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Mary's Ghost

Fri, 2013-01-04 02:23 | By Anonymous (not verified)


It’s around 2 a.m. The library has already closed, and you have four more pages to go on a paper about sentimentality in the fiction of Mary Wollstonecraft. So you set up your laptop and a veritable tower of books in

the living room of Mears Cottage on the south side of campus. The Victorian-style, English and history house has a comfortable feeling, with glowing incandescent lights and couches for when four o’clock rolls around and sleep becomes nothing short of inevitable.

“I really should have started this essay sooner,” you think to yourself, right before the elevator doors in the hallway open of their own accord.

And there’s no one inside.

Of course there’s no one inside. There’s no one in the building. Only the emergency lights had been on when you pulled open the door, slouched down the hall, and plopped your backpack down in the living room. Of course there’s no one in the building. Some wires must have tripped.

You go back to your paper.

A noise makes you stop.

Even a building this old shouldn’t creak that loud in the wind.

Named after Mary Grinnell Mears, Grinnell class of 1881 and daughter of J.B. Grinnell, Mears Cottage housed the College’s female students back when it was originally built in 1888. Within these walls, the women lived and learned and walked — yes, those are definitely footsteps above you. Quiet creaks, but definitely footsteps. The glass doors to the academic support office begin rattling and then the elevator door opens again.


“If I were Mary Mears,” you decide, staring determinedly at your computer screen and trying hard not to look into the bright compact-fluorescent emptiness glaring from that spot in the hallway as the doors ding closed, “and if an elevator were installed in my cottage years after I died, I’d probably let my ghost play with it, too.” At least, late at night after all the professors went home.

Somehow that thought doesn’t help you focus on your paper. You flip idly through the Mary Wollstonecraft biography on the top of your book pile, but that’s not the Mary you’re thinking about. J.B. Grinnell is buried in the town’s cemetery, but what about his daughter? You don’t know anything about how his daughter died.

Is that the sound of fabric swishing? Like, petticoat fabric?

Maybe you should go upstairs, just walk around, you know, to check it out. As a study break. Stretch your legs. See if anyone’s studying in that classroom above you. Maybe they turned the lights off to take a quick nap.

The creaking and the swishing falls into an oppressive silence as you climb the stairs, clicking your pen nervously to create some sort of sound. Click (silence) click-click (silence) click (silence). As you pass the elevator shaft on the second floor landing, it dings open once again. You could have touched the ceiling, you jumped so high. It takes you a while to retrieve your pen from where it flew behind the chair outside of Professor Lobban-Viravong’s office.

The door to the classroom is locked, and when you knock, no one answers. Even when you pound on the door and yell something about this not being funny. But let’s admit, it kind of is. As you descend the steps once more, your hands are shaking, probably from the frappachinos you drank around 11 p.m. Definitely not from anything else.

When you return to the living room, all of your books have been spread out around your chair, the covers systematically opened to the title page. Someone’s underlined the same word on each of the white pages: Mary … Mary … Mary …

Your computer’s crashed — the blue screen of death.

Molly Rideout '10 is an English major and Gender and Women's Studies concentrator from Madison, Wisconsin.

In tough economic times, Grinnell College moderates tuition increase

Thu, 2009-12-31 10:39 | By Anonymous (not verified)


Grinnell College will raise its comprehensive fee for the 2009 -10 academic year 3 percent to $45,012 - the same percentage increase in Grinnell’s comprehensive fee as last year, the two lowest percentage increases in more than a decade.

“In what are now very difficult economic times, Grinnell has sought to reduce and contain expenses, while continuing to provide excellent educational opportunities,” said Russell K. Osgood, president.

Grinnell’s board of trustees approved the new comprehensive fee at its February meeting. The budget reflects a commitment to the hallmarks of a Grinnell education – a low student-to faculty ratio, generous financial aid, and enrichment opportunities and programs such as student-faculty research, internships and study abroad programs.

“We recognize the economic uncertainties many families face, and have increased institutional funding for
financial aid,” said Osgood, adding,

“If a family’s financial circumstances have changed, I encourage them to work with our financial aid office to see whether they qualify for additional aid.”

Breakdown of Comprehensive Fee Components

    FY 2009   FY 2010   % Increase
Tuition   $34,932   $35,976   3.0%
Fees   496   500   0.8%
Total Tuition & Fees   $35,428   $36,476   3.0%
Room   $ 3,838   $ 3,968   3.4%
Board   $ 4,434   $ 4,568   3.0%
Total Comprehensive Fee   $43,700   $45,012   3.0%


Class of 2014 Begins to Take Shape

Thu, 2009-12-31 10:30 | By Anonymous (not verified)

Grinnell College's class of 2014 is already beginning to take shape. In mid-December, students who applied in the first round of Early Decision learned whether or not they had been admitted. Although these admitted students comprise less than a quarter of the class that will come to Grinnell in August, they are a noteworthy group. In addition to being exceptional students and talented individuals, they…

