tear down there as fast as they could when there was no teacher around.
BC: The other thing that I remember and I was going to tell you about that, there was a teacher - and I can find what her name was - when I was in my teacher training and we observed in the Campus School, there was a first grade teacher.
TB: Miss Casanova?
BC: Yes! Miss Casanova, I remember observing her teaching, this Master Teacher, and she had notes. Five by eight cards in her hand as she was teaching. I thought that was the coolest thing because I thought its okay!
TB: Oh, to have notes handy.
BC: It was a significant thing. For somebody as great as she made it okay to use notes. And it was something I did. I felt comfortable using notes when I taught. You donít have to know it all. That was cool.
TB: Now the second questionnaire is the Campus School Teacher/Student Teacher questions. How did you come to be a teacher/student teacher in the Campus School?
BC: I applied, and I got it. I was very happy about that. This was winter quarter 1962. The first student teaching was supposed to be a half-day in the levels you werenít preparing for or in oneís minor. We taught half day and took 8 credits. Everybody wanted to stay in Bellingham. It was a real coup to be able to student teach in town. I didnít have a car so I would have had to arrange transportation or move. The kids who were far away had travel time, they had all that stuff. Thatís how I happened to end up there.
TB: If you were a student teacher (which you were), what degrees or certificates were you studying for?
BC: BA in elementary education. My minor was elementary music. I was trained to be a music teacher in the elementary schools. That was kind of my specialty.
TB: What were the years and grades that you student taught at the Campus School?
BC: It was half days; I think it was mornings but I couldnít tell you that for sure. It was winter quarter 1962. The reason that I remember that is because I was a skier and I was teaching skiing at Mount Baker on the weekends. I took two classes. I had under a two point for the quarter! I think that was the second time that I had taken the physical science class that I got a D! A 1.8 grade point that was the low point in my academic career.
TB: Did any other family members teach at the Campus School?
TB: So your mother, when she was back there doing her degree, she didnít need to do any teaching?
BC: She had already been teaching. She was just getting her coursework so she could get her BA.
TB: To the best of your recollection, please describe a typical school day.
BC: You know, I canít really tell you much about it other than I worked with Mrs. Hinds and we were floaters. We went into each class at this time several days a week. The only person that I really have many memories of is Evelyn. I donít remember the kids, I donít remember the teachers, I donít remember the other student teachers because it was just the two of us and we just did our thing.
TB: So you went into the classroom and not had the classroom come to where you were?
BC: Yes, we went into the classroom. We played our autoharps. Thatís how I learned to be an ace on the autoharp. I can put it on my hip, walk around the classroom and play. I remember I bought my own in the College Bookstore and I still have it. Because my piano skills were definitely lacking, this and a guitar were my instruments for teaching.
TB: What are some of the things that you did with the kids? What was the music program like?
BC: We did listening, we did singing, and we did rhythms. I think we did some music history, composers and those kinds of things. We taught the kids to do some very simple rhythms and actual music writing, to write a little song or something.
TB: Wasnít that innovative actually to have the students doing compositions?
BC: Probably, but it was pretty basic. We might have done a little bit of symphonic form but it wasnít a major part, it was something we did once in a while. I remember I was quite impressed by all the rhythm equipment, classical records, and record player on a cart that we pushed around. I do remember rhythm band for the younger ones. The kids would do cymbals and sticks. The cymbals would play this part and the sticks would do their part; that kind of stuff. The things we taught are what a good in-classroom music teacher still does. We did themed songs for the seasons, holidays, those kinds of things. And of course it was different for sixth graders from first graders. I remember it being fun. I donít remember I worked too hard.
TB: To the best of your recollection, please describe a typical school week including such things as regular assemblies, music... but probably you were floating around.
BC: Yes. Now that you say assemblies Ė we may have done some group things with the class or with singing maybe in the auditorium. I know when I went to California I certainly didnít miss a beat. I would lead the whole grade school singing in the auditorium, so I must have learned to do it somewhere.
TB: You said winter quarter Ė you probably wouldnít remember this but do you have any memory of Christmas? A lot of people tell the story as students in the Christmas season, they would come in early before school and Mrs. Hinds would play Christmas carols and they would all sing. This was in the Forties and Fifties and especially if the parents were professors they would bring their kids and everybody sang.
