The Experience, Traditions


750 acres of exploration

November 17, 2014  |  The Experience, Rebecca Seidemann '18

When I first learned about Conn's Arboretum, well before I became a student here, I thought, "OK, trees."

As someone with a tremendous fear of bees and a general dislike for a significant portion of things one might find in nature, exploring a forest didn't strike me as fun. Since becoming a student, however, I have become more comfortable with the idea of spending time in the Arboretum. After all, it's kind of hard to avoid: the 750-acre Arbo encompasses the entire campus and expands for acres in each direction — nearly a mile to the north — as a natural land preserve.

Entering the wilderness proved to be a slow process, like dipping your toe in a cold pool to test it out. The first time I went inside the natural land preserve-portion of the Arboretum, I saw a giant bee and ran away. The next time I went in a little further. I made it to a little gazebo, where I sat with some friends for a while. The next time, I didn't venture any farther, but I did stay longer to do some landscape drawing.

Then came Arbofest, our annual student-organized bluegrass and country music festival. I knew it was kind of a big deal, and I knew there would be food and music. The food was really the selling point, plus it was a stunningly beautiful day. I had to go. 

So, I made my way into the Arboretum, going deeper into it than I ever had before. There was indeed music and food, as well as a giant crowd of students lounging on the grass. The bands were playing right in front of the water, and it was actually very lovely ... despite some close calls with bees. 

Near the end of the festival, one of my friends asked if I wanted to take a walk with her. I agreed, and we walked along a path that led us deeper into the Natural Plant Collection (the area of the Arboretum most frequented by students and the community, just across Williams Street from campus.) To my surprise, it was actually a very cool walk. Hidden in the Arboretum are all sorts of paths, gazebos and benches, along with a cabin, Buck Lodge. I found myself wanting to explore deeper when my friend was ready to turn back. 

I've also heard there are cliffs and a small waterfall hidden somewhere back there. So, that's something to look into for a future trip. In retrospect, I sort of wish that I had realized how interesting the Arboretum is before, since it's starting to get chillier now. I'll resume my exploration in the spring.

Lesson learned, though: the Arboretum is not just a bunch of trees. 

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Tags:  |  The Experience, First Year Experience  |  The Experience, On Campus  |  The Experience, Traditions

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Honor is the reward of merit

November 3, 2014  |  The Experience, Jordan Thomas '15

Each semester, the College's chapter of Psi Chi, the National Honor Society of Psychology, inducts new members. The mission of Psi Chi is to encourage, stimulate and maintain excellent scholarship and to advance the science of psychology as a whole. Psychology students here are invited to apply for Psi Chi membership if they have achieved a certain level of academic excellence in psychology and have demonstrated a true commitment to the field.

As a member of our chapter's six-person executive board, I assisted in this fall's Psi Chi induction ceremony. Nine psychology students were accepted. During the ceremony, inductees signed a pledge to symbolize their commitment to both our campus chapter and the national Psi Chi organization. New members then lit a candle and recited the organization's mantra: "Honor is the reward of merit."


Tags:   |  The Experience, Academics  |  The Experience, Clubs & Orgs  |  The Experience, Traditions

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Harvestfest, through a photographer's eye

October 24, 2014  |  The Experience, Jordan Thomas '15  |  The Experience, Kirsten Forrester '17  |  The Experience, Laura Cianciolo '16  |  The Experience, Mike Wipper '17

harvestfest tent

Each year, Harvestfest is one of the most anticipated events at Fall Weekend, Connecticut College's annual parent and family weekend. More than 70 student clubs, academic departments and athletic teams set up shop, selling a wide array of Camel- and Connecticut College-inspired clothing, gifts and treats in a bazaar-like atmosphere. We asked the ConnCollegeLive Experience photojournalists to fan out and find the best and most interesting items for sale.

 

Laura Cianciolo '16

Harvestfest photos by Laura Cianciolo

  1. I first stopped at Coffee Closet’s table and purchased a caramel apple dipped in sprinkles — it was the perfect snack for the fall weather.
  2. Every year, I purchase a poster from The College Voice’s table, and this year I loved the hand-drawn map of campus.
  3. I stopped by Miss Connduct’s table and bought a few of their handmade cards for my friends who have fall birthdays.
  4. Conn’s chapter of Oceana was selling adorable keyboard protectors covered with fish and other sea creatures.
  5. Launch, Conn’s entrepreneurship club, was celebrating its first Harvestfest with brightly colored, delicious cookies shaped like spaceships.

