The Secret Life of Chernoh Jalloh (interviewed by Doug Campos)
Q: What’s your most vivid/meaningful childhood memory?
A: From 1996 to 2003, Chernoh moved around a lot with his mother between Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and the Ivory Coast. He recalls a specific memory from when he was about 6 years old, which to this day remains a source of strong motivation for him. As he remembers it he, his mother, and a group of strangers walked in the middle of the night through the bush and forest, from Guinea to Sierra Leone, during the time of the 11-year civil war. He remembers that his mother was the only one leading the way through the night, with a torch in her hand. He highlighted the length of the walk and the darkness of the night as what stayed with him most vividly.
Q: What worries you most about being at Bennington?
A: Given the field that Chernoh plans to enter (biochem and medicine), he’s nervous about the fact that Bennington’s name is widely recognized in certain of the academic circles he’s looking to enter. He finds that he often has to defend his work and place of work, or strive for credibility among other students with highly recognizable scientific “pedigrees” like MIT. Chernoh explained that while Bennington students are very good at talking about our work, and love to do so, that sometimes others don’t leave much room for it when all they care about is the name of the school you went to.
Q: What would be the last meal you’d want to eat before dying?
A: Rice and groundnut (peanut) soup. He says that he can only ever find it at home, or sometimes in Philly.
From our side of things, it doesn’t make a difference — we are going to be getting to know you through the application, not your choice of application. So it is really up to you to decide which method showcases your work (& your, uh, self) the best.
If you do the dimensional app, I’d encourage you to think very intentionally about what you include and make sure we are getting a whole picture of you. With the common app, you have a sort of safety net which is that of tradition.
The choice is still yours…that’s the Bennington way.
last year, 14 out of 1100 applications (1.2%) were from students whose permanent address was somewhere in Colorado.
Hello Ann(i)e and welcome to the bennington students blog tapped IN
Glad to hear that you’re doing some research! If I had to describe Bennington super concisely, I’d say it’s like a really really hard summer camp except we’re here during the fall and spring instead of summer! That may sound kind of weird but it’s actually pretty nice if that’s the sort of thing you’re into. I’m into it. One thing I hate hate absolutely hate is when the dining hall drink machines run out of ice!!!!!
if you want to know more about things I like and hate please email me at email@example.com and i will provide you with a comprehensive excel spreadsheet listing these things as well as where they land on the Josef Mundt Love-Hate scale.
Kagan (pronounced Kaygen) ‘16
While I hope you’re not teaching your students to use Tumblr as a reliable source for checking credentials, according to Michael Pollan’s CV from his website, his biography on wikipedia (which cites an interview posted on his website), AND the Bennington College Website, he did in fact attend here!
Hope this clears things up,
Well my friend, I suppose that depends what you are asking, and what kind of job you are looking for. When I graduate from Bennington this spring, President Mariko Silver will give me a sweet ole’ hug and then Isabel Roche, dean of the college, will hand me a piece of paper slapped into a leather folder that signifies in very few words that Rachael Meyers spent three years (transfer chick here) studying at this particular liberal arts college.
There are lots of employers out there who hear the name “Bennington” and get all giddy about our kick ass college. There are also those who may have very little association with our name. But honestly, the first thing an employer is going to look at is probably your resume, right? Well, in that case, the typical Bennington student graduates with at least four solid jobs on their resume and real experience in the field in which they study. None of my friends who recently graduated from other colleges and universities can say the same. I mean… just sayin’. (Sorry friends from other colleges, you are valuable to employers too!)
According to Bennington’s most recent alumni survey, 90% of respondents were employed full time or fully matriculated in a grad program. But if you’re wondering if we make this list:
…well, I can’t say we do. If there were a list of colleges whose graduates were most likely to find an exciting and fulfilling job in their field upon graduation, however, I strongly suspect that’s a list we’d be on. Perhaps even in the top 5. PERHAPS even in the top 1. Perhaps…
On that note, this is the most important lesson you will learn today:
It’s not just you; the terror is entirely real for all of us. College is expensive and Bennington is an expensive college. Real talk: costly and scary.
That being said, the administration here also does an exceptional job of making this craziness affordable. Last (school) year, for instance, more than 90% of first-year students received grants or scholarships; the average value for each of these grants or scholarships was $29,000. That’s sans loans, sans work-study.
For specific questions, check out the website here ( http://www.bennington.edu/Admissions/financialaid/undergraduates.aspx ); if, once you’ve applied, you have questions specific to your situation, contact the office of financial aid. They’ll totally talk to you. It’s their job.
You may have seen Alan’s admissions-interns-in-high-school series on the blog these last few weeks. Hopefully that’s defusing any ideas you may have had about us in the office being Cool People. In a complementary effort to let y’all get to know us from a different angle than how we answer questions about the analytical essay, I’d like to introduce another ongoing post series. Twice a week from here on out, for your edification and pleasure, we’ll be publishing interviews of admissions interns, conducted by other admissions interns.* Enjoy.**
*For MAXIMUM INTERN POWER.
**This is an imperative, not a suggestion.
Ha! Yes, that’s more or less true. The story of my education is kind of the story of my life. So I’ll try try to keep it as concise as possible, forgive my sentence fragments…
Pre-K to 3rd grade: Montessori school. I was both in charge of my own interests and inspired about learning. Started learning to read and use an abacus in kindergarten, freedom of no desks and individualized pace.
4th grade to 6th grade: Home-schooled. Goat midwifery and running an egg business is now on my resume, studied whatever interested me with my mother as my teacher. The Vikings, French, ballet, art, and astronomy were areas of particular interest. I ran around in the woods a whole lot.
7th grade: Online-schooled. It was a rough time. I was no longer in control of my own education, and we had dial-up. I did, through a glitch in the system, end up taking a college-level course in geology, though. Plate tectonics are pretty cool.
8th grade: Local public school. It was… an intriguing social experiment. One of three liberals in the school, did not know how to serve a volley-ball, received three days of abstinence-only sex ed before finally deciding that this kind of education was just not for me.
9th grade: Home-schooled again. I taught myself astronomy and the history of ancient Mesopotamia and traded goats for geometry lessons from a retired statistics teacher the next town over. Absolute, ecstatic academic freedom.
10th to 12th grade: boarding at a Friends’ School outside of Philadelphia — Characterized by a great education, the formative and challenging realization that exterior and interior authority were not in alignment.
And this all led me to Bennington. This is where all the questions (of authority and agency, of academic freedom, of reflection-based education, of learning through experience, etc.) eventually landed me. And the questions just keep coming! I allow my education to transform, ask myself to challenge the limits of my own agency, and explore what it means to be in the process of creating. Also, I love the mountains. If you have more questions, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I do love to talk about education.
Good luck out there,
Sylvia M. ‘16
"If our young men miscarry in their first enterprises they lose all heart. If the young merchant fails, they say he is ruined. If the finest genius studies at one of our colleges and is not installed in an office within one year afterwards in the cities or suburbs of Boston or New York, it seems to his friends and to himself that he is right in being disheartened and in complaining the rest of his life. A sturdy lad from New Hampshire or Vermont, who in turn tries all the professions, who teams it, farms it, peddles keeps a school, preaches, edits a newspaper, goes to Congress, buys a township, and so forth, in successive years, and always like a cat falls on his feet, is worth a hundred of these city dolls. He walks abreast with his days and feels no shame in not ‘studying a profession,’ for he does not postpone his life, but lives already. He has not one chance, but a hundred chances.” — Emerson, Self-Reliance
Insert ladies here too.
And we’ve got something to chew on.
— Parke ‘15