Special Collections

Special Collections Oral History Program


Henrietta Moseley

Campus School, 1954-1961

Interviewer:     Tamara Belts

Date of Interview:     March 1, 2006

Location of Interview:     Interviewee's home, Mount Vernon, Wash.

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Authorized Transcript

This interview was conducted with Henrietta Moseley on March 1st, 2006. The interviewer is Tamara Belts.

TB: Today is March 1st, 2006 and I, Tamara Belts, am here with Henrietta Moseley.  She attended Campus School. She did not sign the Informed Consent Agreement but she does know that she is being recorded. Is that correct?

HM: Yes.

TB: Good. Our first question is how did you happen to attend the Campus School?

HM: I always heard from my parents that my mother registered me for Campus after I was born. I have located the application that my mother kept and she registered me on October 6th, 1949.

TB: And you were born when?

HM: I was born March 15th, so six months after.

TB: She didnít waste any time! Did anyone else in your family attend the Campus School and what were their names?

HM: No. I think I was the only one who went through Campus.

TB: What were the years and grades of your attendance?

HM: I started Kindergarten in 1954 and went all through sixth grade; I guess I left in 1961.

TB: Did your family pay any fees for your attendance at the Campus School?

HM: Not that Iím aware of. It all was registering early and having that opportunity; you were selected to go. I never heard anything about fees.

TB: Where did you live when you attended the Campus School and how did you get to and from school? Please share any favorite memories of this experience.

HM: My family home was down on Garden Street at 242 South Garden. Thatís where I was born and raised and lived my whole life. I walked to school. I met Dick and Bill Hearsey along the way and Jackie Levin.  The three of us kind of sauntered up and arrived at school, hopefully on time! There were a few times we were not on time, especially in the fall. As we came up Garden Terrace we filled our pockets with chestnuts, I remember that, and huge maple leaves. That was a lot of fun. The three of us were real good buddies for getting back and forth to school.

TB: What did you do for lunch?

HM: I had a lunch pail, a little red plaid lunch pail. I was a real chubby little kid, so my mother Ė bless her heart Ė she tried so hard to just send the right things for me to eat.  But just like Mr. Fisher, I had special days that I got to go down to the kitchen and order their spaghetti or something. That was a treat but most of the time I took my lunch.

TB: So then you ate in your classroom or did you go to the cafeteria?

HM: I think we ate in the cafeteria down there. There was a cafeteria.

TB: Do you remember any favorite classmates? Please name them for us.

HM: Yes, I had many favorite classmates. In fact, my oldest friend, today is her birthday and we have been friends since Kindergarten. Weíve been friends for fifty two years now and we still stay in very close contact, Jackie Levin, sheís now Jackie Kotkins. So Jackie and I were very close and Mary Louise Young and Jennifer Yanko and Leslie Swanson and Jeff Peters and Randy Budd. There was a whole list of them. I remember more of my friends from grade school than I do in any other period of my education. Thatís pretty interesting. I was able to name and remember eighteen I think.

TB: Wow; that is excellent. Who were your favorite or most influential teachers?

HM: Kindergarten was interesting. Miss Nicol was really a nice lady. She was much older. I remember I liked her but she didnít always let me paint! She and I didnít always see eye to eye because I didnít get as much painting time in as I would have liked to have. I remember Mrs. Vike in third grade and I just loved her to pieces because she let me do lots of clay work. My mother saved a lot of my clay pieces that I brought today. Mrs. Lee was my fourth grade teacher; she was a family friend. I remember Annabelle Lee. She was a really nice lady. Mrs. Power, my fifth grade teacher, she took me bowling. Then when she moved back to California, she still kept in touch with us and sent cards occasionally. I had some wonderful, wonderful teachers. Miss Weythman, Ruth Weythman, was a family friend. She was a PE teacher. I liked her, too. She was a very nice lady.

TB: Do you remember any of your student teachers and could you name them for us?

HM: I donít remember student teachers. There were a lot of them though, like three or four every quarter. We just had a lot of teaching staff on board.

TB: What were your favorite subjects or classroom activities?

HM: I seemed to like to do things with my hands. Iím sure thatís where my love of doing things with my hands came from. I remember doing wood working, I remember weaving, and the clay work. I loved working with clay. Reading, I enjoyed the reading. We had Dick and Jane and I remember the stories of Sally, Dick and Jane and Muff, the cat I think, little Muffy the cat. I remember spelling. My first big spelling word I think in second grade I think was Ďconstellationí. I remember that was just a huge achievement to learn how to spell that. I think some of the special things -- other than doing just math and English and reading -- I really enjoyed the industrial arts that we got to do, [plus] swimming, going to the library, some of those things. 

TB: What kind of learning materials did you use mostly (regular school textbooks, materials created by your teachers or other)?

HM: I think the teachers provided a lot themselves. I do remember that I had Sally, Dick and Jane.  That was the first Scott Foresman program that was out I think. We had math books. I donít remember the name of the math book that I had, but I do remember Sally, Dick and Jane.

TB: Excellent. What kind of grading system was in use during your attendance (letter grades or narrative reports)?

HM: Narratives. My mother kept all of them. Itís kind of fun to go back and read over your little reports. They really were very generic in what they said, but they did focus more I think on each individual child. Since I grew up to be a teacher, looking back at these reports and what I did in my grading system, I spent a lot of time writing reports. Maybe thatís where that got started.

