Questions, Intuitions, Revisions:
Telling and Re-Telling Stories About Ourselves in the World
A College Seminar Course at Bryn Mawr College

Forum 4 - On fairy tales

Name:  Anne Dalke
Subject:  This week's queries
Date:  2002-09-23 16:54:14
Message Id:  2861
Dear Questioners, Intuitives and Revisors--

Your three good fairies (or are we wicked stepparents?) have so much enjoyed reading your range of responses to last week's two questions...

that we've decided to offer you a choice again this week. We invite you either to respond to a rather "abstract" question, or to tell a more "concrete" (if fanciful!?) tale. (We'd also be curious to know if you have a sense of why/how one sort of question draws you more than another....?)

1. Friedrich Schiller wrote, "Deeper meaning resides in the fairy tales told to me in my childhood than in the truth that is taught by life."

What do you think of fairy tales? In comparison to the "truth that is taught by life"? (Off the top of your head, in a few sentences/phrases for you and others to mull over...).

2. We'd also be interested in hearing some of the stories that we are beginning (inevitably? IS this inevitable?) to make up about one another. So, as an alternative task.... tell a (very brief!) story about (one or more of) the professors (aka fairies/stepparents...) in this cluster.

Looking forward to meeting you all on Sunday evening, when we will gather in the English House Lecture Hall, 6-8 p.m., for pizza and performances of our various fairy tales.

Professors/Fairies/Witches #1, 2, 3

Name:  orah minder
Subject:  deeper meaning in fairy tales than in life lessons
Date:  2002-09-24 00:07:37
Message Id:  2864
A young child's mind ingests that which she sees around her. The colors flash and the towering people gawk down at her as she toddels around and begins to understand words. 'Door!' and in her head she sees a big slab of brown blocking her passage. 'Dog!' and she sees a ferocious beast, teeth glinting down at her soft forehead. 'Beautiful fairy!' and the image of a floating mother- with flowing hair sweeps into her dreams and her imagination. Sweet sounds emerge from the fairy's mouth, she sooths the child to sleep.
This child cannot yet fully express herself in words but she transfers her fears into this image of the beautiful fairy- now the fairy is a hero who can save her from everything she is scared. Before, she did not have the words to describe her fears; they haunted her mind and could not be exorcised through words. But this fairy is a heroine in the girl's head; the fairy knows about the scary monsters in the child's head, without being told.
Later, when the child can form words and can understand words, lessons are taught to her. She is taught lessons in dry words with no images. These lessons are not dancing and floating in her mind, they do not live in her mind, they live on paper and must be filtered into her. These lessons cannot captivate her mind because they are not alive.
Name:  Elena
Subject:  On Fredrick Schiller
Date:  2002-09-24 12:29:47
Message Id:  2868
I cannot agree with Schiller's belief that the meaning in fairy tales is deeper than life's lessons. First of all, to me, there is no meaning in fairy tales. They are abstract stories used as a medium for the reader (or listener) to relate to, identify with, and interact. Only insofar as one involves oneself in a fairy-tale, can one extract meaning.

Fairy-tales work with different matter of the brain than what life's lessons teaches. I feel as though my unconscious attunes to fairy-tales whereas my logic follows life's lessons. My logic doesn't follow fairy-tales, but my unconscious does respond to life's lessons. Therefore I feel that life's lessons influence me more than these fairy-tales ever did.

Name:  Kristen Coveleskie
Subject:  response to question 1
Date:  2002-09-24 13:21:29
Message Id:  2872
I don't know that deeper meaning resides in the fairy tales that were told to me when I was a child, but those tales did have a huge impact. Their simple lessons seemed to stick with me more then the complex lessons of life. The lessons of fairy tales seemed to embed themselves deeper into my head. The "truth that is taught by life" probably had a larger impact on my as I grew older and was able to understand it. If some largely complex secret of life were revealed to me, I would get no meaning form it if I didn't understand it. The simplicity of fairy tales enable the reader to really understand them, therefore it makes sense that a child would find more meaning in them.
Name:  Xuan-Shi
Subject:  Question One
Date:  2002-09-24 16:55:39
Message Id:  2884
What truth has been taught to us by life? How do we know we have ever stumbled upon a truth of life? Maybe it is an illusion to think we would ever grasp the Truth of Life, that is so evasive, and at times, even incomprehensible. I personally would not make a comparison bewteen the two.

