Special Collections and Archives

Caren Trantas, Personal Narrative

Special Collections and Archives

Caren Trantas, Personal Narrative

Caren Trantas, Personal Narrative

Submitted via email, April 30, 2000


I was the same age as Allison Krause and had the same major in college as she did: Speech Pathology and Audiology at Penn State University. I had left college in 1969 to get married (I was in my junior year). My husband had dropped out of college and joined the air force and so when we got married, he was stationed overseas. Luckily for him his orders to Vietnam and been cancelled twice and we were living outside Madrid, Spain.

When we heard about the Kent State shootings on the American overseas radio station we each had different reactions. It was the first real fight we had. You see, I empathized with the students at Kent State. Even more so, I personalized it because, like Allison Krause, I would have been walking to the same classes as she. I became her -- a 19 year old student, a speech and pathology major, and jewish. My husband, being in the military for 3 years and not understanding the climate at home or what was going on on college campuses said those students deserved what they got. That comment nearly ended a marriage. It took many years to forgive and forget that comment since I had so intensely identified with Allison.

Thirty years later, I can recall that day and those feelings like it was yesterday. My eyes still well with tears. Having the opportunity to talk/write about it with people who are interested in those times has been cathargic.