Category: Mount Holyoke College


October 10th, 2012 — 7:47pm

A recent feature in the Alumnae Quarterly of beloved my alma mater Mount Holyoke College profiled women whose careers haven’t been of the linear kind. As I read their stories, I couldn’t help thinking about the zig zag trajectory of my own professional path – and how it has led me to the tremendous contentment I feel job-wise today.

It’s A Sign: Celebrating opening week at The Westin New York Grand Central

I graduated from MHC envisioning a future as the next Katie Couric. Though I pursued TV news for many years, I ultimately found that what I wanted more was a communications role outside the broadcast fray. I wouldn’t trade those experiences, though, or any I’ve had since because each one brought with it great learning, a bit of adventure and many friendships that endure to this day.

Here’s a look at some of the seminal benchmarks of my winding career road – By The Numbers:

Number of jobs since graduating from college: 12
Number of jobs that sparked romance: 4
Number of moves dictated by TV news gigs: 3
Number of career changes: 2
Number of overseas business trips: 7
Number of enduring work-related friendships: 7

I’m excited about the new friendships I’m cultivating as part of my job at . And equally thrilled that each day brings something new and interesting. Who says you need to follow a traditional path to get to professional bliss?

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October 30th, 2011 — 5:12pm

One of the best decisions I ever made was to go to Mount Holyoke College. Last weekend, I rediscovered that during a mini-reunion here in NYC with some of my fellow alums. 

MHC Women Reunited: Martha, me and Dana all lived in dormitory 1837 our first year

A dozen of us members of the Class of 1995 met up in Union Square for drinks at Rosa Mexicano followed by dinner at Patsy’s Pizza nearby. Though I only knew a few of the ladies present – including my fabulous former dormmates Dana and Martha – the conversation flowed freely as we reminisced about our MHC days and talked about our post-graduate lives.

Among the talk about husbands, children and careers, there was a common thread of feeling at a bit of a crossroads now that we’re more than 15 years out of college.

Dana, who came in from Pennsylvania and stayed over at my place, and I talked about this after saying goodnight to the group and settling in for a few late-night hours of girl talk. Though we hadn’t seen each other since our ten-year reunion back in 2005, it felt like we were back at Mount Holyoke.

Happily married for ten years now with a beautiful daughter, Dana imparted so many comforting words and wisdom I needed to hear. Knowing how much I miss my parents and looked up to their marriage, she told me I have to set my own bar for happily ever after. When I confided how tired I am of dating, she observed—

“You don’t have to date to meet the right person, you just have to keep yourself open to it.”

Dana also spoke with love and encouragement about all of my blog-related adventures, saying everyone is on their own unique journey and I have every reason to be proud of my own. How lucky and blessed I am to have dear and true friends like her to remind me of that.

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March 14th, 2009 — 9:18pm
It is often said that when you’re not with the one you love, love the one you’re with. That’s exactly what I did during my senior year of college.

Senior Ball: All gussied up for a big night on campus with local beau Dave, April 1995

As my long distance relationship with California-based Mark (a.k.a Sparky) hit choppy waters, I enjoyed a local romance with DJ and pre-med student hunk Dave. Dave was refreshingly uncomplicated and a much-needed departure from the drama with Sparky…especially on one fateful night that provided enough drama by itself.

I now Open The Vault to Volume #58 and take you back to the spring of 1995…

Mount Holyoke College
South Hadley, MA
April 13, 1995

Dear Diary,

It’s been an eventful week. I totaled my car, ended up spending the night at Dave’s as a result, and received rejection letters from every grad school that I applied to.

The other night, I was on my way to Dave’s and, in keeping with my unfortunate sense of direction, got lost. I ended up on a very dark, very winding road. Doing nearly 60 mph (in a 35 zone), I veered too quickly around a right-hand bend.

Suddenly, I lost control of the wheel and the car skidded off the road, over a small hill and crashed into a tree. Glass from the side windows blew out and the windshield cracked.

Miraculously, I was okay because I was wearing my seat belt. When I think about how crushed the front end of my Nissan was, I can’t believe I survived with only minor cuts and bruises.

