I guess my question is, why is having a student of color as a roommate important to you? At the end of the day, you can put whatever you want on your housing questionnaire — I mean, I definitely put all the rappers I would marry on it (meaning TI….and only TI…) and they couldn’t have made a better placement for me. To flip this on you, what would you think about a white student requesting only a white student as a roommate, and potentially missing out on being friends with you? (This is me assuming you are a student of color, although that is woefully generalizing in itself.) You can also speak directly to Student Life about the issue — I’m sure they have dealt with these sort of questions in the past and would be happy to help out.
— Parke ‘15
Do we go cray?
DO WE GO CRAY?????!!!???!?!?!??!?!
Um, probably. I’d say we’re like at least, based off of the latest statistics from the Princeton Review, 11% cray. Depends on the season.
Ok…to your questions….this is most likely going to be long…
1. Racially/sexual-orientationally diversity-ally…ok I’m gonna go on a mini rant for a little bit and ask the question I’ve been wanting to ask for a long time about this subject: what drives the fear behind the diversity question? Not to be purposefully incendiary here, but at Bennington we’re taught to ask the question behind the question (CRAY)…yes of course there are students from tons of different backgrounds. But there are a lot of factors: 1) who actually wants to apply? In some racial/social/economic situations, from what I’ve been told [do not take this as fact, please] going to a liberal arts college is a bit of a no-no (“What, you need to go to fancy school? The schools around here aren’t good enough for you?”) 2) Who decides to go based off of who we accept 3) trends trends trends…”types of applicants” (I hate saying that…but you know what I mean…this is all sticky, terminology-wise) shift year to year; we’re small enough that each new freshman class totally changes the various levels of *fill in the blank* diversity on campus. What you’re asking is a complicated question, but I have a question to ask you: what is it that people actually want when they say they want diversity? Because a college could hand pick a student from each state, or different economic backgrounds, different religious preferences, different sexual orientations, and end up with a student body that is ultimately taught to think in the exact same way…is that diverse?
I’m not going to pretend Bennington is the most diverse college in the country, by any means. We couldn’t be. We are roughly 700 students. But I do think we are taught to notice, respond to, and think about diversity, not just in terms of the labels that codify people, but in regards to how we make our work. I can’t talk for everybody else, but I can tell you from my own experience, that when I give a tour, I’m looking for someone with a spark in their eye, a thirst to learn, and a penchant for questioning/trying new things — I’m not judging them based on how they identify. Bennington is not for everyone, but if it’s for you, and you want to come here, and you want to work,
and you want to maybe suffer a little bit because ow learning is hard, then we want you to come here.
2. Theatre education and the quality thereof: we do not have majors here at Bennington (CRAY), but yes, a TON of students study theatre on this campus. Coming from a pretty formal theatrical education before Bennington, and having been someone who considered conservatories (many students at Bennington have), I can say I am more than satisfied with my choice — in fact, I am elated. Because Bennington doesn’t force you to choose one direction of study (in fact, it’s often discouraged), you can indulge as a theatre student in all different facets of the work: playwriting, directing, technical theatre, acting, dramaturgy, set design, performance studies, theatre history, you name it. And none of it is a light overview, you’re not going to be reading out of textbooks — you’re getting down and dirty on day one. As the directors always say, you can talk all you want, or you can get up on your feet and do it, yeah? Considering that theatre is so interactive and collaborative, it never made sense to me why conservatories (although not all, I’m sure) make you focus on one area. Part of working in this field is being able to adapt yourself to the needs of the particular production you’re working on — that exact group, space, and timeframe — I mean, isn’t the ephemerality of the work what makes it so beautiful? So you have to prepare yourself best you can for that. Another thing — all the faculty at Bennington are working artists (CRAY) so they know what’s up…and they’ve studied with the best. I remember walking into my first term Actor’s Instrument course to find that my teacher had worked with Uta Hagan, Sanford Meisner, AND Lee Strasberg . Eeeesh. Let’s just say I put my hair up. Lastly, I love studying theatre at Bennington because there is so much student work happening all the time — you don’t need to fill out forms or get approval (although there are venues for that, to be sure) to get something started. I remember visiting colleges and sort of closing one eye suspiciously at the quality of student theatre, but I honestly think some of the student pieces at Bennington can sometimes…not all the time…but sometimes….surpass…the classwork….*hides under desk.*
Yeah. I love theatre. Many of us here do. It’s a craft and an art and a practice, not a major.
