Skip to Main Content

Barry University Oral History: Claudia Hauri


 Student Claudia Hauri (right) 


                         Claudia Hauri

Today is October 6, 1988. I am Sister Eileen Rice in the Barry Oral History room in the Barry University library. Here with me is Miss Claudia Hauri, a member of our nursing faculty and also an alumnus. 

Sister Eileen: Tell me Claudia, where were you born?

Claudia: In Coral Gables here in Florida.

Sister Eileen: When?

Claudia: 1942, September 17.

Sister Eileen: And where were you and your family? How many brothers and sisters did you have?

Claudia: I have an older brother. He's about a year and a half older than I am, Gary. 

Sister Eileen: And you don't have any other brothers and sisters?

Claudia: No, just the two of us.

Sister Eileen: Tell me about your parents.

Claudia: My father was an architect in Coral Gables. He had his own business or practice on Miracle Mile. My mother was a homemaker, but also dealt in some real estate. 

Sister Eileen: Tell me a little bit about your early life.

Claudia: I can remember back as far as when I was four years old.  Probably the most momentous thing about why I remember four years old was because it was my first trip to Europe. My father was born in Sindon Switzerland, the Condyles Sindon. So, he came and he was German speaking Swiss and my mother came from Munich Germany so, she was German speaking German. My first trip was when I was four I went to Switzerland. At the time, that was about the only country that you could travel to because it was around 1946. We did go to Germany when I was six years old in '48. I remember being in Munich and I was being tutored in German at the time, I went to first grade there.

Sister Eileen: It must have been fun.

Claudia: Yeah, it was. I remember skiing and things of that nature like sleigh rides in the winter time. 

Sister Eileen: Where else did you go to school?

Claudia: Well, K through 12th grades, I went to 16 different schools.

Sister Eileen: What were some of them?

Claudia: Porog Elementary and Ridlem Junior High. I also went to Mulburn Junior High because my mother ran a firmery for a while. There were some in between there. There was a boarding school in Germany in the eighth grade I think. The last three years of high school I went to a boarding school in England.

Sister Eileen: Where?

Claudia: Harpend and Harpenture, about 30 miles northeast of London between St. Albons and Leudon. Leudon has a zoo so some people know Leudon. 

Sister Eileen: How did you happen to hear about Barry?

Claudia: I didn't hear about it. I heard about it from my mother. I don't know how mother heard about it except that she knew Miami being involved in real estate. She came out and had me registered here three years before I came here. That was before I went to England. 

Sister Eileen: I see. You were a freshman in high school. 

Claudia: Yeah, I think I was interviewed out here or something. I met someone. I don't know if it was Sister Trinita or who, but I was introduced to Barry or interviewed or whatever before I went to England. 

Sister Eileen: When was that? In what year?

Claudia: That would have been in 1957 because I went to England in '57-‘60. 

Sister Eileen: Right. Then you came back here and went to school here.

Claudia: I took my college entrance boards or whatever they were called in London. I can remember that much. I guess because of that and because of my schooling in England or whatever, maybe the interview, I came back and entered Barry in September of 1960. I didn't finish school in England. All of that really educationally, I only got as far as the 10th grade in England, but it was truly the equivalent of the 12th grade here. I, by that time had collected four of the Oxford English Ordinary level Exams. Usually everyone finished the advanced level, but I got that one level. I guess with that I was deigned permissible to enter Barry. 

Sister Eileen: So, you never graduated from high school.

Claudia: No, I never even got my G.E.D. either. I thought about that a while back and I thought that it's interesting because I don't even have my G.E.D, but I have these four Oxford Ordinary Level Exams. What can I tell you? 

Sister Eileen: Well, tell me about your life at Barry.

