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Industrial Chemist Victoria Sanchez. A Woman Ahead of Her Time. A Mother’s Day Story
Episode 1712nd May 2022 • Your Positive Imprint • Catherine Praiswater
00:00:00 00:14:14

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Victoria Sánchez is an industrial chemist, a scientist in the day when they didn't have their conscience raised because there was no legislation protecting women. A woman ahead of her time with regard to women's rights. Victoria reflects on her philosophies, accomplishments, legacy and motherhood. A woman of integrity. She will pass this way but once and if there is any good she can do she will do it.

Transcripts

Victoria Sánchez:

I will pass this way, but once, and if there is some

Victoria Sánchez:

good that I can do, then let me do it.

Victoria Sánchez:

It is mother's day and I want to wish the mothers and grandmothers

Victoria Sánchez:

and great-grandmothers and godmothers and stepmothers all over the world

Victoria Sánchez:

a very happy and blessed mother day.

Victoria Sánchez:

Whenever you celebrate it.

Catherine:

This is Catherine, your host of the podcast, your positive imprint,

Catherine:

the variety show, featuring people all over the world whose positive actions

Catherine:

are inspiring positive achievements.

Catherine:

Exceptional people rise to the challenge.

Catherine:

You can find me@yourpositiveimprint.com as well as Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Catherine:

Listen from any podcast platform .Music by the legendary Chris Nole.

Catherine:

ChrisNole.com I'm celebrating my mom today.

Catherine:

Mother's day is coming up this Sunday, May 8th.

Catherine:

I am releasing this episode early instead of next week, but I will

Catherine:

be back in two weeks with Stephanie Parks, your positive imprint.

Catherine:

What's your P.I.?.

Catherine:

Mom has been the guest for mother's day since I started this podcast.

Catherine:

But this year I bring to you a menagerie from the last three years,.

Catherine:

Reflections of motherhood and reflections from a woman, my mom, Victoria

Catherine:

Sanchez, who was ahead of her time.

Victoria Sánchez:

I'll major in chemistry.

Victoria Sánchez:

I had a student who had a little trouble and came up to the office and he wanted

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to be a doctor when I was a graduate assistant at Marquette, and I told him

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what he needed to do to become a doctor.

Victoria Sánchez:

Now that was 1955.

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And to this day, all these years, I've gotten a Christmas card from that student.

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He went on to become an instructor in the medical school.

Victoria Sánchez:

He told me that he told his students about me and how I helped him.

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And I said, and did you in turn help those students?

Victoria Sánchez:

And he said, yes I did.

Victoria Sánchez:

I went first to NIH, the national Institute of health in Bethesda, Maryland.

Victoria Sánchez:

And he offered me a position, but he offered it to me at a GS five level..

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I said, why are you offering me this job at a GS five?

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And he said, because you're a woman.

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And I said, what has that got to do with it?

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And he said, you're liable to get pregnant.

Victoria Sánchez:

And I said, thank you.

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I don't want your job.

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I went to the national bureau of standards and I was hired on the spot.

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I was the only female scientist among hundreds of males at the

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national bureau of standards.

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I worked in industrial chemistry.

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In that day we didn't have our consciousness raised because there

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was no legislation protecting women.

Catherine:

You are just a positive imprint in our lives, mom, and you

Catherine:

continue to be a positive imprint

Victoria Sánchez:

I deliberately chose to stay at a middle school

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in what's termed the war zone.

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in our city because those kids needed a good teacher

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in science, which I taught, I did not use the textbook.

Victoria Sánchez:

I used hands-on experiments

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They called me from the national science foundation and they

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asked if I would address the house subcommittee on education.

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And I said, yes.

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I put down some things that I thought were necessary for the

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improvement of science education.

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I did address the house subcommittee on education.

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And I will tell you that what I said in that year, I could tell them the

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same thing now, because I'm sorry.

Victoria Sánchez:

Things have not really changed.

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They have stagnated.

Victoria Sánchez:

I was a junior girl scout leader and I had the largest troop at 46 girls.

Victoria Sánchez:

Max was supposed to be 32.

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Whoever came on the first day of registration, I accepted and

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nobody ever dropped out because we had so many activities.

Victoria Sánchez:

They develop their leadership qualities as they became patrol leaders and

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arrange the courts of honor . That's all important part of growing up.

Victoria Sánchez:

You will pass this way but once, if there is some good that you can do, then do it.

Victoria Sánchez:

I think that's maybe neglected today where we don't teach the young

Victoria Sánchez:

people to take responsibility for their actions and be true leaders.

Catherine:

Mom, thank you so much for the life that you and dad

Catherine:

both provided for the siblings.

Catherine:

And of course the grandkids and now the great grandkids.

Victoria Sánchez:

Your father and I are very proud of each

Victoria Sánchez:

and every one of you kids.

Victoria Sánchez:

You have all been concerned with the community.

