Independent from Long Beach, California on January 24, 1975 · Page 34
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Independent from Long Beach, California · Page 34

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Long Beach, California
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Friday, January 24, 1975
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Page 34
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Catching up with world on a trip back to school By CAROL IVY Staff Writer Right after lunch, she explained, she planned to walk over to the student store and make arrangements for her cap and gown. Because, when June rolls around, Rosemary Griffin intends "to be right there, out with all those kids, to collect my diploma." Actually, Ms. Griffin completed her Associate of Arts requirements this month at Long Beach City College, but is eligible to participate in the once-a- year formal graduation ceremonies which end the spring semester. Besides, she'll be around anyway. She's enrolling in several spring courses at LBCC, with an ultimate goal of a bachelor's degree in forestry from a four-year college. Rosemary Griffin is 45-years-old and looks younger. Strikingly attractive, with shoulder-length dark hair, tanned skin, she relaxed with a sandwich Wednesday in LBCC's bright college center. She'd joined more than 100 other people -- mostly women -- at a brown bag lunch for friends of the community c o l l e g e ' s Continuing Education C e n t e r for Women. Matter-of-factly, Ms. Griffin said "I HAD to go back to school, lo learn to take care of myself, develop some sort of marketable skills. "After 25 years as wife and mother, my husband left me last April. When the immediate shock subsided 1 picked myself up and enrolled in school. "I learned to rely on counselors for guidance. They've been marvelous and, in fact, during my first semester, when I needed a part-time job, they put me to work in the nursing department." Mother of four daughters -- one a 13-year-old living with her in their Long Beach home, the others adults -- Ms. Griffin noted, "Initially I thought I would become a drama teacher. I used to freelance as a model and dancer. But then I realized I simply could not cope with that at this time -- trying to deal, for instance with kids who don't show up for classes. I wouldn't have the patience. "I've always loved the outdoors and my daughters bugged me for some time to move to the mountains. At least out of the city. I used to relate mountains to leading a herd of Campfire girls on a trek. I was a leader for 10 years. "But now I have really gotten into my ecology, botany and nature studies (her major), have a part- time job in the field (a nature guide at \Vill Rogers State Historic Park in Malibu) and just this morning filed an application with the U.S. Forest Service. I'll be taking the civil service exam for a position as an intermittent ranger." TESTS. ONE BIG adjustment, Ms. Griffin said in returning to college, was learning to take tests. "Different kinds than I had ever taken before. I did take some classes at Washington University in St. Louis (she was bora in Kansas City, Mo.) but we didn't have computers then. Now just the way in which you put your name on the test counts. "Now," she added, "1 am doing something for myself. Finally. Something more than being someone's mother in the PTA. Once I made it over that terrible first hurdle, I was glad 1 returned to school. If I could leave one message with young women it would be to get educations while they can, learn to be self-reliant. I'm doing it now." Wyvona Ward said she is doing something for herself, too, and practically explodes with enthusiasm. GENE CAUSBY DUDLEY FLOOD ...Guest speakers for PTA sessions Human relations men to address PTA forums Two human relations men from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction w i l l · speak at two public forums in Long Beach co'. sponsored by the Long Beach Council of Parents and ·Teachers and the Long Beach Unified School Dis' trict. The first will be at 8 p.m. Wednesday at Jordan High School Auditorium and the second at 9 a.m. next Friday at Millikan High School. Both men. Gene Causby and Dudley Flood, are assistant superintendents of public instruction for the North Carolina State Department of Education and have presented their human relations program, "Individuals Can Make A Difference," in a number of states. They are former teachers and members of the executive board of the National Congress of Parents and Teachers. They also are scheduled to speak at the 33rd District PTA's mid-winter conference from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday at the Proud Bird Restaurant near Los Angeles International Airport. CAUSBY, assistant superintendent for personnel relations and pub 1 ''' -iffmrs, and Flood, assistant superintendent for human relations and siudont affairs, will suggest means of improving people's ability to relate to others in a positive manner. A limited number of free tickets to the Long Beach forums is still available and may be obtained from PTA presidents at all schools or by. calling the PTA Council office from 8 to ii:30 a.m Monday through Friday. The public may attend. "I just finished my first semester and I want to tell everybody about it," beamed Mrs. Ward, a very- young 38-years-old, married to a chiropractor, mother of three children. "After 20 years away from school -- I graduated in 1954 from a high school in Ohio and then I worked for 12 years to put my husband through school, worked at whatever I could -- I am back and excited. "At first I was very scared. I felt I would just be a stupid person in a class with a lot of nameless people. But through the Women's Center program I