Carol Wade oral history interview, April 30, 2008


Carol Wade Interview, Part 1



Transcript of Carol Wade Interview
Interviewee:Carol Wade
Interviewer:Martin Tschetter
Date of Interview:April 30, 2008
Location of Interview:Greenville, N.C.
Length:MP3 - (Audio-1 14:29; Audio-2 43:11)

Martin Tschetter:

Okay; today is Wednesday, April 30, 2008. It's around 2:35. My name is Marty Tschetter and I'm here to interview Miss Carol Wade. Do you mind, Miss Wade if we--I record this?

Carol Wade:

No; don't mind at all.

Martin Tschetter:

Thank you and behalf of the University this is going to--this is a great project and we do thank you for your interest in this. Again, this is kind of your story; it--not kind of--it is your story about your experience having gone to college and you know how you got--how you--how that came to be I guess. So to start off if you don't mind, if you could tell me more about your background, your family, where you grew up--to kind of give some more feedback--or background information I guess?

Carol Wade:

Well Marty, I was born and raised in Greene County and the little town was called Hookerton even though we were in the--the countryside or the--I guess they would call them the suburbs now but we were in the countryside and but the closest town to us was Snow Hill and I was even though I was raised in Hookerton I was--I was born in Snow Hill because that was where the closest doctor was, which probably was about seven or ten miles away from our home.



And I remember when I got married or went to get married they didn't have my birth certificate; they only had a Kenneth that was born at that time and I asked my mom how did that get to be and she said that because my grandma said if it's a boy name him Kenneth, [Laughs] so the doctor automatically wrote down or the nurse automatically wrote down Kenneth. But we was like I said, born and raised--I was born and raised in Hookerton and the--on the farm.

And I remember the first farm that we was on was for Mr. Harry Creech and I'm guessing the guys was brother; I don't really know but I think they were brothers or related in some way and we moved from Harry Creech's farm to J. E. Creech farm and we stayed on J. E. Creech farm, or should I say my parents stayed up there from--I know from the time that I was ten to the time that I was an adult. So pretty--about 20--25 years, no; about 15 to 20 years they were on J. E. Creech farm and we did tobacco and in the--before tobacco season we picked cucumbers and so then when tobacco season, I had been working since I was about six and handing tobacco and I remember when I did get a little older about ten I wanted to do what the guys were doing so I wanted to--I wanted to hand tobacco--I wanted to hang tobacco. So you would get on the--on the poles and hang the stick up in the barn and that was what I would do. My sister which is Faylene, she was the youngest and she was also out there; it was kind of like a family thing back in that--in the day. And--and where we lived, the house was close to the tobacco barn so we just went on over. And I have my older brother--well my only brother, Moses, he worked on the farm and then there was my sisters. I had two older sisters. They looped tobacco or--or did what the grownups did because they were older and then it was my dad and my mom.



And as I said, we worked on the farm for a long time and my parents did seasonal work. They would--after the tobacco was over they would go to the tobacco factory and then after the tobacco factory was over it was kind of like the farming thing; they would go into the potato factory and work with the sweet potatoes because that's kind of how it went from the tobacco to the potatoes. So we just kind of you know followed the seasonal stuff in the summertime, as--as I said earlier starting with the cucumbers, then the tobacco, and then the potatoes. But we didn't raise potatoes; the other people did but they went in the potato factory and did work and the tobacco factory and did work.

Martin Tschetter:

Now that was in the Kinston area or it would have been more Greene County?

Carol Wade:

That was in the Greene County area; the tobacco factory was in the Kinston area. I can't remember the name; it will probably come back to me before we stop talking.

Martin Tschetter:

Can you--can you tell me a little bit about your parents briefly or were they--were they from Greene County as well?

Carol Wade:

My--my parents that was from the Maury area which is pretty much Greene County and--but my father, they were in Wilson County before they were in Greene County because they talk about you know when they lived over in that area. And as I said I knew my--my grandparents lived in Maury and you know they had said something about they had land over there but you know we didn't get any of that land, [Laughs] so I don't know too much about that part.

Martin Tschetter:

Okay; yeah I was--I was just curious. Let's see--

Carol Wade:

My father I'm understanding had like a sixth grade education and my mom had like a tenth grade education and my dad you know had to stop going to school so that he could work



on the farm, and I guess with my mom being a girl you know that they let her go a little longer than--than the guys did. But back then most of the guys was expected to work on the farm.

Martin Tschetter:

Yeah; that was--especially on a very agricultural based--

Carol Wade:

Yes.