Fairytales have a subliminal effect on me. I still believe that true love exists. And love at first sight is possible. That some people do live happily after. These beliefs inject magic, and mystery into life; for there are plenty of inexplicable things that happen in the world. What has life taught me? Life taught me different things at various stages to make me a better person. Life forces me to make difficult decisions. Life makes me aware of its fragility.

Which is why it is inadequate to draw a comparison... For each individual derive different meanings from fairytales and life, and what truths we choose to take away with us and make it our own, are as telling as the things we left behind.

Name:  Abigail Bruhlmann
Subject:  option one
Date:  2002-09-24 17:08:53
Message Id:  2885
preface: option two sounds tempting, but between choosing the creative piece for the previous forum question and having recently completed the revision of my fairy tale, the creative portion of my brain is tapped, so i'll try the analytic approach this time around.

Fairy tales are not more important to me than life's lessons. Was I obsessed with them as a child? Oh yes. Did I waltz around the house pretending to be Cinderella? You bet. Was cuddling up with my mother for story time my favorite time of day? Of course. But these were childhood experiences that make for fond memories and don't carry much significance to my life today.

Though I do credit these stories with providing fodder for my sometimes zany imagination and spurts of creativity, I don't think, "Now what would have Snow White done in this situation?" when I am confronted with a problem.

The fairy tale princesses of my imagination couldn't help me when I had problems with the virtual registrar's office. The ops in Guild, however, gave me the assistance I needed. The princesses didn't teach me that when the soles of my sandals are falling off I shouldn't wear them anymore. I learned that life lesson by falling down the concrete stairs in front of the SGA office, thus entangling my keys in the railing on my descent. Don't worry - it sounds more painful than it was. :)

Life lessons are holding a jar by the lid and watching the contents spill to the floor and the jar shattering, or petting a cat the wrong way and getting scratched, or realizing that it's more special to write a letter to a friend rather than to communicate exclusively by e-mail, not that beauty will get you a prince and a happily ever after. The life lessons that shape me are things that I have experienced, not things I have read.

I'm not saying that fairy tales aren't significant or that they aren't important, I just feel that their value is providing entertainment for children. Nothing more, nothing less.

As an 18 year old big kid/young adult/adult/"you'll have to wait until you're 21 until you're a real adult" adult, whichever way you look at it, I enjoy reading fairy tales because the reading is relaxing and it reminds me of a time when life was simple and uncomplicated, unlike this unwieldy explanation that I have just provided.

Name:  Jessie Posilkin
Subject:  Fairy Tales as lessons
Date:  2002-09-25 00:11:22
Message Id:  2887
While fairy tales are created for the purpose of teaching a lesson, I can't say that I have learned a lesson that has been helpful to me life from all the fairy tales that I have read. Life has taught lessons that were more enjoyable to learn (from experience, rather than reading), and lessons that are more pertinent.

The fairy tales I have read have taught that class difference can only be overcome by "marrying up," that my problems will go away with the discovery of my prince (ie husband), and that women, no matter how clever, eventually end up following the desires of men.

My "life of learning" has taught me otherwise. I have learned class difference can be overcome by friendship and honesty, that my problems will go away with hard work and perseverance, and that women and men live lives both for one another (in marriage) and by themselves, to fulfill their own desires.

Name:  Margaret Ketchersid
Date:  2002-09-25 21:55:58
Message Id:  2901
Well, if we accept Bettelheim's hypothesis we can't really say if fairy tales have had a "deeper meaning... than in the truth that is taught by life" because they have worked on our subconscious mind. We may have understood their deeper meaning without even realizing anything had happened.

Many women have had that fantasy that "someday my prince will come and rescue me and life will be perfect, etc., etc." I don't want to suggest that certain fairy tales don't teach that-- because obviously they do-- but I think that particular idea has been taken up by our culture and rammed down our throats. Go to any toy store and check out the "girls" section: you've got princesses waiting for princes, you've got brides, you've got board games about getting dates, hell I just saw a commercial for a new "Belle" (from Disney's Beauty and the Beast) doll who says, "I wonder if he'll ask us to dance?" Why not say,"Let's ask the Beast to dance."? So I think that princess waiting on a prince--I need to be rescued--It's not good to be alone-- thing has become much bigger than it ever would have been if it was just restricted to fairy tales.

