This Is Not the Ivy League: A Memoir

This Is Not the Ivy League A Memoir Mary Clearman Blew s education began at home on a remote cattle ranch in Montana She graduated to a one room rural school then escaped via scholarship to the University of Montana where still in

  • Title: This Is Not the Ivy League: A Memoir
  • Author: Mary Clearman Blew
  • ISBN: 9780803230118
  • Page: 133
  • Format: Hardcover
  • This Is Not the Ivy League: A Memoir

    Mary Clearman Blew s education began at home, on a remote cattle ranch in Montana She graduated to a one room rural school, then escaped, via scholarship, to the University of Montana, where, still in her teens, she met and married her first husband This Is Not the Ivy League is her account of what it was to be that girl, and then that woman pressured by husband and pareMary Clearman Blew s education began at home, on a remote cattle ranch in Montana She graduated to a one room rural school, then escaped, via scholarship, to the University of Montana, where, still in her teens, she met and married her first husband This Is Not the Ivy League is her account of what it was to be that girl, and then that woman pressured by husband and parents to be the conventional wife of the 1950s, persisting in her pursuit of an education, trailed by a reluctant husband and small children through graduate school, and finally entering the job market with a PhD in English only to find a whole new set of pressures and prejudices This memoir is Blew s behind the scenes account of pursuing a career at a time when a woman s place in the world was supposed to have limits It is a story of both the narrowing perspective of the social norm and the ever expanding possibilities of a woman who refuses to be told what she can and cannot be.

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      Published :2018-08-04T14:15:58+00:00

    One thought on “This Is Not the Ivy League: A Memoir

    1. Michael

      My review from the Missoula Independent:First, is it just me, or does Ivan Doig have a blurb on every book jacket published in or around or about Montana? How does he have the time to read so much while actually writing books? Is Doig, like Homer, a collection of voracious people clumped together under one name? This isn't really the place to go into that, but on the back of Mary Clearman Blew's This Is Not the Ivy League, Doig had this to say: Her "episodes are as sharp and illuminating as chai [...]

    2. Vivian Valvano

      Prompted by the NY TIMES review, I read this, and I am so glad. Its title sounds a bit facetious, but it's not; this author has some very serious things to say. The book is actually a series of segments that can stand alone as essays; several were published earlier in journals, anthologies. But organizing those strategically, plus adding important original chapters, Blew constructs a potent memoir. Born in 1939, raised on a Montana ranch, Blew aspired to something more than tyhe predictable life [...]

    3. Tuck

      think it's safe to say blew is the north american high plains version of janice galloway . a fantastic fiction/creative nonfiction writer and memoirist who seems to carve her sentences from the hardest, greyest granite and spares neither herself, her maladapted kids, her mealy effete co-workers, her fairly sadistic antecedents and definitely mean-spirited in-laws and her loser husbands in telling her story of growing up on a sage and gumbo ranch in central montana after wwii and eventually becom [...]

    4. Patricia Geller

      Mary Blew wrote a candid memoir of her striving for an education and wish to become a university professor during the 60's and 70's with an unsupportive husband and a society that, in the mid-west, put road-blocks in front of women"s' careers. Unfortunately she is also so narcissistic and neglectful of her family that I cringed when I read it. She also lacks insight, not understanding why her grown son won't speak to her after it is clear she neglected him. While her bravery is to be lauded, her [...]

    5. Lisa Norris

      Admirable craft, honest accounting. A valuable history of a woman's struggle to pursue an intellectual life and academic career while raising a family in a time and place that offered little support.Other readers on this site take Blew to task for neglecting her family to pursue her career, but I wonder what man in the 1950s/60s would have thought even to ask the question of whether to pursue or sublimate his career for his wife and/or kids? Note also that Blew didn't abandon her kids but made t [...]

    6. Kyla

      My 4 stars are not an unabashed recommendation here: Just, picture this: a cold, rainy November day. Me under the blankets, able to sleep in and read for hours. Finishing this book in one cozy morning. Now, any book is going to shine in these circumstances but for some reason I was really compelled by her story. An (admitted) indifferent Mother and twice-wed, she gives it all up to be a PH.D, a scholar. But as she admits, it's a certain mediocre (and as the mediocre of the most middlest of peopl [...]

    7. Susanne

      Mary Clearman Blew's memoirs are all so honest and written in such exquisite prose. This is a no-holds-barred look at teaching in academia with all of its triumphs, challenges, and just plain discriminations. Blew has journeyed from teaching in a small college to directing an Idaho university's creative writing program, and this book chronicles the difficult journey, emotionally and academically, she traveled to reach this peak. She is one of my favorite authors--and a good friend!

    8. Deborah Kaple

      A profound memoir about the early years of women in academia in remote colleges in northern Montana and Idaho. Mary Clearman Blew is a beautiful writer who has suffered painful personal tragedies, and writes about them with grace. Her portrayal of academic life is spot-on. Once again we see what ridiculous creatures we university toilers are!

    9. Steve

      This is part of the excellent U of NE Press series "American Lives" edited by Tobias Wolff. It is a collection of mostly previously published essays regarding her academic career. I don't know if Blew would call herself a "feminist", but she is a strong willed woman from MT who grew up in the hard scrabble NW part of the state. She knew what she wanted, and went after it. She went on to earn her PhD (U of MO) while raising 2 children, dealing w/ a difficult husband, and teaching classes. This wa [...]

    10. Jamie

      I really enjoyed this look into what it was like for a Montana woman to become a first-generation (married) college student in the 1950s, then a professor, then a dean. I can imagine that her professional life was exactly as she's described it. In some ways it seems much different than now, and in other ways quite similar. Many of the same squabbles and political problems are just as real today. Fortunately, women have definitely broken into academic administration in a big way.Her personal choi [...]

    11. Jane Wolfe

      This book is a gritty personal narrative of Blew's experiences in education. The memoir begins in northwestern Montana in a one room schoolhouse in 1949 and stretches into academia in the 1970's and early 80's. Many of the essays center around the time Blew spent at Northern Montana College (now part of the Montana State University) in Havre, Montana where Blew was "that woman with a Phd." The writer doesn't mince words as she muses about her experiences as a English professor and then as a Dean [...]

    12. Kristin

      This book took me so long to read because I was overwhelmed with homesickness when I started it. The Montanan sense of place especially permeates the first few chapters, in a way I couldn't tolerate at first. Beyond the beautiful descriptions of the northern Montana landscape and the author's insightful descriptions of small-time academia, the writing meandered a bit too much and felt like a rough draft.

    13. Sally

      A wonderful title, but it's wasted on this uneven memoir that devotes too little word space to the fascinating, rarely explored subject of small, state-supported colleges to which the title seemingly refers. Blew, who was a professor and administrator at one such institution on the remote high plains of northern Montana for eighteen years, is a good writer, but her memoir makes jumpy transitions in time and subject matter, is sometimes mean-spirited, and leaves a lot unexplained.

    14. Sinistmer

      I found this book fascinating, if a little bit depressing. I got the overall message and enjoyed reading about Blew's experiences. I did have some trouble keeping chronology straight, but that was a fairly minor complaint.

    15. Karen

      A bit disjointed. Sometimes I felt that anecdotes were thrown in without a connection. I always like reading anything that takes place in some part on the Highline of Montana.

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