Winter Update

Salvete Amici!

Sorry for the late update; finals were rough!  My chemistry was a little easier though because I found out that I didn’t need to take second semester chem, and I wasn’t as nervous about my grade.

I’m living on campus again for almost 3 weeks.  My college has two special freshman  programs, and this is the second one, Citizen Science.  The idea of CitSci is to teach all the students to be intelligent information seekers when it comes to science, as oppose to passively accepting what we see online or in the media.

So far, it’s fun, and my roommate is really nice!  The campus walkways are slippery, and the food is terrible, but I’m happy to see my friends again!  Oh, and my driving is getting better!  No license yet, though…

Well, I’m off to breakfast!




Expanding Horizons Part 2

Once I figured out that learning doesn’t necessarily require immediate understanding, I got really excited!

This was a whole new way of looking at things for me!

During one of our classes, our teacher showed us this short video:

Even though this dance has no explicit meaning, it leaves you with an aftertaste.  You’re not sure what just happened, but it’s intense, it’s jarring, it’s sad, it’s bittersweet…  I feel appreciation, even though I feel no understanding (in the traditional sense of understanding).

At the end of the second week, we went to the college museum.  We went to see an exhibit by Haim Steinbach.  When I read the description, I almost laughed out loud.  Okay, I was at peace with confusion and not understanding now.  But this?  How could I appreciate this?

It's just seemingly unrelated things…

It’s just seemingly unrelated things…

…place next to each other on shelves.

…placed next to each other on shelves.

Really?  But when I read his explanation for it, I wanted to like it immediately.  He said that when we look at things in everyday life, we define them by their context.  When you see something in a kitchen, then you usually assume it’s used for cooking.  But what he’s doing is experimenting with our perception.  What if you take something out of it’s context?  What is its definition now?  He wants us to ask “Why is the the dog toy next to the woman?  What do they have to do with eachother?”  Because maybe then, we’ll think of those objects differently.  That was my take on it anyway.

So that’s my new perspective on art now.  Thanks to L&T, I am way more open to new things.  Obviously, these two posts aren’t going to convince you––you may be thinking, “I still don’t see what the big deal is,” or “Okay, college has gotten to her, she’s nuts!”

But you really need to immerse yourself in an environment like L&T to free your inhibitions.  Even if that doesn’t change your view on art, it will show you that there are so many new paths for you to explore, and you didn’t see them before because they don’t look like paths; some go up, some go down, and some bend around sideways in a möbius strip to more questions.



Expanding Horizons Part 1

So.  The Deets.

Today, I’d like to tell you about my perspective on art.

The big thing that I learned during my time at L&T was that there are two ways of ‘understanding’ things.  One way is that you read something, and you know what it means.  The second way is that you feel utter confusion.  You read a work and don’t even try to understand it, instead you just let it wash over you.


The first week of L&T

Now, this may not make a lot of sense (and it didn’t to me at first either) but hear me out.  When L&T began, I thought it was going to be like a literature analysis class.  I had read the assigned readings, and I was expecting to have a class discussion when I came in on the second day.  The reading had been confusing, and I was hoping to ask some questions and get some answers.

Instead, my teacher read a quote from the text and told us to “write to it.”  I was baffled.  How can I write to it, if I don’t know what it means?  What does that even mean?  Doesn’t she mean write about it?

But, hey, I’m willing to try new things.  I began to write to it.  I wrote to it as if it was a stranger, dissecting the sentence physically (e.g. “I notice that you are capitalized strangely–I wonder why the author wrote you that way.  When I read the word meek I cant help thinking of a baby deer…”)  And Lo and behold, meaning began to unfold.

By ‘talking’ to this quote I had teased out my own meaning for it!  And even more amazing, when we took turns reading what we had written, everyone else had done similar things.  It was like an unconscious understanding.

To be Continued…

Good News

Reslife contacted me today.  They’ve fixed everything, and now I have a single!  This is better than anything I could ever hope for 😀  (I mean, who knows.  It could have smelly bathrooms or low wifi, but it’s only 3 weeks.  I’m so thankful.)

When I say it’s only three weeks, I better explain myself:  I decided to be a commuter student, but my college has a freshman orientation program where everyone must live on campus for three weeks.  There’s also a one-week freshman thing during winter break as well.

Other News:  I just finished a 4-day photography camp, and I had so much fun.  I’m definitely out of the dumps.

In The End

It’s that terrible time, where I must now turn down all colleges I won’t be attending.

And it’s hard because one of those colleges was actually my favorite.  But in the end, it’s what one can afford that determines one’s college decision.

Sure, I love the college that I am choosing (Bard) but I am also sad that I couldn’t accept the offer of my favorite college (Williams).  In my opinion, a college should not accept someone if they don’t meet that student’s financial need.  Crazy, I know.

I’m fine, though.  I’m at peace, and I am so happy and proud to have gotten into the colleges that I did.  Some people do not have that opportunity.

I also have the advantage of really knowing Bard from the inside, since I have been taking classes there for two years, and I am absolutely sure that I will get a pretty equal education to Williams (except without the name).  Williams also has a semester-at-sea program to which any undergraduate can apply, so I will definitely take advantage of that, hehehe.

I can’t wait to be a college student!!!



The Fruits of Labor

Salvete Amici,

So yesterday some pretty cool things happened.

I was at my highschool/college program a little early, so I went to the college’s library to read a little before my class.

While I was sitting there (on a really cool bench made of books) a tour guide and two parents came through.  She was one of those college tour guides who seems to have a river of words pouring from her mouth, able to fill any space until her audience had a question.

She directed the prospie’s parents to a back shelf nearby, and told them that all the black books on that shelf were “Senior Theses.”  She went to explain that Bard students wrote a final paper in their senior year exploring something in their major.  Every student was freaked out about it, but everyone did it, so it was fine.  She pulled a book out of the shelf at random and read them the title, “Islamic Law and How it Influenced Pre-Westernized Society.”

When they left, I got up and began exploring the thesis shelves.  There were hundreds of black books, ranging in thickness, with only each senior’s first and last name printed in golden letters along the side.  I began selecting different ones at random and reading their titles.

One girl, a language and literature major, translated a whole book from French to English.  One boy wrote a whole analysis on pre-historic stuppas.  Luckily, I remembered that I had class at some point, and raced off.  But I couldn’t stop thinking about these projects.

I feel crazy thinking back on it now, but I started feeling like I was really excited about going to college, and writing a big paper like theirs’!  I began to see titles for theses in everything!

“The Role of Obesity in Cartoons and Comics,” “Gourmet vs. Fastfood; Conflicting Appeals,” “Ethics of Guns in America,”… The list went on.

It seems like such a challenging undertaking, but I am sure that once the senior has graduated, the feeling of the black book in their hands must be so satisfying!  And I can’t wait to feel that way.