Sunday, September 30, 2007
This has been a wonderful weekend! Yesterday was Pumpkin Parade at night, but during the day was the silent auction that benefits our Senior Dinner Dance (another RMWC tradition). Our Dean of Students made a beautiful quilt of RMWC shirts. I bid on it, and wanted it so much I kept bidding. Everyone knew how much I wanted the quilt, and kept telling me when someone had outbid me. Yesterday, Tony and I sat in main hall from 4:40 until the auction ended at 5 to guard my quilt, and I won! I am so excited. I will post more pictures later.
This was a wonderful weekend and there is so much to say and so many pictures it will have to wait for another post!
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
About ten days ago, I started developing severe headaches. I went to the campus health center, and at first the nurse thought it was tension headaches. After giving me pain medication, I tried it and discovered it didn't work. They upgraded me to a heavy-duty migraine medication because I had become very sensitive to light. That didn't work, either.
So today I drove to the doctor's office and was injected twice in my back with some medicine that was supposed to try and break up the headache. I was lying down in that office for 20 minutes in the dark, but no relief! So now I have to get a CT Scan and see a neurologist, which is a little scary. Especially since in the meantime I have no option but to keep working through my hectic schedule. My professors have been very understanding, which I am so grateful for. Miraculously, I am caught up with my work, but it has only been because I have pushed through the headache.
But- I am coming home next weekend! Hopefully I will get a chance to see my mom's neurologist, celebrate my mom's birthday (which was yesterday) and I am going to compete for the title of Miss North East Ohio on Sunday. I'm very excited about this, and I can't wait for some time at home, which I miss greatly!
Hopefully, I will have some sort of short-term solution to get me a little relief from this head pain, but no matter what, I'll try to push through!
P.S. Pumpkin Parade is going well :)
In any case, Pumpkin parade can only get better!
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
I haven't posted yet again because I am simply so busy.
This week is Pumpkin Parade. To outsiders, that doesn't mean anything. But to an R-MWC girl, it's one of the best weeks she can have! A sophomore pairs up with a senior girl for Pumpkin Parade, and then us seniors receive the 2nd years questionaire in our mailbox. It has all kinds of information about what they like and don't like. Then this week during Tuesday night, Wednesday night, and Thursday night, the sophomores decorate our doors, plaster campus with our names, and leave presents outside our doors. Of course, we also leave presents for our sophomores. I'm really excited about this year because my sophomore sounds A LOT like me- she's majoring in politics, plays the clarinet, and watches CNN in the afternoon.
I have three theme nights planned, so I'll post pictures.
On Friday, we finally meet our sophomore in the Student Center and they give us a pumpkin they carved for us. On saturday of family weekend, we carry the pumpkins across campus in our robes, funny hats, and buttons (all RMWC traditions!) singing songs to our sister class.
Since I did this as a sophomore, I'm really excited about being on the other end of the spectrum! Included are some pictures from convocation of this year where you can see the different seniors in their senior gear.
Proud to be an RMWC girl,
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
However, some of the problems on campus are persisting, although it seems that the major events have slowed down. We had a traditions night (after my hour long presentation about Reading) which was followed by a Skeller Sing, and everyone seemed respectful and a lot of underclassmen turned out to hear about the traditions and participate in the Skeller Sing, and Even/Odd spirit was rampant!
I have noticed that we are having some general respect issues. There are people who show up to my biology class 30 minutes after it starts every single class period, there are some falling asleep in the front row, general problems like that.
Today a friend and I were trying to complete our econometrics homework in the computer lab, and a girl walked in having a really loud conversation on her cell phone, which she continued for 15 minutes until our professor arrived. I couldn't believe it! She was practically yelling into the phone.
Tonight has also been a busy but good night for me. I'm somehow managing to get all my classwork done and keep up with my other responsibilities, which is good. Let's hope that continues!
With that said, maybe I'll post again when I have a free minute!
Sunday, September 16, 2007
One of the other contestants, a very sweet girl named Madison, said her grandmother had gone to R-MWC, had loved the school, and given an endowment like that at some time. It's things like that that kill me-what happened to all the money? Why were we told last spring during our phone survey that the coeducational survey was just out of interest and that they weren't really considering it? Who makes financial decisions overnight?! Anyways, the other contestants were about as horrified as I was hearing about the way I personally felt about things on campus. I only shared my personal views- how I feel unsafe on back campus at night, how we're being treated as though seniors are problem children, how the hatred and hostility is out of control. I've never felt so comfortable in swimsuit competition because if that's what it took to get me out of that awful environment, then fine- put me on the stage!
I wish I was a year younger. I would have transferred. What a disaster! I really feel as though we were all a social experiment just dropped onto campus to see how it all went. I no longer feel comfortable in my own second home. Just talking about it this weekend made me really upset, thinking about how much the community has changed. I almost dread going back today.
In any case, last night I finally met Hannah Kiefer, a really sweet and upbeat Hollins girl who is also Miss Virginia. She has a fantastic personality. I can't wait to see how she does at Miss America.
Last night I also made first runner up to Miss Shenandoah Valley and won the Interview Award, and heard a lot of really encouraging comments about my new talent costume and my interview, so I'm excited to keep competing! Today, however, I'm on my way back to RMWC to do my homework and prepare for both my senior seminars.
*All comments on this blog regarding the coeducational change at RMWC reflect my own personal feelings unless stated otherwise.*
Friday, September 14, 2007
I wanted to say thank you to all of you because outside of the RMWC community, people simply don't understand why this is such a devastating blow to us. People don't understand how hard it is hitting our community.
I am deeply saddened that the place I called my second home, where I find my best friends located, has changed so much. I know that women in other women's colleges that went coed feel this way, but so many people outside the 'women's college family' think 'What's the deal? It's just a school!'
