Always Trying to Make Bryn Mawr Proud...

by Catherine Down

Bryn Mawr Alumnae Bulletin: Summer 1956 

“I have known many graduates of Bryn Mawr. They are all of the same mold. They have all accepted the same bright challenge: something is lost that has not been found, something’s at stake that has not been won, something is started that has not been finished, something is dimly felt that has not been fully realized. They carry the distinguishing mark – the mark that separates them from other educated and superior women: the incredible vigor, the subtlety of mind, the warmth of spirit, the aspiration, the fidelity to past and to present. As they grow in years, they grow in light. As their minds and hearts expand, their deeds become more formidable, their connections more significant, their husbands more startled and delighted. I once held a live hummingbird in my hand. I once married a Bryn Mawr girl. To a large extent they are twin experiences. Sometimes I feel as though I were a diver who had ventured a little beyond the limits of safe travel under the sea and had entered the strange zone where one is said to enjoy the rapture of the deep.”

—E.B.White, “Call Me Ishmael, or, how I feel about being married to a
Bryn Mawr Graduate.”

Appearing in the Alumnae Bulletin: Spring 2010:

"E. quit her job and moved to Italy to pursue a Masters degree in Food Culture and Communications at the University of Gastronomic Sciences. She is particularly enjoying the company of Catherine Down (‘09). Fueled by campari one evening, they ate pizza from the trash while sitting on a curb."

 Please ignore the fact that I am double fisting pizza….

Somehow I doubt E.B. had this stunning display of grace and poise in mind when he wrote those words about Bryn Mawr women…

Just to explicate the situation a little further, we arrived at a pizzeria right as it was closing. I may have wailed distraughtedly when they told us that we couldn’t buy pizza. The nice pizza lady then magically produced a bag of old, cold pizza tied up in a plastic bag from underneath the counter. We squealed excitedly and promptly ate it on the curb outside.

My friend told me I had to be careful about what I wrote on this blog as future employers might read it, which is true. So future employers, you should probably know that I am the sort of person that will most likely eat pizza that may or may not have come from the trash. It was free and I’m excitable.