TC: Today is November 3, 2003 and I am interviewing Ozetta Hirschmann for her experiences at Millersville. She graduated in 1945. She now lives at 1220 East King Street in Lancaster and we are going to ask her about her experiences at Millersville. So I guess my first question is why did you choose Millersville?OGH: Because I had friends going there.TC: You had friends going there.OGH: I hadn't planned to go to college at all. I took a year of post-graduate high school because I wasn't old enough. In those days you had to be eighteen to get a job. So instead of getting a job when I was eighteen, I finished a whole year at McCaskey, post graduate courses. And then I got a job as an assistant to a dentist and I didn't care for that. And I had friends at Millersville, so I enrolled there.TC: Okay. Did you live on campus or did you commute?OGH: I commuted.TC: You commuted. From...Lancaster?OGH: I live where I live now.TC: Oh, you lived here. That's neat. What was the commuting like? Like did you drive or..?OGH: No, I went by bus.TC: By bus.OGH: I bought a pass, weekly pass, and unlimited use for a dollar and a half.TC: That's neat. Yeah, I commute and I drive back and forth to Millersville every day, so...OGH: Do you get on the bypass I guess?TC: Yeah, Route 30.....so I guess next would be...how were your...?OGH: Would you like to know my maiden name? I was registered as Ozetta Groff.TC: Yeah, I found you in the yearbook, it was under Groff. I was like...oh, she did a lot of stuff. There were all kinds of activities listed...OGH: Well, you have to realize there were so few people there. We had about 180 girls and 17 men or boys...whatever you want to call them. So that was the whole enrollment at that time in 1945.TC: Wow. I guess...how would you describe student life during your time? I guess how did students interact with each other and how did they behave?OGH: Well we were pretty close-knit because it's a small group and then the days students were down underneath what was then Old Main. We were sort of in the dungeon, but we were very close.TC: You were allowed to interact with males and females? Or...OGH: Oh yes. TC: Okay. Because we had read when it was the Millersville Normal School, females weren't allowed to communicate with males at all. I think that there were some males enrolled.OGH: Well, you know about The Snapper.....? They weren't allowed to communicate and that's when they snapped their fingers, when they wanted to talk with the boys, they snapped their fingers and that's where we got the name for the...that was pretty far back though. That was when Biemesderfer was a student there. TC: Wow. What was a typical day like for you? Did you have class after class and then you were done at a certain time or were you there all day?OGH: Pretty much. Mostly we had 8:00 classes, 8 to about 2 or 3 depending. If you were lucky, you got off at noon on Friday. TC: Did you have to stay longer to do Snapper stuff and then catch the bus late at night or..?OGH: Not late at night.TC: Was it just whenever you went to the office to do...?OGH: You worked it in with your free time.TC: Right. Okay. I didn't know if there was a set time that everyone got together.OGH: No. The girl who was the editor I guess...she probably parceled things out and we pretty much wrote things on our own. We were assigned certain things. TC: What were the rules for being a student? Were there any set rules that you had to follow?OGH: Well, not for me. The ones that were dorm students had hours, you know...they couldn't be out after 11 or maybe it was less than that. But they were pretty restricted, as far as I'm concerned. Open gate more or less.TC: Okay. Let's see...how would you describe relationships with other students and faculty?OGH: I don't know how you meanTC: You said you were close with other students...OGH: Oh yeah. And the teachers...when I went to summer school, I was the only one in the Latin class, so Miss Snyder and I sat there and she'd eat peanuts, crack peanuts and eat them and I'd take her apples sometimes and it was very one-on-one. But I had to study hard because I couldn't depend on anybody else. I had to know my work.TC: You said you were an English major and a Latin minor?OGH: Yeah.TC: Okay. So you took English and Latin classes.OGH: Yeah. And when I had my Latin class in the summer, I had to know it word for word because I couldn't depend on anybody else bailing me out.TC: Right. Were there any others that were like you, doing English and Latin?OGH: Yeah, there's one that's teaching at Manor Township now. It was Carolyn...I forgot now. She's Huber now and she's still teaching Latin. She retired ten years ago, but nobody was there to replace her and she's waiting for my granddaughter to come and teach. My granddaughter is in Germany now. She's a German major and she's there for the year. She goes to Princeton and part of their program is...and it's full immersion, no English.TC: Right. I've heard about that....OGH: That's rough. TC: I bet.OGH: It would be.TC: It would be, yeah.OGH: For me, anyhow.TC: Let's see...how did men and woman typically relate with one another during that time?OGH: Well, I can't say too much because it was mostly all girls.TC: Now that you said...OGH: Yeah. So you know...they just talked to them as you do now.TC: Right.OGH: But of course the dorm students were separated. They didn't have co-ed.TC: You know if they were allowed to talk to males on campus?OGH: Oh sure. Look...this wasn't back in the Dark Ages, this is World War II.TC: Well, I'm not sure.OGH: No, this was World War II. And I don't know how late that not communicating lasted. I would say...if it lasted into the 20's or not. It was probably...let's see, Biemesderfer I