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"By the time I had got two or three hundred feet [60–90 m] off the ground," she said, "I knew I had to fly." After that 10-minute flight (which cost her father $10), she immediately determined to learn to fly.Working at a variety of jobs including photographer, truck driver, and stenographer at the local telephone company, she managed to save $1,000 for flying lessons.
Her teacher was Anita "Neta" Snook, a pioneer female aviator who used a surplus Curtiss JN-4 "Canuck" for training.She rejected the high school nearest her home when she complained that the chemistry lab was "just like a kitchen sink".Throughout her troubled childhood, she had continued to aspire to a future career; she kept a scrapbook of newspaper clippings about successful women in predominantly male-oriented fields, including film direction and production, law, advertising, management and mechanical engineering.Facing another calamitous move, Amy Earhart took her children to Chicago, where they lived with friends.Earhart made an unusual condition in the choice of her next schooling; she canvassed nearby high schools in Chicago to find the best science program.The pilot overhead spotted Earhart and her friend, who were watching from an isolated clearing, and dived at them.
"I am sure he said to himself, 'Watch me make them scamper,'" she said.
In 1909, when the family was finally reunited in Des Moines, the Earhart children were enrolled in public school for the first time with Amelia Earhart entering the seventh grade at the age of 12 years.
While the family's finances seemingly improved with the acquisition of a new house and even the hiring of two servants, it soon became apparent that Edwin was an alcoholic.
In 1935, Earhart became a visiting faculty member at Purdue University as an advisor to aeronautical engineering and a career counselor to women students.
She was also a member of the National Woman's Party and an early supporter of the Equal Rights Amendment.
Five years later in 1914, he was forced to retire and although he attempted to rehabilitate himself through treatment, he was never reinstated at the Rock Island Railroad.