As anyone who has looked at the last posting date can guess, this blog has ended. Smith is doing a great job now of promoting Smithies online via e-blasts and e-news and various other forums (twitter, facebook, etc); this blog no longer feels needed. All will stay as it is (although I will turn off comments if I can figure that out).

Enjoy it as a resource!

I have an unending soft-spot for parody videos! Especially ones made by Smithies!

Here is the original:

And here is the Smith parody, by the Korean American Students at Smith club!

I’m guessing this is the first Smith College grad to ever be featured in a Google Doodle! Happy birthday to Julia Child ’34!

Check out Google’s Doodle page to read more about the doodle and see earlier versions of it.

Karolina Kawiaka ’88 has won a national competition to redesign the Washington Monument in DC.

The centerpiece of Kawiaka’s work is a 3,000-seat amphitheater that will be inserted into the currently empty grounds adjacent to the Washington Monument. The finished public space will overlook a new “great lawn” on the north-south axis that runs through the White House and Jefferson Memorial.

Kawiaka said she wanted to draw attention to the original plan for the monument to be placed at the intersection of two lines — one running north-south from the center of the White House and another east-west from the Capitol Building’s center. […]

“I am interested in the idea of ‘placeness’ and how to build and create an experience that intensifies a sense of a particular place,” she said. “This means thinking about the whole experience of a building or landscape, including historical and symbolic references as well as the perceptual experience and the use of light to lead one through a space.”

Here is an artistic rendition of the design:


I recently heard through the grapevine that Kirby Capen ’07 passed away from cancer in January. Her family kept a blog for her called KirbyStrong to provide family and friends with updates. The blog also became a tool to collect literally thousands of paper cranes that were folded for Kirby. After Kirby’s death, her family decided to donate some of Kirby’s cranes to the DC-based Smith Center, which provides healing resources to people with illnesses.

As Kirby’s mother Judith wrote:

We, of course, have been living with these birds for some time now and associate them with the sorrow of Kirby’s failed battle to survive that awful cancer. But, the cranes are also very much about our family’s community, which extended amazingly, and all those people’s hopes, manifest prayers, and caring. People seeing them for the first time in their completion have told us many times that they thought the aggregate of the cranes was significant enough to share with more people than just those who come into our dining room. So, we talked to the people at the Smith Center for Healing and the Arts (with help in establishing initial contacts from a couple of Capitol Hill angels). We especially liked the SMITH connection even though the Smith Center and Smith College are named for different Smiths…(I hope all you Smith College grads like the Smith parallel, too :-) ) […]

Kirby Capen's mother Judith hangs the paper cranes at the Smith Center

The support for Kirby and us while she was sick is manifest in this collection of love-filled cranes. We are so very pleased these cranes are finding their way into the world with their messages of love, hope, peace, and healing.

A beautiful tribute to a life.

Well, of course you can go back to college at Reunion. But Becky ’02 of the Inquisitive Hippo has taken it one step further — she has arranged a song from Avenue Q for fellow Glee Clubbers, musicians, and other Smith singers to sing at reunion!

Here’s her post:

This weekend marks 10 years since I received my degree from Smith College and I’ll be living it up NoHo style with all my friends from the class of ’02. I can’t actually believe it’s been 10 years since graduation but somehow life keeps churning away whether you pay attention to it or not. In celebration of this milestone, I took a song I love from the Broadway Musical, Avenue Q (if you haven’t seen it, stop reading immediately and go YouTube it right now) and arranged it for women’s voices in hopes that we’ll find a time to sing it this weekend.

So, lovely glee clubbers of the class of  ’02, download this fabulous pdf and hopefully we’ll fit it in to our weekend!

I Wish I Could Go Back to College

I hope this actually happens, and that when it does, it is captured on YouTube!

While sifting through the Google reader that I keep of all the Smith alum blogs, I stumbled across some incredible words from Smithies around their uteri. In light of all the discussion going on about rights and bodies, I thought it would be meaningful to share these personal stories. In my mind, these are the grown up versions of the stories we told at Smith — those conversations we had around the table in the dining room, long after brunch was over, or sitting five to a twin bed on a random Thursday night. These are those same stories of strength, pain, freedom, and passion, but in the context of adulthood.

From Sun Runner ’97, a story about how her uterus made her life miserable and the operation that set her free (emphasis added):

By November 2006, I had been poked, prodded, procedured, and pill-popped to the extreme, with no relief or explanation. I was having periods that lasted two, three, or four weeks with mere days between bleeding episodes.  I was an emotional wreck from the hormone war inside me (I was on estrogen, progesterone, levornogestrel…). My whole life revolved around what was going on in my nether regions. Everything I did—from what I wore each day (the darker the better) to how long it took me to towel off after a shower to the sheets I chose to put on the bed (never the white ones)—depended on the state of affairs downstairs. My uterus had made my life miserable for a year and a half, and in November 2006 it launched its final assault.

Warning: everything from this point forward may be Too Much Information for some to handle. Proceed at your own risk.

