Tapped In: The Bennington Blog

Aug 20

Email us we are bored here!


Write to me and escape! Let’s do some matchmaking.

My name is Alan. I study ~~language and gender/sexuality~~ through playwriting and linguistics; so I’ve studied in education, playwriting, dramatic literature, psychology, Japanese, literature, um, bio twice? Most recently, this has resulted in an original play which I want to call “Trigger Warning: Catharsis” but I’m not gutsy enough so it is called “How Time Bombs Must Feel.” I love the 70s — hence the pina colada song; Really, though, Fleetwood Mac and Harry Nilsson are the best. In high school I was engaged with school just enough to maintain a television addiction. My actual education was in Alias, Buffy, Star Trek (TOS, TNG, DS9, VOY), Battlestar Galactica, The X-Files. But my absolute favorites are In Treatment, Six Feet Under and the Good Wife. I often channel Alica Florrick while making major life decisions. Life goals include seeing all of the 1001 movies you must see before you die, and visiting Tibet. I’m all about horror movies (I watch them whenever I’m depressed — everyone think I’m nuts for this). Email me about how strong female protagonists in television can inform YOUR college decision making process. Or if you have easy recipes that are convenient for the magic bullet. Tea drinker, playwright, scholar. Be my friend! aland@bennington.edu

Im Kagan I like anime and i study animation and Chinese not Japanese lmfao..! kaganm@bennington.edu please email anime recommendations also cool games NOT Call of DUty also I need to beat this one guy in a pokemon battle so what’s the best pokemon team. g-d bless

Employers to New Grads: We Don't Care About Your Grades, Classes, or College -

Fascinating article. The Field Work Term office posted it on their facebook page and I thought I would pass it along. Something to think about when applying to any college.

Alan ‘15

Anonymous said: Should I buy course materials now? Or should I wait till I arrive on Orientation? You see, I want to buy some second hand books. Regular books are expensive.

By all means, buy your coursebooks now.  Amazon’s used market is a good way to go, and AbeBooks is cheap too.  The campus bookstore only stocks a few of each book, for people undergoing add/drop; it’s expected that most students will order their books elsewhere to save money.

-Ray ‘15

Aug 19

Anonymous said: Would this school be helpful for me as a dancer?

Wow, I could talk for hours about this because I have asked myself this exact question.You are asking the right question and I applaud you for that. I would like to know a bit more about you so that I can be most useful in imagining how the dance program here could be helpful to you.

Before Bennington I was dancing 14-18 hours a week at a strictly technique-driven dance school. I was training in ballet, modern, jazz, lyrical, hip hop, break dancing. I came to Bennington and expanded that vocabulary with west african, tribal fusion bellydance, contact improvisation, emergent improvisation, and composition. I have learned to break down a lot of my own misconceptions of what dance “should” be and in doing so have been challenged to find my own vocabulary. I have various vocabularies in my body from previous training and Bennington gave me an outlet to figure out who I was as a dancer. I have more of a basis in composition than my friends that went on to a more conservative dance program which I believe has established longevity in my career as an artist.

I can only speak for my experience, but this school has been extremely helpful for me as a dancer and person. I have gone through my fair share of ups and downs and looking back on them I think they have helped establish me as an artist more so than a dancer. Going into my senior year, mainly focusing on dance, I feel that I will be ready to enter the dance world outside of Bennington. To help in this preparation I am taking classes such as Artists Portfolio, Dance in the 21st Century, and Sourcing the Body. I would love to talk to you a bit more about who you are to see if Bennington would be helpful to you.

Please email me and mention this post so we can chat more. I welcome all dancers to do the same!

Thanks,
Alana ‘15

Anonymous said: So I'm an artist although I've barely been trained professionally (as in taking art classes, etc.). Since I use my own spare time and would be able to put together a portfolio, would Bennington view this as an extracurricular activity, since it kinda shows I do something productive with my time? I don't have too much extracurriculars to work with when it comes to applying to colleges.

