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Jean Moule Oral History Interview, February 9, 2012

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[JM] It February 9th, 2012. This is Jean Moule, in her second interview. First of all I’d like to talk about how I went about getting ready for this interview. I did four drafts, started with a list of everything I wanted to consider and then ended up with a six page draft that will be the basis of my interview today. Started with categories and then decided to go with chronology. For the chronology I used my résumé because these professional activities prefigured my work at OSU, and is the underlying reason for these interviews. But at the same time if I look at my life, my family, and other activities are 1:00so strong, and of course they greatly influenced my work at OSU. So then I went to the yearly reports we had as a family since my husband and I were first married. Also yesterday as I was getting ready, I created an overlapping timeline that had where we lived, what my husband was doing, when my children were born, what they were doing, where my schooling was, what churches we went too, my hobbies, my interests and, then specifically, areas where I was learning to write and writing, teaching in various manners and serving in leadership. So that timeline is also in front of me as we do this. I will be quoting some of the family letters as we go on and these letters, most of them, are already in the OSU collection.


I think the one thing I do have to make clear here: I teach religion in the public schools and in my classes at OSU. One of the lectures I had is called “Religion in the Public Schools” which is based on the fact, that as agents of the state, educators must be wholesomely neutral. And so in those contexts we must be open to our students but yet not directive and putting on them our beliefs. Yet at the same time when we’re talking about my life during these years, my faith is paramount. So, those pieces are going to come out strongly from this and I just want to make it clear that I’m doing this because it’s my life and my history and what’s influenced me and it wouldn’t be what I teach in front of a classroom. So that’s that.

I would like to start with a verse that is actually in the acknowledgement of my dissertation: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own 3:00understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your path.” It’s Proverbs 3:5-6. I think you can already see from my first interview and certainly in this one, that it’s not as if I decided when I was a little girl that I was going to quote unquote “be a professor at OSU.” So I see that verse is really undergirding how my path took me to OSU and this interview will make some of those junctures and choices come to the fore. Okay, also I have decided not to talk in much detail about intense personal relationships of either a spiritual nature, nor positive or negative interactions with others in great detail. I may refer to certain insights, friction or incompatibility and leave it at that, there are a few. But I’ve 4:00decided not to go into those kinds of things in detail and let it go. I plan to cover my life and work from my graduation from Cal Berkeley until about a year before I entered OSU as a doctoral student. Family wise, this is the time from two years into my marriage until all of our children had grown and left home, yet before any of them had married or started families of their own.

We left the last interview with a bit of insight into my married life with Robert Moule. I’m now going to back a bit to, in time, to my graduation from Cal Berkeley and my professional journey from that point. I graduated from Berkeley in 1967 with an art major and psychology minor. And it’s clear to me that both of those things are woven through my work and career before OSU and my time at OSU.


I entered directly into a very competitive teacher education program. I believe it was the first masters of arts in teaching [MAT] program in the nation. It included my masters degree, my teaching license, and the first year of teaching in the Berkeley school district. Now the Berkeley school district was extremely difficult to get into. There were two hundred and fifty applicants per open position. So to have a program that did all of that and also had you starting as a first year teacher in the school district was amazing. I believe that I was very young. I was just, I entered college at age 17 so four years later I was 21. And I believe that my race came into some of the problems that happened 6:00right away. First, it was an intense program from the beginning. I remember I had a fellow student in the program whose husband had taken her to the emergency room several times because she was so tense she was bound up into a fetal position and he went there to give her shots so she would relax - she was that bad. That’s an example of how intense this program was. I was the only African American in the program and even though I had a solid B average when I graduated, I believe most of the others in the program had a higher GPA and that my race may have tilted my acceptance. I also was placed with another intern for this program who was not a good fit for me. And we two, as far as I could tell, 7:00were the ones on the radical/reformer side of the cohort. Most people had a more traditional viewpoint, had seen teaching as something they wanted to do for a long time. But we were...this was not very long after the Free Speech Movement and I was really into making a difference. And I think that she and I were on the left side of the cohort as we came in. Then, because of my race, I believe I was purposely placed in a very diverse setting, which I had very little experience in before this time. My own upbringing was diverse. The schools I was placed in they were probably in the flatlands of Berkeley, they were probably 8:00eighty, ninety percent black. And I had asked for a kindergarten class; I always liked little kids. I was placed in sixth grade. And I know I had at least one kid in the class that was criminally minded because he had actually pulled a knife on someone in a park. This is not an easy group to work with. I remember one time, I was in front of the class and I turned around to say something and I caught a spitball in my mouth. This gives you some idea of the tension that we were on. And, I left that that program. Now I’m certain that that experience gave me a depth of understanding for that OSU MAT program that we had, and I may talk about that, in the next interview. But that was my beginning of my efforts to become a teacher.

[NF] Could you talk a bit about why you decided to become a teacher after having the art major and psychology minor? I heard you say the idea of making a difference?


[JM] Well, you can see that I’m a very curious person. And I think that teaching gave me a reason to explore and learn more. I could see that happening. I also thought that it would be good to influence the young people because I had a strong care for the environment. I had some really I’d think you’d call it: anti-capitalistic, real values, not things that were connected to material possessions. And I wanted to give those to children. I think that’s part of 10:00what happened. I started taking a few education classes before I graduated, so it wasn’t brand new, the idea of being a teacher. I had taken a music class and I forget some of the other classes, but on my transcript, my senior year, you can see a few of those pre-education classes I had taken.

All right so here we are 1968. It’s a very emotional time to leave a program you’ve invested so much into; it was not an easy decision. I struggled one way or another. I can remember teachers at the school and some of the people I was working with making an effort to try to bridge it for me so it would work. But I just saw I was probably too inexperienced and not ready to undertake that kind 11:00of work. So what was I going to do now? So, my husband was still in school. He was working on his masters degree in history. He was working as a teamster to get his...to support us while he was going to San Francisco State and I started working three jobs. And I see value in all of them. I worked at a pizza joint as a waitress one day a week, sometimes other days. I began to see that particular career from that viewpoint of actually being in it and I still value that. I worked as a seamstress for a man who was both a jeweler and sold leather goods out of his office. That didn’t work out very well.

