I was already trying to sort, purge, and organize our stuff when the basement flooded.  Now I have real motivation to make progress.  One of the items rescued from the rising tide is a small wooden chest that belonged to one of my grandmothers.  I hadn’t even looked at it in years, and hadn’t opened it in much longer.

It contains, among other papers, educational records for this grandmother, who was what we now call a returning student: she earned a college degree in her 60s, because she had always wanted to go to college, and finally was able to.  I knew that, and it’s one of the reasons I enjoy teaching the population I teach, including the returning students who are a generation or more older than the “typical” college student.

But I did not know her full name, or at least, I don’t recall ever being told it.  The “middle” name I knew for her was her nom de jeune fille.  Her given middle name:

Eleanor.

So, although when I began blogging I chose the name of an obscure medieval woman translator in an effort to publicize the fact that there were accomplished, intellectual medieval women, in fact I have a sort of right to the name.  Oddly, I’ve even become a translator, when I had no thought of that however many years ago I began this blog.  The “Dame” part, though . . . well, we all know “There’s nothing like a dame.”  I expect that’s the best I’ll ever do in that direction.

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5 thoughts on “Names and other inheritances

  1. This is perfect. It feels a little bit as though the past has reached out and put a stamp of approval on the blog, doesn’t it?

    1. Yes! That’s what I couldn’t quite articulate. Thank you.

      It also reminds me of how proud she would have been of me, if she had lived to 105 and seen me get my doctorate. She died when I was six, so there was no way of predicting what I was going to be.

  2. That’s awesome! Dr. Koshary helped me find some info out about my ancestry, and I was delighted to see the documents from when my dad’s family came to the US in 1906. The other side of the family came shortly after the Pilgrims, and there was one guy who had a pretty checkered past. Dr. K was embarrassed telling me about it, but I was like, “haha! It’s like the Scarlett Letter with a dude.” Who says family history is no fun? 🙂

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