My plan was to become a history teacher, so the first semester I enrolled in the History of Western Civilization, taught in a large lecture hall with a thick textbook. Lots of names and dates to memorize. I recall one professor showing up to every morning with a large cup of coffee and chain-smoking through the whole class. (Not that unusual in those tobacco-ridden days.) The first year, almost every minute of class time was spent listening to a professor lecture.
The next year I took more interesting advanced history classes. Dr. Gary Hess was an inspiring scholarly history teacher, who helped us explore the deeper significance of historic events and how they shaped the future. In my early teaching career, he served as a significant role model.
The best advice I received from my academic advisor was to switch my major from history to “comprehensive social studies,” which added a broader range of courses: geography, economics, psychology, and sociology. This wise advice really paid off when I started looking for my first job.
I enrolled in my first psychology class and discovered a deep love for the subject, so much so that I took every psychology course I could schedule. I completed enough hours to major in psychology, but the college of education didn’t allow dual majors. Most of my leisurely reading focused on the various branches of psychology. I was delighted and surprised to become one of the first teachers in Ohio certified to teach psychology and sociology! I was quite surprised when it arrived with my comprehensive social studies certificate.
We married two weeks after my graduation. Jan still had another year to go, so we rented a small duplex in Bowling Green. She enrolled in summer school, and since I didn’t start my teaching job until fall, I enrolled in the School Psychology graduate program. I also took night classes during the school year.
Vietnam was heating up, though teachers were given draft deferments at that time. But when I began planning for my year of required internship, my draft board informed me there was a good chance I would be drafted as soon as I left teaching to complete the internship. My advisor said I had completed almost all the courses for a degree in Guidance and Counseling, so I switched majors and graduated with a Master’s Degree in 1970.
A couple years later, draft deferments for teachers ended and I received a letter from my local draft board to report for a physical. I called the board and explained I was taking my final exams that week, and could they schedule it for a later date. The clerk said that would not be a problem, and that they would contact me later to set another date. I am still waiting for them to respond.