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Interview with Sandra Riggs, June 22, 2012

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
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00:00:33 - Early life

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Partial Transcript: Um, Sandra where were you born?

Segment Synopsis: Riggs describes her family situation growing up in Houston, Texas as a Mexican-American. She explains how she respected her mom's difficult decision to get a divorce in the late 1960's. She talks about her mom's family going to a Spanish speaking Pentecostal church. Riggs describes her step-father, whom she calls "dad," as reserved but interesting. She explains that a back injury/surgery is impacting him now. She discusses what it was like to be a gifted student at a diverse grade school. Riggs describes a situation in first grade where a teacher noticed her reading a began asking her questions. The teacher noticed she didn't have an accent, which was unusual for Mexican-Americans in Houston at the time. Riggs was pulled up to second grade, which started a series of events where she was being put into more gifted programs.

Keywords: 1960s; 1968; Divorce; Houston; Mexican; Mexican-American; Texas

00:06:20 - Changes in Spiritual Life

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Partial Transcript: Describe your spiritual life.

Segment Synopsis: Riggs explains how certain people influenced her religious journey. She was raised in a Pentecostal church by her mom, but in junior high she started attending a Southern Baptist church with her friends. This guided her to study at Baylor University, where she started diving into the intellectual understanding of her faith, which led her to attend Vanderbilt Divinity school. It was at Vanderbilt where Riggs became Episcopalian, since it had a good sense of history and she felt connected with people who felt similar issues of faith. She explains that she doesn't know where she is at with her faith. Riggs discusses surrounding herself with people of different mindsets and how that influenced her to be more liberal. In particular, two of her best friends, a gay couple, played a role in her deciding that she had a problem with any religion that called that type of relationship a sin.

Keywords: Conservative; Political Change; Religious Change; Salvation Moment; Southern Baptist; University of Texas, Austin; Vanderbilt Divinity School; homosexuality

00:12:33 - Higher Education/Work Life

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Partial Transcript: Well... you didn't tell us much about your higher education...

Segment Synopsis: Riggs discusses how divinity school was a way to explore different paths. She explains that, when she was younger, she thought that her career needed to be tied to her Christian faith. She talks about a gradual change away from her Christian identity. Riggs confirms that her last degree was from the University of Texas-Austin. She talks about her current job as a Reference Instruction Librarian at the University of Georgia. Riggs details that she got into this work while at divinity school because it was practical work instead of conceptual work that she was doing in classes, which made her feel more secure.

Keywords: Christian Identity; Miller Learning Center; Vanderbilt Divinity School

00:16:32 - Married Life

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Partial Transcript: and, uh, I am, of course, your husband, but I know you want to answer some questions about your married life?

Segment Synopsis: Riggs explains how she first heard of her husband from two friends that she went to school with at Vanderbilt. She explains meeting up with her friends in Nashville because she was attending the Association of College and Research Libraries conference to search for a job, since she had just graduated from the University of Texas. They introduced her to a couple of guys that they were friends with including Dan, her now husband. Sarah and Dan joke about their mutual friends thinking that they were too different to be with each other. Riggs discusses bonding with her husband over reading the Lord of the Rings series out loud.

Keywords: ACRL; Nashville; University of Texas; Vanderbilt Divinity School

00:21:49 - Remembering Sandra Riggs

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Partial Transcript: And, I guess, one last question. How do you want to be remembered?

Segment Synopsis: Riggs discusses a fear that she will not be remembered. She would be happy that someone would feel a connection or curiosity with her life when they hear her name or voice after she is gone. She describes the struggle of being an ordinary person and not thinking you're going to be remembered. Riggs talks about how many people/civilizations go by with so many mysteries about them and how it is amazing when people leave something behind.

Keywords: Forgotten; Legacy