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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 byJames Evans Rhoads
Succeeded byMarion Edwards Park
Personal details
Born(1857-01-02)January 2, 1857
Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
DiedDecember 2, 1935(1935-12-02) (aged 78)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
EducationSage College
Known forEducator, 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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  • ✪ How to Study Effectively: 8 Advanced Tips - College Info Geek


A really huge portion of the study tips you'll get from professors and other people who want you to be better in school and maybe that you'll find here on YouTube are really basic. They'll tell you to sit in front in class, scan your textbooks instead of reading every single chapter. Bring your cat to class to reduce stress and so you get to meet the nice folks at animal control. These tips, while they're good, they're really really useful, they are basic. Maybe you're like me. You're a classical detail-driven nerd. When I play fighting games I want to learn about frame data and every single move sets and all the match-ups instead of just playing the game and "having fun." So, applying to study I'm the same way and I want to find really advanced tips, ways to hack my learning, things that usually don't come up when you get your basic study tips. To that end, maybe you're like me and want to get some advanced study tips, and I am happy to oblige. In this video, I am going to give you 8 of those Advanced Study Tips, so let's get started. The first tip is to use the Corson Technique when asking professors for help. Now, Dale Corson was the eighth president of Cornell University. Yes, the same Cornell University that spawned the famous Cornell Note-Taking System. He was also a chemistry professor. He said that students in chemistry and other science and math programs often have to really work to crack problems one sentence at a time as they go through their textbooks or problem sets, but sometimes eventually you get to a point where you just can't crack the problem on your own and you need to ask for help. So, you go to your professor, and what Dale Corson wants you to think about before you actually talk to your professor is pause and ask yourself, "What is it that I don't understand? Truly, what is it that I don't understand?" What he wants you to get away from is this thing that a lot of students do is where they go to their professors and with a "general wave of the hand," as he says, they say, "I don't understand what I'm looking at." This is just confusing to me, I don't get it." What he wants you to do is avoid that, rather, pick apart the problem one sentence at a time and figure out the exact point at which you don't get what's going on. Right here, I understand this, this process makes sense to me, but here's where I'm getting a little shaky and I just don't get this. After that, I'm cool. When you can pinpoint that, you're going to impress your professor with your preparation and the amount of effort you put into the problem, so you get some brownie points there, but you're also working to practice the art of recognizing confusion and following it down to its actual source. This will help you immensely in all of your learning going forward. Tip #2 is to learn facts quickly with a technique called space repetition. Now, space repetition is the art of studying things at increasingly bigger and bigger intervals of time and it's a very efficient way to study, but it also takes advantage of the way your brain works. Basically, space repetition is a system where you'll study something, and if you know that individual fact very well, you will not see it for quite a while, but the facts that you don't know well, you're going to see them more and more frequently. The way that it works on our brain level is that you are trying to recall information. You're forcing your brain to pull it out at the closest time possible to when you are about to forget it, so your brain actually has to work as hard as it possibly can to recall this information and it encodes it better, so its more efficient and you can actually learn a lot faster. The best way to take advantage of this is to use an SRS or space repetition software to do your studying for you instead of using index cards or something. Now, when I was studying Japanese, and I will be doing this again soon, I used one called WaniKani that was very, very efficient and helped me learn hundreds of Kanji and Japanese vocab words. There is actually a free and generalized one called Anki and you can find it on where you can actually create your own card sets for any type of data that you think you would want to study with SRS or you can actually find shared card decks from people who have already made things. So, definitely check that out. I think the preparation aspect of making your own card decks is very useful, but simply going through and studying them using space repetition is usually going to be more efficient than using just typical linear flashcard study methods on paper. Tip #3. We're getting a little more advanced here, so this one is to try out the Method of Loci for memorization. The Method of Loci goes back to the Greek and Roman times and it is a memorization technique