Hattie Kawahara '43 was 21 years old that spring, and while her father worried about whether he might be deported to a country he had left behind four decades ago, Hattie worried about school. She had been forced to leave her junior year at Reed just before final exams. She was a hard-working, no-nonsense student with excellent grades and a passion for political science who had been commuting across town to Reed, putting up with a long walk and a longer trolley ride twice a day for three years, because getting an education was the most important thing in her life, and commuting was the way to make it affordable. During the school year she worked part time at the college library and as a basketball referee to help pay her tuition. In the summer she picked strawberries and saved her earnings. She did whatever it took. Now she worried that she wouldn't be able to complete her studies. Could she somehow arrange to take her final exams? Where could she possibly find a quiet space to study?
Hattie lived in section 2, corridor B, apartment 1. Over in section 5 was her friend and Reed classmate, Ruth Nishino '43, also a junior. Months ago, after her family heard the news on the radio about Pearl Harbor, Ruth's father sat down at the kitchen table with her and her brother. "You don't have to worry," he told them. "You are citizens of the United States." But now, sitting on a cot in hot, dusty room, she was worried. They were all worried.