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Interview #466: Clarenbach, Kathryn F. (September, 2009)

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Fifth Interview Session (October 20, 1987): Tape 5

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00:08

KC discusses the summer of 1946, during which she received a Ph.D. in political science, got married, and got a job. She describes her habits as a writer. She later lied to the Ethical Society in New York about her typing abilities so she could get a secretary of her own.

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03:42

KC and Hank Clarenbach were married in Sparta on September 5, 1946. She then went to Purdue to teach and he went to Columbia for graduate school. KC describes their wedding in some detail and discusses her feelings about marriage in general.

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09:01

When she was offered jobs at both Purdue and Bryn Mawr, KC chose Purdue because she thought she would be more comfortable in a Midwest coeducational institution than in a private, Ivy League women's college. She describes her feelings about being alone in a new place, but says it wasn't long before she began enjoying herself.

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11:40

KC discusses teaching at Purdue, which she enjoyed, in some detail. She discusses the life of female students on campus and compares them to male students. She left because she was tired of a commuting marriage. She describes her first trip to Europe with her husband Hank. Though she encourages her kids to live it up, she hasn't done that very well herself.

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18:28

KC describes her life in New York after her return from Europe. She went on a job search but did not look for academic work. She describes life in Shanks Village, the university housing for married student veterans, where she and her husband lived from 1947 until 1950.

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25:36

KC discusses working for Henry Wallace's presidential campaign in the fall of 1948. She discusses her reasons for working on the campaign and her views on third-party candidates in general. The campaign consisted mainly of liberal Democrats, communists, and socialists; it was often accused of being communist.

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31:19

KC talks in detail about the successful campaign in Shank's Village to win students the right to vote in state and local elections. She also discusses the residency rules that “disenfranchised” her in two presidential elections. KC doesn't remember much more about Shank's Village except the “sameness” of it, which she didn’t like.

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38:33

KC briefly discusses the Wallace campaign again. She's an “organizational” person, but political campaigning was a new experience for her. She found a great deal of camaraderie and support among those who were radicals. Women were on an “equal footing” with the men in the campaign.

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42:03

After the Wallace campaign, KC gave birth to her daughter Sarah. After the child was born, she tried to do too much. She and Hank had to change their schedule to accommodate the baby.

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45:57

KC discusses the births of her children. Just before Sarah was born, she realized the enormity of what was going to happen and the obligation she had assumed. It was a horrible moment. She talks about some of the medical practices at the time.

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50:58

KC talks about her children when they were young and discusses her child-rearing philosophies. Her third child, Janet, was not planned, but KC was not unhappy to be pregnant. She explains why she thought Janet might break some stereotypes.

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53:47

In the fall of 1950 KC and her husband found jobs at Olivet College in Michigan, where they were on the faculty for two years. KC did no paid work until Sarah was a year and a half. She describes her adjustment to having children. She believes she might have done everything better if she had fewer things on her schedule.

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56:26

KC talks in detail about child care when her children were young. She did not feel guilty about leaving her kids when she went to work but did worry about the expenditure. She explains how she balanced work and child rearing in Olivet.

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1:03:02

KC describes her egalitarian marriage with Hank. Many things were easier for her than for Hank; she wondered about his teaching ability because he seemed to have difficulty answering the questions of their own children.

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1:07:10

KC discusses her child-rearing philosophies in more detail and mentions the types of advice she found helpful. She describes her children's school life in New York and her involvement in various school organizations, and explains why they sent their son to a private school despite their firm belief in public education. KC's work with the Girl Scouts made her conscious of class distinctions and discrimination on Staten Island. She describes her efforts to combat this discrimination.

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1:19:40

KC discusses life as a female faculty member at Purdue. When she joined the UW faculty, she was insulted by invitations for meetings of university women, which consisted of the wives of male faculty plus female faculty. She tells about her stint on the planning committee for a meeting of “gubernatorial spouses” that was organized by Sheila Earl.

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1:26:24

End of interview session 5

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