Well, I am currently in Woodstock Virginia competing in the Miss Virginia preliminary Miss Shenandoah Valley. The current Miss VA is a Hollins graduate, so I hope we can continue the tradition of strong women's college graduates accomplishing GREAT things!
Thanks again, and I'll post soon.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
I have always been, since entering as a student at my beloved institution, a strong supporter of women’s colleges. I have met and interacted with women from practically every woman’s college in the country, and I have been nothing but impressed. I know that I have received an excellent education from this private woman’s college, far more than I could have expected academically and financially from a public school at home. We are ranked academically one point behind Georgetown and two points under Yale (on a 1-100 scale with 100 being the toughest). We’re a small school, but if you’ve heard of us it’s because we are one of the toughest colleges around. We are in the top 10% of universities whose grads go on to get a PHD. This was a great school.
Women who have graduated from here truly love this school. I have always been close to this school, and done everything I could to support it. From my freshman year, I worked in the admissions office, I greeted prospective families at every open house, I sat on student panels, I gave tours to prospectives, I worked the admissions phonathon calling potential students, I hosted students in my dorm room overnight, and I was an email pal for students considering coming here. Needless to say, I promoted this school day and night.
Which is why two years ago it was a blow when my college voted to cancel our study abroad program in the University of Reading. I sent the trustees emails every single day, sent letters to interested people, and helped organized a student protest which reversed the decision.
And it’s why last year, as I began my life in England, I was shocked by the decision to make the school coed. I have nothing against coeducation, but I do have a problem with the alteration of a school whose 115 years of history have graduated Senators, Candi Crowley, and Pearl Buck. I do have a problem with the lowering of standards to admit more students. Our SAT scores are down, our GPA’s our down, and our standards are just too low to talk about. Last week in my biology lab, the pair across from me was completing part of the lab measuring the temperature of water. My friend asked her lab partner to hand her the thermometer, and her brilliant lab partner (a male here) handed her a ruler and assured her they measured the same thing. That’s not to say that there aren’t smart men here now, there are a few. But the majority of them are causing problems.
Never has a party been thrown by underage students on the first day they moved in, in which women are only admitted by removing articles of clothing. The things that have gone on in this campus in the last week, many of which have involved the Lynchburg police, are disgraceful. So many of us seniors are beyond disheartened at the way humans are treating other humans. I have never felt so uncomfortable within a place I call my second home. So many of us try to just remove ourselves from the problems, but the absolute hatred and hostility being dealt towards upperclass women is ridiculous. I can’t take it anymore! I love my classes, but when students feel uncomfortable on their own campus, it’s gone too far. The administration is doing nothing to integrate the two groups of people- and our president openly told seniors yesterday that he didn’t want anything to do with Randolph Macon Woman’s College, despite the fact that this senior class will be graduates of RMWC.
It is so difficult for outsiders to understand why this is such a huge loss to me personally and my community. I loved my school, and so did many other seniors here. The loss of community and personal safety has challenged that. I feel also for the underclass men, who were told they would be ‘welcomed’ on this campus, despite the fact that everyone knew this would not be the case. This school has 115 years in the history of making strong intelligent women. Our college, since the cancellation of the Reading study abroad program two years ago, has gone down a shaky financial route that as an econ major quite familiar with graphs, I don’t see them getting out of. At this point, I want to enjoy my senior year with my friends, produce my two senior papers, and graduate. Myself and my fellow seniors just want to be left alone. We don’t want to be called unacceptable names by men outside our dorm building, we don’t want to be sexually harassed on campus, and we don’t want to deal with the hostility around here.
The college’s line on this is that us upperclassmen are unfamiliar with a coed environment and don’t understand it. One freshman during our community meeting this last week actually said that some girls don’t mind being smacked on the rear by men, so we need to tell men that we aren’t comfortable with that. No, I should NOT have to tell an 18 year old man that he needs to keep his hands to himself! This is so difficult for me, as I intern in the mornings at the domestic violence shelter and then come here to see some of the same emotional treatment of others. And for the administration that says this is a coed environment, we know that is not true. I attended a coed university in a department DOMINATED by men for ten months in England; I was never harassed or treated like a piece of meat. We all know what’s unacceptable, and the degrading treatment of women is always unacceptable no matter where you are.
I hesitated to put this on my blog, but I feel like updates about this situation are important because it impacts my life on a grand scale. I want to document what this year is like with all of these changes. This has affected me and drained me so much in the last week that I couldn’t forgo writing about it.
So, this will likely be the first of many frustrated and sad blogs about the state of my school.
Please wish me luck in the next year surviving this. I miss my woman’s college.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
These last few weeks have been a total nightmare for school. My courseload is heavy, but the problems have been more relating to my direct school, a woman's college that is experiencing coeducation for the first time. It has been awful and we are having a lot of problems, culminating in campus wide meetings. Despite my light sleeping habits, I have been so exhausted (I only sleep 12-6 every day) that I have slept through every traumatic event, some of which have involved paramedics and police officers on my residence hall where only 7 girls live. It has been tremendously busy and I am in school mode right now, trying to accomplish it all and stay out of the drama as much as possible. That said, some of it undoubtedly affects me. Since I am awake most of the day to interact with these news students, it has been really hard for me personally to just remain out of it because there are serious problems on this campus that make me really glad I am graduating and getting out of this particular deceitful atmosphere. But that is a whole other story, one I will explain sometime.
For now, I must go to sleep because I have to be up at 6 (of course!) to intern tomorrow. More about my internships and other news the next time I am actually out of school mode. I am currently creating my two senior projects (why did I double major again?) and simply can't focus on it all at once!