Bennington is small but the social life if vast. There are planned events like performances and parties and unplanned events like pillow forts and dancing in the rain.
Here is a link to all the planned events on campus. We have dance and theater performances, music performance (both student run and bands/music groups from off-campus), cool lecture series, and there are always events put on by clubs, for example the BSFP (Bennington Sustainable Food Project) and SWAG (Sexual Wellness Advocacy Group) always have several events per term.
If you’re looking for more of the party scene we have that too.
Keep reading and you will be rewarded with some real Bton knowledge and a gif.
Students have between 2-3 weeks of winter break, depending on when they leave for Field Work Term. So yes, Field Work Term does “take away” from winter break. In my experience, 2-3 weeks is the perfect amount of time at home. I have enough time to see all my friends, spend time with my family and lazily watch at least one season of something on Netflix. After two weeks, I usually get a little cooped up at home and am ready for a change. That said, a good percentage of First Years spend their first Field Work Term at home.
In addition, our Spring Break is also cut short. We usually have a long weekend, 5 days off, instead of the whole week. This is long enough to go adventuring (I went to Montreal with friends last Long Weekend), however you probably won’t be going to down to SXSW, Daytona Beach or other traditional Spring Breaky things.
Also, Field Work Term itself is like a strange, awesome vacation. Though you are working every day, there is no homework at night and you get to do what you want (aka watch another show on Netflix). Also, a lot of students go to different cities or countries for Field Work Term so you get to explore a new place.
In conclusion Field Work Term is really amazing and totally worth missing some of traditional college breaks. And honestly, how much time do you really need with your parents?
- Arden J. ‘16
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
So honesty time, I mostly just answered this post so I could put a thrift shop gif (see below). But we do have several thrift shops nearby. The two that come to mind are Goodwill and Salvation Army.
Students mostly go to Goodwill (I don’t think I have ever gone there without running into at least one Bennington student). Though fairly small, it has its charm and has all the ugly sweaters, surprisingly cute dresses and weird stuff for your dorm that you could ever need.
And of course, the trick with Goodwill is that the secret gems are the ones you aren’t looking for, like my friend’s pink Jesus-Shaped Magic 8 Ball (We call him Pink Jesus) and my roommate’s long beautiful winter coat.
However, in my personal opinion the best thrift shops are the end of term free piles found in all houses. Really cute nice stuff for FREE (I get really excited about free things). I got three new dresses and a pair of shoes from last year.
So I hope that answers your question, as well as providing completely unnecessary information I felt like talking about.
Arden J. ‘16
Yes and No. You cannot use your AP credits to “opt out” of any classes at Bennington because there are no required classes. Unlike other colleges, we don’t have any general education requirements, though you are encouraged in your first year to take a broad range of classes. If there are classes in which you would like to move on to a more advanced level (for example, languages and sciences) you would talk to the professor on a class to class basis.
All of your effort has not been in vain, however, Bennington offers 4 credits for each 5 received on a AP test. These credit transfers will be approved during Sophomore year if they are relevant to your plan and are cumulatively equal to or less than 12 credits. Woo!
I was also worried about this coming to Bennington. I took 6 AP classes during High School and worried that it wouldn’t be “worth anything.” Then I came to Bennington and realized that though they will not “opt” you out of anything, they are still helpful. I have used the information I learned in AP Psych in almost every social science (and other) course I have taken here.
So in conclusion:
A) You can’t opt out of anything at Bennington with AP Tests.
B) Because of the Bennington system, you don’t need too!
C) You can get 4 credits for each 5!
D) Though AP Classes may seem really horrible, you do learn a lot of information that you can use later in college when you are learning things you are passionate about.
Arden J. ‘16
Sticky notes, lot and lots of sticky notes. But seriously, everyone thinks and organizes their ideas in different ways, especially when dealing with a subject like the Plan Process. The best advice I can give is to ask “why?” about everything you write. For example: I want to study the presentation of history. Why? Because the presentation (especially in museums) is very passive. Why? Because the non-specialist audience has no way to relate or converse with the expert. Why? STOP ASKING THAT.
This is actually what happened during a meeting between me and my adviser when I was in the process of writing my Plan and it really, really helped. It was awful and painful and really annoying but after, I had a much clearer idea not only of what I am studying but why I am studying it.
Don’t know if this helps at all, but that’s how I would go about it.
Arden J. ‘16