Skip to main content

Women's History Week 2010: Different Spheres: Reality or Illusion?: When I Was A Girl...

What does it mean to be a woman? What does it mean to be a man? Are boundaries between female and male natural or constructed? Presentations addressing these issues will place March 1-4 here at SAC during Women's History Week.

When I Was A Girl...

When I Was A Girl
All women have a unique story and perspective.  For Women’s History Week March 1-5, 2010 we would like to help our students connect to our stories and we would like to invite you to share yours!  We will post the stories of faculty and staff around the campus on lawn signs.
Please send your story by February 3 to  Keep it brief but descriptive.  It should be around 100 words.  (See sample below) Thank you very much for your consideration.  The committee is looking for 30 faculty or staff to participate. 

When I was a girl I was a Brownie Girl Scout.  My uniform had a little pouch connected to a belt in which I would carry my meeting dues. Back then The Avon lady would come to our house. My mother bought me a perfume stick, which smelled like mountain laurels.  It fit perfectly in my little brown pouch, I loved it. Now, 40 years later, the smell of blooming Mountain Laurels in the spring triggers a peaceful and satisfying feeling in me. I remember it as one of the nicest things my mother did for me. When women are nice to other women and girls, it is important. It is simple, and good.

Or feel free to share YOUR story in the Comments link below!

Look for these stories posted around campus!


I always wanted to be in health care; my plans were to go to medical school and become a pathologist.  I read books about medicine and studied to get good grades in high school.  My parents, who didn’t go to college, had other plans for me after speaking with their friend and guidance counselor at our high school in Massachusetts.  “Your daughter needs to go to nursing school.  They don’t want women in to medical school and besides, it would be a waste since she’ll probably get married, have children and never use her education.”   I graduated from a diploma nursing school in Boston at the age of 20 and worked in public health for 2 years.  During that time, my nursing supervisor took me aside and told me that I wouldn’t amount to anything without a university degree so I went to Boston University subsidized by federal traineeships and completed my bachelor’s degree. The following year, I completed my master’s degree and my supervisor and I were classmates. 

My journey in nursing has taken me through many side roads but it always has led me to the healing of my fellow human beings.  I became a Women’s Health Care Nurse Practitioner in  1997 and practice part time while teaching here at SAC.  I have become a clinical hypnotherapist.  Do I think about the medical career that I could have had?  Of course.  Would I have been good at it?  I know I would have.  I actually tried Forensic Nursing as a sexual assault examiner and found that it was too intense and upsetting.  In the meantime, I have raised a wonderful daughter as a single parent and then as a remarried parent.  I bought my own home and cars and put my daughter through university while allowing her to choose her major.  After twenty-six years at San Antonio College, life is good as I look forward to more productive years and finally retirement.


Sheryd J. Jackson, RN, MS, WHNP-BC



When I was a Girl
I am the youngest of five children and the 4th daughter. When I approached my father about college  he said,  ‘Why should I pay your way through college, you’ll just drop out and get married?’  He did pay for my first semester at Junior College and I paid the rest with help from some loans and a scholarship.  I am the only one among my immediate family to graduate college.   Two years after graduation my fiancée and I paid for the wedding.  

Julie Cooper



I grew up in a very small town in the Texas hill country. 

My grandfather was a schoolteacher, principal, coach, and businessman.

My dad was a college professor.  I always looked up to these two people.

I was not the most popular girl in school, but this is not the most important

thing.  I was a long distance runner, involved in track and cross-country.

I graduated from high school in 1997 and was accepted to UTSA.

Being right out of high school, my maturity level was low and I ended up

going to UTSA only for a short time.  After many years, marriage, and my first

child, I decided it was time to get back to school.  I started back in 2006 here

at San Antonio College.  I have maintained above a 3.6 GPA the entire time I have

been here.  I plan on getting my Doctorate’s degree in psychology.  I want to open my own

office and see clients of all ages.  I have been through many very hard circumstances

in my life and will combine my own personal experiences along with expertise gained in

school towards my future profession.   I value highly, the prospect of helping others. God has guided

me all the way and will continue to guide me.  


Angela Noah-Rico



When I was a girl…


I was very lucky to have parents who believed in me and told me frequently that I could do and be anything. It was a “given” that I would attend college and get a good education, and my parents helped finance that education. While I did appreciate all my parents offered me, it is only now as an adult that I realize how lucky I was! I am so proud of our SAC students who pursue an education without having the emotional and financial support I had. And as a member of the SAC faculty I’m proud to be able to help all our students achieve their educational goals.



