by Kathy Teyler Jarrett, Class of 1973
Yes, my classroom education was great at Vassar, but perhaps some of the best learning experiences came from living in Ferry Cooperative House. QUITE an education – and some crazy fun!
Knock-down-drag-out meetings about how many eggs one could use in a week or spend on a special meal taught democracy at its most primal. Schlepping grocery carts to find the best deals and flirting with the butcher for a couple extra chops brought budgeting and negotiating skills. Planning weeks of menus and getting all the food served at once at dinner taught terrific time-management. And when the place went co-ed, how THAT added to the human relations training – everything from avoiding huge shoes, to timing trips to the shower, to dealing with failed romances. (Hmm, but a lot of that happened before men came, too. . .)
Not to say all was drudgery. We had great times! Halloween parties with homemade donuts (after calling home for the recipe), wild costumes, and apple cider from the local cider mill (and MAYBE some stronger things to imbibe). An intimate two-duck dinner (a l’orange and Peking) to celebrate the end of thesis writing time. A spaghetti party for invited faculty, with dancing and silliness – whoa, did we learn a lot about our profs that day! Sunning and tossing Frisbees off the top deck on a warm spring day with blossoms bursting on the trees, or shaking snow off the dogs in winter.
Warm memories, and even flinch-inducing ones, all add up to as fine an education as anyone could hope for. Liberal arts? How about domestic-human-relations-finance-and-planning arts? All served up with Hadassah’s lasagna and laughs.