Why I write
When I was in third grade I wanted to be a third grade teacher. In fourth grade I wanted to be a fourth grade teacher, and so on up the grades. The top grades of high school were as far as I dared go with these aspirations. College was a must for me in spite of the fact that my oldest siblings weren’t allowed to go to high school. In retrospect, my matriculating for college seems almost unbelievable. Where did that daring come from? At the time I couldn’t imagine life without college; it would have been the end of life for me. Young people will not understand what a big deal this was. It was 1961, before the counter-cultural revolution; the only post-college careers for women were teaching and social work. In my totally-Catholic world, the only women in college got there by joining a religious order. My dad, a farmer born shortly after the turn to the twentieth century, was certain that his children didn’t need more education than he did—eight grades. Because he did well, didn’t he?