* * *


April 15, 1995

Dave and I spent another night together. Objectively speaking, it was fun. The physical chemistry between us is good, and he’s very considerate and sweet. But, he’s not enough for me. In a word, he’s not Sparky.

…I miss him. Despite his infuriating quirks and bad habits, I love him. I know how lucky I am to be alive and to have the full life that I do, but I feel a void without him.

* * *

April 18, 1995

Sparky and I just had the most wonderful phone conversation.

“I wish things were different,” he said. “I wish we could have a normal relationship, for a little while at least.”

He added that if I knew the things he tells his colleagues about me, I’d be on the floor. When I pressed him for specifics, he said he’s told them–

“She’s the one I would marry.”

Sparky was quick to add that he knows I’m not ready. Still, he said–

“I’m waiting.”

* * *

For all of Sparky’s heartfelt declarations, and my willingness to play along with the fantasy of us ending up together, I knew that we were approaching a fork in the road. That we couldn’t continue doing the long distance routine much longer. A new chapter in my life –and a tumultuous trip to Sin City — would be the catalysts for deciding our fate as a couple.

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February 13th, 2009 — 11:33pm

Today may be Friday the 13th, but my mind is on Valentine’s Day — an occasion I’ve always had a great affection for.

Any holiday celebrating love is a good thing, and this one has part of its origins in a fellow alum from my beloved alma mater Mount Holyoke College.

Victorian Valentine: A Mount Holyoke alum launched the tradition of Valentine’s greeting cards

Artist and businesswoman Esther Howland, who graduated from MHC in 1847, is responsible for popularizing Valentine’s Day greeting cards. After receiving a Valentine from her father’s business associate, she marketed her own brand of Valentine’s cards – and so began the tradition that now keeps Hallmark in business and men scrambling at the last minute through the aisles of Victoria’s Secret.

Single and not, I’ve had more than a few memorable Valentine’s Days over the years. Here are a few standouts – By The Numbers:

Number of significant others with whom I didn’t get to spend Valentine’s Day: 2
Number of men who gave me a dozen roses for V-Day as I spent the evening with another: 1
Number of boyfriends who cut a business trip short to spend V-Day with me: 1
Number of romances that ended just before V-Day: 1
Number of teddy bears received for V-Day from long-distance sweethearts: 2

One of those teddy bears came from my high school sweetie Hogan, at a time when we hadn’t been in touch for awhile. The surprise was a wonderful reminder that Valentine’s Day is a great occasion for reconnecting with people close to your heart – and that it’s never too late to do that.

Up next…a girls night out double header and a look at the sleeper hit “Slumdog Millionaire.”

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February 13th, 2009 — 6:33pm

Today may be Friday the 13th, but my mind is on Valentine’s Day — an occasion I’ve always had a great affection for.

Any holiday celebrating love is a good thing, and this one has part of its origins in a fellow alum from my beloved alma mater Mount Holyoke College.

Victorian Valentine: A Mount Holyoke alum launched the tradition of Valentine’s greeting cards

Artist and businesswoman Esther Howland, who graduated from MHC in 1847, is responsible for popularizing Valentine’s Day greeting cards. After receiving a Valentine from her father’s business associate, she marketed her own brand of Valentine’s cards – and so began the tradition that now keeps Hallmark in business and men scrambling at the last minute through the aisles of Victoria’s Secret.

Single and not, I’ve had more than a few memorable Valentine’s Days over the years. Here are a few standouts – By The Numbers:

Number of significant others with whom I didn’t get to spend Valentine’s Day: 2
Number of men who gave me a dozen roses for V-Day as I spent the evening with another: 1
Number of boyfriends who cut a business trip short to spend V-Day with me: 1
Number of romances that ended just before V-Day: 1
Number of teddy bears received for V-Day from long-distance sweethearts: 2

One of those teddy bears came from my high school sweetie Hogan, at a time when we hadn’t been in touch for awhile. The surprise was a wonderful reminder that Valentine’s Day is a great occasion for reconnecting with people close to your heart – and that it’s never too late to do that.

Up next…a girls night out double header and a look at the sleeper hit “Slumdog Millionaire.”