Martin Tschetter:

--you know area. That was--

Carol Wade:

'Cause I remember when my brother quit school and worked on the farm. They let him quit school and--but the girls couldn't quit. [Laughs] They couldn't quit and my parents, they really stressed getting a high school diploma and I guess that was because they didn't get a high school diploma and they felt that working on the--getting a high school diploma you had a chance of getting maybe a factory job or inside job other than working on the farm, so that--that was why they stressed--well just get a high school education; just get the high school education and--and I, myself, I had said once I ever got out of high school I was never going back to school. [Laughs] And then I realized after I graduated from high school I was--I guess I would have been considered as somewhat of a statistic because I had two of my children before I graduated from high school. I had--

Martin Tschetter:

Wow.

Carol Wade:

--my older daughter in the tenth grade and then I got married and I had my younger--my middle one in the twelfth grade. And after you know getting pregnant I considered dropping out of school but my husband told me that I wasn't going to drop out and wouldn't let me drop out and so I went on back and--and finished school. I had needed a half a unit is what they called it then and so I went on back to summer school and finished that unit and I'm glad that I did, you know because not graduating probably would have held me back. You know I



probably wouldn't have went on forward like I did if I had to have gotten my GED, but then I don't know. But like I said, most people probably would have said that I wasn't going to go to college but after graduating and going to Kinston Shirt Factory and my sisters already worked there and so it was pretty much you know a family thing where if you're working there and you're a good worker we can recommend your sister. And with all of us having had worked on the farm we had good work ethics you know far as going to work on time and doing our work when we got there. So they got me on at the Shirt Factory or recommended me to some of the people when a position came open so I got in the Shirt Factory and stayed there for about 16 years until some of the ladies started retiring and they were only getting like $3,000 in their little profit sharing that they had put in. And that was when I started saying I don't want to retire from somewhere like this. I need to go back to school. So I quit my job and started back to Lenoir Community College and enrolled.

Martin Tschetter:

Excuse me; can you tell me about what time that was--I mean what era or what year? About what I mean was it like in the mid to late '70s or early '80?

Carol Wade:

Uh-hm; it was late '70s if I'm not mistaken. It was--it was--well I graduated in '75, so it would have been 16 years from '75, so I guess that was early '80s--'85 somewhere along up in there if I'm adding right.

Martin Tschetter:

Or '90--1990?

Carol Wade:

Yes because I think I graduated in '94; yes I did--because I graduated in '94 and--and then I you know kind of changed my Major because I started saying I was going to be a nurse and I had three kids and no baby-sitter and so their father said that he would baby-sit for me and he would be there, so it was like when I leave and go to school, he said I'm coming; I'm



coming. So when I'd get back home he hadn't been there so it was like my kids even though they was 10 and 12 you know it was like they had been home by themselves so it was like well I can't do this; you know I really don't have any help. So you know and sometimes I would take them to my sister but they kind of got tired of it too you know baby-sitting all the time. And so I just decided I had to quit work and go to school full-time so I could be home with my kids at night. And that was what I did.

Martin Tschetter:

I mean that was a big--that's a big adjustment; not only that--I mean that's a big sacrifice as well.

Carol Wade:

Oh Lord was it a sacrifice. [Laughs] It was; I mean my sisters or my family thought I was kind of crazy. My father had passed at that time and--and my mother was really sick. She had cancer so she was really sick with lung cancer, so--and so everybody didn't see my school as important you know. You don't have to go to school; you can just take mom to the doctor or you know they didn't understand the importance of my having to be in class every day or taking the time to study you know. So I just had to you know let them know that my school was important. My mom was important too but you know I did have to study and my time was for school you know. I had to quit work to do errands for everybody every day.

Martin Tschetter:

Yeah; and why--what did--okay, so let's talk about when you started going to Lenoir Community College. I mean can you imagine--can you remember when you first started going there and what that was like? I mean were you like what am I doing? Did you have doubts on it or--?

Carol Wade:

No; I really--I really--school just opened up another world to me and when I started there I started working in the Library. And I was just amazed; I mean you know in high school



you had a Library but when I went--being older and paying more attention to everything I was like oh my God there's a book for everything and so I was just overwhelmed by all the information and the knowledge that was you know in the Library and so I got a job in the Library--work-study job and so I was working in there part-time. And--and I had chance to study you know--could stay right in there and study, so that was just--it was just amazing--just amazing, just--. And then when I graduated from there and came to ECU it really was amazing; yet--the difference in--in Kinston and ECU or the difference in the Lenoir Community and ECU was kind of like a cultural difference because ECU was still kind of like the country, home you know but then when I came to Greenville to ECU it was like I saw people from different countries and you know which--things that I had only seen on TV you know [Laughs]. And--and then the--the books that was available and on every subject and I was just amazed you know. Like I said, kids don't really use the Library you know when they're in school but then you can appreciate it. I could appreciate the--the information.

Martin Tschetter:

Yeah; excuse me--yeah being older that really--I mean that's a good point to bring up because you know you--you see things different especially when you walk in and--.

[End Carol Wade Interview, Part 1]

Carol Wade Interview, Part 2

Martin Tschetter:

All right okay, great; Miss Wade, can you tell me I'd like--we'd like to know like how did you decide to attend ECU?

