My high school had twice as many students as Hamilton, and I often felt like a number in the public school system. Even though the overcrowded classrooms had negative aspects, I had some amazing teachers who helped set me on path towards academic success. My 10th grade chemistry teacher was a former chemical engineer with a doctorate from MIT. He was so incredibly demanding for a high school teacher but he showed me that when I challenge myself I am capable of succeeding. I conducted an independent research project with him that sought to develop a method of removing road de-icing salt from waste water to prevent environmental degradation. While I enjoyed the sciences in high school I actually thought I was going to be a government major coming into college because I wanted to be a politician. Now I don’t think I’d ever want to go down that career path!
My high school guidance counselor recommended Hamilton to me along with a zillion other small liberal arts schools. What attracted me to Hamilton was the open curriculum. I felt academic freedom was the purest form of a liberal arts education available. When I stepped on campus in October of my senior year in high school, I knew immediately I would return as a freshman the following fall. I visited in a complete downpour and I still loved Hamilton.
The radio station. I have had at least one show per semester since my freshman year (excluding my time abroad). I look forward to putting together a playlist of music for each show. I have been very involved with the executive board since sophomore year as an Assistant Music Director, Music Director, and I am currently the Senior Advisor.
Geology has been a constant academic pursuit since I arrived on the hill. I arrived at Hamilton thinking I would become a government or environmental studies major, but after only a few weeks in Professor Todd Rayne’s Environmental Geology course I knew I was hooked on the subject. The students in the geology department grow close over the years, bonding on many field trips and long nights studying together in the science center. It’s a great sense of camaraderie and friendship that is unique among departments at Hamilton.
While my first two answers relate to more tangible activities or academic pursuits, I truly believe my time on the Hill has been an intellectual and philosophical development that has transformed my views on the world. When I arrived as a freshman, I was very fixed in my views about the world. However, by taking classes which spanned across many disciplines my beliefs developed into something more open and considerate. I learned to think critically and realized that there is always another layer of complexity behind any issue.
Professor Vincent Odamtten fundamentally changed the way I view the world. As a freshman I reluctantly enrolled in his introductory English class only to discover that not only do I enjoy reading and analyzing literature, but also applying different theories to those interpretations. After a post-colonial reading of The Tempest my world view was readjusted permanently.
Professor Eugene Domack inspired me to generate work of the highest quality, to be passionate about the work I am involved in, and to be a good scientist. He is very demanding, but the opportunities he has afforded me are invaluable.
I have met many people in my life both before and during my time at Hamilton College, but I am adamant in my belief that the sort of folk this institution attracts and produces are one-of-a-kind. Hamilton students are all at once intelligent, creative, passionate, relaxed, and loving people at a caliber that is matched nowhere else. I think by senior year (especially after time spent abroad) most students realize how much they love Hamilton and their fellow students. I already know I’m going to miss it terribly!
Toy Story 3 (I don’t get out to the movies often)
Stranger Than Fiction
That is impossible for me to answer! I like too many.
South, Babbitt, Minor, Major
A Prayer for Owen Meany
Music exploration, natural sciences, skiing, hiking, fishing, photography
My secret spot in the Glen
A very warm welcome and happy re-union with my friends at Tex-Mex following semester abroad