“The Cabots Speak Only to God”

View From My Room In Cabot Hall

When I got my dorm assignment for my first year of Radcliffe College(now totally part of Harvard, then separate housing), it was for Cabot Hall. My grandfather, ever the wit, promptly told me a little ditty:

“Here’s to the town of Boston, The land of the bean and the cod, Where the Lowells speak only to Cabots, And the Cabots speak only to God.” He was quite amused that he finally had an audience for that poem. It took me a while to realize that it refers to the deep snobbery of the Boston elite.

I had a double room on the corner of the 4th floor. My roommate and I shared a bunk bed and a closet. We each had a dresser, a desk and a chair. We needed pole lamps, since there was no room for a floor lamp. The dorm had been built for single rooms, but had been changed into doubles, hence the bunk bed. The two sets of windows on the corner made positioning the bed challenging. We moved it around from time to time anyway.

The bathroom was down the hall with four stalls and three little rooms with bathtubs. I had shared bathrooms and bedrooms for most of my life, so it wasn’t too hard of an adjustment. However, some of my classmates were extremely wealthy, and I imagine it was a major step down for them.

Many aspects of dorm living were new for me, and I will post more about it. Suffice it to say that my first jolt came as I was moving in and heard a girl yell,”F____k” at the top of her lungs. I had never heard a girl use that word, and I knew I wasn’t in Oregon any more.


7 thoughts on ““The Cabots Speak Only to God”

  1. Ewww…., “the deep snobbery of the Boston Elite”. We’re having dinner in a few hours with our friends, who met and married in Boston. You don’t know bad I want to throw that one out there tonight!


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