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.
When I discuss writing essays with my friends in other majors, one of the things we talk about is the style and conventions expected from our professors and department. This can be something as basic as what sort of citation style we use, such as Turabian (my personal favorite), MLA, APA or ASA to specific grammatical and structural issues we encounter when writing our papers. For example, in music, there is a difference between a piece that is “for oboe and clarinet” and “for clarinet and oboe”; the first instrument plays higher than the second. One of the subjects I really enjoy writing for is my major: philosophy. Part of what I enjoy about writing papers for philosophy is that I’m allowed to write in the first person, which is unusual in academic writing.
I’ve written before about my plans to study away from Conn. Next semester I will be studying at the IES Abroad Vienna Music Program in Austria, but right now, as I enter into the final days of the fall semester, I’m focused on completing my obligations at Conn and making plans for the future. One major part of my pre-study away planning process has been the Office of Career and Professional Development’s Junior Year Action Plan. The plan helps me prepare for the College’s funded internship program next summer.
I’ve got a secret that I recently decided to come forward and divulge. I do not have a valid driver's license nor a permit. The closest thing to a car that I’ve ever driven was a go-kart! Recently, I picked up the “New York State Driver's Manual” at my home library in New York City and read it cover to cover, but doing that did not give me the confidence to take the wheel. As a 21-year-old college student, not knowing how to drive is not much of a nuisance as many expect it to be.
I’ve always loved acting. In fact, I’ve been strolling across the stage since third grade. However, acting is the only branch of theater I delved into, or at least it was until this semester. As a theater major, one of the requirements is to fulfill four credit hours of practicum courses across three mainstage productions, which means you have to be a crew member or technician for three shows. I’ve always wanted to work in the behind-the-scenes world of a production, mainly because I’m a strong believer that you’re never too experienced to learn. So, I figured I should start as soon as possible. I was offered not only the chance to be sound board operator, but to also serve as sound designer for the theater department’s first mainstage production of the academic year, “Uncommon Women and Others” by Wendy Wasserstein, a play set in the wake of second-wave feminism. To be honest, I was initially quite hesitant due to my lack of knowledge around my exact responsibility, but I accepted the role anyway.
Perhaps the passage I felt most at home within this summer’s Connecticut College reading, Yaa Gyasi’s graceful historical fiction novel “Homegoing,” came in the very last chapter of the book, which focuses on Marcus, a graduate student working on his doctoral thesis at Stanford University. A few pages into the chapter, the narrator explains that “Originally [Marcus had] wanted to focus his work on the convict leasing system that had stolen years off of his great-grandpa H’s life”. However, the narrator goes on to explain that Marcus felt he would also have to write about the Great Migration, which his grandparents participated in when they moved from Pratt City in Birmingham, Alabama, to Harlem in New York City. Writing about the Great Migration would in turn make Marcus feel he should also write about histories that had affected his father’s and his lives, specifically the effects of heroin, crack-cocaine and the war on drugs in Harlem.