Well, my mother was a teacher so I wanted to be a teacher and that was acceptable to my family. But when I was young I also thought I wanted to be a nurse, but I was just discouraged from doing that. Nursing is a very, very hard occupation and it’s a very dirty occupation. You deal with a lot of terrible stuff in nursing and so they discouraged me, so I went to become a teacher. But afterwards, after I had my children I just became very interested in being a nurse so I, I have the idea that things that you want to do in your childhood are really deep rooted and eventually you’ll do them, even if you don’t do them right away.
This interview focuses on the life of Audrey Silveri, a retired nurse and educator. Born in New York and raised in Massachusetts, Audrey has lived in the Northeast for her entire life. She attended the State University of New York, University of Virginia for graduate work, Assumption College for a BSN, Boston College for a MSN, and the University of Massachusetts/Amherst for her doctorate. Audrey met her husband while working at the Library of Congress and they were engaged after three months. They moved to Worcester in 1963 and raised three children. She is most proud of her accomplishments of rewriting the BSN curriculum at Anna Maria College while she was Director of the Nursing Program, acting as a devoted stay-at-home mother, and earning her Ph.D. in Education at an advanced age. Audrey refers to herself as a dreamer when coping with tough times. She tries not to pity herself, and instead of wallowing in grief, puts her life into perspective. One of her central philosophies is to always follow one’s intuition and to work for one’s dream. When Audrey was a girl she dreamed of one day being a nurse, but was discouraged to do so by her parents. Audrey never extinguished her dream however, and today she can look back on her life and feel content knowing her life’s purpose was achieved.