Sunday, April 14, 2019
Drove down to Swarthmore at 6.00am on Friday morning to hang with Kat Capossela, my daughter, for a couple of days.
The visit much needed.
At 3.00pm we left the on-campus, gracious Inn at Swarthmore, got into the car, and drove from Swart to Philadelphia non-stop talking for the next seven and a half hours: in the car, in a café, and in a restaurant. Less an hour we took early evening to do side by side laptop work in the café and an hour late at night to repeat that in the bar of the hotel drinking tea.
Swarthmore, founded and still guided by Quakers principles, is one of the furthest-left colleges in the country, and the politics of defending the rights of the oppressed constantly are the hottest topics on campus.
From her first days on campus, Kat has been actively rebuilding the SGO, Swart’s Student Government Organization, into an effective, active engine for proselytizing for concerns of the students on campus.
The growth of its effective interface with everyday student life is due in large part to Kat who, as a freshman, was elected to the Senate of the SGO; and, as a sophomore, elected to the vice-presidency, and for her junior year, next school year, will be elected President of that organization (not counting chickens since the election ends Saturday night, April 13, 2019, and Kat’s imminent landslide victory has caused all other candidates to withdraw.)
With her reputation for getting things done, comes a mountain of work, including interfacing with the college administration: monthly meetings with the Board of Governors, regular meetings with administration officials heading food and public safety, among others, communications with the President of the College, accepting her requests that Kat join this or that committee.
But most of her time is spent meeting with other students, listening to their grievances, some real and major, others less so, and following through with help for each of them, in the process, growing the effectiveness of the SGO. The lines of all admin officials, the President included, are always open to Kat, a hallmark of her effectiveness.
Much of our conversation dealt with her handling of the students’ issues. She’s twenty years old, grappling with ideas and emotions, many of them for the first time. And doing her honest best to provide a forum for all views, very difficult in an intellectually and morally driven environment.
Quakers have been in the forefront of the nation’s battle for equality from its inception and their activism and tumult continues alive and well today at Swarthmore.
Meanwhile, she grows and matures.
Much of our conversation dealt with the burdens of a day confined to twenty-four hours. The school’s rigorous academic disciplines do not relax because you append an appellation to your name. Jerry Finegold, football player, Sally Murphy, Latin scholar, Kat Capossela, President, SGO, mean absolutely nothing to earning a starring A or a solid B. And if the idea of a solid B makes you, the student-scholar nauseous, the stress of finding time to fulfill ALL of your obligations can wreak havoc with your peace of mind. Helping Kat through is her high school background, BB&N in Cambridge, one of a dozen or so independent, competitive high school programs whose greatest lessons certainly are the necessity of hard work. And having a kind and sympathetic boyfriend doesn’t hurt her, either.
Much of our conversation dealt with her concerns over finding a suitable summer job in New York City, where she might like to live after graduation. Even though she dangles a dowry (in its unceasing campaign to improve the world, Swarthmore has awarded Kat a full salary if she takes a non-paying job at a not-for-profit,) her first time out in the big world is daunting.
We laughed a lot. A lot.
And, a sign of her maturing process, she asked me a host of questions about me. Milestones, those questions. Wondering if that translates to her loading the dishwasher when she returns home.
We spent a lot of time reading and discussing the menu, deciding on what to order, agreeing on four shared courses. And a lot of time enjoying our food.
We spent the late part of the night, 9.300 to 11.00pm, drinking tea and soda at the bar in the hotel on the Swarthmore campus, and doing side by side work, each on his/her own laptop.
Father and daughter relating.
We said goodnight with nary a sour note to sully the day and night.
And another such day together planned for tomorrow.
The visit, water for deprived plants.
Postings Count, Weather Brief, and Dinner
Sunday, April 14, 2019
My 373rd consecutive posting, committed to 5,000.
After 373 posts we’re at the 7.46% mark of my commitment, the commitment a different way of marking the passage of time.