And I also worked as a researcher in the psychology department of Cal. Do you remember the days when you did punch cards and you had a stack of the cards and 12:00you’d walk them over to the computer? You wouldn’t remember those days. You walk those clear across campus, this stack of cards you gave it to them. Then the next morning you’d get your cards back and you’d get your key punch cards back and you would get your print out. Well that’s what I did for awhile, punching those cards. And I think it’s so funny punching those cards thing this laptop over here probably has more computing power, than that huge building on campus did. That was for a psychologist who was in family counseling, his name was Jensen.

Right about then both my husband and I got jobs as testers for the Berkeley school district. Right before Berkeley was going to be integrated, they wanted to get a baseline for all their students. We administered multiple kinds of 13:00tests; cognitive, achievement, self concept, for grades kindergarten though twelfth grade in all income levels, in all different demographics. From the lowlands in Berkeley, that were predominantly poorer and black to the hills in Berkeley that were predominantly white and wealthy. It was a fascinating time. And I think that work influenced me for what I did next and at OSU because I saw dozens and dozens of classrooms and teachers, saw just a little bit about how different teachers related. The testing was completely randomized. We didn’t know until the morning where we were going to test, what level, what tests we were going to do. We were very well trained to tell exactly the same thing to 14:00every class so it was as controlled as possible. I learned some things about research then by being actually a researcher gathering the raw data as a tester of that study.

Right around then, with my no longer in the teaching program, and Robbie having finished his masters, but no longer in a job, we did a bit of dropping out. We sold everything we had or gave it away. We lived in a forest camp with some others that sort of focused on taking a sauna, going for a swim, maybe making a trip into a local town to go dumpster diving for fresh vegetables and other food we could find [laughs]. So we did that for a few months and during the end of that time, I did go back and do another series of testing for the Berkeley school district.


About then we headed with nothing on our agenda or specifically planned, we headed to Stockton to live for six months with Robbie’s parents [while there Robbie worked as a substitute teacher and I worked in the library at the University of the Pacific where his father, Malcolm Moule taught in the history department. I was also in a Reader’s Theater there]. Based on his masters degree from San Francisco State, where he was writing papers in German into the wee hours of the morning, Robbie tried to get a history job teaching at community colleges on the west coast. We had the wall of our [Stockton] bedroom covered with his rejection letters. Did get a couple of interviews and we did drive as far as Washington state from the bay area for these interviews. And he applied to everything that was in an area we thought we’d like to live.

Finally, with no job referring and coming and nothing else planned, we decided we would just go to a place that we loved. Now, we had seen Oregon; we liked the outdoorsy nature of it. In some ways, we knew very little about the state and we were invited here by some people we had met in Berkeley and they lived near Silverton.


Now when we moved to Oregon, I was already carrying our first child. So from 1969 to1974, specifically, we embarked on what I called in my résumé, the Moule Enterprises: producers and educators of three children. We lived near Silver Falls State Park, where Robbie worked for awhile and all three children 17:00were born in Silverton Hospital. Mary Ellen Moule was born on December 29, 1969 named after both her grandmothers. While I was expecting her, we lived in a picker shed. It was....Robbie was doing agricultural work by the piece. It was a long building divided into four cabins and we lived in one end of it. It had running water but no indoor toilet. And we weren’t there very long because there were people that he was meeting through working in the woods who began to be a little concerned about this young woman, pregnant, and living in a situation like that. So there was a time that I was invited to a tea, a neighborhood tea. And I remember the electricity in the cabin was on and off and 18:00it had stopped and my clock was an hour late. So I arrived at this tea an hour late and everyone made a big deal of when I got there, so “Oh Jean, you’re here!” And there was another young woman, the one who had invited us to Oregon, she also was there, and she was also pregnant. Anyway so we sit down and we drinking our tea and someone brings a gift, a box over to me. And I go “What’s this?” and they go, “Open it!” I go, “Okay” and then as more boxes came, I understood that this was a surprise baby shower for me. Now these are people that I hardly know at all and there was one gift that was, I 19:00still have it, it was a handmade baby quilt with blocks on it that were handmade crossed stitched, I mean obviously a lot of hours went into this. And I think that was the first time I understood the love part of Christianity.

Here you have a couple, interracial, everybody else is white here, by the way the first time we went to vote [laughs] it wasn’t too long after this. I go to the voting place and they have a stack of the ballots primary for Republicans and Democrats. As you know, we’re both so far left that Democrats and Republicans were both on the right. And here’s this stack and there’s like an inch of Democratic ballots and a foot of Republican ballots. And I went, “Oh my gracious!” because I really didn’t understand the politics of the 20:00community we were in. But the love they showed me there transcended it all. And I believe that was a time we may have started attending the Chapel in the Hills, where most of the people were working who had given us the baby shower had been attending.

During these years, caring for children, first, two, then three, under five years old, this greatly influenced what I did. For example, because of Robbie’s work teaching English to the Valley Migrant League, I worked there for two years in the summer, in 1971 to 1972, as director and supervisor in 21:00Jefferson, Oregon. During that time, I hired and managed a staff of 17, planned the schedule, the budget, and training. The second year I stepped down as director and supervised the nursery while I was nursing my second child. And I remember beginning to understand the Latino/Latina culture then. For example, the fact that the parents always expected you to touch the child when he or she was brought in to the nursery.

During the rest of the year I was still working towards my teaching license, from Mt Angel College. I went to classes with Mary in a backpack, student taught in Silverton Hills while very pregnant. First graders never said a thing. Then I had Michael Mountain Moule on December 12th. He was named after Judy Collins’ top song “Michael from Mountain, Where Will You Go To?” So this time, at Mt 22:00Angel College and work at the Valley Migrant League happened at the same time, and I only did things that would work well with raising the children.

