The Experience, Marina Stuart '16


Marina Stuart ‘16 is an environmental studies major and English minor from Philadelphia. On campus, Marina writes for The College Voice and is a member of the track and field team. She is also part of the Sustainability Representatives Program, a student organization that fosters a culture of sustainability on campus. Marina aspires to have a career as a science writer, ideally in journalism. In her free time, Marina reads a combination of fantasy fiction, science books and novels about the World War.


Competing at Conn

May 7, 2014 | The Experience, Marina Stuart '16

This past weekend was the track team’s annual home meet. Each year, we host one meet -- The Silfen Invitational -- and it’s always a big day. For once, we don’t have to wake up early and take a bus somewhere. Instead, eight other colleges travel to New London! By having the meet at home, it’s an opportunity for our families and friends to see us compete and support our team.

I had more family at this week’s meet than I would have ever expected. Since the Invitational coincided with Easter, my Philadelphia-based family was visiting and they were able to spend time in New London cheering me on. One of my cousins had never been to a meet before, so it was a great experience for her.

I just loved that my family could see me pole vaulting, doing something that I love. Best of all, they got to see Camels win!

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Sushi and a trip around the world

April 30, 2014 | The Experience, Marina Stuart '16

Last week, the East Asian studies students hosted a poster session -- where students share their research and answer questions about their work. I went to support a friend, to cover the event for The College Voice and, in large part, because of my own personal interest in studying abroad.

Two East Asian studies classes presented posters about their spring break trips to Okinawa and Taiwan, respectively. While in Asia, each student conducted an individual research project.

As I wandered around the room, notebook in one hand and sushi in the other, I asked students about their experiences. I was struck with how much these students were impacted by their trips abroad. When I asked a friend what her favorite part of the trip was, she responded with, “Can I say the most profound part?” She went on to describe the moment she met a survivor of the Battle of Okinawan who worked as nurse in caves that were constantly being bombarded by bombs and gunfire.

These stories make me even more excited about my own study abroad plans for next fall. The stories also remind me that opportunities like spring break trips allow students who might not spend a whole semester abroad to experience life-changing opportunities around the world.

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A walk in the woods on a sunny afternoon

April 23, 2014 | The Experience, Marina Stuart '16

As most people know, Connecticut College has an arboretum. Sometimes, however, guests and even students don’t realize the whole scope of what we lovingly call the “Arbo.” The protected lands extend across Route 32, along the side of the athletic center. The arboretum even includes an island -- Mamacoke Island -- and it’s where I spent most of my Friday afternoon hiking.

Glenn Dreyer, director of the Arboretum and executive director of the College’s Goodwin-Niering Center for the Environment, led an informative hike around Mamacoke, telling us about it’s history and geology. I had been to the island once before, for a geology lab, but I attended on Friday afternoon because I was interested to learn more about the history of the island.

I had no idea that, many years ago, Native Americans lived on Mamacoke. Students in the Anthropology Department are currently mapping out areas where they may have lived. Just a few years ago, two Native American skeletons were found in the area. They’ve also found places where they Natives shucked and cooked oysters.

There are also deer and various animal predators on this island, and during our hike we were being scouted by some turkey vultures, and we even found the wing of a turkey — maybe their lunch?

Overall, it was great to get out of a classroom and just walk around, talk to my friends and professors and learn about an important part of our campus history.

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Going back to my roots

April 11, 2014 | The Experience, Marina Stuart '16

Since I was a kid, I have loved writing. Originally, I wanted to write fiction and would come up all these different characters and settings. (Plots were not my strong suit.) I had all these notebooks filled with lists of characters, their ages, likes, and dislikes, which, I guess, explains why I was so excited when my English professor approved my idea for my final class project. In fact, I found myself with a sense of giddiness that college student’s rarely have before attempting an 11-page paper.

Our final English paper involves comparing The Canterbury Tales, which we are reading in Middle English, to modern versions of the stories. I was struck, however, with an idea in class about setting Canterbury Tales as a movie about college kids on spring break who get into a storytelling contest. My paper would outline the pilgrims in the Canterbury Tales as modern college student stereotypes and then explain how they relate to their Middle Ages counterparts. It might well turn out to be a paper in which I get to do exactly what I love: develop characters, decide what they look like and choose their interests. It’s wonderful that even when your academic interests change (as I’ve become more interested in science writing in recent years,) there are times when college classes afford you the opportunity to just do what you love, what inspires you.

