In Mary Ashburn Mann's address to the Class of 2017 during commencement last May, the 2017 senior class speaker said, "I hope that I can speak on behalf of everyone when I say that, in one way or another, Saint Mary's has provided us with the confidence to step out of our comfort zone and truly be the best version of ourselves. I am an illustration of this point – when I came to Saint Mary's you never would have caught me on stage, speaking in public but now, here I am, sharing our story in front of strangers and best friends, alike." We caught up with Mary Ashburn, now in her second semester at North Carolina State University's College of Textiles, to ask her a few questions about her Saint Mary's experience for our sms.edu blog.
Once, while I was visiting in the United Kingdom, I met someone who was kind enough to invite me into her home for a cup of tea. Her house was not... orderly, shall we say. Piles of papers and stacks of dishes were everywhere. The chaos did not faze my host in the least. She cleared a spot on the couch for me, and we had a lovely conversation. Though she wasn't what I would describe as ready, though she wasn't prepared by my definition, she let me in anyhow.
Earlier this month, I wrote to our parents about preparation in general and particularly during the Advent season. But you know what? Sometimes whatever we've been preparing for comes, and we're not quite ready yet.
I've been at Saint Mary's for 25 years. When started, I taught in both the college as well as the high school, and my way of presenting the material was pretty much the same in both levels. In other words, it was straight lecture, the same way I had taught my classes at N.C. State for the five years before I came to Saint Mary's. It was also the same way I had been taught as an undergrad and graduate student when I was in college in the early 80s. All of this took place, of course, in those long-ago days before the Internet Revolution.
I am so excited to welcome you to the 2017 Orchesis Dance Theatre fall concert. Being performed in Pittman Auditorium on December 1, at 7 p.m. and December 2, at 2 p.m., this is one-of-a-kind concert with a variety of dance types to please any audience member.
We have 15 dancers who are currently members of the Orchesis Dance Theatre company. I would like to recognize Lindsay-Anne McCall '20, Kate Eagles '20, Annie T. Ham '21, Matilda McCard '21, Lys Metina-Belknap '21, and Charlotte Whiteford '21, for being first-time members. Every dancer has been working hard all semester to bring her own unique personality into our group.
I have been lucky enough to have been able to attend Triangle Diversity Alliance (TDA) for the past four years and am somber that this year is my last. TDA has had such a lasting impact on me because of all the stories that I have heard and all the amazing people I have met. This year's conference was held at Carolina Friends School on October 16, and had as many as 180 students and chaperones from all five independent schools participating; Saint Mary's School had 24 students attend.