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M. Carey Thomas

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Martha Carey Thomas
A black and white photograph featuring a woman wearing an old-fashioned dress and with hair drawn back into a bun.
Thomas circa 1900
2nd President of Bryn Mawr College
In office
Preceded by James Evans Rhoads
Succeeded by Marion Edwards Park
Personal details
Born (1857-01-02)January 2, 1857
Baltimore, Maryland
Died December 2, 1935(1935-12-02) (aged 78)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Nationality American
Education Sage College
Known for Educator, suffragist

Martha Carey Thomas (January 2, 1857 – December 2, 1935) was an American educator, suffragist, linguist. She was the second president of Bryn Mawr College.

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  • Study Less Study Smart: A 6-Minute Summary of Marty Lobdell's Lecture - College Info Geek
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  • The Most Powerful Way to Remember What You Study
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If you've spent any time at all on YouTube looking for study advice, then you've probably come across this video called Study Less, Study Smart. This is a recorded lecture from Professor Dr. Marty Lobdell, who is a former psychology professor at Pierce College, and wanted to give his thoughts on how to be an effective student. The video came out when I was a sophomore in college, and I wanted to watch it, but the problem was, it was an entire hour long. I could just never make the time. I've seen a lot of students say the exact same thing about the video, so what I want to do with this video is try to give you about 80-90% of the value packed within the lecture, in about 1/10th of the time. To do that, I first watched the lecture myself, and took detailed notes on it. If you want those notes, I've actually included them at the end of this video. But first, let's get into the tips. Tip number 1 is to break your studying into chunked sessions. The reason for this is that the average student can only really pay attention for about 25-30 minutes. This goes across the board, from lectures, to reading, to studying. After about 25-30 minutes, your efficiency starts to really taper off, and that's why the advice to simply study more is not effective at all. Instead, you want to break your study sessions into about 20-30 minute chunks, and after those are done, take 5 minute breaks where you do something fun, or at least away from your studies. Also, once your study sessions are done for the entire day, you want to give yourself a real, tangible reward for doing it. As Dr. Lobdell says in the lecture, reinforcement of positive things builds good study habits, and as an added benefit, you're training yourself to study. As you keep doing this, you're going to able to study for longer and longer on each session. Tip number 2 is to create a dedicated study area. The reason for this is that our environment, the context that we're in, largely determines our behavior. Think about when you're in class. When the professor presents a question to the entire class, you instinctively raise your hand. But if he asks you specifically, you're going to give a verbal response. This is automatic. You're conditioned to do it. Well, your studying area is the exact same. If you do it in a place where you're conditioned to do other things, like sleep, or play video games, or hang out with friends, it's going to be really hard to get into your studying. What you want to do is find an area that is specifically used for studying, so the context of the situation makes it easy for you to get into your studies. Dr. Lobdell's third tip is to study actively, and it's best summed up with this quote, straight from the lecture: The more active you are in your learning, the more effective you'll be. The best way to do this, rather than going through rote memorization, or reading and rereading chapters from your book, is to first ask yourself, before studying, what is it that I'm learning? What you're learning is going to fall into 1 of 2 categories, either facts or concepts. A concept is something like, what does this particular bone in the human body do? You have to understand it. A fact is just something you need to remember. What the name of this bone is. Concepts are more important than facts, because once you learn a concept, once you truly understand its inner workings, it's with you forever. You're going to remember it. Facts, on the other hand, can sort of drift away over time, and the good thing about that is that we have Google. We can look up facts very easily. Unfortunately, in a testing situation in class, you have to remember both facts and concepts, and you don't have access to Google, usually, but still, concepts are going to be more important to learn first. The best way to learn these concepts and to be sure you know them is to put them in your own words. Test yourself and learn actively. There's one thing he gives as an example, which I think is one of the most important parts from the entire lecture, and it's his example about highlighting. Most students know not to highlight entire sections of the book, because if you do that, you're basically highlighting nothing at all. But if you highlight really important terms, and then you go back after your first read and highlight session, and study them, and just simply recognize the thing you highlighted before, and say, "Oh, I know it," then you're getting into this dangerous territory where you don't know whether you're actually recalling something, or simply recognizing it. The human brain is very good at recognizing things. We can recognize people's faces, even if we haven't seen them in a long time. But the difference between recognition and recollection is that recognition requires an initial trigger, a cue. If you're in a test, there is no trigger or cue. You have to actually pull it forth from your memory. To test and make sure that you're actually recalling something, instead of just recognizing it, you need to quiz yourself. You need to do active studying and active learning. The 4th tip is to take more effective notes, and he's really brief on this one. Basically, he says, after class, as soon as possible, and truly as soon as possible, flesh out your notes a bit. Add some more to them so you can actually solidify the concepts on your mind. If you're fuzzy on something, ask another classmate who also took good notes, or go to office hours, or wait until the next lecture and ask the professor before he starts if he can clarify something that you don't really have a good grasp on. The 5th tip is to summarize or teach what you learned. He says the best way to actually learn something is to teach it. The reason for this is two fold. Number 1, it's a great form of active studying, because you're forcing your brain to recall all the information so you can basically summarize it for somebody. Number 2, you're really making sure that you fully understand the subject. If you're explaining it to somebody who has absolutely no idea about the the topic, and they're coming at it from a beginner's perspective, then you're really going to have an easy time of pinpointing gaps in your own understanding. Tip number 6 is to use your textbooks correctly. In this part of the lecture, he goes over the SQ3R method, which stand for survey, question, read, recite, and review. As I talked about in my active reading video, I think overarching systems like this are actually kind of cumbersome and time consuming. But I do think it's important that you take individual portions of these systems and see if they're worth it for your studying methods. As an example, the survey portion of SQ3R, surveying the chapter before you read it, and especially going to the end and looking at the review questions and the vocabulary, can really prime your brain for picking out the most important information when you actually do the reading. Dr. Lobdell's 7th and final tip is to use mnemonics when studying facts. Now, facts, as opposed to concepts, are a lot harder to tie actual meaning to, and as a result, a lot of students often turn to simple rote memorization to remember them, but a better way to go about it is to use mnemonics. A mnemonic is really any system that facilitates recall, but he goes over 3 specific types of mnemonics in the video. Those 3 are acronyms, things like Roy G. Biv for remembering the color spectrum, coined sayings, things like, in 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue, and the third one, which both I and Dr. Lobdell think is the best one, image associations. Another way to think about image associations are just interacting images, including the thing you're trying to study, that create a ridiculous picture or story in your head. The more emotionally evocative or weird it is, the more easily you're going to be able to recall that piece of information. That is my summary of Dr. Lobdell's lecture. If you want to see the entire hour long video, I have it linked down in the description. Otherwise, you can get my notes and other things in the end card. Thanks for watching this video, and I will see you in the next one. Hey guys, thanks for sticking around to the end of my video. If you want to get even more study tips, I made a video about advanced study tips last week, and you can see those by clicking the thumbnail. Also, if you want to get new study tips every single week, and ways to be an awesome college student, then just click the big, red subscribe button, right there. As I said in this video, you can get the detailed notes on the entire lecture by clicking the orange button to go to the companion blog post for this video. Also, if you want to become an awesome study-er, I wrote a hundred plus page book on how to get better grades, and you can get it for free by clicking the picture of the book. Lastly, if you want to connect with me, or have ideas for new videos, you can either connect with me on Twitter @Tom Frankly, or just leave a comment on this video.



