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Through The Eyes Of A Tiger

1841 words - 7 pages

Through the Eyes of a TigerLooking back a few years, I remember my first convocation day at The Westridge School for Girls. Four hundred girls in dresses that much resemble nurses uniforms (except for the curly, green "W" on the right breast pocket) parade into the gymnasium. Pretty soon all I can see are rows and rows of girls seated on the bleachers, as small as fourth graders and as old as seniors. The headmistress welcomes us to another year of continuing the tradition of a fine women's education. Soon the time arrives to sing the school song. As soon as the mass of girls rise to sing I know that I am glad to be a part of this community. Many of my peers were here last year in fourth, and they already know the simple tune to "Surgere Tentamus". Since this is my first year and I don't know the words, I stand shyly in my dress, nervously wiggling my toes in my new, stiff saddle shoes. By the next year those few bars of music are a part of me and to this day I often sing them to myself. "Surgere Tentamus" translated from Latin means "we strive to rise." I feel that even in today's liberated world women still need to learn that unless they "strive to rise" they can be easily overshadowed by their male counterparts. Becoming educated at an all girls school is a simple answer to the often perplexing problem of competing with male dominance in our society.Clearly, l am an example of why any young woman should spend at least part of her schooling in single sex education. I am and always will be a Westridge tiger. Tigers were the school mascot at Westridge, where I attended fifth through tenth grade. I suppose that every year from the time I set foot on this earth was a formative one for me, but I feel that my time spent at Westridge has influenced me and my thinking for life. Now, I am at Catlin Gabel, a coed school. Both places are small, and offer a very high quality education, but I feel that for me, being in an all girls atmosphere for those years was the best choice. Catlin is a fine school for me now, but I know that if I had not spent so much time in the single sex environment I would not be the strong and assertive woman that I consider myself to be.My strong backbone comes from years in single sex education. During that time much of my life was centered around issues pertinent to women. Obviously, a coed-liberal school such as Catlin or any other could look at women's issues too. However, I feel because of the 100% female atmosphere at Westridge, looking at women's issues had a greater impact on me than they would have had in coed education. At Westridge, even as little fifth graders our class was looking at the roles of women in society. We did interviews at a local nursing home and then wrote biographies on our elders. Talking to the senior citizens, we could see how different things were for them as young women. As little girls we were becoming aware of the restrictions placed on previous generations of women. Our teachers encouraged us...

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