Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Mother's 1927 WYO annual from the University of Wyoming

Old Main, where I was an occasional student janitor 24 years later

My sister Liz and I both studied this annual repeatedly.  I did not know until just a few years ago that she felt that her attraction to the University of Wyoming came from hours spent looking at this annual, just as my attraction to the University came from the same source.  We were the only two among our siblings who attended the University of Wyoming.  The fact that Mother attended the University of Wyoming at all was an absolute tribute to the strength of her ambition and her goal to become an elementary school teacher.  For any one to come out of the hard scrabble existence of  a pioneer irrigated farm in Penrose Wyoming and attend the University was a miracle.  She had completed what was called "normal training" at the public high school before she went to Laramie, which was part of her sustained effort to become a teacher.  Mother was the only one among her siblings to attend college.  She would not graduate from the University of Wyoming until 1957, after many years of teaching, taking summer school courses, correspondence courses, completing lessons late into the evenings.  She worked for every penny she had available while at the University of Wyoming "hashing" at the Commons and doing chore work for a family she stayed with, an unpleasant and onerous task which she endured, nonetheless, to accomplish her goal.  Liz and I would follow in her footsteps more than two decades later, also earning every cent ourselves that we had available to pay our way through college.  We could not do less than our mother did, nor could we quit before we achieved our educational goals.  We remain in the process of establishing the Minnie Wasden Blood Elementary Education Scholarship at Northwest College in Powell, Wyoming, the town where we six Bloods attended school and where Mother and two of my sisters taught for a period of time.


Elizabeth said...

Isn't it amazing that an old year book would instill in Mother's children the notion that, poor as we were, we would all get an education beyond high school. (When we attended school in the 1940's and early '50's, just graduating from 8th grade was considered an accomplishment.)
We loved to look at the old-fashioned hair-dos and the styles, the activity pages, and the different colleges that were at U of Wyoming. Parents should never discount the influence of their lives on their children.

Ann said...

I have always been amazed at our parents' encouragement to get an education, and their patience with some of us when we turned down scholarship possibilities at Wyoming to go to BYU. Regardless of how far we went in our education, learning new things was always stressed and appreciated by Mother and Dad.

Judy said...

This is a classy book. If I remember correctly, Mother could not afford to purchase the year book AND have her picture taken to be published. Is this correct?
Love the golden cowboy on the cover.

Dwight said...

Yes, her picture is not in there. We all did what we could.