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Swinney went to Northwestern University. The nuns had taught her to type when she was in boarding school and that enabled her to get a job in the office of the Dean updating alumni files.She was recommended for a teaching position at a Catholic elementary school. She taught speech and was paid 10 dollars per day and received free lunch. She also had an evening job at Scott Hall making milk shakes and malts.Many military people came to her campus frequently including Chiang Kai-shek's men and Russians. The men came to her campus to train.Swinney could not join a sorority because she didn't have enough money but she did get into a speech fraternity, Zeta Phi Eta. In the speech fraternity they were all entertainers and they would go to Glenview Naval Air Station and other places to entertain the troops. Sometimes they would entertain women's clubs where they received 15 dollars for 15 minutes. This was back in the time when a dollar and a quarter an hour was big money.The Rock was a big granite rock in front of the main building on campus. It became a meeting place.The school's registrar found Swinney a place to live on campus. It was a beautiful house by the lake in a nice neighborhood. When she walked to school she had to stay on a certain side of the street because platoons of Marines and military men were marching on the other.Swinney met a Marine at a mixer. One day while she was walking to school this Marine's platoon was marching on the opposite side of the street. When they passed each other the Marine yelled out "eyes right" and everyone in the platoon turned their head and looked at her. She was very embarrassed. That was one of her war time experiences.The mixers were held on the second floor of Scott Hall. Swinney was a hostess and not allowed to dance. She was there to chaperone. She was very serious at her work. She'd strike up a conversation with anyone who was looking shy. Then she would pair that person up with whichever of the girls she thought would be a match for them. She remembers a sailor, blond with blue eyes. His tag said Holland and he wore a sailor cap. Sailor Holland was very charming. She brought a number of girls around but was having no success with him. After she took off her hostess sign he asked her for a dance. Swinney recalled that he was a wild man dancing, throwing her around and lifting her up. She was shocked he was so strong; people made a ring and were clapping. She does not know what happened to him.
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