Claudia: Barry, let's see. September 1960. It didn't seem, I had later culture shocks having gone and looked in summer at the University of Florida in '83. That was truly a culture shock for me, but looking back on it now, Barry wasn't really a culture shock for me even having come from England. I guess it was because in England for the last three years, I had been in a boarding school, I was used to a uniform. I had tierwindsernot from the tie, we had bolder hats we had to wear. It was rather strict, so coming to Barry's campus, and I resided here, even though I lived in Miami I resided here because it was quite far from where we lived at the time. I used to go home maybe once a month or something for a weekend. I can remember bumming a ride home with Murmonds, Ingrid and the sister was in my class. They were strict, but that wasn't really strict for me. For instance, we weren't allowed to wear sleeve-less dresses, sneakers, jeans, and you had to sign in and sign out of the dorms. I was expected to sign out on Sunday's to go to church. There were times when I signed out, signed in and got the paper and went back upstairs. There were times when I went to the Lutheran churches nearby because there was a Morrisson right across the street, still is I believe. And then there was the Lutheran ones that were down the shores and there was also the Presbyterian. I also went to the Coreason Chapel because to me a church, or house of God, or synagogue, or whatever you want to call it is a place of worship and the denomination didn't make any difference to me. If I needed to go and pray I could go and pray by the same shot I could go outside and pray under a tree or whatever. 

Sister Eileen: Who were the people that you remember here among the faculty?

Claudia: Sister Loretta Michael was the Dean of the School of Nursing at the time. Sister Carolyn was the medical surgeon instructor. Marie Oswald was the fundamentals instructor. Mrs. Oswald was absolutely fantastic. I'll never forget her words. They run true so many times and I tell the nurses the same thing today that, "If you're challenged by a position or whatever, remember that first you're a woman and then you're a nurse." I just told this to classes two weeks ago and as a woman I think what Marie meant was you're a human being. If those human beings need to be cut down and denigrated as sometimes occurred with nurses in nursing, and that first you're a woman and then you're a nurse. I think that was excellent advice if you heard it. 

Sister Eileen: Okay, you got a good education.

Claudia: I got an excellent education here. There were holes in the curriculum that I can see now, but at the time when I graduated in '64, I think I had an excellent curriculum. Mrs. Ajello, Ruth Ajello was public health nursing and Sally or Sarah Lee was in Psych. nursing. I believe that covered it. 

Sister Eileen: How about the other people? You must have had some other things besides nursing, the other faculty members.

Claudia: Oh, yes of course. In Sociology I got a D the first semester. That was Sister Elaine. I can't remember.

Sister Eileen: Elaine?

Claudia: I honestly can't remember. But, I know that we went through the text book...

Sister Eileen: Joseph Martin.

Claudia: We went through the text book line by line. It was just very dull and boring to me. I had come out of a rather creative environment in England and I just lost interest. When I took Sociology in my Senior year, I got an A because the class was alive and it was just different.  I also had Mr. Civic for Anatomy and Zoology I believe. I had Sister Agnes Louise for Microbiology and Theology. 

Sister Eileen: Who did you have for English?

Claudia: I have no recollection whatsoever anymore. Honest to God. I think it was a Lay person, but I honestly don't know. I'd have to go back in the transcripts.

Sister Eileen: What about History?

Claudia: I don't remember that either. 

Sister Eileen: Then you had Character Education.

Claudia: Yes, I had Character Education, as a Lutheran instead of having four years of Theology, we were mandated. Non-Catholics were mandated to have Character Education for two years. This was taught by Sister Marie Claudia. That was an education. I'm not so sure how a character got in there, but it was an education by all means. 

     I remember Sister Marie Claudia asking me if I for sure didn't like the black shoes. It had to do with the religious order. I said, "No, I really prefer my white shoes immensely." She said, "Well,..." and we had to do the name check because my name was Claudia and her name was Claudia and I think she said at one time  she converted to Catholicism too but I'm not sure. 

Sister Eileen: She did. 

