Latin and Ancient Greek Double Major, History Minor
What are your interests and hobbies?
I spend my idle hours playing the double bass, reading, dramatically watching TV with friends, building pillow forts, and procrastinating online.
Since you came to Knox, how have you changed?
I'm a pretty ... I believe the polite word is "quirky." The less polite word is weird. I've always known it and been moderately okay with it. However, during my time at Knox I've become even more comfortable with the fact that I am the sort of person to get into debates regarding the morality of the Harry Potter universe and refer to Cicero as "my homeboy." Because I'm in a place where that's considered relatively normal. At Knox they say you'll have the "freedom to flourish," and that's accurate because Knox is an environment where you are encouraged to be yourself openly, whether that means playing rugby with the Knox "Steven Colbears," throwing a party when your DVD of Love Never Dies (the sequel to the Phantom of the Opera musical) arrives from Amazon, or writing a zombie version of A Tale of Two Cities for NaNoWriMo. As a friend of mine recently put it, "Whenever I see someone at Knox who seems really cool and I start to get intimidated, I think, 'Wait. This person goes to Knox. Something must be up with them.'" Knox is a place where you can be free to be yourself.
What activities do you participate in on campus? How have they influenced your experience?
I am treasurer of the Classics Club, which increases my weekly intake of tea and creates a really relaxed environment to talk about classical works with my peers. In the fall I was dramaturge for the mainstage play, which has been a lot of fun. I've gotten the chance to see from the inside how a production comes together along with researching the historical background of the play and sharing my findings with the actors.
How would you describe campus life at Knox?
Campus life at Knox is like a breakfast bagel from the Gizmo. It is pretty basic but has many options depending on what you want to do. You want to go to the TKE party and dance? That's cool. You want a wheat bagel? That's cool. You want to attend a SASS meeting and Take Back the Night? That's cool. You want a sausage patty on your breakfast bagel? That's cool. You want to join jazz band, learn to play rugby, belly dance, play video games, see an improv show, audition for studio theatre, dance with Terp, or write BAD WOLF on the sidewalks all over the campus? That's all cool. Cripes, it is one of the most amazing things in the world. Seriously, it's wonderful, it brings people together, it is covered in cheese -- sorry, that last one is definitely more about breakfast bagels than campus life at Knox. But seriously, try a breakfast bagel.
Tell us about a memorable class/professor and what you learned from it.
One of my favorite classes I've taken was my freshman preceptorial "Science Fiction and Human Identity." Freshman preceptorial is a type of course all first-years are required to take fall term. It functions to introduce you to college, but this course was also a lot of fun. Our classroom discussions were a conglomeration of tangents on science fiction, pop culture, literature, articles, recent scientific discoveries and innovations, and whatever else we could tie into our reading assignment. Our professor Jaime Spacco was very enthusiastic and encouraged us to run with our ideas. This course not only prepared us in terms of analysis and writing skills, but also taught us that at Knox you can have a lot of fun in your classes and not to be afraid to form and share your own opinions in lively classroom discussions and projects.
What is your favorite place on campus? Off campus?
The John Houston Finley Room in Seymour Library -- it's a really great place to study all day with a group of friends during the winter. I also plan to barricade myself within it should a zombie epidemic break out on campus.
I love the antique mart in town; it's so close to campus and has a ton of cool stuff.
What campus jobs have you had while at Knox?
I am Knox's first social media assistant. Essentially I'm working on updating, maintaining, and improving the College's social media sites. It's pretty awesome because the Internet and online communities were a defining part of my adolescence, and now I work on making it easier for the Knox online community to flourish. And I can tell my mother that my hours "wasted" online have paid off.
What surprised you about Knox?
How easy it was to find people who were as delightfully quirky as myself. I was really nervous about going to school where I would know no one. On my first day at dinner a girl approached me and complimented me on my Doctor Who shirt. We started talking about a bunch of nerdy stuff we both really care about, and she's now one of my best friends. People at Knox are passionate about something, and this passion is often regarded as "nerdiness" outside of the Knox campus. But here it's just regarded as something awesome, which you are always encouraged to share with others.
Any advice for high school students on their college search?
A lot of the time I hear my friends who are now seniors in high school freaking out about their college essays. My advice to them is don't freak out and make the essay your own. I wrote my essay about The Hunger Games, John Green, the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, procrastinating, Cicero, and a parody of Twilight I made one summer with a group of friends. Not only did Knox apparently like it, but another small liberal arts college wanted to use it in the information they give to high school students as a prime example of what they want from essays. Seriously, I wrote about my friend covering her face with glitter to play Edward Cullen and Katniss Everdeen and Roman orators. Just make your essay your own, and the rest will follow.
What's the most important thing you've learned outside the classroom?
Everyone has the potential to do something amazing, and the community here really wants everyone to succeed. That, and breakfast bagels are delightful.
(Photo below: Bridget Golembiewski, a Latin and ancient Greek double major and history minor, visits the partially-buried ancient Roman city of Pompeii near Naples, Italy.)