Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

Coffee, wisdom and a free fleece?

During lunch, Darnell McGee ’11 gives a student advice about job interviews

Saturday morning, 9 a.m., 10 degrees.

On a morning like this, most people would want to be huddled under the covers, dreaming about the nice feta-and-spinach omelet they want for breakfast.

Not at Wheaton. Here, on this particular morning in January, the Haas Concourse & Lobby in Watson Fine Arts was packed, wall to wall, with students inhaling bagels, coffee cake, fruit and java. They were eagerly awaiting the opening address for Sophomore Symposium in Weber Theatre. Dozens of alums—some of them had driven from New York—also were on campus ready to share their wisdom and encouragement during a full day of programs designed to help sophomores map out the rest of their journey through Wheaton and into the future.

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Nothing but the best will do

Sketch books“Don’t you want to find out how good you can be?”

The question was posed this semester in the final seconds of a class taught by Professor Andrew Howard—the First-Year Seminar course “The Quality of the Mark: A Journey towards Self-awareness through Drawing.” I’m an artist and a constant seeker of “self,” so I took the course alongside the students this semester.

The class had just finished a critique of assigned homework, and a couple of students had asked him point-blank whether they should redo their drawings for the final portfolios that would be turned in at the end of the semester.

His initial answer: “I don’t know, what do you think?”  [Read more...]

Goodbye, hello

I’ve been thinking a lot about endings and beginnings over the past few months in working on the fall issue of the magazine. With Commencement being the ultimate symbol of both, I can’t help it.

I don’t know how parents, faculty members and staff members watch this ceremony over and over again. The experience is such an emotion-filled mix of joy and sadness—joy for the students you’ve watched bloom and accomplish so much over the past four years, sadness about the fact that they now have come to the end of their journey at Wheaton and are off to their next beginning, the next chapter in their lives. My son just turned 13 this summer, but I’m already happy/sad that one day I’ll be watching him do this.

I interacted regularly with several of the 2012 graduating students over the past four years, offering advice, listening to hopes, dreams and doubts. So I was more acutely aware than ever of their absence this summer after Commencement as I walked the empty campus.  [Read more...]

The F-word

The f-wordConfession time:

I have lost and regained 75 pounds—twice.

I can tell you how many Weight Watchers points in anything, anything—even the points in air.

I know by heart the list of acceptable foods for Phase One of the South Beach Diet. Sadly, potato chips are not on it.

At my own commencement, my grandmother offered me a peppermint from her pocketbook and my mother balked in a loud whisper, “Don’t give her any candy! Look at her!” (Sorry, Mom; hope you’re not reading this. Thanks for not calling me fat.)

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