Robbie had now worked for the Oregon Parks at Silver Falls for a short time before he began to work with Avery Property in Lyons. This lead to our move to Lyons in 1974, not too long before the birth of Matthew Malcolm Moule on July 2nd and he’s named after both of his grandfathers. While we were living near Silver Falls State Park, before we talk about my move to Lyons, I was thinking 23:00about how, I think it was Josie and Homer Rice, would make such an effort to make sure that we were part of the community. I remember that Josie would be at my house when I first brought home my babies. There was Kelly Kenagy who, with Josie and her family, had started the little Chapel in the Hills. Kelly had helped Robbie get started working in the woods. There were these connections, both social and Christian and work related, that built up and had that basis at Silverton Hills.

The other thing that happened during that time is that I was student teaching, as I mentioned, in Silver Crest Elementary School. It was such a different 24:00situation. It was a very small school. There were two grades per room. And I student taught with one woman who was not only the 1st and 2nd grade teacher and she was also the principal. And the time when I was student teaching, I remember, I had twenty one first graders facing one direction and twelve second graders facing the other direction. So here you had 33 students in two grades. And I don’t know how she could do the principal-ship too while she did it, but she managed it. I just have a video somewhere of myself waddling, ‘cause I finished the student teaching and I finished my reflections and my second child was born a week later [laughs]. I mean I was very very pregnant. It was just 25:00hilarious to think about some of the things that happen. Like I’d be teaching the first grade class and I’d see the second graders over lining up at the pencil sharpener just smiling, not being really naughty, but knowing they were not doing what they were supposed to be doing. And that would happen when I was being observed for this time by a wonderful nun from Mt Angel College. She was my supervisor for this time. And she was a kick, a lot of fun. So, it was my first...it was a very different student teaching situation from the one in Berkeley though. And I think that the children from the farms and the rural community...the parents were more closely connected to what was happening.


But I also remember that before we moved to Lyons, there came an opening at the school and I decided to apply and I had just had my second child. So I had a two year old and a child that was a few months old. And when I went before the school board, for the interview, I remember they said, “We really don’t think you should be teaching, you should be home with your babies.” Which of course, now you can’t make those kinds of decisions. But I think that looking back on it that was one of those situations, where they weren’t sure they wanted an African American teaching in their all white school anyway. So was that one of those cases where someone gives you another reason that has nothing 27:00to do with race, when underlying it there is another reason? I mean to a certain extent we all do that when invited somewhere. If we have something else to go to, we say that. Underneath, we didn’t want to go anyway. So I understand that. But it in this situation it’s troublesome, because did I or did I not take it personally? Did I see the racial implications at that time? And I’m not sure I did. But I remember sort of feeling disenfranchised for being a mother if not because of my race [laughs].

So we moved to our new town, Lyons, and became involved very quickly. We stopped going to Chapel in the Hills and started going to the church that is right next 28:00door to our house. During this time in the chronology gets to be a little bit off. I started a TOPS chapter that’s “Take Off Pounds Sensibly.” I had been at that group in Silverton Hills. And of course after having a baby, you start to lose a lot of weight anyway. So, I was the yearly queen ‘cause I lost 25 pounds while nursing! [laughs]. But I started two chapters, one in Lyons and later one in Stayton. I started a babysitting co-op, so that we could trade around caring for our children. Started a Bible study, and at some point, started leading singing at the church next door. We use to sometimes be greeters of the church, often invited people, people who were visiting the church, home to our house for a meal that day.


I think there was a lot of I would have to call it shallow acceptance of us. Because, I remember, there was one woman in the church who was really, probably through no fault of her own, she was really unpleasant to be around. She had body odor it was very intense, whether it was physical or not I don’t know. But she was poor, very poor and she was intellectually challenged. Now, in my understanding to love and reach out to people I worked to not let that make a difference. But every once in awhile she’d come up to my door and she knock on door and I’d say, “Well, Mary, what do you want?”And she’s say, “I 30:00just want to come in.” So she’d come in and she’d just sit! Years later I found out that that was her way of saying she accepted me because I was black. Was to come in and sit in my house, with no respect that maybe it wasn’t maybe something I wanted to do. But was her pushing herself, in some ways on me, to prove that she wasn’t racist. And of course over the years I’ve experienced that in many different forms in many different ways. But that was a specific instance that I remember very well.

There were, we were new in town. I was a member of TOPS. I was member of Christian Women’s Club, I’ll talk about that a little later. And we were members of a church. Here we’re having a baby. I had three baby showers. I 31:00received over 70 gifts [laughs] - it was insane. I think a lot of it was this welcoming of this new and different family into town.

Sometime in the early ‘70s I attended Basic Youth, Institute in Basic Youth [Conflicts], and through that week of intense teaching it changed my understanding of faith. I think that clearly Robbie and I had rejected religion and I think that even now that I see a difference between Churchianity and Christianity. But that institute lead me to understand scripture in a different way and for years afterwards I helped other people go there. It was one of my organizing things, as I went through different phrases, was to help other people 32:00go to this. And at that point my life took an evangelical direction; I think that is what I would have to talk about, have to call it.

And beginning of 1974 I worked with Christian Woman’s Club first in Silverton before we moved to Lyons and then in Stayton [I was the speaker in CWC’s all around Oregon during these years]. And this [Stayton] group probably averaged 50 to 70 members. They had once a month a luncheon; in the luncheon they had some kind of program and a soloist and a speaker. And it was very low key, not extremely pressure sort of a luncheon. During this time I designed the invitations that were sent out; I had various offices in the organization 33:00including president. I remember one time our feature was a fashion show, and I was pregnant, this was before Matt was born, I was pregnant with him, so I had on this big green polka dot dress and Mary, who was four at the time, had a green polka dot dress with a little bonnet that I made her, so we were part of the fashion show.