Now I'm on a roll, so here goes... one of the things Anne and I talked about in our meeting was Bettelheim's stressing that fairy tales help the child understand that he (and he did use he lot, didn't he?) would not grow up to be alone, that it seemed Bettelheim was saying that to be alone was not ok. I thought, that's not right, kids should be taught that you can be a whole person by yourself, you don't need another to be complete. Well, if we accept that fairy tales work their subconscious magic on children of a certain age, perhaps the stories need to present that togetherness idea because young children are not yet capable of understanding the concept of being "one and whole in the world." I'm not a psychologist, but maybe a child of that age would be emotionally unready for that concept.

One more point, and I know I am over-generalizing here, but to come back around to the thought that fairy tales all by themselves are not teaching women to be "ladies-in-waiting"-- if fairy tales are mostly responsible for that attitude, why don't we see more men having the idea/feeling that they are incomplete without a woman? --Because that idea is present in these stories as well-- my answer would be that once boys have gone beyond the "fairy tale age" they begin to get different messages from society while women continue to be bombarded with particular aspects of fairy tale stuff. So, for whatever reason (we all know them: patriarchial society; women will take over; God made men first, damn it; who'll raise the children; men won't have anyplace to work, etc., etc.)there is a payoff to trying to keep girls/women in that place. Could it be a........conspiracy?? (If you were in our c-sem class hopefully you'll get that joke)

Much longer than a few short sentences... sorry everybody!

Name:  claire mahler
Subject:  goodness me!
Date:  2002-09-25 23:13:48
Message Id:  2903
"Deeper meaning resides in the fairy tales told to me in my childhood than in the truth that is taught by life."

Wow, Schiller must've been told some pretty amazing stories when he was young.

Name:  Anne Dalke
Subject:  Interviewing the Heart
Date:  2002-09-26 10:09:23
Message Id:  2908

I'm teaching another, 200-level English/Gender Studies course called Thinking Sex." We've been thinking/talking/writing there about how to (why should we? what do we accomplish when we?) put sex into language. In the set of papers I just received, one of the students, Jenny Wade, quoted the poem Pamela Alexander proclaiming, in a poem entitled "Semiotics": "Now your heart wants an interview. It scribbles madly on the monitor, giving itself a polygraph test and failing grandly, proud that it lies." This passage is very evocative, for me, of your upcoming assignment. In asking you to analyze your fairy tale, are we asking you to "interview your heart." scribble lie...or just to tell another another form? (And hey: does your heart "want" an interview?)
Looking forward to what arises/ is constructed.
Name:  Diane Gibfried
Subject:  Fairy Tales
Date:  2002-09-26 23:20:22
Message Id:  2920
I was in the middle of posting a long comment and AOL turned me off.

Anyway, here goes again.
After listening to and reflecting on the (fairy tale)stories shared in our C-Sem class I would have to say that Bettelheim does have something to say. Many of the stories were intensely personal and revealed something about our inmost selves. I would agree that fairy tales and their images and symbols resonate with the subconscious and have psychological and even therapeutic power. I would also agree that unconscious urges like sibling rivalry, desire, oedipal urges, anger, guilt, fear can be processed through stories and symbols. From the stories given in our class, it would appear that even the act of "telling" the story has psychological power. I guess this is the whole premise of art therapy, in which inside stuff comes out so easily in drawing, painting, sculpture,drama etc. and especially but not exclusively with children.
I would not agree that I learned the more from fairy tales than from real experiences in life. Imagination and play had a large role in childhood development, in processing the world... but leaving that world of the imagination and testing abilities in concrete situations, learning skills,
interacting with people empowered me to develop further and to see myself as a capable, strong woman. Fairy tales did not do what real life has done. And, in fact, some of the messages of fairy tales had to be outgrown, analyzed and recognized as destructive rather than helpful.
Climbing and hiking up a mountain did more for me than reading Cinderella
ever could. Imagination and real experience are both essential to development, but in different ways. Imagination is still useful in processing the world around me, but from a position of empowerment, and autonomy rather than from someone else handing me a story. I can visualize and imagine and even be intuitive about a life experience of my own choosing,I can use symbol and imagery and story to do this, because the mind remains a powerful tool.(But I also have concrete ways to test my strengths and learn my weaknesses, to learn from others and their experiences. Being an adult and able to act on and in the world around me is different from the fairly powerless state of a child still subject to parents and not in control of their own lives. And I think Bettelheim makes a point about the usefulness of fantasy and stories to help a child process this and deal with her feelings of frustration and her deep psychic urges. I recognize the potential of story and symbol and imagery and it is mightier than I imagined. And I recognize a responsibility now to form better stories, and I do find the old stories like "Little Red Riding Hood" and "Sleeping Beauty" to be destructive and even insidious in their messages.
I don't mean to say that children's stories should only be light and happy and la la la..I think there is a dark side to childhood fantasy and experience which is dynamic and useful and dangerous to repress. But I think that the model for resolution of these urges needs to be empowerment of the individual and constructive strong characterizations.