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January 13th, 2009 — 8:29pm

For as long as I can remember, travel has been one of my greatest passions. I’ve often said that I never met a trip I didn’t like.

The only thing better than exploring a new destination is sharing that experience with someone you love — as I first discovered years ago when I visited long distance love Mark (a.k.a Sparky) in California.

A West Coast native, Sparky was the ideal tour guide. My inaugural L.A. visit included a drive up the Pacific Coast Highway (with stops at stunning Morro Bay and majestic Hearst Castle) and a visit to Disneyland.

The look of love: Sparky took this picture of me just before we arrived at Hearst Castle, August 1994

Unlike our blissful week together in London, though, this encounter forced me to see just how much was against us. I now Open The Vault and take you back to the summer of ‘94…

August 30th, 1994
Sparky’s Office, Universal Studios, CA

This vacation has been much bumpier than I anticipated it would be…The most disarming thing — the level of intimacy our relationship has reached.

Part of the unadulterated freedom I felt with Sparky in London had to do with the fact that I was completely absorbed in the moment. Because everything between us was so new, thoughts of the future entered my mind only fleetingly, and even when they did, I didn’t attached any significance to them. This week, all that has changed.

For the first time in my life, I’m experiencing true love. And it scares me a little. For so long, I have yearned to have a great romance. What I never expected was that I would find something as intense, as passionate, and as near perfect as what Sparky and I share.

I find myself wondering over and over, how will all this resolve itself? The timing is wrong, but everything with Sparky feels right. In my years of mistakes with the opposite sex, this is one dilemma I’ve never had to face.

Well, Sparky just told me that I haven’t said two words to him, so I guess I should pretend I’m having a good time.

*Smile.* At least one thing is as I dreamed it would be–we are completely and truly in love.

* * *

Sparky remained on my mind and in my heart as I embarked on my senior year at Mount Holyoke College. Though I was determined our next encounter would have Sparky doing the traveling, that’s not what ended up happening.

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October 28th, 2008 — 12:35am

My junior year in London brought with it the opportunity to explore a lot more than just England’s capital. Having been preceded by two years at Mount Holyoke College, my stint abroad was a welcome chance to experience life in a very co-ed setting, Commonwealth Hall.

London’s Commonwealth Hall: A 2-to-1 guy-girl ratio made for an eventful year at this college dorm

New love and California native Mark (a.k.a. Sparky) captured my heart during a memorable week together in April. Though I was sad to say goodbye to him — not knowing when our next encounter would be — I didn’t let that interfere with enjoying my final weeks in Londontown and reconnecting with some previous suitors of the local variety. I now Open The Vault and take you back to June of 1994….

London, England
Commonwealth Hall

June 10th, 1994

Dear Diary,

As usual on the night of a Commie Hall party, the bar was packed. Still, the party itself (in the cafeteria) was pretty dead, so I decided to go upstairs and bond with Carine for a little while. We lamented our single status and mutual desire to have a fling.

We both decided that Stuart would be my best prospect, so Carine and I went down to Eddie’s room and sure enough, Stuart was there. He greeted me with a big hug and kiss.

“You’re looking very shwingsome tonight,” he said as we left Eddie’s room together arm in arm.

I don’t know if it was because we hadn’t seen each other in a month, but Stuart was noticeably interested in me. Still, I wanted to make sure he knew I had more than platonic bonding in mind…without throwing myself at him. A woman has to plan her strategy carefully in situations like this…

At the party, Stuart and I danced a lot, inching closer and closer to each other with every song. During a breather at the bar, he murmured–

“I have a proposition for you.”

He paused intentionally before adding that he was referring to a possible visit from him once I was back in New York. He asked if I was disappointed he wasn’t referring to another kind of proposition, and I wondered if perhaps I was being a little too obvious. When he squeezed my lower back with both hands, I knew I had nothing to worry about…

* * *

There was a nice bit of symmetry to my reprise with Stuart. We had gone out a few times during first semester then decided to be just friends when one of his friends emerged as competition for my affections. Little did I know that, before my final week in London was over, I would also get reacquainted with the first man to turn my head in England’s capital.

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