Category Archives: Spring 2014 Issue I: International Photo Contest

Itzkowitz - Via della Pace

Via della Pace

Looking at this photograph, you might notice well dressed people hanging out at sidewalk cafés, old ochre-colored buildings covered in ivy, cars parked on the cobblestones, and the marble portico of a church at the end of the street. I look at this photograph and I remember making a decision that would change the course of my life.

I was in Rome for the first time, staying in a tiny rented apartment in a narrow street behind Piazza Navona. There was an Italian moka pot—the kind you put on the stove to make espresso—but I didn’t know how to use it, so I went down to the Caffè della Pace for a cappuccino in the morning.

I could tell the place was special, though I didn’t know its history at the time. I know now that the Caffè della Pace is where Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Francis Ford Coppola take their coffee when they’re in Rome. Today it’s about the closest you can get to La Dolce Vita . The café has been around since the 1800s, and it looks the part—all mahogany and marble with sculpted nymphs and an antique cash register. In the summer, they keep the windows and doors open, and patrons sit under white umbrellas outside, drinking espresso in the morning, or Prosecco and Campari in the evening.

Rome in July is always hot, but the heat is not what I remember. Roman heat weighs you down, but I recall feeling light and unburdened that day. I visited the Caffè della Pace many times after I went for that first cappuccino, so I don’t remember what time of day it was when I took the photograph, but I remember how I felt. It was a strange and beautiful feeling, as if I were dreaming. Or maybe the passage of time makes it appear to me as a dream.

The way I remember it, everything seemed to be moving in slow motion. I breathed in the Mediterranean air, looking at the beautiful people dressed in white and listening to them speak. I couldn’t understand what they were saying, but when they spoke Italian, I felt like I was eavesdropping on a series of little operas. I looked around at the marble tables on the terrace of the Caffè della Pace, the ivy-covered buildings on either side of the street, and at the end, the pristine white portico of the church of Santa Maria della Pace. I remember stopping to take this photograph and thinking, I just have to learn this language and come back here to live.

And that was that. My decision was made. I had to learn Italian and live in Rome, no matter what.

I was twenty years old, and had just completed a rather formative year of study in Paris, where I felt I was becoming the person I wanted to be: smart, confident, and poised. I was not intimidated by a little challenge like learning a new language and carving out a place for myself in a foreign country. I had done it once, I could do it again.

Yet, this line of thinking would have been unimaginable before that year in Paris. There, I was faced with the task of reconciling the world’s expectations of me with my own desires. I began to build my identity by noticing little things about myself. For the first time, I acted capriciously instead of planning things out. I learned that I am a person who likes the freedom to act on a whim; who enjoys nursing a café au lait while sitting at a café writing in a journal; who can’t stand feeling rushed; who chooses rather arbitrarily which placards to read in art museums; who sometimes daydreams elaborate scenarios and entire conversations; who decides to do something and stubbornly keeps at it. Eventually, the little things added up to a complete picture.

A year later, I was back in the Eternal City with the intention of staying as long as I possibly could. I stayed for two years, and though I never managed to find another apartment near Piazza Navona, I visited the Caffè della Pace often. Now, the street bears many memories, but none of them would have been possible without the first.

 

Photo © Laura Itzkowitz. All rights reserved.

Laura Itzkowitz headshot 2 by Melissa Itzkowitz

Laura Itzkowitz is a New York City-based writer and Research Assistant at Travel + Leisure. She spent her junior year on Smith’s Paris program and lived in Rome for two years after graduating. She holds  a BA in French from Smith and an MFA in creative writing & translation from Columbia. She is a contributing editor at Untapped Cities, and her writing has appeared on Fodor’s Travel, Mic, Architizer, The Huffington Post, Business Insider, Words Without Borders, and others. She was named a New York expert blogger by Time Out New York and one of the Top 20 NYC bloggers by Hotel Club. She serves on the editorial board of Global Impressions as Alumna Editor. You can follow her on Twitter @lauraitzkowitz.

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Getting Lost in Kyoto

Brotherton - Getting Lost in Kyoto photo

The sun is setting, the sky is gorgeous, the weather is brisk, my feet are sore, and my friend Mara and I have gone astray on the wrong side of Mount Inari. I’m scanning the timetables at a bus stop (after a good bit of wandering in the wrong direction alongside the elevated shinkansen track, and then some wandering in the right direction that found us at a highway, a dead end as far as we pedestrians were concerned). Mara takes what I give her and attempts to trace something feasible for us on the accompanying route-map. Only days later do I realize, upon a closer inspection in better light at another bus stop, that the three timetables given—color-coded blue, red, and green—which I had assumed meant the blue, red, and green bus lines passed by that stop, are actually weekday, weekend, and holiday schedules, respectively.

