It’s totally different for every student. I’d say start with the place. Do you want to go home (free housing and food)? Or do you want to go to NYC for example (rent, food, transportation, etc.)? If you want to fly somewhere, that’s also another consideration.
Our awesome Field Work Term office will help you find a job and housing through WorkLink, our online database of positions and housing options. Sometimes alums will offer students housing, or you could try to sleep on a friend’s couch/ in an extra room (I had a friend stay with me for 1 day a week to save her a day of commuting home and back from New Jersey to NYC). It’s all about being resourceful. There are always students going to major cities looking to split an apartment together.
So think about place, food, transportation, extra activities, and look for jobs that might have a stipend or some form of payment (they’re rare, but stipends for transportation or lunch are more common).
Check out the Field Work Term’s page on funding, and know that there are also grants that we can apply for to help fund our FWTs.
-Kate D. ‘14
Your goldfish is welcome to come with you, so you should probably get him a Bennington College sticker for his tank. :)
-Kate D. ‘14
The closest independent film theater, Images Cinema is in Williamstown, MA.
Our campus spot to see films (art, independent, etc.) is our theater, Kinoteca. There is a Classic Film Series showing every Friday night. Here is the description from the Bennington Clubs and Organizations page:
We invite you to sit back and enjoy some special films in the best cinema on campus every Friday night. Whenever possible films are screened from Blue-Ray on an HD projector with 5.1 surround sound. While each term we include some of the favorite classics, the selection is designed to pique curiosity and excite the senses with those forgotten, ignored or taboo films that deserve a place in the classical cannon
-Kate D. ‘14
Alan and Kate took a little field trip to the gym and paint-embellished our images. All joking aside, the gym suits all our basic, workout needs. This year, the gym bought all new cardio machines by “True Fitness,” which include treadmills, elliptical machines, a stair master, and two types of bikes. We also have a rowing machine. There are weight machines, a weight room with mats and stationary workout benches, as well as a TV for workout videos. Upstairs there is a yoga studio. The sauna is a major perk of our gym.
While we don’t have trainers, we do have regular programming around different exercises, like zumba and yoga. As well as an extensive collection of workout DVDs (the proudest moment of my education was when I outdid Liam at p90x Plyo).
From mid-February to April 16th, there were 2,535 student gym visits. Is that a lot? You decide. We have how many students here? like 700ish? Anyway, we got these numbers from a house competition where all houses compete to see who visits the gym the most. Win Meyer Rec Barn apparel specially designed for your house!
I’ve been looking at food in every one of my classes right now (Italian, The Social Life of Crude Oil, and Web as an Artistic Platform), so I’ll continue that momentum and tell you about eating here.
Today was Meatless Monday, the first one we’ve had here, and I was pretty excited. I’m vegetarian, but I also think it’s awesome to reduce meat waste for one day and excellently prepare just vegetarian food. That being said, the vegetarian options are always solid. Sometimes the veggies are a bit soft (the nature of them sitting in heat).
You can get a sense of the week’s offerings by going here.
Also, Sam in the office also wrote a post about food at Bennington, which you can read here.
I like the food, but as with any dining hall, each person prefers some days over others. Hope this helps! Come visit and eat lunch with us!
-Kate D. ‘14
This term we (Kate Davis and Arden Jordan) both took Social Practices in Art with Robert Ransick. This class is about learning and analyzing the field of social practice in art and the current artists and projects involved in this community. The best (which is saying a lot because it was an AMAZING class) thing about the class was designing our own social practice projects and implementing them for our final.
Arden: My partner, Maddy Kostman, and I recorded the thoughts of leaders, residents and students that were interested in examining the relationship between Bennington College and the town of Bennington. We archived these conversations in digital form, allowing people to listen to others’ responses.
Working on this project was one of the hardest and most rewarding experiences I’ve had at Bennington. Maddy and I had to revise our project several times and made several mistakes along the way. In the end, recording the different members of the larger Bennington community was an amazing experience.
I learned so much doing this project and now view the relationship between the college and the town in a completely new way. Maddy and I hope to continue these conversations when we get back to campus in the spring.
You can listen to all the recordings on our Soundcloud.
Kate: My partner, Christina Cary, and I taught a cooking class to kids at Fiddlehead at Four Corners. Our goal was to get parents excited about cooking with local vegetables by making cooking fun for kids. Before the event, we had NO idea if any families would show up, but families kept arriving, and it was awesome. Kids were coloring in images of the four main vegetable/fruit ingredients of the Butternut Squash and Pear soup, then got to take on the responsibility of slicing ingredients (with a plastic knife), scooping out the inside of the squash, and peeling the root veggies. Here are some of the pictures of the event.
Before each child left, he or she asked his/her parent if they were going to make the soup when they got home. The response was better than we could have imagined, and it was a great chance to creatively address a concern we heard expressed in town (not cooking with fresh veggies or not knowing exactly how), using techniques we learned in class, and referencing artists we studied. Overall, it was a phenomenal class and I would strongly suggest reading up on Social Practices in Art (check out Darren O’Donnell’s Social Acupuncture)
Arden J. ‘16 and Kate D. ‘14
Short answer- yes!
