When I look back at my time at Northfield from 1967 to 1970 what I remember the most is the isolation. For the first time in my life I was in a single-sex environment, with rules and traditions which even then seemed archaic … skirts and no slacks unless it was 20 degrees below zero, a restaurant in town that only seniors could enter, class hats and songs and white dresses, a May pole and queen.
The New York Times, delivered in bulk daily, was the only source of news because radio reception was spotty. There were no televisions unless a staff member brought one out because of a major news event. In the spring of 1968 there were two: the assassinations of Martin Luther King in April and Robert Kennedy in June. In Wilson Hall Mrs. White had a shortwave radio and so I was able to get Voice of America and the BBC on it for her in the kitchen.
Richard Nixon was elected president that November and the Vietnam War raged on. Buildings were taken over on college campuses. The country was divided by generations. In the summer of 1969 Woodstock happened and an event of more lasting significance occurred at Stonewall, an obscure gay bar in New York City when riots erupted after police raided it. If there were lesbian and gay students at Northfield and Mount Hermon, they were not acknowledged. Heterosexuality was encouraged by busing.
On May 4, 1970 unarmed students protesting the Vietnam War were shot by the National Guard at Kent State University. We were about to graduate into the real world and make choices about our bedtimes and more.