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In the Spring of 1942, I was finishing up my 3rd year of college. Pearl Harbor had taken place; the country was at war; most of the boys I knew were in uniform including my 2 brothers. Several of my friends had left college and had no plans to return.  I was an adequate student, but no scholar and my future dreams included hopes for a husband and children. Most women didn’t hold executive positions then and I had no need for a degree – in fact I felt guilty sitting at a college when so many people were involved in the war effort, so I phoned my mother to state my case. After thanking my parents for all their support etc., I explained that I wanted to quit – to leave college and get a job and do something useful. My mother never flinched – Well she said, You come on home, but you shouldn’t have a job because you don’t need one. Others do, and it would be wrong for you to take one. However, she added, I have just been put in charge of recruiting Red Cross Nurses’ Aides for the Borough of Brooklyn – you can be my first recruit! – So – I took the course, donned my uniform, and proudly earned my cap and went to work. I treated my volunteer job as a paid one and went to the hospital 5 full days a week. I tried to do the dirtiest work – like scrubbing bed-pans and my favorite floor to be sent to, was the neuro-surgical one. The head nurse there was a tyrant, but I held her in great esteem and she taught me much. It was a wonderful, life-changing experience which I relished. After I was married 2 years later, we moved to Connecticut and I continued doing hospital volunteer work when possible for the next 30 years. P.S. Subsequently, I learned about a new program in New Haven called Hospice, and I got involved with that. For my 80th birthday a friend gave a luncheon; each guest was asked to bring a card and a donation to Jeanie’s favorite charity. Hospice was delighted and so was I, - a fitting finale to a career for a girl with a non-job.

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