 

Kirsten Forrester '17

Harvestfest photos by Kirsten Forrester

  1. Slavery Ends Today homemade cards: Simple and thoughtful, the cards have positive messages such as "You are beautiful." It's nice to have a few around for future gifts.
  2. Ski team flannel: Two words: so cozy! They're the perfect attire for Connecticut winters.
  3. Ski club winter hats: One, they complement the flannel for the complete New England winter look. Two, I love pom poms.
  4. Relay for Life Elephant frame: So cute! My favorite animal is an elephant. Images and statues of them cover my walls at home, so this frame makes for a great addition to that ever growing collection.
  5. The College Voice posters: You just can't go wrong with the image of a camel in a turtleneck sweater on your wall.

 

Jordan Thomas '15

Harvestfest photos by Jordan Thomas

  1. Cadenza, Conn's literary magazine, sold prints and shirts with a one-line camel design. The artist, senior Jennifer Jackson, drew the camel logo without ever lifting the pen from the paper. It's inspired by Picasso's famous work.
  2. The campus newspaper, The College Voice, had customized camel M&Ms — in Conn colors, of course!
  3. The Dance Club sold cute and functional tank tops with an adorable Camel in the corner — great for workout clothing!
  4. Forest Justice, the resident treehugger club on campus, sold tie-dyed t-shirts with the logo of a tree hugging a Camel. What's not to love about that?
  5. The college's chapter of Psi Chi, the Psychology National Honor Society, had brain-themed coffee mugs for sale. Since this is my organization and this one was my idea, I'm a bit partial to it ... but who wouldn't want a blue and yellow brain on their morning cup of coffee?

 

Mike Wipper '17

Harvestfest photos by Mike Wipper

  1. After hearing the faint sound Mariachi, I found myself at the club's table, more than happy to snack on some "chicharones," a traditional Latin American dish made from fried pork skins.
  2. Sprout! set up a free sample booth complete with hot sauces made from Conn's very own organic garden. My favorite is the spicy mango salsa.
  3. The campus chapter of Slavery Ends Today sold delightful greeting and birthday cards, which ended up being perfect as I still needed to buy my girlfriend a card for her birthday. All proceeds went to the organization that's committed to ending human trafficking.
  4. At the Men's Hockey team table, I purchased the perfect gift for my father, a hockey player himself: a bottle opener made from old sticks. 
  5. All around Harvestfest, I saw people wearing awesome friendship bracelets. I wandered around until I found the Dance Team's booth with bracelets covering the table. I must say, they were pretty stylish ... and they're hand-made!

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Tags:  |  The Experience, Clubs & Orgs  |  The Experience, Photography  |  The Experience, Traditions

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A musical weekend

October 20, 2014  |  The Experience, Rebecca Seidemann '18

Music was in the air last weekend.

Fall Weekend kicked off with a Musicians Organized For Bands' Rights on Campus (MOBROC) concert. The event gave student bands an opportunity to show off their musical abilities and gave the audience a chance to show off their '90s grunge-inspired dance moves. The lineup included student groups Canopy, the SB's and Montreal Protocol, but the real treat came at the end of the show: We got to hear our beloved President Bergeron sing. When she and her husband, Butch Rovan, got on stage, the audience began to chant "Queen B" and bow down.

It was quite the experience. Needless to say, "Queen B" gave a flawless performance.

It was interesting, although not very surprising, to see a lot of faces from MOBROC groups performing one night later during the weekend's other huge musical event — the annual Fall Weekend a cappella shows. For years, the seven a cappella groups have performed together during Fall Weekend, and the crowds have grown so much that two shows are needed. The pinnacle of the night might have been when the ConnArtists performed "Fix You" by Coldplay. It was so moving that the audience was completely silent.