There was one point that we had a luncheon out here at my house and I should not have been both the president and the hostess - it was crazy time. We were going for 100 that day so we had both the chairs and tables setup outside and it started to rain and so now we had to move all these chairs and tables somewhere in my house or onto the porch [laughs]. It was hilarious and then we decided we 34:00could go back outside for the program and the talk. And I’d setup for one of the officers to do her little part of the program by mounting one of our horses and riding it into the meeting on a horse, and it was really hilarious [laughs].

Somewhere in those years, obviously I have three children under five the next years were very busy taking care of basic needs, starting school, we were living in Lyons. They could walk to school; it was two blocks one direction, the post office was one block the other direction. I remember my three year old walking down to the post office to get the mail during that time. We were living in a small town.

Occasionally I would sit down to write a letter to my friends or family, I 35:00remember just being really frustrated just didn’t seem like the words were going on the papers in the way I wanted them to. And I remember just praying “Oh Lord, I would just love to learn how to write,” it would be so nice. So sometime around there I was in this garage sale, in Lyons and I started talking to a woman who worked at the Stayton Mail. And she says as we’re talking-and she knew I was college educated-and we’re having an interesting conversation going. She said, “Well, how would you like to attend the school board meetings and the city council meetings in Lyons for us and then you just write it down and send it to us.” And I said, “Well that would be fine except I don’t know to write” [laughs]. And she said, “Oh no, you can actually call in the 36:00details or you can just write the statements and we’ll write it to a story.” Well you can imagine how much that helped me in my writing. I was still typing, this is before we had any electronic ways of changing things. I would type them out on newsprint and send them to her and the next week I would see how they had taken my notes and made a story out of them. So it was a great training ground.

And over the next few years I continued to write for the Stayton Mail and eventually starting writing for the Statesman Journal as both a correspondent for the meetings that were going on, but it enlarged, and after awhile, I was writing a column for the Statesman Journal called “A Letter from Santiam Canyon.” And I first did it with someone and then by myself and it appeared every Thursday. And I would do, what was I doing...sampling food at the 37:00restaurants, talking about the events that were happening, trying to make some humor about my family and what it was like to have them home for the summer and quoting some of my friends. And at the same time in the Stayton Mail I went from writing some stories, I remember I wrote something about Jonah and the Whale, I wrote some of my thoughts on mostly Christian topics, but also other things that interested me. And at one point I actually had a whole page that had interviews with different religious leaders in Stayton, and had a cartoon on it, and had a verse. And I did that for a few months and went in on Tuesday nights to lay out 38:00the paper. Then you physically had the copy and you physically laid it out and took a print and then sent it out.

I love that aspect of writing and getting into the news and being active in the community. Sometimes I would do feature articles. I did one on a teacher from Fox Valley School here, who was also our neighbor. I think that was the only picture I had printed in the -Statesman Journal, the only photograph. But [at the Stayton Mail] I had dozens and dozens of photographs, sometimes a whole page spread had most of my pictures on it. Just whatever I could write about. I remember writing about visiting the things from King Tut’s tomb exhibit when it was up in Seattle in the 1970s. Just things that interested me--I tried to turn into a story. And what I liked best is that if there was something happening, a crowd gathering, I had a really good reason to go and find out what was happening because I was a correspondent.


In 1976 to 1979 I became involved with the Mari-Linn Preschool; it was a private kindergarten and nursery school that was located in the public school. I don’t think they even charged us anything for rent. Because the room was there and it served the school to have some kindergarten before first grade, and this was before kindergarten was mandated throughout the state of Oregon. And I provided administration for three classes. It was a staff of three; I wrote the curriculum and I taught and I also shared the kindergarten class with someone else and then taught one class of preschool students, nursery students, and 40:00someone taught another group of nursery students. I was teaching three days a week and then I worked doing the curriculum for all of us.

During this time Matt, who was two, the woman who baby sat him was also sitting one of the children in the nursery school so she would come and pick up that child and deliver my two year old to me, so that was fun. And during that time I had my [other] son in my class and he’d call me “Mrs. Mommy.” Both of the younger two children were involved in that and as you can see being in the preschool made sense because of the age of my kids it fit. And I also liked being in a school where my daughter was going to school so I’d hang out in the lounge and I’d find out the background. During this time, I believe, my husband [and I], we started a Parent Teachers Association and Robbie was the first PTA president.


Now, I have one of my lectures that I always use about religion in the public schools and I talk about different things that happened during my years as a teacher and I think I’ll sprinkle those through this interview, we’ll see how that goes. One of them was that in this class I had on my wall sayings that I wanted my children to know, like “A person is known by the friends he or she keeps.” Now, that’s a proverb, it is from the Bible. It’s not particularly religious, but it is from the Bible. Some of them were not, some of them were. I had a parent come in and notice that one was in fact from the Bible and she 42:00asked, “Is that legal?” And so, that question, which I’ll get back to another time, came then: “Is it legal to have sayings on the board from different faiths and from secular places?” And the answer is that “Yes, it is.”

So that was the first time my faith and my public school, it was in a public school, came into conflict in a way that I had to think about. And so I have a very deep and long understanding about religion in public school and holding some neutrality. A lot of that began then.

I also, during that time, I remember I had a student in a kindergarten class who wouldn’t talk. And I remember spending so much time just trying to get a few 43:00words out of him as if he was one member of the whole class. Well there was another member of the class that entered kindergarten reading and I didn’t even know it until December. And I think that’s when it first occurred to me that I was certainly taking care of special needs child as much as possible but here the bright child was learning virtually nothing. I’m teaching sounds of the letter and how to say “mmmm mat” and he’s already reading. And so, I saw that I was doing him a disservice. And I think that’s one of the things that starting cluing me into talented and gifted students even before I understood that my own children were talented and gifted.

In 1979 right after that I did get involved in Talented and Gifted Education for 44:00grades 1 to 8 at Mari-Linn school district. I set up a pilot program that I did absolutely for free as I began to work with students that were bright. I wrote grants. I served students in all areas of giftedness not only academic but also leadership, art, drama, calligraphy, creativity. We had a list of areas that were considered gifted education and I worked to do them all. We had a newspaper.

