Tour Guide at Clark University
Class of 2020
Hometown: Westfield, MA
It's pretty simple, but hiking probably makes me feel most alive. Growing up, I went camping frequently and associate so much of my childhood happiness with that. Hiking allows me to shut down my mind for a few hours and focus on climbing a mountain, getting inspired artistically and spiritually by nature on my way up. Taking in all of nature makes me feel so at peace, and to me, feeling peaceful is such a special experience and privilege that I try to never take for granted. It reminds me to be present in the moment, and not be too anxious about the past or future, which can tend to weigh me down.
During my time at Clark, I have grown significantly as an individual, realizing, accepting, and currently embracing all parts of my identity. Being incredibly passionate about various LGBTQ+ topics, from visibility to rights to HIV prevention and awareness, I love engaging people in dialogues, sharing my insight, and more importantly, learning from others and their stories. I think this makes me a Clarkie because Clarkies are passionate people who are not afraid to express all parts of their identities, so that they may connect with other people and challenge the social norms that our society has strictly held on to for so long.
The second floor lounge of Bullock Hall is probably the most meaningful place on campus for me. I made the best friends of my life there, by just sitting out there as often as possible. We'd hang around talking, staying up all night, and watching Rocky Horror Picture Show over and over, eventually dressing up in the characters' costumes. So many nights were spent there with my friends, whether we were learning more about one another, helping each other through problems, or goofing around.
Complexities of Urban Schools taught by John Ameer was definitely my favorite class. It's a primarily discussion-based class, with dynamic readings that really challenge us to think of potential roots of the economic and racial gaps we see in urban education, as well as what could be done about these issues. Professor Ameer makes what could be an overwhelming or emotionally taxing class very manageable with his unique teaching style, really grounding everything we talk about with a sense of humanity and humor.