Carol Wade:

Well as far as attending I had--had graduated from Lenoir Community and my Major was Library Media. So after I graduated and there was a job opened here at ECU and that



was--the focus was the--was the genealogy part which I had worked in the Heritage Place at Lenoir Community which was the genealogy so that background helped me to get the job over here and then when I got the job over here I realized that the classes were--you could take one free every semester. So I started out taking one class and I started out with taking North Carolina classes so that it would enhance my knowledge of the North Carolina collection since that was where I was working. And then I changed over to Business Education and that was--that was my Major here was--was Business Education.

Martin Tschetter:

Let me ask; why did you--why didn't you continue with Library Science? I mean there is a program here?

Carol Wade:

Well with the Library Science when I first came over here to talk with the counselor about going to class he informed me that Librarianship was not my way to go. He said that Librarians never retire and that I would never get a job in it but--so that was why I said to--I don't remember if he encouraged me to go into the Computer Science or Computer field but I got into the Business Education field of--which helped me learn more about computers and enhanced my knowledge as far as that. But the--the Counselor informed me that I would never get a job but after working here for a while I realized that they may don't retire but some of them leave and--and that leaves positions open you know for you to step into. But I really--sometimes I regret listening to him because I felt that just as I have finished that degree that I could have--just as I have finished my degree in Business Education which it was beneficial and still is beneficial that I could have been or continued to education in the field that I started, because I started with Library Media at Lenoir Community and I could have carried that over to here and got my degree in--as a Librarian.



Martin Tschetter:

So when you started taking computer classes that would have been in what--early to mid-1990s?

Carol Wade:

Yes; yes 1990s--late--late, because I started here in 1994.

Martin Tschetter:

Okay; so I mean that--that field has changed a lot in the last 10 years.

Carol Wade:

Yes; it definitely has changed because when I started it was basically trying to show you how to do word processing and HTML and now it's gone to Web 2.0 and--and a whole lot of different things you know just that is really unimaginable. Technology has really changed and don't even want to mention the medical field and how it has changed but technology has really changed and it's continuously changing to you have to stay in school to keep up with everything that's going or you know continue to read to keep up, but reading don't help like hands-on.

Martin Tschetter:

Yeah; well on that note do you--what do you think about all the technology? I mean do you think it--it's good or I mean--I mean there's pros and cons I guess, just it changes so fast.

Carol Wade:

Yes; it does. It changes real fast. I think that it's--it's good and it's gotten like whether I think it's good or bad it's going to continue to change but I think that change is good. Change is good if you can better something. I don't believe in fixing what's not broke but if it's for the betterment you know to change it.

Martin Tschetter:

Yeah; I was just curious to get your opinion on that but you're right. It's going to happen whether you're--whether or not you--you believe in it I guess.

Carol Wade:

Exactly.



Martin Tschetter:

Well there is a lot to keep up with. Let me ask you a quick line about you said that you--because you started with genealogy at the Lenoir Community and then came over to ECU. Have you done any of your own family research or--?

Carol Wade:

I've--I've done some; I haven't had time--it's a time-consuming progress. It's--it's the process is--is really time-consuming going back and--and trying to find a little piece of the puzzle and because I've--one of my thing, if I--I've often wondered if--because my maiden name for my father's was a Faison so I've wondered if we originated out of Faison which is you know south of Goldsboro or if we originated out of the Faison(s) that are in Wilson. So I have you know been trying to--and I know we do have some of us have migrated from Wilson to Snow Hill because my uncle was living in Wilson you know years ago so I know they were up in that area and--but I can't--I can't find anything that's proven that they migrated from the Goldsboro, Mount Olive area over that way to Snow Hill and Hookerton, Greene County. I can't find anything.

Martin Tschetter:

Yeah; that's kind of interesting; it's not a name--common name. I mean it's not a name that I'm--I'm not familiar with it other than the town.

Carol Wade:

Right, right; so--and I was through there a couple of months ago and I was like wow, this is Faison. [Laughs]

Martin Tschetter:

Yeah; that would--that would be kind of interesting.

Carol Wade:

Yeah; it really would but like I said I know that there's--there's a lawyer in--in Wilson area--over that area that's a Faison and like I said and he could have migrated too you know out of the Mount Olives into a bigger area.

Martin Tschetter:

Well I know they're probably down the road I guess.



Carol Wade:

Exactly.

Martin Tschetter:

Okay; so you started at ECU about when?

Carol Wade:

In--in 1994; I can keep up with it because my granddaughter was born September 28th in '94 and I started here September 24, 1994.

Martin Tschetter:

Okay; that's a good landmark to remember.

Carol Wade:

Yeah. [Laughs]

Martin Tschetter:

Well what--well what do you remember--I mean you're not a--you're not a traditional student in the fact that you were--you know you're not fresh out of high school and in the mix of all that stuff, so can you remember what your first semester was like, I mean or--or anything like that? What you thought about classes and--?

