Working Girl


At this site there are two main options:

(1)   Read the memoirs of an erstwhile girl (me) who started college in 1962, or

(2)   Read and write news for your community on a free local newsboard.

For Option (1), go to the LETTERS HOME page. It is (or will be, as I get them entered) 30 years of letters home, starting when I went off to Penn State in 1962. Do you remember when students smoked in the classroom? When there were phones in the dorm hallways? When computers barely existed? When long distance was expensive? Then you can relate.

For Option (2), select one of the registered communities to see what others have written:


If your community isn't listed, you yourself can start it by registering. The community name will be created from your REGISTER page.

P.S. - If your hair has experienced some thinning on top, you might be interested in an unusual small headcovering available at hafahat.com.

Here's a partial index to LETTERS HOME:

 
1
1962
June:
Arrived at Penn State. Registered as a Home Ec major and played sax in the summer band.
 
2
1962
July:
Got some work as a piano accompanist. My first-term grades were not so good.
 
3
1962
Sept:
Started working in the dining hall. Tried to exempt out of beginning sewing. Suicide at East Halls.
 
4
1962
Oct:
Having flunked the sewing test, maybe will become a music major.
 
5
1962
Nov:
Switching roommates. It's great to be working in the dining hall. A suicide in Pollock A.
 
6
1963
Jan:
Now majoring in Music Education. Roommate's father has pretty much disowned her.
 
7
1963
Feb:
Roommate is coping with her disfunctional family. I'm working a lot.
 
8
1963
Mar:
A 3-day field trip by bus from Penn State to NYC—where I plan to eventually live.
 
9
1963
Apr:
More on the NYC trip. Taking sax and piano lessons.
 
10
1963
May:
Meeting my roommate's strange parents. Overwhelmed by taking on too many activities.
 
11
1963
May:
Accompanist for the Miss Centre County pageant, a lowest-rung competition for Miss America.
 
12
1963
June:
Summer quarter again, with summer band and a new summer roommate.
 
13
1963
July:
Trying so hard in band and chorus. Music isn't really my thing, but it's where I am.
 
14
1963
Sept:
Didn't make regular band. Cried at my voice lesson. Want to finish college early.
 
15
1963
Nov:
Accompanist for a musical. JFK is shot. I am incapable of conducting.
 
16
1964
Apr:
(Can't find letters from winter term.) Joined Mu Phi Epsilon music sorority.
 
17
1964
May:
High school friend deactivating from a sorority. My roommate and I quarrel.
 
18
1964
Sept:
Accompanying "Oklahoma". Still trying to exempt-out of classes to finish early.
 
19
1964
Oct:
Lost the "Oklahoma" spot. Have decided I'll need secretarial school after Penn State.
 
20
1965
Jan:
My last (tenth) quarter at Penn State. Sending out résumés.
 
21
1965
Feb:
Trying for a job on a cruise ship, or an international government job.
 
22
1965
Mar:
No job lined up for me, so I'll have to go pound the pavement in NYC. I graduate!
 
23
1965
Apr:
Arrived in NYC with multiple suitcases. On my third day, got a job offer from ABC.
 
24
1965
Apr:
Being unemployed, had to move into the Webster Apartments. Then accepted the ABC job.
 
25
1965
May:
Don't like living at the Webster. Trying to get a room/bath at the Laura Spelman YWCA.
 
26
1965
May:
Successfully moved to the YWCA. Going to Broadway shows, buying clothes with my new paychecks.
 
27
1965
June:
Making friends at the Y. Investigating the Mary Byers secretarial school.
 
28
1965
July:
Working in ABC's music clearance department. Returned a dress that shrank.
 
29
1965
Aug:
Took a city bus north through Harlem to 159th Street, a frightening ride.
 
30
1965
Oct:
Decided not move into an apartment with 3 other girls. Saw the Big Blackout of Nov. 9.
 
31
1965
Nov:
Took a Civil Service test to become an employment interviewer.
 
32
1966
Jan:
Buses and subways are on strike. Buffy Sainte Marie comes to live at the Y.
 
33
1966
Feb:
Trying to move up from typist/file-clerk to legal secretary.
 
34
1966
Mar:
ABC is slow to promote me and slow to pay its bills. Maybe I'll try an overseas job.
 
35
1966
May:
Promoted to secretary in the legal department, with a dreamboat boss.
 
36
1966
June:
My boss left for a job in Hollywood. Now I'll be a "floater", trying out various ABC departments.
 
37
1966
Oct:
A date with an actor, and starting to look for a new job outside ABC.
 
38
1967
Jan:
Started work with Olsten's temporary agency. My friend has a nervous breakdown.
 
39
1967
Feb:
A great 6-week temp job in the personnel dept. of the Singer Co. in Rockefeller Center.
 
40
1967
Apr:
Temp jobs at Harriet Hubbard Ayer and CBS News. My high school 5-year reunion is coming up.
 
41
1967
May:
While temp'ing as a secretary in J.C. Penney's computer dept., I decide to become a programmer.
 
42
1967
June:
Training as a computer programmer at Metropolitan Life, and moving to Greenwich Village.
 
43
1967
July:
Learning my new job at Metropolitan Life. Nearly evicted from my Greenwich Village lodging.
 
44
1967
Aug:
Being the only female computer programmer in my department. Evading my housemother.

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