Name:  Rachel Steinberg
Subject:  fairy tales vs. truth
Date:  2002-09-26 23:33:42
Message Id:  2922
"Deeper meaning resides in the fairy tales told to me in my childhood than in the truth that is taught by life."

Sure, this makes sense to me. I personally don't feel this way, but I can understand where he's coming from. Fairy tales can be skewed and interepreted to conform to anyones life. One can relate any aspect of their life to something fictional, precisely because it isn't real. As we read in Bettelheim, for example a stepmother can be equated to our own mother when we are angry, or an opening or closing line can be analyzed in any way to relate to our personal life. Fairy tales have no meaning, thus meaning needs to be created on a personal basis.
I don't know how much sense that made...

Name:  Anne Dalke
Subject:  Coincidence? Conspiracy?
Date:  2002-09-28 14:29:01
Message Id:  2966

The New York Times Magazine (August 11, 2002) had a title story called "Coincidence in an Age of Conspiracy," which my section talked about @ length last week, and which I thought might be of interest to the rest of you in our cluster. I certainly think it is a very important essay. It says, in part,

"Human beings are pattern-seeking animals...[conspiring] to make coincidences more meaningful than they really are....our brains fill in the factual blanks.....optical illusions.....prove that our brain is capable of imposing structure on the world...One of the things our brain is designed to do is infer the causal structure of the world from limited information. If not for this ability...a child could not learn to speak. A child sees a that others around him are obviously communicating and it is up to the child to decode the method. But these same mechanisms can misfire....It's why we have the urge to work everything into one big grand scheme..We do like to weave things together. But have we evolved into fundamentally rational or fundamentally irrational creatures?"

Name:  Molly Cooke
Subject:  Schiller
Date:  2002-09-28 17:57:37
Message Id:  2974
I am so unreconciled with fairy tales. I wanted to believe in them so much when I was little. I identified heavily with Snow White, Cinderella, Repunzel, Thumbelina but what a disappointment it was when things didn't work out! Life was not ok for a very long time - 10 years. And the lessons of fairy tales have not held true or been helpful. Yet for some reason, I continue to try to meld my life into a fairy tale. I continue to seek the happily ever after even though I've been fooled over and over. Maybe I am hard wired from years ago. Maybe there is deeper meaning in fairy tales than in my hard knocks and that is why I keep returning to them.
Name:  Ro. Finn
Subject:  Three Muses of CSEM
Date:  2002-09-28 20:27:15
Message Id:  2975
Good evening, All
Choices, choices... which question to answer. It's going to be "door number 2" this time around: a conjuring of the three muses of CSEM -- the peculiar notion of Paul as a muse, notwithstanding ;-)

This past Thursday, Stanley Kunitz joined my poetry class for nearly two hours of Q & A, and it was delicious, awesome, magical. He explained that it is crucial and difficult for an artist to find a community that is inspirational and supportive as she/he develops. This got me to thinking (again) about why I've come to Bryn Mawr, what I need from Bryn Mawr.

I've spent 30 years working well enough at something about which I've had little passion, and feeling very isolated even in the company of good professional colleagues during that time. I have vowed to not spend a single minute more engaged in passionless work. I classify study as just another form of work. In essence, I'm looking for my community.

That's where Anne, Paul and Haley come in. I've begun to try you on for size, imagining the daily interactions of a folklorist, anthropologist, biologist, feminist, writer, teacher, etc. And asking myself, as the fly on the wall, "Am I an engaged and happy fly or a discontented fly?" So far, my sparce mental model of Haley's world feels more right.

Haley, I see you as a deeply intuitive person, an oracle, a keeper of the flame. I see you as ethereal as you deepen your wisdom but concrete as you deliver it. For some unknown reason, I see you with a great sense of humor and a sense of the ridiculous, too. I see you as a pioneer who determines her own worth to herself and to others in the application of her work. I see you as a general systems thinker and an artist of a type, ...and then I don't see clearly any more. I'm far beyond what I can sense and need more to fuel images. Mostly, at this point, I think I'm trying to see both of us at once.

