Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

About Trish Clark Ryan ’91

Trish Clark Ryan ’91, who majored in political science, has a law degree from Villanova University School of Law, and is an author and blogger.

It’s a hoot

Its a hootI spent Saturday, Oct., 26, 2013, at the Wheaton Alumnae/i Leadership Conference, soaking in the gorgeous foliage (Wheaton is smart to have us return to campus in October rather than February), and connecting with new and old friends. I’d forgotten how good it feels to get together based on this one shared facet of our life experiences.

One of my favorite moments was in a social media workshop (I’m the social media chair for my class), where Molly Galler from the Class of 2006 did a great job explaining Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and WordPress to a group of older alums. The take-homes for me:

First, how Wheaton is a place I find mentors, even now. Each time I return, I’m reminded by other alums how part of being a Wheaton grad is having an ability to think, grow and expand your horizons. Not that graduates of other schools don’t have this, too—it’s just such a focus at Wheaton that after four years of immersion, it’s sort of in you in a way most of us don’t shake, even after graduation.

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Passing the barre

Trish Clark Ryan ’91Freshman year, I needed a gym class. I’d done gymnastics, but Wheaton didn’t offer that, so I picked “Modern Jazz Dance” instead. I’d never studied dance before. It was fun, and I did OK.

Sophomore year, I auditioned for the Wheaton Dance Company, and made it. The first day of rehearsal, our director, Cheryl Mrozowski, lined us up along the back of the room and led us through a ballet barre. I’d heard of barre before—it involved things like knee bends and going up on your toes. I was sure I’d be fine.

I was wrong. Barre was the worst thing that had happened to my 19-year-old body. By the end of the first week, I looked like I’d been in a car accident, with bruises all over my legs, hands and (inexplicably) torso. There was this one move—frappé it’s calledwhich in the rest of life means “yummy cold beverage,” but in ballet terms means “kick yourself repeatedly, as fast as you can, until the music ends.” I flapped and flailed. But these embarrassing times at the barre didn’t make me want to quit dance —they made me want to conquer it.   [Read more...]