What does a learning landscape that extends for nearly two centuries look like? What does it feel like? What does it promise? What does it invite? Watch the video.
January 12, 2018, was a day of surreal delight that will be ingrained in my soul forever. Here’s why.
On this day, I served as a translator to seven members of the Massachusetts delegation, including Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, during their visit to the Hospital del Niño in Puerto Rico to assess the inadequate federal disaster response to Hurricane Maria. I also had the opportunity to tell this group about Mount Holyoke College, and how it has changed my life and my trajectory in more ways than I ever expected. My voice was shaking, my cheeks were numb from smiling and my tongue felt heavy with feelings. (That’s me in the white shirt, in the photos above.)
In honor of Women’s History Month, each week in March we’ll celebrate Mount Holyoke women who have made their mark since the College’s founding — by a woman! — in 1837.
As a naturally inquisitive and chatty person, I was in uncharted territory when I recently lost my voice for a week. Vivid hand language and creepy whispering became my primary modes of communication. And when sounding like a strangled mix of Darth Vader and the Cookie Monster started to feel obnoxious, I stopped attempting to talk and interacted with my community from an even quieter perspective.
This unexpected experience helped me see that it’s the subtle things that help forge the mosaic of our community. Here’s a look at some of the distinctive things, -isms and unspoken traditions that make Mount Holyoke such a special place.
My birth was welcomed by feminist chants and a hunger for justice — and a Mount Holyoke T-shirt. My mother, Robin Pelletier ’90, raised me with the principles that guided her through college: fearlessness, independence, unconformity, confidence, acceptance. As a young child, I adopted my Mount Holyoke legacy with pride. My life was, and is still, shaped by strong, diverse and outspoken individuals who encourage me to be bold and adventurous.
Though at times as a naive teen I scoffed at the idea of attending my mother’s alma mater, I now know I made the right decision. There is nothing more unique than an inclusive women’s college education. And there are so many perks of being a legacy (yes, I’m going to brag)!