I am predominantly vegan, and my close friend here is completely vegan. Breakfast is the one meal that seems the least vegan-friendly to me, but it still is— it just depends on what you want to eat. I usually have toast with PB for breakfast, but there is also cereal (with numerous alternative milks), vegan waffle mix, fruit, breakfast potatoes (either tater tots or potato squares), spinach, oatmeal, etc. I just prefer toast.
Lunch and dinner are my favorite meals, and I either eat at the dining hall or the student center. They serve different types of food, but they are both safe bets. The dining hall always has vegan options, hot food and salad bar. The student center is a place for either grill-style food (veggie burgers, which I always get in a salad), boxed (like Amy’s), or pre-made (wraps, etc.). Feel free to email me with any specific questions- firstname.lastname@example.org
-Kate D. ‘14
So the technical part of the answer-
After you submit your Common App, you will get an email from us acknowledging that we received it, and this will contain a link to yor applicant status page, on which you can submit Bennington-specific parts of the application. This will show you what you uploaded and what you are missing.
In terms of the format for your portfolio, or other supplementary work, it is up to you. JPEGs, audio files, video files, PDFs, basically any file works. On the portfolio part of the applicant page, you can see the possible file types.
The less technical part of the answer-
What we want from your portfolio is to see what you are passionate about. What do you want to share with us? Do you write poems? Photograph food? Sing in a Beatles tribute band? Research the effects of fertilizers on plant growth? Blog? Make quilts? Film videos?Send us what you think best describes you and the work you do. Do not feel confined to send photographs of your paintings (although we love that, too!). We want to see what makes you tick, what wakes you up.
-Kate D. ‘14
If you haven’t written an analytic paper in college, you can send something from high school. If you’re not happy with a paper that you have from HS or if it doesn’t fit well, as someone who is potentially transferring, Sarah McAbee (counselor and transfer go-to person) @ email@example.com can mail you a prompt for a new writing sample. Hope this helps!
-Kate D. ‘14
I don’t see any previous question about partying, but I will answer this now!
This weekend is the Spooky Party for Halloween. This weekend is full of parties and Halloween festivities. Each week there is a house party, which is a space to dance and listen to good music. Sometimes people have gatherings in their rooms, too. Both are obviously different dynamics, and they are both enjoyable. This weekend there will be plenty of both. Gatherings/parties in these next few days include Spookananny (Halloween activities today), Spooky Show (a concert in one of the houses), a student’s improv show, Spooky Party, Death by Chocolate (party), and basketball and swimming clubs (not Halloween-specific).
So, yes, there are plenty of parties and activities in general. I can’t wait to try to go to as many as possible.
-Kate D. ‘14
We think it’s pretty subjective whose Plan is “weird,” but the important part of the Plan process is thinking about one’s own work and iterating one’s path and connections.
Here are some examples of our Plans, so you can get a sense of how we combine our interests in varying and exciting ways.
Alan Dupont- Theater for a Healthy Discourse. I study how meaning is formed and learned in language and how larger themes — particularly issues pertaining to gender and sexuality — manifest themselves in talk. I am interested in writing plays which ask an audience to question their relationship with language and thus look at the world we live in differently. The classes I have taken which pertain to this most directly are in Education, Social Psychology, Philosophy, Drama, Dramatic Literature, and Literature.
Carlos Torres- Change through Architecture and the Arts
I am interested in Architecture, Visual Arts, and other related fields of interest, focusing on how to successfully intertwine their individual potentials to achieve change, to solve a specific problem. I use architecture as a filter of sorts, through which all my other interests go through. What can complement architecture, and vice versa? What can’t?
Emily Gaynor- I’m investigating comedy/ the intersection of gender and pop culture through the study of drama, literature and media. I’m interested when the saddest, truest most basic human events are expressed in hilarious ways (think Louis C.K. and Tig Notaro). In the future I’d like to use comedy to promote gender equality.
Kate Davis- Food is the focus of my Plan. Through Environmental Studies, I have been studying sustainability in food production. What does sustainability mean in agriculture and is it possible? Through Italian, I study Italian language and culture, and for advanced work will explore how Fascism and the Futurist art movement connected, and perhaps how they influenced the Italian diet. I am still researching to establish the trajectory of this project.
Ben Redmond- My plan is focused on The Languages of the Story and how text, images, and sounds are used to convey information and emotion. More than storytelling itself, it is the world of the story that has captured my attention. I am interested in the translation and adaptation of ideas in text to physical manifestations of light, sound, and/or film. I have been able to study literature and creative writing, sound design, video, photography, dramatic lighting, astrophysics, music critique and innumerable other subjects, all of which have contributed to my understanding of how we share our own experiences with each other or how we create and come to realize fictional experiences.
I just made a pot of green tea to accompany my readings from Italo Calvino’s “Lezioni americane” (6 memos for the new millennium) and “Il castello dei destini incrociati” (The castle of crossed destinies).
-Kate D ‘14