Victoria Sánchez:

You have contributed to the world, and we loved each of you as individuals.

Victoria Sánchez:

And we were very proud of all your accomplishments

Catherine:

And the strength in our success and also our failures to learn

Catherine:

from them and to see, and to analyze our failures so that we can be successful.

Catherine:

And that was a good upbringing.

Victoria Sánchez:

Your father and I did so much together that it's

Victoria Sánchez:

hard to separate our activities.

Victoria Sánchez:

We were coyotes spelled a C I O T E S.

Victoria Sánchez:

Cultural interpreters of the environment.

Victoria Sánchez:

Your father and I gave guided nature, hikes to hundreds of school,

Victoria Sánchez:

children ranged all the way from kindergarten to the university.

Victoria Sánchez:

It was fun.

Victoria Sánchez:

Your father would talk about the geology.

Victoria Sánchez:

I would talk about the flora and fauna . Your father would

Victoria Sánchez:

always take the Spanish speakers.

Victoria Sánchez:

One of the things your father told me every day, I love you.

Victoria Sánchez:

And I did the same.

Victoria Sánchez:

And he also said, you're beautiful.

Victoria Sánchez:

Like I said, we were blessed and we look back and there were

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many, many, many blessings.

Victoria Sánchez:

A lot of them, you didn't recognize at the time, but they truly were blessings.

Victoria Sánchez:

I have heaven on earth with him,

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We have five children, Mary Carol, Robert, Catherine, and Linda

Victoria Sánchez:

As a family, we espouse faith from the very beginning.

Victoria Sánchez:

An important part of our life was family.

Victoria Sánchez:

We did a lot of hiking,

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always close togetherness.

Victoria Sánchez:

For the grace of God go I, and that's something to be remembered and

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also accept people's best efforts.

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. One of the things that we really enjoyed was teaching you all

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about, protecting the environment,

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Bus.

Victoria Sánchez:

Public transportation.

Victoria Sánchez:

That was part of, saving the environment as we later told our kids

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when they wanted to perhaps drive.

Victoria Sánchez:

No, you take the bus.

Victoria Sánchez:

I, well remember the, some of the kids who, your siblings who were at

Victoria Sánchez:

the university said, oh, goody, now we get a ride to the university.

Victoria Sánchez:

And I said, no mother takes the bus.

Victoria Sánchez:

Just like you.

Victoria Sánchez:

We did all the things that parents do with their children, dancing

Victoria Sánchez:

lessons, sporting activities, basketball, football, cross country,

Victoria Sánchez:

piano lessons, guitar lessons.

Victoria Sánchez:

We went to church,

Victoria Sánchez:

We always taught the kids, everything that we could about the out of doors

Victoria Sánchez:

appreciation for plants, animals, conservation, the environment.

Victoria Sánchez:

They knew about the trails, how to be trail savvy.

Victoria Sánchez:

We had two, three man tents.

Victoria Sánchez:

So it meant four of us had to sleep in one tent and three in the other.

Victoria Sánchez:

We sang around the campfire, my husband played the harmonica

Victoria Sánchez:

and we toasted marshmallows

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Unfortunately the oldest daughter ran into one of the

Victoria Sánchez:

support poles of one of the tents.

Victoria Sánchez:

It was aluminum, so it easily bent.

Victoria Sánchez:

We had a storm storm reverberated throughout that

Victoria Sánchez:

canyon, the thunder was loud.

Victoria Sánchez:

The hail was even more devastating as it piled up on the tops of the tent.

Victoria Sánchez:

Wasn't too long when , our tent flap opened and the other three came in because

Victoria Sánchez:

their tent had collapsed and was a wash.

Victoria Sánchez:

So we were seven people in a three man tent

Victoria Sánchez:

in the morning.

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It was beautiful.

Victoria Sánchez:

The storm was over the people who had horses, their horses were

Victoria Sánchez:

gone, they knew the way home to their corral, but they were gone.

Victoria Sánchez:

My husband and son got the squaw wood

Victoria Sánchez:

we were sitting around the fire enjoying our hot cocoa and oatmeal, a stranger

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came up a woman and she was very cold.

Victoria Sánchez:

We believe she had hypothermia.

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She had no shelter.

Victoria Sánchez:

So we applied her with coffee and hat things, and we had a

Victoria Sánchez:

black tarp that we'd used for our seven backpacks to cover them.

Victoria Sánchez:

We gave her the tarp so that she could have, a little shelter of some kind

Victoria Sánchez:

and then we gave her a fry pan and our son went out to the

Victoria Sánchez:

lake caught some fish for her.

Victoria Sánchez:

We have eight grandchildren and five great grandchildren and

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two step great grandchildren.

Victoria Sánchez:

We were honored by the children, by being New Mexico, parents of the year in 2001.

Catherine:

Wow.

Catherine:

That was a long time ago.

Victoria Sánchez:

In your way of thinking.

Victoria Sánchez:

In my way, it was only yesterday.

