Exploring the child's world II; 10
The Duquesne University Alumni Association presents. Exploring a child's world. The child is father to the man. And as we hope for a world of men of good will we must look to the conditions of the towns where to achieve it. So we search for the laws ways and means the sources of the capable spontaneously whole adult. It is not strange that the world of the disturbed child throws light on childhood in general. Although
Father Francis Duffy Professor of Sociology at Duquesne University was not at first looking for this light when he started working with a disturbed child. He found however that it is not that the disturbed or delinquent child is completely removed from society rather that his position is more extreme and so its obviousness offers us a sharper clearer insight into the world of children to share the fruit of his research. Father Duffy and the Duquesne University Alumni Association present a series of recorded interviews with delinquent children followed by a short discussion with Father Duffy's guest in which the child and his problems are explored for insight. And now here is Father Duffy. Children are not little adults. We have different generic names for children and for adults. An old man is not an aged boy nor an old baby. It even sounds strange when an adult retains a nickname that he acquired as a child. Adults often drop the suffix junior when the father dies. The same
thing kind of applies to clothing. A child never looks quite right when he's dressed as an adult. And on that point girls may dress up to look like mother. Boys rarely if ever dress up to look like Dad. Boys prefer fantastic costumes that are indicative of some kind of calling or career or occupation which is pretty far removed from their real future job. Men are oriented around their work. Women are oriented around their husbands and their homes and their children. It's a different can of worms However if there is no father in the home or if the mother has made him an object of ridicule contempt whether present or absent then the little girl in a way follow suit. She will not begin to prepare herself to be a mother and a wife. Very often she will begin to substitute some kind of career to replace marriage. If the parent's marriage hasn't worked out. In the following interview Fanny's mother and father are divorced. The mother has often ridiculed the Father within
hearing of the child. The girl has already veered away from thoughts of marriage and home. She wants to be a nun or a nurse. She chooses to do her deep thinking in a cemetery. She runs away when placed in an institution. The family has had few successes to give her satisfaction or courage. She wants desperately to return to her fatherless home. Here then is the story of Fanny. What's your first name again Fanny. How did you happen to come here this time. You were here we talked before to get together doing what happened since last time we talked you know nothing cept I cry and everything. I guess you have a lot of company A lot of the children here cry. Not all of them just some of them may come back when visiting usually cry. My mother came yes I mean last night and she asked me if I would be good when I
came home and I told her yes I said. She told me I'd have to go to school and everything and I told her I would. That's agreeable to you to go to school. Originally they thought though you try to run away who's not. Yes you were in some kind of home Protestant home. Yes. Until I think it was just temporarily until school was over or to June or May. And I thought you try to run away from home and one of the men there so you brought you over here. Yes. He's a father a parent everything that I have. I went down to the shopping center as I told you before and I called up and I didn't have any intentions of running away. You were calling your mother from the shopping center. Yes. And I started calling up and she says wait down there. And I says Do you know where I'm at. She says Aren't you in this in the drug store. My daughter yes. And she says wait down there and I'll send down after you. And so I walked out and I didn't see nobody. So I went back and I went behind the car that
I was looking at things and I saw this man coming up and he came up to me and he grabbed my arm and he says What do you think you're doing Fanny. And I says I don't know. He says No I says I wasn't going I was going to run away. And he says well what what was you going to do. And I jotted down just one comment and we got in the car and I back up to the homies and he called my probation officer and said that I try to run away and she says well let her stay there and don't get her on dressed or anything and I'll call you back. So a little while later she called back and she told him to for me to get my stuff I mean everything I see and it should be here a juvenile court when I got here and he says all right you hung up. They both hung up and he came in and told me and I went up stairs and gathered up my pajamas and Bob and things came back down and we knew we was right here and when we got here I was sitting in the office. I think Mr. A Mr. Wright was there
