- Class: Alum
- Major: Other Interdisciplinary
- High School: Tucson High Magnet School
- Transfer Student: N
Bennington sports a student body of less than 700, and an impressive student/faculty ratio, so one has to one wonder: What's the catch? Situated miles from town on acres of idyllic Vermont hills, the campus is self contained and self maintaining (kind of like a well designed fishtank). Life at Bennington is rarely dull, with performances starting within a few weeks of the start of term, projects to work on, official themed House parties nearly every weekend, and events sponsored in various locations around campus. In fact, with everything available to students, it's hard to determine just why students are so focused on one another's lives and dramas. The easiest way to steer clear of this is, of course, not to date anyone and not to sleep with anyone. But let's get real. This is college, and you came for the sex as much as you came for the classes. As my favorite teacher once told me, "You're living in a fishbowl, kid." Welcome to Bennington.
Addressing academics at Bennington requires the explanation of two seemingly simple words that, when combined, strike fear into the hearts of graduates and students alike: PLAN PROCESS. (*cue dramatic music*) If you are interested in Bennington College, you already know that you are interested in "designing your own education." Or do you? If you are interested in designing a math-free education, a music-only education, a never-write-another-essay education, FORGET ABOUT IT. BENNINGTON COLLEGE HAS A CURRICULUM AND AN AGENDA, JUST LIKE EVERY OTHER SCHOOL. Perhaps more valuable than figuring out whether a school is an academic fit, figure out if it is a philisophical fit. Bennington College believes that its students should be richly. liberally educated. President Coleman believes that it is no longer enough to educate students as future thinkers, but as future and current world citizens. As such, a Bennington education emphasizes breadth AND depth, as well as interdisciplinary thinking and problem-solving. Students are expected to contextualize their educations, and be prepared to defend them. The Plan Process is the means to that end. Through the plan process, students clarify, question, contexualize, and eventually defend their educational choices. Unfortunately, the process is far from perfect and far from smooth. Few students experience the perfect balance of questioning, clarifying, defending, and contextualizing, and considering one's educational future is at stake, the fall-out can be scary, painful, frustrating, or simply ineffectual. The balance is that, having come through it, students can withstand anything, with confidence in their choices and desires.
Bennies are a varried lot, though we all pretty much know one when we see one. No, that doesn't mean we all like each other, or necessarily understand each others' reasons for coming here, but for one reason or another, we all spot the Benny qualities in eachother (and in others we know and meet). We tend to be liberal-minded, though not always. We tend to have a strong sense of civic responsibility. But not always. We seek connections between our various disciplines and in our social lives; connections that are deeply forged on common interests and rigorous self-driven learning. Bennington students are active, interested, astute, opinionated, and tend toward the verbose. We tend to be unsatisfied with doing one thing well, and strive, instead, for excellence, creativity, invention, and achievement in many fields of interest. We are explorers, risk-takers, thrill-seekers. Though we all get our kicks via our own idiom, we ceaselessly seek fulfillment and growth through new experiences. Of course, for some, this means casual sex, drugs, and alcohol, while others get their thrills in the rock wall. The common denomonator seems to be the understanding of what we are at Bennington, and perhaps in our lives, here to do. OK, that, and gossip.
The Best Things
The Plan Process; or the fact that it's never to late to have that AHA! moment, and realize why you're here.
The Worst Things
The Plan Process; or the fact that everyone is witness to every moment of your life