I remember one time we had a, it was very unfortunate, one of the little kids in my kindergarten class was hit by a car and died. And our class, the leadership class, wanted to do something so that that wouldn’t happen again. He had been 45:00riding on the side of the road. So we wrote a proposal to the Oregon Department of Transportation that a bike path be put into Lyons. And we sent off this letter and we heard nothing back. Actually, no, I take that back. This guy from the department came to talk to my class but after that we heard nothing back until one day we’re sitting in class and we look outside and here’s all this heavy duty equipment rolling into town, these big trucks and stuff, [laughs] and they put in a bike path, a fifty thousand dollar bike path, because of the students’ original letter. So that was one of those times when a little bit of effort by some children opened up a very big and wonderful service to a lot of people. I think that was one of the first times I understood the power of kids and the power of teachers to influence kids for that kind of work that addresses a real need and a real audience.


During this time I had a couple of, another one of my little religion public school things. I had a little kid that fell down and scratched his knee and I come up to him and he’s holding his knee and he’s praying. Okay, he was asking Jesus to heal him. And I remember looking around and there was no one else there. I knew his parents, I had been to his church, it wasn’t my church but I knew his church. I looked around and I put my hand on his shoulder and I started pray with him like that. So that’s one of the questions I asked my students later at OSU: was that legal? And we’d talk about, and “no” because I was actually practicing my faith. But it was just one of those things that happened and seemed very natural at the time just go ahead and do it. I 47:00wasn’t initiating it but there are reasons why my publicly praying with a child in a public space wouldn’t be a good thing to do.

At the same time I had arranged for, what do you call it when you have children leave to go to Bible study outside of school? [Release time] Well I started something a little Bible club that was after school from two to three. And I think a third of the kids in the school were going to it. And then we ended up having to do it across the street. And I remember inviting an evangelist that was visiting our church came to an optional talk with the 7th and 8th graders at Mari-Linn School and it was like he kept them for a long time. And these teachers didn’t really care that their kids weren’t back in their room. But 48:00I’m wringing my hands going this is a Church-State issue, he needs to be done with them [laughs]. And he was being pretty darn evangelical; that was so much so that it made me uncomfortable. Because I don’t believe that—teachers, teachers have a captive audience- so you have to be careful what you say and do. And even though students go to this voluntarily I thought it had crossed the line a little bit.

Now, during this time also, I went to the school board at Mari-Linn School and had an ongoing debate about creation and evolution. And, while I still have a 49:00lot of questions myself, my basic reason for having a great deal of trouble with evolution is that it’s illogical. I remember when I was substituting once I had a chart that had a scientist in a white coat and he has his finger out like that and he goes, “Hydrogen - an odorless colorless gas that, given enough time, turns into people.” Now, that’s illogical to me. And there are certain laws like entropy and the way things break down that are scientific theories 50:00that are totally against something from nothing. It doesn’t work for me. I had another sign that says “Frog = Man, Time Instantaneous: Fairy Tale. --- Frog = Man, Time Three Million Years: Science.”

So during this time I felt that any good education should have multiple ways of looking at things and that it is only fair that children be allowed to look at scientific evidence for intelligent design. And I still feel that way. It’s a problematic perspective that flies in the face of unknow[able] and unproven theories of evolution. So that was one thing that happened during this time that 51:00I was often in conflict with others. I remember I have a whole series of books in my library on the scientific basis for creation. But I have also found there is this impenetrable wall in most schools and certainly in higher education to even begin to discuss it. And I am still troubled by that because if it is so obvious, then why can’t we talk about it? And yet as far as I can see, if you even begin to suggest your work is going to support creationism you can’t even get it published.

Okay about that same time I worked a bit in the Santiam Christian School. I was 52:00working half time at Mari-Linn School and half time at a Christian school that had a set up for individualized instruction for grades 1-12. Set up the school, trained the aids, and particularly helped a lot with the extracurricular activities; helped them get a better view of things than just from the church.

Let’s pause.

In 1981 we left that church in Lyons and moved to four acres in the country. We had a large garden, horses almost right away, and llamas later. Our summers were full of times with the children, family trips. The kids were growing up with the horses, the dog, the cats, life happened. Our first trip to Europe was five weeks in 1981 right before we moved to our current home in the country. We 53:00visited my husband’s sister in Paris and spent time went across to England and Denmark, two of Rob’s close ancestral homes, Germany, Holland, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Belgium, Luxemburg. And we began to see, for the first time finally, I was able to get to Europe and get off of this continent.

Shortly thereafter I started as a substitute in school districts. Now, this was just a way I thought, since I had my teaching certificate, it gave me a little more money into the family. I remember it was really a matter of prayer to do this and we had a visitor with us who was substituting full time in California and she was telling me some of the things she did to work as a substitute teacher. And by the way, I was not a good disciplinarian, but I did learn how to 54:00discipline from substituting. I had a little bead chart and I said, “Now everyone in class if you’re sitting up straight, I’d move a bead for your row over a little bit.” And everyone sits up. “But oh, over there, you were talking to your neighbor I’d move the bead for your row back.” And the whole class was focused on this bead chart and the row that did the best for the day would get stickers, chocolate, whatever I could think of. So I had this, and I’m not saying that’s the best way to discipline kids, but that’s how it worked for the substitute teaching.

