Chapter 06: A Wide Range of Interests Leads to Library School

Title

Chapter 06: A Wide Range of Interests Leads to Library School

Files

Loading...

Media is loading
 

Description

In this chapter, Ms. Yadiny talks about her family background and her educational path to Library School at McGill University. She talks about her love of reading, her skills with drawing and sports, and her love of life outdoors. She talks about the interests that led her to study literature at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada (BA in 1970) and her decision to go to McGill University in Montreal for her MLS (conferred 1973).

Identifier

YadinyJA_01_20160222_C06

Publication Date

2-22-2016

City

Houston, Texas

Topics Covered

The Interview Subject's Story - Educational Path; Personal Background; Influences from People and Life Experiences; Character, Values, Beliefs, Talents

Transcript

Tacey Ann Rosolowski, PhD:

Shall we go back in time a little?

Janis Apted Yadiny:

Sure.

Tacey Ann Rosolowski, PhD:

Where were you born?

Janis Apted Yadiny:

I was born in Toronto, Canada, in 1948, which seems so long ago now.

Tacey Ann Rosolowski, PhD:

What’s the date?

Janis Apted Yadiny:

January 12th.

Tacey Ann Rosolowski, PhD:

Tell me a little bit about your family.

Janis Apted Yadiny:

Lower middle class family. My father was a plasterer and a contractor, he became a contractor, started his own company. My mother was a stay at home mom. My father was born in London, England, in 1909 and he emigrated with his parents when he was two years old, and then his father was a plasterer too, so they were considered master craftsmen and in the ‘30s, when the Depression hit, they went back to England to work, there’s always work there. So my mother went over and joined him in 1936, and they got married, and in 1938 they had my brother George, and he had a cerebral hemorrhage when he was born, so he was mentally retarded, as they called it then. No, actually the term then was moron. Imagine, right?

Tacey Ann Rosolowski, PhD:

Painful to hear that now, isn’t it?

Janis Apted Yadiny:

It’s horrible. So, World War II broke out, my father went in the British Air Force. My mother had to smuggle my brother out of England, because you weren’t allowed to take mental defectives across international borders. So she took him to a Harley Street physician, he had to have a certificate saying he was well, and when she walked in, the physician took a little rubber duck out of his drawer and my brother said, “Quack, quack.” It was the only animal he knew, so he signed it.

Tacey Ann Rosolowski, PhD:

Oh, wow.

Janis Apted Yadiny:

So she smuggled him into New York, on the last passenger ship that left London, because the blitz had already started. So, she brought him to New York. She had $10 in her pocket and she got—no diapers, nothing, because—that was something else. So took him to Toronto and that’s where I was raised, and then I was born ten years later and found out much later in my life, that my parents had me so that I could look after them when they got old.

Tacey Ann Rosolowski, PhD:

Oh my. Lucky you were a girl. I wonder if they would have made that expectation on a boy.

Janis Apted Yadiny:

No, I don’t think so. And then I have a younger brother, two years younger.

Tacey Ann Rosolowski, PhD:

And his name?

Janis Apted Yadiny:

Doug. Been happily retired for ten years.

Tacey Ann Rosolowski, PhD:

Wow, how amazing, a younger brother happily retired.

Janis Apted Yadiny:

I know, I know.

Tacey Ann Rosolowski, PhD:

Yeah, huh. So, tell me about your early education and kind of things that you found you were being really interested in and good at as a young person.

Janis Apted Yadiny:

A big reader, I loved to read, I loved to draw, was always drawing, mainly always reading. I was a good athlete, so I was pretty good at all athletics. My mother moved us from an immigrant neighborhood to a WASP, up and coming neighborhood. It would have been like growing up in West U. My parents built a house there and you know, there were 45,000 children all around.

Tacey Ann Rosolowski, PhD:

Right.

Janis Apted Yadiny:

We spent all day, every day, outside, so it was very much an outdoor life, which I loved. You know in the summer, we were outside, playing all day. We were only allowed to come in and get a glass of water and have a sandwich at noon, then we were back outside. No playing in the house. In the winter, we skated and we skied and we tobogganed and all that stuff.

Tacey Ann Rosolowski, PhD:

It’s Canada after all, sure.

Janis Apted Yadiny:

In the summers, we spent two months in the summers at my uncle’s cottage up north, which you had to get to by boat, because there was no road, there was no running water, there was no indoor plumbing, so we spent two months just running wild, five of us kids, my cousins and my brother and myself, it was fabulous. That, more than anything, that summer experience and that outdoor life of Canada, I think has—it’s just in my soul. I don’t know why, I’ve never really gone back and lived that kind of life, on a lake or somewhere.

Tacey Ann Rosolowski, PhD:

What do you mean when you say it’s in your soul?

Janis Apted Yadiny:

Oh my God, when I think about when I’m happiest or most content, it would be lying on the dock, looking down in the water at those sunfish, you know, just, just—and hearing the water, the rippling water and the wind in the trees. That to me is just heaven, and all the changing seasons, I love that.

