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Archive for the ‘wellesley’ Category

The Digitized Romance of Barrett and Browning


The 573 love letters of Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning record the progression of their romance starting from the first letter sent by Browning in admiration of Barrett’s poetry. The collected letters have been housed at Wellesley College since 1930. On Tuesday, Valentine’s Day, the college made the letters available online, scanned and indexed for searching.  Even the envelopes are in there. The letters were digitized in collaboration with Baylor University, home of another significant Browning collection. Along with the letters, Wellesley has the box and case used by Browning and Barrett to store the letters they exchanged and the door from the Barrett house with the mail slot through which Browning’s letters were delivered. According to college lore, the slot was screwed shut years ago to prevent Wellesley students from slipping in their own hopeful letters.

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Boston Marathon – The Scream Tunnel


It’s Patriot’s Day in Massachusetts, which means it’s Boston Marathon day. Some runners are stuck in Europe underneath Eyjafjallajokull’s ash cloud, but those who make it to the halfway point today will experience the Wellesley College Scream Tunnel that I write about every year. But this time (since I’ve finally joined the 21st century) you can see what it’s like yourself. There are several YouTube videos of the Scream Tunnel, but the ones from the runners’ point of view are the best. So here’s <1 minute of the wall of sound that makes this marathon extra special for the runners and the women of Wellesley.  It’s a worthy commemoration for “the shot heard around the world.”


If there’s one place I expect old traditions to die hard, I know it’s at my alma mater, but it’s still nice to see, year after year, the women of Wellesley sacrificing their vocal chords for the morale of the runners in the Boston Marathon. Here are the choice quotes from the papers this year. From the Globe: “‘Nothing can compare to Wellesley.’… The stretch along the route is often cited as one of the more vocal and supportive, as students hit the streets with signs and voices of encouragement for the athletes passing by.” Daily News Tribune: “Bentley College senior Dan Badavus, running in his second marathon, attributed his success to the legendary cheering section from Wellesley College. ‘The Wellesley girls – it was just deafening,’ he said. ‘The noise just gets you going, and you can feel the adrenaline surging.'” And leave it to the Herald to put it all in perspective: “‘This is the best day of the entire year,’ said Emilie Papageorgiou, 22, as she took it all in outside Wellesley College. ‘All that sisterhood crap we talk about all the time is true today.'”


Monday was Boston Marathon day, and I was happy to see that the screech tunnel at Wellesley College’s halfway point lives on, worthy of reporting year after year. This year’s t-shirt: “Boston — 13.5 miles” with an arrow on the front; “Wellesley College Scream Tunnel — 2004” on the back. Some runners reportedly held up cell phones to relay the immense density of the noise to others.


It’s Patriot’s Day which means it’s Marathon Monday in Boston. As usual, I will be screaming at the Wellesley halfway point in spirit. Patriot’s Day commemorates the “shot heard ’round the world.” The British and Minutemen fought the battles of Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775.


It’s Boston Marathon day once again (ie. Patriot’s Day in Massachusetts), so it’s time to dust off my t-shirt essay on “The Halfway Point” of the Boston Marathon.


Once again, it is Patriot’s Day, that unique Massachusetts holiday which I celebrated in college by standing outside my dorm for many hours, screaming my lungs out at the halfway point for the Boston Marathon. “Located between miles 12 and 13 is Wellesley College – an all women’s school. Commonly referred to as the ‘Screech Tunnel,’ the tremendous support offered by the female students has made this one of the loudest sections of the course. Fans and photographers interested in witnessing this spectacle are encouraged to view from the opposite side of the street to enjoy the full effect of students’ cheers and runners’ reactions.” I wouldn’t call it screeching. It’s just, well, high pitched ’cause it’s mostly women.