The spring curriculum came out the other day. My last spring curriculum ever. AGH. Luckily, next term looks like it’s positively bitchin’ and my undergraduate education will come to a close with some really exciting classes by some really exciting people. With all my powers of seniority behind me, I am most excited to take:
- Meg ‘12
Last night my only plans were to do work and eat cheese in my pajamas, but somehow I was peer pressured into seeing Philadelphia-based indie rock band The Extraordinaires in our Student Center. Thank god for aggressive friends, because the show was a lot of fun. These are some really goofy, talented dudes (I think one or two are alums?) who played with more energy than I can muster in two days. They got encored so many times that they ended up taking requests for covers, but only for songs from 1996.
Last year, our own Andrew Fridae ‘12, Maria DiFabbio ‘11, and Josh Gulotta ‘11 teamed up with the Extraordinaires for Ribbons of War, an original musical written by the band. You should probably stop whatever else you’re doing right now and check out the musical’s website (plus video), “like” the Extraordinaires on Facebook, and listen to their music on Bandcamp.
- Meg ‘12
When I was applying to Bennington, my obsession with getting accepted turned most conversations into a round of “The Six Degrees of Separation: Bennington Edition”. At the time, my friends were really into quoting the movie Elf, which usually ended up with me being all, “DID YOU KNOW THAT PETER DINKLAGE WENT TO BENNINGTON?” Sometimes someone would ask, “You wanna watch Little Miss Sunshine this weekend?” And I could only reply, “Did you know Alan Arkin went to Bennington? AND ALSO SO DID PETER DINKLAGE.” And when I found my old copy of Poets & Writers Magazine with Donna Tartt on the cover, I thought, “FATE. IT’S FATE. AND PETER DINKLAGE.”
The education we get at Bennington is so individual, passionate, and highly specialized that the channeling of that education into our life work often has an extraordinary effect. (Just look at Justin Theroux ’93; although, someone should probably warn Jen Aniston about Bennington boys.) Now that I’ve been here for a while, I have a, shall we say, more mature understanding of my Bennington ancestors and their post-Bennington contributions to the world. Here are some of the few that particularly excite me:
This weekend was the opening for Bennington’s new Center for the Advancement of Public Action (CAPA), which was, to put it lightly, incredible. Until this weekend, I was totally unaware how many amazing people have been involved in the creation of CAPA. (For example, Rebecca Tinsley. Click the link. Click it. Then buy her book. Read it with tissues and find yourself becoming a participant, not a spectator, in this world.)
As part of the celebration, there were six workshops on Saturday with various CAPA fellows on the issues and tools that are central CAPA’s mission. I attended The Power of Infographics: How To Turn an Overwhelming Amount of Data into Meaningful Information by Gong Szeto, a CAPA fellow, Bennington professor, and internationally recognized designer.
Today was the deadline for all Plan essays to be submitted to the Dean’s office, so for the last couple weeks all the sophomores have been freaking out over what they’re going to say, what a Plan essay should look like, and whether or not their Plan committee is going to approve it. Because I’m a senior who has been forced to write a more than usual number of Plan essays, one of my sophomore friends asked if she could read my first one in order to get an idea of what is expected.
Very reluctantly, I went digging through my old folders from fall 2009 to email her my first Plan essay. At first, I only opened it to make sure it was the right copy. In addition to being terrified of reading my old work, my Plan process has been so long and complicated that I wasn’t sure if I wanted to relive that first awkward Plan meeting. But in verifying that this was the copy I needed to email, I was intrigued by remembering that when I graduated high school, all I wanted to do was study Medieval Studies at Smith College, get my MA in Celtic Studies at University College Dublin, and spend the rest of my life mucking around in Irish bogs and libraries. So, out of pure curiosity, I read it.