The sky is gorgeous, but the sun is setting. I remind myself that it is after all only six o’clock in the evening, and other members of our group have come back to our room at the inn far later at night before without much fuss. At the very least I don’t need to worry about anyone worrying.

I have been afraid of cabs for a long time, which is part of why I am reluctant to go with Mara’s suggestion to hail one. (It’s also probably hubris—”I’ve just hiked barefoot up and down a mountain, darn it, I don’t need to PAY to get back to Kyoto Station!”) But after we finally give up on the bus, we wave over the first cab we see and something about the driver’s uniform—his cap and his white gloves—and then the way he gets out to open the door for us, puts me immediately at ease. I don’t even feel the panic I should feel at the prospect of being The One Who Speaks Japanese between the two of us; there’s nothing terribly complicated about saying “Kyoto eki, onegaishimasu” anyway, but even when he asks us where at the station he should let us out, I feel comfortable saying, in Japanese, “We’re just walking from the station, so please drop us off in front” (though it probably comes out a little less elegantly; he gets the point and is far too polite to correct anything). Later my father will tell me that there’s nothing like getting a little lost (“but not too lost!”) in a foreign country to put you “right smack in the moment.”

As we ride I find that I feel cheated, or perhaps like a cheater myself, for having to fall back on the easiest and most expensive way out. In retrospect I realize this is ridiculous: hiking barefoot up and down a mountain should be adventure enough in one day for anyone.
The noise of the crowded station contrasts greatly with the quiet of the mountain. Normally such dense humanity is overwhelming to me, but right at the moment, with its promise of food and our lodging nearby, it is welcome.

Next time, given more daylight, I think I’ll just take a shortcut back over the mountain. Nature Walks make me feel at home in unfamiliar places like nothing else, and that way “please don’t litter or smoke” is all the Japanese I need to worry about (although it’s nice to be able to read the signs that add, “because this is a sacred mountain and you will be struck with divine punishment if you do!”).
But if that extra trek should be out of the question, I’ll have my experience to use as a basis for my actions, not to mention support for my nerves—and an improved understanding of Kyoto’s transportation systems to boot.

 

Aileen Brotherton has been studying Japanese since middle school and recently made her first visit to Japan. That trip cemented her determination to keep on learning, reading, and speaking Japanese; Aileen’s hope is to find work involving Japanese-English translation in the future.

Photo © Aileen Brotherton. All rights reserved.

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Sarno - A Family Affair photo 1

A Family Affair

For many students, going away to college is the first time they are away from their families for a significant duration; for me it was traveling to India. As an Ada Comstock scholar, a wife, a mother of three, and a transfer student, I thought I would not have the opportunity for international study; I was wrong. Smith College not only provided the opportunity but challenged me to take the risk and go for it. The Tibetan Studies in India program over J-term was the perfect fit for me.

Attending Smith has been something my whole family has undertaken. We all live on campus; we do homework together. They see me stressed out over a paper and suffer through endless nights of ramen dinners. So, when I learned that I had been accepted into the Tibetan Studies in India program, it was all of us who were accepted. Immediately my acceptance became a family event, as they watched me make the lists of supplies, get the vaccinations, do the readings. I felt a great responsibility to my family to make the most out of the opportunity. In an effort to include them in my travels, I wanted to capture momentary glimpses of my intercultural experience in photos not only of the extraordinary but also of the everyday interactions that I would encounter.

Sarno - A Family Affair photo 2

The Central University of Tibetan Studies is in a small town named Sarnath, in the Uttar Pradesh region of India. Varanasi, one of the oldest cities in the world, quickly became my favorite place to go. It took approximately 20 minutes via auto rickshaw to travel from Sarnath to Varanasi, and the ride to and from was definitely part of the adventure! Horns sounded in a completely different manner, the beep more of a heads up while passing than a warning accompanied by a hand gesture. Passing included pedestrians, other rickshaws (sometimes head on), and any animals in the street. In a city where thousands of people are coming and going daily the beeping was almost continuous, but not a sign of aggression as it often is in a New York City context.

