Waldvogel Merikay Growing Up 1

Merikay Waldvogel grew up in St. Louis, Missouri, where she attended high school in the early 1960s and remembers pivotal moments like President Kennedy’s assassination and the establishment of the Peace Corps. Waldvogel went to Monmouth College, a small Presbyterian liberal arts school in Illinois, where she recalls the impact of the Vietnam War on male students in particular. She spent 1968 studying abroad in France and upon her return began student teaching in Chicago’s South Side. Waldvogel reflects on her employment options, as a woman, after graduating from college and her decision to go to graduate school in linguistics at the University of Michigan. She ended up getting a degree in teaching English as a second language and working in Chicago’s public schools. Waldvogel relocated south to Knoxville after an influential trip to Arrowmont, the School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg, Tennessee; she describes this trip as the beginning of her interest in Women’s history. Waldvogel discusses her work as Associate Director of the Knoxville Women’s Center, where she oversaw the job club and published the newsletter, EVERYWOMAN. She credits her work at the Women’s Center with helping her to realize that she could break her career path and go out and do something on her own.