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All about that Cro Pass life

April 10, 2014 | The Experience, Marina Stuart '16

I try very hard not to take night classes.

Not that there aren’t good classes being held at night, but as a track athlete whose practice regularly goes to 6 or 6:30, the added stress of having to get to class afterward is one I try to avoid for my mental health. However, when I joined the Goodwin-Niering Center for the Environment, I was signed up for a seminar that takes place 7-8:30 pm.

Now, you might wonder how I can leave practice, change, eat, get my books and get to class in under a half hour, but luckily, the College has a nifty system for athletes whose practices end after dining hall hours, or for those athletes who also have night classes. We call it the “Cro Pass.”

With the Cro Pass, you get certain items from Oasis, our snack shop, for free. (Cro Passes are only redeemable on the day you were given it, and has to be signed your coach.) Because of my night course schedule isn’t typical for athletes, it’s pretty infrequent that others from my team are eating in Oasis. I try not to eat alone, and I certainly don’t want to be seen eating a whole pizza, solo, on a Tuesday night. So, I decided to use my Cro Pass as a way to befriend my classmates in the Goodwin-Niering Center.

One of my classmates, Maia, is also involved in tons of activities, including dance, so she occasionally hasn’t had the chance to grab dinner before class. She has become my regular Cro date for post-Goodwin Niering seminars dinners, and through this, also a very close friend.

Just this week, she texted me saying “Are you living that Cro Pass life today??” After all, aren't all good friendships are based on food?

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Track and Avalonia, a success

April 2, 2014 | The Experience, Marina Stuart '16

One of the most valuable skills I’ve learned this year is how to organize: how to organize an event, how to organize people and how to manage down-to-the-detail. I was responsible for organizing a community service day for 50 volunteers. It’s a lot more complicated than you might think.

The community service day I organized was part of a class project within the College’s Goodwin-Niering Center for the Environment, and the 50 people were my teammates from the Conn College Track and Field team. The job? Clearing invasive species and brush from two preserves managed by Avalonia Land Conservancy in nearby Mystic, Conn.

For my Goodwin-Niering Center project, an academic center at Conn that focuses on the environment, I’m working to broaden Avalonia’s member base and get more young people involved with the organization. Since the track team does a community service project every year, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity. Since the team is large, we decided to split up and spend two days working at two different preserves run by Avalonia, both in the Stonington area about 20 minutes north of campus. The most challenging part of organizing the whole event involved gathering the equipment we needed to clear the heavy brush. To do that, I reached out to the geology department and the Connecticut College Arboretum; who each kindly lent me clippers, loppers, shovels and gloves.

Both days were great successes. The activity also seemed to provide a fun break for the athletes. I loved being able to connect two of my passions in such a productive way, and I look forward to using this new knowledge to create other such experiences.

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Studying abroad

March 5, 2014 | The Experience, Marina Stuart '16

When I was visiting colleges a tour guide asked, “Who plans on studying abroad?” my hand always flew into the air. This goal has stayed with me through college, and, after a nail biting two-week wait, I recently found out that I’ve been approved to study abroad at the University of Edinburgh.

Next step? Actually going about the process of applying to the program. This involves getting a visa, making travel arrangements and submitting additional personal statements and letters of recommendation.

It was only when my mother said, “Great, now I can plan my trip to Scotland to visit you,” did the realization that I am about to live in another country by myself actually hit me.

O.M.G.

Even though I am slightly nervous, my head is full of plans to travel around the Scottish countryside, visit other European countries, and have an international academic experience, all while having A LOT of fun. I can’t wait.

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Reading times

February 27, 2014 | The Experience, Marina Stuart '16

Finding time to read in college is hard.

Between classes, extracurricular events and relaxing with friends, finding time to yourself that isn’t devoted to homework is a rarity. I have realized that going to dining halls or campus cafés during odd hours can be the perfect way to find some peace and quiet. There are fewer people, fewer distractions and it’s usually a time in the day not already set aside for other activities.

