50 Years Ago
|How I looked in September 1963.|
After I graduated in 1967, I got my first teaching job because Poquoson High School wanted a drama teacher who could also teach English. I taught a speech class and four English 10 classes as well as directing plays. In my second job, at St. Andrews Junior High in Charleston, SC, I taught English 7 but also coached public speakers. When I returned to Roanoke in 1972, I taught English, speech, and drama at James Madison Junior High. I directed plays and coached speakers.
At RPI, Drama Ed majors were required to take History of Theatre as well as Art History, both of which gave me a good perspective on world history. And I learned practical skills, too. Because we were required to take both Costume Construction and Stagecraft, I learned how to sew and do basic carpentry.
Besides taking classes that proved useful, I learned a lot from being away from home. I learned how to take care of myself—to get myself up in the mornings, to plan my time, and to do laundry. We didn't have cell phones in those days—only one pay phone per hall in the dorm. Communication to friends and family was mostly via snail mail.
I also learned a lot from Richmond itself. There was always somewhere to go or something to do, so weekends were like mini-vacations. Transportation was usually by city bus because dorm students weren't allowed to have cars, but I managed to hide my car on the streets of Richmond during my junior and senior years.
A few years later after earning my degree at RPI, I got my masters at The Citadel—the military college of South Carolina. But that's another story.