When this page from a 1956 issue of Seventeen magazine showed up, Victoria commented that because she was tall, she had been urged to become a model; however, she was not interested in any of the suggested careers for women. Physics was her thing.
I had fewer options than those listed in the Seventeen advertising section. My parents told me that I had three choices: I could become a nurse, a teacher, or a secretary. In the first year of high school, 9th grade, I told them I wanted to be a librarian. I had been a volunteer at the school library for a couple of years, the work appealed to me, and the librarian had taken a liking to me. I had always loved reading and at fourteen believed that being a librarian would be a wonderful job. My parents said no: secretary, teacher, or nurse. And they made me quit being a library volunteer.
When it was time to choose my courses for tenth grade, I had no idea which of those three jobs would be right for me. None held any appeal. My parents filled out my course selection card in a way that would keep my options open for a year: I was to take a second year of Spanish in case I was going for the nurse or teacher option; I was also to take first year typing in case I was to become a secretary. If the latter were to be the case, I would learn everything I would ever need right there in high school and they wouldn't send me to college.
Eight years earlier when my sister -- who had been pushed into the secretarial option -- was offered a full scholarship to college, they told her to turn it down: college was a waste for a girl. So it seemed they had made some progress by the time my turn came along.
(to be continued)