My time to read is after my 2:05 class on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. I don’t read every day, usually because I have homework to do before track practice, but if there are no pressing assignments, I enjoy going to Harris and sitting in a booth. With tea and a cookie, it’s my time to relax and read.

In my classes and clubs, I’m studying intense, scholarly works. Sometimes my brain just needs a break, I’ve realized, so my personal reading is not always advanced literary masterpieces. Sometimes, it’s just young adult fiction. My current book? “Divergent,” by Veronica Roth. For those of you like me, with busy schedules and brains in need of a rest, I highly recommend it.

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ReVISION Week, a community dialogue

February 24, 2014 | The Experience, Marina Stuart '16


I sat down with Gabby Arenge '14 to discuss her involvement in Curriculum ReVision Week. With an awesome turnout, good things are certain to come of this great, weeklong community dialogue.



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The crosswordians

February 7, 2014 | The Experience, Marina Stuart '16

When I arrived at Conn, I ate most of my meals in the dining halls nearest to my dorm. As I expanded my horizons, at the urging of a friend, I ventured south to Freeman Dining Hall (in Freeman House.) It was there where I first discovered the joy of at the New York Times crossword puzzles.

Of course, I knew what the crossword was, but had never actually tried it before. What started as a simple lunch became a meeting of the minds. An architectural studies major/art minor with French language skills teamed up with this environmental studies major/English minor who knows Spanish. Together we managed our way through the Tuesday puzzle and -- on a good week -- even the Thursday crossword.

Since my friend graduated, I have continued doing the crossword almost every weekday. My group of crosswordians has grown to include two psychology majors and an East Asian studies major, all of us with varying language abilities. One time, our crossword attempts extended to an evening meal with my track team, and all of us worked together to complete a Wednesday crossword (which, for those who haven’t yet become familiar with the New York Times crossword, is kind of difficult.)

Doing the crossword is one of the new routines that I’ve developed at Conn. It is easy to pick up, because Conn students have access to free copies of the New York Times every school day. The daily challenge has also helped me keep up with current events beyond our small campus, and I’ve met some great new competitors in the process, too.

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Camaraderie from across the street

January 28, 2014 | The Experience, Marina Stuart '16

I’ll forever remember March 16, 2013: It was the first time I pole-vaulted competitively. It was about 30 degrees, and snow started falling halfway through the meet. When I cleared the first height, I was surprised to see that among those cheering for me were two pole-vaulters from the Coast Guard Academy.

Our team practices at the Coast Guard Academy’s indoor track. The Academy is just across the street from campus, only a few hundred feet away. Sharing their track gives us a sense of camaraderie, even though we’re also hometown rivals.

Those of us who practice at the Academy get to know a side of the Cadets that many Conn students don’t see. At track meets, our Coast Guard rivals are also our supporters and friends with whom we chat with while warming up. As a first-time pole vaulter (and as last semester’s only female vaulter from Conn,) I especially appreciate the new friendships I have found with our neighbors across the street.

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Bed vs. bed

January 17, 2014 | The Experience, Marina Stuart '16

While I’m here at school, guests occasionally stay in my room at home. Almost everyone tells me how great the room is and how much they enjoy the bed. When I’m home during break, however, it doesn’t really feel like my room anymore. It’s not that I don’t feel at comfortable there, but I long for my dorm room.

People forget that going to college nowadays involves bringing more than just clothes. We bring posters, knickknacks and pictures to make our dorm become our home.

To me, my little dorm room at Conn is my bedroom, study, kitchen and living room. My bed is covered with pillows and blankets I’ve had since childhood. (My purple striped duvet cover is hiding a Little Mermaid comforter.) It is strange, yet oddly comforting, that overtime, my dorm room has begun to feel a little more like home than where I grew up.

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Working with the administration

January 8, 2014 | The Experience, Marina Stuart '16

As a member of the Sustainability Representative Program, I get to work hand-in-hand with many staff members to implement new sustainable initiatives on campus.

