- Class: Freshman
- Major: Music
- Gender: M
- High School: Langley High School
- Transfer Student: N
After you've told the 986784th person that you go to Colby College, your brain engages auto-pilot to field one of the following two responses: The Blank Stare, followed by a half-embarassed "Now where is that again?" or "Thats in Maine right? You must be cold up there" To disambiguate now, in attempt to eliminate any further confusion: yes, it's ***ing cold up here, deal with it. I spend the majority of my time, during tundra season, in "The Street," the corridor below Miller Library, the iconic building at Colby. No the street isn't nerdy, it's just where most people hang out because our new student center has proven to be such a colossal failure. There is no draw to Pulver Pavillion, affectionately known as The Train Station or That Uncomfortable Excuse for a Student Center. Unfortunately it is true. But, there have been a number of people consciously trying to make it a better place and it's happening, slowly. By the next year, it should be infinitely better than it currently is with plans to bring in more comfortable seating, area rugs, non-industrial lighting, and whole host of student art. That seems to be emblematic of my experience with Colby as a whole: We are new. A new academic respect and recognition, new buildings and building projects, and a new image. Pursuant to this newness, a few things have become apparent: I think in part to cope with our underwhelming "name power," unlike a Williams or an Amherst, our administration has sought to micromanage every outwardly visible aspect of our college, most blatantly, our website. A visit to the "Prospective Students" area of Colby.edu offers more daily information about our school than 99% of the rest of our campus. The Result: Students feel left in the dark. The level of communication amongst students, the administration, and student organizations is non-existent. Our campus is GORGEOUS, but also very large and the amount of sheer footage coupled with our ivory tower administration has left the majority of students feeling isolated and unheard.
My "Listening to Music" class (MU111) began with my professor running from the back of the auditorium to the front, singing a female aria from the Marriage of Figaro. He is a man. And probably the coolest man I have ever met. Every lecture in his class was filled with humor, and just plain interesting material. He connected Blues Traveler to the Pachelbell Kannon, bringing amazingly disparate genres to life. That happened to be my largest class first semester (clocking in at right under 60) and also my favorite although it ran a close race to my English Seminar (gateway to the english major), rounding out at 12 people. Incidentally my MU111 professor has helped me sponsor a new dialogue house for next near called The Music and Arts House. It will be a dorm committed to fostering artistic creativity, from impromptu poetry readings to nightly music jams to wall painted murals. Most of my professors have shown the same willingness to help their students create and excel. Even in big classes (60), professors want to know your name. On average, class sizes are around 30 students however do everything you can to wheedle your way into a seminar class as a first year. The English Seminar (12 people) and Jazz History (15 people) have both been very intimate and well worth the effort it took to get in. I occasionally eat with my professors; we can take them into the dining halls for free. Sometimes my friends and I have even taken professors out to eat as a group. They are really interesting and very down to earth. Dinnertime conversations (with or without professors) range from current events to music to campus initiatives to how much pot the kids who live in Woodman/Foss smoke (likely without professors) to the newest administrative folly (definitely with professors).
A lot of eating goes on at Colby. Its cold and we have nothing better to do. So it seems that it would be the best way to assess our campus culture. Student-Athletes often eat at Dana (football, basketball and all of the other sports that we are terrible at). Other people eat there too, but mostly those who identify themselves with sports culture. The Average Hardworking People eat at Bobs, more formally Roberts. These kids LOVE Colby and its new aesthetic (Pulver Pavillion, our website, etc.) and finally The Hippes, The International Kids, and The Crunchy eat at Foss. If you like to eat granola for breakfast lunch and dinner (with organic, homegrown milk of course) or like international cuisine then Foss is for you. Of course this cross-sectional study highlights the stereotypes of our own dining halls just as most people would tell you that we're all a bunch of kids from Boston. Both not true, entirely. People are generally very nice pretty accepting of others (one reputation well deserved). We have a very proud and visible LGBT group on campus called The Bridge and many of my friends are international students. People are even accepting of the one or two republicans who happen to reside on campus. I think they are rarely seen in Foss because ninety percent of the people who eat there have copies of The Communist Manifesto on their nightstands. Bottom line, everyone has a place here.
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