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My father, who was from a wealthy family and highly educated, a lawyer, Yale and Columbia, walked out with the benefit of a healthy push from my mother, a seventh grade graduate, who took a typing course and got a secretarial job as fast as she could.
As a small child in England, I had this dream of going to Africa. We didn't have any money and I was a girl, so everyone except my mother laughed at it. When I left school, there was no money for me to go to university, so I went to secretarial college and got a job.
I reached a time in college when I didn't know what I wanted to do. At that time, women's careers were essentially nursing, secretarial and teaching. My mother advised me to get my teacher's certificate.
I hate to say that my mother was 'just a housewife', because in addition to that she has had lots of part-time secretarial jobs in factories and hospitals, always working really hard for our family.
What we need to be able to do is count all human experience. So I would like to count the secretarial positions as good training places to take over the jobs of the bosses.
The usual channels of university studies or secretarial work did not appeal to me. I cherished difficult dreams through confidence in myself.
My father read 'The New York Times,' my mother did secretarial work, we had a dog, we had a garden, I had a brother.
The difference between our family and other poor families was that my mother actively chose to be poor. She was highly literate, and she had a college degree, but after my father left, she took the first secretarial job she could find and never looked for other employment again.
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