that has been used by memory champs for a long time. It essentially takes advantage of your brain's ability to remember spatial information very well. It's all about visualization. The classic way to do it is to associate certain sets of the set of data you're trying to memorize, certain groups of that with different rooms of a house. Let me give you an example. This is the Kanji for king in Japanese, and the pronunciation, the way that you say king in Japanese is "Oh," and "Oh" is really simple pronunciation. It doesn't really lend itself too well to mnemonics, which is a shame because mnemonics is a great way to learn Kanji. Now, what if I want to adapt the Method of Loci to learning this Kanji along with lots of others. What does a king sit on, a throne, or as we could say, the toilet, and I am not averse to using 5-year-old humor here. What do you say when you smell the toilet, "Oh." Yeah, work with me here. Also, the Kanji for king looks like a towel rack so I can associate king with the bathroom in a house, and if I really want to make this study technique useful for me, I would go into the bathroom and I would put up flashcards on the walls and then I'd walk through my house and study this. Now, the Method of Loci is difficult to use. It's an advanced technique and usually you're going to be better off with SRS or mnemonics if you have a smaller set of data, but if you've got a lot of work with and nothing else has worked for you, it's something that you can try. Tip #4 is to hack akrasia. Akrasia is a term that has been written about for centuries and it goes back to Plato, and it's essentially a lack of command over oneself. There's another even more complex term called picoeconomics, which talks about this hyperbolic discounting that we do. Essentially, we discount the value of a task the more it is delayed, the more the reward is pushed off into the future, which in short means that we tend to procrastinate and do fun things that don't really align with our values in the short term, and we avoid doing things that really do line up with our values because the reward is delayed. The way you can hack akrasia or avoid becoming a victim to it is two-fold. One, use a commitment device, bind yourself to getting your task done on time, and the way I do this is by using an app called Beeminder, which I've talked about before. I absolutely love Beeminder and I've been using it to ensure I publish three things a week for quite a while now. If you look at my graph here, which I'll throw up, you can see that I have been actually publishing much, much, much more frequently than I was before, and it's largely because I use a commitment device to buy myself to do this. Now, another way that you can hack akrasia, the second part of the fold, is to add a shorter term reward to completing a task. The classic way, you've probably seen this image before, is to put gummy bears on your textbook, and as you read paragraphs you allow yourself to eat them, but you can do all sorts of other things. Let yourself watch an episode of Game of Thrones once you finish an assignment or maybe use a tool like HabitRPG and give yourself some experience and goals when you finish the study, problem set or something. Just find a way to make sure that the only reward isn't that far-off delayed one that causes akrasia. All right. Tip #5 is to improve the Pomodoro Technique. You may have heard of the Pomodoro Technique,. Everyone talks about it, but in case you haven't, it's simply a technique where you set a timer for about 25 minutes classically, and then you work only on one task during that 25-minute session. I think a lot of people do this and it's very useful, but there are some areas for improvement that I don't a lot of people take advantage of. So, let me just rapid fire give them to you. Number one, and I've talked about how much I'm a fan of the Beeminder app, and the Beeminder blog is also a good resource for productivity techniques and experiments. One of things that they talk about is this thing they do called Tocks. A Tock is essentially a Pomodoro session except they use about 45 minutes and then take 15-minute breaks instead of the classic 25-minute, 5-minute break structure. The tip here is to experiment with the time intervals. Don't just set yourself to 25 minutes and assume that's the only potential interval that you could study at. Find what works for you. The other one is to put a piece of paper next to you during your Pomodoro session, and whenever anything that comes up that distracts you, maybe a phone call or the urge to check Facebook or something, write it down. This lets you do two things. One, you can remember what the distraction was and if it happened to be something urgent you can take care of it during your break time, but two, as you continue to lots of Pomodoro sessions over months and months, you start to see what are the common problem points. What comes up a lot that distracts you, and then you can take steps to prevent these things. Maybe it's your phone, you forget to put in do not disturb mode; well, you can do that now. If its a certain website that you really want to visit because it's just so distracting and draws you in, then you can use an extension like Stay Focused on Chrome to block it during your study session. Very useful stuff. Tip #6 is when learning new