Transcribing Interviews!

Today I transcribed a very interesting interview of Nancy Kurtz Falck, from the W&M Class of 1950. Nancy spoke about different gender constrictions such as the curfew for women during her time at W&M, dress code for playing sports, dating, and restriction on riding in cars. It was fascinating to hear about how her boyfriend at the time, now husband, had to notify the Dean of Women every time he came to see her. I thought about how different her dating experience has been as compared to mine. In addition, Nancy spoke about how women were not allowed to ride in cars in the Williamsburg area without permission and farther than the Williamsburg, women needed parental permission. In terms of academics, Nancy spoke about being a woman in the sciences at W&M and the difficulties she faced. “I would say they were quite challenging particularly as a woman. I was a woman who was actually Pre-Med. I had one teacher say I don’t teach women, and I had to have the class to be Pre-Med and I had to go through my usual thing try it you’ll will like it”. In addition to gender constriction, Nancy also expanded on her memories she had made, the friendships that she had crafted, and the laughs she had with the women she lived with. Not only was I surprised by how different Nancy’s experience was compared to mine, I was inspired by her involvement in the college and her positive outlook on life.


  1. chelschive says:

    Hey! This was a super cool read. That’s super interesting considering I’m pre-med as well and couldn’t imagine that being out of the ordinary or being turned away from necessary courses. I also transcribed interviews last semester and it is a lot harder than it looks. 30 minute interviews can take double the time or more to transcribe and you really realize how many ums and likes are used. The transcription pedal makes it a lot easier though (not sure if you’re using this but I recommend)!

  2. I loved reading this because it was very interesting to learn about the difficulties and different obstacles that women faced at the very same college we attend now! It’s especially interesting because it’s cool to compare my experiences to those that the Nancy’s experiences. It’s strange to think that some of the things that I do now, I may not have been able to do had I been alive during the 1950s. Also since I am pre-med as well, knowing that one of her teachers hadn’t even taught women is strange to think about since I am in all science courses. Just reading about what she went through is really cool to have the opportunity to do, I can’t imagine how interesting it was to listen and transcribe what she was saying.

  3. oliviavandewoude says:

    Hello there,

    First of all, what an interesting project it is that you have been undertaking. Considering that neither the Special Collections nor the College have compiled information about female students at William and Mary, your work will fill a gap in the history of our school. I applaud you for examining the history of gender at the College by transcribing the stories of female alumni, and for taking a closer look at the school’s regulations which have affected its women students.

    Your discussion of one woman in particular, Nancy Kurtz Falck, is very interesting to me, especially your findings about the restrictions surrounding curfew, sports, driving, and dating at the College in 1950. These restrictions for women at the College and in Williamsburg, which I was unaware of before now, raised other questions for me. First off, why did you choose to focus on Nancy Kurtz Falck’s case from 1950? Was 1950 a significant year at the College for implementing new regulations on women, thirty-two years after the school introduce co-education? Have you noticed any patterns in experiences among female students from 1950; in other words, did Nancy Kurtz Falck share similar experiences with other female students whose oral histories you have studied? And do you know when the regulations Falck mentioned were eventually changed? And finally, who was the Dean of Women, what was their reputation, and are there any written records about them?

    On another note, I was wondering about what your final project will look like. Will the interviews you transcribed be on display somewhere, perhaps online? Or will you be completing a final research paper? I look forward to hearing about how you will be presenting this fascinating information.

    Thank you for sharing your thought-provoking work, and I wish you luck with the rest of your summer research project.

    Best, Olivia

  4. cemaciashentze says:

    Hi Olivia, Great Questions. I will be compiling my findings in a research paper. I am not just focusing on Nancy, I am actually looking at all the interviews that WM has of women between the years of 1945-1955 so far I have transcribed 6 of them. I have noticed patterns. Women talk about curfew, not being able to ride in cars, the dating scene as well as the experience during WWII. I was interested to find that women also had regulations on where they could go and how far they could roam in and outside of campus. I am focusing on the woman’s body in space and time taking the information and showing how women were restricted due to their gender but also how they thrived at WM.

  5. cemaciashentze says:

    I would love to learn more about transcription pedal. How can I download it?

  6. I always knew academia was is not always an accepting place of women, and that it used to be even worse. I was still surprised to find that the College has a separate dean just for women. The women who were able to not only push through this discrimination but become incredibly successful despite it is truly inspiring.