Beans & Rice for the Soul

teaching, learning and living around the world

The Softball Story

The softball story continues to be one of the most important accomplishments of my life.  It is the reason I believe I can make a difference in the world. It is the reason I had the courage to move to Goma to chase a bunch of questions about teaching. It is the reason I believe International Women’s Day matters. Still. In America, and everywhere.  So here it is!

Newspaper Clipping

I remember after my first semester at UVA, coming home and telling my dad that my life had peaked in the 8th grade.  Ever since testifying for Congress and getting that women’s commission award… I hadn’t really done anything “great.”

The next semester, I took a class called The History of American Women with Professor Cindy Aron.

The class was in a big lecture hall and had over a hundred (maybe more?) students.  I did not know Professor Aron personally. I think we’d met a few times to talk about my research.  I don’t think I aced the class or anything, but boy did I enjoy it!  I remember trying to investigate how black and white newspapers reported the women’s equal rights movement.  Going deep into the stacks of Alderman library… looking at microfiche! Ah! Historian heaven.

On the very last day of class, Professor Aron left us with an inspiring lecture on contemporary American women.  Like always, I diligently took notes. And at the very end, while I was still furiously writing, she said something along the lines of, “And we have our very own contemporary American woman, who has fought the good fight. In this very room.  Sara Rich, where are you?”


I put my pen down and gave an awkward wave.

“There she is!”  And she gave a brief summary of…

The Softball Story.


I was thinking- How did she know?!  What’s going on!  This is crazy and amazing and I feel like a million bucks but how did she know?!!!!

And as I walked out of the lecture hall, I ran into Lindsey W.
She was a childhood friend, in the class as well, and had told her TA, who told Professor Aron.

Remember how I said it was a bunch of friends and I who wrote the letter to the Alexandria Recreation Department?  It was Cortney H., me and…

Lindsey W. was the third.

Wow. What a day that was. What a story!

Happy International Women’s Day, Lindsey! Cortney! Professor Aron!

To ALL the ladies in my life, HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY!! I am grateful for every single one of you. My family, girl scout leaders, fellow teachers, women wordsmiths… the list could go on and on.

Screen shot 2015-03-08 at 10.29.44 AM

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2 comments on “The Softball Story

  1. talentfront2012
    March 8, 2015

    Nice job, Sara.

  2. Lonnie Rich (Dad)
    March 8, 2015

    I had forgotten about the UVA part of that story.

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This entry was posted on March 8, 2015 by in feminism, humanities, inspiration, Uncategorized.
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