Claudia: She did, and so I could do the same. I said, "Well, I really don't think so." But, Sister Marie Claudia tried. She tried her hardest. She would say that if I got blessings this week it was because her knees were sore from having prayed for me in Chapel and things like that. I said, "Well, I appreciate that, but I don't think it's going to get you anywhere Sister." 

Sister Eileen: You were here then when they moved into the new buildings. You moved to new dorms.

Claudia: Yes, Stella Marris at the time, wasn't it?

Sister Eileen: Stella Matutina was the old. Now, lets see, Regina Caeli and Regina Mundi. You must have been in Regina Caeli.

Claudia: Okay, then back up to the Thompson Hall.

Sister Eileen: Right.

Claudia: Correct, that was the new building. 

Sister Eileen: Remember anything about that?

Claudia: Oh yes, we thought the lobby was absolutely gorgeous, but we weren't too pleased with the desk that sat right there so you could see all doors coming and going. Gentlemen callers had to sit and wait there until we came down the steps or down the hall. The building was nice. It was nice to be in a new building so to speak and that sort of thing. That was probably senior year and I was getting ready to leave.

Sister Eileen: You moved either your Junior or Senior year.

Claudia: Probably. Could be. I remember the building. I remember being in the dorms.

Sister Eileen: Who was your roommate?

Claudia: At the time it was Sue and I can't remember her last name. I'd have to look back on my correspondence. She married and her and her husband moved down to one of the islands. My first year I was with...there were three of us in the room, and then one of them adjoining. The one in the, I'd have to look back on my records to remember those names. 

Sister Eileen: Can you remember any funny things that happened?

Claudia: Well, in the new building I think the University of Miami came out and was going to try and do a panty raid at one time. One summer when we were required to... was it a summer? It was my sophomore year, we lived over at the Villa. At that time, Jackie Kripon who was a classmate of mine was dating John Ball at the Emery Riddel FFA school. Four or five of us flew up to Jacksonville for something, I don't know what. I think it was somebody's wedding. We got caught in a rain storm coming back and we tried to radio ahead to let everybody know that we weren't going to be in on time, but needless to say, we didn't get through. We gave them a little bit of Dutch on that one. 

     What else? Let me see. Some funny things. Yeah, well, I thought it was humor, I don't know if anybody else would, but Sister Marie Claudia at one of the ceremonies, I forget which one, but you get a rose at the time.

Sister Eileen: Universal Candle. 

Claudia: You get it in the Chapel and then you give your rose to somebody else or whatever.

Sister Eileen: Yes, somebody in the next class.

Claudia: Well okay, but Sister Claudia apparently gave me her rose at one of these functions. She came down the aisle and said, "this is for you" or whatever.

Sister Eileen: I bet it was after the October, after the Feast of the Rosary. That's when they had roses.

Claudia: Oh, okay. Because the Sisters had been there.

Sister Eileen: Yes.

Claudia: And they gave them or she gave them or she said to them that she serendipitously slipped it to me. I don't know. She was a character.  She said her favorite color was red. So, at the end of our two years we gave her a black briefcase, a very dignified black briefcase with bright red interior. 

     She was excellent. She explained to us the habit and some of the premises behind the habit, religious order, their lives and the work force and things of that nature. It explained I think a lot.  I had already been to a number of different churches as I grew up. Well, I was confirmed, my mother and parents made it clear that, I think it was because of their Lutheranism, that they thought that they would see me confirmed and brought up in a Lutheran church but if ever I wanted to switch religions later on when I was old enough that it was perfectly my prerogative. So, I had been to other churches and I knew something about the Catholic religion and this and that.

     I think it was an excellent course and for those others that were there perhaps the Jewish students but I can't remember anybody about that class except, and it was in the Tunda above where there is now admissions, that it was kind of an enlightening sort of experience and certainly I think would put to rest any fears, intimidations, or unrest of those students coming to a Catholic campus would have. Because at the time, and I've said this many times since to people, when I was at Barry, it was a Catholic college for women run by the Dominican Sisters of Adrian Michigan. It was a proper place for young women to go for an education. That was the philosophy behind the campus. There wasn't much that would be tolerated by the Sisters and my mother always said that she would see to it that I got my Baccalaureate degree. After that I was on my own. If I got married one day before I got that degree, that was it. I could wear my black cap and gown to get married, but not before because we weren't allowed to get married while we were in nursing school at the time.

