Sophomore year, I auditioned for the Wheaton Dance Company, and made it. The first day of rehearsal, our director, Cheryl Mrozowski, lined us up along the back of the room and led us through a ballet barre. I’d heard of barre before—it involved things like knee bends and going up on your toes. I was sure I’d be fine.
I was wrong. Barre was the worst thing that had happened to my 19-year-old body. By the end of the first week, I looked like I’d been in a car accident, with bruises all over my legs, hands and (inexplicably) torso. There was this one move—frappé it’s called—which in the rest of life means “yummy cold beverage,” but in ballet terms means “kick yourself repeatedly, as fast as you can, until the music ends.” I flapped and flailed. But these embarrassing times at the barre didn’t make me want to quit dance —they made me want to conquer it. [Read more...]
When I was a sophomore at Wheaton, I took a class on literary and critical theory, aptly named “Approaches to Literature,” with Paula Krebs. Toward the end of the course, after having attempted to master reader response, deconstruction and postcolonial criticism as lenses though which to read a book, Professor Krebs made the comment that learning how to apply these theories was “an arduous pleasure.” This notion—one that has always resonated with me—has now woven itself inextricably into my educational creed.
Since graduating with the Class of 2005 as an English literature major, I have gone on to teach seventh-grade English in an inner-city school; teach at the high school level in independent boarding schools; and lead outdoor education trips for disadvantaged youths. I have learned myriad lessons and gained insights from all of my experiences, and have appreciated all of them for what they were—opportunities for intellectual and personal growth, not as a means to an end. [Read more...]
Globalization is fast becoming the norm for life in the 21st century. Never was that more clear to me than when I was more than 4,000 miles from home in Istanbul, Turkey, where many years ago as a Wheaton student I made international and personal connections that I still hold dear to this day.