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Women's History Week 2011: Jazz Age Women - Flappers & Feminists: Women Remember

Women Remember

 

Women Remember San Antonio College  

We all have a story.  So many former employees and students of San Antonio College have a "SAC" story (or a story from another work place).   For Women's History Week - March 1-4, 2011 - we would like to showcase your stories.  In the spirit of the 85th Anniversary of our college, we hope to help our students connect with stories that illustrate the journey of women in education and in other work environments.

Times have changed -- some might say not enough.  Stories and anecdotes that show the differences in rights, treatment in the workplace, and access to higher education are just a few examples.   Below is an example of one SAC employee’s story:

 

There I was, out of college, a certified teacher.  Now what?  I began teaching at the high school level and loved it.  But in the back of my mind I was always thinking about the funeral profession.  My grandfather and father were both funeral home owners and operators; it was second nature to me.  Was it possible to combine my two career passions?  Could anyone be that fortunate?  I decided to try.  So, after a few years, I quit teaching and completed the Mortuary Science degree program here at San Antonio College.  I worked in the funeral profession, and after three years I applied for a teaching position in the Mortuary Science Department.  So, fifteen years and one child later, here I am, teaching what I love to do and doing what I love to teach.   Easy?  No.  Worth it?  Definitely.

 

Mary E. Allen-Martin

Mom

Associate Professor of Mortuary Science

Funeral Director/Embalmer

 

Please send your story by February 11 to lblack13@alamo.edu.  Keep it brief but descriptive.  It should be around 100 words.  Or feel free to share YOUR story in the Comments link below!

Look for these stories posted around campus!

I think that one of the greatest challenges of my adult life has been being a mother to two wonderful daughters and a passionate professional.  I became a mom in my early 30’s and had a few years of professional experience under my belt at that time.  I had worked hard and been promoted into a management position. I soon found that having a family created unexpected dilemmas.  I was torn between the most precious gift I could have been given and passion for the work I loved.  Every workplace is different in terms of family-friendliness and flexibility.  Like many women, I have been forced to make tough choices, including job changes, in order to be a parent with few regrets.  With expectations growing from all sectors to do more with less, I fear for my daughters as they begin to consider careers.  I hope I have modeled for them that you can be successful without sacrificing responsibility to the people you love most. 

 (Footnote:  I tried to count the times I heard "momma" during the writing of this small paragraph - but I lost track!) 

  

Lisa V. Black, Mom and Assistant Professor 

Student Development 

San Antonio College 

 

 

My wife, an Angel

The image of a stray dog resting on my porch has become very common. If I was a stray dog, this is where I would want to end up, 20 or so have. Every time my wife Jessica goes jogging we end up with a new dog. I need to buy her a treadmill. She brings them home, loves them, cares for them and finds them homes. We kept four of them. Jessica has shown me all about unconditional love and what it means. My wife is an Angel sent to save dogs from the brutality of the streets. Her journey touches so many lives.

Steve Ochoa

San Antonio College

Math Department

 

 

I began my SAC days when I was a sophomore in high school; I took private piano lessons with Bob Weaver.  He took me on as a student in the “Prep Dept” (in those days the music faculty had a loading of c. 25 per semester!) with the promise that I would enroll after graduation.  I did so in the fall of 1966, serving as accompanist for the choirs Theron Kirk directed.  There was no Associates Degree in Music so I simply transferred.  After earning a Bachelor of Music in Piano Pedagogy from Incarnate Word College in 1971, Mr. Kirk called me to ask if I wanted to teach at SAC!!!  I started teaching that fall with the understanding that I would work on my masters degree (which I eventually earned from UTSA).  I was 24 years old.  

In 1969 my husband felt a call to the ministry so I dutifully left this position to follow him to Dallas Theological Seminary.  Fortunately (?) he decided seminary wasn’t for him and we returned to San Antonio.  I was rehired at SAC fulltime! 

