Back and Forth

- The Experience, Lexi Pope ’21

A photo of Lexi's cute white puppy staring into the camera
Sometimes leaving my puppy is the hardest part!

In one of my very first parent-teacher conferences in elementary school, my teacher informed my mom that I had some trouble with transitions. This hasn’t been something that has changed much. From leaving the beach after a fun day to something more drastic like moving houses, I have never liked change.

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Stepping Outside My Comfort Zone

- The Experience, Lexi Pope ’21

Lexi and her group of five friends pose for a photo in the dance studio during their class
My group for our upcoming hip-hop performance!

I was excited to start my sophomore year, particularly academically. I thought I had it all figured out. I had begun to discover my passion for psychology and philosophy and planned on taking one philosophy course. But at the last minute, I decided to take two. I emailed Simon Feldman, my Introduction to Philosophy professor, and he encouraged me to join his Philosophy of Law course. I was excited, believing I was checking another box and that philosophy could become my minor.

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Looking Glass: A Photo Essay

- The Experience, Andre Thomas '20

The spring semester of my first year, I took a course called Building Culture. A course cross-listed in both the art history and architectural studies departments, it focused on the history of various art movements, how they were introduced by the social climate, and how they influenced architecture. One day in class we focused on modern architecture and Phillip Johnson, a renowned architect, for his Glass House in New Canaan, Connecticut. Last weekend, I got to travel to the Glass House with the Department of Architectural Studies for an in-depth tour. Here are some of best moments and features I was able to capture!

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Fall Weekend at Ammerman

- The Experience, Saadya Chevan '19

Saadya Chevan explains the computer program he is designing via mac computer to a parent who attended his project presentation
Presenting my composition to a parent during Fall Weekend. Photo by Assistant Professor of Dance Shawn Hove

As a sophomore, I applied and was accepted to the Ammerman Center for Arts and Technology at Connecticut College. The Center is one of the five academic centers on campus that provides resources to students and faculty doing interdisciplinary work on a specific subject. Learn more about my journey as an Ammerman Scholar.

This semester I’m starting to produce my senior integrative project (SIP) for the Ammerman Center. SIPs are year-long independent study projects that seniors participating in the College’s four center-certificate programs undertake culminating in a final performance or installation from each senior every spring. My project is an attempt to develop a piece of classical music where audience members get to participate. It currently uses the working title “Democracy and Classical Music,” which stems from a challenge posed to me by professors who I have worked closely with developing this project. They posited that allowing audience members to interact raises problems similar to those raised by the challenge of satisfying people with different viewpoints in the democratic process.

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Adulting

- The Experience, Samirah Jaigirdar '22

Samirah and her roommate sitting side-by-side giggling on the couch
Huge shoutout to my roommate who is making my transition into adulthood easier!

When I was packing to move from Bangladesh to Connecticut College, I mentally prepared myself to choose classes for my first semester, make new friends, be a good roommate and most importantly, adjust to a new country. I arrived at Conn and these four things happened smoothly with minimal bumps. I thought I was doing great at this “being an adult” thing. I even boasted about it to my mom.

Unfortunately, the saying that “pride comes before the fall” is true. In my fifth week at Conn, I got an email from Student Health Services (SHS) stating that I needed to get a Tuberculosis (TB) test because Bangladesh was still considered to be on the list of countries with TB prevalence. Now, I had no problem going in and doing a test. But then I saw that it was actually a blood test they wanted me to do instead of the usual skin test that TB required. I remember frantically rereading the email and telling my roommate in Bengali about my fear of needles, which she obviously didn’t understand. But my panicked speech in a foreign language helped her comprehend my intense phobia. After much reassurance from her and after my mom laughed at my fears via WhatsApp, a free call/messaging app that I would recommend for all international students, I called SHS to schedule my appointment. On the day of the actual blood draw, I forced myself to sit in the chair with encouragement from my friend Anne and my roommate. All in all, it was my worst moment at Conn but I’m proud of myself for not fainting. This was my first proper step into the world of ‘adulting.’

Four other adulting moments I’ve experienced in the last two months:

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Is Tempel Green Greener on the Other Side

- The Experience, David Johnston '19

Picture of the very green grass on Tempel Green with residence halls JA and Harkness is the background.
Advantages of living in south include being right outside Tempel Green

The Connecticut College campus generally falls into two areas: north and south. The Charles E. Shain Library is in the middle. Last spring, as I began contemplating where I wanted to live on campus my senior year, I thought about the fact that I never lived in south campus. So during the housing lottery, I picked a room in Jane Addams (JA) House, the second southernmost residence house on campus. Since moving in I’ve noticed a lot of differences between north and south campus. South campus is close to many of the academic buildings, which helps if you are like me and are running late most of the time. It is also home to Tempel Green, as well as the dining halls in Jane Addams and Freeman House. I am not a morning person so having two dining halls close by makes getting breakfast, which is usually a struggle for me, much easier.

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Well, Well, Well

- The Experience, Andre Thomas '20

The Office of Wellbeing and Health Promotion. (clockwise from bottom-left): Meg Thompson, Clare Peyton (intern), Me, CC Curtiss, and Sydney Tran (intern)
Our office (clockwise from bottom-left): Meg Thompson, Clare Peyton (intern), Me, CC Curtiss, and Sydney Tran (intern)

As the old adage goes, “If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.” I’ve always remembered this hackneyed phrase because one of my main goals in life is to have a career that allows me to do what I love so that I never get tired of it. Although I plan to go into performing arts, I have always been passionate about all things related to wellness and wellbeing. Having a position in the Office of Wellbeing and Health Promotion on campus allows me to work in a place with a mission to promote something I’m passionate about, both in my own and others’ lives. It’s work that has never actually felt like work.

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Decisions, Decisions...

- The Experience, Lexi Pope ’21

I went to a small, private high school in East Providence, Rhode Island, where I had countless tools and people who helped me and guided me through the college process. I am forever grateful for their support. Despite this, I could not seem to figure out what I wanted and what I didn’t want in a college. I had toured multiple schools and thought they were all fine, but I hadn’t had that “falling in love” feeling every high school senior talks about when they find their new home.

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A not-as-planned summer internship

- The Experience, David Johnston '19

Last spring I began my search for a summer internship. I was studying in Vienna for the semester, which meant I was unable to meet potential employers for in-person interviews. I applied to several historic preservation organizations, which is something I am interested in pursuing after I graduate, and was offered an internship with Connecticut Landmarks, an organization based in Hartford, Connecticut, that runs several historic properties around the state.

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Rereading To Kill a Mockingbird

- The Experience, Saadya Chevan '19

Books on display from the banned books reading and one of the speakers at the event
Lee Hisle, Vice President for Information Services and Librarian of the College, opening the reading of To Kill a Mockingbird, and some of the banned books from Shain’s collection.

I skim every email I receive, even newsletters that seem to come into my inbox solely for me to delete them. However, in a recent copy of “What's New at Shain Library,” a weekly newsletter detailing events, lectures and exhibits taking place at the College’s library, an announcement for a community reading of Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird” in honor of Banned Books Week piqued my interest. I contacted Carrie Kent, who organized the reading, and volunteered to read for 20 minutes near the end of the day.

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