"Extracurricular" is kind of a weird word.  All it really means is stuff you do that’s not your schoolwork, and by that definition, absolutely, your art is an extracurricular.  In a lot of places, though, the term has come to mean, very specifically, clubs, sports, and community service, and there’s this idea that you have to have lots of extracurriculars to get into colleges.  Which is… weird.  If you’re in clubs, it should be because you enjoy meeting with other people to do the stuff that your clubs do.  Ditto for sports.  Those are firmly social activities, not resume items.  And community service has much higher purposes than, again, resume-building.  In an ideal world (at least, in my ideal world) nobody would feel compelled to participate in these narrow types of out-of-school activities just to impress people.  Especially since, if you’re doing these things to get into college, you’re likely to feel put-upon by the obligation and to drop them as soon as you’ve gotten into the schools you wanted.

During Bennington’s application process, we want to get to know you and what you’re into.  What you’re into is not necessarily Latin Club or volleyball, and that’s more than fine with us.  I guarantee that you have passions, things you love to do and care about — your art included — and that’s the stuff we want to see on your app, not just whatever felt like it fit in with the expectations of extracurriculars.  If your jam is sitting alone in your room making sick beats on your synthesizer, that’s cooler than a halfhearted membership on the debate team in our eyes.  If you really, really love being on the debate team and it means something to you, that’s every bit as cool!  It’s about what you put into these things, not what they look like when you reduce them to an item on a list.  So yes, absolutely, send us your art.  I too paint and draw in my spare time, and sent Bennington some pictures when I applied.  That aspect of myself is something I’ve explicitly kept as not an extracurricular or elective — I don’t take art classes and I’m not in any clubs for art, because it’s something that I really just prefer as a hobby, without any pressure or expectations.  Bennington didn’t mind that it wasn’t “professional;” in fact, it may have made it more interesting to them.  I dunno.  But if I had said I wanted to professionalize my art and get formally educated, I could’ve done that here too and it would’ve been just as great because it would’ve been my choice.  No one’s going to deride you for going your own speed in your own lane.

-Ray ‘15

[video]

Anonymous said: i'm applying for fall '15, and really hopeful about attending bennington (first choice!!) however, as the rolling stones once said, you can't always get what you want. so, what other schools did you all look at aside from bennington?

Emerson, NYU, Hampshire, SUNY Stony Brook, SUNY Purchase, Drexel
Alan

Cambridge, Warwick, St. Andrews, Sussex, Wesleyan, Williams, Amherst
Eliana

Hampshire, Indiana U
Glennis

Marlboro, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, Smith, SUNY Albany, SUNY Purchase
Ray

Hampshire, Sarah Lawrence, Smith, Mount Holyoke, UMO, St. Michaels, Skidmore, Wesleyan, Oberlin, Goucher, Muhlenberg
Alana

Northwestern, NMSU, Vanderbilt, WashU in St Louis, University of Toronto, Yale, Cornish College 
Kagan

winter break schedule

hi -

on Fall schedule we received it says:

December 12                       Last day of classes

December 13                       Student houses close at 3:00 p.m.

December 24-January 1      Winter break

———

what’s the deal with the time between the close of student housing and the beginning of winter break (December 14-December 23)?

what’s happening then?  typo?

thanks!

We (the students) all leave on the 13th and go wherever until FWT begins.  The winter break listed is for faculty and staff.

-Ray ‘15

Anonymous said: Where can black folks get their hair cut? I heard Vermont is pretty white.

It’s true that Bennington doesn’t have any hair salons that cater specifically to black hair, at least not any that googling will reveal.  It’s possible that one of the places around town has a stylist or two who know what they’re doing on that front; that’s how it is in the small, 96% white town in New York that I’m from.  Unfortunately, I’m not sure how one ferrets those stylists out except by word of mouth.  If you’re willing and able to travel 45 minutes, Troy has a billion places.  And here’s (now-graduated) intern Ben’s answer to a similar question from last term.

-Ray ‘15

Aug 18

Anonymous said: Does Bennington have any form of speech code?