I am a lucky one.
I am a fourth-generation American, with roots in Mexico, Spain, Ireland and Switzerland.  My great-grandparents were the immigrants, struggling to create a home in the U.S.  My grandparents knew the value of education, and worked hard to put themselves through college, and encouraged my parents through college too.
With seed money from Granddaddy, my parents started a college savings account at my birth, saving throughout my childhood.  After high school, I attended the University of Houston full-time.  While I worked hard to make good grades, I only worked for an employer during the summers to earn spending money

Deborah M. Martin



I always knew I’d go to college. But I didn’t know I’d marry after two years and have to transfer to three different schools and then commute to the third more than an hour each way every day. But I finished because I knew I wanted the degree. Then while I was teaching high school, I had the opportunity to go to night graduate school and meet my husband before his night law classes. I didn’t know then that I was going to love teaching college as much as I do! And I got my post-graduate hours by scheduling classes around my teaching schedule as well as chauffeuring three boys around. I advise students to get the education in before all the interference, or plan on having lots of stamina!

Carol Ann Britt



When I was a girl I was a Brownie Girl Scout.  My uniform had a little pouch connected to a belt in which I would carry my meeting dues. Back then The Avon lady would come to our house. My mother bought me a perfume stick, which smelled like mountain laurels.  It fit perfectly in my little brown pouch, I loved it. Now, 4o years later, the smell of blooming Mountain Laurels in the spring triggers a peaceful and satisfying feeling in me. I remember it as one of the nicest things my mother did for me. When women are nice to other women and girls, it is important. It is simple, and good.

Suzanne Martinez



I was raised with a single mother and a widowed grandmother. They sometimes worked more than one job so that I did not have to work. I chose the college that gave me a full scholarship because it felt like the right thing to do. God granted me that serenity since I was going so far from home. When I graduated college, they were proud of me, but, what they didn’t know was that I was even prouder of them.


Beatrice Canales



Here’s my story.  I also thought you might want a picture to go with the words.

“I grew up in a military family - a “melting pot” of Americana.  I worked, studied, and graduated three times: Associate Degree, Bachelor Degree, and Master Degree.  On my journey, I asked for help and am now a Professor and Chairperson - completing my Doctorate Degree.

Some said I could never do it – they were wrong.

Create Your Tomorrow: ask for guidance, learn all you can, graduate, and bring your dream to life.  I did - you can too.”

Barbara Knotts



When I was a little girl my Grandma taught me that I was special in God eyes.  She taught me to always put God first and he would direct my path in my life.  I can remember my Grandma singing her favorite song,  “ I Shall Not Be Moved”.  Till this day we sing this song at all our family gathering.  And her favorite quote “If a task has once begun. Never leave it till it's done. Be the labor great or small. Do it well or not at all.


Allonia Etoye Nathaniel



When I was a girl, my mother would buy beautiful fabrics to make all my clothes.  You see, my mother was a single parent when it was less common (in the 1950s).  Times were harder back then.  One of my vivid memories was when I was about 12 years old;  my mother had put an outfit in lay-away for me.  When she saved enough money, she and I walked to the department store which was about 2 miles away holding onto one umbrella—in the rain.  She sang—“I’m singing in the rain…”  I still remember that beige vest and skirt with a red blouse.  It was special then—as the memory is today. 


Gloria Pimentel



When I was a girl, I was led to believe that “the law” required kids to attend college.  I was a SAC student before I realized my family – siblings, grandparents and parents – had lied to me.  These same people never reduced their conversations to words a kid like me could understand, so I had to learn to comprehend them regardless.  As a result, I gained a fabulous vocabulary, learned to speak without anxiety to adults, and gained a cardshark’s pinochle ability.  These small good things brought me a great love of words and expression, especially reading Shakespeare with my dad.


Jane Focht-Hansen



I graduated from Ludwigsburg American High School in Germany.  I was to attend Trinity University the following Fall semester.  When it came time to leave Germany and travel to Texas, my father drove me and my luggage to Bremerhaven, walked me to the ship, hugged me and told me to write when I got settled.  We landed in New York City.  I made my way from the dock to the airport and on to San Antonio.  When I think back on that trip, it was quite the big adventure.  I still refer to that journey as my North Atlantic Cruise.   I think that trip proved to me that I was pretty much ready to look after myself.



When I was a girl, my mother used old sayings to teach us lessons….I found myself years later reciting them to my own daughter, even when I swore that I would not!  For instance, “Pretty is as pretty does,”  “Beauty suffers,” “Men are like streetcars….if you miss one, another one will be along in 15 minutes.”  I will say I still live by some of those sayings…such as “Give it a lick and a promise” in my approach to housework! 


Jan E. Starnes


My twin sister and I were born a little over 2 months premature on January 1, 1947.  As it was in a small town, and we both weighed in at 3 lbs., the doctor told my Mom and Dad to take us home as we were going to die anyway.  So they took us home and as we were so little, they used a dresser drawer and a pillow for our bed.  My sister had to be fed every 2 hours with an eye dropper and I was taken care of in between those times.  My Dad had to work so my Mom really had to assume most of the responsibility.  It is now 63 years later and my sister and I are both doing well.  I always admired my Mom for her strength and am thankful she decided not to let the Doctor’s words influence her.  Although it took several months, she did what it took to nurture us and help us to become healthy babies.                                                         

Jeanette Lawrence



When I was a girl, I lived in Thailand.  I spoke the native language to my mother, who learned languages easily, but not to my father.  He and I spoke English in a sea of Thai.  One day he took me to the market so we could buy my mother a painting for Mother's Day.  He and the seller could not understand each other, so my Dad asked me, at age 5, to translate.  I felt really important, and I loved sharing a big secret with my Dad.  When my parents divorced many years later, I inherited the painting.  It hangs in my house today and reminds me that my parents were once in love, and that my father had a lot to do with shaping me into the person I am.


