I arrived at Wellesley carrying my father’s political beliefs and my mother’s dreams and left with the beginnings of my own.
I didn’t hit my stride as a Wellesley student right away. My struggles with math and geology convinced me once and for all to give up on any idea of be coming a doctor or a scientist. My French professor gently told me, “Mademoiselle, your talents lie elsewhere.”
One snowy night during my freshman year, Margaret Clapp, then President of the college, arrived unexpectedly at my dorm, Stone-Davis, which perched on the shores above Lake Waban. She came into the dining room and asked for volunteers to help her gently shake the snow off the branches of the surrounding trees so they wouldn’t break under the weight. We walked from tree to tree through knee-high snow under a clear sky filled with stars, led by a strong, intelligent woman alert to the surprises and vulnerabilities of nature. She guided and challenged both her students and her faculty with the same care. I decided that night that I had found the place where I belonged.
Madeleine Albright, who served as Ambassador to the United Nations and Secretary of State in the Clinton Administration, started Wellesley ten years before me. I have talked with her often about the differences between her time and mine. She and her friends in the late fifties were more overtly committed to finding a husband and less buffeted by changes in the outside world.
In Madeleine’s day and in mine, Wellesley emphasized service. Its Latin motto is Non Ministrarised Ministrare ―“Not to be ministered unto, but to minister” ―a phrase in line with my own Methodist upbringing. By the time I arrived, in the midst of an activist student era, many students viewed the motto as a call for women to become more engaged in shaping our lives and influencing the world around us.
Our all-female college guaranteed a focus on academic achievement and extracurricular leadership we might have missed at a coed college. It was a given that the president of the class, the editor of the paper and top student in every field would be a woman. And it could be any of us.
The absence of male students cleared out a lot of psychic space and created a safe zone for us to eschew appearances Monday through Friday afternoon. We focused on our studies without distraction
My friends and I studied hard and dated boys our own age, mostly from Harvard and other Ivy League schools, whom we met through friends or at mixers.
Walking into my daughter’s coed dorm at Stanford, seeing boys and girls lying and sitting in the hallways, I wondered how anyone nowadays gets any studying done.
By the mid-1960s, the sedate and sheltered Wellesley campus had begun to absorb the shock from events in the outside
The debate over Vietnam articulated attitudes not only about the war, but about duty and love of country. For many thoughtful, self-aware young men and women there were no easy answers, and there were different ways to express one’s patriotism.
In hindsight, 1968 was a watershed year for the country, and for my own personal and political evolution. National and international events unfolded in quick succession: the Tet Offensive, the withdrawal of Lyndon Johnson from the presidential race, the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., the assassination of Robert Kennedy and the relentless escalation of the Vietnam War.
By the time I was a college junior, I had resigned my position as a president of the collage republicans, and gone from being a Goldwater Girl to supporting the anti-war campaign of Eugene McCarthy, a Democratic Senator from Minnesota, who was challenging President Johnson in the presidential primary. Along with some of my friends, I would drive up from Wellesley to Manchester, New Hampshire, on Friday or Saturday to stuff envelopes and walk precincts.
Dr. King’s assassination on April 4, 1968, filled me with grief and rage. Riots broke out in some cities. The next day I joined in a massive march of protest and mourning at Post Office Square in Boston. I returned to campus wearing a black armband and agonizing about the kind of future America faced.
Senator Robert E Kennedy’s assassination two months later on June 5, 1968, deepened my despair about events in America.内容来自 听力课堂网：http://www.tingclass.net/show-8049-224918-1.html