Carol Wade:

Well I had--I had seen you know at Lenoir different than high school you know how you know kind of are on your own to go to class but it's like when I got here the classes was so much bigger than the ones at Lenoir and it was like oh wow; they're like 100 people in the class and that was you know just looking around. [Laughs] And so that was--that was kind of amazing to me you know for a teacher to have that many students to teach and it was--I guess that helped me to realize that you are really kind of on your own. You know what I mean you can go to the teacher for help but he doesn't have time or she doesn't have time to help everybody you know. I mean you have to be there to grasp something on your own you know; it's--it's definitely not a hand-holding process being in college. You know I realize that.

Martin Tschetter:

That's a good point. I mean it takes a lot of discipline too.

Carol Wade:

Yes; it does--it really does and especially that was the first time I had taken--when I was taking the Business Education classes, the first time I had taken online classes and it was



like--like you said you know discipline. You've got to make yourself remember to go to the computer on--if the class is on Tuesday and Thursday. It's not like you have to physically be there but you have to be there but you have to get the assignment to turn it on time and--and that was--that was really new to me because I hadn't taken any online classes.

Martin Tschetter:

Yeah; when you were starting to take those that would have been out of the--probably pretty in--in the early days.

Carol Wade:

Yes; yes.

Martin Tschetter:

Do you recall--let me just ask; do you--do you think that the teacher you know put a lot of effort into it and like with your interaction?

Carol Wade:

I think that they really didn't--the teacher had more to put into it than when you're face-to-face because when they're face-to-face they pretty much telling you what is in the book or--or their experience in the field that you are covering but when you're online I think they have to do because it's to me now and a lot of people says that too that it seems like they put more work up online--busy work kind of to keep--things to keep you busy to--I guess to fill in the gaps of not being in place you know face-to-face. I think it's more effort for them--more work for them to do an online class than in class because in class you lecture, you get the information, take your little notes, and then you test it. But online it's not like that pointing out because you know they may write on the board for--it's an important point but you have to pull the important points out of say reading your book and for what they have and that kind of thing, so--.

Martin Tschetter:

Yeah; that--that's--I was just curious to get that perspective, especially like I said you took it up--would have taken it early kind of.

Carol Wade:

Yeah; yeah.



Martin Tschetter:

That's really grown a lot for ECU.

Carol Wade:

Yeah; it has. It has. It's becoming big all over. I mean everybody is offering online classes now.

Martin Tschetter:

Well just because you mentioned it earlier, the Library of Science in fact is all online, the whole program.

Carol Wade:

Here?

Martin Tschetter:

Here.

Carol Wade:

Oh okay.

Martin Tschetter:

Which is kind of interesting, so--.

Carol Wade:

Yeah; it is interesting.

Martin Tschetter:

Let's see, so--so you started taking a couple classes at a semester. Did you ever take a full load or did you just start taking up a few?

Carol Wade:

Yes; I took a--a full load one semester I--I remember. Well I took like--I was working full-time and as I said non-traditional students, I had kids, had to help them with their work and I think I took three classes and I cried. [Laughs] I cried because I took classes like Statistics and--they were hard classes and I was--one of my co-workers I was crying and I was like [Laughs] it's just so hard--just so--. You should have known better than to take those classes where it--it--and this was towards the end but it was kind of like you know I couldn't lose focus because I was too close to the end to--.

Martin Tschetter:

Light was at the end of the tunnel?

Carol Wade:

Yes; exactly and I was too close to quit then but it was--it was hard. It was tough.

Martin Tschetter:

Well at that time did you live--were you still commuting?



Carol Wade:

No; I wasn't commuting at that time. I--I had moved over here; yes I had moved to Greenville.

Martin Tschetter:

That--I mean that definitely helped a little bit.

Carol Wade:

Yes; but it was--it was what 30 hours--not 30 hours but 30 miles to Kinston and 30 miles back, so about 60 miles each day.

Martin Tschetter:

Oh well let me--how about do you--do you recall like when you first got to campus you know just kind of walking you know--walking through the--what do you call it?

Carol Wade:

Out by the cupola?

Martin Tschetter:

Yeah; the cupola and all that? I mean can you--can you--did you ever think wow; this is--do you remember anything like what kinds of feelings you had?