Other groups lightened the mood with some humor: Vox Cameli performed a zealous Lady Gaga mashup, the Williams Street Mix drew inspiration from SpongeBob and the ConnChords pulled out some unexpected dance moves.

It was such a musical start to the weekend, with tons of talented Camels involved.

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Tags:  |  The Experience, Clubs & Orgs  |  The Experience, On Campus  |  The Experience, Traditions

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A marathon of charcoal

October 7, 2014  |  The Experience, Rebecca Seidemann '18

As part of my two-dimensional art class, I recently participated in the Art Department's seventh annual charcoal drawing marathon this past Sunday. Our assignment was very broad: We were told to use a variety of shapes, color tones and depth to fill the very large, intimidating blank pieces of paper in front of us. Between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., we drew without stopping. We had no specific subject to work with, we simply had to respond to our environments and the music that was playing.

The presiding art professors encouraged us to think of our pieces as completely mutable. We were encouraged to draw over things, erase our work and paint over large sections of our pieces to work, then rework, the charcoal. As someone who has taken many art classes, the process was a challenge. I'm used to crafting my pieces carefully, focusing on intricate shading and minute details. Inevitably, I get attached to my art and I'm reluctant to change anything more significant than those tiny details.

This experience made me explore a very different technique: a "kill your darlings"-type of technique, where you have to get rid of some of the bits of your work that you're attached to in order to improve the piece as a whole. While this was difficult, it helped me loosen up and go with the flow of things.

By the time 4 p.m. arrived, it seemed that there was more charcoal on my face, hands and arms than on my actual canvas. Despite the mess and a very sore drawing arm, I was very happy with my piece. Looking around the room, I was pleased to see that others found the process — and final results — to be successful.

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Tags:  |  The Experience, Academics  |  The Experience, First Year Experience  |  The Experience, Traditions

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My first Camelympics

September 23, 2014  |  The Experience, Rebecca Seidemann '18

I recently attended my first Camelympics. You may be wondering, "What on earth is Camelympics?!" Imagine if the Olympics were held on a college campus and included activities like board games and hula hooping. That should give you the gist of Camelympics. Different houses compete in games to get points and, at the end of the day, only one house is declared the winner — a coveted title.

Of all the activities I found myself participating in — including Apples to Apples and Catch Phrase — Quidditch was certainly my favorite. I lack the coordination usually required for sports but, as a huge Harry Potter fan, I volunteered to play. I was the Keeper (basically, a goalie) for Johnson House, and our house ended up winning fourth place. 

At the beginning of the game, no one was quite sure how the game would work when the brooms did not begin to fly. The confusion was brief and, after the first round of games, people started getting very into it. There was a lot of cheering, a lot of running, a little bit of tackling and a dash of screaming to distract opponents. Players also started growing attatched to their positions. The passion for Quidditch that developed over the course of roughly 20 minutes was pretty surprising. 

The most entertaining part about Quidditch is how the role of the Snitch is adapted when playing without magic. In Harry Potter, the Snitch is a little golden ball that, when caught, ends the game instantly. In Muggle (non-magical people) Quidditch, the Snitch is a bystander who volunteers to wear a yellow shirt and run around campus to avoid being tagged by the Seeker. In one of the final games, as the Snitch was about to be caught, he tripped and fell. As others jumped over the Snitch to avoid landing on him, the opposing Seeker snuck up from behind and fell onto the Snitch, winning the game. It was surprisingly intense.

Camelympics may be about fun and games, but there was true competition amongst Camels. There was a very strong sense of community. As houses came together, there was a chance for students to intermingle and meet one another, and the traditional event also gave me the chance to act out my favorite, magical sport.

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Tags:  |  The Experience, First Year Experience  |  The Experience, On Campus  |  The Experience, Traditions

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Second place in Connect Four

September 29, 2014  |  The Experience, Dana Sorkin '16


Each year, Camelympics pits residence houses against each other for a day of spirited competition. There are so many different ways to participate, and I decided to represent my house, Windham, by playing Connect Four. I came in second place. Windham came in second place in the overall competition, ending the daylong event in style.



