Ten Questions

{Inspired by Proust, I compiled a list of ten questions and sent them out to some of the most fascinating women I knew [or could hope to know]. Every month: their response. This month features the Directors of the renowned Women’s History Program at Sarah Lawrence College: Priscilla Murolo and Rona Holub}

Ten Questions with Priscilla Murolo

1. Describe yourself in one word.

Straightforward.

2. To date, what do you consider your greatest accomplishment? 

Finishing college (at Sarah Lawrence) with two children and a full-time job.

3. What or whom has been your greatest source of inspiration?

The people I’ve met through the labor movement.

4. What quality in others do you find the most admirable?

Perseverance.

5. What quality in others do you find the most deplorable?

Self-absorption.

6. What are your three favorite texts?

Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man; John Dos Passos, USA; Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice.

7. If you could spend one day in history, when and where would it be?

Appomattox, Virginia, April 9, 1965, to witness the Confederate surrender.

8. Finish the thought: “Feminism is . . .”

Feminism in as diverse as women themselves.  We define ourselves, our needs and our rights in many different ways.

9. What is something about you others would be surprised to know?

I know how to use firearms.

10. What are your words to live by?

Thank you.  (Life has brought me so many good things that I’m grateful each and every day, even when I’m in a bad mood.)

{Priscilla Murolo is the co-director of the Women’s History Program at SLC, author of From the Folks Who Brought You the Weekend: A Short, Illustrated History of Labor in the United States and a hero to many.}

Ten Questions with Rona Holub

1. Describe yourself in one word.

Short.

2. To date, what do you consider your greatest accomplishment?  

Staying alive, relatively sane, and decent in a really screwed up yet strangely beautiful world or getting my PhD from Columbia and staying alive, relatively sane and decent in a really screwed up yet strangely beautiful world (tough question).

3. What or whom has been your greatest source of inspiration?

My mother.

4. What quality in others do you find the most admirable?

Open-mindedness and ability to change attitudes and beliefs for the better.

5. What quality in others do you find the most deplorable?

Demonization of goodness: greediness, meanness, lack of kindness and generosity.

6. What are your three favorite texts?

U.S. Constitution; Vanity Fair; City of Women [Christine Stansell].

7. If you could spend one day in history, when and where would it be?

In the audience at the 1851 Ohio Women’s Rights Conference in Akron listening to Sojourner Truth (can’t think of any other reason to be in Ohio).

8. Finish the thought: “Feminism is . . .”

the belief in (and activism that promotes) Civil and Human Rights for all women to the benefit of all humankind

9. What is something about you others would be surprised to know?

I like 1940s World War II Movies.

10. What are your words to live by?

“… we are here to help each other get through this thing, whatever it is.”  (Mark Vonnegut in answer to his father’s question on what life is all about.  This seems to make good sense to me, so I’ve taken it as my words to live by).

{Rona Holub is the co-director of the Women’s History Program at SLC, currently finishing her book on historical women and crime, and a New Yorker in every sense of the phrase.}

xx-Caroline

One thought on “Ten Questions

  1. I did a research paper on Labor Day and the unions of the US. I ran into your name and I became curious about you being an educator and the fight you fought in the early years of this country. I’m not there yet in my writing but I intend to keep pushing in till I’m were I want to be. I’m pleased to learn where a lot of women got their perseveres naturally through inherence and you are one of the originals. I’m a guy but I have learn a lot about women and I ‘m pleased to know that most of you work hard where as a man, many won’t work one job. whereas there are plenty of women that will work two may three jobs to get where it is they want to be. God speed always!

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