enrolled in the "College and Careers" class and it has made all the difference in the world. A class of 80 women. We feel so much strength, so much power. "For me the class has been a motivation. It keeps me going in all my other classes. · Mrs. Ward is majoring in social sciences, principally psychology, and said "my ultimate goal is productive employment. I want to go into a field in which I can help people. And now that my awareness of myself and other women and our needs has been raised, I want to concentrate on helping women particularly, to find what I've found." Her husband, she said, has encouraged her in the return to studies, "but I think at first he was a little afraid. Afraid that when I found other interests I might lose interest in my home or in him. But it's Life/style Long Beach. Calil., Fri., Jan. «, B.6-INDEPENDENT (AM) Joyc* CShlt«ni«n, Editor PRESS-TELEGRAM (PM) ROSEMARY GRIFFIN returned to school "because.I had to learn to take care of myself, to become self-reliant. After 25 years as a wife and mother, my husband left and I realized I had no marketable skills." 'LEE WORKMAN returned to school- through the Continuing Education Center for Women at Long Beach City College and now has convinced her- daughter, Pam just the opposite. I have grown so much, I feel such an incredible love for myself that we have so much more to share, to talk about. "I have new friends who are terrific and my old friends -- I have new relationships with them, more to share with them, too. My tods, husband and friends suddenly are asking 'what do you think, Wyvona? 1 a lot more often." A resident of the El Dorado Park district of Long Beach, Mrs. Ward said "previously, I was involved totally in the old accepted role of having to give to others, without much left fo'r myself. I did the PTA, Campfire girls, Boy Scouts, all kinds of charity organizations. I still want to give to others but now I want to give to myself, too. When I leave a class, I have a feeling of self-worth that I never experienced before." LEE WORKMAN returned to school for slightly different reasons than Rosemary Griffin and Wyvona Ward, but the effects on her of new-found education are remarkably similar. M u n c h i n g sandwiches with her 20-year-old daughter, Pam Duncan, whom Lee has convinced to return to college next semester, Mrs. Workman said "I was away from school 23 years until last spring semester. "I had just got to the point, after raising my kids (the youngest, 16, is at home. She also has a 22- year-old son) that I decided there had to be more to life than scrubbing floors. I had heard of the Women's Center from a friend who works for the school district. He knew I had hit a blue funk period," she grinned, "and he handed me a brochure on the programs. " Her husband of 24 years, an electrical engineer, "was not exactly thrilled. Finally he said it was okay for me to go to school as long as it didn't lead to employment," she laughed, with a tone indicating that for the time being, anyway ^ she would comply with his wishes. "I thought it rather amusing that when I took a battery of vocational tests, the results indicated I "would be wise to head toward a degree in home economics. What else after 24 years of cooking, scrubbing, earing for children?" Pam Duncan nodded knowingly at her mother's remarks and indicated that yes, she had decided to Single parent homes, a burgeoning culture By PATRICIA de LUNA Staff Writer Isolina Ricci, a single mother of five, likes to take a positive view when dealing with what she terms the "oppression" of the single parent. This oppression -- aimed at the more than 3.5 million single parents across the country -- comes in the form of inability to obtain credit, tax differences, rental difficulties, and attitudes, particularly at their children's schools. The last, the negative attitudes tow a r d single parents, by even such would-be enlightened persons as those in the helping professions, is a special target for Ms. Ricci in a weekend workshop she will offer from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday in Dodd Hall, UCLA, through the Extension services. The workshop, entitled "Making It Alone," will deal with the myth of "the broken home," feelings of guilt, failure and alienation on the part of the single parent and the various stages of adjustment to being a single parent. THE DIFFICULTIES of being a single parent, says Ms. Ricci, director of single parent programs for Family Service of Santa Monica, in effect "has pointed a finger at what has been bothering married people for a long time -namely inadequate child care, and the need for a continuity of environment and supporting circle of friends or services." One of the good side effects of being a single parent, adds the instructor, is t h a t the children quite beneficially have been taught the basics of how to survive. "Children in homes with one parent are far more mature," says Isolina Ricci, "and far more capable of living in a future shock culture. They can relate better in an adult culture." "This child," she says, "becomes conditioned that if he or she maintains a certain position of independence, he or she can be considered an apprentice ndult and a sense of worth and self- mastery shoots up. "Many middle-class families don't allow their child to be this apprentice." In fact, says Ms. Ricci, whose own · children range in age from 8 to 19, a new form of childhood is developing. "The difference now is that families may be more family centered." SHE SAYS THAT when a marriage is breaking up "everyone is disturbed, filled with hurt, hostility and terror. How long that stage goes on depends on the length of the marriage, the possibility of the woman making it on her own and the amount of child support if