An Engineer’s Journal (September 29, 1963): Sunday Night Bowling

drawingsCrouching over textbooks at Hayne’s Lanes, ignoring the din.

Engineering? Really?

Jill rolls a spare; our team cheers her on.

I complete my Thermo assignment, hoping that someday, I will see my ROI.

This was written for Trifextra, and is part of “the Engineer’s Journal”, which is a chronicle of my personal journey to become a Chemical Engineer, one of only two women in my graduating class, as I entered a predominantly male profession, while my friends and peers pursued more traditional life paths.
Each Sunday night our CYA bowling team would compete with other regional  CYA teams. My strongest memory is trying to find a table where I could inconspicuously work on my copious assignments, due the next day, while pretending to be interested in the social scene.


15 Comments on “An Engineer’s Journal (September 29, 1963): Sunday Night Bowling

  1. I feel that I have gotten to know you a little bit better as a result of this post. Congratulations on having the fortitude to blaze such a trail for future women to follow. I love your story for Trifecta but, I like the back story, as much or, even better. What an uplifting stop at your blog. As the father of two young girls, I thank you, and all other women like you, for letting the world know that women were capable of becoming anything their dreams desired. My daughters have grown up thinking that “Girls rule!” is just the way of the world. Thanks, again, for helping create that world view on their behalf. They are better off because of your efforts to study while bowling! 🙂


    • Thank you for your wonderful and heartfelt comments. I applaud the philospht you’ve taught your girls…it will serve them well. Particularly powerful though are the unspoken messages they hear that ultimately encourage and empower them. I’ve had so many experiences along the way, but was reluctant to rehash it all. Now that I have this blog, I’ve begun to scratch the surface of those memories. Despite the challenges, or perhaps because of them, I know that I’ve been blessed. The icing on the cake is my son, daughter and five grandsons- all of whom think it’s perfectly normal that “Mom/Grandma” is an engineer. Keep up the great work with your daughters.


  2. Love this glimpse inside your life. And it reminds me of my first time at university, always tucked into my books instead of the social scene. Awesome take on the prompt! 🙂


  3. This photo is a great reflection of your story, Joanne! It’s always hard to be the studious one among the carefree!


    • Yes – it was. I always felt like such a dork, carrying my heavy books and notepads in one hand and my bowling bag in the other! My boy friend (my husband, for the last 46 years) was so helpful..he’d keep an eye on the game and come and get me when it was my turn. Needless to say, I wasn’t a great bowler. I guess my head wasn’t in it:) Thanks, Kymm.


  4. You never disturbed me, I was just a brat, so grateful for that disturbance, as you call it, you are just too sweet and godlike, my hero


  5. I recall you always trying to find a place to study, all you did was study, all those nights in our shared bedroom , I asleep and you in the twin bed next to mine studying with a flashlight. Oh the memory, but tada how it all paid off for you, and all your hard work, proves nothing ventured nothing gained


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