Monday, September 04, 2017

Back to Jim's story: college years

Sixth in a series
Jim Perrine

Attending college (University of Central Missouri... CSMU) was quite an experience for an old country boy.  At first I felt like I was perhaps out of place, but soon learned I could make it very well, academically as well as socially.  I majored in Physical Education and minored in Social Studies.  During those years, I was able to find summer jobs that paid well.

1952, summer:  Goodyear Rubber Tire warehouse in the Kansas City west bottoms, $1.40 per hour.
1953 summer:  Goodyear, $1.40 per hour.  We shipped tires everywhere from our building.
1954 summer:  Construction laborer at Lake City Arsenal building powder-houses, $2.00 per hour.  I was on a shovel handling creosote lumber for the buildings and carpenters.  Don't ever let raw creosote get on you in 100 degree weather.  That summer set heat records for Kansas City.
1955 summer:  Construction laborer at Wellington School, $1.90 per hour, but it was right near home.

These jobs allowed me to save enough to successfully complete my college expenses on my own.  I owed no money when I was through with college.

I wasn't a socialite in college, but still found that my friends and I could find good times.  Shooting pool, playing basketball, and going home with friends pretty much summarizes my social scene.  I did join fraternity my junior year (Sigma Tau Gamma).

During my freshman year, I lived in a place called the Annex.  It cost about $35 per quarter to live there with about 30 freshman boys and a senior mentor... boy, did HE have a job!

During my Sophomore year I lived in an eight-man room; what an experience!  Through my junior year, I lived in a brand new dorm, in a three-man room with Dick Renno.  He would get married the next year, so I lost my longtime running buddy.

During my senior year I lived in the old Frat House on Ming Street.  I made a lot of good friends and enjoyed the social life.  It would not be generally true to say I enjoyed classes, since I didn't see them as a necessity in my efforts to become a coach and teacher.  I student-taught during my senior year at Warrensburg Public High School, only the second student in CMSU history to not do student teaching in College High School Lab school.  John Titus was my supervising teacher, a good guy!  I learned a lot.  

I graduated in May of 1956, ready to teach at Henrietta High School, with all of thirty-five students; Mr. Hicks, my old junior high science teacher and coach, was my superintendent.  

When I went to be interviewed, Mr. Hicks showed me around the very small school building.  It happened to be board meeting night, where it was mentioned that Mr. Hicks had taught for many years, and it was "home town" for him.  I will never forget what he said to me that evening as we looked in briefly on the school board:  He said, "Jim, peek in this door and take a look at them."  I did, and as we ambled on down the hall, he said to me, "Jim, always be nice to the dumb kids in your classroom, because they will invariably grow up to be school board members.  The folks you saw in that room are living proof!"

I laughed with Mr. Hicks when he said that, but maybe he was partly correct in his tongue-in-cheek comment.

Next Chapter HERE:  More about the first year as a teacher


Sister--Three said...

Somehow I missed where Jim went to college. Where was it?

Donna Wood said...

University of Central Missouri, CSMU. I will find a spot to add this, somewhere in this entry.


an interesting dorm experience for sure. and when he was through with college he didn't owe anyone a dime. pretty hard to do that these days.

Margaret said...

Not true in my district where the school board president is a retired pro football player who graduated from my alma mater. Smart guy. But there are certainly some weirdos, intelligent ones, who have no idea how the schools actually work. It all looks good on paper! Put actual students in the equation and it doesn't work very well. sigh