Sister Eileen: That's right.

Claudia: There was discipline and it was strict. My mother is a disciplinarian and she is strict. I think she felt that this would be the best place for me to get my education. The only other school in the town at the time was the University of Miami School of Nursing and it had a reputation for being Suntan U. and this type of thing, so she felt that this would be the better place and it was. 

     It was tough. I can remember that we started with a class of 21 and we graduated with 7. After that first year, before we did a summer school internship at St. Francis where you learned all your basics and things like that, quite a number dropped out. I think we went into the Sophomore year with half the class. Yes, we ended up with like about 17 or so that summer. You not only could be dismissed because of your aptitude that is scholastically speaking but because of your attitude. Today that doesn't exist anymore with students rights and ACL and all the rest of it, but I think it had its place. I think it would have its place today except that teachers, because of the student right movement, teachers have lost some of their rights.  You can do it still because I've done it in nursing, but you have to be very specific in documentation. You have to build up a case that will stand up in court. It's really difficult and I don't think a lot of teachers today, I don't know a lot about teacher education but I know about nursing education, but a lot of nurses don't have that gumption to do that. They don't stand up for principle anymore, don't stand on values because I think today's generation doesn't have many left. 

Sister Eileen: Have you kept up with any of the girls you went to school with?

Claudia: Oh yes. The seven that graduated, I think I have contacted because of the phonothon. Of course, being back at Barry, I have contact with five or six of them. Murma, what was murma's first name? Anyway, she married and lives over in England and has I believe it's two little girls. Marilyn Marsh, now Manish, she lives in Coral Gables. Her husband works at the First National Bank of South Miami where I have my savings account and checking account. I see Marilyn every once in a while walking the streets of South Miami at the Art fair or something of that nature. I think they live in Coral Gables. I've seen her Marilyn, but Alice... I forgot her last name and Evylin or Eileen, the one that went up to Chicago. I think that lists about four or five. That's about it.But, it's not as if I lose contact with them. 

Transcription (Cont.)

Sister Eileen: Have you had more education since you've left Barry?

Claudia: Yes, when I left Barry, I graduated in June 1964, I went to work at Stanfordson Baptist Hospital and Pediatrics. I just loved Ped, that's my exempt. I worked at Stanford nurse for a while and then went on to other things. I went to Europe for about a year and a half, worked there as a nurse because I wanted to improve my German. I came back and went back to Baptist for a while and then taught at the Jackson School of Nursing. It was when I switched over to teaching that I realized that I was going to need a Masters' degree. So, I decided as long as I have to get a degree I might as well go somewhere that I've never been. So, I chose San Francisco or Denver. I got accepted at both.  I had worked in Sanford Pi Optominical Center for one summer. So, I decided to pick Denver. I went out there in '73, learned how to ski, got my degree and came back in May of '74 with a Master's in nursing and maternal child health. Then I went back to Jackson School of Nursing and I was promoted to being Assistant Director. I didn't like the Administrative angle of things so I switched over in '75 to the University of Miami School of Nursing. I taught on the Family Nurse Practician program. I also got my Family Nurse Practician certificate at the time. 

     That was I guess is when I really made a major career switch from being concerned with in-hospital illness care to community family and wellness care. I stayed with the University of Miami Nurse Practician program and had a grant for the Pediatric Nurse Practician program and all these kinds of things, until May of 1983. At that time I was trying to get tenure at the University of Miami, but I left the University of Miami in 1983, started to get my Doctoral studies with the University of Florida for a Doctorate in Education. I decided then that I loved teaching and my goal statement for my degree was that I wanted to continue to teach people about their health care be it on a formal or an informal basis for the rest of my life on a state, national or international level. I am now at visitation status on collecting data. I am going to miss December graduation, so the degree will be in May of 1989. 