she has custody. "It is a time of great adjustment for everyone. The parent without custody has lost a central relationship and must build a set of new relationships, new lifstyle both parentally and psychically. "Most parents don't keep the same group of friends when their marriage is breaking up. Single parents," she says, "don't feel right being in with married parents. "And yet, one of the most difficult adjustments is finding a new set of adults to relate to. If the parent can find a new set of friends quickly, then the children also adjust more easily. "What in fact most often happens," she says, "is that we have a nuclear family becoming a nuclear separation and ends up as a nuclear single parent family. "This isolation is devastating." The end result is "hundreds of thousands of people isolated one f r o m another." The city of Santa Monica, which leads the nation with 20 per cent of its population as single women heads of households according to the 1970 census. She points out that Pasadena ranks second in the nation for single women heads of families, and that of the 3.5 million single parents, one-half million are single men heads of households. In addition to these statistics, says the instructor, are the uncounted number of parents without custody. "There are no measures, no way to'statistical- ly establish them as parents but you pan guess that for at least half of those single parents with children there is another parent without the children," Out of necessity single parents are "accepting the differences between themselves and the married culture. They've dropped certain expectations of the 'American dream' and are maintaining those ideals which arc realistically viable." Duncan, left, to do the same. "I just'de- cided there was more to life than scrubbing floors," Mrs. Workman explained. Staff photos by CURT JOHNSON WYVONA WARD just finished her first, semester at Long Beach City College and feels "an incredible self-worth, a gladness; about having made the decision to go back": to school after 20 years." .'.'''.'» v 'i return to school and that her husband -- a musician,; -- also was not thrilled at the prospect. In spite of the fact they met during Pam's one semester at LBCC. .· ' " "I graduated from Banning High School in 1972," she explained, "and went to classes here just one semester. I really thought, when I quit, that'all I wanted was to do the housewife bit. But I've learned I can't be satisfied with that alone.' ; The Continuing Education Center for Women on the Pacific Coast Campus, 1305 E. Pacific Coast Highway, is taking registrations this week and next for the spring semester of classes. Call for schedules and additional information. SOCIALLY SPEAKING 'Pinkies' convert hard work into $ By CAROLYN McDOWELL .DOLLAR SIGNS set the theme at Long Beach Community Hospital A u x i l i a r y installation aboard the SS Princess Louise. Highlight of the luncheon was presentation by outgoing president, Peggie Widetick, of a check for $20,000 to hospital administrator, Bruce Sanderson. The check brought the total contributions of the "Pinkies" to $45,000 for the year. New President Edith Armstrong and her board will have a tough time topping t h a t figure. Edith's husband, "Army" was on hand to record his wife's installation for posterity. Everyone was asking B e t t y Brown how her disaster turned out. It seems that she and husband, Byron, were taking a lazy post-holiday vacation on the sunny sands of Bermuda when they received word that their Lakewood home had been flooded by The Big Rain. They rushed home to find soggy carpet and accompanying horrors throughout the house. Betty was happy to report that the carpet cleaned beautifully and things are beginning to look sunny a g a i n at the Browns' house. "I DREAM OF Jean. nie" should have been the theme song for the recent bus trip for Children's Benefit League. "Jeans" in charge were President Jean McKelvie, Vice- President Jeanne Moser and board member, Jean Fisher. They went to City of Hope in Duarte for a tour and luncheon at the invitation of Dr. Robert B. Rosen, chairman of the Pediatric Division. Although the League usually confines its philanthropies to Long Beach children, they recently made a donation to the City of Hope in memory of a Long Beach child they had been helping. Travelers included Lois Grier, Trionne Hertzler, Joan Hutton, Rose Saylin and June Steppe. "TIS THE SEASON to be skiing. Especially for David and Iva Sloan. They JUST returned from two grand and glorious weeks at Mammoth. They had such a great time that Iva did the laundry, repacked the suitcases and they are off again to Mammoth. Iva's parents, John and Ruth Taylor, came over from Las Vegas to baby and house sit. · Dr. Sel and Sheri Beebe took 10-year-old Jason and 6-year-old Alecia along for 10 days at Snowmass-at- Aspen. One day they skiied in a blizzard. Jason .went along but they feared tiny Alecia might disappear in a snowdrift. So she stayed at the lodge. Reception honors H.B. Gilberts r Mr. and Mrs. H.B. Gilbert, former Long Beach residents now living in Garden Grove, celebrated t h e i r golden w e d d i n g a n n i v e r s a r y d u r i n g a reception Sunday in the Long Beach home of their son and daughler-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. William J. Gilbert. The parly also was hosted by the goldcnweds' other sons and daughters- in-law: Robert B. Gilbert of Long Beach and Donald J. Gilbert Sr. of Founfajn V a l l e y . There arc 10 grandchildren. ·*· Married Jan. 21,1925, in First Christian Church':of Santa Ana, the Gilberts moved to Garden .G(oye f r o m Long Beach one year ago. , J Mr. Gilbert is a mciii ·; ber of Long Beach,Elks · Lodge 888.

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