Who knew that it would be so much fun going to dinner in a sorority house tonight? Thank you to the sisters of Tri Delta (especially Nirali!) for inviting me to their scholarship dinner ... and for the elaborately dressed cupcake to take home ... For those of you who get the reference, it was rather like going to a student guest night at St Hilda's (and in all kinds of ways made me very nostalgic for a certain side of Oxford, overcooked brussels sprouts and all - we always knew our students as people so much better there than seems to be the case in the US). I was very impressed by the Associate Dean from the Business School who gave an uplifting speech about, basically, fighting for one's dues in the workplace as a woman. But most of all I just got a kick at being inside such a mythic - to me - institution ... If I'd been a US undergrad, would I have tried to get into a sorority?? Part of me thinks my sceptical, suspicious, maverick self would have run a mile. Part of me knows that my helpless urge to Be Popular might not have been able to resist it. I reminded myself that I was, indeed, very happy to be part of the St Anne's Dining Club - set up to mimic the elitist dining clubs to be found among undergraduates in men's colleges - with never a thought about its own exclusivity, because we thought, didn't we, that its existence was a proof of our feminist credentials ... which just shows how good we were at twisting logic. I wonder if Mary Jacobus remembers being our first guest?
I got, too, an extra kick of household tradition through knowing that Alice's mother had been a Tri Delta.