5/18 – 6/3/20
5/28/20. Thursday. As I start Part 6 of this compilation during the pandemic, I should mention that we are now living in an even more uncertain period of our lives. We have been writing about the way our lives are being affected over the past two to three months, but now we realize that this will be a long-lasting part of our lives. We have been living in relative isolation for three months.
* 100,000 American have lost their lives.
* Our President has no compassion, shows little concern for our sick and dying, is concerned only with the economy, and has provided absolutely no leadership for getting through all of this.
* No scientists have yet determined that there will ever be a vaccine for this virus, although one is predicted possibly in a year or so.
* There is hope that there will be the discovery of some remedial medication to assist those with a severe case of the virus — sometime during this search for a vaccine.
* Today, from the New York Times: “The Fall of Autumn: Live Performance Producers Are Giving Up on 2020,” and we’re not half through the year. So our lives are on a temporary but sort of permanent hold.
* AND today (Thursday) the NASA SpaceX launch is scheduled for 1:00 — exciting times. (Ed. note: Delayed because of weather, and then a successful launch on Saturday.)
* AND on Monday for the first time we all watched the video of a police officer in Minneapolis killing a handcuffed man by squeezing the life from him with his knee pressed on his throat. What is happening to our country? As if the pandemic isn’t disturbing enough.
Now back to our emails which begin 10 days ago:
5/18/20 — It helps to start off with a laugh. Kim Holmquist sent this a couple of weeks ago, with the comment, “Thought these were pretty funny! Enjoy!” It can also be found in the “Take Time to Laugh” section.
* These are wonderful! Marian Moore
* Truly WONDERFUL! Thanks. Sue Wheatley Carr
* What a wonderful laugh! Thanks. Jennifer B-C Seaver
* Those were hilarious. Thanks for the laughs. Barbara Hartt Hise
* Such fun words to read, a relief for sure. Bette
* Great !! Thanks for so many classmates!! Bonnie Stretch
who went to Hawaii on the board of the “seminary” in 1837?
Ann Merchant Boesgaard5/26/20 — If you have a Bible handle handy or go online and get the passage. You will notice that Psalm 144:12 is a verse With two parts (A description of males) Followed by this one about women:
Ps 144:12b (May) our daughters (be) Like corner pillars, Cut for the building of a palace.
Mary Lyon lived in a time of when people knew biblical texts. She chose a text that shows the strength of women. Precious few existed. Maggie5/27/20 — Oh biblical scholar ship says you always look at more than one translation. I didn’t I did it the easy way. I also happen to own a book that was printed in Pennsylvania in 1851. I assume it is the king James version though it does not say so. Here you are-
Ps 144;V 112: That our sons be as plants Grown up in their youth; that our daughters may be a corner stone yes Polished after the similitude of a palace.
There are many translations of the Bible In existence And of course, you need to read it in Hebrew to get closer to what is meant. Though I have no idea where the Mary Lyon studied Hebrew or not. Guiltily meg
Allie-Lou (Oeder) Richardson
What is the meaning of Mount Holyoke’s seal with the palm?
libanswers.mtholyoke.edu › faq: Per James Burke: The seal represents Psalms 144:12 “That our daughters may be as cornerstones polished after the similitude of a palace.”
5/25/10 –Speaking of sleeping, is anyone else having crazy dreams? I am almost every nice (which is not normal for me), and I’ve read that this is happening to many people, most likely due to the underlying anxiety of these difficult and unknown times. Mine are very much a mixed bag — some pleasant, some scarey — but most focus on someone or a couple of people from my long ago past, often people from grammar or high school who I haven’t seen in ages, or people that were work-related, but not you guys so much. I tend to think that that may be attributable to the fact that I feel as if we all are still very much connected and in touch through this very Chat group, whether you participate actively or just “lurk” as they say.
Could that be? Maybe my old friend and classmate , Katherine Kaurfman Snelson — we were together through elementary, Junion and senior high, and Mt Holyoke — who is still practicing psychotherapy — now online most days all day she recently wrote — might have some professional insights on this issue that would interest all of us. Or perhaps, some of the rest of you would too? If so, I’d be interested in your take.