yes. And he says he told me he says What's your name. And then after a while he came in and he says I just talked to your worker on the phone and she said she can't come in tonight. She said she'll be in the first thing tomorrow morning to see and I says all right and then I sat there and you came me and I was talking to me. And then after Mr. Ray came over and he asked me if I had anything to eat and I told him No says I didn't eat very much for supper. He asked if I wanted something and I said as just a glass of milk and a piece of bread or something and he says all right and then I came and misallocating Mrs. Allen came in and took me back to the party. She checked me and everything and then I went in and went to sleep. And before that should you have been at school when you were down this drugstore. No yeah that was it night after school and you weren't allowed out from a place where you were. Yes we were allowed out. I mean it was
just like oh we're going to hell. But if you want to go out you have to tell them where you were going how long you'd be and had you told them where you're going. And that well maybe that's what got them confused made them think you're going to run away. How do you do in school for me. OK I've been doing good in this school locker junior high school. What grade you didn't know anything. And how old were you again. Fourteen. How did you get along at home. Did you all at school except for the teacher. But nobody will believe me about that but it's true. The teacher gives you a difficult time and makes life hard for you. If they want to go home I think I'd go better because I'll probably be in my cousins room in high school. What would she do would you make fun of you were you my cousin you know the teacher or the teacher or did I have now if I wouldn't have the one you had before that one that you had the
trouble with well what did she. Well yes if I went back there now I'm going back to the grade I was in. Yes I think she would. But in a way I don't think she would. And the way I did. What did this teacher do that made you feel unpleasant or uncomfortable in her class. Well just before every time we used to have a test she used to call me up in front of the room and she went so fast on the problems that it got me confused in everything and if I missed one she says Well that's right you're the stupidest one in the room and you turned me around and everybody was staring at me and everything and laughing and then she says if you don't want to do your homework I bet I bet you can do it in juvenile court. And I just got tired of it and I tried to explain to my mother and she begged me to go to school to go to school and everything and I will listen because if I go home this time I listened to her. So how was it home before. Do you have a big family or a small
family. We used to live in a bad neighborhood. Oh my mother has four rooms and a bath and she lives in an apartment going mother and my sisters have their room and I have my and there's the living room and then there's the kitchen. You have these three little sisters. What about you father whatever happened to him worse. Well I don't know I don't care about my father just as long as I'm with my mother. But he ran away too or what. No I think he walked out on my mother or something. But she says that she could do without a second I or she has you and the other girls no. You know the person people I want to be with is my mother and my grandmother and my sisters. Does your grandmother live with you. She Lucy has a place. She comes up sometimes to visit us and she stays the night she guess. Sometimes she sleeps she stays she sleeps on the couch.
Oh where's her husband. Your granddad died and did you have a lot of girlfriends. Yes I have a boyfriend. Oh I don't care for boyfriends because I think I'm too young to go with the many you know I'm going to weigh in Tom about 16. Let's say you're 14 now. I came up to the hoss and play records and everything. When I was home on Easter these boys from my class thanking him played records and everything was out in the new house or the old one or the new one. And they brought pop potato chips. I mean my sisters had a nice time. My mother did to my mother made a cake that my grandmother may have pie. We was having a nice time I said. And I I it's hard for everybody to leave. Yes it is I guess you really were never away from home before where you know almost I stayed away from her I was three or four days that's all. Do you have a career in mind what you like to be when you get older. A nurse would you
as a Catholic I think I'd want to be a not something where you you think it's because you want to be alone or is it to be with a lot of people who would like you and do pleasant work. I want to be a nurse because then I want to help people make their families well make their families happy and everything. Would that be because you needed help and couldn't get it. Wow now I just want to make it sound as if there is a little boy that got hurt in everything their family was his family this poor anyway. I think a nurse could do better and try to make them well take care of them and I want to be a nun because I don't have this because I want to be a nun. Do you know much about what nuns do. What kind of lives they lead. Well some of them only lead a lonely life. Some of them do. And I used to talk to nuns on the street I used to talk to Sister Mary and sister Virginia. Did you ever feel all alone yourself. Up to now. Yeah there are a
