Inscribed on the ladder in this piece are items from a list of rules from the 1880's drawn up at Mount Holyoke Female Seminary where Emily Dickinson attended in 1847-1848 after Amherst Academy. Dickinson was sixteen and the youngest of 234 students when she entered the seminary. She shared a room with her cousin, Emily Norcross, who graduated at the end of the year in 1948. The curriculum was based on a college course of study and was one of the most rigorous academic institutions for a woman of the time. The rule list included "Recorded" and "Unrecorded Items", "Weekly Items", "Washing Items" and "Ironing Items". "Recorded Items" included: Absence from School Exercise, Absence from Table, Tardiness at Table, Failure in Walking, Delinquency in Composition, and several more.