Sister Eileen: You've done very well.

Claudia: I think that was part of my mother's philosophy. It was sort of a Matriarchal family rather than a patriarchal family. She really took the reins on instilling in us, my brother and I, the importance of an education. Maybe because she didn't have it or she learned it as she went, she didn't have a formal education. She always said that she would see us through the Baccalaureate, but after that we're on our own. She made it through all our trips to Europe and everything, such fun that I think I have that enthusiasm for lifelong learning.  Life is a school in itself and if you stop learning, you're almost stagnant. We spent the summer of '54 in Peletrebel on the coast of Riviera in Spain. I remember the neighbor’s wife doing a portrait of my mother that hangs down in her house that was truly an exceptional portrait. We went out with the mayor and got squid and then ate squid in tomato sauce because they were Spanish. My brother and I were sent out to do the grocery shopping so we would learn the language. 

     In the summer of 1947 before I went to boarding school in England we took summer courses. We lived in Barcelona in a penthouse. We took summer courses in the University of Barcelona so that I learned Spanish. Now of course, I was 14 at the time I said, "Mama, who wants to go to summer school?" But, let me tell you, that Spanish comes in very handy when I did some help assessment workshops down in Louisiana. I went to Santiago Chile. I was invited by unicef and I went to live in Peru to the American school there. I also presented in Dunsouth Columbia. So, it's been very worthwhile.

Sister Eileen: You didn't tell me exactly how you came to Barry yet.

Claudia: My mother sent me.

Sister Eileen: I mean now, when you came back as a faculty member.

Claudia: Oh, that's right. Yes, that's right. When I left the University of Miami, actually, I was more or less one says it politely, one says non-reappointed. In other words, one was fired from the University of Miami. When I wrote at the time, Judith Balcerski, who was Dean of the school, inquiring a new teaching position and also inquired at the Florida International University. I went that summer up to Gainesville to do my residency for my Doctoral degree. Judy called me at one time and said, "We do have a possibility would you come to interview, so I come down on the weekend and get interviewed." I was hired as the director of the accelerated option of nursing which was a new program which they were starting. That's how I came to Barry. So, I guess my prior years at Barry didn't leave such a bad mark and I wasn't too notorious that they were willing to hire me back again. It seems that my name got left in good stats which was nice to know.

Sister Eileen: Tell me a little bit about the nursing program. How do you think it has improved compared to what it was when you went to school here. 

Claudia: One example I always give to people in the community when I talk about Barry's program is that I think it has maintained its quality. There are still loopholes as there are in any program, but for instance, when I attended Barry, I had what was then called Medical Ethics. It is now Biomedical Ethics. I think Sister Loretta Michael even taught that class. Barry never dropped Ethics from its' curriculum. Other schools of nursing did and of course now in the last five years it has become the new goal of things in the curriculum.  Well, Barry had it there all along. 

     I think that the other thing that Barry has had in place all along so they maintain a certain baseline or certain standard so to speak of education, there were no waivers. It's not just under Judy's direction although Judy's philosophy is, because when we put the accelerated program into place, Judy said that she would want me to stay at least three years in that position so that there would be some maintenance and some comnuity because Judy is not the type of person to insist on something and then change before we even know if it's good or not. I think that whole philosophy has been in that School of Nursing. That there is some kind of base there or some kind of anchor that keeps that educational policy present. It has also changed with the times, we've grown and Judy has certainly diversified the program to meet a lot of learning needs of the nurses out in the community. There is the career ladder approach and all the rest of it. Whether it's because of the institution and the religious factor which turns into that sort of caring community that Barry stands for and it makes the difference because you can see this and it has come from the ages because there is this certain religious philosophy there that is an anchor. Whether it's that or some other factor, I have no idea now. I would have to think that it's the religious factor that makes the difference. 

