Bennington Music Student
- Class: Junior
- Major: Music
- Gender: F
- High School: Walled Lake Western High school
- Transfer Student: N
Bennington College is like Hogwarts. The house you live in has a definite personality and relationship to the community and you generally become more familiar with them and when drama insues (it always does) you'll find your house grows to be like a family. You either love here or you hate it here. Even when you love it, it's like an old married couple kind of love, where you're constantly making snide, bitter remarks about the Dining Hall food. Speaking of Dining Hall, this becomes a huge part of your life. You are required to pay for the Dining Hall for all your meals. Breakfast, Lunch Dinner. Its a favorite point of common grievance between students. The food is often exotic, bad, and bland. Our Dining Hall often makes meat-eaters into vegetarians. And yes. There are many meat-eaters at Bennington College. The Adminstration is not well-liked. They have made many decisions recently that have filtered out some of the Bennington stand-bys. The book store guy that used to be a porn-star who was always there for advice had his position terminated. Our own beloved security guards who give how-to-fix-your-car classes on the side and who will take care of you and who are more concerned about you not dying that about busting you are having their positions placed in jeopardy. And while they are firing the people that we love, they are putting in a swimming pool. We don't understand. Nobody understands. Everybody blames and hates the admistration. I say Hogwarts because you are not just signing up for a school here, you are signing up for a world. You learn from everybody, from the sculpture tech, from your fellow students, from your faculty advisors. There's not a lot of university brand school pride. But there is a lot of passion. This is not a place for the weak because the bubble will drive you insane. You have to have passion to survive here.
The faculty has small classes so that you get close with them, especially those within your discipline. Classes vary. Sometimes they are like apprenticeships, other times they can be discussions on material. The Music Department is great. All the teachers are active in their field professionally so they are all composers and do gigs and some are even rockstars. Finals are never typical finals. This time around I had to built a maraca out of aluminum to go on the end of a pencil, compose a four-part canonic piece, die as Juliet in her final death scene and learn a song on fiddle by ear. What I do always sounds like complete b.s. to everyone else but to you it means so much, it means a thousand moments of confidence building, aconventional, scary learning that you have to invest a lot into. There are slackers here but really to survive and moreoever, to actually get something to get out of it, YOU are your backbone, nobody else. You decide the direction of your work, how much you study, what you want out of your classes. There's no grades, but it makes it that much more intense. You have to learn for yourself and fight for yourself. A Bennington Education is foofy imaginary creature up in the air that hangs up there till you grab it down and make it your own. There is a mention in your plan essays about what you want to do with your life and what you want your life work to be but it's not big. It's what you want. You're paying the big bucks after all.
Bennington is mostly white kids. Some are rich, some have middle class parents, some (like me) cannot afford it and are living with hefty lones. There is definitely a focus on being weird and atraditonal. If a girl wears heels all the time and looks like every other "pretty" girl looks across America she will be frowned upon. I feel like there are a lot of stereotypes that run rampagnt. Bennington is supposed to be this badass place to people that do CRAZY things, smoking, drinking CRAZY stuff. But really, I think it's a school same as any school is.
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