Love, Labor and Anti-Sotoism

May/June 2002

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Love, Labor and Anti-Sotoism

Courtesy Karen Telleen-Lawton

The Trancos camaraderie was an important part of my first-year experience and the source of deep friendships. The all-frosh dorm had only one drawback: it abutted the four-class dorm Soto, where a group of rowdy boys frequently carried out immature pranks. If it wasn’t off-key serenades from the bathroom, it was water-filled garbage cans dumped on exiting freshmen or late-night stampedes down our quiet halls. It made me wish for the fabled dorm moms of yesteryear.

One of the pranksters eventually became my husband, but I didn’t discover the connection until we were engaged. I nearly called it off, but love prevailed over anti-Sotoism.

In truth, I found not only love but also life on the Farm. I was born at Stanford Hospital, in a dimly lit corridor instead of the delivery room. The Great Storm of ’55 had knocked out the power, and only the hallways were equipped with emergency lights. For my mother, however, laboring in the hallway may have seemed a welcome step up from the alternative. I’m told I was nearly born in the even darker parking lot, where my father, president of the Business School’s Class of ’56, insisted on waiting until after midnight to save on the hospital fees.

Karen Telleen-Lawton, ’78

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