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Going to Phoenix College in 1978


Since it's been over forty years since I started attending Phoenix College, I hope you'll forgive me if my memories are a little blurred. But overall I know that they're good memories, and I learned a lot at PC.

Whether I actually learned anything or not in high school, back in Minneapolis, I really can't say. Comparing myself to people who went to school in Phoenix I'd say not. Many of my friends here talk about books that they were supposed to read, or did read and have forgotten, in high school, but I don't recall being required to read any of those books. Whether this is a slur of the Minneapolis school system, or just my poor memory, I really can't say. But I do know that I really started learning at Phoenix College, and two things stand out in my memory - my English Lit class and Principles of Salesmanship.

My Principles of Salesmanship (yes, that's what they called it back in 1978) was taught by Susan Heywood, the wife of local celebrity Bill Heywood. He was on the radio, but was much more than a "Disc Jockey" - he was very well known, and liked. I don't recall ever listening to him on the radio (he did the early morning drive show) but I had seen him in TV commercials, and on billboards. I can still hear his voice. The Principles of Salesmanship class wasn't a requirement, but it was something that I wanted to be able to do better, not just for a future professional life, but for my personal life. And, at the risk of sounding like a cliché, it changed my life. I still use those principles, and have built on that class.

The other class was a requirement, and was simply an English class. And in that class I was introduced to John Steinbeck. No, he didn't teach it, I don't remember the name of the teacher, but that's where I discovered a way of looking at the world that, again, changed my life. I went on to read everything Steinbeck wrote, not for required reading, but because it fascinated me. I liked his books so much that I refused to see the movie "Cannery Row", knowing that it would be awful, but actually I liked it. Nick Nolte wasn't what I pictured as Doc, but I digress.

I really do wish that I could remember more about PC. I know that I didn't get involved with any student activities, or go to any games. I had my little MG, and I guess you would have just called me a "commuter student". And I really didn't think much about that school, except that it would be credits that I would transfer to ASU. As I recall, it took me three years to accumulate the 100 and 200 level credits to transfer, so I must have taken more than two classes. Those two are really the only ones I remember when I think of Phoenix College.

Image at the top of this post: Phoenix College in 1978, 1202 W. Thomas Road, Phoenix, Arizona.

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