Also I was very creative, you know, you’re a substitute teacher they haven’t hired you they can’t fire you, so I did some very interesting things there. In one class for a month I taught social studies, and it was amazing I was able to 55:00go before he left and he had a test and then he had to have surgery so I got to know the class a little bit and he really trusted me with his class and I went all out: I had costumes, I had games. One class, two of the, I had both 7th graders and 8th graders and one set was studying the Egyptians and mentioned their contact with the Hebrews in the teacher’s manual. So one day I dressed up like Nefertiti and the kids were watching a film while I was putting on makeup in the back of the room and I heard this knocking on the door and I opened it and there was the principle and he looked at me with my makeup on and 56:00my Nefertiti outfit and he goes, “Never mind” and shuts the door. So I went up to the front and talk about the opening of King Tut’s tomb and who knows, like I said I probably didn’t have my timeline right. But then I told the students “Okay, tomorrow we have a special guest coming and when our guest comes tomorrow, you’ll enjoy him so much.” So it was time for him to come and I told the students I looked at my watch and said “He’s not here yet, I think I’d better go check.” Which you’re not supposed to do. So I left the room and I ran down to the teacher’s lounge and I put on this long multicolored robe and this great long white beard and came in with a staff in one hand and the ten commandments in the other and walked into the room as 57:00Moses. And, again, now the teacher’s manual said about the contact so I was going along with the book. So the students are reacting in ways you can’t imagine; I mean one comment was, “Moses you sure got a tan wandering around there in the dessert.” And I would then talk about the contact between the two cultures. And of course at OSU when I tell them that story we talk about the legality of that.

And then for the other set of classes they were learning about the colonization of the US. So for that I put on a pilgrim costume and I set up the room like a church service. And so we’re now going to be thankful for our arriving on the 58:00shores. So I had the students praising and they actually got into real praise, like I went “Oops! Now what am I going to do?” And now I got them to praise, and now am I going to denigrate religion by stopping them? [laughs] Fortunately, time was running out. I finally got them quieted down and one student comes and says, “Mrs. Moule, can I talk to the class a minute?” I went “Oh sure!” So the student takes the podium and he gives an evangelical message, which isn’t legal and then the bell rings. But just talking about these real experiences in my classrooms was a way I could bring my real experience to my students at OSU. So I was pretty powerful to have those times.

Funny, Scio Middle School, and my prayer for substituting was, “Please Lord 59:00not middle school.” And these were all middle schools. Scio Middle School and Stayton Middle School I was at the top of both lists for substituting and when the phone rang in the morning I’d say, “Oh, let it please be Scio!” Because when I’d go to Scio I had a little bag that said"Guest Teacher.” And the kids were all about “Mrs. Moule is here! Wow, this is fun, shes going to be here!” I’d get up at Stayton Middle School, I’d go to the lobby area and there’d be a student who’d say “Oh yuck, here comes Mrs. Moule!” It was just like night and day. I think from that I learned you can be the same person and be seen so differently from such different settings. But I learned so much because I was just in dozens and dozens of classes for a year.

Well at the end of a year, I was substitute teaching three or four days a week and decided that I might as well take a job. So that’s when I applied to work 60:00at Mill City Middle School as a coordinator for gifted students grades K-12. I conducted the identification, led screening committees, consulted with classroom teachers on individual students’ learning programs, provided or planned the services, wrote curriculum, taught myself in grades 1-8 gifted. And during that time I coached first place winners in a state essay contest, Odyssey of the Mind state and regional competition, and a western region commercial contest.

I just loved sharing my creativity and getting creativity out of the students. That was my gift during that time. It was part of what I love about teaching.

I helped students place art in a Salem paper and it was during that time that we wrote those two history pamphlets which I shared with you, the ones that started this whole process [my papers to the OSU archives and the oral interviews]: the 61:00ones called “Kids Open Up Gates History” and one on Mill City history that had us getting original research, both from people in those towns and going to Salem to the state archives and the highway department to get information. And eventually one of those books won an award from the Marion County Historical Society for the research. Lots of newspaper articles about both the history that we did and about the Odyssey of the Mind winning teams that we had.

And during this time I had an experience with giving a memorial service for one of my students who had been killed. And that was a very emotional time and a 62:00challenge to both bring his uniqueness and intelligence out, but not negate my own faith. And sometime during this time when I was in Mill City, I put on a winter program. And in this program I had the history of Christmas carols and I asked the media specialist to help me with the play. And she looked at it and she looked at it and she said “Isn’t this illegal?” ‘cause she was an atheist. And I checked with the state department of education to make sure I was on solid ground and had both religious and secular music. But at the same time when there was a role that was like a role for the originator of a carol at a 63:00church, the person playing that was comfortable with the role. Or the person who played Saint Francis of Assisi was comfortable with that role. It was one of the highlights of my teaching career to have this program come together and have different classes singing and this play. It was in the evening and the whole community came; it was truly wonderful. But it was the son of the atheist media specialist who I did the memorial service for. So she’s in the audience and I have to come up with something that both honored where she was and who she was and her son. And in that case I had collected information from all my students on things that they liked. And one of the questions was “If you could invite 64:00anyone back in history to be your teacher who would it be?” and this child who had died had put down Adam and Eve, Noah, Jesus Christ. He had had some Boy Scout friends that had shared some faith with him. So I was able to use his words, not mine, to say to the whole school-the whole school was out for the memorial service- that my wish was that Eric was getting his wish. So I didn’t put my faith out there, but was wholesomely neutral as I could be to share some of his thoughts and ideas. So that was one of the most difficult things that I did in my teaching.

What was happening with my own children during this time? As a family we stayed busy. Some of our yearly reports are thousands of words long as our children 65:00became teenagers. Led by our son Michael, we all went from being cross country skiers to downhill skiers. There were sports, track and field for all of them, and other talents: singing and writing. My daughter, when asked just yesterday about these years, listed “going places, playing games, cross country, downhill skiing, company, the church school disaster which happened,” I talked a little bit about that, “new schools, dad in PTA, minor injuries, various cars, life.” And “After we left home,” she said, “you had new friends with connections that do not depend on the age of your children,” because for awhile that’s who our friends were, the ones that had the same ages as our children.

When we left [the property in] Lyons, which had a rental that paid for the whole property, and a [cedar] roof that Robbie had made, we came here. Financially it 66:00was a little more difficult and that’s maybe why I started doing the substitute teaching, and during these years his parents passed away and our nest slowly emptied with the kids applying to and getting into Ivy League schools, and eventually they got careers in teaching, engineering, and law.

