When I was searching for a teaching position at the beginning of my career I had a general interview with a man who was old enough to be my father. He mentioned that he had worked for the school district for his entire career and that he had seen a number of changes over the years. He knew a great deal about me before I even showed up to his office because I had to include a photograph of myself with the application and I had checked a number of demographic boxes including one delineating my religion.
The personnel officer explained that he had decided to interview me in spite of my religion because “the people of the area had eschewed their former prejudice against Catholics.” He went on to provide me with a bit of history including stories about citizens who at one time had firebombed the local Catholic Church in an attempt to drive the parishioners out of the region. He said that during the shank of the baby boom they had to change their thinking a bit because there was an extreme shortage of teachers and so they began to reconsider their ban on hiring Catholics. To his delight he learned that hiring ladies who had formerly been nuns was a boon for the schools because they were well trained and most willing to follow directives. Eventually the district policies became more liberal and even encouraged Catholics to apply for jobs. Continue reading “A Woman of 1960”