In 1979 I got pregnant with our first child.  Back in the day I thought it was expected that once you had children, you stayed home with them (like my mom).  Therefore, I left this great institution AGAIN! After a year of post partum depression, I humbly returned to SAC, parttime this time so I could still be mom.  Soon after that, Theron advised me to become fulltime in order to achieve tenure status.  This made the 4th hiring!!!!  The hiring process was certainly simpler back then! 

I’m in my 39th year of teaching at SAC.  I look back with gratitude for Theron Kirk’s loving care of my career.   I intend to teach at SAC for as long as I am able.  I’m also grateful for all the lives that have crossed my path, students and faculty alike.  

Mary Lou Russell

Music Dept/Piano Division

San Antonio College

 

There I was, out of college, a certified teacher.  Now what?  I began teaching at the high school level and loved it.  But in the back of my mind I was always thinking about the funeral profession.  My grandfather and father were both funeral home owners and operators; it was second nature to me.  Was it possible to combine my two career passions?  Could anyone be that fortunate?  I decided to try.  So, after a few years, I quit teaching and completed the mortuary science degree program here at San Antonio College.  I worked in the funeral profession, and after three years I applied for a teaching position in the mortuary science department.  So, fifteen years and one child later, here I am, teaching what I love to do and doing what I love to teach.   Easy?  No.  Worth it?  Definitely.

Mary E. Allen-Martin

Mom

Associate Professor of Mortuary Science

Funeral Director/Embalmer

 

TIMES THEY HAVE CHANGED

As a beginning real estate practitioner in the early 70’s I recall closing a deal in a small south Texas town south of San Antonio.  It was a residential sale for a husband and wife who ranched on some tough, remote land.  They were buying a small home in town so their young children would not have to spend so much time on the bus during school months.    When it was time for the couple to “sign the papers” at the escrow office, the wife was escorted to another room.  She was told that she really did not “have to” sign if she did not want to.   I remember the scene like it was yesterday.  She crossed her arms and sort of “huffed up” before saying:  “This is my inheritance money we are spending for this place and you should be asking him (her husband) these questions”!!

Many of the most successful real estate professionals I know are women and they have greatly contributed to our industry.

Dr. Johnnie Rosenauer, Professor and Former Program Coordinator for Real Estate

Director Murguia Learning Institute

San Antonio College

                                                                                                                               

Coming from an 18 year marriage filled with abuse, I took my first real job at SAC in the CE Dept. in May of 2000.  In the aftermath of this marriage, I was an anxiety filled wreck.  I had much to learn but I had to push myself or else my ex-husband’s words would become a reality—“You won’t make it out there—you’re dumb, ugly and nobody will hire you”.  I was in my late forties and fearful of my own shadow. But I tried and tried and can say that I came to be a success running my ESL program and consistently reaching my revenue projections.  At this moment, I am struggling with menopausal memory loss and it does affect my job sometimes.  Still, I know that life is full of challenges but I also now know that I can do what I need to do and guess what?  My ex-husband’s words don’t roll around in my head like they used to—this is my real success.  This short story is “my coming” out of the secretive life I’ve led for so many years—and I dedicate this to all the abused women who have yet to become successful in the workforce and, most importantly, in their “coming out”.

Anelia Luna

Program Director, GED, Languages & Special Projects

Continuing Education Division/SAC

When I was in college in the 60s, I was an English major because that was my best subject. I had no plans to go into teaching, even though teaching and nursing were really the only two careers women were supposed to have. My mother had a college degree, but never worked outside the home so I didn’t have a role model of what a career woman could be. I married and decided that being a secretary (with a college degree) was not what I wanted to do with my life. I tried teaching and found that I loved it and was good with students. I was fortunate enough to stay home with my first two children and to work part-time day care into my teaching with my third son. But when I look back at the juggling I did, I wonder how I did it. Motherhood and career are a challenge at best, but worth the effort.

 

Carol Ann Britt

Professor of English

San Antonio College

 

 

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