Posts tagged Emily

I have some specific goals in mind for my first year at Bennington, and in order to fulfill those requirements while also having enough breadth to my curriculum I'm considering adding extra credits, possibly all the way up to 20. Is this actually doable? I know it's not recommended, but how insane would it be? — Asked by Anonymous

This is do-able only if you don’t plan on making any friends or ever doing laundry.

Or eating. 

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.

You’re welcome,

Emily ‘16

Some advice for packing clothes for college? Bring a ton, pack sparingly? Should we expect vast influxes of T-shirts and such or should we plan on packing a fair amount of clothing? On that note--what time are we gonna have to break out the sweaters and jackets? Thnk. — Asked by Anonymous

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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

New podcast from the Bennington Radio Project!

How do you have finals if you don't have traditional grading systems? How does that work? — Asked by Anonymous

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”.

How did *you* do on the ACT? I'm taking the ACT next month (EEEK!) and I am nervous about what i'll get! My practice tests for english & reading and pretty good (26 and 29 at the last practice test), but my science and math, are, uh, not as spectacular. ha! I'm curious if there are any students answering this blog that got 24 or 25 composites? — Asked by Anonymous

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 

Sincerely,

Emily ‘16

Friendly Reminder

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. 

XOXO,

Gossip Girl

P.S. If you have no idea what I’m talking about send an email to evanbraun@bennington.edu and he can hook you up with the 2018 admitted students group. 

This Friday, Sawtell hosted a lady-centric storytelling/slam poetry/stand up event called Vajava: An evening of coffee and comedy. The place was packed and everyone killed. Look how funny we are, can’t you just hear the laughter?

Can’t wait for the next one!

Emily ‘16

(Photo Credit: Abby Mahler)

Could you link to any recent Bennington student films? — Asked by Anonymous

Hi there!

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

Is Bennington as crunchy granola as people say? — Asked by Anonymous

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!

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You can see by my difficulty answering the question that I just don’t see my friends in these terms.

Alan ‘15

Have you considered adding a FAQ? I noticed you get alot of the same questions. — Asked by Anonymous

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

As a politically active person, how is that affected by living in a less populated area that is not close to New York or DC? Also, are there any facets through which political activity (i.e. rallies, walks, protests) can be achieved? — Asked by Anonymous

People live here so there are naturally politics here.

Brian Campion works for the administration of the college and he’s our state representative. Many students have interned/worked (woop woop, money) for him in the past. He’s constantly in communication with students and if you are/want to be engaged and involved he’d love to talk to you!  

You can also work for the Vermont Legislature during FWT. Or any other political office of your choosing - a friend of mine worked for her US Senator’s office. 

Our very own intern, Eliana and a couple of other students organized phone banks on campus during the 2012 election. She also did some campaigning in New Hampshire as well as in North Adams for Elizabeth Warren. She has also done several FWTs in the political sphere - Boston mayor’s office, a state rep campaign in 2014, and US senate campaign a few summers ago. 

The Environment Action group sometimes plans trips to rallies in cities nearby.  

Also, the internet. You aren’t closed off from the world, you can stay in touch with what is happening in New York and DC. 

All the best,

Eliana, Glennis and Emily

I'm kind of a film fanatic. Does Bennington have any local theaters around campus or any film clubs? — Asked by Anonymous

Hello!

I think you will find many like minded individuals here as movies rock and we all love watching them. For your viewing pleasure there is Cinema 7 in Bennington and Images Cinema in Williamstown (20 minutes drive from Bton). In addition, this term there are screenings almost every night of the week for various classes and clubs that are open to everyone. I’m in a course called Narrative Cinema that has a screening every Tuesday night and Saturday afternoon (favorites of mine that we’ve seen include Rear Window, Vivre Sa Vie and Bringing Up Baby). The Collage/Montage class has a screening every Thursday and often guest filmmakers come in as well. They’ve shown films such as Los Angeles Plays Itself, Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975 and Wizard People, Dear Reader. Also, the Classic Film Series shows a movie every Friday night. Their theme this term is “weird westerns.” You can go to as many or as few of them as you like. They’re fun and very well curated! 

Watch On!

Emily ‘16 

If I wanted to write a novel is there any class for that? — Asked by Anonymous

There’s Reading and Writing the Novel typically taught by Ben Anastas.

Also students can choose to work on a novel as their advanced work.

Really though, any lit class you take will teach you how to write and edit (arguably the most important parts of creating a novel).

And any other class you take will give you something to write about (the other important part). 

-Emily ‘16

Sometimes I doubt my academic abilities. Everyone at Bennington seems to be doing so much of their own research or projects and while I have the motivation to do such things, I don't know if I have the ability. I struggle with feeling academically inferior. It seems that students just know a ton! I know knowledge isn't acquired instantly and it's all a process. I am just nervous I'm not smart enough.. maybe that's my own insecurity. Could someone talk about their first year academic experience? — Asked by Anonymous

I am going to tell you a secret and it’s that sometimes people have great poker faces when in reality they are just as insecure and unsure about their academic abilities.

I was really stressed out last year because I thought everyone knew exactly what they wanted to do for the next four years and then for the rest of their lives. Poker faces. Also, lots of people end up doing complete 180’s and study something totally different than what they had originally planned. I mean, Glennis wanted to be a film student. A film student. This is what she does now:

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Gradually, you’ll find things that you’re really passionate about. You’ll naturally become knowledgeable about these things just by virtue of studying them as in depth as you want and by talking with friends as you explain things you’re excited about to them and they explain things to you.

Plus, I bet you are ridiculously knowledgeable about something already and just because it doesn’t sound “academic” doesn’t mean it’s not valid. We all can’t be meta-linguistic kinetic neuroscience students. There are more types of intelligence than just knowledge, aesthetic and emotional intelligence are just as valued here (among many other types of smartness), and everyone here finds different ways to express their unique brilliance.   

-Emily ‘16

My most recent piece for the Bennington Radio Project!