think...was graduated in '17 I think and his wife was a student also. So that was a time when you couldn't talk to each other on campus. But I don't know how much...how long that lasted. TC: Let's see...how were female students expected to behave?OGH: The way I would want my children to behave, you know.TC: Was there...let's see...OGH: There were no wild parties that I know of...but see, I wouldn't know because I wasn't a dorm student. They don't behave like they do now. There was no drug problem of course at that time, nothing of that sort.TC: Was there like...a group of girls maybe...that you know of...like I know today you have the conservative girls and then you see that there are the not so conservative girls. Were there any at that time that you could think of?OGH: At that time...when all the men left, as the war...you see, I got in...I was going to say enlisted...Marine Corps...I came in January of '42 and the war had just started of course...December '41. And each Friday you'd see a bunch of guys standing around they had enlisted and they marched off. So each week there were fewer and fewer men, so...I don't know what was the question...I got astray.TC: That's okay. Were there any traditions that people up kept? You said people were being shipped off. Was there any way to...were there prayer groups for that or anything like that...?OGH: Nothing that I know of. They still had a vestige of the old...what was it...the...oh, those literary societies. I forget the name. I was president of it and I forgot. TC: Page.OGH: Oh. Page and Normal.TC: Right.OGH: That wasn't as important as it had been earlier on, but they still kept it up and you met...we put on programs and such.TC: Yeah, this one says the Tragedy and the Life of Eckenbright Peak. This said that you were in that.OGH: No, I don't remember that.TC: Oh. It was listed in the yearbook. It says the decoration committee for the clod hop. OGH: Oh yeah.TC: Did you do a lot of those or..?OGH: Well, not too many. Let's see...maybe two or three. You see, because it was a war year, everything was restricted. Oh, I know what I wanted to tell you. Because all the men left, that left the dorms pretty empty and of course Millersville was hurting financially. There were a lot of women who came from the coal regions to work in the plants at Armstrong and other places. So they had housing in the men's dorms for those people. And we kind of were on the outs with them. I mean we kind of looked down our noses at them because they were wild and, you know, they didn't have to behave the way we did. They could go out and drink or whatever they wanted to do, you know, because they were women on their own. There was a kind of split there. We didn't really interact with them. They always said......TC: What else did it say? Elected ball committee chairman.OGH: What?TC: Elected ball committee.OGH: Oh yeah. I forgot that. I forget what I did.TC: Let's see. Athletic committee and intramural committee. Did you play sports in college?OGH: Oh yeah. Everything that came along the line I played.TC: What? Like softball or...?OGH: Let's see. I don't know if we had enough for softball. I was on the swimming... And that's another thing I wanted...I always wanted to write and tell them...they always talk about their dolphin club and various...and everything...as if that was the one. Well, when I was there, we had a water ballet. We put on a show and everything and we never got mentioned. We got lost. I mean we were the forerunners and it was really nice. So I was in that water show and I was active in swimming. I guess we had field hockey. Basketball of course and volleyball. Everything that was available. It was all intramural because...before that I don't think there was any varsity...even before the war.TC: Do you have any positions that you played...?OGH: Oh, I always liked to play shortstop.TC: Shortstop. Let's see. Stage choir....OGH: Oh, speech...oh my yes. That was Miss Lenhardt. Do you know anything about a speech class?TC: No.OGH: Well, anyhow you get up there and you all speak at the same time or you do it antiphonally and what have you. It's spoken instead of sung. What was I...fat black bucks in the wine barrel room, barrel house kings with feet unstable, side them, reel them, bumped on the table. And we did it as a group. And I think that goes back too. And Miss Lenhardt was......too, so she clung to the old ways in a sense.TC: ....................OGH: Oh yeah. And Mr. McComsey was one of our teachers. And then Gerhart, he was there when...there's a building named for him, isn't there?TC: Gerhart?OGH: Gerhart. And Bassler, he was our geography teacher. We called him "Warpy" because he was bowlegged. TC: Let's see...Touchstone editorial staff. Did you get a copy of your senior yearbook?OGH: Yes.TC: I was...just curious.OGH: Did you see it?TC: Yeah.OGH: Okay.TC: They had some things listed under your name....sense of humor, dancing, writes witty letters, handy in the kitchen, athletic, and then it said...Who's Who Among Students, you were selected for the Who's Who.OGH: Yes. That's a national thing.TC: National. Okay. What did you have to do for that?OGH: Nothing. I was surprised. The names of Who's Who in America or something...Who's Who among the College Students in America or something like that. If you pay for it, you could get a book with your name in it, but I didn't get one. Because I saw one because one of my other friends got one. It just had a list. My grandson was into that a couple years ago and I got a copy...you know, I made a copy to show him. I guess it's an honor. But I wasn't greatly impressed.TC: It's just something that you didn't expect?OGH: No. I didn't know anything about it. And I didn't get on the