Carol Wade:

I was just excited to be in college. I couldn't believe that--because I probably would have been one of the students in high school that they would have said most likely not to succeed because I had my first child in the tenth grade and I had my second child in the twelfth grade and at the end of the twelfth grade year I didn't--I needed a half a unit in order to graduate. So I wasn't going back to school. One, I was pregnant still; you know like after school got out 'cause I had my baby in June--June 25th and so school turns out like June 9th or 4th or 5th and so my--at the time I had gotten married too so my husband told me that you are going back to school--to summer school to get the half a unit. So I'm glad that he pushed me to go back to school. I'm not married now; I'm divorced now but I'm glad that he pushed me to go back to school because I think it would have been harder for me to try to get--gotten my GED and then come back to school. But as I said, probably one of those that was least likely to succeed because I had--had two kids; I was married, so I really consider myself as I look back on it as a statistic



because you know young female and pregnant and that kind of thing and you know you're not going anywhere. It's just what people say you know. But after--

Martin Tschetter:

Well I mean you've had to overcome a lot and I mean that's some of the--I mean that's very impressive.

Carol Wade:

Yeah; I have--I have had to overcome a lot. Like I said he--he sent me back; he made sure I went back to school. But--so school wasn't something that I had planned on doing but then when I got--went to Lenoir and I realized and I got over here and I realized that I needed more education and I needed my degree so then you know I pushed myself to go further in order to get what I needed because I realized that education is where it is--where it's at, but I was just amazed to see you know the different cultures, the--the what is it--the Indian ladies with the--I don't know what they call the--.

Martin Tschetter:

The turbans?

Carol Wade:

Yeah; the turbans on their head, the men with the turbans on their head and--and seeing inter-racial couples together and that kind of thing and it was just kind of like amazing because in Kinston you--you really didn't see that. And so in--when I came to Greenville it was like oh they're walking together and holding hands just openly down the street you know [Laughs] because I had come from the country and I had come from you know--and--and my dad have never said that he was a slave but he have talked about the times that you know when they couldn't look the white man in the eye and--.

Martin Tschetter:

Wow; so he told you that kind of stuff?

Carol Wade:

Yeah; and that kind of thing and how they would beat them, you know--well not him but you know I guess that was passed down to him. But he have you know talked about that



and you know I did grow up in the times when there was the--since I was born in the '50s when there was the--you know no coloreds allowed and you could see the--the signs saying colored--colored entrance and--and I remember going in the back of restaurants you know and that kind of thing and it's--. You know as I look back on it it's--I remember you know when we would go to Snow Hill we would have to go in the back of the restaurant to get our food you know and not in the front. I remember that vaguely you know. I was maybe nine or ten or younger but I remember that.

Martin Tschetter:

Pretty amazing--I mean it wasn't really that long ago but I mean the fact that it even existed you know is kind of--

Carol Wade:

Yeah.

Martin Tschetter:

--kind of crazy.

Carol Wade:

Yeah; it is.

Martin Tschetter:

Huh; that's an interesting perspective though. What--how--how did you--how do you think your family felt? I mean your--you told me--well you told me previously that you had to quit. You made a decision to quit working I believe to really focus on school at one point.

Carol Wade:

Yes; because it wasn't working out. My baby-sitter which was the kids' dad wasn't showing up so I--I did make the decision to quit my job and go back to school full-time and my--my--I have three sisters and one brother and I remember when my next to oldest sister said well who do you think is going to take care of you, you know? How do you think you can just quit your job and go back to school? And school wasn't--or a college degree wasn't like enforced in our family; it was you had to finish high school you know and it was like you--you can't stay here if you're not in school you know. So it was important and I guess that was because my



father only had a sixth grade education and I know my mother had a tenth grade education so they thought that a high school education would get you a decent paying job and back then when they were coming through education you know, you would, but now you have to get more education in order to do that. But that was the decision I made and they didn't see it as important because they would always say well she's not doing anything. My mom was sick; she had lung cancer at the time. She can take mom to the doctor and I'm like but I have class. It is important; I do need to be in class, you know and I need to go to my work study job so I can have some work history afterwards even though I had worked at the Shirt Company for like 16 years. When my sisters had graduated from high school they--they had went to the Shirt Company and had gotten jobs. They would work seasonally with the tobacco factories until school started. They would work at nights sometimes and--and my parents worked seasonally too but they got me the job at the Shirt Factory and I worked there for 16 years.

And my parents as--they worked; in the summer they would start with the cucumbers, picking cucumbers and how that's they would make money and then they would work in the tobacco and then from tobacco they would go into the tobacco factories and kind of follow for whatever the crop was and then they'd go into the sweet potato factories because it was sweet potato season so they were harvesting sweet potatoes. And so they helped do the sweet potatoes and then go into the sweet potato factory and they just you know never really got what I considered a full-time job. So it was kind of like in the wintertime 'cause after the tobacco factory in December for example--that was it as far as the job was concerned and the tobacco factory kind of shut down. They had done all the selling and everything so--and the sweet potatoes also you know only lasted for so long. So say in December they were really out of work



and so then they would start borrowing money from our--our boss man you know who he was farming with, which was at this time J. E. Creech and then they'd borrow the money and then in the summertime we'd work to pay it back. And all of us like I said worked--even me when I was--when I was six, seven I remember hanging tobacco so it was kind of like we did earn our keep because that money would help buy our school clothes and that kind of thing.