Beginning now in this Interview I’m going to quote some excerpts from our yearly reports. The first one is from 1984: “Jean is excited about her half time teaching in the town of Mill City, Robbie’s back is healing nicely after surgery, and he’s back to work, skiing, wood cutting. Miss Rob’s mother - died last Spring in a tragic fire in her home.” And then I’m sending you 67:00this letter with the picture of the whole family as the key to it so you can have that to take back with you. During these years our oldest child left for college and I went to U of O in Eugene. I took one or two evening classes a quarter. It took me longer to get my masters degree than my doctorate because I was working and our home was so full of people. I did do my thesis at Gates Elementary School and my major at UO was instruction with a specialization in Talented and Gifted Education.

Beginning when we moved out of Lyons I did become deeply involved with One Way Fellowship in Stayton that after a while began having the Sunday evening service in our home. Then beginning in 1985 we had a stand-alone house church called 68:00“Open Word Ministry” that met here for ten years. Now, our fellowship often lasted 12 hours and included two meals, a potluck and then whatever was left over for dinner. And a couple of times I sat with my sons and counted how many different individuals had come through that church, not the same person coming two times, but different individuals; we had over 700 different people come through our house. Now our living room was set up, it’s what? 13 by 33. It was set up very differently: we had two sofas, we had a bench along the wall, we had chairs we took out of the closet, we had big pillows on the floor for the kids. So we were averaging 40 people per week.


During this time we shared our home with three families that had three to five children for 6 months to two years. The first family, the Chalupskys, are still our close neighbors and friends. When they came at the end of 1985, our children were 11, 14, 16 and their daughters were 2, 4, 6 and 8. We made an extensive addition to our house to accommodate them and we had a young man staying with us as well. Every family in the church had extras and once in the same year, four families all took in a Japanese student for the summer. We also had Didier and Philippe from France for different summers. As part of the group-people that came to our fellowship-we had rotation of young people from a local Youth With A Mission base located near Salem. And because of that connection, in 1987 we planned a five week trip to Europe where we camped and worked [on YWAM bases]. This was our second trip to Europe; I think I talked a little bit about the first one.


In 1988, a couple of more excerpts from our Christmas letter: that was when we decided for our two families to live separately so they moved back up the road where they still live. And Mary was working at the [Detroit, Oregon] ranger station and she actually worked in places in Yellowstone. And we all climbed South Sister that year. And then we wondered what use God would make of our 7-room house. Well, another family in our church planned to build a house in 71:00Bend but their house sold before it was built so they spent 6 months living with us. So we had their three kids and our three kids for a while.

It was during this time that I set up what I would call my “Minority Business.” I was a TAG consultant around the state. I have a list of the many school districts that I went to in 1988-1997, just all over the state. Both for teachers, like during in-service day I would lead workshops, or for parents. In the same amount of time I was doing work for the State Department. During this 72:00time I collected data for the state, 1987-88 TAG directory of all the programs and services and updated it the next year, was doing workshops quite actively.

Also during this time starting in 1983-1989, I was involved with the Oregon Association for Talented and Gifted also known as OATAG. I directed a conference, was a lobbyist in the legislature, and eventually the president who wrote for the Different Drummer which was a newsletter for that organization. And most of it was around Talented and Gifted, but as you may have imagine every 73:00once and a while, I would put in a little of my beliefs and have a real, in the crosshairs with people, who didn’t understand having faith of some type is fine. You can’t just take one faith and say “you can’t talk about that.” So I know what I did was legal, but constantly in both OATAG and at OSU there was this sense that you could be open about anything but not your Christian faith and that happened then as well.

In 1989, actually starting in 1987, I took a year leave of absence from Mill 74:00City School district to finish my degree and during that time the whole family was coming back from...well my daughter was in college and my son was as well, she was at Williams, my son was at Princeton. They’d come back. She was working on the forest fire crew and Michael was working on the engineering crew and Matt was working with youth conservation core although he was still in high school. And feeling left out, I decided to do volunteer work part time with the archeologist doing some field work and making drawing of artifacts. Because of my children’s involvement, we often try to have people come visit , both their friends and of course Didier and Philippe from France. We also had Naoko who came from Japan and spent some time with us that year. So our house was full.


In 1989 we also welcomed into our family Elizabeth Issangya. She is the daughter of a man who started a school of Evangelism in Tanzania that we had been associated with since the late ‘80s. He was a poor farmer with two acres. He sold his farm to go to a Bible school in California, and then went back. And over the last, what twenty some years now, he’s trained seven hundred students who’ve started 1700 churches. We had Elizabeth with us for three years. She was the longest exchange student we’ve ever had. She was here doing Matt’s last two years of High School and then one year after he had gone.


In 1992 Matt graduated from high school; that’s when I was still working as a correspondent and involved in OATAG. Mary was in the Olympic trials doing a lot of cycling and my husband’s family had a family reunion in California and our golden retriever joined our household. At this point Robbie was serving on the Stayton High School Board; he was elected in that position for three years. And I began working at the Stayton [Middle] School and Sodaville school district as 77:00a Consultant for Talented and Gifted Education. Those were some of many schools I worked in between 1988-1998. I had about forty school districts. I also was an instructor for graduate courses and workshops for continuing education summer sessions at Portland State University, University of Oregon, Oregon State, Eastern Oregon State and Southern Oregon. At Western University I consulted with and planned courses based on a four-county needs assessment. Taught many of them myself or helped them to choose other people to teach them.

Pause Please.

[NF] So in terms of your evolution as a teacher it seems that your work has 78:00coincided with your children growing up. You started as a preschool/kindergarten teacher when they were that age and then you moved on to middle school and eventually you became a professor at the undergraduate and graduate level. Was - that something that came naturally or were you thinking about it consciously as your children were growing up?