TB: Nice. Do you especially remember any creative activities such as weaving, making things, etc? Obviously you liked artwork. 

HM: I liked the artwork. I also liked the music. I remember Evelyn Hines was one of the music teachers that I had. She did The Nutcracker with us one year and we got to perform that on stage in the auditorium. She also taught us a Hawaiian hula dance song, I remember that, of which I can still remember some of the words to it. It was like a line dance we were doing, that was wonderful. One of the neatest things that I remember is every Christmas as the month of December came, we got to go into the auditorium and there was a huge Christmas tree in there. It must have been ten or fifteen feet tall. The music teacher was in there. We got to gather around the tree every morning and had a good forty five minutes of singing together. We got to sing all sorts of Christmas carols from all over the world. That was wonderful. We had Jewish kids in our class and everybody sang. It was just a wonderful time.

TB: What was it like for you to be observed so often by student teachers?

HM: I think after a while you just didnít even know they were there because we always had so many people coming into the Campus School to observe. They were just part of the group, part of the family.

TB: What out-of-classroom activities did you engage in, what did you do at recess, lunchtime, what did you enjoy the most and what games did you play?

HM: I remember the bars out in the back of the building. We went out there for part of our recesses. Some of our recesses were out in front of the building. I do remember that I played a lot of square ball and red rover and in the spring we played baseball. There were some dodge ball and soccer ball games. We got to use the field out in front of the building. We were pretty active out there. Then we did get to go swimming all the time so we got to go over to the big pool. That was wonderful, but I didnít like the bathing suits!

TB: I have heard that before.

HM: Oh my gosh! They were like flour sacks! You only could hope to get a green one. I just remember that. If you got a blue one you were in real trouble!

TB:  Did you visit the college itself, the college library, attend assemblies or sporting events or anything else at the college while you were in the Campus School?

HM: We went to the library probably every week because we got to go in and check our books out. That was part of our curriculum. I donít remember going to games or anything; I think mainly the library.

TB: At what grade level did you enter public school? Why did you transfer and what was the transition like for you?

HM: My Campus School experience ended with sixth grade so then I moved onto Fairhaven. I do remember that I did not learn cursive writing at Campus School. As I look back, that was a real issue. Maybe you didnít learn it until fifth grade. I think that was it. We didnít learn it until late. Itís not that we didnít learn it but we didnít learn it until the end of fifth grade going into sixth. Otherwise we always printed. The transition to Fairhaven, I think I found it hard, especially in English.

TB: Any reason why?

HM: I donít think I had all the English preparation that I could have had or should have had. I had a very well-rounded education.

TB: Please share any differences between public school and Campus School that especially affected you.

HM: As I mentioned, the singing at Christmas, we got to do that. I remember that every year through Campus School. Thatís something that didnít happen in the public school. It might have happened some but not as much. I think that we were exposed to a more well-rounded education. We had a lot more art and industrial arts. We had exposure to swimming and the main library. I think we had a lot more exposure at Campus School.

TB: What further education did you pursue (college, graduate or professional school)?

HM: I went on to get my degree in elementary education and then my fifth year I received at Western.  I taught in Stanwood for fifteen years and moved into Mount Vernon and retired in 2002 with 32 years in the public school system.

TB: By the time you would have went to Western, the Campus School had ended, anyway.

HM: Yes, in 1967 I think.

TB: Yes. How did your attendance at the Campus School influence your life and/or career?

HM: I know as a teacher, when I was teaching, there were things that I did as a child at Campus School that I did with my students. For one example, I had the janitor in Stanwood make me fifteen weaving looms. We did a lot of weaving in my first grade classroom. I picked that up from Campus.

TB: What is it that students were learning by the weaving? Someone has told me that they were also learning math. Is that part of what they were also learning?

HM: I think, and design, repetition.

TB: Are you still in touch with any of your Campus School classmates and if so can you help us contact them?

HM: I think I mentioned that I am in contact with Jackie Levin. I have seen Mary Louise Young within the last couple years and Jennifer Yankoís mother I just saw a month ago. Jennifer has her doctorate in linguistics and is at Boston University. She is back on the East coast but she does come out here occasionally. Basically those are the one that I have stayed in contact with.

TB: Would you be willing to serve as a contact person for your class for the purpose of encouraging participation in the Campus School reunion planned for 2007?

HM: Oh yes. I think everybody participate in this. This is a part of history here.

TB: Alright. The question is do you have any campus memorabilia including photographs, class book pages, crafts or artwork and I can see that you brought some with you.

HM: I did.

TB: Excellent. Please share with us any favorite memories of your Campus School days and any comments about areas not covered by the questions above (for example, Short Tuesdays).

HM: Oh, Short Tuesdays! That was a wonderful day. The kids got to go home at noon and the teachers stayed on.  Thatís when they had their meetings and preparation time. We had Short Tuesday once a month. That meant I got to go to my friendís house and we had more time to play so that was a hot day! I really remember Short Tuesdays.

TB: Anything else we havenít talked about?

HM: I remember when I was Santa Claus in sixth grade!

TB: That would be fun.

HM: I was probably the tallest and most appropriate for being Santa Claus. They dressed me up in a Santa outfit and I got to go up and down those ramps and go and give candy canes to all the little kids in Kindergarten and first grade. That was fun; many memories.

TB: Anything else?

HM: I think thatís it.

TB: Excellent. Thank you very much Henrietta.