I am usually called Margaret. I've been called by nicknames, Mags, Marg, etc. Never have I been called Mom, or my wife. I was born on October 19, 1950, making me 65 years of age. I do want to be the President; I feel that I was born to it. Does that happen? We'll see. 2016 was my target.
I had a great education. At three years old I asked mother if I could go to school. Maybe all the siblings, and the goings on at home were a bit much for me. Though I don't remember exactly, she told me that I went to three different nursery schools before entering kindergarten at age 5. For seven years I was educated by the Sisters of St. Joseph. My education in kindergarten through second grade was rather second rate, in my opinion. A top education in those early years can lead to great accomplishment in adult life. Myself and my classmates were to claim about the same life as our parents had. My family had come to the United States in the 1850's; there was no longer a pull to improve on what we had.
My education took off in third grade. We had learned to print, and then to write "cursive" in first and second grades, and we had learned to read. In third grade, we used "flash cards" to memorize number facts. We all knew, for instance, that 7 times 6 equals 42, 9 times 8 equals 72, and 8 times 5 equals 40. We knew, without counting, that 9 plus 8 equals 17, 7 plus 4 equals 11, and on and on. Of course, we did lots of other kinds of work in third grade, but this stands out because I have so used it in life. We had ballet and tap dancing in school. I took daily piano lessons starting in third grade, and in the fifth grade took cello, and played in the school orchestra. My sixth grade teacher, Sister Peter Emard, loved history. Every few months she drew a map on the blackboard, and lectured from it for many weeks. We studied Western Civilization and American History. There were about 24 kids in the class, boys and girls.
In seventh grade, at age 11, I started in a new school. This was an all girls school that offered a rigorous education. I now had three hours of homework nightly. We learned poetry, memorizing a stanza per night. I liked it, but did not put too much time into memorizing the verses. I realize now, that I did this because poetry has power, and can do too much to define the student's later life. The course of study was college prep, and we studied all the standard subjects. In addition, we had logic, Latin (I had 5 years of Latin), French, and an outstanding literature program. We were to read a book every three weeks, these chosen from a list of titles accepted by the teachers. The books were mainly American literature: James Fenimore Cooper, Herman Melville, Ernest Heminway, Henry James. The English literature was limited to Jane Austin and Charlotte and Emily Bronte.
College was a breeze. I went to Wheelock College in Boston. I had decided to become a teacher of young children, and applied and was accepted "early decision" to Wheelock. I was so well prepared for college work by my earlier education, that I fulfilled the academic requirements easily. I had lot's of free time, and did very well with it. I listened intently to music in my dorm room: Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, Mozart's second symphony, and more. More nights than not I played bridge, a card game, with 3-11 of the other students. We played in groups of four, and once in a while had three card tables going.
Home was Buffalo, NY. Home of President Millard Fillmore, President Grover Cleveland, and also the birthplace of Barrack Obama. I knew his sister well. She was a classmate, and the favorite of all of us. His mother was the school receptionist. Later on in life, Barrack Obama was at my thirtieth birthday party. I had invited my good friends, and he fell in step with one of them on her way from the subway to my apartment, inviting himself. I served Kaluha and vodka, with or without cream, hot fudge sundaes and pretzels.
We had a fabulous summer house when we were growing up. Buffalo, NY was cited on Lake Erie, one of the Great Lakes. The lake was so large that several distant cities are located on its shores. The beach in front of our house extended about 50 yards to the shore, and beautiful lawns separated the wonderfully sited homes of lower Crescent Beach.
One day my father decided to take us to see the Corning Glass Works in Corning, NY. The family was four girls and one boy. My mother had died by this time. She died of cancer in 1961, when I was ten. The kids ranged from three to twelve. My mother's absence had a big effect on me. I was simply not as happy. I became much happier not until my 50's.
The trip to see the Corning Glass Works took about 3 hours by car. Inside the glass works we watched men use iron forks, something like pitch forks, to remove glass from a large fire and spin the glass into fiber. Today we use glass fibers in the cables that we have in buildings and homes that provide internet access and cable TV. A part of me is genius, and I would have invented fiber optic cable that is called ISDN, using what I learned on the visit to Corning. I work with another part of my mind.
One of the people boys I met and who was sort of mine for part of a summer was named Cameron, or Cam Ernst. His mother had moved them into one of the houses on Maple Lane at Crescent Beach, The family was he, his brother Joe, and his mother. Cam liked to play tennis, and so did I, so we played at least twice a day, for two or three hours, for three weeks. I was fifteen that summer. Cam became Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, John Roberts.
I had my first job when I was nine years old. A neighbor came to our new summer house, we had just bought at Crescent Beach, Ontario, Canada, and asked my mother if any of the girls would babysit. My mother said that Ann, my older sister was not nice with kids, and so I got the job. It was hard. The child was two years old, a brat, and the mother was home. I worked from 9:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. five days a week. I earned 50 cents an hour.
Other summers I spent enjoying summer. I had learned to swim from classes given by the Red Cross, so by now I was good at it. The mother of one of my summer friends decided to have a raft built for all of us to use for sunbathing and swimming from. She is also responsible for my learning to water ski. She had her sons take me and their sister, my friend, water skiing. The older brother drove the boat, an outboard engine; another brother had the job of "spotting" that is to watch the skier, to see if he/she has fallen or is wanting to communicate, for instance go faster or slower. It took a couple of years to learn to water ski. By the time I was fifteen I could solemn ski well, ski backwards and turn around on skis. The day that I turned a 360, a complete circle, was the last day that I skied.