BC: I was aware that the students were the children of the professors, but I donít remember anything specific. When I taught in Bellingham, which I did, down at Franklin School, I had the Spanel kids. Harriet and Les were good friends of mine. And Dr. and Mrs. Seal, Michael Seal, those were my Kindergarteners. But I donít remember anyone from Campus School.
TB: Were there any music programs in the auditorium when all the kids got together other than the Christmas carols?
BC: Maybe, but I was there winter quarter.
TB: Do you remember, was there a dress code for you as a teacher in the Campus School?
BC: I donít remember a thing, no. But Iíll tell you, Mrs. Hinds was dressed to the nines, always.
TB: Still always is!
BC: I saw her a couple of years ago and I introduced myself. I donít think she remembered me, but I saw her and knew who it was immediately. Mrs. Hinds and a teacher I had from the home economic department were always beautifully dressed; something I observed and thought, ďWhen I teach I am going to dress well.Ē My mother was always beautifully dressed. When I was at the college, kids would say, ďYou never come dressed the same twice in the whole quarter!Ē Iíd say, ďYou got it!Ē I knew that how the teacher looked had a lot to do with my learning. Iím a very visual person and if a professor had some God-awful thing on, I didnít remember a thing they said. I remember a history teacher at Western. I still havenít forgotten the brown suits and the orange and brown wide ties. I was so grossed-out by what that man was wearing! I never learned a thing, and I blame how he dressed on half of it. I was so visual and I was just so appalled! Too bad I didnít realize what I was doing to myself.
TB: Well Mrs. Hinds would have been wonderful then because she was always dressing up.
BC: Oh, right, and high heels and jewelry and makeup! I donít know how I kept up. I just remember that she wore lots of vivid blues. I donít remember much else.
TB: Is there any other part of the curriculum that you particularly remember?
BC: Not really, no, that was my first student teaching.
TB: And you did your whole day in the public schools?
BC: The next year I did a full day at Happy Valley School out towards Fairhaven, a first/second combination class. I got Bellingham both times, talk about lucky!
TB: While you were student teaching at the Campus School was there any momentous local, national, or international events? I realized you just missed the Kennedy assassination.
BC: I donít remember anything. Kennedy was my first year of teaching in California. That was stunning, Iíve never forgotten about that. So are you talking about when I was in college then?
TB: Something at the Campus School.
BC: Campus School? No.
TB: And the only thing you taught in Campus School was music?
TB: As a student teacher, did you take your classes to visit areas of the college for special events? Did you take them over to the auditorium? Did you ever show them the big organ over there?
BC: I donít remember any field trips, but I certainly remember the big organ from my first day of orientation when the gray-haired music professor in his black academic robe sat down and played the most phenomenal music I had ever heard: Bach. Coming from a small town, oh my god! What is this? I just never got over it. It was the greatest thing ever! It certainly got this freshmanís attention.
TB: Well Iím going to ask you that one later when we get to the Western part! Do you remember any other involvement with the studentsí parents, do you remember faculty meetings?
BC: I donít think I went to faculty meetings.
TB: Any other thoughts about the administrative structure of the Campus School? Was Ray Hawk principal when you were there?
BC: The name sounds a little familiar.
TB: By the time you got there, werenít they already thinking about closing the school down?
BC: I think so, or it maybe didnít happen too long after, yes.
TB: 1967 it closed.
BC: I thought that was such a shame. What a resource the college education department and the children of Bellingham lost. If youíre going to be a teaching institution, my god, youíve got a school right there in front of you with innovative curriculum and master teachers like Miss Nicol and Miss Casanova. Interesting they were both single.
TB: Well why donít you actually tell that story about Miss Casanova now.
BC: During some of my education classes, we would go in and observe in different classrooms. She was the one, Ďtheí lady. She was the master. I remember observing her on several occasions when she was teaching and she would have a five by eight or a three by five note card with the important things on it that she was going to cover. I was just so impressed and it made me know that it was okay to do that. And I did it teaching elementary as well as college. You canít know everything and you donít want to leave out anything. But when youíre 21 years old, I think you think you have to know everything. Iím sure that idea probably helped me when I first started teaching.
