My submission to #pearlsandcashmere
Dear Mrs. Spurzem,
I am a 2010 alumna of Smith College, and I prefer a compass and fleece to pearls and cashmere. I studied Biology and split my free time between Tyler House, Smith Outdoors, and the Glee Club. I am queer. Now, I am an advocate for healthy, safe, and accessible food in San Francisco.
I come from an upper-middle class family, but due to the costs of support for other family members, my family and I chose my college based on my financial aid package. I spent last week taking my younger brother on his college visits, and though the campuses conjured fond memories of my time in college, none could hold a candle to Smith. If I could choose again unrestricted, I would opt for Smith in a heartbeat.
In “reduc[ing our] standards for grades and scores,” Smith has been able to tighten standards for other aspects of the applicant—including her commitment to intellectual inquiry, involvement in her community, and her self-determination—which can’t be quantified. I’m sorry if this upsets the unfair advantage that wealthier, whiter, and more boring applicants hold, but it makes Smith an achieveable dream for any deserving student, regardless of her parent’s ability to buy SAT scores and private tutors.
Smith is only a safety school to those narrow-minded students and families who look merely at the hollow descriptors of test scores and GPA and mistake them for the soul of the institution. I have educated and accomplished parents, but I was never “programmed” to do anything beyond follow my own passions. I’m so glad that I didn’t go to school with a bunch of pre-programmed automotons, as are apparently found matriculating from your area to the Ivy Leauges.
As clearly demonstrated by the tremendous outpouring of support and solidarity by all generations of the Smith community, the college is so much more than the sum of its parts or the average of its test scores. Smith is anything but average. To merely focus on the percentages of certain narrowly defined types of students belies the true diversity of Smithies, comprised not of statistics but of stories. Those stories, told on “Pearls and Cashmere,” speak to the indescribeable synergy and vibrant learning environment that are perennially manifest at Smith.
You lament our diminshed selectivity compared to Wellesley, yet how wonderful it is that Smith is able to admit an even larger number of bright, passionate, and creative women than our sister schools. We can proudly offer Smith’s unique and spectacular environment to as many students as possible. Many of these students would not have been able to attend without the generous aid from grateful alumnae who “pay it forward.”
Despite the looming threat of Smith’s sinking rank on increasingly obsolete college lists, people to whom I reveal my alma mater are most often very impressed. When I say that I graduated with honors, the most frequent verbatim response is “Wow, that’s really an accomplishment. You should be proud of yourself.” And I am.
Miranda Clare Mickiewicz ‘10
We live in such a connected world that it is much less important to me that my representative comes from my area, and much more important that she be female, non-christian, queer, or young like I am. Any of those people would probably more accurately represent my interests than an old white protestant dude from down the block.
Not sure the logistics of how this could happen, but I’m sure that where there’s a political will theres a technological way.
Land area congressional districts are so pre-informational age and provincial.
So what do you think?
“Capitalism is a Pyramid Scheme” 11/19/11 at OO Education March
I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that condemning individuals and their actions, however personally offensive, is pretty pointless and a waste of precious GA time. If indeed many of those wishing to employ “Black Bloc” tactics are self-proclaimed anarchists, then passing a resolution at the GA will do nothing to curtail this activity. Most anarchists believe in grassroots organization rather than top-down structure, and in individual autonomy. When the General Assembly becomes a vehicle for imposing restrictions on individual behavior, it has already become another establishment that goes against the values espoused by the powerful anarchist subculture of the movement.