A predisposition for the hustle and bustle of city life helped to prepare me for the overwhelming stimuli of Varanasi, but my first time there I found myself fighting panic. The noise level was intense with the sounds of the rickshaws, shoppers, storekeepers, the moo of cows, and music all filling the air. Add to that my conditioned response to horns that New York had generated, and my inexperience of being in such close proximity to large cows, and I found myself poised on the curb, trying to find the perfect time to cross the street, long enough to be shooed away by a frustrated shopkeeper more times than I can count. By my last day in Varanasi I came to realize that there’s never a perfect time to cross the street, or alternatively, it is always the perfect time to cross.

Shopping was a stimulating and socially bonding experience in Varanasi; it did not center solely on the exchange of money. Shop owners offered tea and sweets and a conversation would begin, which then would often lead to many different products being brought out and finally a negotiation of price. At first the art of price negotiation was uncomfortable for me for a complexity of reasons, but on my last night in Varanasi, in the twists of the alleys, I realized how far I had come. Having found a great little shop and entered into the negotiation process, I was surprised to feel relaxed and smiling easily while still remaining true to the process. At the end the young man behind the counter smiled and asked “are you happy?” to which I replied “very.” He responded “good, I’m glad” and he slid a bracelet, that at one point I had considered adding to my purchase, onto my wrist. It is by far my favorite keepsake from India. But I brought home more than trinkets and souvenirs. Just recently, I quite unexpectedly found myself offering an alternative price to a shopkeeper in Northampton.

The photos I took while in India were an effort to capture a piece of these experiences so that I could share them with the rest of my family. The risk I took in first applying to the program and then by participating in it has prompted me to take even greater risks. I am graduating in May, and as part of my accelerated graduate program in public policy, I have applied to several international internship positions and plan to pursue a career in international policy. Perhaps the next time I travel to India, my family will have the opportunity to take photos of their own.

Photos © Jessica Sarno. All rights reserved.

Jessica Sarno headshotJessica Sarno is currently enrolled in an accelerated graduate program in public policy at UMASS. Her academic interests and career goals center on the intersection of religion with public policy and how this intersections effects the lives of women. She is particularly interested in transnational comparative policy.

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Smith students eating chestnuts in Paris 1950 photo from the Smith College Archives

From the Smith College Archives: Smith Students in Paris, 1950

“There is nothing so mouth-watering… As hot, freshly roasted chestnuts,” at least according to the juniors of the class of 1951 in Paris, as reported in The Springfield Sunday Republican on February 5, 1950. It seems odd for a newspaper to devote a whole page to pictures of college juniors doing perfectly commonplace things in a foreign city—buying books, looking at art, eating chestnuts—especially since by 1950 the Smith Paris program had been around for almost twenty-five years. Even Paris should have lost its novelty by then. And maybe it would have naturally, except that for the twenty-three juniors of the class of 1951 this Paris was all new; they were only the third group to return to Paris since the program had been canceled following the outbreak of World War II in 1939.

These women of the class of ’51 took a chance to live in a country still very much recovering from the trauma of war. Their host families had lived through the Occupation, and some of the young men in their classes at the Sorbonne had doubtless been soldiers, or maybe even in the Resistance, but the realities of post-war Paris didn’t scare them away.

Juniors kept coming, and they have been going in an unbroken stream every year since, straight to the ninetieth anniversary of the program, to be celebrated next year. Every Smith alum must know someone who spent her Junior Year Abroad in France—it’s entrenched that deeply in the college’s history. So although Gertrude Perkins, pictured in the photo buying her cone of chestnuts, didn’t leave any letters describing just how delicious savoring a roasted chestnut on a damp and cold winter day might be, there is no doubt that any student from the program, from any year, would be happy to tell you.

 

O'Connor HeadshotGrowing up on Long Island, Bailey couldn’t wait to be able to travel and visit other places. The Global STRIDE project gave her the opportunity to spend a summer in Berlin, which was her first time being independent in a foreign country. That experience made her very interested in the idea of this journal. Next year she hopes to contribute more content as she joins the next year of Smithies in Paris.

