My mother won the Woodrow Wilson Fellowship, which essentially meant she could choose which graduate school to attend. In was the mid- 60s and she finished top of her class, graduating from a four- year college with straight A’s in two-and-a-half years while raising five kids under 10 years old. A fast learner who multi-tasked like nobody’s business. She chose a school close to home — Johns Hopkins — because she had those kids to attend to. But Hopkins told her women weren’t welcome in her chosen field (English literature) and offered her a spot in Philosophy as a consolation prize. She declined.
When I was about to graduate, I had my own string of A’s (although i did get one B…o well) and a graduate Fellowship waiting for me when a history professor pulled me into her (yes, her) office, showed me a fashion magazine, and told me I could be a really successful model if I had my ears pinned back.
A million thanks hanks for your beautifully written narrative. Sending it to my daughter now, a Brown university student who is constantly, CONSTANTLY being asked if she “ever thought about modeling.”