Excerpt from “Listening to My Life”

Road to Independence

My first act of independence was when I left home in 1963, at 20, to go away to college. I transferred to San Francisco State as a junior in 1963. My decision created a fight between my parents. I overheard my father yelling, “I’m not wasting money sending a damn girl to college. She will only get married.”

My mother calmly said, “She will go to college and that is the end of this discussion.”

Sitting in my bedroom, I felt, for the first time a deep anger rise within me, and a feeling of I’ll show you. Tears flowed as I pounded my pillow. Who is he to say I can’t go to college because I’m a girl?