few and nobody wanted you. Well somebody want you now with your separate from. What about being here is it true that the longer you stay the less pain for this most painful must be the first day you get here. Next day isn't so bad. All of them are good. There's never getting better. But I notice you don't seem as depressed now as when you first came in. Were you scared then or what. Yes just a little bit. You never been here before. No I mean you mean for tape recording. No I mean in a detention home. Excuse me. Yes I was here before when they sent me to the house. Is there anything that scares you or worry you for your age. Yeah. Nothing. Yeah you're not afraid of darkness or being by yourself. Yeah yeah. Dead people and the dead can hurt you. It's what the living can do. It's the living that you should be afraid of not the dead. I used to when I was real little
in the daytime I used to go up in the cemetery and play with my dog and everything. I used to be scared to death. I would go on the grass for nothing to get the ball. Now I play in the graveyard where I used to live. And if I ever used to take a short cut through there God come in from school just to think of my problems by myself get to the cemetery. I see way from everybody on the street from school and I used to still stop and look at the tombstones in the net you know died. He was born in everything like that. It's interesting yes but no one no adults ever scare you. Now. What kind of family would you like to have a family or to get married. If you do get married. Well I like to have a family that well that goes to the billies in God and goes to church and everything. Not a husband drinks
or everything like that and a nice quiet husband comes home sits down and watches television just for a little while and not take too much interest in it. And then my play cards or something. And one thing I don't want my kids to do is play cards on Sunday. I think that's awful that's bad. What kind of girl do you think you are. I am you know that's a hard question. Thank you. Would you like a friend to be like you or would you like her to be different. Well I will want them to be like me as if they are like me that probably wind up in the same place I am. Is there any other message that you have. Yeah except that I want to go home when I go home I will that I'm going to pray to God to make me be good and never get back in here again. I maybe if he helps and you help it might. Well the only thing that scares me is that I don't know when my hearing is and neither does
my mother and my worker has only been up to see me one time. Sometimes I think she doesn't want to help me. She wants to get me. She's trying to get me set up. But you wouldn't draw that from anything that she said would you. Because I feel like she's probably very interested in you and what you know I think you know when she first came up I started telling the truth. I from the beginning I says I don't have any intentions of running away. And she says when you're ready to tell the truth you call me. That's all she said she knew. She does lie. If I wasn't you could call her now. And she's down there now. I don't mean at the moment I mean now that you do tell the truth. That's about all you think. Does your dad drink a lot. Oh yeah. He always did and did he fight a great deal with humanity. Block in memory ever did. Maybe that's colored some of your picture why you don't want him around you think
oh yeah maybe we should we can back again talk OK. And now joining father Duffy to discuss the features of this child's world is his guest Mr. Hilary mo Drac alumnus of Duquesne University who is now casework supervisor for Allegheny County's quarter section criminal court. Here are Father Duffy And Mr. Modric. Today we welcome again Mr. Hill remote direct probation officer for Quarter Sessions criminal court. What were some of the things that you thought about this girl I was very much impressed with the fact that she didn't have too much animosity towards anyone except the teacher. You know she didn't have too much to say even to us our own father. Now that's right. I think the teacher handled her very badly and I don't like that she did pointing her out as a juvenile court warty juvie making her look ridiculous in front of the other students that happened sometimes father that hit some of these matters that we get an
awful lot of complaints about some of them. It doesn't happen too frequently you know very fortunately this trial also gives the impression that she's promising to be good and she goes into it don't you think useless detail she wants to describe every last little item that revolved around the situation. But I would like to say this that as you and I know in talking with your children like this the important thing is not so much the content as it is to try to get the child's attitudes. That's what I think that's right father. Were you impressed as I was possibly about that. The way she referred to the probation officer and she said that almost immediately after she was apprehended that she wanted to see her probation officer when she came into the detention home she wanted when she did see her probation officer and was told that she would be able to see or the first thing the following morning. That's sort of eased her mind a little bit. Yes she did however in all fairness to the youngsters she did say that her probation officer was going to send her up the river.