Sister Eileen: That's very interesting.

Claudia: It would be interesting sometime to do a comparative study between another small private university that is maybe not of the Catholic dimension, but perhaps of the Presbyterian or other religious dimension. If you look at hospitals, I'll bet you can find a difference for researchers to maintain an objective. You'll find a difference between Mercy Hospital which has a religious base to it and South Miami Hospital which is non-denomination. Both being of equal size, both being competitors of the field, there would be a difference.  I don't know whether you would poll the staff, the patients, the doctors, or whom, but somewhere in there you'd find a difference and I think you can somehow label that to their religious dimensions.  Interesting.

Sister Eileen: Who was president when you were here?

Claudia: Wasn't it Sister Trinita? And then after that it was Sister Dorothy Browne.

Sister Eileen: Sister Dorothy was before Sister Trinita. Sister Trinita was the Dean I think, when you first came here. Then Sister Arnold became the Dean in '62.

Claudia: Sister who?

Sister Eileen: Arnold. Arnold Benedetto was the Dean in '62. You might not have had much to do with her.

Claudia: Oh, thank God. I mean, I was bad enough that I was hauled into Sister Loretta Michael's office enough, let alone to be hauled into the Dean's or the President’s office. 

Sister Eileen: Did you have any contact with Sister Dorothy Browne?

Claudia: Yes. But, I think I can remember it more or less remotely. Not really in any big way. I probably, as a student, I probably got into enough mischief and I was loud enough. In the boarding school in England I had been labeled the "American Gang Leader" so I probably toned myself down a little. Besides, when I was in boarding school in England, my mother was 5,000 miles away. Here she was only 30 miles away. So, I had to probably behave a little better or not be as notorious as I was in England because mother only visited in England...

Sister Eileen: You don't remember too much about Sister Dorothy Browne then?

Claudia: No, most prominent in my mind of course then were Sister Loretta Michael. Sister Loretta Michael was always asking me what my philosophy was like when I really probably at that time wasn't sure. Well, I think she was trying to tell me something like, "Shape up or ship out" maybe. I remember Sister Mary Arnold with much affection. I'm not sure in what faculty she was at the time, but I also remember Sister Trinita in some capacity.

Sister Eileen: She had been Dean. Did you know her at all when she was President? 

Claudia: Probably not. 

Sister Eileen: How would you compare, well then you can't very well compare if you don't remember her too much, but how would you evaluate Sister Jeanne's presidency?

Claudia: When I came back to the Barry campus in August of '83, I saw a number of changes. I would have to say that the Presidency of Sister Jeanne was one of them. I had been in and out of the country since the time that I left Barry in '64 until the time that I came back to Barry in '84. Well, I had sort of tracked the progress of Barry in the newspaper on what was happening. That was probably when Sister Trinita was President. Even when I left Barry, the boys had started coming here for classes, so it was becoming co-educational. They were expanding. I saw the new library being built when I came back onto campus with some of my functions, I saw the new library from the old to the new and saw the changes going on. Today I would have to say there is much more progressiveness in individualism, in the leadership of the university. I'm not saying that's because it's less religious or less of the Catholic dominance was going on when I was a student here, because I think there's still that emphasis, that religious quality and that emphasis, but it's perhaps not as strict. It's a little more loose. Sometimes I think it's maybe too loose when I see students' dress, but then that's society. That's today. Of course, the university has broadened its base. The Board of Trustees is much more visible today than it was from what I remember at the time, my perception, but of course I was a student at the time. You see things at a much more mature angle at my age now. I think that the University has sort of blossomed if I could say in many respects. Back in my day it might have been sort of a beginning bug so to speak, but now it has truly blossomed. When you look in the mirror at the things going on, you look at some of the international students now coming in that's total diversity of the campus. When I spoke to the literary club, a couple years ago because Judy Balcerski was out of town. It's in my portfolio which is coming up on continuing contract so I guess I can say it on tape, I was talking to the gentleman and I was telling him about some of the differences at Barry between my day and today and I said, "Today there are straights and there are gays, and there are boys and there are girls, there's blond heads and red heads and all types of students on Barry's campus." I think that's added to that growth of Barry. Not that Barry was ever closed. It was never (a closed community) to me when I was here. We had international students then. One of my first roommates was from the Dominican Republic, I believe. It's just grown. I guess under the leadership, over the years it's grown and I think Sister Jeanne continues in her effervescence to help that growth. Whatever that enthusiasm is that she carries with her. She is much more open.  She is much more in the public eye. But then when you look back from when I was a student here until now, when I was a student here almost all of the Sisters wore full-length positional habits. Today, yourself included, you're in regular dresses and it's just altogether different. So, even there that dimension has opened or blossomed or grown if you will. 

