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Cinq Heures Chez Le Couturier Paquin by Henri Gervex, 1906

Historically, women were not encouraged to leave the home. The Domestic sphere was her world and should satisfy her. Should she wish to venture out, she was in need of a chaperone; another lady attendant or a male escort. The available activities outside the home were very limited to women; in order to “keep them in their place.” They might visit other ladies, attend church or charity functions. Charity gave rise to activism, as well as female social club; although in the beginning no one deigned to call it such. A group of women were looked upon as a curious and “unneeded” sight. Which . . . could also apply to males, but it did not. Civic duties and pride was the natural and appropriate extension of activism or charity functions.

With 19th century civic involvement in mind, I enrolled in the City’s Leadership Academy. It is a free 8 week course to discover the daily functions of the local government. It is a unique program that will enlighten the participants on who the key players are and become better informed on how the city serves its populous. It is also a networking opportunity. Although, I am quick to add that not only am I a newly minted resident, it will also assist me in my career as the Adult Services Librarian for the City. I can say with conviction this is how the City does it and whom to connect with for answers to certain questions. These weekly three hour courses take place around the community.

Tonight was the first class and I learned that after residing here for one year I am eligible to apply for position on a City Board/Committee. Naturally, I have already narrowed the list of 28 departments to . . . about six. Perhaps I shall sit on ALL of them, just for amusement! It is all part of my World Take Over scheme! –Oh, goodness! Did I just say that aloud? . . . First Academy. Then . . .  THE WORLD! *vigorously waves little City pennant*

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