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The Betty H. Carter Women Veterans Historical Project

Letter from Constance Phillips to parents, 1945

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Object ID: WV0082.4.011

Description: Phillips enjoys her x-ray classes, and describes topics covered in her physics and anatomy classes. She also notes a day trip to Indianapolis, and a group date with the Notre Dame Baseball team.

Creator: Constance Cline Phillips

Biographical Info: Constance Phillips (b. 1924) of Concord, North Carolina, was an X-ray technician in the Women’s Army Corps from 1945 to 1946.

Collection: Constance Cline Phillips Papers

Rights: It is responsibility of the user to follow the copyright law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code). Materials are not to be reproduced in published works without written consent, and any use should credit Jackson Library, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Full Text: Dear Parents-

Your non-writing daughter is well, happy and up to now has been very busy. This week the work got much more difficult and I took time out for nothing, not even letter writing. I'll try to write twice a week, but every once in a while things get a little too warm.

Last week I got several mighty sweet letters from home. The telephone news sounds good. As soon as it's in, let me know I'll go to the phone center and call you good folks up. And, Daddy, thanks for the letter. If sounds as if the farm were doing very nicely. Wish I could be there to see it all. Mother, as to selling me down the river- That may be, but the trip itself is very interesting! The more I find out, the better I like it. And x ray is fascinating.

As for the physics we get, it's streamlined as is everything else. The first week we studied electricity, the composition of the atom, the production of x rays, types of currents, circuits, etc. The second week we tackled magnetism. Laws, right hand rules, types of magnets, etc. Next week, who knows.

In Anatomy (or Osteology, as it was) we learned the skeletal system, complete with locating terminology and tuberosites. Next week we start on the internal organs. And it was on anatomy that I got my only compliment since coming to the Army.

One of our classes is conducted by Major Reeves, a doctor, and we do film analysis. He's the scientific, precise type, and after two years of Shaftesbury, I know how to give what they want. So I explained the AP projection of the skull (AP being the antero-posterior) (it could also be PA) - the point being that it was all the bones of the skull superimposed on each other. To which we x ray children give the term "total density." Anyway I picked it out and he said that I'd done an excellent job. Believe me I felt like a large toad, just bloated with pride. That's the only time he's ever made any comment like that in our class. That helps counter-act the fact that I got 89 on Physics. Not too bad, but lots of the kids knew what the test was going to be and made 100. Still, I made that 89 points all by myself and I'm pleased. This week my grades will not be as good, as I understand less of the stuff.

You may be interested in the way our classrooms are set up. In the morning we have 2 hrs physics and 2 hrs anatomy. After lunch Major Reeves takes over, then the last two hours of the afternoon are on practical stuff - construction of film, various appliances, etc. Does Dr. B use a little shutter thing to do the fluoroscopic work? And what about a lead apron & gloves? The more I hear about this the more positive I am that I shall be extremely cautious. It can be just as safe as lying in bed, and the army has precautions galore, so now I've started to worry about the civilian techs.

Well, to stop jabbering and tell you about this weekend. Life becomes a series of weekends with work in between, the work is almost the same, so I'd rather write about the weekends. This one was swell.

Saturday afternoon 3 of us went into Indianapolis. I like the square or circle or whatever it is. In fact I liked everything I saw. We were just in a few minutes, and most of the time was spent shopping, but after a month we're allowed a weekend pass and three of us are planning to go to the Y, get a room and see the town. It will be nice for a change.

When we got home last night we had dates with the Notre Dame baseball team. They asked for 18 volunteer hostesses, and your daughter was (naturally) right there with both ears wiggling. We went to the service club, danced and had a nice time. There were three Navy guys, the rest were civilians. I got one nice guy, Jack Barrett, junior electrical engineering major, and pitcher. He pitched this afternoon and won. Naturally our whole gang turned out again. We saw a very good game. It was like home to see a ball game, only this time almost everyone was in uniform. That's the only difference, as cigars and cat-calls flourished as always.

The we bade the boys goodbye, came home and ate, then to the service club to write letters - which is where I am right now. So, it's about time to cease and desist, go home, go to bed and sleep very tight. It's been a restful weekend, but I'm already so far away from school, that being with those guys was a little unreal. It is like remembering last summer. I have a sneaking suspicion that eventually I shall be grown up. Can't wait for your verdict. Furlough, here I come in another 4 mo.'s or so. Now I must stop, but as you can see I'm in a talkative mood.

Love, babe

This is the time to send the clothes. Could you include a little food? I'm not hungry but it would be nice.