Inspire – Women of Dartmouth Stories

(Tiny) Stories from the Field

Alumnae capture brief moments and reflections. Hover over each image to read each story from the field.

Please click below to share yours!

Puppy Love

Her soft mouth and wet tongue caressed my left ear. She was relentless with her affection which I tried not to feel. I wasn’t ready for love. I didn’t trust it. Undaunted, she cracked a rent in the lead shield guarding my heart which exposed deep channels to a dark cavern where something critical was missing. I couldn’t forget about her. I brought her home. In return, she taught me everything she knew about love. A perfect fit, we rescued each other in the nick of time. They smiled and called it “puppy love,” for that’s exactly what it was.

– Adrienne Drake, MD MED’75

Rebuilding the Nest

When my children grew up and left home, I knew I had succeeded as a mom. All three of them found spouses they loved, had careers that fulfilled them, and homes the guy enjoyed. I was redundant and lonely. Then my youngest began her family. Of the three children, she was the only one who lived in her hometown. Suddenly my role in the family regained importance. I love hiking, canoeing, and reading to my grandson.. He’s my new best friend! ~Margaret Morrow Clayton, D’79

Life Reinvented

I am visiting the Lebone II school in the nation of Bafokeng. I was part of a delegation from Prince George’s County, MD. After retiring from teaching visual art in June, I am repurposed as an arts education consultant. I am looking forward to collaborating with South Africa, as we exchange artists for public art projects and develop student exchange programs. ~Eileen Cave, D’76

Try New Things Often

At the age of 53, I’ve taken up indoor rock climbing! It meshes very well with my regular yoga teaching schedule. It gives me the cardio I need without stressing my knees — and I enjoy the mindfulness of figuring out each new route’s puzzles. I’ve lost weight, gained muscle, and am getting better at the harder routes! –Stephanie Crowley D’91

It's Never too Late

Last month, I fulfilled a childhood dream of participating as an artist at a craft fair! In elementary school, I made things all summer vacation and had a little craft fair in my yard every summer Saturday for a couple of years. I have always loved craft fairs and the dream of making things that others might enjoy never went away, even though I stopped crafting for many years. I started making pom pom wreaths a couple of years ago as a therapeutic activity to cope with a stressful family health issue and I just kept going, relishing the constraints of the medium and learning to make all different things out of yarn. When the neighborhood craft fair was going to be canceled because there was no one to organize it, I volunteered to do it with a friend and set up my booth in her yard. Though my pom pom empire won’t allow me to quit my day job, it has brought me a great deal of joy. -Jennifer Scott D’90

Winter Solstice

Every winter solstice, our local ski club tries to host a luminary ski – weather and temperatures depending – lining the edges of forest trails with hundreds of hollow blocks of ice filled with glowing candles. People of all ages walk, snowshoe, and ski by the light of the little flames. For the past few years, I’ve been in charge of the event and the stress and uncertainty have been strangely challenging – ice breaking, lighters failing, snow sticking to the bottoms of my skis as I make the final sweep through the forest with extra candles. But then the sun sinks below the horizon and the voices and laughter of the first arrivals drifts through the trees. The bonfire sparks rise up and old-fashioned joy nourishes our sweet community. This is as close to making true magic happen as I will ever come. -Kim Rogers Leslie D‘98 

New Zealand Musings

In between morning theatre cases. Warm spring here, but remembering ❄️ Dartmouth weather. ~Jennifer Retsinas, MED’96

Pen Pals

Yes, the written word! It has bound two members of the Class of 1987 for over 35 years. I gave up math early in my time in Hanover though by my calculations, Jessica Slosberg Benjamin and I have exchanged over two thousand letters, writing each other a note of substance weekly since we graduated. Cards selected from an independent letterpress or artists, adorned with a real stamp and sent “snail mail” define a ritual that has grounded me over the miles and the years. We are bound by our time together on the Hanover Plain and a friendship that has shared inevitable triumphs and losses over three decades. We are letter-writing champs! ~ Meg Clapp Frazier, D’87

Submit Your Tiny Story Here!

Send us a postcard from your own life – describe a moment or a lifetime. Include a picture taken that captures its essence. Tell us a story. Just keep it short. We can’t wait to hear what you have to share. Click here and submit your tiny story.


I wanted SO badly to help him live to see his 18th Christmas. He loved Xmas morning; always sneaking out first to grab something out of his stocking while the rest of us were eating breakfast. Happy to help anyone needing help with that pesky wrapping paper. My Chocolate Chip, aka “Chip.” He’d been a family member since the kids were 3, 5, 7 & 9. Now, with our youngest off to college Chip’s job was done. Sadly with all the TLC we could muster, he just didn’t have it in him. He died in our arms before a bittersweet Thanksgiving. My sweet constant companion. I got him because the kids had seen him and I’d said no; but, by the time I picked them up from camp he was ours. A very special boy! ~Jane Fraleigh ~ Tuck’86


I’m working on completing the Saranac Lake 6er Hiker Challenge with coworkers a few days before peak foliage in the Adirondacks. Pictured, is the view from a lookout on Scarface. ~Emily Cummings, Th’13