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Camelympics pride

September 28, 2014  |  The Experience, Jordan Thomas '15

Camelympics is a Connecticut College tradition that pits residence houses against one another in friendly competition. House residents compete in events that range from volleyball to Quidditch and from Apples to Apples to Bananagrams. All houses have a theme, a cheer and a team shirt. It's a great event that promotes both house and Camel spirit!


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Why do YOU relay?

May 12, 2014  |  The Experience, Calli Reynolds '17

When I came to Conn, I didn’t know what to expect at Relay for Life. Here, it’s an event spearheaded by students, but open to faculty, staff and the New London community. In fact, many of the walkers are teams from New London.

I have participated in Relay for Life for the past three years and, although I was away at college for the first time, I continued walking with the same mission. I walked for my grandpa, my friend’s mom, for those I don’t know personally, for those who survived and for those who did not.

It's more than just walking; our Relay has dance workshops and live music to keep people upbeat and energized and snacks to keep us fed. My favorite concessions included Chipotle and Girl Scout Cookies. The local food trucks also made appearances.

To see so many people walking was wonderful. This was my first Relay experience at Conn and I really enjoyed it. I'll be back at it next year, too.

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Tags:  |  The Experience, Clubs & Orgs  |  The Experience, New London  |  The Experience, Traditions

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Eclipse: a cultural movement

May 7, 2014  |  The Experience, Calli Reynolds '17

Eclipse is one of the longest-running student-produced events at Connecticut College. For over 40 years, students have been coming together to showcase their talents as a means of raising cultural awareness. This year, Eclipse returned to its roots by taking place over the course of an entire weekend. As a new student on campus, being a part of something so historic was empowering and felt quite amazing. I have quickly found myself helping to pull off a spectacular weekend.

Thursday: the cast dinner

On the Thursday leading up to the big weekend, the entire Eclipse cast took over Harris, our main dining hall. The tables in the dining hall were covered with information and music filled the room and set an upbeat mood. Yes, there was even a flash mob which was surely my favorite part of the dinner. I was tasked with controlling the music. When you have a full dining hall and you are the one who cuts the music playing to change the song, everyone notices you. They also notice when you fall off of your chair trying to find the right track. As an Eclipse member, I certainly felt ready for what the weekend had in store.

Friday: the fashion show

For the first time in many years, a fashion show was reintroduced to the Eclipse program. Although 120 seats were set up, almost 200 people attended. They cheered for the models who -- let me tell you -- looked better than the models from New York Fashion Week. Clothes were made, donated and borrowed for this show and all of the collections were flawless. The fashion show also included the Kporma Collection, a cause that works to better educational options in rural Liberia. From our one event, Kporma representatives raised enough money to start building schools.

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Tags:  |  The Experience, Alumni  |  The Experience, Clubs & Orgs  |  The Experience, Traditions

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Final moments of sophomore year

May 1, 2014  |  The Experience, Laura Cianciolo '16

On Monday, hundreds of sophomores attended the first ever Sophomore Pinning Ceremony. The night was filled with dessert, speeches and recognition of sophomore achievements. The ceremony opened with addresses by Class President Sal Bigay and Class Vice President Kristina Harrold. A performance by a cappella group Miss Connduct followed, which included John Legend's "If You're Out There."


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TEDxConnecticutCollege

April 10, 2014  |  The Experience, Oliver Ames '17

In the middle of November, the first semester of my first year at Conn, TEDxConnecticutCollege reached out to students who had expressed interest in getting involved with the organization. TEDxConnecticutCollege has become an inspiring example of student involvement on campus. A few meetings in, I found myself loving the team and the process.

I am honored to be on the organization’s executive board. Gearing up for our April 12th conference has been a wonderful learning experience; my education at Conn would not be the same without it. Fundraising into the greater New London area has shown me the importance of community outreach and collaboration, while my time doing marketing projects have brought me vital skills in communication. This learning experience can be said of many clubs on campus, and I’m glad Conn has made such a valiant effort to acknowledge how important extra curriculars are in a the 21st century liberal arts education.

This Saturday, I’ll be backstage with an assortment of students, professors, and speakers who have traveled from near and far. From astrophysics to deep sea exploration and the discovery of the Titanic, the TEDx theme, “not all who wander are lost” attempts to encompass “adventure, exploration, discovery, and everything along the way.”

