Carol Dedov, Class of 1962.
How long have you lived in Philadelphia? I am, if you can believe it, a life-long Philadelphian, and, except for Smith, 2 years in New York for nursing school at Columbia U., and six months working in Basingstoke, England, have spent my life here. I know that isn’t much national and international experience compared to some, but I know many lifelong Philadelphians who have never been much further away than trips to the Jersey shore, so I am grateful that I have been able to broaden my horizons. That is the first thing Smith did for me – got me out of the Philly mindset, and smoothed some of the rough edges from my accent, although by now the accent has slowly crept back.
What house did you live in on campus and what was your favorite thing about it? I lived in Gillette House on campus and, aside from the wonderful “girls” I lived with, it was good being so close to the main campus. Being across the street from the John M Green auditorium (or John M as we called it) came in handy when we had early a.m. compulsory assemblies. We Gilletters keep in touch to this day.
What is your favorite restaurant in the city? I am hard-pressed to name a favorite Philly restaurant – there are a lot of good ones. I have friends in the suburbs, and I have recently enjoyed the White Elephant, in Huntingdon Valley. I know it is a little out of the way, but if you are in the area it’s worth a try. The owner tells us it isn’t authentic Thai, but is adapted to American tastes.
What are you up to now? When I graduated from Smith I found that my sociology major hadn’t prepared me for much in the way of earning power. While volunteering at a local hospital I decided I wanted to be a registered nurse, so I enrolled in Columbia University’s Department of Nursing’s 2 year program for college graduates. I have had a career in nursing and have always been able to find jobs. I am still working as a per diem visiting nurse. Someone I know overheard my employer tell somebody that “we have a nurse in her mid-seventies making visits”. We think she must have been talking about me.
Why did you choose Smith? I chose Smith because I had a high school friend whose sister was a student at Bryn Mawr, so I became very aware of the Seven Sisters and wanted to be part of that tradition. At Smith I was surrounded by my intellectual peers, which hadn’t been the case at my public high school.
I do regret that I did not take more advantage of the academic opportunities available and spent much too much time and energy worrying about weekends away and Saturday night dates. I hope young women of the twenty-first century are smarter in this regard than I was.