Monday, September 21, 2009

Role Model!

“The Times Were A’Changing” is written by Betty S. Flowers, at UT student in the sixties. In 1979, she won the Amoco Teaching award and just four years later she received the Holloway Teaching award. In the late seventies and the early eighties, she served as an Associate Dean for Graduate Studies. She is also currently an Associate Professor of English as well as a member of the Texas Committee for the Humanities.

In “The Times Were A’Changing,” Flowers talks about her experience as a student during the Vietnam War. She described the campus as a mixture of the 50’s and the future. Which I think we can all relate to today because what starts here does changes the world.

At the beginning she informs us about how she was one of the few females in her Chemistry lab section and in one of her German classes. By being fearful enough to be one of the only females in her classes already made her a leader, but she did more than that for UT. By 1967 the protests against the Vietnam War began. Students and other individuals who did not belong to the university protested and chanted John Lennon’s song “Give Peace a Chance” (193). A peace movement had begun and everything changed. Many people referred to these protesting individuals as “dirty hippies,” (913) but before anyone knew it, most guys had grown out their hair and the girls had lose hair parted down the middle, including Betty S. Flowers.

I personally would have probably been part of that protesting crowd and I’d probably be found in the “peace rallies” (916) if I would have been alive in the late sixties, but I wasn’t privileged enough to be born yet. Flowers said that all this made people over thirty reject their hippie movement and many students weren’t allowed to go home until they cut their hair. So what many of them did was rent big houses with many students and lived their crazy life. According to Flowers, “the issues were black and white, and the people you met were either young, long-haired, and against the Vietnam War, or older, short-haired, and against the Vietnam War protestors" (916). The spring of 1970, over 2,000 people protested at the Capitol against the Vietnam War. At that time is was dangerous to be a hippie. “Make Love, Not War” (916) was a famous quote back then.

Flowers said that The University of Texas in the sixties was not simply a campus experience, but an introduction to the larger world, to issues of war and peace and courage and betrayal and the need to question the values inherited by authority” (916). I would definitely agree with flowers because besides the hard tests they had to deal with a nationwide issue, but no matter what, they did what they believed was right. The University of Texas was where Flowers grew as a student and as a human being. Later she wrote many articles, poems and even a book on Browning. She is an one of the many “children of the sixties” (916) who followed their beliefs, but changed the world somehow.

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