 

TEDxConnecticutCollege will stream their conference live on Saturday, April 12 beginning at 10 a.m. on their website.

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Welcome, President Bergeron!

April 8, 2014  |  The Experience, Dana Sorkin '16  |  The Experience, Matteo Mobilio '16


In preparation for the Inauguration of President Bergeron, we were asked to create a video to help welcome our new president, on behalf of the student body. We interviewed some of our friends who are involved in a wide variety of activities to find out how what sort of messages they would send. The was one of the most exciting days of the year so far, and our aim was to capture the students' feelings leading up to the event.

-Matteo Mobilio '16 and Dana Sorkin '16



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Beginning the Inauguration festivities

March 27, 2014  |  The Experience, Laura Cianciolo '16

This morning in Cro’s Nest, the Inauguration Committee hosted a campus-wide coffee break. Students, faculty and staff all gathered together for an informal celebration of President Bergeron, who will be inaugurated on Saturday, April 5. President Bergeron said a few words to the crowd and then made her way around the room, chatting with students about the college and their experiences.


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A taste of "Taste of Harris"

March 13, 2014  |  The Experience, Laura Cianciolo '16

The perfect end to midterms week came last Thursday at Taste of Harris. Independent food vendors visit campus once every Spring and serve everything from sausage ravioli to margarita pizza. At the end of the meal, students vote on their favorite items and the dining hall staff try to include the winners on the regular menu. Black bean burgers are now available in Harris after they made an appearance at last year's Taste of Harris.


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Bears vs. Camels

March 11, 2014  |  The Experience, Matteo Mobilio '16


Some friends and I headed down to Dayton Arena to catch the annual Club Hockey vs. Coast Guard game. It always proves to be one of the most exciting games of the year.



Tags:   |  The Experience, Athletics  |  The Experience, Traditions  |  The Experience, Video

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Attending the Vagina Monologues

February 26, 2014  |  Sust Blog, Alexis Cheney '16  |  The Experience, Alexis Cheney '16

On Friday night (and then twice on Saturday), more than 100 students performed Eve Ensler’s “The Vagina Monologues”. Many had never set foot on stage before. Their black and red-accented outfits ranged from sexy to sporty, and all participants added to the spirit of female empowerment. Monologues answered such bold questions as, “What would your vagina wear?” (a sundress) and “What would you call your vagina?” (“The Camel Van” got laughs.) I applaud those who had the courage to be on stage, speaking honestly and openly. As Sara Bareilles’ fitting song, “Brave,” bumped, performers bowed, and we gave them a standing ovation.

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Direct, delegate and distract

February 16, 2014  |  The Experience, CJ Robinson '16

A journey is something that you don’t always take alone. The Green Dot program here at Conn has truly been an amazing journey for me and my friends. We signed up for Green Dot training during our freshman year together, as a group. Ever since, we’ve gone to athletic games, events and discussions focused on Green Dot’s mission: bringing about an end to sexual violence, interpersonal violence and stalking.

As Green Dot graduates, we have been trained to recognize “red dots,” like dating violence and escalating situations at parties, in the world around us. We can then step in, a healthy way, to protect others and ourselves. Amongst other graduates, we share our experiences, and we’ve developed a community from which my friends and I learn more and more every year.

Recently we went to the Green Dot hockey game and it was quite spectacular, to say the very least. For the last three years, members of the men’s hockey team have been dedicated to raising awareness about sexual violence prevention and initiated this tradition. Darcie Folsom, the College’s director of sexual violence prevention and advocacy, is doing amazing by leading the charge of cultural change here at the College but the journey surely hasn’t been just her. There’s an entire community devoted to the improvement of a culture we don’t condone. To me, that does not sound like a journey one must take alone. Like the Green Dot slogan says, “no one has to do everything, but everyone has to do something.”

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Tags:  |  The Experience, Athletics  |  The Experience, Clubs & Orgs  |  The Experience, Traditions

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Opportunities on the sunrise: the Inauguration

February 12, 2014  |  The Experience, CJ Robinson '16

When you’re a student, many opportunities will be offered to you. What you do with them is up to you.

