By Olivia Stevens (Wellesley College, Massachusetts, USA).
One thing I had noticed since coming to Wellesley is the number of events going on around the college. From soap making to concerts, culture shows to dance classes, there always seems something to do or see. I don’t know if this is because Wellesley is a campus based school, and therefore students here want to have things to do without having to travel anywhere, or if it is more due to the enthusiasm of the people here to take part in different activities. Either way, I have tried to get involved in as many as possible and have had a great time doing so.
I have been to too many events to talk about them all so I am just going to mention a couple I have been to recently that I really enjoyed. Last week, I went to a session organised by the Japanese Club on how to make your own bento box. The activity was run by Debra Samuels, a food writer and cooking instructor based in the Boston area. She spoke to us at the start of the session about how she had fallen in love with Japan and Japanese culture when she went to study there for 6 months. It was great to hear about the positive effect studying abroad had had on her, while being in a similar position. She also spoke about the key features of Japanese cooking, as well as a comparison between a typical packed lunch for an American and Japanese child. Unsurprising, size was a key difference!
Next it was our turn. We were given our ingredients, pre-made by Debra, as well as a temporary bento box of our own and got started putting together our boxes. It was great fun and tasted even better.
Debra also brought her collection of bento boxes. Some were very pretty, while others were just a bit odd!
I love watching films and going to the cinema so the fact that Wellesley has its own cinema makes me very happy. The film society put on showings every Friday and Saturday night. Each week has a theme and two films are selected that fit in to that topic. However one of my favourite screenings was arranged by the Davis, the museum on campus. They are currently showing New Gravity, an exhibition by artist Tony Matell. To coincide with this exhibition, the museum arranged for Tony to pick 4 films that had influenced his work to be screened over the semester. The first one chosen was 2001: A Space Odyssey, a film I had never seen before but had always wanted to. Therefore I was very excited to be able to see it for the first time in a proper cinema. What made the experience even more interesting was that Tony spoke before the film about how it had impacted him and his work which was a fascinating insight into the life of an artist.
Another interesting event was the visit by former mayor of Boston, Thomas Menino. Menino, who stood down from his position in January after serving for 21 years, making him the longest serving mayor for the city. It was clear from the reaction by the students and professors in the room that Menino was very well respected in the Boston community. The large number of people who turned out to see him also reflected this. During the speech, Menino spoke about his time in office. He also focused on the importance of young people, particularly girls, getting involved in politics, a point that clearly went down well here.
That’s all I have time for now. I will try and write again soon and tell you even more about my adventures across the pond!