Tag Archives: small liberal arts school

Graduation!

Hey all! The day finally came. Graduation. Short term flew by and now I am entering the “real world.”

The last month has been a whirlwind. It was full of final experiences: Last class, last dance, last meal in commons, last time I check my mailbox, last time I throw a frisbee in the quad, etc. At the time, I tried not to get sucked into that haunting sense of finality that these experiences often bring. Instead I tried to just embrace the moments for what they were. Honestly though, it all went by so fast that I didn’t have much time to process anything. It felt like one morning I woke up and was a Bates College student, the next I’m waking up in my own bed at home wondering where the time went. I think I now better understand why people use clichés to describe significant moments in their lives. It’s too hard, if not impossible, to explain all the emotions and thoughts running through your mind during the college graduation experience. 

I’m sad to leave Bates behind. My experience at the school has not always been perfect, but for four years Bates was a constant in my life. It was at Bates that I was introduced to individuals who helped me grow as a student and as a person. I leave Bates with a much better understanding of myself and the world than when I entered the school four years ago.  

Bates has also helped to foster a strong sense of community that I know will serve me well as I enter the job force. I’ll be working at a charter school in Boston as an elementary school tutor, while also earning my teacher certification through a one-year program that focuses on training teachers to work in urban charter schools. I’m very excited to begin pursuing a career in education and am looking forward to being able to work with students!

Even though I have graduated, I’ll continue to blog periodically so prospective students can get a sense of what life is like for at least one Bates student after graduation. Besides, I’ve blogged since I was a freshman, writing more than 160 individual posts over the years… I may no longer be a student, but it’s kind of become a habit. For now, I’ll leave you all with some pictures from graduation. Until next time…

Slide show from 2011 Commencement!

 

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Senior week is a time to celebrate (and reevaluate) our Bates experiences

Hey all. I’m about to enter my final week of college. It’s a jam-packed time full of parties, classes, senior events and excessive use of clichés (think: “This is the best time of your life”). As all of us seniors prepare to conclude our time at Bates, one of the last things on our minds is the the future of our college. Most of us are focusing on our own futures and on making the most of our last week as undergraduate students. There’s nothing wrong with this approach. In fact, that’s what we all should be doing. At the same time, however, I think it’s important to take a little time to look back at our time at Bates and evaluate our experiences. 

While my experience at Bates has been largely positive, I know that Bates is far from perfect. In my four-year experience, it became clear that the college was lacking certain resources. Thankfully, a group of senior students, along with professors and several members of the administration, have helped propel the college forward with the creation of a fantastic new Campus Support website. The website is the result of a list of demands presented to the administration by a group of students who care deeply for Bates and want it to be on par with other NESCAC schools. Without this student-initiated push and the tireless work of these individuals, this website would not have been created.

The website compiles, for the first time, Bates’ detailed policy approaches on a host of issues, such as sexual assault and hate crimes. The website also lists both on-campus and off-campus resources for victims/survivors of crimes, as well as other important information regarding college support, security resources and how to stay safe on campus.

It’s out of a love for our school and a commitment to making our college a better place that we constantly reevaluate our time here and try to improve Bates for the incoming classes. I’m proud to know that many students were willing to step up to the plate and improve a place that has given us so much. There is more that has to be done, a lot more in fact, to ensure that Bates is an even safer and more accepting place, but I believe that Bates has taken several crucial steps forward and is now on the right path to the future. 

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Short Term is here!

Hey all. It’s that time of year again… Short Term! 

After completing my thesis, I still had three papers to work on before I could head home for spring break. The first was for my Latin American history class. The course focused specifically on Latin American independence, and in the final paper we were asked to discuss whether independence brought about significant change to Latin America, or whether there was a more gradual shift from colonial rule to national sovereignty. I concluded that when we talk about change we have to talk about what type of change and for whom. Things changed really differently for the indigenous population in comparison with the elite Creole population, so I tried to center my arguments on the nuanced evolution of change in Latin America during the independence period.

Okay, I just read that back and it sounds a little boring. I swear it’s a readable paper and makes sense. As a history nerd, I think I have a tendency to delve a bit too deeply into a paper like this. If you’re still with me, I promise to keep the other paper descriptions short!

