How many ponchos do you think this office collectively owns?
VAPA, the visual and performing arts building, is (for the most part) open 24 hours a day, and that only excludes areas with unusually expensive or dangerous equipment (i.e. digital arts studios or the wood shop, both of which are locked at night). Because of this open environment, there is definitely room in various studios for those who are just casually interested in experimenting with VA outside of class, as long as they don’t interfere with classes currently in session and provide their own materials.
That being said, you definitely don’t have to have a focus in the visual arts in order to take VA studio classes! Studio classes are made up of everyone from the casually interested to those whose Plans are entirely in the visual arts.
Hope this helps!
- Rachel ‘14
Good lord, no. I’m not going to tell you that Bennington is a perfect paradise where everyone knows all about LGBTQA issues and is completely respectful of them, but as an out lesbian I have not once encountered any violent, or even truly mean, rhetoric here. And I think the campus is pretty universally in favor of equal marriage—except for the people who are overall against marriage as an institution. You’re more likely to face offensive (but benignly-intended) jokes than anything. The vast majority of people will be supportive, whether or not they’re well-versed in the activist side of things.
Hi Angel! No need to apologize for asking a lot of questions. Helping prospective students is what we admissions interns love (and get paid) to do.
When I got to Bennington, I was pretty painfully shy. I hadn’t had any close friends in high school, and it was really daunting to start over on a campus where I didn’t know anyone, and where everyone was coming from different places. The diversity was exciting, of course, but I also wondered how much common ground I’d have with my classmates. This persisted through most of Orientation—a lot of its goal is to expose you to as many of your classmates as possible, so you get chances to know each other, but it’s a lot of faces and names and not a lot of time spent on each one of them. So, I got to know a few people, but we didn’t really have a chance for bond. Then, at the very end of Orientation, the house chairs threw the freshmen a huge dance party. I stood at the back, sort of shifting from side to side and not really dancing at all, as we awkward people are wont to do. There was a guy standing next to me doing the same thing, who was in my house, and he sidled up and said, “I don’t want to be rude, but I just wanted to ask what your pronouns are. I’m Crow, he/him.” I was delighted to be asked, and suddenly we were off and running. Two and a half years later, we’re still best friends. I’ve also found great friends in my roommates, my house community, and not a few classes. Once you get a leg in, it’s almost difficult not to bond with people here, because you’re constantly surrounded with amazing, passionate, intelligent peers. It’s a good stock to choose from. Additionally, there are a lot of us here who were “the awkward one” in middle and high school. Now we’re all pooled together, and we do all right.
This is not to say that you need to fall in best-friend-love at a dance party, or even during Orientation at all. Bennington has a pretty diverse array of social opportunities, and whatever your style is, you can find it here, from all-night parties to quiet nights in your common room with homework and company. I’d advise you to just be yourself and do your thing, and maybe just give yourself an extra push every once in a while to swallow down the nerves and introduce yourself to people. It’s amazing how quickly and often that pays off. Also, join a club or two. The community IS tight-knit here, but everyone’s friendly and more than willing to welcome new people in.
It’s perhaps a little redundant to add this here at the end, but it’s the answer I always give and I think it fits: my favorite thing about Bennington is the people. When you bring eight hundred students together and tell each of them to design a course of study around their passions, you get amazing results. This school really is a place of curiosity, collaboration, and fun, as much as it’s also a place of work and challenge. There’s nowhere I’d rather be.
Anyway, I hope this helps. Sorry for dumping an essay on you, haha. It’s finals week here and I seem to be stuck in the mode. Please feel free to contact me again with whatever worries you’ve got—social-related or otherwise—and good luck in your college admissions process.
Well, my friend, as a lover of hip hop myself, it’s been important for me to surround myself with breakbeats, crate samples, vinyl scratching, impeccable flows and linguistic finesse. That being said, it’s a little difficult to answer your question - there is a Hip Hop Dance club that performs from time to time, however other defined hip hop-loving communities have yet to sprout up. Lots of people would like to pump some more life into hip hop at Bennington by way of concerts/performances. The love for hip hop, however, is real here. A campus party cannot succeed without Ignition (Remix), for instance, or at least something of that caliber. Many of us thrive off of the likes of Ciara, Busta Rhymes, 2 Chainz, Lil B, Missy Elliott, MF Doom and it’s not unlikely to hear some occasional Yeezus spilling onto Commons Lawn.
Just this morning, I bumped this oldie but goodie on the way to work.
Word is bond.
Perhaps you have been wondering “What do Admissions interns do when they are not diligently writing blog posts?” or “Does Bennington have a weekly low-key poetry party on campus?” or even “What does Bennington do to celebrate finals?” Well, my inquisitive friends, this is the blog post you have been hoping for. We have compiled a list of the many, many things going on just this weekend in the hopes of answering all your weekend activity thoughts, hopes, and — dare I say it? — wildest dreams.
This Thursday night Chloe was finishing up an acting essay when she heard sirens and saw flashing lights out her window. She looked up: it was time…
I suppose it depends on what you’re hoping for — each season up here is different. There’s summer, fall, those weird days in fall which are totally summer, winter, extreme winter, mud season, and spring. Looking for a hot day to go swimming at the local lake? Come in early September. A cup of hot cocoa by a fireplace with wool blankets? I recommend winter.
But my favorite of all the seasons here are the beginning of fall and the end of spring. The campus is so beautiful and alive at any moment, even when the clouds are hanging low over the valley and you cannot see past the edge of the forest, but there is something undeniably magical about the place in early October when the trees change color all across the valley and the mountains. And magical again when the plants start waking up in April and May! There are so many blooming trees on campus, it’s like living in a dream.