It’s pretty cool to think about: an idea that my group comes up with may be implemented in the day-to-day lives of Conn students, and we get to work with the college administration to make it happen.

Our program has been working with a variety of groups around campus including Dining Services and the new Camel Card office, and we’ve also been working with the City of New London itself.

I think it’s amazing that as nineteen- and twenty-year-olds, we are given the power to literally change the face of this campus. Granted, we had to work for the power, and we work even harder to get the projects done, but the fact is that it’s possible. It’s a kind of power I’ve never felt before. That’s what shared governance in action looks like.

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Comforts of living near friends

December 23, 2013 | The Experience, Marina Stuart '16

Last year I lived in a dorm with my four best friends, one of whom was my roommate at the time.

This year I live in a single, with one of those best friends also in the same dorm. Luckily, she lives right down the hall.

The automatic comfort and support you feel when one of your friends lives nearby is almost indescribable. I definitely would not have been able to get through this semester without my friend living down the hall. Our rooms are always open to each other -- I use her fridge and she uses my microwave. It’s easy and relaxing. I know that at any time, I can walk down the hall into her room, with no already-made plans, and we can just sit around and gossip, watch TV, or eat.

This is one of the best things about college: being surrounded by people your own age 24 hours a day. Sometimes those people can become lifelong friends in the process.

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Finally finals

December 13, 2013 | The Experience, Marina Stuart '16

The Wednesday before final exams is usually pretty normal, but on Thursday, it all changes. Classes have ended and the library goes into 24-hour mode.

The dorms are empty; everyone retreats to their study space of choice. The library, the campus coffee shops (all five,) the student center and the common rooms are suddenly full of intently-studying students surrounded by stacks of books and papers.

Finals are a time when normal sleep, study, and eating patterns are thrown out the window. Everyone begins living off coffee, tea, soda, and their favorite snacking food (mine is almonds and cheese-its).

During next few days, your study schedule starts revolving around the times you decide to take your exams. The nice thing about Conn is that, as part of the Honor Code, we’re trusted to take our exams whenever we want during the exam week. Basically, there are three blocks of time each day you get can chose from from: 9am, 2pm, or 7pm.

Finally, even when you’re spending late nights in the library, there are moments of relaxation always available all around campus. The librarians bring out coloring books and board games, and staff members are known for walking the aisles giving out juice boxes and energy bars.

There’s also a moonlight breakfast, taking place from 10-12 p.m. the evening before exams. There’s nothing like a late-night snack of breakfast food and cupcakes. This year, a magician performed tricks, roaming through crowds of students.

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Once a writer, always a friend

December 5, 2013 | The Experience, Marina Stuart '16

I am an aspiring science writer, and since I know experience is everything, I write for The College Voice, Conn’s student newspaper.

My most recent article is about the faculty dance show taking place next week. Since my former roommate and my friend from chemistry are both in show, I interviewed them for my article. Since completing our short, spur of the moment interview during lunch, I’ve found that I act quite differently when I’m asking questions and conducting myself as a journalist, than when I’m hanging out as a friend. I found that my tone of voice changed, my questions were pointed and I included follow-up questions until I got the quotes necessary.

It was an eye-opening realization:even though I am one of the least confrontational people ever, when I’m trying to get quotes or an interview for my article, I can be very determined.

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Sports in the classroom

November 20, 2013 | The Experience, Marina Stuart '16

Since November 4th, I have woken up feeling sore each morning because Track and Field season has begun. What’s nice though, is that I see three of my teammates in my first class of the day. (That’s my 8 a.m. Chemistry class.)

Me: “My calvesssssss, they are solid blocks of pain”

Teammate: “My hamstrings are so tight, I can barely walk”

And then we go to class.

Being on a team, especially a large one, is nice because I see my teammates outside of practice. I see them in class, which makes for automatic study-buddies and conversation topics during warm-up.

During dinner, the four of us in Chem discuss the homework or the topics covered in the lecture that morning. We moan about the struggles of being science majors and exchange phone numbers in case we have academic questions later.

Because of track, my social circle grows enormously, which increases my resources of people to study with or ask questions to. Since there are a number of upperclassmen on the team, classmates/teammates who have already taken the courses are always willing to meet up lif you have questions. For an underclassmen, that’s a huge asset to have.

