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Meetings with Etty

I’ve been a bit quiet recently, as I’m not in the last stretch of thesis-writing, but I’ve been doing some interesting things too, in particular the start of the Etty Hillesum Fellowship.

The fellowship is based around the work they’re doing on a new production, The Wrestling Patient, based on Etty Hillesum’s writings, particularly her journals. We’ll be work-shopping with some high-school students and attending rehearsal later on in the year, but the first few meetings are fellows-only. The last meeting really got me thinking about what it means to have a fellowship on “the meaning of leadership and mentorship” in our lives, particularly as women. Does this mean a detached discussion from a philosophical/historical/sociological point of view (which might take your fancy)? Or a sharing of personal experiences? Where does one become detached from the real world and the other become a support group? The last ‘women+leadership’ seminar that I did (at Harvard’s Institute of Politics) really focused in on practical skills: speech writing, negotiating, oratory, etc. I’m interested to see how this new fellowship will progress, as I don’t think it will do quite the same thing at all. Etty certainly was a remarkable woman, though, as are the two women who are running the fellowship.

I’m just pondering today, I think, which is good, because I have to write two journal entries for our next meeting on Friday.

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