— Parke ‘15
Dearest Blog Followers,
We love your questions. We try to answer them. Even when we don’t know the answers. But you do ask a lot of them. And sometimes it takes us a while.
Well, the Tumblr Gods and our Inbox got into a little bit of a tussle, and the Tumblr Gods won. And all of your questions are gone.
Now, we’ve got our best detectives on the case, and they’re working around the clock. But if you’ve asked a question we’ve yet to answer, the best way to guarantee that we do answer it is to ask it again.
It may still take us a while to get you an answer, but at least we’ll be working on it.*
Looking forward to answering your questions - new and old.
*This is maybe a good place to note that Admitted Students: 90% of your questions can be answered in two minutes if you call or email us but are very difficult to answer anonymously. <3
Call us we get lonely!!!
Please don’t die. I don’t know what I would do.
— Parke ‘15
Dude. Bennington is all about cultivating the “what ifs” and uncertainties, so if you’re down with that, you’re already in the right state of mind. Nobody knows what to do with their life, because there are no prescribed rules to what life is supposed to be…which at first sounds fun…and then on second thought it’s more like:
So…yknow. This college is a fantastic place to study writing. If you want to see more about what I’ve had to say on writing at Bennington, you can look here:
If you decide you don’t want to write, then DON’T. And then do. And then don’t. ……And then do… Writing is what I want to do with my life and I decide to stop writing all the time…for the sake of my sanity. There’s no reason why once you decide you love something, you have to do it all the freaking time. Everybody has to take a break every once in a while, y’know? That doesn’t mean you can’t pursue it.
— Parke ‘15
All early action decisions are released on January 29th at exactly 8:00pm!
Hang in there!!!
Mahalo friend, as far as we know here in the admissions office on the subject of said funky box….we know nothing. But what a brilliant idea!! You, sir slash ma’am, have given us a gift, and we thank you. We WILL have a funky box in the future - because life is just funkier with a funky box.
FOR NOW HOWEVER: early action decisions shall be released unto the wind the 29th of January/ Janvier/Januar/Enero/Janeiro/Gennaio/Iānuārius/Iανουάριος/январь/जनवरी/睦月/一月
…..at exac-tic-cally 8:00pm EST. That’s eastern time. Ocho o’clock.
FYI it is currently 2°Fahrenheit in Bennington.
Anybody who works at Admissions goes through a fairly rigorous application/interview process in order to acquire their position. To be so bold as to speak for my employers, we don’t do this because we’re being elitist, but rather because we want to ensure that not only is each intern equipped to handle the job (there are a lot of components other than the blog!), but that the intern body as a whole represents a range of Bennington students, from different disciplines and walks of life. On that note, once we were accepted as interns, we went through an intense series of mud wrestling matches, obstacle courses, and rap battles in order to see who could post on the blog for you all. This is, unfortunately, why Liam gets to post so often. T.T
Lol. Some people are more comfortable with the blog than others. Blogging is sort of a weird experience; you have to develop a voice that is appropriate for prospective students to read (note the lack of cursing happening right now…proud of myself) but where you are also yourself (I feel like my voice on the blog is sort of like the trying-to-be-cool-dad…so I guess that makes me an aspiring dad? Confusion.). We are all eager to answer your questions and show you what Bennington is all about — the entertainment factor is certainly a part of it, because, frankly, Bennington is entertaining. But the most important thing is that you get a sense of this place so you can understand if it’s the right fit for you.
On that note, gotta train for the next battle. New tactic = distract Liam with pictures of proud-looking dogs in outfits.
— Parke ‘15