In my case, an opportunity came about that I just couldn’t resist. President Bergeron, the new president of Connecticut College recently started her new role, and I have met with her on one occasion. I was truly inspired. By luck, I’ve been invited to serve on a sub-committee helping to plan her inauguration, which will blissfully tie together my time here. I accepted the offer to be a part of the sub-committee, which is charged with the planning of an evening and afternoon event for the President’s Inauguration. What’s so stellar is that this sub-committee is composed of faculty and staff of the College, and I’m the only student. We recently had our first meeting, and I got to contribute a few ideas and concerns I had.

I was somewhat caught off guard. Usually, when I first enter a formal situation or a new class, it takes me a bit of time to get comfortable before I can express my ideas and concerns. After being asked what I thought about a specific topic in our first meeting, all eyes fell to me. I told them what I thought -- me, a student among a handful of adults. We efficiently planned, organized and brainstormed about ideas for our future events … I’ll leave those for a later surprise.

For now, I just want to give a sneak peek on how things here at the College really work: Students, faculty and staff work together to formulate and execute ideas that we brainstorm together. Shared governance is real, and requires both parties.

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Tags:  |  The Experience, Clubs & Orgs  |  The Experience, On Campus  |  The Experience, Traditions

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The 'basement party'

February 3, 2014  |  The Experience, Calli Reynolds '17

Do you remember in high school when you were finally old enough to understand what made the "big kids" so cool? Those secret after-school festivities and late-night parties…

Every spring, the annual student-directed, all-inclusive dance show, Eclipse, takes place at Conn. It is one of the highest attended dance events, and it showcases underrepresented art forms, specifically African American and Latino art. This year the theme is “Basement Party,” drawing from high school memories of those “big kids” and the music they listened to.

After my first rehearsal, I am more excited than ever to be a part of this annual production. My group is dancing to Katy Perry's Dark Horse, 23 by Mike Will Made It and Flawless by Beyonce, among other songs. Working with such an energetic group of Camels to produce something amazing has proven to be fun, but also challenging. Sometimes an hour and a half in the studio doesn't seem long enough. Once everyone starts dancing, you can't help but want to continue. I can already imagine the greatness to come, and I am thrilled to be a part of this tradition.

The 38th annual Eclipse takes place April 26 at 7 p.m.

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A haunting in Connecticut

November 15, 2013  |  Sust Blog, Alexis Cheney '16  |  The Experience, Alexis Cheney '16

a haunted house in knowlton

In elementary and middle school, Halloween meant dressing up and trick-or-treating with friends. In high school, it meant passing out candy to our neighbors’ children. At Conn—at least, in Knowlton House—Halloween means an evening with friends.

On Halloween, Knowlton raises money by transforming into a haunted house. This year, a concoction of black trash bags, caution tape, skulls, red paint, sheets, prosthetic legs, mattresses, black lights, neon paint and Jell-o did the trick. That, along with a dedicated team of Knowlton Knights.

Mayra and Kevin, our fearless house leaders, summoned us for costumes and makeup long before tours began. While other students hopped into their cute bunny and cat costumes, dabbing a few whiskers on their cheeks, we swathed our bodies with “bloodied” sheets among other garments and slathered red and black paint on our faces. Having nannied in France over the summer, I took on the persona of a mad (folle) French maid.

My role consisted of lying across the table in the conference room while Alicia—playing my revenge-ravenous roommate—“devoured my guts.” (That’s where the Jell-o came in.) When Mayra led the tour groups into our room, I pretended to shriek in pain, thus urging the group towards their next fearful destination. With the last group member out of sight, Alicia and resumed our chit-chat only to repeat our act at the sound of Mayra’s horn.

I doubt I will ever again participate in a fundraising campaign as creative or fun ever again. Then again, there’s always next year.

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Halloweekend 2013

November 8, 2013  |  The Experience, Kurt Reinmund '15


Every student and faculty member seems to find the Halloween spirit, and this year was no exception. It's a favorite holiday for Kurt Reinmund '15, and in this video, he shares a glimpse into this year's celebrations.



