Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Mystery picture identified, I think

One small mystery, out of all the extant and still very pressing mysteries, has been solved. I did not worship at the altar of Nancy Drew for nothing.
The mystery photograph has been identified as the assembled participants at the Summer Institute for Social Progress, at Wellesley College, in 1948 (or possible 1951). For 10 halcyon days you could take workshops on Civil Rights – How do we Preserve and Extend them at Home and Abroad, as well as The Mental Hygiene Approach to World Peace and Security.
How did I figure this out? In a dark recess of the aforementioned horsehair trunk I found a frayed program for this institute and then I went and looked for pictures of Wellesley College, and there it was: Tower Court. The surrounding buildings seem to be different, but the central structure is unmistakable. And an institute devoted to social progress might explain how we have such an integrated group back in 1948.

Germaine’s interests were not limited to social progress however. Born and raised a French Catholic, she subscribed to the Sufi Quarterly and the Christian Science Bulletin. Most summers she could be found dancing at the Shepherds’ Nine, the Noyes School of Rhythm. She attended seminars on Creative Maturity. She diligently filled out the Creative Maturity Inventory. *In 1950 she took a training course at the Hudson Shore Labor School. She corresponded regularly with Ethel Bret Harte, about matters astrological. I don’t think any of us really knew her.

*”You get a Creative Maturity Quotient by adding up all the mature answers which are “yes” for odd numbered questions and “No” for even numbered questions. The CMQ is whatever percentage you are of 100. If you answer 50 questions maturely, you are half way toward a Creative Maturity with a 50 CMQ.” For example, Question #53: Do you live without self-deception?

1 comment:

Anne said...

Carolyn Keene (and under that name are multitudes) would be proud of you.