I must say that the upside of my dreaming is that it’s quite wonderful to “see” and interact with old friends again, and I wake up thinking, “Wasn’t it greatto see so-and-so again!” The dreams are really clear about what people looked like and how they acted, whereby at this point, my “realty” of these people is not. It’s all very strange, I think. Judy K Judy Marshall Kennedy
5/25/20 — I would love to hear from Katherine. Marian Moore
5/26/20 — Was just speaking about this with a friend! Yes, my dreams are quite different! I seem to remember them better, and there is a strange mixture of friends who wouldn’t know each other but act as though they do. I gather this is a reaction to our stress but I too would be interested in hearing from Kathy on the subject. I agree. It is quite nice to “visit “ with them again! Cheers Kim
5/26/20 — I too am having strange dreams. In part this must be because I’m sleeping so much since the stay-at-home business. Yes, about old friends. But also some recurrent anxiety dreams, like being lost in a strange place. Ann Merchant Boesgaard
5/27/20 — “A strange mixture of friends”
Perhaps think of them as the strengths we have absorbed from knowing them. Humor from one friend, Caring from another, deep thought from another. And the ability to be silly, now there’s a great one!! And to make lemonade out of lemons. Sitting around a dorm room at the end of the day solving mysteries of the universe. Or helping one of us get through a breakup or a bad grade.
Maybe it’s mostly that we’re not alone. Our friends are still with us. Dottie Smith Mann
5/27/20 — I have also been aware of dreams. I was attributing them to age. I might forget what I did yesterday, but have a vivid memory of an event in college. When I was doing community nursing, I can remember some patients relating events from their twenties who could not remember who I was from one visit to the next. I imagine that was anxiety and for me I am anxious about many things- the virus, our health and so on. Sallie Crittendon
5/27/20 — Judy, There are many articles about the effect COVID-19 has had on dreaming. The first one I read was in the NY Times but I can’t find the reference any more. However, i just googled the subject had came up with lots and lots of hits from reputable websites. When we were first “house-bound” I found i dreamt and remembered what i had dreamt, very unusual for me. However, I no longer remember my dreams. i guess I’m more relaxed about the situation? Liz T.
5/28/20 — Dear friends, You should feel grateful for being able to dream. I am unable to sleep! My insomnia is not a result of Covid-19, and I’ve battled it all of my life. I’d give anything to start dreaming. Hugs, Liz Hottel Barrett (aka Webfoot)
5/28/20 — Liz, I, too have suffered from insomnia forever. Recently, I started putting a small pillow under my thigh after I hurt my sciatic nerve. Voila! Now I can fall asleep and stay asleep although by morning, the pillow has migrated to another part of the bed.
Jennifer B-C Seaver
5/28/20 — Thanks, Jenifer. I’ll give it a try. I also have sciatic nerve problems now and then, and my thigh wouldn’t mind a pillow. I’ll keep you and 80 other eager people informed of my success/failure.
…. (Ed Note: deleted 2 long paragraphs.) Please send me your email address, so I don’t bore anyone else. Sorry for this, everyone. Gee, I’m better than Donald Trump at changing the subject to my topic of choice. What’s more, I have some exciting news, but it’s too much for one email.
Can’t wait to try a pillow. Cheers — Liz Barrett
5/29/20 — The Alumnae Quarterly arrived today! Ann Boesgaard is one of the “76 outstanding alumnae”. Congratulations, Ann! We are all so proud of you. I’d hoped for a more lengthy article, but there are truly lots of alums deserving the honor; and I’m sure with all of the Covid-19 interference, getting that issue out was not easy! For me it was also a nudge to remember our trip to beautiful Hawaii. More beautiful than I ever imagined. Sending virtual congratulations, hugs, and love. Now I have to buckle down and read about the other 75.