Dean's List...well I didn't get in Delta Phi Eta because of having joined in mid year...I didn't get to do my library science, which is a freshman course, until I...a semester before I graduated. And I didn't pay attention then. I only got a C on that, so that pulled my grade point down, so I never got to be on Delta Phi Eta and all my friends were. So...it really didn't make any difference, did it?TC: No. I wouldn't think so. You did a lot of stuff and made Who's Who and they didn't, so that's...accomplish...Did you have to go to games and report on games or did you just check on...?OGH: Well, actually there wasn't much to do because even since the men were gone, there weren't any varsity sports for them either.TC: No.OGH: So it was just for intramural I recorded that. Put a lineup of things to come and what have you.TC: Okay.OGH: I did more like feature work too. I remember I used to make up crossword puzzles.TC: Is it hard to do?OGH: Yeah, it is in a sense.TC: Yeah.OGH: I guess they were kind of corny now that I think about it, but I tried it and I did it.TC: Do you remember any historical events...I guess the war and...?OGH: Well, the war was the main thing. And see...I went through in 3 years and I got out in February of '45 and I enlisted in the Marine Corps and I was gone...I got a leave to come home for three days for graduation, but I didn't march in the graduation. I was there to see it.TC: I think there was an article. I think it said that you and one other girl had graduated at the same time.OGH: Lorna King. She and I joined the Marine Corps together.TC: Oh.OGH: This weekend we're going to be down at Strasburg Railroad. My daughter and granddaughter put together a display called "Meet Molly Marine" and it has women Marine uniforms and memorabilia. And I said that one of her...I can't think...one of the things she is showing is an old relic...me. But we're there and when the people come around, they ask questions about women in the Marines and that sort of thing. During World War II. It's quite a different story now.TC: What all did you have to do in the Marine Corps? Did you stay here or did you...?OGH: Oh no. I went to Camp Legume at the boot camp. Then I was assigned to the carpenter shop in California and I was a carpenter. And it's an idea......some good...English and Latin major and it made me a carpenter. That's the Marine Corps for you. But it wasn't anything...you know, we had PT, physical training. But nowadays they do the same things that the men do and it's rough. I don't think I could do it now. I was in good condition then because I was in sports all the time.TC: Right.OGH: Well, that's going astray there. I'm trying to think...Roosevelt died when I was in boot camp, so that was a big thing at that time. But I can't think of anything outstanding except we followed the war. And of course we had all these things like...oh stamps, food stamps and gasoline stamps and that sort of thing. We saved on paper, you saved....bats, you know, from cooking. That went into the war effort. There was a lot...the war effort, you know...predominant at that time.TC: Did you teach at all or did you just do...?OGH: Oh, I did student teaching. Then when I got out, my uncle bought the house next door here and I ran that as a tourist home. He and I owned it together. I never taught except I substituted occasionally. I substituted in Denver and those kids have such Pennsylvania Dutch accents, I could hardly understand them. And here I was, trying to teach them Latin, and I couldn't understand their English.TC: That's why Latin has.......OGH: You do what?TC: Some verb endings. I had four years of Latin in high school.OGH: Oh, did you really?TC: I was never good at it.OGH: I thought it was so easy. I did everything backwards in my life. When I was a sophomore in high school, I took French, never having had any other language. And I was a commercial student and I couldn't learn to type...I flunked typing. I was so humiliated. That's the only thing I ever flunked in my life. So then I switched to a general course and took all college prep courses. Then after that I went to Latin and then German. And after French, the Latin and German were so easy for me.TC: We have a question here...how did your association with Millersville affect you in the short term? I guess you went into the Marine Corps, so...OGH: Oh, you mean...was that...TC: I guess it means did you work immediately after school? You went...........Marines...OGH: I'll tell you one thing. After I got out of the Marine Corps, I was in a mood for a job. And this was in Marietta and the...school board had a very sneering attitude and he said...why did you go in the Marine Corps? Did you think it was your patriotic duty? And that made me so mad.TC: That's horrible.OGH: Yeah. And then another place I went was West Lampeter, I think, and my friends were asked my political leanings...whether I was Republican or Democratic. And I thought a teacher shouldn't have to have leanings. A teacher should be impartial. They shouldn't need to know that. That really soured me.TC: Is that why you didn't teach or...?OGH: No, it's just because my uncle bought this house and...TC: Right.OGH: Involved me. I was engaged to be married after I got out of the Marine Corps and I was going to move to Denver, Colorado. But I broke that off and I got into the business here.TC: And then you're married now, yes?OGH: What?TC: You're married now...yes?OGH: Yeah, almost fifty-one years.TC: How did you meet your husband?OGH: At a USO dance. I was...after I got out of the Marine Corps, all my friends were gone and a lot of them were married and everything, so I didn't have any friends around very much. And they started the USO again. This