 For my Spanish final paper, I wrote a comparative essay on two short stories that we read in class. Because the course emphasized race, afro-spirituality and Catholicism in the Caribbean, I decided to write my paper on the construction and development of character identity in these stories and on how those characters represented the larger picture of the development of national identity in the Caribbean (in Cuba, specifically).

I also focused on identity in my final English paper. In this assignment, I looked to two short stories by Sherman Alexie and Junot Díaz to compare how identity was formed, molded and manipulated through narrative voice.

Anyway, you probably didn’t need to hear the long rambling descriptive explanations of my final papers, but I hope it interested some of you. As you can see from the varying topics I wrote about, each Bates class provides you with an opportunity to focus in on and tackle some really cool, unique and interesting material. 

Anyway, after finishing up the papers, I headed down to Florida for a fun week in the sun with some friends and in just a few short days, Short Term begins. I am taking a class titled “Gender and Tobacco.” I’ll have more information as soon as I take my first class. It’s a Women and Gender Studies (WGS) course and I’m really looking forward to it!

Until next time… 

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Thesis Complete!

Hey all. It’s currently just after 3:30 in the morning here at Bates. I’ll admit, it’s a fairly odd time to blog, but I have important news to announce – I have finally completed my senior thesis!

Thesis is due tomorrow by 5 p.m. but I figured I might as well stay up tonight to put in my final edits. I don’t have any class tomorrow so I can sleep in peace before handing in this culminating project of undergraduate study. I’ve worked on this thesis for the past 3+ months, so it’s exciting to reach the end of the process. The thesis itself it just under 60 pages, not quite as long as some of my classmates’ year-long projects, but certainly nothing to be ashamed of. I think it came out quite well.

My topic focused on a slave conspiracy/uprising in colonial New York City, as well as on race and class relations in the city. The topic was an exciting one, full of entertaining anecdotes about mysterious fires, ridiculous testimony and plenty of courtroom drama. Even though the editing was tedious at times, I never got sick of researching or writing. Ultimately, my research helped me discover fascinating information about not only race but also class, gender and social hierarchies of power.

I wish I had more time to expand upon this thesis, but for now it’s time to get some much needed rest. In a few days, I’ll fill you all in with what I’ve been up to the last few weeks (besides thesis!). I’ve dragged myself away from my books for some cool lectures, presentations and even a local hockey game. More to come on all of that in the near future.

I’m three papers away from Short Term and the final stage of my undergraduate career. It’s hard to believe. Until next time…

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Nezinscot Farm

Hey all. March is a pretty crazy month at Bates. Papers, tests, readings and other assignments tend to pile up this time of year as professors try to fit in extra material and make sure we cover everything on the syllabi before reaching finals week. On top of all the work, there are no school breaks or vacations during the month, so things can get pretty stressful. That’s why it’s so nice to have a place like Nezinscot so close by.

Nezinscot is a farm located in nearby Turner, ME. Like most traditional farms, Nezinscot has plenty of barnyard animals, but what it is most well-known for is its amazing food. Nezinscot is open six days a week all year for breakfast and lunch, and the friendly staff (some of whom are Batesies) serve up delicious organic dishes. The atmosphere is warm and comfortable and its great to eat some home-style cuisine in a rustic and cozy farm setting. A cat and two dogs are always there to greet you, giving Nezinscot even more of a homey feel.

There is so much more to learn about Nezinscot, which also sells baked and canned goods, offers educational workshops and has its own teahouse. Check out the Nezinscot website here. You can also learn more by going to the Nezinscot blog or checking the farm out on its own facebook page.

