I majored in French at Earlham College and spent my sophomore year in France , which was then less prosperous and untouched by American culture. From Earlham, I transferred to the U. of Maryland for my last year and a half and finished with two courses at Columbia U. I lived with my mother and my New Yorker stepfather in the east 50s while I looked for a job in publishing. One interviewer asked me if I typed and took shorthand. I said no, but asked if the young man already in the job was so skilled. He said no but complained, “I don’t know why they don’t tell you girls in college what to expect in the real world. I don’t care if you’re a Phi Beta Kappa if you can’t type and take shorthand.” Women’s rights were yet to be in ’63.
Chastened, I retreated to Maryland to live with relatives in Kensington and look for a job. On November 22, 1963 , I was hired by Peace Corps headquarters at Lafayette Square and was shopping at Garfinkel’s when I heard that John Kennedy had been shot. That death tore me out of the ‘50s and flung me into the ‘60s.