An “Old Maid” in Bible School

Our Life Together, part 1

by Sylvia French Waack

Picture of Sylvia French at time of entering CBI.
September 1928, CBI
As I, Sylvia Marie French Waack, begin the history of my life with Chester Waack, I will need to go back and repeat some that I included last year in the French Family History¹.  I will start with the school year, 1929-30, which is the year that Chester August Waack entered my life.

In June of 1928, while attending a Christ’s Ambassadors Convention, I felt the Lord was calling me to go to Central Bible Institute.  At that time I was engaged to Glidden Lister.  Since he would not agree to put off our marriage while I was away in school three years, I felt it was necessary to break our engagement.  So I entered Central Bible Institute that fall.  As a result of my feelings, I had paid no attention to the opposite sex and was considered a confirmed “old maid” by the students and faculty.

When I arrived the next year, I found I had been assigned a room on the boys’ side of the dormitory with a sweet German young lady as my roommate, Martha Doderer.  I was rather surprised to find such an assignment but rather took pride in the fact that the faculty had so much confidence in me.

Everything went along just fine until the Thanksgiving Holidays were approaching.  I had better explain that in those days the opposite sex were not allowed to pair off and talk in the halls.  In order to have any time to talk together permission had to be given by Matron Rose to sit in her living room and talk, or engaged couples applied for time to sit together one evening every other week in a class room or library.  The only exceptions to these rules were if you were assigned duties that required being together or on out-station assignment.

There was always a picnic on Thanksgiving Day at the City Water Works, which was not too far from the campus.  Then Friday was campus clean up day when we were free to work together, raking leaves and other clean up activities.  So the faculty relaxed and let us enjoy ourselves in what we called “free days.”

¹The French Family History is not yet online.

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