For now, I’ll just leave you with some pictures from my last trip to Nezinscot. Until next time…

Outside Nezinscot:

Inside Nezinscot (can you spot both dogs?):

The food (a sausage omelet with toast and relish, an egg sandwich and french toast with fresh fruit… don’t worry, this was shared among three people!):


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The full Bates experience…

Hey all. School has been as busy as ever but I’ve been enjoying myself. There have been more papers for my ‘Age of Independence’ Latin American history class as well as for my ‘Fiction in the U.S.’ English class. My thesis on race relations and social hierarchy in colonial New York City continues to move along (slowly but surely) and my Spanish class, though a lot of work, has been a true learning experience as of late. The class focuses on the formation of national identity in the Caribbean, specifically in Cuba, Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Using poems, novels and other pieces of literature as lenses, we examine how race, catholicism and african spirituality affect the national discourse in each nation we study. The class has been a lot of work – papers, tests, oral presentations, preparations for a final project – but the material typically keeps me engaged enough to distract me from the difficulty of the work… it’s an ideal college class – both challenging and thought-provoking.

In between classes and work, I’ve been dedicating a lot of time to the job search, which, unlike the hunt for the perfect college, is a lot more open-ended and intimidating. I’m looking at it as another new experience and embracing it, which has made the search more fun than stressful. There’s also been time for IM Ice hockey. The team I play on won the IM Championship last week, capping off a successful run of two championships in three years. Bragging rights are the ultimate prize, but the free t-shirt all champions receive is a nice perk.

Working on the school newspaper, relaxing at my yoga class and taking the occasional trip off campus for a meal away from commons take up the rest of my time during the week. As I write this, in fact, it’s approaching 2 a.m. and I am in the newsroom finishing up the sports section for tomorrow’s issue. Time to get back to work! Until next time…

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Academic Life at Bates…

Hey all. As I write this, I’m sitting on my couch under a blanket in my pajamas. It’s February break and I’m back in New York relaxing, enjoying my mom’s home cooking and catching up on some much needed rest. Sweatpants, slippers and sweatshirts have been the clothing of choice for the past few days: I call it the “SSS” collection, perfect for when you want to be as comfortable as possible. Still, while I eat homestyle food and ponder trademarking an “SSS” clothing line from the comforts of my couch, I have to focus on a lot of academic work.

Due the first monday of break was the second chapter of my senior thesis. It was only a draft, but completing it meant countless hours of researching, note-taking, working on proper citations and of course, writing. I spent much of the first weekend of break writing up chapter two while doing some extensive editing. I love the topic for my thesis. I’m focusing on race and class relations in colonial New York City through the lens of a slave uprising known as the New York Conspiracy of 1741. It’s essentially an in-depth research paper, which will ultimately be about 50 pages or perhaps even more. It’s a daunting project to work on in just one semester, but taking it little-by-little makes the process easier. I try not to get too stressed about it because, well, how many times in your life to you get the chance to complete a comprehensive study on a topic of your choosing?

Stack of thesis books:


In addition to thesis, I have several papers due the week I get back. For my Age of Independence in Latin America class I need to write a paper about the second set of wars for independence in Latin America. Between 1808-1826, most of Latin America became independent, one way or another, from Spain. My paper is focusing on some of the factors (both external and internal) that led to the creation of new nations as well as on the ideological differences between the wars for independence and the earlier set of revolts, rebellions and uprisings that didn’t ultimately lead to independence. As a history nerd, I’m enjoying writing this paper.

For my English class, Fiction in the U.S., I have to find a peer-review critical essay that focuses on a piece of literature (novel or short story) that we’ve read in class. In a short paper, I need to summarize the essay, while also using my knowledge of the material to critically analyze the peer-reviewed work. This paper isn’t due for a week, but I think I am going to focus on James Baldwin’s, “Sonny’s Blues.” It’s a fantastic short story. Read “Sonny’s Blues” here if you’re interested in checking it out.

For my Spanish class, Spanish Caribbean Literature, I am writing a paper based on a documentary on Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro. In the paper, I’m analyzing how the documentary presents Castro as an individual hero of the public. Castro is a deeply complicated man, both intelligent and ruthless. I’m excited to be writing about this topic, though the fact that it has to be written entirely in Spanish does make it extra time-consuming.

On top of this academic work, I’m in the midst of an intense job search. I’m casting a wide net and keeping my options open. I was accepted to interviews for two separate jobs yesterday. This is exciting, but it also requires a lot more preparation as well as logistical planning (both positions require extensive traveling). In the meantime, I’m continuing to look for more positions!

So, while I continue to sport the “SSS” collection, there is plenty to do. Until next time, it’s back to work!

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