The following proposal outlines my desire to conduct a study on collective Maori ethnic identity since the development of the Maoritanga movement in order to understand the history and current status of New Zealand as a bicultural nation.
The thesis statement for my Statement of Grant Purpose for a Fulbright Scholarship to New Zealand.
I’ve been working one-on-one with Noelle Murphy, the Academic Services Advisor, about twice a week this summer to work on my grant. If I receive the scholarship, I’ll be flying off (on the government’s dime) to New Zealand to study for 10 months at Victoria University of Wellington!
Just one of the many things I’m doing to prepare for my life after Bennington!
The thing is, you and your Plan Committee (a group of faculty that work to help you define your Plan) work together to decide how best your classes can fulfill your plan.
If you study film and you’re interested in making nature documentaries, then you’ll probably be taking a fair bit of natural sciences and a fair bit of video. If, however, you want to go to grad school for biology, the game changes - your Plan Committe will help you pursue the question of “what part(s) of biology am I most interested in?” as well as helping you to know what kinds of courses will be in a typical pre-req requirement for a Master’s program.
It’s apples and oranges, basically. Don’t think of the Plan as ‘building your own major,’ necessarily (though there is certainly an element of that in the whole process) - think of it as defining an area of inquiry that you want to use your education at Bennington to explore. If your inquiry is about research-level, graduate biology, then you’ll have to conduct summarily high-level classwork in order to graduate. If you’re asking questions about the natural world via film, then your classwork will likely be spread out more between the two disciplines.
But yeah! I hope that makes sense. Definitely read up on the Plan Process in that link in the first paragraph, I think everything will make a lot more sense afterwards. I hope this was helpful!
I know that millions of dollars have been spent to produce this splendid graduating class, and that the main hope of your teachers was, once they got through with you, that you would no longer be superstitious. I’m sorry—I have to undo that now. I beg you to believe in the most ridiculous superstition of all: that humanity is at the center of the universe, the fulfiller or the frustrator of the grandest dreams of God Almighty. If you can believe that, and make others believe it, then there might be hope for us. Human beings might stop treating each other like garbage, might begin to treasure and protect each other instead. Then it might be all right to have babies again. Many of you will have babies anyway, if you’re anything like me.
Kurt Vonnegut, Address to Bennington College Graduating Class of 1970
[posted by Ellie]
Ultimately, I plan on attending grad school for behavioral ecology and making the next step towards a career in the sciences, but not, necessarily, right away.
What I’m really thinking about right now is trying to find a job for a couple years after I graduate that (ideally) lets me travel a bit here and there. Right out of undergrad, I’m not necessarily looking to jump into my Master’s right away, but rather to make some money, catch my breath, and just relish the fact that I have a degree. I’ve still got another year and a half until I graduate, so, obviously, things can change, but that’s the rough idea right now.
I don’t know as I could accurately tell you what Bennington students ‘usually’ do, since there’s so many different paths to take, but aside from grad school-oriented folks like myself, one avenue I notice recent grads taking is to contact old Field Work Term employers. In some cases, those employers might be looking to bring on more help, and who better to consider than someone who’s already learned the ropes and (hopefully) has made a good name for themselves there already? In other cases, there might not be an opening at the same office (or lab, or farm, or…), but your ex-FWT boss might know somewhere similar that IS looking to bring on someone new. Among other things, FWT is great for networking.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that, regardless of what Bennington students decide to do after graduation, they tend to be very well-prepared to go off into the world and do it. Bennington breeds students who are well-connected, intellectually curious, and well-prepared to solve problems and debate solutions. The Plan Process and FWT are both integral and formative to this output, as is the energy of the campus. While I’m still not entirely sure what I’ll be doing once I graduate, I can say that I feel more than prepared to jump into that unknown.