Martin Tschetter:

Wow; did--did you go to high school in Kinston?

Carol Wade:

No; I went to high school--I moved to Kinston after I graduated from high school but I went to Greene County schools. I started at East Greene Elementary and then I went from East Greene Elementary to Maury and went from Maury to Snow Hill Junior High; Maury went up to the seventh grade and then Snow Hill Junior High went to--went to eighth and ninth and then you went to Greene Central High School which was the tenth, eleventh, and twelfth.

Martin Tschetter:

Now was that integrated at that time?

Carol Wade:

East Greene wasn't--it wasn't integrated. Maury wasn't integrated when we first started. I don't--it wasn't integrated because my sister, my younger sister was one of those that was put into the white school you know. They put a few people in; she was one of them that they put in the white school when the integration started. She said--they was really mean to her when it started [Laughs]. But--

Martin Tschetter:

It's a tough transition; I mean--.

Carol Wade:

Yeah; yeah.

Martin Tschetter:

So then you went to Greene Central?

Carol Wade:

Uh-hm.

Martin Tschetter:

That was integrated then?



Carol Wade:

Yeah; Greene Central was integrated--Greene Central was integrated. Maury wasn't at first but then it was integrated because I was a cheerleader and I remember you know the--the white girls, Caucasian girls choose(d) me--or chose me as like--to be a cheerleader because they all could talk to me and that kind of thing, so I was a cheerleader in the eighth grade, the ninth grade, the tenth grade.

Martin Tschetter:

So do a cheer.

Carol Wade:

[Laughs]

Martin Tschetter:

That's all right; we won't get that on tape. Did--well let's see; when you--when you started back when--let's go back to ECU and you started taking classes and stuff I mean do you remember in some of your classes I mean even when I took classes I remember there being some older--I was always impressed; there were older students and stuff you know who had maybe wanted to get back to school and maybe didn't have that opportunity earlier. Do you remember or--not--do you remember interacting with--not necessarily with that age group I guess but interacting with the younger people too?

Carol Wade:

Well the interaction that I pretty much had with the younger students were group projects which you know helped me to interact because you know having a job when you get out of class you're coming back trying to get back to work on time and when you get out of class, my being a single parent, I'm trying to get home to cook dinner and you know like I said--and help the kids with their homework and that thing, so there really wasn't any hanging out but I did learn a few--through group projects you know and I'd run into them every now and then. It wasn't--I don't remember their names that well but I remember their faces and--and I saw one like back at Christmas over there at the Chancellor's house I saw her. You know and she's



working in the Department now that--we was in the class in the Business Education Department. And I saw another guy a while back too; so yeah I--I group interact. So that--as far as, you know group projects, I can say that--that helped me to get to interact with the younger ones that was in our class.

Martin Tschetter:

Yeah; no, I was just curious about that I mean because you had different responsibilities too.

Carol Wade:

Yes; exactly so I had to work--watch kids and it wasn't a--a work--I mean go to class and party thing like the--. [Laughs]

Martin Tschetter:

Yeah; like everyone else.

Carol Wade:

[Laughs]Like the teenagers like the traditional students there.

Martin Tschetter:

Sometimes it's over-rated so--. Did--well how about--let me just ask; did you--would--did you have an opportunity to go to any athletic events or like I mean did you ever go to a football game or anything?

Carol Wade:

I have went to a football game once, but as I said, I--it wasn't one of my priorities as far as you know being in school. I was just--I liked hanging out in the Library and I liked going up on the floors you know--just doing a search and seeing what books are up here and--and just being amazed with all the knowledge and information that's within the Library. That's just--that just amazes me you know that there is a book written pretty much for anything and if it's not, somebody is in the process of writing one you know right now, so that just you know--and that's what I would tell my family whenever they would ask about something. Well do you know anything about this? No; I may don't but girl I bet you there's a book for it. [Laughs] There's a book. Let me check in the Library you know so having worked in the Library and you



know I don't think I would have it any other way to work--you know have worked in another Department than the Library knowing all the knowledge, the information that is in here and the access to information. I'm just amazed.

Martin Tschetter:

Yeah; well on my note what about--I mean what do you think like about all the digital collections and all that stuff and you know there is not only digital collections but there's a lot of electronic journals and all that kind of stuff?

Carol Wade:

I think it's great; I think it's information that we probably would have never gotten and that's the reason for it becoming electronic so that we can have access to it and I think it's just amazing. It's amazing; it really is.

Martin Tschetter:

Yeah; it definitely is. Well it sounds like you're--I mean honestly you exude excitement so when people come to ask I mean it sounds like you're one to jump in and kind of help people try and find things.