But really, come any time, especially when classes are in session (September to mid-December and mid-February to June) . We love visitors!
Your trusted tree-hugger,
Sylvia M, ‘16
So, there are so, SO many questions in the inbox about portfolios so I thought I would address them in one post.
First, the portfolio is optional. Keyword: optional. You do not have to submit one, but you can if you want. We will not think any more or any less of you if do or don’t submit one. The bottom line is that the portfolio is an optional complement to the Common Application.
Think of the application as your first assignment at Bennington, so there is no right or wrong way to do things (but please don’t mail us your 16 foot sculpture -just take photos, we believe you). I know it is frustrating that we are so open ended but that is what a Bennington education is. Be weird, take risks, you can go your own way. There is no format to follow (welcome to Bennington…)
As far as suggestions or recommendations as to what to submit: Submit what you are proud of. We don’t mind long research papers, we like photos of things, send us your music, or a link to your videos. Send us your science experiment (not the actual experiment, just documentation) or share your poetry.
Since some of you want to know how to submit: when you send in your common application you will get a link a day or so after and that will give you access to a page where you can upload whatever you want to show us.
Best of luck. Trust that whatever you do will be fine.
(p.s ALAN: I finished the post, okay!?)
Glennis, a pleasant gluten-free (not by choice, mind you) midwesterner sits perched on her chair, sipping from her mug. Turned away from her computer, it is apparent she is not about to finish that blog post she is supposedly working on; still, she asks me for help. “Is this too sassy, Alan?” I only make it sassier, Glennis, whenever you ask me that question. Still, I’m certain I’ll read it over her shoulder in a few minutes just as she will for me.
Glennis is distracted; Eliana — an international student from London — is reading an article about two irresponsible parents who named their children “Aryan Nation” and Adolf Hitler”. They discuss Eliana’s hyphenated last name. What does a name say about you? The choices our parents make seem to follow until death; Eliana’s name is still a struggle for passports and airports. I can only image the difficulties Aryan faces.
Later tonight, Eliana will hang out with her friends in Kilpat house (there’s a concert going on in the common room, but she doesn’t know if she’ll go). Glennis will stop by a Christmas party in Noyes and a goodbye party in Sawtell, but her night will mainly be dominated by design: she has to make a chair by Sunday. I’d like to work too, but I will be hosting the aforementioned Christmas party.
With a question so big, sometimes you have to answer it by being extremely small. We’re just three students, but in a way I think this says what you want to know. The social scene is all over the place in the sense that it is what you make of it (party or work with friends…I favor the later). But we get along (for the most part) and cliques dissipate during the day because there is mutual respect for a diversity of lifestyles, and because everybody here has something to say.
<3 Kagan ‘16
To add on to this, Bennington does not have its own study abroad programs in other locations. Bennington supports you in finding programs, applying, figuring out visas, and preparing for the experience abroad. Feel free to call Kendra Ericson, Assistant Director for Academic Services, at 802-753-2490 with any questions.
-Kate D. ‘14
I went out and took some pictures of a lot of kitchens, to give you a better overview of the average kitchen.
This kitchen belongs to Bingham. “This is a small kitchen” said Bingham resident Iris ‘16. Roughly 30 square feet!
This is me with Iris’ mug in the microwave:
Bingham has two kitchens, like many other colonials, this is the other one, slightly bigger, roughly 45 square feet:
It has a real nice aperture:
As promised dear readers, here is the second installment of A Day in the Life, told through the lens of mealtimes. Here was my Tuesday:
7:00am: Wake up. They say that waking up is hard to do. They were right.
7:20am: Breakfast (pictured above, that’s me on the right!). Look at those sunshiney faces, ready for a big day at school!
8:10-10:00am: Nuts and Bolts acting class. Our professor, Jenny Rohn casts us in two person scenes that we work on for the entire term. My partner and I are doing a scene from Tony Kushner’s Angels in America (yep, the mentally deranged, sex-starved, pill popping housewife scene. Guess who I play?)
12:00pm: lunch at the student center. Had to eat quickly to finish up some work, so we went to studes for a speedy meal.
2:10-4:00pm: Recent Fiction from Pakistan and India literature class. Right now we’re reading Mohammed Hanif’s A Case of Exploding Mangoes. It’s described as a “darkly comic debut about love, betrayal, tyranny, family, and a conspiracy trying its damnedest to happen” by the book’s back cover. So fun!
4:00-5:30pm: Downtime, homework, Hulu watching, music listening etc.
5:30: Dinner. ‘nuf said.
7:00pm: Go to the darkroom to develop some film I shot over Thanksgiving break for my Photography Foundation class. For my final I’m working on a project that explores the difference between the amount of space that men and women occupy in both public and private settings. Cool beans!
10:00pm- Go home, alternately do homework and distract myself from doing homework. Go to SLEEP.
Straight off the bat: DON’T GIVE UP ON GETTING IN. Just don’t.
We want to know what kind of student you are, and grades don’t really show that (they try, but the problems with the standardization of the capabilities of human beings is another response entirely).
Submitting SAT scores is optional when applying to Bennington, so on paper, you can say that the school does not even require SAT scores to admit a student. We want to know what you’re passionate about, why you’re attracted to this school, what wakes you up/keeps you up, etc etc. A 3.2 or 3.8 or 2.8 GPA does not show this.
If you want to come to this school, apply. Period.
And yes, there are many students who didn’t do too well in high school who happen to prove that they are amazing students when doing the things that they actually want to study/make/do for the time being :)
Keeping it real since ‘92,