TB: Any more thoughts on student teaching at the Campus School?
BC: I canít think of anything in particular.
TB: Okay; part three, Golden Vikings.
BC: I threw that paper out! Lisa said, ďI wonder if youíre a Golden Viking.Ē I said, ďI hope not!Ē
TB: Every summer they have a reunion, and we send out this questionnaire. I just wanted to make sure I got you now. How did you choose to come to Western then as a college student?
BC: Because I had gone to Campus School. There was no doubt that I was going to be a teacher, so there really was no doubt of where I was going to go.
TB: How did you know you were going to be a teacher?
BC: Oh, I know how I knew I was going to be a teacher! In 1959 I had three options: I could be a nurse and I hated blood; I could be a secretary and I thought I would be bored to death, and the other option was teaching. My mother was an elementary teacher.
TB: Those were the options to women at that time?
BC: That was it. Those were the only three, unless I got married and didnít go to school. But there was never any doubt in my mind that I was going to go to college. It was always talked about in my family, ďWhen you go to college.Ē I had friends who were smarter than I was whose parents said, ďWell if you want to goÖĒ and they ended up not going or not finishing and they are still living in Poulsbo. At my house you just did it. It was just part of the drill. I went along with it!
TB: What were your dates of attendance at Western?
BC: 1959 through 1963 and then 1969 through 1971 I think. Iím a little iffy on that end date, but I know I left there in 1971 with my MA.
TB: I have you as getting your masters in 1970.
BC: Yes, it probably is. You may be right because my husband got his BA in 1971. We left and went to Moses Lake in 1971 so I may have had my Masters for a year. While my husband was going to school, I was teaching half time, supporting the family and one child, working on my MA half time,
TB: So you got a Masters in education?
BC: Early childhood education.
TB: Oh, early childhood education! And then somehow you have a music endorsement.
BC: Education major with a minor in elementary music, yes.
TB: Have any other family members attended Western?
BC: Mother, thatís it.
TB: What was your first job after leaving Western and any distinctive memories of this experience?
BC: I went to California. California schools came to campus and recruited like crazy. California needed teachers very badly. I interviewed in one or two places and I got hired at Los Gatos School District down near San Jose. It was a wonderful place to be. Twenty one years old, right out of school, in sunny California, things were happening, in fact, I went to Stanford for the JFK memorial service.
I remember thinking that I was better trained than the people I was teaching with who went to San Jose State. I was paid I think $3,500 my first year of teaching and it was about a thousand dollars more than the kids who were hiring in Washington.
TB: But what was the cost of living really high down there?
BC: Somewhat higher. I think I paid $300 a month for an apartment and I shared it with another teacher, so one hundred and a half. When I went down there, my principal Rex Willis from Mountain Home, Idaho, was probably thirty five years old. People were all young. All these cute young women, the principals used to laugh about who had the best looking staff. I taught with Brooke Coors, from Coors Brewery. I taught with a girl from the University of Texas, Hook Ďem Horns you know, who brought her great big long horns to school. There were people from all over the country, and that was cool. I went into a brand new school. The new school wasnít ready for the fall so we double-shifted. The first quarter I taught I didnít go to school until 11:30 in the morning. I had a swimming pool right out my door and Iíd go out and sit and have my coffee and read the paper before I went to school. I never liked teaching early after that! At the college, you never saw me teaching eight oíclock classes. Iíd say nine, if youíre lucky. It was usually ten. That first year spoiled me forever! After several months we moved into a brand new school building with an innovative design. It was very fun, a very fun place to be.
TB: Please share any information about your subsequent career.
BC: I went on and taught second grade for a couple years but I got bored with that. I thought if I do Dick and Jane one more time Iím going to throw up! So I moved to Kindergarten, which I wasnít trained to do, but because I was a music teacher it was a perfect match for me. I loved teaching Kindergarten, it was great. I got married to Louie Congdon, we had our son Roark, and we moved to Western after my husband finished two years at community college in Campbell, California.