Carol Wade:

Yeah; yes, I am. I used to work in the Digital Learning Center which is the DLC. Actually it's the Computer Lab and you kind of get a varied way of helping people in different areas you know. You can do searches; you can help them on the computer so that kind of kept me up you know and now I'm working in another area where I'm--as a Computer Administrator--giving out passwords and helping to do reports and I kind of find I like the public contact. I find it interesting because it does keep your mind open and aware and lets you know what people are looking for you know and--and bring to you new things that are out there like--God, I've never heard of that; let's go find it you know. So actually getting in Reference was--was my goal.

Martin Tschetter:

Wow.



Carol Wade:

Yeah; I've worked some on my Masters. I've had--I've taken like three classes in Library Science, so I'm unsure if I want to continue that track even though I want to work in Reference.

Martin Tschetter:

I--I got it; yeah that--I mean that is--well and being online like you know that--that's where it is now, so it does take a lot of effort on the teacher as you mentioned. And huh; no that's--that's interesting. Well I mean just having some classes you get exposed to it and that seems like you're--that's probably helped you a lot.

Carol Wade:

Yeah; uh-hm.

Martin Tschetter:

Well what--oh do you have a particular author that you like or I mean is there any type of subject that you like reading about or do you ever come across something and you're like wow; I want to read this?

Carol Wade:

I do but I'm more interested in--in science, in--in medication and--and the body and I--I guess that's probably why I wanted to be a nurse because that area does interest me, you know all the new stuff that's coming out and things that--how it has evolved you know. I--I do hold a second job and me and the lady was talking the other night; this girl on that job had--had a liver biopsy and she had to lay there for three hours and then they told her not to pick up anything heavy. And then this lady said she had one like 10 years ago; she had to lay down 13 hours you know without moving.

Martin Tschetter:

Wow.

Carol Wade:

After she had her liver biopsy--so it's amazing you know how things evolve and you know you can--it just interests me you know the science, the body, the new medications, and that kind of stuff.



Martin Tschetter:

Yeah; no I mean it is--it is fascinating. It's a whole--I mean how--how intricate the body is and all that.

Carol Wade:

Yeah.

Martin Tschetter:

Did--so okay; how about--are there any faculty members that kind of stand out that you--that really stand out that might have helped you?

Carol Wade:

Yeah; there was a Professor Parke in--in the Business Education program that stood out. He would always--he--he made things interesting you know in his class because he would--I think he kind of did some stuff on the side maybe and so he would be telling--he would tell us how it was related to the real world. So I remember you know he kind of stood out and Dr. Holsey also stood out, I guess because she was a female Professor you know--black woman, female, and gosh I can't think of her associate's name. I can see her face but I can't think of her name. She--she did also because you know it gives you, you know mentors like to look up to and say--

Martin Tschetter:

Yeah; sure--sure.

Carol Wade:

--yeah; I could do that. I can get my Masters.

Martin Tschetter:

Yeah; mentors are important.

Carol Wade:

Yeah; so those people really stand out.

Martin Tschetter:

Wow; that's good. Thanks for sharing that. How about do you ever--did you ever have a sense of fear that like when you were coming to class--like you did mention that one time you over--you felt like you took too many--or took too many hard classes.

Carol Wade:

Yeah.



Martin Tschetter:

But did you ever have a fear maybe as--maybe early on even when you were walking across campus maybe and you're just like--what am I doing here? Or do you think you were all pretty excited about it?

Carol Wade:

Excited--excited; I would think I'm in college you know and then when I graduated I'm like I graduated from college. Like I said, I was the least likely to succeed to me, you know because I had--had children and--and you know once you have children it's like your life is gone, so--.

Martin Tschetter:

And so yeah; I mean that's a big--

Carol Wade:

Yeah; so I was like I'm in college and I'm--I'm at a university so I was excited. I really was. [Laughs]

Martin Tschetter:

No; you exude that really--I sense that so I was just curious to ask that. How about--I mean just go back to your family a little bit and now once you're finished college how do you think your like siblings and--?

Carol Wade:

Well--I'm sorry. I only had one to attend my graduation. The rest of them was I guess they was busy or they didn't find it important to help me celebrate those days but--that day--but since I have graduated my sister has gone back to school and she's at Mount Olive. My niece has gone back to school and tried to further her education. I have another sister that you know she was saying oh I just don't want to take them classes; I don't want to study. I mean you don't have a life when you're in school. I mean I didn't anyway because you have to stay focused on your work and so she has went back to school and her daughter, two of her daughters, she's one of the nieces--has went back to school. But the thing about one of them going back to school is her aunt on her father's side had went to Fayetteville State, so--and they're teachers so



you know it's kind of like education was important on that side of you know going to college when you get out of school and that kind of thing whereas in my family you know nobody had went to college. We did good to graduate from high school and that was all that was expected but--. So yeah; and they want me to help them with their work and you know the--I'm supposed to know everything now. I try to tell them no. [Laughs] They say ask Carol; ask Carol--she knows; she knows. Oh girl I was going to ask you this because I know you can find out the information if--you know and I can find it out. They just don't realize that you know it's kind of time-consuming to find out some things you know.

