Chapter 5-1 College (1963-1981)
My college career started in Utah in 1963. While stationed at Hill AFB, I took a course in data processing at Weber State College in Ogden. While stationed at Mountain Home AFB between 1968 and 1972, I took 15 courses earning 73 1/2 hours of credit. These courses were in English (Writing courses), U.S. and Russian History, Geography, Literature, Business economics, Statistical Analysis, Organization Theory, and 3 psychology courses.
While stationed at Grissom AFB, I took courses from Ball University in Speech, Accounting, and Business Law, earning 17 hours of credit.
While stationed at the ROTC detachment at Bowling Green State University, I received 21 hours of credit based on my military experience in personnel and for various military courses. I received an additional 80 hours credit for courses in Computer Science and data processing, Communications, Economics, Marketing and 18 courses in the Education to prepare for my teaching certificate
I received my Bachelor of Science degree in Business Education in 1978 from Bowling Green State University, and also obtained my Ohio Teaching Certificate.
One day, while I was substitute teaching for Davis School District, Utah prior to my Air Force retirement, I received a phone call from the Chairman of the Department of Business and Office Education at Bowling Green State University, Dr. Merle Guthrie. I was asked if I would be interested in being a graduate assistant in the fall. This position would have a stipend of $3,900.00 dollars which would be tax free. All education expenses for my Masters in Education including books would be paid by the university. I checked with the Veterans Administration and found that I could receive $650 per month under the GI Bill. With the combination of my Air Force Retirement, the VA money and the stipend, I would be earning more than I was currently earning in the Air Force, all tax free. Since the Air Force would ship my household goods back to Ohio, I accepted the offer.
After retirement from the Air Force, we headed to Bowling Green, Ohio. Upon arrival, we rented a home near the LDS chapel on Pasteur Avenue, and stayed there for awhile. Money was tight for several months after arrival, because our household shipment exceeded the weight allowance. The overage charges came out of my pay, not spread out, but every penny of the retirement was withheld until the overage was paid. I believe this was three months. To help, I took a part-time job at the university, working in the Bursar’s Office. While there, we enrolled our children in school, David at Bowling Green Junior High, and Becky, Karen and Cindy at South Main Elementary.
Bowling Green Junior High School & Conneaut Elementary School
After our finances settled, a brand new home became available on Vale Court, and we were able to afford it. So we bought the new home and moved in. The three children in Elementary School were transferred to South Main School. We also took on a very large paper route and all of the children participated, even Andrew who was only three years old. He delivered three newspapers on our street. We also delivered flyers door to door for a local convenient store. We took all the money earned and invested in U.S. Savings Bonds for the children. We have always felt that this early experience instilled a work ethic in our children that has made their lives more successful as adults.
Becky, Karen, Cindy and Andrew at South Main Elementary School
During our time back at Bowling Green, we were very busy in Church. Once again, I was Scoutmaster, In 1980, we had a Blazer Campout. David was now a boy scout and was able to attend.
Stake Blazer Camp – Toledo, Ohio 1980
While waiting for my Master’s program, I decided to complete the requirements for a second Bachelor of Science degree in History and took the needed courses. These courses were enjoyable. The only problem was a course in the History of the U.S. Police. This was done as a private-study with one of the history deparment professors. Unfortunately, he took a sabbatical to Europe and I was so busy with the Master’s program, that when he returned, I had to take an incomplete in the course. This did not really matter since I already had enough hours completed to qualify for the second major in History, with a minor in Literature.
In the fall, I started my graduate work and was assigned as a teaching assistant. My supervising professor wanted to take a sabbatical, and since I was older and more experienced than other assistants, the Department felt that I could take over his instructional duties. This meant that I became more than a Graduate Assistant. I took over full time teaching duties for Typing and Consumer Economics. At least the syllabus had been prepared for me. However, I did the instruction, and wrote and graded both the mid-term and final examinations. By teaching, I escaped the mundane chores given the other Graduate Assistants. I had my own office with office hours. The best part was that I didn’t have to perform slave labor for Dr. Bright! The only thing that Dr Guthrie asked me to do, was to not let my students know that I only had a bachelor degree. He said “If they call you Doc, just roll with it!”
