Mini Reunion – 9/14

We gathered at Mount Holyoke 16 strong from Monday 28 September until Wednesday 1 October and realized when we got there that it was 60 years ago to the month that we had arrived on campus as freshman.  Then we arrived as strangers.  Now we arrive as close friends.  The bonds of friendship that have formed over the years have been strengthened  and renewed since the Fall of 1954.  There were some “newbies” in the group, and some veterans of several minis.  These days give us the opportunity to catch up with one another in a relaxed atmosphere, to see students, go to class and re-aquaint outselves with the campus.  We marvel that we can reconnect  with classmates who might have not been close to us in college.  We laugh a lot and we share a lot.The Monday surprise was the announcement of Mountain Day!  That meant no classes, but we have learned to be flexible so we made the most of it.  Several took walks around Upper Lake and gathered at Tailgate for lunch and conversation which went on for hours!  Dinner at Willets was delicious and the highlight was the visit with 4 students who were delightful young women.  Our discussion with them after dinner was enlightening for all.  They were amazed at some of our tales of life in the ’50’s and we enjoyed hearing about their life on campus today.  The common thread was that we all love  the college and what it offers for women.

On Tuesday and Wednesday we were able to take advantage of class offerings.  We attended classes on psych, art, econ, poly sci, history, geology, film, English, and religion.  We were welcomed by the professors and students alike.  They were complementary about “how great you look” which can be interpreted many ways!  In some classes we were encouraged to participate, and we think the students enjoyed hearing from articulate and intelligent  women from their grandparent’s generation!  The Art Museum had a special exhibit of Matisse drawings, and the library has a new Chihuly glass sculpture which is spectacular.

The focus of much of our energy and time was the novel “Drown” by Junot Diaz in a class taught by Donald Weber.  It was a challenging, uncomfortable and controversial book for us.  It was fascinating to be in the classroom with the first year students to share opinions.  Most of us had been put off by the language and topics in the short stories, but after hearing the students speak many (not all!) of us had a new appreciation for the book.  Our discussion continued in a post dinner discussion with Prof. Webber.  It was a privilege to have him with us and we appreciated the time and enthusiasm he shared.

Wednesday concluded with more class time, and a final luncheon.  It was pouring rain, and I thought as I was driving away that the heavens were crying that the Class of 1958 was leaving South Hadley once again.  We decided at breakfast  that  we will gather again in the Fall of 2016.  For those who have not come to a mini-reunion, I urge you to join us.  Those of us “regulars” are hooked and long to share the experience with you.

Those in attendance were Joan Heyman Rosan, Joyce Bernstein Klein, Di Marston Wood, Bobbi Bohman Travis, Lynne Jones Osborn, Ann Jones Dolbear, Cindy Carpenter McFadden, Jane (Elizabeth) Nilan Davis, Polly Edie, Charlotte Barton Sornborger, Muffie Taylor Seifert, Betty Koch Baker,  Pat Chilton Bennett, Ginny Lueth Keith, Misty Turino Gideonse, and your scribe Anne (Annzie) Ensworth Whitney.  Carolyn Czaja Topor  joined us for the social hour on Monday.  Special thanks go to Joyce Klein who arranged the classes,  Bobbi Travis who arranged meals, Joan (Smudge) Rosen who handled registration, Betty Baker who coordinated with Prof. Webber, and Di Wood who was General Factotum.

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