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Defining a feminist

November 13, 2013 | The Experience, Marina Stuart '16

In the past, I’ve never referred to myself as a feminist. I certainty act like one, and I’m all about the empowerment of women, but I’ve never used the term “feminist” to describe myself.

This is mostly because I didn’t have an exact definition and didn’t want to get into arguments when I didn’t have firm reasons to back up my claims.

But now I do.

I recently discovered the kind of women I wanted to emulate while I was writing a paper for my English class. As we read Lucy by Jamaica Kincaid, we looked at the book through a feminist lens. When it came time to write the paper, however, I did not want to write about how the book was feminist, but instead how just one of the characters was.

While describing the feminist character, I realized that I wanted to be just like her. The character, Lucy, does not care about social norms and how a woman “should” act. Instead, she understands that women don’t need to be on one side or the other: they can act girly and romantic yet at the same time be strong and independent.

Even though I usually already act like this, figuring it out and finally putting it in words was a moment of self-definition for me.

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Julia Alvarez, the person

November 9, 2013 | The Experience, Marina Stuart '16

This week, I attended a dinner with author Julia Alvarez, which brings my count of famous-authors-I’ve-met-in-the-past-month up to two.

...That’s pretty darn impressive.

Julia Alvarez is a renowned Latina writer who was speaking at Connecticut College on the topic of sustainability. I have read one of her books and seen a movie adaption of another. She also embodies the type of writer I hope to be, so having a chance to eat dinner with her was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me.

Upon meeting her, I found out how fun, tenacious and humorous she really is. During dinner, she regaled us with stories about her two years at Conn and her father’s strictness concerning boys. She told us how her father would visit early on Sunday mornings, “so you know, we couldn’t do much the night before…” leaving us giggling to ourselves.

She was intrigued about the sustainability programs we have on campus today, especially the Sustainability Representatives Program that I’m part of. She was interested in the diversity representatives we have in every house and declared that she’d have to talk to people at Middlebury (where she is a writer-in-residence) about implementing a similar program.

I came away from this dinner knowing more about Julia Alvarez, the person, instead of Julia Alvarez, the writer, and wouldn’t have it any other way.

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Free stuff!

November 9, 2013 | The Experience, Marina Stuart '16

This is Niles. I got him at a Connecticut College men’s water polo game.

How? The coach tossed him up into the stands for anyone to have. He’s only one of many free items I’ve gotten at sporting events, including a t-shirt and sweatshirt.

This is a really good incentive to go to water polo games.

I’ve noticed this happens with a lot of sports teams.

My track coach, for example,often draws rewards from “the prize box” for trivia night winners, or for those who get the highest score in bowling, a team activity during the season. Last year, my friend was the bowling tournament champion and got a Connecticut College Camels track & field t-shirt from a few years ago. The surplus swag sometimes piles up and it’s a win-win.

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Harry Potter and the chemistry lab

November 4, 2013 | The Experience, Marina Stuart '16

“SLOWLY AND CAUTIOUSLY add 17ml of 6% hydrogen peroxide.” That is copied word-for-word and inflection-for-inflection from my General Chemistry 103 lab manual.

This was part of the experiment I did last week, a section of a 3-lab experiment I will eventually write a lab report about.

Chemistry does not come easily to most students, myself included; I frequently find myself up late trying to memorize common ions and the difference between a p-orbital and a d-orbital. But there is one part of chem I am always a little excited to go to: chemistry lab.

Why? Because it’s just like potions class at Hogwarts.

But seriously, we go over a brief procedure on the board, and then use our lab manuals (like a textbook) to do the experiment. Some are gifted (or lucky) and their solutions come out exactly as described, while others sit and watch green brown slush gurgle in their cauldron *ahem* beaker.

In lab last week we did two different chemical equations, and our solutions changed from the color of orange juice, to the color of carrot juice, to looking like old hot chocolate and finally to a bright green you could only get from liquefying jolly ranchers... all in a little over an hour. If that isn’t magic, what is?