Photo: Smith girls gather at chestnut vendor, Paris, France, 1950. College Archives, Smith College (Northampton, MA). © World Wide Photo, Inc. NYC

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berlin: the divide

Walls Here and There

It was an especially grey, winter day in Berlin, but the chill in my bones came from more than just the humidity. There I was, standing face to face with the remaining concrete barrier of the Berlin Wall. I was blown away by the realization that what I had just been studying in my class on the history of the European Union was tangible—I touched it, and thereby I touched history.

My professor in Paris had recently described living in Berlin in 1989, while on exchange from France, and excitedly running to the Wall when it fell. She shared how she had made off with a large chunk of it, taking home her own piece of history. She has proudly displayed the graffiti-covered stone in her apartment ever since. The remaining kilometer of the Wall is now known as the East Side Gallery. The concrete that was once covered with barbed wire is now covered with murals by international artists and scrawled messages marking “I Was Here” by many who have visited.

Berlin is a city heavy with history. The divide between East and West has left a visible mark. Whether it is the architectural differences or the cultures that have sprung up on one side or the other, Berlin is still seeking to reunite its two halves. Throughout the city there are also marks of something that is missing: its Jewish community. As my friend and I toured the city, we discovered the New Synagogue, with its impressive golden dome tucked in the center of a neighborhood in Berlin. As we stood there, I was struck by the feeling that the 8,000 Jews of pre-war Berlin were standing there with us. We continued exploring the city and soon found ourselves at Checkpoint Charlie, the Allies’ old crossing between East and West Berlin, reading stories about brave Germans who tried to sneak from one side to the other to see their families. Many were killed.

All day as we continued touring, I bounced back and forth between these intense stories—between the history of the Holocaust and the history of the Wall. When we returned to our hostel at the end of the day, I was absolutely drained. We joined our fellow travelers and saw yet another world of Berlin, the underground life of nocturnal Berlin, but I couldn’t shake a thought that was in the back of my mind: there are still walls like this elsewhere.

Before coming to Paris for my year abroad, I had spent the summer in Israel with my family. I hold dual American-Israeli citizenship, my entire family on my mom’s side lives there, and it is where I feel most at home. Walking around Berlin, I felt physically torn by the knowledge that a concrete wall similar to the one I was looking at, here in Berlin, has also been built there. Seven hundred kilometers of concrete, checkpoints, fences, and trenches, separate the West Bank from Israel. I asked myself, what makes that wall different from what was once the Berlin Wall?

The wall in Israel is a continuation of a universal story about separation and oppression, framed in a rhetoric of security and protection. Dividing people, dividing sides, separation barriers do not solve problems. Rather, they reinforce the differences between “us” and “the other,” they lead to more hatred and violence, and they paint a world that is stark black and white. However, the situation in Israel is anything but black and white. It is painted in shades of grey, and the nuances of narratives create a complicated conflict.

This photo, and this trip to Berlin, highlighted those shades of grey. As we see in the photo, two stories can in fact be held in the same frame. As I walked around Berlin that day, torn between the two stories I was facing about the oppression of the Jews that led to the Holocaust and the oppression of Palestinians that has been created by the wall in Israel, I finally realized that I did not have to decide that one was true and the other was false. Narratives do not have to be mutually exclusive—there can be multiple stories and multiple truths that exist at the same time. Israel can be both the sanctuary for Jews after the Holocaust, and a country that has built a wall of separation cutting across the land and isolating Palestinians. It can be both a safe-haven for some and an occupier of others. The question now is: How do you reconcile two truths? How do you tear down the wall that divides those two worlds? How do you tear down the divisions that have been built in order to build something together? Can both sides find the bravery required to forgive?

I don’t assume to have the answers to these questions, but I remain optimistic that this wall too will fall. I hope to be present for that moment and to take home a piece of the wall as a souvenir of the past, just as my professor did. Until that day, the walls around the world continue to serve as concrete reminders to seek justice and to work for tolerance.

Photo © Sophie Schor. All rights reserved.

Sophie Schor headshotSophie Schor is originally from Denver and spent her third year abroad with Smith’s JYA program in Paris. While in Paris, she attended Spéos International School of Photography where she learned to develop film and print black and white photographs. Armed with her camera, she traveled around Europe by train and captured many images along the way. Upon graduation in May, Sophie will be pursuing a Masters degree in Middle Eastern Studies at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. She hopes to specialize in the field of conflict-resolution.

