Last night I went to a reunion dinner for my high school, Miss Porter’s. My parents sent me to an all girls’ high school over my fierce objections — I wanted to go the local Catholic school with my friends. I think they sent me mostly because they were worried about me getting in trouble with boys at a co-ed school; they had gone to single sex schools in Sri Lanka. (They had no idea what was to come…)
In the end, they decided that Porter’s had actually made me too feminist and independent — tough on immigrant parents! But for me, it was one of the best experiences of my life; that all-girls’ environment made it possible for me to speak up in class when I got to college in a way I think I’d have had a lot more difficulty with otherwise. Porter’s really does train leaders, and I’m seriously thinking of taking Kavi back to CT next summer for their summer leadership institute (can also visit my parents in the process).
I’m probably not going to send her there for high school — we’d need serious scholarship help, for one, as it is not cheap; my parents could barely afford it back then, and I’m not a doctor and tuition has gone up! And right now, I can’t bear the thought of sending her away to boarding school. (I was a day student). And we moved here in part because our local public high school, OPRF, is really excellent.
But I had such a great experience there (once I got over the misery of being a weird brown girl who didn’t know what to wear and didn’t fit in at all — thank god for a Star Trek geek to bond with freshman year), that I still waver sometimes. And maybe Kavi and I will start fighting all the time once she’s a teen, and the distance would be a good thing? Two strong-willed women in the same house….
Well, we’ll see what the future brings. She’ll only 11. In the meantime, it was truly lovely to be reminded of all the sweetness of those days at MPS, and to get to know a few other alumnae a little better. Now I’m wishing I’d made the effort to go out for a few of the reunions.
Also, host Sophia du Brul fed us incredibly — awesomely garlicky edamame hummus, chicken marbella (which I haven’t had before, roasted with olives, capers, and prunes! yum yum yum) with couscous and roasted vegetables, followed by a limoncello tiramisu. Her table setting was also so ridiculously pretty (with daisy-embroidered napkins!) that I was just entranced.