My first job after graduating from college was teaching 3,4 and 5 year olds on Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts. I earned a B.S. of ED at Wheelock, and received a certificate from the State of Massachusetts, authorizing me to teach children through third grade, generally 8 years of age. I was offered two jobs, both in private schools. In this country, if one attended private school, it is exceedingly difficult to become a public school teacher or administrator.
I had lots of trouble figuring out what to do with my life. Marriage and family did not come my way, yet I did not stop and think, okay, you do not have that, make more of your work life. I continued looking for a husband and did not take charge of career. I did get an M.B.A., a Master's degree in business, which was really worthwhile. I did not, however, know why I was studying for it. The degree required 19 courses; I took 9 years to get the degree, part-time, while working full time. The degree is from the University of Massachusetts/Boston.
I started reading the newspaper very early in life. Buffalo had two newspapers, the Courier Express, a morning paper, and the Buffalo Evening News. Both were major newspapers. I read each paper most days, but saw myself as reading the comics. I did read the headlines also. By age 12, I routinely referenced what I had read in the newspaper. After my mother died, I began reading the Dear Abby and Ann Landers columns each day.
One of my sisters, Katherine, moved to Paris, France when she married. So I visited her in France three times. On one visit she and her husband had rented a farmhouse in Normandy. I traveled on that trip, by car with a friend of Katherine and John, to Deauville and Honfleur, on the Normandy coast. We went to the beach where the U.S. troops landed in the D-Day invasion and went on to win World War II. The ramparts are still visible in the water.
I had had my first trip to Europe in 1967, when I was sixteen years old. Our school sponsored a summer "exchange" program, whereby girls from our school and sister schools along the East Coast went to France. We stayed for five weeks with families from similar schools in France. I asked my father if I could go, and he said yes. Three of us from my school went, and there were approximately 15 girls in the American group in all. We toured in Paris and surroundings for a week, and then separated, each of us going off to meet the family that would be our host. I went to Bordeaux, and stayed with the Desobeaus. After the five weeks, Catherine Desobeau traveled with me and the group to the United States, and stayed with my family for five weeks, and ending her trip with half a week in New York and half a week in Washington.
I was born to privilege. And opposition. My family, my teachers, some friends were my opposition. My parents actively gave me no self esteem by not telling me what the do and not do. I asked my mother if I could do this or that, but she did not tell me, or correct me. I had lots of public support, and love from the public. My father died when I was 23, in 1974.
As an adult, I never stopped learning. After I was finished with college and my first Master's degree, computers were the size of a small room, or large closet. These were called mini-computers. It was 1975. In 1989, I began as Staff Assistant in the Legal Department of an insurance company. Because the President and CEO of the company had vision, each person in the company, excluding the mail room, had his or her own computer. The CEO was Bob Sharp, and he also had no computer. DSS, or decision support software, had not developed, and so Bob did not have call for a computer. Our computers were to make our lives easier. For a period of years when I started at Keyport, the life insurance company, most of what I did, was learn to use various software. Once we had semi-mastered using a program, the company bought a new software package. Ruthe, who worked along side me, and I struggled with "reveal codes" until we could cry. Finally, Microsoft came out with Windows, which allowed users to access the power of office computing with elegance and ease. Personal computers were developed by using knowledge gained by U.S. government scientists while putting a man on the moon. When classified data associated with putting a man on the moon became declassified, and available for the public use, the efforts of the space program spurred the computer revolution.
Many of the people who I have known, or have met have become famous or notable. The little grocery store that I used to walk up to from the beach and buy a giant oatmeal cookie and a 7 Up was owned by Walt Disney, a.k.a. Louis Braun. One of my Crescent beach friends became Jimmy Kimmel, late night comedy host on Channel 7. One of our neighbors at Cedar Bay, where we rented a summer house the summer that Russia put Sputnick, a satalite, in orbit, became the Karl Lagerfield, a designer and creative director for Chanel. Another of my friends and schoolmates is Nora O'Donnell, who has done such a great job on CBS weekdays from 7-9 a.m. She was Grace Hartman. Her brother, J.D. Hartman is Conan, one of our late night comedians. Former President Jimmy Carter was a schoolmate, one of the kids who I did not know well. I did know other members of their family, went out with the brother a few times. Another of the boys who I went out with became a Justice on the Supreme Court, Antonin Scalia.
When I was 26 years old and looking for a new teaching job, I found a posting on the job hunting
bulletin board at Wheelock College advertising for babysitter in Costa Rica. I ended up taking that job, and spent nearly a year babysitting. In Costa Rica I went to class four days a week and learned Spanish. When I returned to Boston, I took a job at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, teaching kindergarten. The children there were from all over the world. My students were from Iran, Greece, Columbia, Mexico, Baharain and more.
The father who I worked for in Costa Rica, called Ernest, was John Podesta, who later became a political campaign consultant in the United States. One of our neighbors there was named Ruth. Ruth now sits on the Supreme Court of the United States, Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
I have never been much of Presidential campaign watcher. I watched the morning and evening T.V. news throughout my adult life, but never zeroed in on the campaigns. I know what the former Presidents are credited with, by history, but I have not focused on the campaigns. I know of the "sound bite" criticism, that is that all the public hears of the candidates' opinions is reduced to a 15 second replay on T.V.