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Teaching As My Career: A School Project About A Young Female Student's Future

Marian Eleanor Beattie was born on May 25, 1923 to John Harrison Beattie (1889-1950) and Ethel Morris Beattie (1895-1982) in Kalamazoo, MI. She had one sister, Martha Beattie Reed (1923?-?). She was a life long resident of Kalamazoo, MI and died on August 24, 2007.

Kalamazoo, MI: 1937. women, teaching, education, made by hand

A school project done by Kalamazoo's Woodward Junior High's 14 year old Marian Eleanor Beattie (1923-2007) on what her future life and career would look like. The result of the project is a large, 81 page hand made book. As the title of the project gives away, Marian wanted to be a teacher as she liked children and "always thought it would be fun to give an assignment and correct the papers afterwards." When she was younger she had aspirations of being a music teacher, but since she couldn't play the piano, she decided on being an Elementary school teacher instead. The assignment was divided up into several different sections entitled, "Autobiography", "Why I Chose My Career", "History", "Nature of the Work", "Qualifications", "Advantages and Disadvantages", "Rewards and Opportunities", "Preparations", "Self Analysis", "First Interview", "Second Interview", "Letter of Application", "Biography", "My Hobbies", "My Future Home", "Pursuing My Career", "My Measure of Success", and "Bibliography". Each section is a mixture of her past, current, and possible future, and is a wonderful look into a young girl's fantasies of what her future would be. The first half of the book, up till just before the 'Interview' sections, as well as the "My Hobbies" and "My Measure of Success" sections, tells the story of Marian's past, why she wants to be a teacher, what she believes a teaching career is, and an analysis of herself. It is in these sections she states that she wishes to go to Western State Teachers College (now known as Western Michigan University) to receive her degree. The two interview sections, are interviews she conducted with two of her teachers at school about teaching. The letter of application is an imaginary letter written by a 'future' Marian, and essentially is a cover letter for a fictional job. The "Biography" section has several short biographies on historical figures that were influential in the field of education. "My Future Home" and "Pursuing My Career" are both sections in which Marian lets her imagination run wild with fantasies of what her future could be. Her ideal house would have a library, sun porch, tennis court, and three bedrooms; one for her, one for guests and one for the help. The "Pursuing My Career" section is written in diary format, and details how in the course of six days, Marian gets her first teaching job, meets a boy, gets married, and is now off to France since her husband was promoted to US Ambassador to France. One entry in the diary starts with "I woke up this morning to find my self in a new home not far from the capital of the United States. I looked down on my left hand. Instead of my gold signet ring I saw a wedding ring and my diamond." At the end of the book is a bibliography and several pages of signatures of her fellow classmates and teachers, just like a yearbook would. Of note with the student signatures is that the career they selected for themselves for the school project is also written. Some of the future career goals of her fellow classmates, which very much split along gender norms, are: acting, aeronautical engineering, designer, acting, journalism, lawyer, nurse, private secretary, aviation and librarian. The book has been hand made with fuchsia colored covers with black accents. All the pages have been bound with hand sewn thread. The book contain numerous printed illustrations, both in color and black and white, most likely taken from magazines. These images are used to enhance the story she is telling, and often feature young children either at play or in the classroom. In the section about her ideal house, she has an example of what she would like each room in her house to look like, most of which appear to be in the modern art deco style popular in the 1930s. There are two loose pieces in the book which were most likely added after the project was graded. The first is a large black and white photograph of her classmates and teachers, that on the back lists all their names. The second is a newspaper clipping of Woodward Junior High's 1937 city championship basketball team. The title page of the book has an ink drawing of a head shot of a fashionable woman in a cap and gown. Unfortunately Marian Beattie would not fulfill her dream of becoming a teacher. According to her obituary she worked as an administrative assistant for most of her life. 81 pages. Pink hard covers. Sewn binding. Handmade. Measures 12 1/2" x 9" General wear. Newspaper clipping caused toning on two pages.

Price: $450.00

Item #20200341

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