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Fall Weekend

October 25, 2013  |  The Experience, Miguel Salcedo '14

This year we had one of the biggest Fall Weekends that Connecticut College has ever seen, as we celebrated the completion of our $211 million Campaign for Connecticut College that President Higdon started publicly in October of 2008. The weekend started off with the bright blue illumination of the tent, complete with the College’s tree logo projected on it. The first event of the weekend was ONE.EPIC.NIGHT, which was a night filled with exciting performances by the a cappella groups, dancers, two very funny MC’s, a speed painter and Fighting Gravity. This was followed by food trucks of all sorts and a dance. Day two started with Harvestfest and brunch under the tent where clubs and organizations on campus got to sell all sorts of great stuff including t-shirts, posters, coffee mugs, phone cases, raffle tickets and baked goods for the clubs to raise money. This was followed by an exciting soccer game against Bowdoin College on Harkness Green. The night culminated with a green-screen photo booth, performance by Bear Mountain and a dance under the tent.


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Fall Weekend 2013

November 4, 2013  |  The Experience, Matteo Mobilio '16


Kurt and I are taking you behind the scenes of an annual Connecticut College tradition: Fall Weekend. It's a weekend complete with athletic matches, the annual all-group a cappella concert and HarvestFest, an open market of Connecticut College swag sold by clubs and teams.



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Emma comes to Conn

October 28, 2013  |  The Experience, Marina Stuart '16

On Friday the 18th, on the cusp of Fall Weekend, I jumped in the car and drove to the train station to pick up Emma, one of my best friends from high school.

We had decided over the summer that she was going to come visit me over Fall Weekend at Conn, in part because I knew my family wasn’t going to come visit me, but also because I knew there would be plenty of stuff for us to do.

Plenty doesn’t even begin cover it.

On Friday night the festivities began with lively a cappella concerts from the seven groups on campus. These were followed by a jaw-dropping performance by America’s Got Talent finalists Fighting Gravity, a black-light dance troupe displaying (wait for it) gravity-defying illusions. A dance ended the night in the giant tent. I asked Emma if she had fun as we walked back to my dorm, and she replied with an enthusiastic “Of course! How could I not?”

On Saturday we took a tour of the campus, watched the soccer game, and explored Harvestfest, where all the clubs on campus set up tables in the giant tent to sell merchandise as a fundraising opportunity. After dinner at the dance, I introduced Emma to other friends from around campus and also took several priceless pictures in the photo booth.

Sunday, after walking back from a lazy start in Harris dining hall, I asked Emma about her impressions of Conn. As a student who lives in New York City, she was awed by the fact that even on our small campus we remained busy, how there was always something to do.

At the train station I hugged Emma good-bye and she told me to come visit her in NYC. She then said that she hoped to come back to Conn and visit again, maybe next semester. I said, “Yes! Totally!” but I’m not sure how I can top another visit as great as this one.

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Tags:  |  The Experience, Clubs & Orgs  |  The Experience, On Campus  |  The Experience, Traditions

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Social constructs

October 29, 2013  |  Sust Blog, Alexis Cheney '16  |  The Experience, Alexis Cheney '16

What role do designers play in social movements? I dashed from my cross-country meet to hear Lee Davis ’88 give an answer.

Davis majored in studio art and his passion for design has led him around the world and through various careers. He studied alongside design gurus in Switzerland and Japan through a Thomas J. Watson fellowship, worked as a graphic designer for CARE (a humanitarian organization which fights global poverty), co-founded NESsT (a business which stabilizes and grows social enterprises), and traveled to Eastern Europe to conduct projects related to NESsT.

Davis now works as a Fellow at Yale School of Management and as a scholar-in-residence in the Center for Social Design at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). At MICA, his students design for social causes such as the urban Real Food Farm of Baltimore, which improves residents’ access to healthy food and boosts Baltimore’s local economy.

He flashed us photos of their flashy work: a decorated vegetable truck that brings produce to the people, gorgeous graphic logos, top-notch t-shirts.

Evidently, design brings social causes into view; design sets them ablaze. If I learned anything else from Davis’s presentation, it’s the value of a versatile liberal arts degree to give its holders freedom to enter (and — as Davis has done — combine!) various fields. Before we left, he fed us more explicit design-related wisdom: “Increase the size of the Connecticut College diploma.” The diploma design must, after all, reflect the quality of the degree.