During the part of the lab when we had to “SLOWLY AND CAUTIOUSLY add 17ml of 6% hydrogen peroxide,” we had heated our solutions to a boil and were slowly pouring in the hydrogen peroxide. Yes, that’s the same stuff we use to clean our cuts. As I poured the first few drops into the solution, it frothed, bubbled and made an angry hissing sound. “Oh my god,” exclaimed my lab partner, “it’s just like potions!”

While it’s sometimes hard to find fun in our 8 a.m. lectures, the sheer enjoyment (and Harry Potter comparisons) of chem lab makes it all worth it.

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Emma comes to Conn

October 28, 2013 | The Experience, Marina Stuart '16

On Friday the 18th, on the cusp of Fall Weekend, I jumped in the car and drove to the train station to pick up Emma, one of my best friends from high school.

We had decided over the summer that she was going to come visit me over Fall Weekend at Conn, in part because I knew my family wasn’t going to come visit me, but also because I knew there would be plenty of stuff for us to do.

Plenty doesn’t even begin cover it.

On Friday night the festivities began with lively a cappella concerts from the seven groups on campus. These were followed by a jaw-dropping performance by America’s Got Talent finalists Fighting Gravity, a black-light dance troupe displaying (wait for it) gravity-defying illusions. A dance ended the night in the giant tent. I asked Emma if she had fun as we walked back to my dorm, and she replied with an enthusiastic “Of course! How could I not?”

On Saturday we took a tour of the campus, watched the soccer game, and explored Harvestfest, where all the clubs on campus set up tables in the giant tent to sell merchandise as a fundraising opportunity. After dinner at the dance, I introduced Emma to other friends from around campus and also took several priceless pictures in the photo booth.

Sunday, after walking back from a lazy start in Harris dining hall, I asked Emma about her impressions of Conn. As a student who lives in New York City, she was awed by the fact that even on our small campus we remained busy, how there was always something to do.

At the train station I hugged Emma good-bye and she told me to come visit her in NYC. She then said that she hoped to come back to Conn and visit again, maybe next semester. I said, “Yes! Totally!” but I’m not sure how I can top another visit as great as this one.

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Tags:  |  The Experience, Clubs & Orgs  |  The Experience, On Campus  |  The Experience, Traditions

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Applying to the Goodwin-Niering Center for the Environment

October 30, 2013 | The Experience, Marina Stuart '16

As a sophomore, I did not think I’d already have to be considering what my senior thesis might be.

However, when you are applying to the Goodwin-Niering Center for the Environment (GNCE,) part of your application mandates a proposed thesis or senior project.

This means thinking about my future A LOT.

Thankfully I am a future-oriented person who knows what she wants to do with her life. But all of those ideas only existed in my head, and putting them down on paper with a plan for the next two and half years of college are solidifying them in a way that is a little intimidating.

On a optimistic note, you can’t say that college is not preparing students for the future, since through this process I have thought seriously about long-term goals, have had to prepare for interviews, reached out to superiors and learned how to craft a serious proposal. These are all skills you need to have in the world after college.

One of the great aspects of GNCE is that not all of the students in it are environmental majors. There are chemistry, anthropology, philosophy, even English majors, and all want to connect the environment to their major or interest.

Applying to the Goodwin-Niering Center is a great example of what most of what extracurriculars at Conn are like; a lot of hard work, but all in preparation for opportunities you would not have access to anywhere else.

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Tags:  |  The Experience, Academics  |  The Experience, Career & Internships  |  The Experience, On Campus

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Between Old Saybrook and New London

October 18, 2013 | The Experience, Marina Stuart '16

As someone who does not mind travel, (and as someone who likes seeing her family,) I find myself on the Northeast Regional trains between Connecticut College and Philadelphia quite a lot. It’s only for breaks, but we have four in total, which equals two four-hour trips four times a year… or 32 hours on the train every school year.

While on these train rides, you often meet people and make small connections with them. My most recent trip was on Sunday, October 13. After an ungodly 45-minute delay at Penn station, the train began to move again and, as I started working on some Italian homework, a young couple sat down across from me.

