« Funny stories about working at the U | Main

May 19, 2008

Changes we've seen

I've been working at the U since August 1969. For those of you who have been here a while, what has changed during your time here? In the 60's, 70's, 80's, 90's and the 00-years?

Posted by ekclark at May 19, 2008 10:22 AM


I started in the English Department (Freshman Composition) July 1, 1985. At the time we were located in 444 Mason Hall--a huge, gymnasium type room divided in to 30-35 cubicles for GSIs (TAs we called them back then). We had one computer and printer located in a back area of the room, an area we called "the lounge".
We had sign-up sheet posted, and dissertating graduate students signed up for time on the computer on a 24/7 basis. It wasn't unusual to arrive at work at 8am and find a graduate student, head down, sound asleep at the computer.
We didn't have air conditioning, and in the summer it was easily 90+ degrees on a regular basis. One entire side of the room was all windows which looked out on an open courtyard full of grass, trees, and flowers. That lovely, open courtyard is now the Mason/Angell Hall Computing Center!
Enrollments were kept up to date on gigantic white boards, which stretched across the entire front wall behind my and the Administrator's desk area. Student overrides were done in paper form, hand written, one by one, in triplicate! We didn't have our own copy machine--syllabi and hand-outs were done on a ditto, or thermafax machine.
Ahh yes... the good old days!
Bonnie Campbell

Posted by: bcamp at May 21, 2008 09:55 AM

I love the smell of ditto-juice in the morning!

Posted by: nickh at May 21, 2008 10:49 AM

I started working at the University in 1991. The internet was still quite new. It certainly wasn't the graphic interface it was today and we didn't use it in our business the way we do today. Still, my boss was very forward thinking and she knew that it was going to be very important for people to know about the internet, so she told me to go and learn about it. Imagine your boss giving you permission to just play around and explore the internet on work time?!

Posted by: marielogan@comcast.net at June 17, 2008 03:40 PM

I remember those days in the Freshman Composition Office in the English Department! We had 1 computer available to all of the GSIs, Lecturers, and the staff in the Composition Office. I remember that we had to use programming code in order to format documents (much like html). I remember those big enrollment boards hanging in the front of the office so that we could manually keep track of the enrollment in the many, many sections of Freshman Composition. We've come a long way since those days!

Posted by: janej at June 18, 2008 06:01 PM

I had been in the English Department only a couple of years (I started in 1979) when Elizabeth (Karen as I know her) started as the Administrative Assistant in the early eighties. That was the title of what is now known as the Department Manager. Our offices were on the seventh floor of Haven Hall overlooking the diag and we were all smushed into an office which was really three offices with the inside walls removed with Elizabeth's office connected, we even had the copier in with us which always made for wonderful background music during the beginning of a fall term. Through all the beginnings of a fall term with the ditto machines, thermofaxes, electric typewriters, purple ink all over by the end of the day and then along came the age of computers! Many days spent learning how to use them and how not to delete an entire conference presentation for a faculty member; to look back on it today realizing how far the University has come with technology. Looking back on the early years it is a wonder that things were completed as quickly as they were with what we had then.

The years that I worked with Elizabeth in the English Department were great and I learned alot from her which many I still refer to after all the years.

Best of luck in retirement!

Posted by: ldeitert at June 20, 2008 01:59 PM

Login to leave a comment. Create a new account.