Monday May 8, 2017

Sisterhood of the Traveling Scarf

By Rachel Barnett

I love how the Sisterhood of the Traveling Scarf provides an opportunity to make new connections to great women on campus. Working evenings at the library as I complete my Ph.D. coursework leaves little time to meet new colleagues. When I met up with Suzanne to obtain the scarf from her, we realized quickly that we actually knew each other already from a Pilates class we are both taking this semester. We discovered shared interests in international travel and culture, which led to talking about an upcoming intercultural event. We also shared a mutual love for our fur babies, which led to talking the opening of a cat café where patrons can mingle with rescue cats while enjoying their favorite latte. We learned we live in the same neighborhood, which led to discussing our upcoming summer porch parties and holiday festivities. Our conversation was a fun break from the daily grind.

The next day, I put on my best red dress and boots (I was wearing the scarf on International Women’s Day after all) along with the scarf and my favorite Italian leather jacket. As I was walking to work, I was surprised to see Suzanne. Our paths crossed as I was heading off to work and she was heading home. I was struck in that moment at how the scarf had made someone who could have easily remained invisible visible to me. I wondered how many times I may have already walked by Suzanne on my way to work and how many more we would have passed in silence had we not participated in the Sisterhood of the Traveling Scarf. Although we were connected in so many ways, it took the exchanging of the scarf to bring these connections to our attention. Suzanne and I may have met for the first time at the Hangar, but we were never truly strangers as our meeting clearly demonstrated.

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