Running with the Guys: A Conversation with Patricia Pope
A transfer student from Smith College, Patricia Pope came to Bowdoin in search of a more balanced experience socially and academically. While Ms. Pope describes her overall experience at Bowdoin as positive, she talks about the ways in which the difficulties she encountered during her time here prepared her for life. To hear about how this woman created a space for herself in the classroom, on the track and through the power of baking, listen below.
Audio: click title below to begin listening
Quotation: [In reference to a professor overlooking a footnote and giving Ms. Pope what she felt was an unfair grade] “I had one situation that was character building I could say now but was devastating for me at the time. I had written a paper on the first female secretary of labor, Francis Perkins. And I had written a term paper on her, and I received my first C ever,-in my life. The professor had not read my footnote indicating that there was no original research I could perform because Ms. Perkins’s papers were locked up for fifty years following her death. And so I had to use secondary sources in researching and writing my paper. He had missed that footnote and given me a C. Several history professors came to me, very, very concerned about that and that started a dialogue”
Quotation: [In reference to baking as a way of building community] “Interestingly, I lived in Pine Street my senior year, which was a lot of fun. And we discovered the power of baking because whenever I would bake chocolate chip cookies, within ten minutes, everyone in Pine Street would show up in our flat and we’d wind up making a big dinner together…”
Quotation: [In reference to discovering chewing gum in her braid after class] “I had very long hair. I remember one time I used to braid my hair back and I had someone sitting behind me who was just very upset with me because he thought that I was getting favorable treatment from the professor in that class, which I wasn’t, and to my amazement, I got out of class and he had put chewing gum all up and down my braid…”
Citation: I, Angelica Guerrero, interviewed Patricia Pope on Friday, November 4, 2011, in the Nixon Reading Room in Hawthorne-Longfellow Library at Bowdoin College. We discussed Patricia Pope’s experience at Bowdoin as a student, and in particular, as a member of one of the first classes of female students admitted to Bowdoin during Bowdoin’s transition to coeducation.