I am pleased to say that there are many. One of my most satisfying moments followed a very searching discussion of Keats' "Ode on a Grecian Urn." Like most of the best moments in the classroom, roles blurred, authority retreated, and we engaged in a sophisticated and egalitarian dialogue on the fragile beauty of being human. I could see and hear young minds stretching to grasp complex interpretations. As class ended, several of the girls started to moan, complaining that their "brains hurt." I teach to cause this type of cognitive discomfort.
What most excites you about your work here on the Hill?
I love hiring and mentoring young educators, encouraging them to recognize their profound ability to effect change. I love having an impact on young women as they venture out to take on the world.
What is FSHA's best kept secret?
We have secrets?
What do you love about the all-girls environment at FSHA?
Women have had the right to vote for less than a hundred years. Only in 1900 did the last state adopt a version of the Married Women's Property Act. Women are disproportionately the victims of violence and sexual assault. Women are vastly discriminated against in the world of technology, and are grossly underrepresented in government. They continue to earn less than men for the same jobs. Here on the hill, for four short years, our young women have the opportunity to thrive, to cultivate their minds and refine their voices, less burdened by the discrimination they continue to experience in the larger world. I believe that women, with their unique talents, are the answer to many of the profound challenges we face in our world. We have our girls for only a short time, but in that time we strengthen them to go forward and be the answer to many of the questions we face in the 21st century.
What's your favorite spot on campus?
That's easy— my classroom.
When not in the classroom/office, where can you be found?
In the library or working in Kathy Desmond's office, which she generously shares with me when the library and my classroom are in use.
What's your favorite place in the world?
Puako, Hawaii, Venice, Italy, or any place with my family
What are you surprisingly good at?
Home repair and rescuing animals of any kind.
Who has made the biggest impact on your life?
Will Stone— a professor from Stanford.
What book, movie, work of art, piece of music, etc. can you not imagine life without?
"Mrs. Dalloway," The Burghers of Calais by Rodin, Ode to Joy and Whipping Post
What did you want to be when you grew up (at age 12)?
Eric Clapton or Percy Bysshe Shelley, aka a virtuoso blues guitarist or a poet
What do you want to be when you grow up (now)?
Which moment? A writer of books and music, an activist, a world traveler, and always, of course, a teacher.