Jessica Howard



When I was a girl, I prayed to God for three things (I thought of him as a Genie).  I wanted Boys, Boobs, and a more exciting life than my grandma who didn't seem at all exciting.  Today, I have 3 brothers, 3 sons, a husband who passed away, gobs of male friends, and of course my first love, my daddy, all boys, who love me.   Of course I have boobs, I am a woman!  And that exciting life?  Well, I discovered my grandmother was a political activist in Russia during WWII and a very generous woman. I am the chief public relations officer of the San Antonio Ladies Empowering Group and teach at the Gateway to College program here on Campus. 



When I was a little girl, my life seemed worry free and full of delightful pastimes i.e.  playing jacks, jumping rope and watching “novelas”.  However, my fondest memory is helping my mom sell tamales and tortillas to the principal and teachers at my elementary school.  My mom’s value of hard work and dedication was certainly passed on to her children.  Despite her single hand at upbringing six of us, as a widow at the young age of thirty-one, we all have acquired a formal or technical education and have successful careers.  I am grateful for all that she did to instill this core value.  It has made me who I am today! 


Sara Samano



When I was a girl, my mother came to SAC to get her GED and start work on her Associates degree. She majored in Photography and eventually became the Photo Editor for the Ranger.

She would work long hours developing her eloquent photographs. Sometimes I would wait for her at the secretary’s (Molly) desk, swiveling endlessly in a chair. Bored, but quiet. Tired of the books I brought along.

On occasion, Mr. (Dub) Daugherty would come over, insert a page into the typewriter and growl “Write a story.”

I would plunk something out to the best of my ability and take it over to him.

He would mark it up and tell me to do it again. And again. And again.  I was eight years old when this started.


Martha ES Buchanan, M.Ed.



When I was a Girl

I grew up in San Antonio, TX.  My parents divorced when I was 5 and my dad died when I was 13.  When I was 17, I left home.  It was up to me to finish high school in a school where I knew no one.  Once I graduated, I went to college and worked three jobs to make ends meet.  There were some days I didn’t know how I was going to eat. By the 3rd semester my GPA had taken a nose dive.  It was then I realized that I needed to make a choice: do this college thing or drop out.  I chose to persevere because I knew that a college degree equaled freedom, freedom from poverty, freedom from low self esteem, freedom from ignorance, and a great opportunity for a better life.  I graduated with my degree in Biology and went on to receive a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology.  None of this came without sacrifice, hard work, and sheer determination.  No one really thought I would finish high school much less college.  Guess I showed them.

Jeanette Bunch


Dad never said no to buying books. Mom sewed us beautiful clothes. Respect, compassion and industry ruled. In his pharmacy, I helped Dad serve the infirm. As a church volunteer, Mom instilled: Comfort the old, teach the young. Dad and I read the newspaper, starting with “Brenda Starr, Star Reporter.” After kindergarten, while Mom ironed, I watched “Dark Shadows.” When President Eisenhower’s funeral pre-empted the supernatural soap, I complained bitterly. From her garden, Mom sharply condemned my misplaced priority. In anger, my father once — only once — promised a spanking and kept that promise. Justice dispensed, his sunny smile proved he forgave and forgot. But I will never forget. Please note my new e-mail address using the district's new domain: (8-09)

 Irene L. Abrego                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

When I was a young girl, I worked with the Neighborhood Youth Corps (NYC).  Through this experience,  I met my mentor, whose interest and influence in attaining a college education,  provided the motivation, determination and perseverance I needed to graduate .    I was the first and the oldest of five in my family to acquire a college education.    I am certain my achievement was a model for my five siblings whom all have acquired a formal or technical education and have successful careers! 


I grew up on a farm, and my cousins and I were expected to hoe in the cotton fields each summer.  We whined mightily about the task, but in retrospect it was my mother who worked like a dog.  She would get up early, prepare a big farm breakfast for the whole family, hoe alongside us but work twice as fast,  prepare the big noon meal, take us to the pool in town for the afternoon, hoe again in the late evening, then prepare dinner for us.  Working hard and doing her best was expected of my farmwife mother, and I expect no less of myself today.  My mother’s “no excuses” attitude shaped my work ethic, and now I show up to do my job to the best of my ability, regardless of the circumstances in my life. 


Tandy Schoolcraft

San Antonio College Library, 1819 Main Ave., San Antonio, TX 78212
Located in the Moody Learning Center (MLC) building, floors 2 - 5
Reference Desk: (210) 486-0554 * Send Email
Library interior & exterior photos by: Leonard Ziegler, SAC photographer

Copyright © 2015 San Antonio College