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Wu - The World on a Wall photo

The World on a Wall

I took this photo at a cute little fondue restaurant in Montmartre, in the northern part of Paris. It was my first time studying abroad, the summer after my first year at Smith College. When I walked through the entrance, I immediately noticed was the unique decor: the walls were decorated with currencies from around the world. There were bills and coins taped everywhere—on the walls, on the ceiling, in the nooks and crannies of the hall. Many of the bills had notes written on them, and some of the coins were even painted. The collage of currency created a unique and artistic atmosphere. At first, the restaurant was fairly empty, but it filled up quickly as the minutes passed by.

When I dined there, I heard many different languages spoken all around me, and it was interesting to see how so many people from around the world were enjoying a meal together in a single open room. The various sounds that permeated the air echoed the different colors, both muted and bright, that speckled the walls. I will never forget the combination of familiar and unfamiliar sounds that resounded around me.

I heard a lot of French, which was not surprising; but more importantly, I heard different nuances of French. Parisian French was indeed present, but there were also other accents. I heard a mother telling her child to stop playing with his bread, and though the sound was different from what I was used to hearing during French classes, it was still unmistakably French. The mother pronounced the end of “pain,” the French word for “bread,” with an “-ng” sound. I was pretty sure that this was a Southern French accent, thanks to my Phonetics professor. There were also French accents I could not name.

When I listened harder, I recognized other languages even though I could not understand them. I heard the sounds of Italian, Vietnamese, German, Spanish, Mandarin, Japanese—a wide variety of distinct sounds from around the world. When the restaurant filled up, it grew noisy and I realized that there were many languages around me that I did not recognize. It was amazing that there were so many different speakers in one small location, and I wondered how many of them were bilingual or trilingual and if they had difficulty sticking to only one language. I grew up in a bilingual household, where my family and I have always mixed Chao Zhou and Khmer together to convey our thoughts more accurately.

One of my favorite moments at this restaurant was when I overheard a bit of Chao Zhou, my native tongue. I could not help but smile and feel even more at home. In the United States, I had never heard anyone outside my immediate family speak my language. Much to my surprise and delight, I heard many people in the streets near the Porte de Choisy Métro station speak Chao Zhou, and a few people even spoke in the Chao Zhou-Khmer fusion that was so familiar to me. For the first time in my life, I did not feel alone with my native tongue; I was reassured that there were others out there who used my language in daily life.

In the restaurant, even when sitting alone, I did not feel lonely when surrounded by this diversity. I felt more comfortable listening to spoken French and speaking French, and I felt happy and at ease when I heard Chao Zhou. Even though the walls were already filled with many pieces of currency, the diners managed to find places for their little piece of the world, even if it was simply a one euro coin.

 

Lisa Wu headshotLisa Wu spent her first year at Smith as a Global STRIDE (Student Research in Departments) scholar, and she considers the time she spent studying abroad in France a great learning experience. She is interested in different languages and cultures, bilingualism, and how these things affect people’s views.

Photo © Lisa Wu. All rights reserved.

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Paulson-Smith - The Funeral Next Door photo (1)

The Funeral Next Door

You would be right in thinking that this is a photo of a party. In the U.S. however, we usually do not throw parties for this reason. Taking a closer look at this image, you might notice the particular blessings imprinted on the women’s kangas, or their colorful printed pieces of cotton fabric that communicate different Kiswahili messages. At this type of gatherings kangas say things like, kuishi kwingi ni kuona mengi (to live long is to see much), or penye wengi pana Mungu (where there are many people, there is God).

As I sat in my host family’s apartment in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania with its permanently wide-open windows, which welcomed many birds, it took me a while to realize that this was not your typical party. This was not the sort of party for celebrating the coming of a new year, a holiday, or a birthday. This was a party for celebrating life, or rather, to honor the leaving of one. This was a funeral. The man who died had been a doctor at the university hospital and had the right side of his face paralyzed, and he would clearly be missed. From all the singing and guitar-playing below, it later sounded like a big celebration of this man’s life. I could hear every word of the funeral going on four stories below. Funerals are clearly important social occasions here. It had all of the elements of a huge block party: people who knew the doctor or his family just stopped by and pulled up a chair or took a seat in the lawn for however long they wanted to. Here your neighbors are your family. Emmanuel, my host brother, told me that this funeral had been going on for one week—so far.