I don't know what exactly what she did say but words to that effect anyhow. Yes that was my impression that was the only time chief referred to anyone and a disparaging sort of manner kind of negative there. But again I think what maybe she was looking for reassurance there and I try to give her reassurance and see how it worked. But you wouldn't draw anything from what the probation officer said that she was going to send you I thought if you handled that very well when you when you told her that the probation I was there didn't consider any commitment to an institution. And I thought that was handled very well in fact. You always reminded me of the way information operations have on our stuff. I think two children do get very apprehensive and I think occasionally probation officers take advantage of this. It's a good detail to keep in mind. If a child comes in maybe they won't see him for a day or two. I've noticed this about children like this. If you talk to them maybe you can't get anything out of them in the way of their story. If you tell them Well I can't see you today you better wait till tomorrow
or I'll see you Wednesday. By the time Wednesday comes along they are just simply bubbling over with their story they can't wait to tell you I know it's nothing to about children when they are reluctant to tell you something. If you tell them what you don't have to tell me. At this point very often it gushes out the one thing you know you don't have to know. That should tell you a father and my experience as a probation officer. I would like to point out one thing that is very important in the life of children who are in trouble especially in trouble with the juvenile court authorities. Regardless of what type of an individual the probation officer is already Carlist what kind of treatment these individuals are getting regardless of where they are they always go back to the probation officer a probation officer is really a many occasions defense attorney he's a prosecuting attorney. He's a father caught Fessor he's almost everything to this youngster and this child most likely felt the same way regarding her probation officer.
Is it true to that very often these children will write to you after you get out and get settled and straightened out. Oh yeah but you have had two or three hundred. Oh yes I received a letter one time from a boy who told me that he was 15 years of age now and they quit drinking and when I was going to be off probation. This little girl is a kind of pathetic figure in that the only one that she seems to be negatively disposed to is the father and she doesn't really beat him up too much. I think her idea is that we can do without him my mother can do without him and so can I. Apparently when asked about what kind of a husband she'd like to have if she wanted one who wouldn't drink. And right away I think that's the tipoff that the father is probably drunk I would suggest. Also if she wanted one would stay around and this I think indicates the fact that she resents the fact that the father did run away and then she had a fairly typically Protestant dislike for card playing on Sunday I thought I was kind of cute since she doesn't want to be a nun. Yes yes.
Do you find his work it depressing you have been in a great number of years and met and dealt with a great number of children I guess thousands of them. Do you find it depressing at any point. Or did you in the beginning get over it. I think of this a most exhilarating position and I don't want to have each day as different. Might have put one in the doll rooms occasionally but when did you see a youngster mature and developed into a useful citizen. All of the heartaches are forgotten almost immediately. Well then this of course reassures me that this is a tremendously worthwhile field and to hear one who's been in a great number of years who is still sold on the idea that good is being done for these children which would not otherwise be done. Would you say that's true if I did. As I pointed out before in many cases probation officer servers as sometimes the sole relative of
some of these youngsters I can remember when a boy asked me one time if I would serve as a sponsor of his confirmation. He did not even know what religion I was and I said well why have you chosen me for this. And he says well you're the only relative that I have. But an awful lot of these boys adopt probation officers as well attests. So boy a one time told me that I was his uncle. Yes. Well children I found myself experienced too. They will identify with you. Very often children will say that you are their father or they wish they were their father. And very often I've responded to that by saying well what's the matter don't you want to be friends anymore. Because their idea of a father is a pretty negative concept I think but I think see the father as one who who perhaps comes home drunk who lays down very rigid rules and doesn't follow them himself. One who's never satisfied insatiable and one who kind of resists and resents the idea that he has to spread some of his money over to these little