Early life

Carey Thomas, as she preferred to be called later in life (she was known as Minnie to her family as a child), was born in Baltimore, Maryland on January 2, 1857. She was the daughter of James Carey Thomas and Mary Whitall Thomas. She was conceived "in full daylight," because her father, a doctor, thought this would diminish the chance of his wife miscarrying.[1]:3 Her family included many prominent Quakers, including her uncle and aunt Robert Pearsall Smith and Hannah Whitall Smith, and her cousins Alys Pearsall Smith (first wife of Bertrand Russell) and Mary Smith Berenson Costelloe (who married Bernard Berenson).

In 1864, when Carey Thomas was just seven years old, she was severely burned while trying to help her cook, Eliza, prepare lunch. Thomas's frock caught on fire and the young girl was engulfed in flames, which were shortly thereafter extinguished by her mother. Her recovery was long and arduous, a time during which her mother cared for her intently. Growing up, Thomas was strongly influenced by the staunch feminism of her mother and her mother's sister Hannah Whitall Smith, who became a prominent preacher. Her father, a physician, was not completely happy with feminist ideas, but his daughter was fiercely independent, and he supported her in all of her independent endeavors. Though both her parents were orthodox members of the Society of Friends, Thomas' education and European travel led her to question those beliefs and develop a love for music and theater, both of which were forbidden to Orthodox Quakers. This religious questioning led to friction with her mother.