Sister Eileen: Did you find the habit a barrier?

Claudia: No, to me I accepted it for what it was. It was a dress like any other dress. Because I was wore a uniform as a nurse, so the Sisters wore a habit as a uniform. It was just a dup de compte so to speak. No, I never felt that a Sister or a Nun was unapproachable because of her dress. We had our jokes thereof naturally. I'm sure those were unknown to the Sisters, but they were awfully quiet. It seems like every time I was talking about one, she slithered up behind me. 

Sister Eileen: Do you remember Sister Grace Ellen, the Dean of students?

Claudia: Yes, I do. You're right, I can't picture her in my mind, but the name very clearly. Yes, probably maybe because I was hauled into her office a couple of times. If I thought about it, I could probably come up with some shenanigans that I've done. I've already said that I was going to stand on Cor Jesu's Chapel steps and say as Martin Luther did, "I cannot and I will not sign out for church on Sunday's" or something like that. 

Sister Eileen: Well, this has been a delightful interview. I've enjoyed it, I don't know about you. I have.

Claudia: Oh, yes. Having come back to the Barry campus has brought back many memories of my school days there. But here in fact the capping ceremonies or the pinning ceremonies that I'd go to, the roses, candles that we lit, we had the Cultural Series at the time. That brings back a funny episode and a bunch of us often laugh about this at reunions. You had to come back if you weren't on the exit yet for the weekend, you had to come back if there was a Cultural Series. You had to sign in by 7 o'clock to get ready. Some of them were a little boring and some of them were a lot of good. This was all part of the upbringing of being a young woman in society. We remember one night there was some Chamber Music Orchestra and of course the real tall skinny woman has this big fat cello.  The short fat man had the itsy bitsy little violin. There were two other instruments, I forgot what it was, and it looked like it was going to be a very long evening. Well, during one of the intermissions, this was part of our learning, you do not clap during one of the movements. There was however this prompted noise. Kind of a "da da da duh." Shortly after that when one of the Sisters walked down the aisle to see what was going on, we learned later that somebody was shuffling a deck of cards. Two of the students out there were playing either Poker or 21 or what do you call it?

Sister Eileen: Bridge.

Claudia: Right. The days were great although it was strict and there was discipline. I think I came out with a fantastic education.  Certainly the clinical experience was good, but I still think it is today. When I went to work at Baptist, two days after graduation, I knew what to do. It had been two years since I had worked in Pediatrics, but within three months I was asked to be assistant director on evenings, or the assistant head nurse of evenings. That might have been, one because of my stature being I'm sort of large. Two, because I have a loud voice, and three they knew I could take charge and take control. On the other hand I would tend to think it was part that, but also part because of my degree and the standing that Barry had and still has as a policy school or policy university school of nursing in the community and actually in the state of Florida, I think. 

Sister Eileen: Well, this is very interesting. Thank you very much Claudia. 

Subject Guide

Profile Photo
Frances Sciurba