My other good news, not as great as Ann’s but still exciting to me: On Wednesday we played GOLF. What’s more, my arm didn’t hurt at all and I played wonderfully well! Holy moly, it was amazing — I haven’t played golf for something like a year and a half, and I’m not a very good golfer. Maybe there’s still hope. I’m thrilled at the thought of getting more exercise.
As we’re slowly getting used to the fact that this life-with-a-pandemic is going to be with us for a lot longer, I can feel myself becoming resigned to a long-term at-home routine. Looks slightly better to me if we can play golf every once in a while. Otherwise, I’ll just rot! Isn’t is just so sad and disappointing the our President doesn’t really give a damn! Hugs to you all — Liz
5/29/20 — Did everyone read David Brook’s column today in which he imagined having a “real leader”, he called a real leader a “she”, and he says “ think of the generations of religious and civic missionaries like Francis Perkins, who flowed out of Mt Holyoke’! I am so proud!
Betsy Karch Wilson
5/29/20 — I know that some of you have trouble following links and/or finding articles like this one from David Brooks, so here’s a “cut and paste” of it to make things easier. Like Bets and Cindy, I too was “thrilled” to see Frances Perkins and MHC singled out to represent both “women’s education” and the importance of the “humanities” in general in his thinking (final paragraphs). What a fabulous (and deserving) tribute to our alma mater. Judy Marshall Kennedy
5/19/20 — It wasn’t just the reference to mount Holyoke, although that was lovely, the whole piece spoke of the sorrow I feel about where we are as a country. And his big sad eyes always remind me of ED. Dottie Smith Mann
5/29/20 — Yes, Betsy, and I thought it was terrific! Also liked the mention of Mt. Holyoke, of course. That’s what the faculty resistance movement at the University of Tulsa is all about.
BarbaraBarbara K. Bucholtz
5/29/20 — Thanks Betsy! Read David Brooks? YES! Of course! Cheers for MHC Uncommon Women through the years!
Cindy Dennett Yee
5/30/20 — Like all of you, I thank Judy for sending the article, and I loved the David Brooks article; but then, I love David Brooks, one of the reasons we watch the PBS NewHour. I couldn’t include the head shot of David as part of the opinion column heading. Some things which I think should be easy are not. I hated to leave out the photograph. Webfoot Disturbed
5/29/20 — It wasn’t just the reference to mount Holyoke, although that was lovely, the whole piece spoke of the sorrow I feel about where we are ss a country. And his big sad eyes always remind me of ED. Dottie Smith Mann
5/29/20 — Great article over all, and he so beautifully says how I feel. Betsy
5/29/20 — I am moved to tears by all that David Brooks shares with us…thank you Judy for the link Sherry Welles Urner
5/29/20 — Ditto. Liz T.
6/1/20 — This is a heart breaking situation. Jennifer B-C Seaver
You may all want to check out boogaloo. A whole movement to foment civil war. Many of those types in these riots. They want chaos. I don’t do instagram or Facebook or Twitter. They are all on those platforms.
I have no special words of wisdom about how to deal with this. In my experience the trauma of the moment taps into the trauma we may have experienced as children. That may mean that it is harder for some people to manage the terrible situations facing us. After 9/11 we found that it tapped into our patients histories and could make things worse and more difficult.
I hope everyone is still healthy. I don’t know who of MHC got the virus but I hope no one.
I am not on this list serve and haven’t added anything to it before. Liz asked me for my thoughts.
I don’t know if this is a site for political opinions but I think our President is making things worse every day. This morning standing in front of St John’s church holding the Bible upside down as the Pastor said. What a dangerous jerk. We have to get rid of him but the news suggests that Biden isn’t strong among young people of color. We need Bernie Sanders to stir them up.
All I can say as I see my first patient – remotely on zoom – in five minutes. Be well all, Katherine
6/2/20 Thanks for your words of wisdom, Katherine. I wish people like Andrea could write to the newspaper to elaborate more on the preparation of the “outsiders”. I find it so utterly infuriating. Biden may not be strong among young people of color, but Trump continues to do himself in. I now like the fatherly image put forth by Biden — strong and calm and caring; and that’s what many of us are looking for in a President. Honestly, Trump and the bible did me in.
