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Discovering the World of the Ancients

- Guest Blogger  Ruby Johnson ’21 - Guest Blogger

The cover art for the book: D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths.
D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths

Ruby Johnson ‘21 hails from Medford, Oregon. She has yet to declare her major at Connecticut College but has an interest in education, American studies, Classics, and music. She sings as a soprano in Camel Heard, Connecticut College's advanced vocal ensemble, and is a member of the Connecticut College Figure Skating Club, where she teaches learn-to-skate lessons to local children on the weekends. She is working on designing her own major and is planning on declaring a Pathway this coming fall.

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Myth-Busting American Studies

- The Experience, Julia Kaback '18  - The Experience, Julia Kaback '18

A photo of Julia Kaback's  declaration of Major document. It lists her major, American Studies, the date, 12/09/15, and her new advisor, Ginny Anderson.
You must declare a major by the second semester of sophomore year. I handed in mine in December 2015.

I declared my major, American Studies, the week after Thanksgiving in 2015. A week earlier, I found myself attempting to answer the question on many of my family members minds, “Now Julesy, how will you explain to an employer down the road what the heck American Studies is?” To put it quite simply, American Studies is not just American History. My major is an interdisciplinary approach to the study of America through history, culture, theater, food, and historical figures. As Professor Jim Downs, chair of the program, would say, “American Studies is the bottom-up story of American History. It tells the story of all peoples, and makes sense of where there are holes in the stories we tell.” That means that my classes have ranged from an American Drama course to my Globalization Senior Seminar about the growth of globalization following World War Two.

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All of your burning Campus tour questions: answered

- The Experience, Andre Thomas '20  - The Experience, Andre Thomas '20

One of the most essential parts of visiting a college campus is the tour. Most parents and prospective students that visit a school might not remember what year the college was founded or how many clubs and organizations exist there, but may remember their tour guide and whether the tour was enjoyable or not. The latter is the exact reason I wanted to be a tour guide at Conn. I know the impact a tour guide can have on a student’s college decision (whether it be applying or choosing) and I hope to leave a positive mark on the families, especially the students, I encounter. Fortunately enough, I was hired as a tour guide in the spring semester my first year at Conn. It became an immensely enjoyable routine to walk to Horizon House (where the Office of Admission is housed) each week to greet families and walk them around our beautiful campus for about an hour.

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A Curable Bug Bite

- The Experience, Julia Kaback '18  - The Experience, Julia Kaback '18

Julia and her roommate Hadassah pose for a photo from their time studying abroad in Israel. They are dressed up, Hadassah as a gypsy and Julia as a tourist, to celebrate Purim, which is like a Jewish version of Halloween.
Pictured here: me, the rather optimistic “lost” tourist and Hadassah, my roommate who dressed as a gypsy. We were celebrating Purim in Israel, which is like a Jewish version of Halloween.

I got bit by a travel bug during my semester abroad in Haifa, Israel. It happened during the flight home to New York as I looked through the pages of my passport. These pages felt empty and I wondered when I would be able to stamp it once more – perhaps numerous times. 

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Change of Space, Change of Pace

- The Experience, Mark McPhillips '20  - The Experience, Mark McPhillips '20

I was the first to arrive at Tansill Theater. This black box performing space on Conn’s campus is also home to many of the classes available in the theater department. On Mondays and Wednesdays from 1:15 to 3:15 p.m. it is home to me and the other 10 members of my Acting II class. Our first project this semester was a monologue from Jose Rivera’s “Sonnets from an Old Century.” We have been working on them for about a month now and the final showing was approaching.

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One Night in Shain

- The Experience, Mark McPhillips '20  - The Experience, Mark McPhillips '20

It was an exceptionally busy day Wednesday: I had two classes, rehearsal for improv and a film screening. On top of all of that, I had a looming 5-6 page sociology essay that was due promptly at 1:15 p.m. Thursday afternoon. Luckily, I found time in a break in my schedule around noon to craft the bare bones of my introduction. Unfortunately, I was not able to continue my paper until 9:10 p.m. when I returned to the library after my film screening. This is when the bulk of my work began and I started to understand that the only way this paper would get done was with caffeine, motivation and a little help from my friends.

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Bamboo Blues

- The Experience, Andre Thomas '20  - The Experience, Andre Thomas '20

The miniature working model of A.T.'s bamboo chair
A model of my final bamboo piece

Never in a million years did I think I’d be taking another art class—especially not in college. I took my first one in third grade, and I remember two things about it: struggling with every assignment and learning that I never shook the inability to color (or paint, for that matter) inside any kind of line. After that experience, I pledged to my 8-year-old self that I would avoid every art class for as long as possible.

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Beyond the Classroom

- The Experience, Avery Lowe '18  - The Experience, Avery Lowe '18

Sitting on Avery's desk are five black and white photos of Avery and her friends
Some of my most recent pictures

I couldn’t wait to give my friends the pictures I’d printed in the dark room. Handing them physical photos, instead of texting or sharing them on Facebook, felt special. I know they felt it too.

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A different kind of Winter Break

- The Experience, Julia Kaback '18  - The Experience, Julia Kaback '18

Julia and Daphne take a selfie at the Deer Valley Resort
Daphne and I after a slice of carrot cake at lunch

Because I am not the biggest fan of spending my winter break at the beach, I have always, for the most part, opted for a ski vacation. Recently, the weather in New York City, my hometown, has been bone chilling and I wondered before my flight to Salt Lake City, Utah, took off if I wasn’t better off visiting a beach.

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Captain of My Sports-Leader Ship

- The Experience, Daniella Maney ’20  - The Experience, Daniella Maney ’20

Not many students at Conn are taught by the women’s rowing coach, but I was. Midway through last semester I started a class called Sports Leadership taught by coach Eva Kovach. This class was part of Conn’s Career Informed Learning courses, which bring alumni or community members to class to discuss how the concepts we learn about play out in the world. The dean of sophomores, Carmela Patton, recommended that I take the class because of my interest in sports. In high school, I competed year-round and ended my high school career as the captain of my cross country team and track and field team. I have always enjoyed spearheading groups that I have been a part of. That added with my ability to be loud and make friends has so far served as a good formula for molding me into a leader. During my first year of high school, I always respected my captains but I also thought that the biggest part of the job was simply being nice to everyone. After leading the teams myself and dealing with issues within my teams I understand that ‘leading’ is multifaceted. Being a part of this class gave me the opportunity to look retrospectively at my past roles as a leader and learn what I did well, but also learn what I can improve upon.

 

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