Martin Tschetter:

Sure, sure; well how does that make you feel--I mean that they ask you?

Carol Wade:

Well it makes me feel good. Sometimes I think that they're--they take advantage of me because I'm kind of kind-hearted and--and I--I want them to have that information that they need you know. I guess that's the public service side of me, you know. [Laughs] I want them to have what they need.

Martin Tschetter:

Yeah. No; that's not a good perspective too.

Carol Wade:

Yeah.

Martin Tschetter:

Plus you probably want to show them how to do it.

Carol Wade:

Oh yeah. [Laughs] Yes.

Martin Tschetter:

Did your parents ever--were they still living when you finished college?

Carol Wade:

No; my mother died right as--my father died before I started at the Community College and my mother died after--maybe a year after I was at Lenoir Community and you know I think back and--and as I said look back and I say you know they probably said I would--they



probably thought that I was the one that wouldn't have finished college because my younger sister was the A-student and--.

Martin Tschetter:

And excuse me; she's the one at Mount Olive now?

Carol Wade:

Yeah; she's the one at Mount Olive and my brother he dropped out of school when he was 16 and but you know it was like boys could--at that time, they could always get a job. A man can get a job doing almost anything you know. So that's kind of how they feel; you know a man can get a job and my--my older sister right above me had got--she--she was married and so her husband was working and had a pretty decent job you know and they had bought a house and everything. And my older sister, she had graduated from school but like I said there I was single and I had--with two kids--three kids and had quit my job--.

Martin Tschetter:

And everything--all the cards stacked against you?

Carol Wade:

Yeah; exactly I had quit my job so it was probably like you know all--all of them and--and you know I just kind of wish now that--. I have been--I have been for 13 years, almost 14 in September; I bought my own home, and I just wish that you know they could see that--that I have--the one that they thought that--probably thought was as they call it hard-headed and [Laughs]--hard-headed and stubborn wouldn't you know have a head on a little straighter than they thought she did.

Martin Tschetter:

Well I'm sure they--they know now but it's not quite as in presence I guess.

Carol Wade:

Yeah.

Martin Tschetter:

But I know that feels satisfying.

Carol Wade:

Yes.



Martin Tschetter:

I mean you should definitely--I mean I can tell you're proud of that and have every right to be.

Carol Wade:

Yeah.

Martin Tschetter:

Well I think--well I mean you've done a really great job in answering all this. Is there anything else you can think of that you'd like to share?

Carol Wade:

Well I think that attending East Carolina University has really opened up my life and opened up my eyes and just is kind of like a new world to me. You know I have been exposed to so many different things [Laughs] and some days I sit and I think of when we was living down the little dirt road and I was running around barefooted and getting tadpoles out of the ditch [Laughs] and I just think now you know--and look back to where I come from you know and how I have, as I said, been blessed with the knowledge and all that I have now because I came to ECU and got an education. And I thank God for Maury York; they hired me you know when I first came here to--searching for a job even though you know he tells me now too that I was the best candidate because I had that genealogy background. I'm just you know--just overwhelmed and amazed that what education can do for you; I really am.

Martin Tschetter:

That's awesome; I mean that's a real--I really appreciate me personally--I personally appreciate you being open and sharing that and I think that's--that's what this project was about, so--.

Carol Wade:

Okay.

Martin Tschetter:

Thank you so much.

Carol Wade:

All right; you're welcome.

Martin Tschetter:

Anything else?



Carol Wade:

No.

Martin Tschetter:

Okay; it was very well said.

[End Carol Wade Interview, Part 2]


Title
Carol Wade oral history interview, April 30, 2008
Description
Interview covering the period 1950s to the present with East Carolina University alumna and Joyner Library employee Carol Wade. Ms. Wade discusses her early family life in Hookerton, Greene County, N.C., her experiences doing farm work, her parents' attitudes toward education, her completion of high school, work at Kinston Shirt Factory, and subsequent student careers at Lenoir Community College and East Carolina University. She highlights the challenges involved in being a distance education student, and the impact the library made upon her. Interviewer: Martin Tschetter.
Date
April 30, 2008
Original Format
oral histories
Extent
Local Identifier
UA45.05.01.15
Creator(s)
Contributor(s)
Subject(s)
Spatial
Location of Original
University Archives
Rights
This item has been made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. Researchers are responsible for using these materials in accordance with Title 17 of the United States Code and any other applicable statutes. If you are the creator or copyright holder of this item and would like it removed, please contact us at als_digitalcollections@ecu.edu.
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Comments

Mark Feb 25 2009

Thanks. I've updated it to "Faison" but have kept it in brackets for the time being.

Martha Elmore Feb 21 2009

I believe Facen is actually spelled Faison. This refers to page 10.

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