Louie got accepted to Western. I made an appointment with the Bellingham School District, went in for an interview and was hired. Evidently I assumed that I would not have a problem getting a job. Canít imagine what we would have lived on if I hadnít, but I didnít seem worried. I have never applied for a job I didnít get, but I didnít have to apply for too many. I taught at Franklin School down at the bottom of Indian Street near Lakeway Drive. Itís gone now, they tore it down. I have a couple of pieces of memorabilia from Franklin School. I have a childís chair and a teaching aid, a sample box of chocolate beans, butter, etc. from Ghirridelli Chocolates. I taught there and my husband, because he was a college student, was hired as the recess duty guy. This was good as we needed the money. We lived at the corner of State and Cedar Street. Do you know where the armory is? About half a block up from the armory, right on the corner where Cedar starts up to the campus. We bought the house and lived there. We used my husbandís student loan for the down payment. We figured it was school expenses. That was the first of many houses we bought and sold.
I taught at the old district office building north of downtown for Gary Karlberg and then at Franklin for a guy named Ed Brown. I went to Sunnyland School and taught Kindergarten half days with Julie Fleetwood. Do you know Julie Fleetwood?
BC: I ran into Julie Fleetwood at an opening at the Bellingham Museum where my husbandís daughter, Lisa Van Doren, is a curator. I just couldnít believe Julie was there. It was a hoot! We team taught. One of us taught in the morning and one taught in the afternoon because at that time I was working on my masters. I thought if Iím going to be here in Bellingham I might as well get my masters instead of just my fifth year. It was the best thing I ever did.
TB: And you were teaching Kindergarten, right?
BC: I was teaching Kindergarten, yes. So I taught half day, went to school half day. I got walking pneumonia the quarter I had to take my orals. I got out of that one! I picked up a few extra days to prepare. Thank god!
My husband graduated and took an industrial arts job in Moses Lake. I retired, had my son Ian and wasnít going to teach anymore. Big Bend Community College received a grant for a parent education program local teacherís wife with MA in Early Childhood just moved into town! I got hired part-time to start the program. I had never done parent education in my life. And the cool part is, they just said, ďHereís the money, design and start the program.Ē I didnít have a clue. I got hired to do it, and jumped in. I thought I have this opportunity, Iím going to set this up to be the most educationally sound program I can think of. Later I found a book on parent coop preschools and I couldnít have set it up more ideally than I did. I thought well, sometime during that training or when I was sitting on the floor in the stacks at the Library reading those early childhood journals, it went in my brain and it just parked up there Ė part of that great basic educational training that I got from Western.
I knew I didnít want to stay in Moses Lake for the rest of my life. After several years I came here to Wenatchee to run the Early Childhood/Parent Co-op Program at Wenatchee Valley College. I got divorced, raised my two boys, and taught here at the college for about nineteen years. When the college dropped that program, I coordinated Telecourses, and helped run the telecast system for the college. Later I worked in the college ski program as assistant director and helped run ski areas. Who knew when I was teaching skiing at Mount Baker that Iíd ever turn that avocation into a real job? The college then closed the ski program, so I ended up teaching study skills, adult basic education, administered the program for a year and then I retired. That was it.
TB: Wow. So they had a ski management program?
BC: Yes, a two-year technical degree program in ski instruction and, ski area management. It was great. We had kids come from Sweden; we had kids come from all over. It was a phenomenal program. It was very fun. I never thought that some day I would lose my job or they would close the program and theyíd find something else for me to do. I think again that good basic educational training that I had said, ďYou know how to teach and you know how to learn, you can do this.Ē I just said, ďSure, I can do this.Ē I was like the ad for Mikey and the cereal, ďLetís let Mikey try it!Ē It was like, ďLet BC teach it!Ē
BC: Thanks to Western, my educational training was excellent.
TB: Oh good. Now tell us about your experiences at Western. When you were at Western, where did you live?
BC: My first quarter at Western there was no room in the dorm. I was very disappointed. We lived in a house with Mrs. Patterson and her family. I think it was called Heritage House. She fed us downstairs at a long table on the main floor by the kitchen. I lived with a friend Doreen Finseth from high school, Linda Marple, Sandy, and two girls from Hawaii, Michelle Quaintence and Dorothy Felton. There were so many girls, nine maybe, that we took the door off the one bathroom. It was a big old blue house and at night we could hear rats chewing. They eventually ate through the wall. That was the first two quarters and then I went to the dorm. They tore the house down when they built the Viking Union. When there was an opening in the spring I moved to Edenís Hall. I lived in the top right hand corner room.
