Gretchen Grossman – Author
Born and raised in a Catholic family in Illinois, Gretchen Grossman entered a convent in 1961 and left five years later. She married, moved to Chicago with her husband, and had two sons. She helped partially renovate a mansion in a Historic Landmark District, was one of ten women who developed a Near West International Co-op Preschool, worked on her husband’s West Side Story newspaper, and cooperated with him on several travelogues in the Chicago Tribune.
She writes about her plans for college and subsequent convent life:
My launch into college got thwarted before it materialized. Instead of becoming a college student, I entered a convent and became a nun. Catholics took my decision in stride. Non-Catholics treated me like I’d lost my mind. They were the correct ones in that debate.
I did lose my mind. It was hiding in a corner somewhere, or a pocket, or a closet. But it was definitely hiding. I was so mixed up during life in the convent. Once I finally left, the amount of brainwashing that had perplexed me in there, needed heavy-duty detergents and scrubbers to clean it all out. I threw away all my previously absorbed rules and started over, creating new ones from scratch. My marriage was supposed to help me hurry the process. It did, and it didn’t. Honestly, I thought I’d never recover.
From 1976 to 1985, Gretchen worked in inner-city Chicago schools. In those eight years, she taught fourth through eighth grades, ran an art program, and coordinated a school-wide museum with cultural assemblies. Gretchen coordinated gifted programs with students at the Art Institute, The Museum of Science and Industry, and the Field Museum. She put on various stage plays, including Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court and a modified version of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
In New York City, she worked six months for Warwick Advertising, Inc., as an Administrative Assistant to the Executive Vice President of Media and Administration while her sons performed in the Children’s Choir at City Opera and The Met in Lincoln Center. She and her sons returned to Chicago where she taught sixth grade for many years, stressing humanities and cultural arts. She taught for thirty-two years in both private and public schools.
Gretchen attended Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois, and the University of Illinois of Chicago where she earned her Master’s degree in Education.>> Order Ring Around the Rosary Book