Having grown up travelling the globe with my family, playing dress up in the forests of southern PA, experiencing just about every system of education available, I'm now here in Bennington, VT as an Admissions intern. This blog is to tell you all about my experience as a student at Bennington College, to answer questions and to provide a window into the life of an undergrad at Bennington.
So I offered a bargain:
All of it, the books, the papers,
and whatever is still brewing in my teapot head—
All of this, I said, I will surrender
if only I may have
the home that I have seen in his face.
The answer came at once: No.
What lies you tell, and call them love.
— April Bernard
Found while reading excerpts of the course materials lists… I’m in love with my education.
Images of a Summer Weekend at Bennington
Sometimes we do things on weekends! It’s fun.
For example: hike up Bald mountain, bake bread, eat food while reading John Donne, farm, eat food while hanging out with friends, and take pictures of things.
Other adventures not pictured might include: waiting for the bus with Sam, listening to This American Life while mending jeans, and trekking into town to do the laundry. Who knows — if you stop by this summer to pay us a visit, you might see some of these people, or some of these eggplants!
Wishing you a lovely summer,
Sylvia M. ‘16
Classes for this term:
Whitman and Dickinson with Mark Wunderlich: poetry, queer* identity, blasphemy, violence, sensuality and devotional prayer. It’s good — it’s so good.
Collaboration with Musicians and Dancers with Allen Shawn and Susan Sgorbati:make dance, make music, make them together and apart, make them with strangers, make them with friends. Challenging, inspiring, full of paradigm shifts and good evenings spent collaborating with peers. I’m surrounded by geniuses!
Mandolin with John Kirk: I am in love with my new mandolin, and trying to think of names — Genevieve? Giselle? Zsa Zsa? Not sure yet.
Improvisation Ensemble with Kota Yamazaki : A lot of wiggling around, coming to a new understanding of disassociation of self and movement. Intriguing, occasionally befuddling, and always something new to learn.
Intermediate Dance Technique with Daniel Roberts: After this class I feel like a sweaty, sore, noodle-person. Daniel pushes hard, which is great, and Cunningham technique is invigorating.
Stellar and Observational Astronomy with Hugh Crowl: This class is hard for me because I don’t usually identify as a science student. But I love it! All the names of all the stars, and studying the orbits and rotations of all those celestial bodies and things.
“If death meant just leaving the stage long enough to change costume and come back as a new character…Would you slow down? Or speed up?”
The other day I received the dubious compliment that my writing sounds like Chuck Palahniuk’s (author of Fight Club). So I googled him, and found some awesome quotations and some really creepy short stories. What this says about my own psychology and writing I have yet to determine…
Reading and Writing: The Novel (with Benjamin Anastas, my cardigan-sporting novelist advisor. We plumb the depths of the novelist’s mind. A cumulative list of reading recommendations)
Créatrices (the study of awesome French women creating, writing, painting awesome French things! featuring George Sand, one of my favorite characters in the history of literature)
Contemporary African Dance 2 (this class is the hardest workout! I actually can’t think about it — it is so far beyond the realm of what is intellectually conceivable in the way of inspiration and mind-blowing challenge. I love it!)
Contact Improvisation 2 (we roll around, practice lifts, and generally get all up in each other’s business, in a very meditative, explorative dancing way)
Mandolin (John Kirk, the prof., likes to say that if you throw a rock on Bennington campus, it’ll probably hit a mandolin player)
Forest Ecology (we study woods with Kerry Woods! we climb around in the local ecosystems, learn how to observe and ask questions, and study the natural, complex cycles of our environment… very thought-provoking and physical at the same time!)
Costume Construction Basics (want to know how to hand sew? never touched a sewing machine? love to be surrounded by a vast array of cloth and tucked away into the annals of the costume shop? This class offers all of that!)
In short, an amazing education. I can’t tell you how happy I am to be her, learning what I’m learning, and surrounded by such inspiring peers and professors.