[read the rest here]

From Liza ’91, a story about going on birth control at age 13:

I suffered such severe menorrhagia that I began blacking out every time I stood up, or had to walk up stairs. No exaggeration. I would stand up, and my vision would go fuzzy and dark from the outside in; and, I usually had to clutch the handrail on the stairs, so that I wouldn’t collapse and fall down.

After 3 weeks, I was no longer able to hide what was going on from my mom, who took me to my first gynecological appointment. They gave me a massive dose of some kind of hormone to stop things, and told us that if I could not keep them down for 24 hours, I would have to be hospitalized.

14 hours later, at around 4 am, I threw up with the kind of drama that I can only describe as exorcisian. Mom rushed me to the hospital, where I got a blood transfusion, a lot of drugs, and finally the ability to stand without fainting.

And when I left the hospital, the doctor gave me a prescription for birth control pills. (And iron supplements.) The birth control pills were to make my body both menstruate, and STOP menstruating. On a regular, appropriate schedule.

I was no slut.

[read more here]

Noelle ’05 writes about her miscarriage:

Today is the spring equinox. It is also the anniversary of my miscarriage.
For a year, I have found myself talking about miscarriage over and over again. For one thing, like birth and other body dramas, the experience of pregnancy loss seems to benefit from the act of storytelling. For another thing, when you have a four-year-old child, one of the only topics of conversation with other adults seems to be, “Are you guys thinking of having another?”
And instead of just saying, “Yes, we’re thinking about it,” like a normal person might, I always launched into the whole saga of how I miscarried in March, and how awful that was, and how long it’s taken to get my health back on track.
People were, for the most part, very supportive—if a little taken aback. But the secret that I uncovered in opening up about my experience was that miscarriage is one of those things that no one talks about, but everyone really wants to talk about once someone else brings it up! Almost everyone I spoke to received my story by sharing one of their own—and it wasn’t just friends and relatives who opened up about their losses. One of the first things I learned about a new acquaintance was that she had a miscarriage between her two children. A friend’s mother nodded sadly and said, “I had one. It’s hard.” The nurse who cared for me in the ER had two.
And finally, Cait ’10 writes about the painful, graphic experience of working in an OB office and assisting with D&C procedures, and how it affected her stance on abortion:
You know how I know so much about what goes on in women’s heads who are choosing abortion?  Because I spent an entire summer assisting at a myriad of obstetric and gynecological procedures, about three-quarters of which were D&C’s (Dilation and Curettage).  […] Early on Monday mornings, I would show up to the OR and change, shivering, into my scrubs.  I would tie my hair back while I looked in the mirror, and I would tell myself that if those women out there could be brave enough to face what they were facing, I could damn well walk out there and help them as best as I could.  I held the hands of women as they were prepped for the procedure.  I sat with them in the OR waiting bay before they went in, and listened to some of the hardest stories I’ve ever heard.  I watched procedure after procedure, until I could predict which instrument the doctor would pick up next.
Each procedure took about thirty minutes, start to finish.  Thirty minutes, and the groggy woman would be rolled out the door, the doctor and nurses would leave, and it would just be me and the janitor, cleaning up.  I was part of the clean-up crew.  Of the fetus.  After each procedure, the doctor would wordlessly hand me the basin into which he’d just deposited the contents of a woman’s uterus.  The first time he did this, he only looked at me seriously and said softly, “Make sure it’s all there.”  After each D&C, it was my job, and mine alone, to very carefully examine the contents of the bright orange BIOHAZARD container and look for recognizable parts of the human being that would grow no more.  A hand, a miniscule foot, shreds of placenta – all were good indicators that the procedure had been performed correctly.  I would check, swallowing hard each time, then seal the container and leave the room.

Anonymous ’99 writes at My, you have really put on weight! about maternal hair dynamics:

Mom hasn’t told me yet this morning that I’ve put on weight, but she has told me that my hair looks better down. Mom rarely misses an opportunity to tell me that my hair doesn’t look better in a different way, although she did tell me at dinner last night that it looked good. Unlike the weight thing, or maybe just like the weight thing, the hair thing is hilarious because it’s nonsensical. This morning, my hair was pulled back because I was exercising. Yesterday afternoon, when mom told me my hair looked bad, I had been walking for over an hour in the wind.

Lori ’94 writes at My American Meltingpot writes about race and hair and kids and… lice, asking the question: “Do Head Lice Respect the One-Drop Rule?”

The one common elementary school infestation that I dread the most is head lice. Eww! Just writing the words makes me itch. But here’s the thing, my paranoia and fear about finding white creepy crawlies in my kids’ hair is tempered with my fervent hope that their hair is “Black” enough to repel the heinous little buggers.

I mean everybody knows that Black people can’t get lice, right? No really, I wrote a book about Black hair and I did the research. Let me explain. It’s not that Black people CAN’T get lice, it’s just that the North American head louse has adapted to Caucasian hair and can’t really navigate the shape of African-American hair follicles. Can you say I’m happy to be nappy? If you go to Africa, or even Brazil however, those badboys are all over Black hair.

%d bloggers like this: