I have a confession to make: I do not have it all together.
Sure, I’ve been coordinating my outfits expertly this term and have been flossing my teeth pretty regularly but my confession stands firm. Because recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about my Plan and the cold hard truth that it no longer reflects who I am and what I want my role to be during my time at Bennington.
Basically, I don’t know what I am studying.
While Alan and I discussed how my Plan is in shambles, he read me this excerpt from his:
“The intellectual community, I believe, has been chasing its own tail just as I have, and requires other methods outside of strictly defined academic documents to find satisfying truths within. A good script contains many truths and its malleability is celebrated as different directors reappropriate it. We find solace within a play’s catharsis by experiencing pain so profound it transcends the words it was made of.”
I friggin’ love this quote. It gives me hope. It contains self-reflection and realization and is just plain beautiful.
A Plan in shambles is a fine place to be here at Bennington. I’m not worried (well, maybe I am a little bit…) because my dissatisfaction with my Plan means that I am critically thinking about making the most of my education. I am not following a path that I don’t believe is best for me, even if it’s a path I previously created for myself.
I have learned many things here: how to operate a camera, the art of essay writing, the history of theater, just to name a few. However, these things are taught everywhere. The most important skills that I have learned from Bennington are to think, re-think, reflect, and take action. Not because someone else is requiring that from me, but because I demand it of myself.
I couldn’t have learned that anywhere else.
All the best,
email me if you want to talk about being lost: firstname.lastname@example.org
Here’s the problem:
Bennington doesn’t have a mathematical equation that we can plug your scores into and get your financial aid package. That would be nice. But, it would also mean that all students would be judged solely on their test scores. Which isn’t really how it works here. Students up for aid are looked at holistically because an SAT score really gives us no information on how you’ll fit in here. Your chances of getting a larger financial aid package increase the more excited you are about Bennington and the more passionately you pursue your own interests. If you still need additional info give the Financial Aid office a ring at 802-440-4325.
All the best,
We have a raucous handful of students that work in comedy - incredibly smart people that always leave me in stitches. Bennington offers a couple of outlets, most notably a bimonthly open mic night. Last year, some students started a comedy evening on one of our house porches - very well attended, but I’m not quite sure if it’s still up and running. And while there have been murmurs of interest in a comedy/improv troupe, nothing has really gotten off the ground (in my time here, anyways…). But know that if you have any desire to start a group like this on campus, it is absolutely feasible. Interest varies from term to term, but there’s almost always something in the works that culminates with a wonderful and unusual evening of funny, funny people. There are plenty of student contacts that would love to sit down with you and dream up some new experience for comedy@bennington.
Remember though: there’s always something underneath. I’ll leave you with a radio project by my dear friend and fellow intern Emily Gaynor on what it means to be a funny woman. Enjoy!
- Jeremy ‘16
This is do-able only if you don’t plan on making any friends or ever doing laundry.
Firstly, you can technically only take 18 credits your first term. Unless your goal is saving the world from imminent destruction and the only way to do it is taking 20 credits, it will probably be pretty hard to convince your advisor on that one.
Breadth in your course schedule is great, but depth of study is also required. Taking that many credits (especially in your first term), leaves little time to actually devote yourself to each subject that you are studying.
Additionally I will say that in the past I have packed challenging and time consuming classes into my schedule and looking back, I wish I had waited to take these classes until I had the time and capacity to delve into the classes deeper. Sometimes I simply was not ready to take the classes or handle the course load that I had signed up for.
Wait a little bit. At least until after your first term. You will be busy with plenty of things both in and outside the classroom room. Trust me.
Solid advice from our correspondent in Chicago. I echo her sentiment.
Don’t pack much. Really. Truly. Please for everyone’s sake pack as few clothes as possible. I wouldn’t expect a vast influx of t-shirts, but please don’t overpack! On the sweaters and jackets, it really depends - maybe late September, maybe October, definitely by November. You will feel it when the time comes.
Do, however, bring lots of lamps! Most rooms don’t have an overhead light so lamps are essential. That being said, our local Home Depot, Goodwill, Sears, and Walmart (all located very close to campus) have an amazing selection of lamps that you can buy upon your arrival at Bennington.
Also, a friendly PSA from your local firefighter: Christmas lights are a fire hazard.
-Glennis & Emily
We have a traditional grading system but students must opt into taking their classes for grades. There’s a range of reasons why a student might choose to take their classes for grades. I do because I find that it’s a good motivator for me. Regardless of whether students choose to take grades, their professor will still write a detailed evaluation of their performance in class. So, no matter what you choose, your work will be thoroughly assessed.
Each professor conducts finals for their class a little differently, some require a paper, a project, an exam or maybe even another thing that I can’t even fathom. I guess what I’m really trying to say is that you don’t need to receive grades to complete a culminating assignment for your class.
Here are some examples of what the Monday morning shift is working on:
Alan: I am writing sociolinguistics paper about the reality TV show Polyamory: Married & Dating and what happens when an unconventional relationship structure is brought into the viewer’s home. It’ll probably end up being 60 pages long….
Alana: Coincidentally, I am also studying polyamorous researchers and their bias towards relationship dynamics in my Human Natures class. And for my Rethinking Education class I’m trying to design a course without using a syllabus.
Arden: For my Historical Grievance and Retrospective Redress (4000 level history class), I am doing many case studies about how different organizations and classrooms teach the Holocaust and other state sponsored genocides. Tonight I’m having a dramatic reading of scenes from the plays Information for Foreigners by Griselda Gamboro and An Investigation by Peter Weiss, then I will lead a discussion on the role of the bystander in state sponsored genocide. Basically, my case studies have led to me trying out my own lessons.
Alex: Lucas Marten and I have been writing a comedy variety show since Field Work Term and story boarding it. Now we’re shooting it for our Intro to Video class.
Emily: In Big: Exploring Large Scale Photography I’ve been working on creating photographs and collages that explore personal as well as mass produced ideas of domestic fantasy. For my final I’ve made two inkjet prints (one 22x30” and one 22x40”) and one oldy time analog b&w self portrait at 30x30”.
I am the girl who, in high school, when asked about her test scores, would get crazy eyes and go on a rant about how test scores are a private thing that a person should choose to disclose, not be mandated to. I didn’t want to contribute to the uber-competitive atmosphere of my high school by comparing scores.
Still though, I whispered the number to my best friend and quietly beamed to myself about the score that I was proud of. That’s just a little bit about me.
It’s okay to be proud of your scores, or disappointed, or nervous or any other feelings you might have about them. Because in the end, I hope everyone realizes that, a number truly has no effect on who you are as a person and has even less of an ability to represent the whole of you.
This is why Bennington does not require ACT/SAT scores as a part of the application. Because your score is not an indicator of how well you will do in college and at Bennington specifically. Because I am more than a number and YOU are more than a number.
So… I didn’t really answer your question. #SorryNotSorry
Hello incoming first-year students!
You have a wonderful Facebook community in which to ask questions! Sometimes the blog inbox gets inundated with questions and we have a harder time getting to everything. But on the Facebook group, there’s a way better chance you’ll get a more immediate answer.
It’s scary not to stealthily travel under an anonymous identity! We know! But, at the same time, we’ll be much more able to answer your questions in the Facebook group, especially the more practical/logistical stuff.
P.S. If you have no idea what I’m talking about send an email to email@example.com and he can hook you up with the 2018 admitted students group.
I’m attaching just a few student’s films from a diverse array of student works, ranging from narratives to experimental films. Two of these are live action and two are animations to spice things up:
- Four episode comedy series Hinterlandz by Killian Walsh ‘14 and Alex Hovet ‘14
- “I think the Internet and Feelings are some things we should be more aware of”: Works by Ben Redmond ’14
- Lucky: Animation by Kagan Marks ‘16
- Geraldine: Animation by Sarah Goone ‘16
On a scale of tomato soup to crunchy granola we’re like a quaker oats soft chew. Just kidding! We’re all different levels of granola just like we are all different levels of everything. I had difficulty putting these in order, even, because Glennis is gluten free, but because she is Celiac. Liam is a vegetarian, but also manly, but also plays banjo. Are these behaviors ‘granola?’ Are they acts of self-expression? You decide! Anyway, people are dynamic!
You can see by my difficulty answering the question that I just don’t see my friends in these terms.
We have actually considered adding an FAQ but have pretty much decided against it because often the answers to the questions we get asked change from term to term. The questions themselves change too; what’s important to one year of prospective students might not be important the next year. And even if we had an FAQ that we updated each term or year, it would mean that we wouldn’t have to keep answering questions with a fresh perspective. One of the things I value most about this blog is that we do answer similar questions when we receive them which gives new people the chance to speak from their own unique experiences. Because, really, there is no singular answer to each question we get asked.
We do have a search a by tag option so that someone could look up all the answers/posts on a related topic which makes this blog sort of a running archive of Bennington as well.
All the best!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Gossip Girl ‘16