Big hugs and love, Liz
6/2/20 — Scary indeed, but I bet even Hitler didn’t turn the bible upside down! Kim
6/2/20 — Allie-Lou (Oeder) Richardson — I must be blind. Backwards, maybe, but why do you say upside down? My Bible has no writing on the back or the front and my markers hang out from the bottom. I don’t like Donald Trump but I don’t want to spread lies either. Allie-Lou (Oeder) Richardson
P.S. my DC daughter just sent a neighborhood blog notice that DC is peaceful and not under siege by rioters but it is the only place that Trump can send out the military without getting into legal problems.
6/3/20 — Open it to title page it’ll tell you which translation. If its language is thee and thou its King James Version. (It’ll have Cornerstones In the psalm)
Regular English it could be one of many translations. the cornerstones are not their — My mind naïvely went back to the conversation about cornerstones; Ergo my reply.
What intrigued me most about the press and the president was an article on the etiquette of the relationship between Saint John’s church and the White House. Come to service when the president is expected; otherwise don’t go to That particular church, if you are president. I don’t know whether or not it’s true, but it is intriguing at least to me! Maggie/Meg
6/3/20 — Personally, it doesn’t matter to me whether the Bible was up or down. I am offended by the apparent “using” of the church as a backdrop for likely campaign photos, and without any notice, permission, or words to the church administrators, or to the many volunteers who were providing water, etc. to protesters/ journalists/witnesses.
I would note from the extensive local and national news coverage that:
1. The protesters and journalists in and near Lafayette Square were dispersed roughly, before the 7 p.m. curfew, by military-style force.
2. The President’s group strode in that cleared wake without masks to St. John’s Church. He was not carrying a Bible for the short walk from the White House.
3. He posed with a Bible in front of St. John’s for photos alone and with his group.
4. According to the Episcopal Bishop, there was no phone or other contact from the White House to the church before or after the photo event.
5. He never approached the church door or those working at the church, to offer any words.
He left immediately after the photos were taken.
Rocki Hill Hughes
6/3/20 — Betsy, I agree with you completely…”I keep thinking that Trump cannot get any worse. And then he does”. This action was the epitome of his thoughtless, brain-dead, dangerous maneuvering – How long can this go on? Sue Wheatley Carr
6/3/20 — Even the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church says what the President did was offensive. Similarly a Jesuit rejected Trump’s going to the Catholic shrine for another photo op.
Jennifer B-C Seaver
6/3/20 — Frankly, I think it’s even worse and more manipulative that you all are suggesting. I don’t think they just wanted Lafayette Park “cleared” so the President of the US could safely walk across it to the church he never goes to for a quick photo op with a Bible. That makes no sense to me. I think that as CNN journalist Don Lemon promptly said on air, the whole thing from beginning to end was a carefully orchestrated “reality show” for the sake of the media who were already filming there nonstop live video of what was happening , i.e.they deliberately left the peaceful protestors alone to do their thing until the very last minute (with planned intent of showing what the “dominating and scary force” demanded of the governors in the morning conference call should look like, backed up by a very visible and horrifying phalanx of armed men on horseback from one edge of the street to the other to move and push and take back this tiny plot of “federal land ,” so that “the General” could then come out of his safe house surrounded by his aides to savor victory, show off his “courage and strength,” and most important of all — make the connection that his judgement and actions are “Godgiven” as so much of the Evangelical community has come to believe. All that was missing were the “vicious dogs” of the 1960s.
I was so horrified and upset by Monday night that I refused to watch television last night — and took Liz’s advice and watched the feel good movie “Moonstruck” instead! Judy K Judy Marshall Kennedy
Editor’s note: Mid-June our Alumnae Quarterly arrived. It featured memorable and notable graduates over the years. One was our own Ann Boesgaard. We are so proud to claim her as a member of the Class of 1961. This is from the Quarterly.
And here is a photo of (l to r) Ann, Chris, Liz, Bryan and Bobbi during that wonderful stay in Oahu.
END OF PART 6