Victoria Sánchez:

It was only yesterday that you were born.

Victoria Sánchez:

My husband and I were married 61 years when he died.

Victoria Sánchez:

We were the first family to get the New Mexico philanthropy award

Victoria Sánchez:

our philosophy was you were put on this earth for one thing.

Victoria Sánchez:

To love God, to serve him and to be happy with him in heaven and in, so doing,

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you would make the world a better place.

Victoria Sánchez:

Remember there, but for the grace of God go, I,

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One of the things that I often said to them, to thine own self be true,

Victoria Sánchez:

be the very best that you can be.

Victoria Sánchez:

You don't follow the crowd, you do the right thing.

Victoria Sánchez:

, remember yesterday, ponder tomorrow but live for today.

Victoria Sánchez:

I said that tomorrow may never come.

Victoria Sánchez:

You, you will never know, but tomorrow might never come.

Victoria Sánchez:

So you live for today and you make it the very best day.

Victoria Sánchez:

And I also said, don't ever say anything that's not nice.

Victoria Sánchez:

You can never take back words.

Victoria Sánchez:

So that was something my husband and I lived by.

Victoria Sánchez:

I was very blessed to have your father for 61 years.

Victoria Sánchez:

And he left me a legacy.

Victoria Sánchez:

One of the things that your father wrote to me.

Victoria Sánchez:

He said always will I love you.

Victoria Sánchez:

Even in death, my heart will be joined with yours, continuing to

Victoria Sánchez:

bring happiness through memories.

Victoria Sánchez:

Live each day to the fullest and be happy and be, be yourself and

Victoria Sánchez:

be the very best that you can be.

Victoria Sánchez:

We were very fortunate.

Victoria Sánchez:

We were blessed and we thank the Lord for that.

Victoria Sánchez:

You always stood by dad.

Victoria Sánchez:

Truly our camping and our, our traveling back to visit the grandparents were

Victoria Sánchez:

always filled with adventures wherever we went, because, we made things happen,

Victoria Sánchez:

I did make all of their clothes, their prom dresses, their wedding dresses.

Victoria Sánchez:

And since Catherine is here, when we were doing her wedding dress, she said

Victoria Sánchez:

she didn't want just a chapel train.

Victoria Sánchez:

She wanted a little bigger train, so she got it.

Victoria Sánchez:

But the most fun of that was designing her veil together.

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.

Victoria Sánchez:

Our family was close and supported each other in all the endeavors,

Victoria Sánchez:

Our oldest daughter's husband went in for a surgery for a

Victoria Sánchez:

simple bypass, double bypass.

Victoria Sánchez:

The doctor said, oh, everything is fine when he came out, well, everything

Victoria Sánchez:

wasn't fine because a couple hours later he lapsed into unconsciousness and was

Victoria Sánchez:

that way for two and a half, months.

Victoria Sánchez:

Our daughter is the, assistant provost at Washington state university.

Victoria Sánchez:

And although she used her laptop to communicate with her staff, two months

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is a long time to be away from the office.

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Her sisters, the first one was Catherine said, we'll go up and help.

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I said you have to go back to your office.

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And your sisters are coming up.

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So Catherine came first and she stayed a week.

Victoria Sánchez:

And was there all day early in the morning until at

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night

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He had tubes in every place that you wouldn't imagine.

Victoria Sánchez:

So then she left and the next sister came up and she was there a week.

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And then the last sister came up with her husband.

Victoria Sánchez:

I'm happy to say that today, he is doing beautifully well, and he's back

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to doing his woodworking and yard work

Victoria Sánchez:

and enjoying life.

Victoria Sánchez:

The power of prayer can not be underestimated because truly he died

Victoria Sánchez:

twice when he was in the hospital there.

Victoria Sánchez:

We have been blessed with many blessings and we are very proud of our

Victoria Sánchez:

children and grandchildren for what they have managed to, be involved

Victoria Sánchez:

with their community, to be real, real people, dedicated, faith loving, and,

Victoria Sánchez:

uh, as a family, very, very close.

Victoria Sánchez:

We had Easter egg hunts and to this day, the kids still like the Easter

Victoria Sánchez:

egg hunts., imagine that, and with that conclusion, I hope that all your families

Victoria Sánchez:

will be well, a happy and blessed.

Catherine:

My mother has taught us and of course dad, they brought us up with

Catherine:

education that helped each and every one of us be good, critical thinkers

Catherine:

with what it is that we are faced with.

Catherine:

Being able to critically think has helped each and every

Catherine:

one of us be a better person.

Catherine:

And to understand the perspectives of other people around us.

Catherine:

Happy mother's day.

Catherine:

Well, thank you, dear.

Catherine:

, well from both of us here at your positive imprint, we wish all

Catherine:

of you, a happy mother's day, wherever you are in the world

Victoria Sánchez:

and love and value each member of your family.

Catherine:

Thank you, your positive imprint.