Examining Lives Well
Over January interterm Smith juniors and seniors found
a new way to think about their lives and goals. They attended the new Women’s
Narratives of Success Project’s first offering, “Get a Life” a
five-day workshop, which helped them gain insight into their own ambitions and expectations
about what they’ll be doing after graduation.
Through writing exercises, small
group discussion, scholarly presentations and conversations with alumnae, students
considered themes of family and cultural expectations—and anxiety about living
up to them—as well as risk taking and decision making.
The project had its
beginnings in a speech, “Inside the Clockwork of Women’s Careers,” given
by President Carol T. Christ at the Chautauqua Institution in 2004. She argued that
both the circumstances and the narratives of women’s professional lives needed
to be transformed. “In short,” she said, “for women, for men, we
need to reset the clock and tell new stories of life and work.”
Gaspé Beaubien ’57, a founder of the Canadian Broadcast Institute and
director of Four Seasons Hotels Inc., is funding the project through the family’s
de Gaspé Beaubien Foundation. Go to www.smith.edu/narratives to learn more
about the project.