Posted by: Naima | August 19, 2008

PitStop

So today marks my first morning in NY, my friend and I made a pit-stop in Boston first. I had actually never done more than drive through Mass, so it was a great opportunity to see the state that so many Batesies are from. I spent a couple of nights with a good friend of mine who resides in Cambridge and then went up to Cape Cod with her family; another part of the country I’ve never ventured. One of my favorite parts about visiting friends’ hometowns is meeting their parents. You learn so much about even your closest friends by seeing what their parents are like. It never disappoints. Upon leaving the Cambridge area, my road-tripping partner-in-crime and I headed to New York with another friend who plays field hockey. It was a mere sprint compared to the 17 hours we had already spent in the car, but it was just as glorious. We managed to fit in Dunkin’, Mitch Hedberg, and classic tunes from O-Town to Mariah. We were dropped off in Bronxville, the home of the lovely third lady who joined our trip, where we had a much needed home-cooked meal. While a home-cooked meals in and of themselves are a treat, the man of the house was a Bates alum and filled us in on some rich history of the Bates founders. We all come to Bates with a glimpse of its history, remnants of a campus based on Quaker and Abolitionist ideals are still apparent in basic philosophies that blanket the quad. But at this dinner, we were educated about the close relationships that school presidents had with Fredrick Douglass and other central figures within the Abolitionist movement. While many Batesies know the basic history of the students that came before, it may be time that is was really broken down for us. Few see how much those fundamental values are why we chose Bates to begin with. It’s so easy to get caught up in numbers, percentiles, and quick facts when choosing a college, but I really think that so many Bates students based their decisions on much much more. Large amounts of Bates’ history has affected the student body and its faculty so slyly that it’s almost easy to forget about it. Who knows, perhaps there will be a campus -wide effort to truly understand why choosing Bates is so important. Until then, I guess it’s up to those who know its history best to spread the word. In the mean time, the rest of us better do some research of our own.

Peace and then some,

Naima

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