Tacey Ann Rosolowski, PhD:

You must miss that here in Texas.

Janis Apted Yadiny:

I really miss that here in Texas, and I don’t think you can have a real outdoor life.

Tacey Ann Rosolowski, PhD:

Yeah, with the heat.

Janis Apted Yadiny:

The heat and the mosquitoes and the bugs.

Tacey Ann Rosolowski, PhD:

Right. I always heard that when I was moving down here, somebody said oh yeah, we have seasons in Texas is the joke; there’s summer, still summer, more summer, and deer hunting season.

Janis Apted Yadiny:

Right, exactly, that’s about it.

Tacey Ann Rosolowski, PhD:

I was raised not in Canada, but the Northeast.

Janis Apted Yadiny:

New York weren’t you?

Tacey Ann Rosolowski, PhD:

Yeah, so the seasons, I miss those too.

Janis Apted Yadiny:

I love the seasons, they really punctuate your life.

Tacey Ann Rosolowski, PhD:

They do, they do. I remember a distinct kind of shift in mood, you know, and just these magic moments like in the fall, just people stopping and watching the massive flocks of geese going (inaudible) and stopping and seeing the snowdrops or the crocuses coming up through the snow and like wow, nature is speaking to us here.

Janis Apted Yadiny:

I know, it’s great.

Tacey Ann Rosolowski, PhD:

It’s pretty cool.

Janis Apted Yadiny:

I did my graduate degree in Montreal, and we had so much snow one year that people skied to work and took Ski-Doos to work. It was fantastic, but Montreal was a city that came alive in winter, people loved winter.

Tacey Ann Rosolowski, PhD:

Right, people can set up shop.

Janis Apted Yadiny:

They embraced it.

Tacey Ann Rosolowski, PhD:

Right, right. So tell me about, you said you did a literature degree in English, when you were an undergrad. Tell me about making that decision.

Janis Apted Yadiny:

Let me see, I did English, French and theater. I don’t know, Tacey, it’s really interesting. I didn’t have a driving—besides reading, I didn’t have a driving interest in high school, like you know I wasn’t, wow, I’m into science or something. I wasn’t. I had a lot of interests in a lot of different things and I read a lot of things, but I didn’t have that driving interest. My husband at that time, when I was in Montreal, had flunked out of high school, then got back into high school. He went traveling around Europe, smoked a lot of dope, spent a year over there. Then he got back, he finished high school and he went to University of Guelph, where I was, and he discovered a course that changed his entire life, which was botany. So now he’s a full professor at McGill, in biochemistry, molecular biology.

Tacey Ann Rosolowski, PhD:

And this is your first husband and his name is?

Janis Apted Yadiny:

Gordon, Gordon Shore. So he found that passion for science. I had a passion for renaissance literature and medieval literature. I don’t know why, I just was very intrigued by those eras, and Victorian literature, I loved Victorian literature. I loved the Victorian Era and the history and all of that, but it wasn’t enough—let me see, when we moved to Montreal, in order to get into graduate school in Canada at that time, you had to have straight As all through, and university was four years, so I did an honors degree, but I did the four years in three, because I went right through the summers. I couldn’t get into grad school in English lit, because it was too competitive and you had to have—you know I thought, well what do I want to do? I didn’t want to teach, I knew I didn’t want to teach, and that stuck with me. I can present and I can run workshops, but I’m not really a teacher. I would hate it. That’s one of those things that would drain me dry.

Tacey Ann Rosolowski, PhD:

Interesting.

Janis Apted Yadiny:

Yeah. I sort of fell into English literature. Then I had a professor, my last year of college, in an English lit class, I can’t remember even which one, I think it was modern, contemporary literature, and his mother’s best friend was dean of the library science school at McGill, and he wrote me a glowing letter of recommendation and I got in. It was a two-year program, I’d never worked in a library, I mean how insane, you would think they would ask you if you worked in a library. No. But I got in and I got really interested in all of it, and I got interested in the management course that we did, management and leadership program. I got interested in the politics of children’s literature, and there were a few things like that, that really got me curious.

Tacey Ann Rosolowski, PhD:

So some of the themes that persist are starting to emerge. So just for the record, I’m going to say you got your BA from the University of Guelph in 1970, Bachelor of Arts, and then 1973 was the Masters in library science from McGill, in Montreal. So, I mean you were looking for a job or a passion, what were you looking for at that time? Or something else.

Janis Apted Yadiny:

I was looking for some skill that I could do that would be transportable, that I could make a living from. My mother thought I was insane to go do a Masters degree, because I was married and I was just going to have children and stay home, and I couldn’t imagine doing that. So I did my Masters degree and I’ll tell you, that was the most portable degree I could ever have, because everywhere I went, I instantly got a job. And then I never really focused that much on librarianship per se, I got into other things. So, I did the Royal Society of Medicine in London and that was fascinating, because I worked for a brilliant woman.

Chapter 06: A Wide Range of Interests Leads to Library School

Share

COinS