The couple and I didn’t really interact besides an occasional eye roll at each other when the train lights flickered on and off.  Only when we had left Old Saybrook, the stop before New London and Conn, did I talk to the couple. They were talking amongst themselves about where they were and how far through Connecticut the train was. I politely told them we had left Old Saybrook and were headed to New London.

We began chatting, and after establishing that I was a sophomore at Conn, the man and I realized we were both from Philadelphia and knew each other’s neighborhoods. At this point he gave me a fist bump and declared: “Any one from Philadelphia is alright by me,” which is such a Philly thing to do: anyone from our city is automatically cool.

It’s a treat to meet someone from your hometown; it makes the train rides a little less lonely, even if it was only the twenty-minute bit between Old Saybrook and New London.

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The funniest/greatest college talk I’d ever been to

October 23, 2013 | The Experience, Marina Stuart '16

On October 15, I was seated in Evans Hall waiting to hear from one of my favorite writers. As soon as someone mentioned in my English class, weeks earlier, that David Sedaris might be coming to Connecticut College, I immediately began getting fan-girl-excited and geeked out a little about his arrival.

What transpired in Evans Hall can only described as “hilarious.” David Sedaris opened with a never-before-read story about being an unpopular thirteen-year-old who would do anything to get out of gym class. Sedaris also read from his new book, "Let’s Talk About Diabetes With Owls," including an essay in which he describes the characters he meets while waiting in a standby line at the airport.

At the end of the night, I waited in line to get two books signed. (Students were still in line at 11 p.m., as Sedaris is notorious for waiting patiently until each person has been greeted.) This was one of the most amazing opportunities the College has given me.

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Tags:  |  The Experience, On Campus

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Elementary school to college in just an hour

October 10, 2013 | The Experience, Marina Stuart '16

After much coercion by my friend, I trudged across Tempel Green to Ruane’s Den in Harkness House.  It was a Thursday night and I had to get up early for my 8 a.m. chemistry class the next morning, but Ruane’s Den was hosting a trivia night for the first time and my friend REALLY wanted to go.

As we entered the lounge, I was surprised by how many people we there. At least 30 students, taking up the couches, armchairs and tables, filled the room. Students were grabbing snacks and tea from the café, Jazzman’s, and watching "The Big Bang Theory" on one of the large flat screen TVs while waiting for the questions to start.

My friends and I went to arguing over the different trivia questions given, ranging from “elementary school” level to “college” level. Questions varied in difficulty from “Cats of this color are thought to be unlucky” (Black) to “Which city’s playoff-bound baseball team had to start battling for ticket sales when its football team was founded about 10 years ago” (Cleveland). It was fun, even though we got third to last place. My friends and I are determined to go back, with more friends, and do it again.

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Tags:  |  The Experience, On Campus

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Camelympics, where there’s an event for everyone

October 10, 2013 | The Experience, Marina Stuart '16

CAMELYMPICS: a dorm versus dorm competition that takes place every fall at Connecticut College. The events include soccer, Jenga, dodgeball, Bananagrams and quidditch, to name a few.

This year I was determined to represent my dorm, Windham, in at least one event. Luckily, my best friend also lives in my dorm so we decided that we would sign up together.

Our issue? I am an athlete; my best friend Natalie… is not. But amongst the many contests we found a happy medium and signed up for the photo-scavenger hunt.

When we arrived at the scavenger hunt meeting place in Cro, the student center, we were pleasantly surprised to see pairs of freshmen; as sophomores we thought we’d have a leg up in knowing where certain things were located. We immediately sprinted off to the health center to take our first picture.

The competition proved fierce as the scavenger hunt led us to four different dorms, searching for various Connecticut College memorabilia. In one dorm, we took a picture of a Floralia bottle, part of another Connecticut College tradition.

Other items to find and photograph included the unusual members of the College community, the loveable Larrabee cats. (A pair of cats who live outside Larrabee dorm.)

The hunt culminated with a picture of us wearing three protective items, and then we ran as hard as we could back to Cro. We were proud, but a little frustrated to find that we’d won third place.

We actually should have gotten first, but it’s okay, we’ll be back next year to win first once and for all.

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Tags:  |  The Experience, On Campus  |  The Experience, Traditions

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