TB: North or South?
BC: The old one, I never lived in the new building. The top corner had windows on both sides and it looked out at Old Main and down towards the Bay. I remember it had hardwood floors and a sink in our room which was very cool. All of the old rooms had sinks I think. You had to go down the hall for the potty and shower. I remember we had to wash the wooden floors at the end of the year when we moved out. I had grown up with a house with wooden floors and I knew you never put water on hard wood floors! I worked as a proctor. Do you know what a proctor is?
TB: Somebody who presides or watches.
BC: That was my part time job. I worked at the front desk and guys would come and say, ĎIím here to see Jane.Ē I would say into a speaker, ďJane, you have a guest,Ē and it would go, hopefully, into the right hall on the right floor upstairs. The girl would answer and then they would come down. Because the speakers were in the hall, youíd open up your door if you thought you were going to have somebody visiting. Sometimes the couples would sit there, but usually they were going on a date. Eleven oíclock each school night, and later on the weekends, was lights off. They locked the door at curfew and nobody could get in. You had to write the girls up if they were late. Theyíd try pushing girls in the lower windows, especially on the weekends. My job at eleven oíclock on school nights Ė I probably did this one or two nights a week as it was my part time job Ė would be to open every single door. I had a flashlight and I would shine it on every bed to make sure everybody was in their bed. Sometimes we would wait for the proctor and as soon as they left, we would turn on the lights and study again or whatever. I think this was usually only if we had a test, we were all pretty good about hitting the hay.
TB: Oh, they werenít even supposed to be studying after eleven oíclock?
BC: No. Lights were out. A cool place to study was in the luggage closet. Down at the end of the hall was a luggage closet and everybody put their empty suitcases in there. It was a good place to go study because you could sit on the floor. It was kind of quiet and two or three people could study together for a test. Thatís what I did. Other than that, whereíd I live after that? Oh, the big deal was we moved out and we moved down on Garden Street.
TB: You also lived in Higginson at some point I think when it was brand new.
BC: Yes! I lived in Higginson when it was brand new and that was very fun. It was very innovative for two rooms to share their own bath and central dressing area. I remember we lived on the fifth floor. I remember water fights. We used to take our square plastic waste paper baskets and weíd fill them with water and youíd go whoosh -- over the rail. Well Dean Mac came to break up one water fight, and guess who threw a bucket on him from the fifth floor! Youíd run through the room, dripping water and go whoosh! Oh, and I remember going across the street to Gusís for hamburgers.
I think my junior year I moved out with four other girls and we lived down on Garden Street in a house.
TB: Can you tell me a little bit more about what dorm life was like then? Did you have a housemother?
BC: Yes, we had a housemother. She had gray hair, I canít remember her name. The rumor was that she had been a stripper or something.
BC: Fifi LeFou or something.
TB: We can probably find it.
BC: Oh yes, you could find who was the housemother at that time. But I donít know if her name sounded like a stripperÖ
One of the major rules for girls at that time was no pants on campus during weekdays and only before dinner on the weekends! I can remember having a nine oíclock class and getting up and putting on a pair of loafers and socks and rolling my jeans up and putting a long coat and going to my nine oíclock class. I can also remember my first quarter, I took social dance at eight oíclock in the morning two days a week in the coldest gym you have ever been in your life. It was in the bottom of Old Main and Iíve never forgotten it. Talk about a place to learn social dance! Thatís where I met my friend Craig McGowan from Seattle, who ended up a wonderful biology teacher at Garfield. He won the state Golden Apple award as well as other recognitions, heís a dear.
We ate in the basement of Edenís Hall. Then the Viking Union was built and we started eating over there. I had a friend whose name was Carol Brown and she used to run the catering and sometimes I would wait tables for extra money. Well I didnít have any experience doing that. Sometimes we would serve the Board of Trustees. If there was food left, we got to eat it. They often served Cornish game hen upside down on a half of a pineapple with wild rice inside. I donít think I had ever had fresh pineapple or game hen. I know I never had wild rice. I had never had asparagus that wasnít canned. We usually had cheesecake for dessert. Funny things. Some were really big banquets, but if you were chosen to do the Board of Trustees it was a big deal.