See you Sunday night!

Name:  Ro. Finn
Subject:  thoughts about fairytales
Date:  2002-09-29 07:20:32
Message Id:  2978
Good morning,

What if... What IF ...WHAT IF

it's not the fairy tales of our youth that have made the deep and lasting impression but the memories of having been read them, having been held warmly and attended to by someone we loved.

And what if, it's also the memory of having been respected in that moment -- because, in that moment, the word "should" was not used; we were not being told what to do, we were being trusted to interpret and day dream our way through the fairytale's messages on our own, for ourselves.

How many times -- from youth to young adult --have we felt that those same people were no longer respecting us in this manner? Maybe not in so many words, but in a child's sadness and feelings of small betrayals. Where were our storytelling guides, our non-judgemental listeners, our trusting allies?

Maybe they were caught up in memories of their own interpretations and adult projections as we each drifted inevitably out of childhood.

Name:  Adina
Subject:  deeper meaning question
Date:  2002-09-29 10:55:56
Message Id:  2980
For me, deeper meaning is in the truth taught to me by life. After childhood, I am constantly having experiences that help me in my day to day life and my perceptions of the world (I think that's pretty much the case with everyone). Even when, as children, our minds pick up general themes in fairytales and our subconsciences pick up messages, they can never be as meaningful as all of the experiences we've ever had.
Name:  Diane Gibfried
Subject:  Comment on my posting
Date:  2002-09-29 12:02:37
Message Id:  2987
First of all I recognize that in my last posting, I made the comment "leaving the world of imagination and fantasy" and I recognize that implies that I left. This is B.S. I don't believe that one can actually ever leave or that it's sequential like you leave Room A of the imagination and enter Room B of the concrete. One is an integral part of the other.
And in the example I gave of climbing a mountain, I realize that my imagination and fantasy and my whole self and all my experiences, dreams, conscious and unconscious as well as what I ate that day or thought about eating later on certainly came along for the physically exhilarating and spiritually gratifying climb... and if it didn't the question is, would the experience have been as meaningful? Or maybe I should say would it just mean something different.
Diane G.
Name:  Diane Gibfried
Subject:  Patterns and some questions it raised
Date:  2002-09-29 12:07:23
Message Id:  2988
Secondly, I had this incredible talk with Gordon this morning about pattern, coincidence etc. and it led us into discussions about the human genome, the golden triangle, biology, botany, and inevitably the nature of God. ...I asked Gordon what he thought about patterns that we find in nature and he stated,
"It's a language, like anything else". I love talking to Gordon. So I gave him the example that was bothering me about the human genome. And we wondered if the sequence of chemicals which has just been recorded and which we are now or very soon becoming able to manipulate in all kinds of ways. Whether this is actually a discovery, or a projection of a pattern onto DNA, based on the information that we now perceive. We talked about the idea that the human genome and the worm genome are like 95% similar. So it would seem that the other 5% was the luck of the draw that made you and me bipeds with a longer life span and not small grey slithery creatures.
It seems that although the human genome thing is a great advancement and takes us light years into the future, for now, it is what we have found out and so where we are at, and so our point of perception. It does not account for the possibility of more enlightenment and possible discovery of some randomness that exists in the 5% or somewhere or in the proteins themselves or the ways they hook together or some element that nobody even suspected.
Another thing, and (maybe obviously) neither of us are scientists, both of us have art backgrounds, we talked about was chrysanthemums. So I said, here is this chrysanthemum and that chrysanthemum. Anyway, Here are these two flowers which are structurally very much the same. Where is the randomness in that? And is their sameness a projection that we are putting onto them, just like their name? Or does it exist. Well it seems they are very much alike, but maybe this one grew on the south side of the plant and that one grew on the east side, maybe this bud opened before this one, maybe molecularly this one has more nutrients somewhere in it's plant experience... So that if my frame of reference was plants that have more of such and such a nutrient, this flower would be in the group and this one would not, and even when they are both called chrysanthemums. So I ask what is the metaphor for chrysanthemum? And what is the metonomy. I guess the metonomy is chrysanthemum and either plant, or flower. If I clone a chrysanthemum, do I then get rid of the possibility of randomness and have a controlled chrysanthemum which is exactly like the other one? Or is even that concept based on my own limited knowledge and abilities.

