Tuesday, January 10, 2012


When I googled blog memoirs, "Rosie the Riveter" and "Rosie the Riveter's Daughter" popped up. Do you know I was or still am I guess, Rosie the Riveter's Daughter? My mother worked in a defense plant during World War II. She dropped me off at a day care center. Then she went to work and worked on a computer.

She said the computer was as large as a room, unlike those of today. She reminded me of this when I went back to college and struggled with a computer for the first time. The computer I worked on was not a PC. It was also a huge apparatus that was housed in a building by Garrison Hall  at UT in the late 1970's There were different stations around the campus for us to type punch cards. We ran the cards with our information into machines at the substation. And in return, we got  back data on a large sheet of paper taken from the variables that we punched in. Easy? Wrong!!! If we made one mistake on the punch cards we typed, we had to start all over again. It was intense agony for me. Some how or another, I managed to  pass statistics and I chose to do a qualitative study for my Master's Thesis, so I didn't use statistical information, even though some probably frowned about it. Statistical correlations and coefficients, etc. were the most often used in sociology research at that time.

I wish I had asked my mother what all she did on her computer. All, I know is that she said it was at a defense plant in Oklahoma City when most of the men were serving in the war and women were called to serve their country.

History tells us that the Rosies of that time gave up their jobs when it was time for the men to return from their service.Women were no longer needed because of the large number of returning soldiers who society decided needed  the jobs more,  to support their families. Not all, but many women went back home and got pregnant. And that is where a large number of the Baby Boomers came from. Mother was part of that population, who left her job to make room for a man.  She said her German husband was glad for her to return home because that is where she "belonged". Nine months later my sister Karen was born. Indeed she was a baby boomer. 

It must have been a good experience for my mother to work as "Rosie the Riveter" because in later years she had enough confidence to work at various jobs before she retired.

Because I struggled through statistics and did my research, I was able to receive my master's degree at a fine university, The University of Texas,  and to be employed at different schools, on different levels for over 30 years.

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