Thomas initially attended a Society of Friends school in Baltimore. Minnie had a strong childhood relationship with her cousin, Frank Smith, Hannah Smith's son. The two were almost inseparable until Frank's sudden death in 1872. His death deeply depressed Minnie, and moved her parents to send her to the Howland Institute. Minnie transferred with her cousin, Bessie, to the Howland Institute, a Quaker boarding school near Ithaca, New York, in October, 1872. While at Howland, Minnie decided to dress as a man in the school's opera, which made her mother very upset, for it was "repugnant to her taste." It was here that Miss Slocum, a teacher at Howland, influenced her to study education, rather than medicine. Thomas hoped to enter Cornell University to pursue further education, but met with her father's objections. After a great deal of pleading from both Thomas and her mother, her father relented.[2]

Thomas went to Sage College, a women's school at Cornell University, in September, 1875, where she formally changed her name to Carey from Minnie. She graduated from Cornell University in 1877. Cornell offered her both the position of professor of literature and dean of Sage College, but she did not consider either.[1][page needed] She did graduate work in Greek at Johns Hopkins University, but withdrew because she was not permitted to attend classes.[2] She did further graduate work at the University of Leipzig, but that university did not grant degrees to women. She then went to the University of Zurich and earned a Ph.D. in linguistics, summa cum laude, in 1882 for her dissertation, which was a philological analysis of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. This dissertation continued to be highly regarded by specialists eighty years later.[2] She was the first woman and the first foreigner to receive such a doctorate from the university.[2] She then spent some time in Paris, where she attended lectures by Gaston Paris at the Sorbonne, and then went back home to the United States. Thomas did not pursue her degree out of love for her academic work, but rather out of a desire to show Americans that women had the same intellectual capacity as men.[2]

At Bryn Mawr

In 1882, Thomas wrote a letter to the trustees of Bryn Mawr College, requesting that she be made president of the university. She was not granted the position, however, as the trustees were concerned about her relative youth and lack of experience.[2] Instead, Thomas entered in 1884 as the dean of the college and chair of English. Despite not receiving her desired role at Bryn Mawr, Thomas was active in the college's administration, working closely with then president James Rhoads. According to the biographical dictionary Notable American Women: 1607–1950, by 1892 she was "acting president in all but name".[2]

At the end of April 1884 Thomas went with the encouragement of President Rhoads to tour other colleges in the area to become familiar with them in order to bring ideas back to Bryn Mawr. She started her tour at Vassar, then she went on to Smith College, Wellesley, and ended her tour at Radcliffe (or the Harvard Annex as it was still called at the time).[3]

In 1885 Thomas, together with Mary Garrett, Mamie Gwinn (February 2, 1860 – November 11, 1940), Elizabeth King, and Julia Rogers, founded The Bryn Mawr School, a prep school in Baltimore, Maryland. The school would produce well-educated young women who met the very high entrance standards of Bryn Mawr College.

In 1894, President Rhoads died,[4] and Thomas was narrowly elected to succeed him on September 1, 1894. Out of respect for President Rhoads's recent death, Thomas was not given any ceremony. She was president until 1922 and remained as Dean until 1908. During her tenure as president, Thomas' primary concern was upholding the highest standards of admissions and academic rigor. The entrance examinations for the college were made as difficult as those at Harvard University, and pupils could not gain admission by certificate. For the academic curriculum, Thomas emulated the "group system" of Johns Hopkins, in which students were required to take parallel courses in a logical sequence. Students could not freely choose electives. There were also other requirements, including a foreign language requirement that culminated in a sight translation examination proctored by Thomas herself. Overall, the academic curriculum at Bryn Mawr under Thomas shunned liberal arts education, preferring more traditional topics such as Greek, Latin, and mathematics.[2] Thomas was also instrumental in bringing several new buildings to the College, which introduced collegiate Gothic architecture to the United States.

