All posts filed under: Featured Personal Essay

Finding my Kindred Spirit – An Ode To Claudia Highbaugh

Last weekend I found myself sitting in front of a fire, drinking a glass of pinot noir with a good friend and mentor. It was a languorous Saturday evening. She turned to me and said, “you know, we had very similar childhoods.” The woman I was lucky to be sitting across from was Dean Claudia Highbaugh. For those who haven’t attended Connecticut College, or Harvard or Yale while she was there, this will mean nothing. Those fortunate enough to know Claudia might burst out laughing. Because on the surface, Claudia and I are nothing alike. She’s black, I’m white. I was born in 1989 and Claudia was born, well, before that and grew up in the tumultuous era of the Sixties. She believes in god, I don’t. I am tall, she is short. She’s from the South Side of Chicago and I’m from Greenwich Village, Manhattan. I am a student, she is a teacher. Claudia Highbaugh occasionally teaches a freshman seminar at Connecticut College. This was how I met her; I, an unsure, unstable young woman in a …