People watching is a remarkable hobby. The process of watching an interaction cannot be explained or story-told or spoon-fed. Miniscule details and inviting reactions that occur between people and among individuals are impressive intrinsically, in nature. Appreciating them on a large scale and acknowledging their significance is a challenge you should want to endure. The time and location of things are facts, and your GPA and street addresses are too. Why we do what we do, love what we love, and cry for those we cry for. Green glitter reminds you of summer camp in Massachusetts, while it makes me think of frogs and alligators and incessant family gatherings in Florida. Green glitter to a stranger is decoration for his grandson’s birthday cake; he just remembered to buy it tonight.
Marist College is a place of interactions. Walking to and from, here to there. Accomplishing this and finishing that. Starting and ending and everything in between. Wearing yellow, and tomato soup staining it. Experiences tell the world who we are, and more importantly, why we are. To define Marist College as an educational institution where interactions take place would place us among thousands of like-minded, plain institutions. Plain, as an adjective, will only be used to describe my morning bagel, toasted with cream cheese, that’ll be all. Thank you.
I knew Kevin Lerner would be a great capping professor, as I have been in class with him before. However, I did not expect he would provide me with the exact motivation I needed to bring these ideas to the Marist campus. I sat in my seat, three rows back, listening to the anticipated discussions regarding the semester-long project we were all about to begin.
“When I sit around with other Marist faculty, we talk about how ‘normal’ Marist students are. The husband of one of my colleagues famously said that you’re all ‘practicing to be 40.’ And I think in some ways that feels right. Your self-presentation to the world is that of someone who is trying to fit in, not of someone who values individuality, difference, and intellectual experimentation.”
When Professor Lerner said these sentences, I partially understood the premise of where his argument was rooted. Marist students of course have some things in common with one another. Many students are from the tri-state-area of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut; many students are majoring in and/or interested in communications, fashion, sports; many students were brought up and raised in middle-to-upper-middle-class families. I certainly will not be refuting these claims throughout this blog.
But to classify us as all like-minded students from mere facts is dehumanizing us as people, as individuals, as students, lovers or friends or siblings or children. Marist College becomes a place classified as an institution where interactions take place. Depth and experience and emotion are what differentiates one interaction from the other. Marist College, we are unique. The people here are unique, and the interactions are unique. This blog will be proving Marist faculty wrong in classifying us as a large entity consisting of normal and similar people. In doing this, we will be certain our reputation holds more than an institution where students interact.