The typing course was one of those that everyone wanted to avoid teaching, but the professors had to take turns. It was probably the most boring thing I have ever taught. You stood in front of the class monitoring as students typed and walked around correcting finger positions and posture and giving timed tests. Grading was a real pain, since you had to go over every submitted page to find the errors. This was time-consuming and very labor intensive.
I really liked teaching Consumer Economics. As an undergraduate, this course had been really interesting and easy for me. It was even easier to teach. I also had the latitude to schedule class trips to local businesses. I took my class to a local funeral home where they received information on preparation of bodies for viewing and burial. Some of them “freaked” out. But it was a good lesson in business management and how to maximize profits by appealing to the consumer; in this case, the family of the deceased. We learned about markups on caskets and how to appeal to the vanity of a consumer to upgrade to a higher quality (more expensive) casket. After all, poor Uncle Charlie would not want to be buried in a plain pine box. I also took them to a local cannery, where they saw green beans being canned. The same vat of beans was labeled under five different labels, from a high-price name brand, to store brands, to a brand called Blue Lake and finally from the bottom of the vat, when stems became more prevalent, to a generic label. We also saw that this same labeling practice used for catsup. By making minor adjustments in the sugar content, slightly different flavors were obtained for each label. However, afterwards in class, I said to my students, “Now that you know the quality for the a high priced can of green beans, is no better than a store brand such of Kroger, and the store brand is 35 cents less, which will you now buy?” One student indicated she would still buy the high. I asked her why?, and she replied “I can’t let my friends see me buy cheaper stuff. She also indicated that she would never shop at “Wally World!”
In Ohio, teachers, especially in career-oriented programs, have considerable latitude in choosing textbooks and course materials such as simulation kits, forms and other teaching aids. Because of this, the various publishing companies presented many workshops and even field trips to their publishing companies to promote their publications. Southwestern Publishing Company in Cincinnati was a major supplier of business textbooks and materials. They invited those of us working on advanced degrees to Cincinnati where we were wined, dined and loaded down with lots of free books and kits. McGraw-Hill and Prentice-Hall also sent us tons of freebies. By the time we went to our first job, we all had a good-sized library.
While working on an advanced degree, publishing companies urge you to use their products when you begin teaching. They give you free books and other materials. Once you begin teaching, these companies will send you copies of publications at your request for your evaluation.
I had a choice of either writing a thesis or taking graduate exams. I told the Department Chairman that I was going to write a thesis. He told me that no one takes that route for a Masters, just the PhD candidates, and that no one on the faculty would want to set on a committee and suggested that I take the exams, so I did.
I went into the exam room with the other Graduate Assistants and those who were just in the graduate program. We were given a list of twelve topics and six blue books. We were to pick six of the topics, and write each topic in a separate blue book. We had four hours. This had to be done completely by memory, using only remembered references and writing about research in our field. I completed the books and walked out of the room.
Our grades were to be posted later the day, after the books were graded by the Department. However, thirty minutes after I finished, the grades were posted and I had made straight A’s. I asked to see my blue books. I supposed they would have remarks. I was told that they were never returned, but burned. I mentioned this to one of the faculty members who was a friend, and was told “You really don’t think we read those books do you? We leaf through them and if you have filled them out, that’s all we are looking for.” No wonder they didn’t want me to write a thesis.
Early in the spring of 1981, I started submitting my applications for employment as a teacher. Different secondary schools came to job fairs at the university and I attended each of these. Applications and resumes were completed and sent to schools of interest through the university placement office. This ensured that copies of your transcripts and a copy of your teaching certificate would be forwarded to the schools. I was offered a position at St John’s, a Catholic School in Toledo. We wanted to stay in the area. However, I was notified that the Priest who was teaching the classes had decided not to retire and the offer was withdrawn. I was suddenly in a bind with no job waiting. However, Central Ohio Joint Vocational School in Madison County had contacted Dr. Guthrie asking if he knew of any graduates who were qualified both in Data Processing and in Business Education with IOE/COE (Intensive Office and Cooperative Office Education). I was the only one. I was asked to come to COJVS for an interview and was immediately offered the position.