Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with H. Foster Pettit, October 25, 1988

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:03 - Family and educational background

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Partial Transcript: This is an interview with Foster Pettit, Tuesday, October 25th at 1:30 at his office in the Lexington Financial Center.

Segment Synopsis: Foster Pettit is introduced. He gives a brief overview of his educational background, as well as his family history.

Keywords: Air Force; College; Gibson family; Great Drought; Korean War; Law school; Pettit family; Russian; Training schools; Vanmeter family

Subjects: Childhood; Education--Kentucky--Lexington; Families.; Family histories.; Family--history; Genealogy; Schools

00:03:28 - Atmosphere at the University School

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Partial Transcript: Why do you suppose your parents sent you to the University School?

Segment Synopsis: Pettit talks about the University School run by the University of Kentucky as a progressive school, and gives his opinions on the school's theories about discipline and learning. He talks about the emphasis on good citizenship, and talks about the homogeneous demographics of the student body.

Keywords: Chauffeurs; Experiments; Good citizenship; Grandmothers; Homogeneous; Joe Graves; Learning theories; Louise Worthington; Madden family; Memorization; Penmanship; Progressive; Rules; Sayre School; Spelling; Teacher training; University School of Education; Values; Wealthy

Subjects: Childhood; Classroom management.; Education--Kentucky--Lexington; School discipline.; Schools; Teachers--Kentucky

00:11:18 - Differences between University School and public school

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Partial Transcript: Uh, but that gives you a little bit, if you're looking for the atmosphere.

Segment Synopsis: Pettit talks about how his experiences at the University School differed from his experiences in public school, talking more about the lack of discipline at the University School and the quality of education he received.

Keywords: Cassidy Elementary School; Class size; Creativity; Differences; Friends; Homogeneous; Parents; Private schools; Public schools; Quality of education; Requirements; Sisters; The Lexington School; University School of Education; Values

Subjects: Childhood; Classroom management.; Education--Kentucky--Lexington; School discipline.; Schools

00:16:18 - Daily activities at the University School

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Partial Transcript: You mentioned some of the teachers briefly. Do you remember other teachers? What were they like?

Segment Synopsis: Pettit talks about some of the teachers he remembers from the University School and talks about his daily activities, field trips, and homework at the University School.
[An interruption in taping occurs during this segment.]

Keywords: Curriculum; Daily activities; Field trips; Homework; Radio stations; Spelling; University School of Education

Subjects: Childhood; Education--Kentucky--Lexington; Schools; Teachers--Kentucky

00:19:13 - University School classmates

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Partial Transcript: --well I remember some of my classmates.

Segment Synopsis: Pettit talks about some of the classmates he remembers from the University School and their current careers. He talks more about the differences between the University School and public school and discusses why his parents may have chosen to send him to the University School.

Keywords: Academics; Classmates; Cost; Demographics; Differences; Expectations; Great Depression; Impact; Jane Ingalls; Morton Junior High School; Older students; Progressive; Public schools; Quality of education; Reunions; Sayre School; Social life; Success; Transitions; University High School; University School of Education

Subjects: Childhood; Classroom management.; Education--Kentucky--Lexington; School discipline.; Schools

00:26:22 - University School playground experiences

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Partial Transcript: What was the overall atmosphere like?

Segment Synopsis: Pettit tells stories about playing and socializing at the University School. He talks about breaking a classmate's nose, and the playground being located on a former city dump.
[An interruption in taping occurs during this segment.]

Keywords: Atmosphere; Broken noses; City dumps; Classmates; Log cabins; Playgrounds; Relaxed; School projects; Scott Street; University School of Education

Subjects: Childhood; Play.; Recreation.; Schools

00:29:45 - University School teachers

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Partial Transcript: Well one vivid thought, when I was in the second grade, uh, I tripped my teacher by mistake.

Segment Synopsis: Pettit talks more about the teachers at the University School and tells a story about when he accidentally tripped a teacher in class. He talks more about the differences between the University School and public school.

Keywords: Expectations; Friends; Learning; Ms. Adams; Public schools; Quality of education; Student teachers; Tripping; University School of Education

Subjects: Childhood; Education--Kentucky--Lexington; Schools; Teachers--Kentucky

00:32:32 - Social advantages of attending the University School

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Partial Transcript: Did the school help to develop self-esteem?

Segment Synopsis: Pettit discusses whether self-esteem was a focal point at the University School. He talks about the perception that the University School gave the students a social advantage.
[An interruption in taping occurs during this segment.]

Keywords: Creativity; Graduates; Learning; Self-confidence; Self-esteem; Social advantages; Spelling; University School of Education; Values

Subjects: Childhood; Classroom management.; Education--Kentucky--Lexington; School discipline.; Schools

00:35:36 - Woodberry Forest School / demographics of the University School

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Partial Transcript: You mentioned very early about Woodberry Forest.

Segment Synopsis: Pettit discusses his time at an all-boys private school, Woodberry Forest, and some of the students from the University School that also attended Woodberry Forest. He talks more about the demographics of the University School and the types of families that sent their children there. The interview is concluded.

Keywords: Atmosphere; Boys boarding schools; Classmates; Demographics; Families; Farms; Homogeneous; Leaving; Professionals; Socioeconomic status; University School of Education; Woodberry Forest School

Subjects: Childhood; Classroom management.; Education--Kentucky--Lexington; School discipline.; Schools

GPS: Woodberry Forest School (Madison County, Virginia)
Map Coordinates: 38.292194, -78.122083