Once I got to college, I had a new way of earning money. The college office had a job bulletin board which looked somewhat like the one pictured above. The jobs were neatly typed on 3X5 index cards and tacked to the board. Each one gave a brief description of the work, the location and the pay. The board I used was in the women’s employment center, so all the jobs were applicable to me. In the 1960’s jobs were clearly segregated by gender; there was no equal opportunity law.
To my delight, the baby sitting pay in Cambridge was $1.25 an hour, much better than the prevailing 50 cent an hour rate I had left in Portland. While my roommate thought that was ridiculously low, I was impressed with its promise. I was able to pluck a job for 4 hours or so most Friday and/or Saturday nights. My dating life was slim, so I often had both evenings free.
One family that I met my freshman year, I babysat for throughout my four years of college. They had four little girls who had a set bed time and were basically cooperative. Apparently one of the girls was a challenge to previous sitters, but compared to the hellions I had watched, she was easy. Better yet, dinner was ready for them to eat, I wasn’t expected to clean up the kitchen, and the house was neat and quiet. I was able to read and do my assignments in a spacious, comfortable setting unlike the noisy, crowded dorm.
Throughout my years in college, I frequently sat for faculty families. While I never had regulars among them, I did have a chance to see the insides of many professors’ homes and pore over their splendid libraries. I had but to put kids to bed and sit in peace until 1 or 2 am. And they paid me. Such a deal!