Then we talked about how the concept of the atom has changed since we were kids.
Apparently, in the beginning it was thought to look sort of like a plum pudding with chocolate chips on top. (the fact that anyone thought of atoms at all amazes me still)
Then like ten years later, some guy said they have a hard center and called it a nucleus. Then in the 20s Neils Bohr hypothesized that electrons were zinging around in little orbits like a little solar system kind of picture(metaphor). In the 40s and 50s and this is where my textbook was when I was a kid, atoms and there was this shell theory(new metaphor). In the 1960s everybody started talking about a cloud formation (another metaphor) and that you couldn't tell where an electron might be, that they were randomly highly mobile. That maybe you could tell that they were a certain level away from the nucleus and there were some predictable energy levels (my friend wendy told me this is why our eyeballs work ) Oh yes and now I think electrons look something like squashed ballons and have barbell(guess what?) kind of appearances.

All this to say at one point I might have used a metaphor of the atom and the solar system. But now I really can't because with more knowledge came a different metaphor.
And then I wonder, are our metaphors based on more knowledge? Or are they based on other things that are going on too. Like is the reason we associated the shape of the atom with the solar system because we were thinking of a Big Bang theory around that time?
So that one idea framed and influenced the formation of the other?

OK so now we have this question? Can any two objects exist in the same space? If they can, would they then be exactly alike?

Name:  Alexandria Frizell
Username:  afrizell@brynmawr,edu
Date:  2002-09-29 13:07:07
Message Id:  2989
I really believe that I got a lot out of fairy tales when I was a child. They were very easy to understand. Sometimes, I could even relate to them. True stories and lessons were often hard to grasp. THe sugary fairy tales coated a lesson and made it more pleasurable for a child to hear. THe lesson also stuck- IF you are good, the prince will rescue you. If you are bad, you will lead a life of misery. Also, Fairy tales have many true life lessons. Often, they are dramatic enough to leave and effect on the reader, sometimes better than an actual experiance. After reading the story, perhaps one won't do a certain morally bad thing, and therefore avoid the consequences.

ON the other hand, real life experiance can be better than a story. If you trip over a roadblock,then the next time you walk that way you will look for it, as you scraped yout knee the first time. You learn from experiance.

Name:  Phoebe Anderson
Subject:  The appeal of fairy tales
Date:  2002-09-29 22:20:49
Message Id:  3008
I have always loved fairy tales. My parents would always read them to me when I was a child. I always enjoyed going to the library and sitting down on the floor in the fairy tale aisle and reading book after book. Fairy tales are so magical and really sparked many imaginative games. If I couldn't come up with an idea for a good Barbie game when I was younger I could always turn to some of my favorite fairy tales for inspiration.

Life's lessons aren't nearly as magical. It seems that when I learn important lessons I am usually smacked in the face with the idea--the idea isn't gently broken to me or set up like a quest in a fairy tale. Besides the abruptness, life's lessons usually come one way--there is little room for variation. Although the structure of fairy tales is almost identical, the lesson is always presented in a different way. The punishment always seems rightfully given and everything turns out happily ever after.

Name:  Bonnie Balun
Subject:  on Fairy Tales
Date:  2002-10-06 17:38:34
Message Id:  3163
Please archive this with last weeks postings. Thank you!

I would not attempt to write about Paul or Hayley because I do not know them. I do not know Anne well but have spent time with her in class for a month, so here it goes...

I am struck by Anne's physical presence in our classroom and in our meetings. She raises her hands over her head, shakes them in front of her to express frustration, flutters them around the room. Perhaps she is part fairy and her arms are her wings. Her physicalness throws me offguard, and at the same time, frees me from my stuffy stiffness. She is not the ivy-watering, bow-tie professor I feared.

The freedom to "ramble" is a gift. Also I am comforted by the fact that handouts have typos, and less than perfect grammar. Coincidence?

But just when you think this fairy is all opalescence and light, she transforms into the evil stepparent, and takes the job of antagonist quite seriously. Why? make things interesting/harder, perhaps, but also because the best writers are not always comfortable, and to thrive at Bryn Mawr you must find your voice.

After twenty years of correcting Freshman papers, she must have amazing insight into the minds of 18 year old women....maybe that is why she likes Anne Sexton so much.

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