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Tags:  |  The Experience, Academics  |  The Experience, Traditions

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10 perks of joining the Knowlton knighthood

October 14, 2013  |  Sust Blog, Alexis Cheney '16  |  The Experience, Alexis Cheney '16

Though I transferred to Conn a mere month and a half ago, it already feels as comfortable as home thanks to the royal wonders of Knowlton House.

1. Community
Running upstairs and knocking on Joanna’s door for that much-needed dose of chitchat and chick-flicks (most recently, "27 Dresses"), gabbing with Peruvian Gabby (in between brushing teeth) at 7 a.m. about our intended morning workouts, and cooking crepes in Knowlton’s pantry to prep for French Club with club co-head and floor neighbor, Emily.

2. Lunch
Personal faves include the baked mac n’ cheese and pork dumplings. Not to mention those chocolate chip toffee Heath bars... Mmm...

3. Language Lunch Tables
Gotta love discussing French popular films and joking about the stereotypes of northern Frenchmen with Professeur Chalmin. En francais of course!

4. Roommate Amanda (Jixuan)
A sister to come home to, though an ocean divides our hometowns.

5. Location: South Campus, on Tempel Green
Classes a minute’s walk across the Green, delicious soup and artisanal bread in Freeman dining hall a few doors down, the start line of women’s cross country practice at the tree out the back door.

6. Architecture
A grand staircase fit for a cliché ballroom entrance, crowning bedroom ceilings, rich hardwood floors, a fireplace. Not surprisingly, Knowlton began life as the campus hotel for the (once all-female) students’ male suitors.

7. Traditions

Mustache Dinner
Perhaps honoring Knowlton’s historically male guests, Knowlton Knights attend a dinner sporting mustaches and fancy attire.

Halloween
Across the street from Gallows Lane, Knowlton conjures up its spirits to throw down a killer haunted house. For those easily spooked, pumpkin carving’s also a golden option as part of our Fright Night series.

8. The Piano
A trusty friend when the time comes to plunk out that music theory homework. A godsend when the lunch hour pianist (a talented and surprisingly consistent Conn student) lays his fingers on its ivory keys.

9. Juan
Juan saves the day with his cheery “good morning,” spotless cleaning, and spare set of room keys if one helplessly finds oneself locked out of one's room. Not that I have ever been locked out ;) ;)

10. Wit
Who won the Camelympics chant? KNOWL-TON! Who won? KNOWL-TON!  Frankly, who else?

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Tags:  |  The Experience, First Year Experience  |  The Experience, On Campus  |  The Experience, Traditions

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Camelympics, where there’s an event for everyone

October 10, 2013  |  The Experience, Marina Stuart '16

CAMELYMPICS: a dorm versus dorm competition that takes place every fall at Connecticut College. The events include soccer, Jenga, dodgeball, Bananagrams and quidditch, to name a few.

This year I was determined to represent my dorm, Windham, in at least one event. Luckily, my best friend also lives in my dorm so we decided that we would sign up together.

Our issue? I am an athlete; my best friend Natalie… is not. But amongst the many contests we found a happy medium and signed up for the photo-scavenger hunt.

When we arrived at the scavenger hunt meeting place in Cro, the student center, we were pleasantly surprised to see pairs of freshmen; as sophomores we thought we’d have a leg up in knowing where certain things were located. We immediately sprinted off to the health center to take our first picture.

The competition proved fierce as the scavenger hunt led us to four different dorms, searching for various Connecticut College memorabilia. In one dorm, we took a picture of a Floralia bottle, part of another Connecticut College tradition.

Other items to find and photograph included the unusual members of the College community, the loveable Larrabee cats. (A pair of cats who live outside Larrabee dorm.)

The hunt culminated with a picture of us wearing three protective items, and then we ran as hard as we could back to Cro. We were proud, but a little frustrated to find that we’d won third place.

We actually should have gotten first, but it’s okay, we’ll be back next year to win first once and for all.

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Tags:  |  The Experience, On Campus  |  The Experience, Traditions

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