  • Hail from 21 states, including: California, Colorado, Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Texas, and Virginia.
  • Hold citizenship from nine other countries, including: Norway, China, Tanzania, Argentina, Greece, and Myanmar.
  • Play soccer, baseball, basketball, football, and tennis, as well as swimming, and running track and cross country.
  • Attend public, private and parochial schools. Live in big cities (New York, Tokyo, Los Angeles, Houston, Beijing, and Chicago) and small towns (Phelan, Viroqua, Wrightwood, Elkhorn, and Alden).
  • Include artists, musicians, and actors.
  • Plan to pursue a variety of majors, including: chemistry, economics, philosophy, English, psychology, history, Spanish, and biology.
  • Have written books and learned to hang-glide, are jugglers, can solve Rubik's Cube with blazing speed, attended culinary school, and have performed service work around the world.

A student delegate to the Atlantic Treaty Association

Mon, 2009-11-23 13:13 | By Anonymous (not verified)

Cy Mistry ’11 has learned much about political science in the classrooms of Grinnell College. His interest has carried him far from Iowa to Kyiv, Ukraine, where he recently had the opportunity to dive into the real world of international politics at the 55th General Assembly of the Atlantic Treaty Association. Student delegates discussed issues like the future of Afghanistan, as well as European dependency on Russian gas and oil, with international leaders and diplomats representing their countries at the conference.

With support from the Center for International Studies, Mistry traveled to the conference from Granada, Spain, where he is pursuing off-campus study. To prepare for the experience, Mistry studied the history and evolution of the Atlantic Treaty Association (ATA) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), along with the issues of international relations to be discussed.

Mistry credits his liberal arts education at Grinnell for helping him contend with the wide range of topics discussed, as well as the intensity of the panels. “Though the conference was centered on issues pertaining to international relations, panel discussions often ended up covering a variety of subjects — including environmental sciences, religion, and economics — and it became evident that many of the students/delegates had a great understanding of political science, but were oftentimes unfamiliar with some of the concepts discussed, such as alternative energy in the Black Sea region,” Mistry says.

Because of the diversity of the delegates, he says, the opinions varied greatly over the role of the ATA and NATO, international relations issues, and even Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize. However, the delegates displayed solidarity in their sympathy for the victims of the suicide bombing outside of the Indian Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, on October 8. This gesture of goodwill is an example of the overlying attitude of community pervasive throughout the conference, Mistry says. Though opinions differed, everyone was open to the opinions and ideas of all delegates, no matter their age or nationality. Respect was key in having the conference run smoothly, he adds.

Mistry recognizes the advantage of hearing so many differing opinions. “Often, information about these topics in the United States is limited by the fact that we only have one view on the issue at hand, and hearing participants from 30-odd countries fiercely discuss a topic such as NATO expansion has broadened my viewpoint tremendously.” The immersion of the students in a real political conference enabled them to experience the diplomatic process firsthand. Mistry cites “the importance of maintaining peace and security in the international community, as well as the importance of a functioning democracy” as two of the most important lessons he took away from the unforgettable experience.

For a more detailed look at his trip, check out Mistry’s blog.

Bruce is MWC Swimming and Diving Performer of the Week

Mon, 2009-11-23 00:00 | By Anonymous (not verified)

Grinnell College's Kelly Bruce '12 has been named the Midwest Conference Women's Swimming and Diving Performer of the Week.

Bruce, from Middleton, Wis. (Middleton HS), earned an NCAA provisional standard in one-meter diving when she scored 259.50 in six dives at a home dual meet with Loras College Friday. She not only won that event, but claimed victory in three-meter diving, as well.

For the season, Bruce has won five diving crowns in three dual meets. She set the school record for one-meter diving (11 dives) last season with a score of 420.45.

The Male Performer of the Week is Alex Marks of Lake Forest College.

Grinnell named 3rd coolest small town in the US

Mon, 2009-09-28 10:59 | By Anonymous (not verified)

The Early Show - New York, NY, United States - 4/15/2009

...3. Grinnell, Iowa (9,233) An eclectic small town that blends the charm of a rural community with the quirkiness of a college town. Located: About 55 miles from the capital, Des Moines. Population: 9,205 Known for its historic architecture, especially the Jewel Box Bank designed by Louis Sullivan, who was Frank Lloyd Wright's mentor. ...

Read the article.  

Mendoza named to All-Central Region squad

Sun, 2009-07-26 00:00 | By Anonymous (not verified)


Grinnell College shortstop Ben Mendoza '09 has been named to the ABCA/Rawlings All-Central Region Baseball Team.Mendoza, from Gallup, N.M., (Eldorado HS), was a Third Team selection. He led the Midwest Conference in doubles with 21 and was also first in the nation in doubles per game with 0.66. He ranked fourth in the MWC in runs scored with 38 and fifth in steals with 21.Mendoza was one of nine MWC players selected to the first, second or third teams.

2009 ABCA All-Central Region.pdf