I do not mean to imply that mourning was not taking place alongside the merriment. The night before, when the body arrived from Ghana, we heard loud cries coming from the apartment across the lawn. Dozens of people were gathered in the parking garage below their apartment, and we heard wailing for hours. In the morning we awoke to about a hundred lawn chairs spread out in the lawn around the garage. There were cars parked up and down the street and hundreds of people surrounding a big stage that was also set up in the garage where there were speeches being delivered.

A distinct feature of Tanzanian funerals that sets them apart from any funeral that I had ever attended is that the focus seemed to be on everyone coming together to celebrate the goodness of having a life more than the sorrow of losing one. My dad led a study abroad trip to Ghana when I was younger, and I remember him saying that funerals there consisted of giant parades of people singing and dancing down the street, coffin in tow overhead. I wonder what it is about American culture that leads us to have a more solemn and depressing approach to recognizing the end of one’s life. Whenever I get the opportunity to visit different countries, I generally try to resist the temptation of feeling inferior and valuing others’ cultural practices over my own. I have to say though, this one seems pretty logical and meaningful and desirable to me. This block party is exactly how I would want my funeral to be.

 

Photo © Katie Paulson-Smith. All rights reserved.

Laura Itzkowitz headshot 2 by Melissa Itzkowitz

As a Global STRIDE (Student Research in Departments) Scholar, Katie Paulson-Smith studied Kiswahili in Tanzania after her first year.  She next studied French and went to Geneva during her junior year, and has since been working in the Lewis Global Studies Center and helping to launch Global Impressions. Katie is eager to apply these international experiences and her African Studies background to fieldwork in East Africa next year.

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Thompson - Embracing My Curiosity photo

Embracing My Curiosity

I am seated on the long couch in the living room, adjacent to the chair in which my host mother, Hana, is sitting, with both feet planted on the floor so as not to offend her by exposing my soles. I have my notebook and pencil in hand and I am intently watching the TV. I hear the mini fan tirelessly spinning and the bubbles from the fish tank circulating. I smell faint cigarette smoke from my host brother’s presence five minutes earlier, but it doesn’t bother me anymore. The rest of the house is quiet because Hana warned that between 7 and 8 p.m. she is not to be disturbed while she watches her favorite Turkish soap opera. I decided that watching the show would be an ideal way to demonstrate to Hana and the family that I wished to be a part of their daily routines.

In this moment, I am desperately trying to keep up with the plot, or even just one conversation, but the characters’ voices are dubbed in another dialect and they are speaking quickly. I try to hold onto one word in my mind, but am soon overwhelmed by the speed at which all of the other words have passed. I have many questions about the culture portrayed on the show, details of the plotline, and the translation of words, but I am also hesitant to disturb Hana during her one hour of relaxation. For me to comprehend that one word, she would have to translate from the dialect on the show to Ammya (Jordanian dialect), and then to Modern Standard Arabic just.

I learned to appreciate the exaggeration of the music and the acting. Thinking back now, watching a soap opera is a great way to learn a language, because all of the show’s hyperboles made it easier for me to track the emotions of the story. Seeing the old man yelling angrily at the teenage boy and girl, paired with the fact that the young girl was holding her stomach, gave me an “aha!” moment one night—her the father must be angry that his daughter is pregnant and he does not approve of the match! Even if that wasn’t correct, it was the story I ran with.

I eventually overcame my the fear of annoying Hana by reminding myself that I am in Jordan to learn a foreign language, so I shouldn’t feel ashamed by my curiosity. Luckily, Hana often noticed my struggled look and was helpful in guiding me; she was even the one who suggested I have my notebook with me to jot down vocabulary. One of the best parts of evenings with my host mom and that silly soap opera was that I learned a new set of words dealing with the show that I was then able to use in class.

My biggest challenges in learning Arabic is that it takes me a while to feel comfortable speaking up. Experiences like watching a soap opera with my host mother really helped me to ask questions; I discovered the importance in of recognizing when I did not understand a phrase or key word, and having the strength to ask about it. I have found that a huge part of learning a language is trying, and with that will always come mistakes, but they will be mistakes to learn from and to commit to memory.

Photo © Eleana Thompson. All rights reserved.

Eleana Thompson’s home environment was strongly influenced by her mother’s Greek heritage, and she grew up with an appreciation and yearning for exposure to other cultures. As a Psychology major and Middle Eastern Studies minor, she envisions a career path working with people from an array of cultural and intellectual backgrounds. She hopes that her growing knowledge of Arabic and Greek, along with her skills she is learning in her major, will allow her to achieve this goal.

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