This oral history interview is an intimate conversation between two people, both of whom have generously agreed to share this recording with Oral History Summer School, and with you. Please listen in the spirit with which this was shared.
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This interview with Carol Murray was recorded via Zoom on August 15, 2022 while the Carol was in her office in Poughkeepsie, NY and Annelise, the interviewer, was in her home in Oakland, California. The interview begins with Carol describing her transition into her new role as the Executive Director of the Wimpfheimer Laboratory Nursery School at Vassar College. She talks about the decision to close the school twice after COVID-19 exposures among students, and the challenges of navigating changing safety guidance from the county, the college and the CDC. She says that at this point, she feels less concerned about COVID-19 impacting her health personally, and reflects that COVID-19 safety choices feel more individual than they have previously. She then discusses ways that the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the need to value care work and imagines what a government that treats care work as essential might look like. She compares the government benefits that war veterans receive to what caregivers typically receive. In thinking about how the pandemic has shaped todays society, she describes seeing families relocate and add new members to their household to provide care during the pandemic. She challenges the idea that young children need socialization outside of their family and caregiving networks and reflects that she's seen little negative impact of the pandemic on students ages 0-5 that she instructs. The interview winds down with Carol highlighting how remote communication technologies that became prominent during the pandemic have allowed her to connect with educators around the world with ease. To close, she offers the idea that our current society oppresses children when we see them as needy or selfish and suggests that we would do well to place a greater emphasis on the rights of children to play and learn.
Annelise Finney is a European American cis-woman, born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. She currently works as a radio journalist covering reparations in California and breaking news in the Bay Area. Previously she worked as defense investigator for public defenders offices in New York City and San Francisco. She is an alum of the 2016 Oral History Summer School. She is also an avid sewist, hiker and cook.
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This interview is hereby made available for research purposes only. For additional uses (radio and other media, music, internet), please click here to inquire about permissions.