TB: Do you know Ralph Munro?
BC: I donít know him personally but he was a big gun at the school when I was there. I knew who he was.
TB: He also worked for Saga and we have a picture of him serving, he did the Board of Trustees or some dinner with the President.
BC: Saga food services! Yes, he may have; Saga was run for a couple years by a nice blonde-haired crewcut guy that was just a dear. And again my friend Mike Phelps and some of the Canadian rugby players worked for him.
TB: His name has come up before.
BC: Steve, maybe? But anyway, a heck of a guy, just a really nice, young guy. Yes, so we all ate at Saga. I remember skiing and the ski bus. A lot of my life, the whole winter revolved around skiing. I lived, breathed and skied, and that was it. In fact, one of the reasons I went to Western was because I could ski, pretty one dimensional when I look back.
TB: Yes, it was interesting because I did find you in the annual under skiing. Even though you were a music major, I only found you in the concert choir!
BC: Youíre right! Yes, I did a little skiing. Thatís why I canít get up and down the stairs anymore at my house.
TB: Who are your favorite or most influential teachers and why?
BC: Oh man! I remember Dr. Easterbrook.
TB: Heís still there!
BC: Oh really? Well if you ever see him, you have to tell him this! It must have been one of those science for the elementary school classes. He put us in a boat and took us out to the San Juan Islands. It was some guyís fishing boat. We went to Fossil Bay. I remember Easterbrook found a sea urchin. He cut up the sea urchin, put it on Triscuits, and we ate it. Isnít this funny? This is the kind of stuff kids remember, field trips! I remember laying in a sleeping bag at night and looking up at the stars and talking about the stars. But the thing I remember the most is he brought us coffee in our sleeping bags in the morning! I have never forgotten it and my husband, dear sweetheart, knows thatís the way to my heart! I love my coffee in bed in the morning!
I got to know Dr. Neuzil and his family. He was the ski club advisor. My friend Mike Phelps was very good buddies with Dr. Neuzil. Also I had a very dear, sweet student teaching supervisor, Mabel Hodges I think, when I was at Happy Valley. She had part of her stomach removed and was quite ill (I wonder if she had cancer). Even though she couldnít eat, she used to bake these wonderful goodies to bring us when we had afternoon seminars. She was a wonderful woman.
The thing I remember most about her was that she was flexible. She would say we were going to have something due on a specific date. Sometimes kids said ďYeah but Iíve got a test,Ē and she said, ďOh, well thatís okay. Letís choose another day.Ē It wasnít a big deal to make a change as long as she reached her goal. So you have a test that day? Letís do it the next day. Who cares? You know? I tried to use that in my teaching.
TB: Did you have Bearnice Skeen?
BC: Oh, Dr. Skeen. She was a dear and was my early childhood advisor. That would have been in my masters program, she was a wonderful woman.
TB: When you were in music did you have Regier?
BC: Bernard Regier I sang for him my freshman year, but I was never terribly impressed with him.
I was a music major. Iím a singer; I played the violin the guitar, and the autoharp. I was destined to teach music to kids. I was never destined to do music theory because I didnít know how to play the piano. I took music theory the first quarter of school and I thought I was going to die because we had to write music. We had to follow all these rules of composition. Iíd follow the rules but I couldnít play the piano to see how my composition sounded. I wasnít smart enough to go to someone who played the piano and say, ďWould you play this for me?Ē As soon as I heard it I would have said, ďOh, thatís got to be changed.Ē I struggled through that class and immediately changed to a music minor from major so I didnít have to take any more theory classes.
Iíll tell you a story about my music education requirements which I probably shouldnít tell but Iíll tell anyway. There was a requirement at Western that you had to be able to play The Star Spangled Banner to get your degree in music. What a stupid requirement! My god! I just couldnít do it! Iíd get to ďrocketís red glareĒ and just fold. So, I never took the test. Nobody ever found out! Lucky for me they didnít have computers to track everything then.
