Saturday, March 08, 2008

International Women's Day

Today is International Women's Day. I spent part of it speaking to the Orange County chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma, an honor society of women educators. Also on the agenda was the presentation of scholarships to one young woman from each of the senior classes of the four Orange County high schools who planned to major in education. (This year, there was no candidate from East Chapel Hill.) I appreciate Betty Eidenier for asking me and Kathy Harris for introducing me.

They wanted to hear my "stories" about being on the Town Council, but I started earlier than that. I told them how I'd written my dissertation on a national fellowship from the American Association of University Women. And about how eventually I met one of the women who was on the award committee. She told me that one of the things that impressed her the most about my application was the fact that I had a brand new baby. This was kind of disappointing: I had hoped she was going to say it was strength of my ideas about Virginia Woolf! But it was true that juggling a dissertation and a newborn child was quite a challenge, and the time off from teaching that the fellowship allowed made my life much easier.

Women helping women: may it ever be so.

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