Time is 12.01am.
On Sunday, Boston’s temperature will reach a high of 61* with a mix of clouds and sun.
Since I’ll be on the road back to Boston from Philadelphia, dinner is uncertain.
Question of the Day:
Who was Lucretia Mott?
Chuckle of the Day:
Inside O’Rourke’s bar, at 9.30pm on Friday night, the music and singing were rousing, the beer was flowing and spilling, the shouting and laughing were deafening.
Then in walked the past, the present, and the future.
Immediately things got tense.
Sunday, April 14, 2019
Love your notes.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
This from Kali L responding to the post saying: God asks us not to ask Him why we are in the middle of so much misery.
God asks us to, instead, help someone near us.
turn the pain into fuel for the journey :)
Web Meister Responds: “Pain into fuel for the journey” is also good advice for the marathon runners, including Kali, herself.
Answer to the Question of the Day:
Lucretia Mott (née Coffin; January 3, 1793 – November 11, 1880) was a U.S. Quaker, abolitionist, women's rights activist, and social reformer.
Her speaking abilities made her an important abolitionist, feminist, and reformer.
She had formed the idea of reforming the position of women in society when she was among the women excluded from the World Anti-Slavery Convention in 1840.
In 1848 she was invited by Jane Hunt to a meeting that led to the first meeting about women's rights. Mott helped write the Declaration of Sentiments during the 1848 Seneca Falls Convention.
When slavery was outlawed in 1865, she advocated giving former slaves who had been bound to slavery laws within the boundaries of the United States, whether male or female, the right to vote.
She remained a central figure in the abolition and suffrage movement until her death in 1880.
In June 1840, Mott attended the General Anti-Slavery Convention, better known as the World's Anti-Slavery Convention, in London, England.
In spite of Mott's status as one of six women delegates, before the conference began, the men voted to exclude the American women from participating, and the female delegates were required to sit in a segregated area.
Anti-slavery leaders didn't want the women's rights issue to become associated with the cause of ending slavery worldwide and dilute the focus on abolition.
In addition, the social mores of the time generally prohibited women's participation in public political life.
Several of the American men attending the convention, including William Lloyd Garrison and Wendell Phillips, protested the women's exclusion.
Garrison, Nathaniel Peabody Rogers, William Adam, and African American activist Charles Lenox Remond sat with the women in the segregated area.
Activists Elizabeth Cady Stanton and her husband Henry Brewster Stanton attended the convention while on their honeymoon. Stanton admired Mott, and the two women became united as friends and allies.
One Irish reporter deemed her the "Lioness of the Convention".
Mott was among the women included in the commemorative painting of the convention, which also featured female British activists: Elizabeth Pease, Mary Anne Rawson, Anne Knight, Elizabeth Tredgold and Mary Clarkson, daughter of Thomas Clarkson.
Encouraged by active debates in England and Scotland, Mott also returned with new energy for the anti-slavery cause in the United States.
She continued an active public lecture schedule, with destinations including the major Northern cities of New York City and Boston, as well as travel over several weeks to slave-owning states, with speeches in Baltimore, Maryland and other cities in Virginia.
She arranged to meet with slave owners to discuss the morality of slavery.
In the District of Columbia, Mott timed her lecture to coincide with the return of Congress from Christmas recess; more than 40 Congressmen attended. She had a personal audience with President John Tyler who, impressed with her speech, said, "I would like to hand Mr. Calhoun over to you", referring to the senator and abolition opponent.
Good Morning on this Sunday, the Fourteenth Day of April.
Today we recounted the father-daughter meetup in Swarthmore, PA, and talked about the weather, the calendar, and tonight’s dinner.
We posted a new chuckle, a comment from Kali L, and a thumbnail bio of Lucretia Mott, who deserves to be honored.
And now? Gotta go.
Che vuoi? Le pocketbook?
See you soon.