was in 1950 I guess. And Korea was starting up. I met my husband on the dance floor. And he always teases and says I caught him in a bear trap. He's from New Hampshire.TC: Let's see...I guess how did your association with Millersville affect you in the long-term? Is there anything that stands out...your friends...?OGH: I don't know. I really didn't need to depend on my association with Millersville since I didn't teach.TC: Right. Are there any other important aspects of your experience at Millersville that you would want others to know about or...? OGH: Well, I have good friends from being in school there and I go occasionally to the...what do you call it? The reunions. My class made it first...or don't you? Dr. and Mrs. Keller...Frances Keller, she is in the alumnae business and Dr. Keller taught history or social studies at Millersville. He's retired now. Well see, we're all around eighty, so we didn't have much money left for things...TC:...........OGH: Pardon me?TC: That's neat that you're still friends with.OGH: Yes. And Marian Gerhart, one of my classmates, was the president or whatever she is out at the Historical Society. Do you know of Jack Loose? John W. W. Loose...he's Mr. Historian in Lancaster County.TC: I don't know much about Lancaster because I live in...OGH: Oh, I see, that's right. I thought his name might have come up. He was graduated after me. He was one of those seventeen and he's probably about seventeen years old when we were there. So that's a tie to Millersville, that I know somebody of importance in Lancaster.TC: ...anything else?OGH: Not that I can think of. Unless you want to turn that tape off and I'll tell you some...TC: Oh sure.OGH: The thing that I think is different now, what I imagine is different now from when I went...Millersville was more like a continuation of high school. They taught you classes. They didn't lecture. You went in and there was interaction with the students and with the teachers. Whereas now, from what I heard people go in large groups...do you have large groups?TC: It depends. Like in my major we have...we have smaller classes and it's more individual. But in what we call the Gen Eds, which are the classes you have to take just to fulfill requirements to graduate, those are the ones that have like a hundred people in them...they lecture.OGH: Now that I think...I visited, I sat in on a German class at Dickinson, and that was more one-on-one. It was a small class. So I guess it isn't all big auditorium like things.TC: It depends on the class.OGH: I guess so.TC: Like the speech classes and the English classes, everyone has to take, so they.....OGH: Oh, are they?TC: They try to fit as many people into one class as they can.OGH: Do you have those awful things like...what are some of those required courses...teaching?TC: Well, we have what's called soft block and that's...you learn about the foundations of teaching, so how teachers used to be, and then actual classroom techniques to use, and then you observe a teacher in the field for like a month. And then that's a foundation teaching course, but then you have general requirements which...you have to take so many history classes, so many communication classes, so many foreign language classes.OGH: Now there were some classes...I can't think of the name of them now...they were deadly boring and the teacher who taught them was monotonous too. And I can't think what they were. But they were required. I should have brushed up on those things. Of course we had to take ed psych and general psych. Aside from my English and Latin courses.TC: Right. I think most education majors take psychology even though you don't have to. They have what are called G blocks, so...OGH: What does the G stand for?TC: General, I guess. I'm not sure. I think it's just general. You have your communication and foreign language and philosophy and they all fit into this one category, so you can take four of those classes to fill the G1. And then the G2 is the history and the social studies and that's...And then G3...science and math. And then G4 is the advanced classes, like the advanced English. Then you have what is called perspectives class which is just to give you a perspective of something...OGH: Do you have...well, then you aren't an education major?TC: Yeah, I am.OGH: Oh. Well, do you have...well, we had to have appreciation of art and appreciation of music. Those were the requirements...and English. And of course you had to take library science. Do you have to take that?TC: No.OGH: Lucky you.TC: Is that where you learn about....catalogs and...?OGH: Yeah, things that we should have learned in high school. But see because it was a...library science was high on the list for Millersville. Do they have a lot of library science student now days?TC: I don't even know if it's offered. I don't think...OGH: Oh really.TC: I don't think...OGH: Oh no. I think Millersville was noted for that.TC: Really?OGH: Ganser...Miss Ganser, for whom the library was named.TC: Right.OGH: ...a lot of changes I guess...that I didn't know. I wasn't in that group, so...TC: I think there are...like specific librarian school, but I don't think that it's offered at Millersville. Even Millersville is just primarily teaching now, so...OGH: Oh.TC: ...everything...offer...and whatever else you want.OGH: Of course the librarians had to have teaching skills. I guess the teaching came first and then the library. I don't know. I can't think of it now. But a lot of those that graduated went on to be librarians. There is one in my class...she taught in Japan and Germany and what have you... But she didn't get married and have children...You can shut us off now.
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