What would have happened if Iíd gone in unable to ever pass that darn test? I could have stayed at Western for five years and never learned to play The Star Spangled Banner! And did it matter? No! I was an excellent teacher and it had nothing to do with whether or not I could play The Star Spangled Banner. Thatís how I got my minor!
I used to tell this story to my students in my study skills class, ďDonít point out the things that you canít do.Ē Before I started my first year of teaching, my mother gave me two bits of advice. One was, ďItís easier to ask for forgiveness than permission.Ē The other was, ďGet to know and be nice to the secretaries, janitors and the cooks.Ē Great advice.
TB: What was your main course of study?
BC: Music and education. My music was my minor and education was my major.
TB: What classes did you like the best or learn the most from?
BC: Often I did not like the theory classes, but I did love the application classes. Art for the elementary school, science for the elementary school: the practical stuff that I was going to use. I think those classes were why I felt well prepared when I started to teach. I did have one history teacher that was wonderful; he maybe taught Washington State History.
BC: Yes! If they had all been like him I would have loved history. His son was my age, too. The theory classes were difficultÖbut the others I did like. They probably saved my grade point.
TB: Okay, well we know one of the extracurricular classes you enjoyed the most was ski club. Anything else you especially enjoyed? What about dances? The water fights?
BC: [Laughter]. Are you going to say, ďYou wonít believe this woman!Ē The water fight incident was just something that happened once. My life pretty much revolved around skiing and people that were skiers. I remember one year when I was teaching skiing I skied from the first weekend of October through May fifth. I never missed a weekend because I was working up there! That was how I earned my money.
I had skied a little bit in high school. As a freshman I took skiing as a PE credit. I remember the ski school director, Greg Newton asking me at the end of the ski class, ďWould you be interested in teaching skiing next year?Ē Well, I was, ďWhat?Ē I was just astounded. I ended up teaching skiing my sophomore, junior and senior year, and then when I went back for my MA. That was pretty good duty; I got a pass and I was going to ski anyway. I made some money; it was fine. And a funny thing, Greg Newtonís ex-wife was one of my students here at WVC.
TB: Oh, in Wenatchee?
BC: Yes, Pat Newton. We found that out, we just absolutely hooted, thought it was funnier than all get out. So I studied and I skied and that was pretty much it. The first year I taught the ski school was run by Franz Gabl, an Austrian who had silver medalled in the Olympics. His wife made great mulled wine. I have the recipe.
TB: Do you have any other special memories of your first college days?
BC: You mean when I first got there?
TB: Your bachelorís degree.
BC: As I said, the first day when we went in and heard Dr. Schaub play the organ. There was always this story that his hair was so white because heíd had an unhappy love affair or something. Did you ever hear that?
TB: Iíve heard stories.
BC: Something like that, yes. I had never heard anything like that organ in my life! I was just astounded and I think it was at orientation on one of the first days we were on campus. I have always been crazy about Bach and organ ever since, so it took. The other thing that I think was really important, Iíd say probably one of the more important classes that I took at school (and I think every college should require it), covered using the library. I had to take it from some guy who was a librarianÖ
TB: Oh, Herb Hearsey.
BC: Yes. I had to take an introduction to the library class. Do you know about that class?
TB: I think so. Iíve heard that people had to take classes from Herb Hearsey.
BC: We had to learn about a library resources and how to do research. It wasnít taught at my high school: how to do research, how to look up books. Probably the most useful class I took in college. I have used the skills the rest of my life. If I had to do it over again, I may have gone into research. Iím doing genealogy now and just love it.
BC: Yes. It was a half a quarter, a couple afternoons a week. Everybody had to take it, it was required. It was absolutely the best.
Other special memories were going to a lot of lectures. I heard Linus Pauling talk. I saw Satchmo play in the gym. I saw Hal Holbrook as Mark Train, Vincent Price, Count Basie and some opera stars that are now famous. The only reason I went was because I got extra credit or was assigned by my instructors. Good for those teachers. I didnít know who those people were, it would have never entered my mind to go. I did the same thing when I was teaching at WVC, ďSo-and-so is coming; youíre going, getting extra credit.Ē You have to force kids into doing those things because they donít know enough to do it themselves.