children. Yes maybe we're getting a little bit away from Fanny here. I think we were talking about the probation but I think that the probation officer in this case has established a very wonderful report with this girl whatever her approach would be I think would be for the best interest of the girl even if she did say that she would not talk to her until she had made up her mind to tell the truth as I thought of that approach was good for the profession I think it is. It did not indicate that she was not interested. No. First maybe this year all this and a TON of the whole truth is true and heart of the matter. And she just thought it was interesting when she said that she did not particularly like the detention of the kind of children who were crying there all the time. I believe that I quoted her years later and I don't think that these children who come from homes where there are not too much appreciated care for this they would rather have the care free. Exuberance
of childhood pleasures that exist everywhere. Would you see this child as as a possible duplicate of the system that she grew up under. In other words is she going to marry a fellow who isn't much good who will who will abandon her and the three or four children. I think that this girl for her 14 years have has a mature viewpoint regarding that and she's liable to blossom out into a respectable mother and wife. Eventually I would have her prognosis for her getting along in society eventually as good I would think. You don't think that she was just feeding me the old line about the sudden switch into religious topics. Well in the she did I think that she is aware of nicer things and yes it's true that the nuns of the cleanliness of it. And I think those who want to help people there. Yes when she said she would like to be a nurse. That to two illustrates
that she is interested in people. I think that she would be on her way with a little bit of encouragement. You didn't see anything particularly significant about this graveyard scene but she mentions very often going into the graveyard on the way home from school to avoid the other kids and think over her problems at 14 we wonder what they might be. Well I thought sponsored by the doctor that maybe a lot of us like to get our way sometimes and just sit down and think of our problems and she was finding this area just conducive to her thinking. Yeah that's what I thought oppression have I ever say but if I was a baby a playground or a recreation center or a park the babyish accomplish the same thing but says it was a sex cemetery nearby sheers that area to sit down I think of and I think that this period has been a lot of thinking in our time. Yes I think she has to get out of the oppression for that. Fanny likes to remember names of the people who are going to help her. She referred to this individual in the
detention home going into the nursing of the dance and I thought that that is something worth considering. I think she appreciates all those people attempting to help her and she would not neglect to remember their names. It's almost as she is if she were putting her hand out to take hold of her that's right and that is we are helping. That's a natural beauty I think that very few of us children of the 14 year old classification have seen how we have to specially a girl in trouble in a detention home. I felt that as I pointed out before that with some apparent this fear should blossom out into a very nice subsequently a very nice wife and mother. Well I want to thank you Mr. Hormel drek again for a very wholesome and good analysis a positive analysis of this particular case of the 14 year old Protestant girl who thinks that she might want to either be a nurse or a nun. You have been listening to exploring the child's world the program in which the
child speaks. Father Francis Duffy a professor of sociology at Duquesne University has conducted the interview with the child and to find the outlines of this world in the discussion with his guest Mr. Hilary Modric. This has been a presentation of the radio service of Duquesne University in cooperation with the Kings alumni association. Technical director Fred McWilliams program director and announcer. Our older may listen again next week for another in the series exploring the child's world. The interview heard on this program was a recreation exploring the child's world is distributed by the National Association of educational broadcasters.
- Episode Number
- Producing Organization
- Duquesne University
- WDUQ (Radio station : Pittsburgh, Pa.)
- Contributing Organization
- University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
- AAPB ID
If you have more information about this item than what is given here, we want to know! Contact us, indicating the AAPB ID (cpb-aacip/500-9g5gg30r).
- This program focuses on the reasons a specific child winds up in the juvenile delinquent system.
- Interviews with delinquent and disturbed young people who are encouraged to discuss their experiences and express feelings. To protect individuals, each program is a re-creation of an actual interview using different names and places.
- Media type
Interviewee: Modrak, Hilary
Producing Organization: Duquesne University
Producing Organization: WDUQ (Radio station : Pittsburgh, Pa.)
Speaker: Duffy, Francis
- AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 63-26-10 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
If you have a copy of this asset and would like us to add it to our catalog, please contact us.
- Chicago: “Exploring the child's world II; 10,” 1963-08-07, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed April 14, 2021, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-9g5gg30r.
- MLA: “Exploring the child's world II; 10.” 1963-08-07. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. April 14, 2021. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-9g5gg30r>.
- APA: Exploring the child's world II; 10. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-9g5gg30r