In 1908, she became the first president of the National College Women's Equal Suffrage League. She was also a leading member of the National American Woman Suffrage Association. After 1920 she advocated the policies of the National Woman's Party. She was one of the early promoters of an equal rights amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

For many years Thomas maintained an intimate relationship with long-time friend, Mamie Gwinn.[5] Thomas and Gwinn lived together at Bryn Mawr College in a small cottage that came to be known as "the Deanery".[6] When Gwinn left Thomas in 1904 to marry (a love triangle fictionalized in Gertrude Stein's Fernhurst) Alfred Hodder, a fellow Professor of English at Bryn Mawr College,[7] Thomas pursued a relationship with Mary Elizabeth Garrett.[5] Thomas shared her campus home, the Deanery, with Garrett and together they endeavored to grow Bryn Mawr's resources. Upon her death, Garrett, who had been prominent in suffrage work and a benefactor of Bryn Mawr, left to President Thomas "a sum which would, in 1994, be close to $15,000,000."[1]:424 to be disposed of as she saw fit. M. Carey Thomas had firm views on marriage, and in a letter to her mother she described it as a "Loss of freedom, poverty, and a personal subjection for which I see absolutely no compensation." [1]:173


Both during and before her tenure as college president, Thomas actively worked to bar Jews from entering Bryn Mawr, both as faculty members and as students, biographer Helen Lefkowitz Horowitz noted. [8]

Thomas blocked the hiring of Jewish teachers, and later worked to remove Jewish candidates from consideration for faculty positions. Thomas also tried to block the admission of Sadie Szold, a Jewish student, to the college.

In August 2017, Bryn Mawr President Kim Cassidy addressed Thomas' "racism and anti-Semitism'[9] and demands by some that the school drop Thomas' name from several buildings.

"While Thomas had a profound impact on opportunities for women in higher education," Cassidy wrote, "on the academic development and identity of Bryn Mawr, and on the physical plan of the campus, she also openly and vigorously advanced racism and anti-Semitism as part of her vision of the College. Some of you have suggested that the College rename Thomas Library and Thomas Great Hall because of this legacy, and others have suggested making that history explicit in other ways."

Later life and death

Thomas retired in 1922, at age sixty-five. She left the college in the capable hands of Marion Edwards Park, who had served as a dean at both Simmons and Radcliffe Colleges. The Bryn Mawr Summer School for Women Workers in Industry, which was founded at Carey's behest in 1921, was a sort of "grand finale" bookending Thomas' legacy as an earlier shaper of the college.[1]:40 Mary Garrett left a considerable fortune to Thomas, who spent the last two decades of her life traveling the world in luxury, including trips to India, the Sahara, and France. Thomas died at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on December 2, 1935 of a coronary occlusion. She had returned to the city to address Bryn Mawr College on the fiftieth anniversary of its founding. Her ashes were scattered on the Bryn Mawr College campus in the cloisters of the Thomas Library.[2]



  1. ^ a b c d e Horowitz, Helen (1994). The Power and Passion of M. Carey Thomas. New York: Knopf. ISBN 0-252-06811-4. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i "THOMAS, Martha Carey (Jan. 2, 1857 – Dec. 2, 1935): Educator and Feminist". Notable American Women: 1607–1950. Harvard University Press. 1971. Retrieved 2010-04-04. 
  3. ^ Finch, Edith (1947). Carey Thomas of Bryn Mawr. New York & London: Harper & Brothers. pp. 138–144. 
  4. ^ "James E. Rhoads, 1885–1894". Bryn Mawr College. Archived from the original on 2015-02-20. Retrieved 2014-03-03. 
  5. ^ a b Faderman, Lillian (1991). Odd girls and twilight lovers : a history of lesbian life in twentieth-century America ([4. Aufl.] ed.). New York: Columbia University Press. p. 30. ISBN 978-0231074889. 
  6. ^ Horowitz, Helen (1994). The Power and Passion of M. Carey Thomas. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. pp. 172, 202–203. 
  7. ^ Horowitz. The Power and Passion of M. Carey Thomas. pp. 211–212, 278–286, 359. 
  8. ^ "Bryn Mawr College to place moratorium on using name of founder who was known anti-Semite". JTA. 28 August 2017. Retrieved 29 August 2017. 
  9. ^ Cassidy, Kim. "Message from President Cassidy: Grappling with Bryn Mawr's Histories". Bryn Mawr College. Retrieved 29 August 2017. 

External links

This page was last edited on 17 February 2018, at 15:51.
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