Charles Glenn Petersen

1953 - College Years I

Iowa State College

Iowa State, at that time, was on the Quarter system; Fall, Winter, and Spring Quarters being the regular academic year. I lasted Fall Quarter only before they were considering kicking me out. My grade point for that quarter was down to 1.17; needless to say, I was in way over my head. There were multiple reasons for this, the major one was that in addition to the 17 credit hours of course work, rather typical for engineering students, I was shackled with 34 contact hours because of the various labs associated with the course work. That means that I was in a classroom on the average of 6 hours Monday through Friday, plus 4 hours on Saturday morning. Yes, back in those days Iowa State had class on Saturday mornings. There just wasn't enough time in one day to keep up with everything. On top of all that, there was the emotional strain of being away from home for the first time. Plus the fact that my assigned dorm roommate turned out to be queer, who became interested in me sexually, causing me to request a change of housing accommodations (I was a small town teenager who had no idea of what was going on), then add in that my long distance romance was falling apart. I was indeed way over my head and I wanted out.

I felt like a failure and needed the security of home only to find that in my short absence, my room at home had been reassigned to my step-brother and that I was now living on the front porch. I found a job working on a farm tending hogs and little piglets, not exactly what an engineer hopeful saw as his future life's work. I soon knew that I had to go back to college, so I worked and saved and in the Fall I was accepted back into Electrical Engineering at Iowa State..