TB: When you first came to Western, there was a major change in the curriculum underway and there was a new president, Dr. Jarrett, who really did push the humanities program. There was a lot of building going on, which is why Linus Pauling came for the dedication of Haggard Hall.
BC: Oh, is that why? He spoke about sickle cell anemia.
TB: Yes, 1959, 1960 he came for the dedication and did make a big speech for that. The Ridgeway dorms got built. Higginson Hall was built. Did you have any sense as a student that this was an exciting time?
BC: Oh, absolutely; I loved the sculpture at the library, the Rainforest? Iíd never seen anything like that. Still, I just thought it was great! I loved it! I still love it.
TB: Thatís right; the library was being renovated when you were there for the first time.
BC: It was. Haggard Hall is the science building, right?
TB: It was.
BC: If you donít think that was something: to go in there for the first time and have class with all those concrete wallsÖ
TB: Tell me more about that, what was that like?
BC: It was like, oh my god, what is this?
TB: Did you like it, or you didnít like it?
BC: I donít know that I was crazy about it, but I didnít hate it. I think that my interest in architecture and design is because of the Western campus. I remember all the hexagonals at the Viking Union. They were in the sidewalk, the furniture, they even used them in the design of the Klipsun that year.
TB: Is that a negative reaction?
BC: Positive. I like the look now. It set me up for, ďThis is how things are supposed to look;Ē absolutely, an unintended outcome, but absolutely. Well, look at the metal on my fireplace. What does that look like? Doesnít that look like Haggard Hall? Probably, I mean, it could fit right in there. Itís gray, itís metal, and itís sculptural.
TB: Just trying to get a sense of what it was like (peopleís perceptions). People in the end, before they renovated Haggard were against Thiry, the one who designed Haggard. He was the same one who designed Higginson Hall as well.
BC: And I took a class in my masters program in the home [economics] department on Scandinavian design.
TB: From Dr. Ramsland?
BC: No, it wasnít Ramsland. It was a woman; I think it was Dr. Larrabee. I remember Ramsland because my college roommate was in home economics. Dr Ramsland started that wonderful chair collection that is now in the college art gallery. I think my interest in architecture and design is the main non-academic thing that I got at Western, and is significant in my life.
TB: What were some of the things you noticed when you came back the second time to get your masters? Anybody else who was a favorite or inspirational teacher?
BC: Well, Dr. Skeen definitely because of my masters. Roberta Bouverat was always kind of there but she was never one of my favorites. She was kind of Dr. Skeenís protťgť. But she was kind ofÖbut look at who she was up against. Dr. Skeen was just such a peach; she was just a dear, and such a master teacher.
During that time I was teaching half day, I was going to school half day, taking evening classes, taking afternoon classes, supporting the family. Because I was doing other things, I wasnít as much a part of the masters program as the kids who were going full time. I had other stuff I had to do. They had more camaraderie, incidental learning and probably more fun, too
TB: You were just trying to survive.
BC: Yes, I was trying to survive, exactly. One person I met in those classes was Barbara Merriman (Barbara Snow). She has run early childhood programs and worked for Whatcom Community College; she was vocational dean out there. We are still in contact and have been friends for years and years. She was a Home and Family Life Coordinator around the state when I was the same here in Wenatchee.
When I was teaching during grad school, I got to know the faculty community as parents of my students. I met Harriet and Les Spanel, the Seals, Abel the math teacher. There was a family with a darling little boy, Steven. He was killed up in Alaska a couple years ago. His dad was an architect in town. They were neighbors of Spanels
TB: Well, is there anything else that I havenít asked you that you would like to comment on?
BC: When my husband was at Western, he was in the technology department, so were Dr. Hill and Rod Slemmons. We did some socializing with Rod and Kif Slemmons, so at that time I got into a different area of what was happening at the college. Louie was a PE minor.
If I could take Wenatcheeís weather and put it in Bellingham, I would live there in a minute. Itís close to Vancouver, close to Seattle, the water is there, the San Juans, the mountains, this is as close as I can get. Iím just missing the intellectual, artsÖI would be going to things on campus all the time.
TB: So thereís nothing else for the record?
BC: I donít think so.
TB: Okay; I will say thank you very much.
BC: You are very welcome.