Archives of Women in Science and Engineering
Special Collections Department - Archives of Women in Science and Engineering - Oral History Project
MS 379: Oral History Collection
Darleane C. Hoffman
Interview transcript, 1998
DH: No, it was just for Home Ec majors and so I had to take it. I also had to take history. I tested out of English so I was in a creative writing course instead. That was a marvelous course, but I sweated blood over that course because I'm not a creative writer in the sense of thinking of things from whole cloth, but I learned a lot. I would get up in the middle of the night and write my creative writing themes.
Anyhow, I found out that chemistry was the thing I really liked.
TZB: What really intrigued you?
DH: I believe that I was lucky that I had to take the home ec chemistry course because Professor Naylor somehow just struck a chord with me. Chemistry seemed like the most logical science. You could see where it was going, how things went together. Probably if I'd taken the regular chemistry course I wouldn't have felt that way. She was not a mentor in the sense that we usually talk about because I don't think she even knew who I was.
TZB: Just the way she piqued your interest in this subject.
DH: It was the way she taught it. At the time I don't think she realized it and I've since thought when I teach, sometimes you'll think, "Well, I'm not getting through to anybody." Then you'll get a note a couple years later, somebody saying, "You really turned me on. It meant a lot," and from that experience I've thought how important it is that professors that teach the freshmen as well as the upper class students.