[JM] I think there was a time when I believed it was better for me to teach after I worked with my own children that age. That gave me insights I wouldn’t have if I didn’t do it that way and I certainly know that my TAG work came because of...like my son Michael, I remember he had a book out and it was “Hop on Pop” and he was turning the pages at 4. And I thought he memorized but then I bought him another book and I figured out at age 4 he just figured out how to read. So I was very concerned that he and the other two children were not going 79:00to-their education was going to-be missed like how I missed that one child in my kindergarten class before. So I think that is part of why I started Talented and Gifted classes while I was at Mari-Linn. My kids were in those TAG classes that I was teaching; I was working with them and their teachers. So that definitely drove my work there and I remember I took a class at WOU on giving intelligence test and my kids were who I gave them too. And that part of my career was definitely paralleled with the needs that I saw in my own students [own children].

Although I didn’t do very much active class teaching beyond the middle school 80:00except that I did coach an Odyssey of the Mind team with my, two of my three, kids when they were at high school with one of their teachers at the high school so I did do some work over there. And then when our kids learned track we were on the track keeping track of the time. I tried to stay involved with the kids and did do some work with their teachers as a TAG person throughout as much as I could. I tried to be there to help their teachers help them and stay ahead of the programs myself.

So one of the interesting ways that my kids and I sort of taught and learned from each other is that I was at Hoodoo with some friends of ours, the family who had lived with us, the second family who had lived with us, were skiing up 81:00there. And one kid had been trying to learn to snowboard and he was done and sore. The ticket on his jacket was good. I was talking to my son Michael and Michael said, “Hey Mom, why don’t you get out here and ski?” Well this is 1988 and I had a student of mine from Mill City school district was on the slopes. And I was like “You come down that run?” It was just an easy run and I didn’t know it. So I let my son push me into the line at Hoodoo with his two long skis and two long boots: I can’t stop, I can’t turn, I’m scared stiff hanging on on the ski lift, get off, falling down. But I notice there are all 82:00sorts of people young and old big and fat, all sorts of people able to ski. So I figured, “You can do this!” So I came back and took a lesson and after...so we started skiing as a family it was just wonderful. And after a couple years I decided I would try to become a ski teacher. Now remember I had had some experience teaching but I wasn’t a skier. I did this interview over in Bend with the director and he could tell I could teach and when we had our on the snow exam there was hardly any snow so he didn’t know until after he had hired me that I really couldn’t ski yet. But ski instructors have a lot of training so at the end of the quarter I was skiing. But my family, my three teenagers, 83:00thought I was gold when I came home and I said, “I am now a ski teacher and you get cheap ski passes, family ski passes.” So for many years there skiing became our strong family bond because no matter how fast the kids go, if I want to follow them I can keep up with them. And so I was an instructor at Hoodoo Ski area from 1989 to 1990 about to 1995 and then beyond in minor ways, and then starting in 1994 I became a ski patroller as well.

Now the reason this skiing fits in with this next part which is what happened 84:00with our house church is that the ski thing took place during the same time as the Sunday mornings that we had multiple people here. And so we let go of the house church to start hanging out up there and for awhile, for two years we had this early morning before-the-mountain got started sort of small service at the ski area; we got permission to do that.

And during this same time in the early 1990s my Christian ministry sort of branched out from the house church when I decided to begin work with incarcerated individuals. Now I know this is a weird thing to say but it’s true that there aresuch a large percentage of the African American population, a larger percentage of African American population in Oregon is in the prison, than appears in the population of Oregon, which is true across the United 85:00States. So by going into the prison I also was in some ways increasing the number of black people I interacted with. Now we also within our church, we had the families from Issangya’s [family]- Elizabeth Issangya from Tanzania. And we had a couple of families that were biracial or had adopted black children so we did have that variety in our church. And I think that is part of why we came together as family because we did have diversity here that you didn’t have at most of the churches.

But I started working with prison fellowship. I was going into the Oregon Women’s Correction Facility, the women’s penitentiary more or less. I was going into Marion County jails and doing Bible studies and also counseling 86:00individuals. And of course, I found that so often people see you in a role and they speak to you in that role regardless of whether you have the keys to it. I remember sitting around the table in Marion County jail and having a guard start sharing his life with me because he knew I was this counselor and I think I began to get some key listening skills, because of this working in the prisons, which served me very well later as a teacher. That sort of allowing, where someone was to come out and seeing if I could begin to help them and move them along in a direction they already wanted to go.

My philosophy has been, I believe from both the house church and the prison work 87:00and certainly as I moved into OSU, to help people become self-directed life-long learners. Our church functioned in a circle. There was no one leader. Everyone was responsible for sharing whatever they had, for starting a song, for sharing a verse, for bringing their needs, bringing their prayer request. And so not only did I have that here but at this point I was also trying to help the people other house churches started both here and in other places and actually did some traveling specifically to help house churches in other states a little bit. I was seen as a strong leader in that movement and I was working with people who were writing books in that area. I had a website where I was putting my writings 88:00on house church, it’s still out there actually. If you Google it you can see my Christian writings are still out there, and that happened during this time.

I consider myself a pro-life feminist. And when Salem was considering a Planned Parenthood facility and I did a regular, usually solo picket of the site. because it is in my belief in the value of human life. I am anti-war, anti-death penalty, anti-abortion. One of my signs says “Equal Rights for Unborn Women”- I had others. I don’t want to get on the soap box and be preaching at this point so I won’t go through all of them. Whenever I feel strongly about something I am usually willing to take a stand even when it’s against the grain. I was doing solo pickets when there were organized pickets. I wanted to go and do it myself. Sometimes I would do it on roller blades carrying my 89:00little picket signs and I think I was on the front page of the Statesman Journal once with one of my signs.

So, yet how did this heavy involvement in these different faith-based work of mine and my continuing work in Talented and Gifted, which was going on, my instruction teaching in skiing, how did those become changed when I undertook a doctoral program at OSU? And we’re going to pick up that story in the final interview beginning on how I made that decision.


One of my favorite metaphors is a river that’ll come through next time. But my other one is a tree so I’d like to end with what I consider my life verse from Psalms: “She shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water. And whatsoever she does shall prosper. She’ll bring forth her fruit in her season and her leaf shall not wither.” There’s lots of ways to view that. I did make it more feminine than it is in the original. So...there we go!