Lynn Leshgold Rosencrantz oral history interview, 2016 January 07. OH-02529. [Audio recording]. Oral History Research Center, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada. http://n2t.net/ark:/62930/d1bc3wn9h
Standardized Rights Statement
What was the motivation to relocate to Vegas? Arne lived here, so I didn't have much of a choice. He was worried that I wouldn't make a lot of friends. He insisted that I either go back to school and get a master's degree or continue teaching. I taught at Ruby Thomas Elementary School. They had a program for the deaf. I also went back to school, and got a master's degree in marriage and family counseling at UNLV. Where is Ruby Thomas? It's not in a great area right now. As a matter of fact, they create more phone books for that area than they do for most of the others because it's so transient. It's behind the Boulevard Mall. Okay. How many students did you have at that time? This was kindergarten through eighth grade. I taught in the lower school. I usually had about fourteen or fifteen students plus an aide. It was a great program at the time. Mainstreaming had not been heard of and there was a lot of pride surrounding the program for the deaf because it was a great program. When you say there wasn't mainstreaming, these students were in their own separate class and then you taught them all subjects? I taught them several subjects, but we rotated for some of them. All of the children that were deaf from kindergarten through eighth grade were in a building that was attached to the main school, but it was built with deafness in mind. Just like you would do for somebody in a wheelchair, it was outfitted for deaf children. In junior high, the deaf kids were in one location and high school. It was wonderful for them because their social group was built in. Now that they're mainstreamed; they're divided. Some deaf kids aren't with any other deaf kids. They travel from class to class with an interpreter. It's unfortunate. Some of the so-called improvements in education aren't always the best, are they? This one certainly was not a good decision. How did you get interested in teaching that subject? I think I was in about the eighth grade, and my mother told all of us that we had to select an area of voluntarism. I worked at a place?it's not politically correct now, but it was called Crippled Children's Division of the University of Oregon Medical School. I volunteered there once a week and I fell in love with the deaf kids. It was just an affinity that I had. So that's when I got my degree in education of the deaf at Lewis and Clark College. I had wanted to teach at the school for the deaf in Berkeley since I had heard about it in the eighth grade. As a child I wrote letters, I remember, to Dr. Schunhoff telling him I was going to come there and teach someday. It was the only place I applied. I loved it. It was really wonderful. And San Francisco was a great place to be a single Jewish girl. Oh, really? Federation was really active with the young adult division and they had wonderful activities. Monthly they'd have a big deal and weekly they had small things in bars. My roommate was Jewish. We went to all of these activities and had a great time. It was really fun living there. That's neat. So what did the Jewish community seem like to you when you first moved to Vegas? First of all, we got married in August. So when I got off the plane, I thought I had made a big mistake because it was so hot. I couldn't believe it. What was the Jewish community like then? It was really wonderful. Arne and I were in Young Leadership and all of our friends were Young Leadership couples. We were so close. We did so much together. A lot of those people are still my friends today.