concepts, use both focused and diffused thinking. This is a concept that I learned about in a book called, Thinking in Numbers. Look at this guy, Magnus Carlsen. He is currently the #1 chess player in the world, but back in 2004 when he was just 13 years old, he played Garry Kasparov, who was considered the best chess player in the world a couple of decades ago and who was often considered to be the best chess player of all time. He played Garry to a draw, and look at what he does from these screen shots here. During the match he actually gets up and walks around, looks at other tables, and what he's doing, what the author of this book has pointed out, is he's using diffused thinking. So focused thinking really takes advantage of your prefrontal cortex to focus on one specific set of data, one specific problem, and it really concentrates on one that thing, but it doesn't let the rest of your brain become activated. A lot of ideas come from different nodes of your brain connecting different completely unrelated ideas in new different ways, and that's the diffused mode of thinking. When you're leaning something new, you want to use diffused thinking, so you can grock it, you can tie it to other nodes in your brain and understand it. If you only try to focus on the problem and do nothing else, you're going to have a lot harder time solving the problem. Now, focused thinking is very, very good for problems you already understand, for processes that you've gone through before, and that's why you want to use these two modes of thinking in combination. Now, tip #7 and I've talked about this before in terms of textbooks is to gauge your classes, and the specific area I want you to think about here is gauge the speed at which your professor moves and at which you're able to understand. If your professor tends to go too fast and you can't really understand everything he's presenting. Maybe he writes too fast and you can take notes fast enough or he just moves through the material too fast for you to really understand it and give time to process in your brain. Then, you want to take some steps to mitigate that problem. One thing you could do is to read through the chapter before a lecture. Maybe if you have some material that outlines what's going to be in the lecture, you can use that to look at the most relevant parts of the textbook and prime your brain for the lecture. One other thing you can do if the class pace is just too fast, and I can't really emphasize this enough is to simply ask your professor for help or ask questions in the middle of class. Professors are there to help you and you should take advantage of that. My 8th and final tip is to start your problem sets alone. When I was a sophomore I had a statistics class, and I actually had a partner and she would come over to my dorm basically every time we had a homework assignment to do and we would do it together. Now, I realize that this isn't really the best strategy. Now, I got a pretty good grade in the class anyway, but going forward, I wouldn't do this again. Here's the reason why. When you do a problem set with a partner, you're robbing yourself the opportunity to really pinpoint gaps in your understanding because two people going at the same problem at the same time, if one person is able to do the entire thing and the other person can kind of get where the first person's coming from. So, if you don't really understand a problem or maybe there's one tiny little section that you wouldn't have gotten, but your partner does, you're going to latch onto their answer. You're going to say, "Yeah, I sort of get that," and you're going to move on, but if you do it alone, then you're going to be able to pinpoint those areas of confusion and shore them up before you get into a group and finish the assignment, so start them alone. Those are my 8 Advanced Study Tips. I know this video is a bit longer than normal, but if you've got any questions about these and want to learn more about any specific ones, then be sure to leave a comment below and let me know. Otherwise, I will see you in the next video. Hey guys, thanks so much for watching my video on Advanced Study Tips. Now, if you want to get more study tips every single week and other tips on being an awesome college student, then hit that big red Subscribe button right there, and you'll get those videos every single Thursday. Also, if you want to find the companion blog post where I link to any resources for research I did or other things I mentioned in the video you can click the orange button right there to find that. If you missed the last video, there's a clip of it playing right there, and also if you want to get better grades, I wrote a hundred plus page book called, 10 Steps to Earning Awesome Grades while Studying Less, and I want to give it to you for free. If you want to get that book, just click the picture of the book right there. Lastly, if you want to connect with me or ask questions or submit new ideas for new videos, you can either follow me on Twitter at Tom Frankly or simply leave the comment in the video below here, and I will respond to you no matter what.



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]


See also


  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 8 January 2019, at 01:45
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