There isn’t a formal “speech code” but there are acts which you cannot do which likely involve speech. For example, sexual harassment. So there are things you can’t say, but they are covered in other territory in the code of conduct.

As a result, we have a community much like North Korea; where everything sunny all the time always.


Alan ‘15’

Anonymous said: Do many students open accounts at the Bank of Bennington? Do they have an ATM on campus?

The only ATM on campus is for People’s United Bank.  I have an account with them and would highly recommend them; for students, there are no fees at all unless you keep the account past graduation, at which point they re-enroll you in a regular old adult account.  I don’t know much about the Bank of Bennington, but I certainly haven’t heard any ill of it.  It’s also entirely possible to get by with whatever bank account you had before coming to Bennington. Debit cards, yo.

-Ray ‘15

Anonymous said: Is it easy designing a schedule so that classes start no earlier than say 10am? As a night owl, I tend to stay up late and am not a morning person!

Yes. If that’s what is important to you than go for it. It is a little harder if you want to study a foreign language, though, or if you want to study with Becky Godwin. She sent me an email at 4:30 in the morning one time. That’s just when she wakes up!

My approach is typically to take as many four hour classes that meet once a week as possible because I find it liberating. This year, I managed to have an extremely condensed schedule on Mondays and Tuesdays — I’ve got Wednesdays and Thursdays off and a two hour class on Friday. I’ve never really approached making my schedule from that angle, but we will see how it goes.

Don’t take my word for it, though. Look at the curriculum.

Alan ‘15

Anonymous said: Hey! I'm sure you get this a lot. I haven't visited Bennington yet but I have a really good feeling about your school from all I've read about it. The problem is that I'm not a very good high school student, I don't have a very high GPA-- it's actually pretty low. On the plus side, I think I'm a pretty talented actor and highly articulate! I'm not really sure what I'm asking here but I guess it's how much does the low GPA affect an application? Thanks!

Fortunately for you, we give you a bunch of platforms to ~*~shine!~*~ Besides the common app stuff and transcripts, we’d love to see a portfolio of anything you want to share (act for us?), and we’d love to chat (it’s really more of a chat than an interview). SAT/ACT scores are optional, but if you rock them, tell us. If you didn’t, don’t — we really don’t care that much. Strike up a correspondence with a current student if you’d like (aland@bennington.edu). We want to see the whole picture, not just some impressive stats. We were high school students once and we know the numbers aren’t everything.

Okay, so. To answer your question: no clue. It’s a case by case thing. If you’re as talented as you claim, I’d recommend you try and find other ways to show us that you apply yourself. I’m no counselor, but that’s what would worry me about a low GPA in this situation. Prove to us you’re not lazy. Moreover, that you’re enthused. How are you going to do that? That’s on you.

Alan ‘15

Anonymous said: So umm I'm an incoming freshman; and I just had some trouble at home, which might mean I won't be able to make it to the fall term, till when do I have the option to defer to the January term? Also the problem involved money*

(part 2) *so should I apply again to the spring term so ill be considered for more aid, or just deffer?

I’m really sorry to hear this, anon, and hope you’re all right.  Unfortunately, there’s not much we can do for you through this particular channel.  Get in touch with your admissions counselor and explain the situation to them; they’ll probably connect you to the dean’s office to discuss your options.

-Ray ‘15

Aug 13

Anonymous said: any good yarn stores around Bennington/any knitters? I'm still a beginner and would love to know someone to help me with some harder patterns/would love a local place to buy some new yarns and patterns instead of ordering online!

There is a yarn shop up in Manchester (Yarns for the Soul) that is pretty cool and they give discounts to college students. There is also a lady who sells it from her farm (Shaftsbury Alpaca), just outside of North Bennington - but visit her when you’ve got lots of time as she can be chatty. 

As far as knitters on campus, there are lots! I am a huge knitter and I would be happy to work with you. There isn’t a formal knitting club but lots of people sit together and knit with friends. Also, maybe you can find a cool yarn store during FWT - I always buy a skein to remember a place. 

Happy knitting!

-Glennis

(this could be you!)