Emma Sullivan ’24 (they/them)
“Wellesley is my home, but I also worked on Wellesley Career Education’s first-year retreat, Embark!, and I designed programming for them, which I do all year round. … It was actually the first time I had ever shot with a professional camera for a job, so that was super exciting. My boss is a photographer, so I got a little support with that, and even though they were not happy to see me photographing them and chasing them around with my camera, it was really fun to talk to the first-years.
“[It was] super quiet [on campus]. I got all the snow when I came back; I’m pretty sure it was snowless until I came back on the 6th [of January]. But [it was] dead quiet until the moment you decided that you were hungry enough to walk all the way to Bates and then you saw everyone you knew all at once. Everything, everywhere, all at once.”
Gabrielle Shell ’24 (she/they)
MOROCCO: Language and Culture (MES 270) with Professor Rachid Idir Aadnani
“A huge thing that I think I’ve been learning throughout this year … it’s really not that hard to communicate with people that you don’t share that much language with. Going into the trip, I was nervous about living in a host family where I didn’t really know if I was going to be able to really speak to them at all. … But, I was able to create a real relationship … Even though it was the thing I was most nervous about … it ended up being my favorite part of the trip, and the thing that I learned the most from and cherished the most were those connections that I made, especially with my host mother and my host sister.
“We had some really interesting conversations about the place of women in Morocco and just hearing from normal Moroccan women was really cool. … And in general, just getting out of my comfort zone in a way that I feel a lot more comfortable doing other things moving forward. … On our trip, we had such a mix of levels of Arabic or levels of travel experience, and it really seemed like … everyone had a really good time and I think everyone was nervous going into it. … It’s also a really great experience that I would never have the opportunity to travel for almost three weeks in that way, so I’m really happy I went.”
Marty Martinage ’24 (they/them)
RUSSIAN: Elementary Russian I (RUS 101) with Professor Thomas Hodge
“On the first day, [Professor] Hodge was like, ‘Guys, this is probably going to be one of the most difficult things you ever do in your academic career,’ and I was like, ‘It can’t be that hard.’ And then, I was crying over basic grammar rules. … But I ended up loving it and … I feel so good about the choice to take Wintersession Russian. … I think this is what I’m gonna do with my entire grad school track, so they’ve won me over. The Russian department has really got [sic]their teeth into me. … One of those things that I really love about our Russian department is that it’s a lot of people who have spent their lives studying literature and the way that people communicate feelings and desires and needs in literature, and it’s a group of really compassionate educators. … Even in elementary Russian, there were little bits and pieces of this language that’s become highly politicized. … The way that individual words that … you learn in grade school as a Russian kid have taken on this, like, huge, weird socio-political legacy, like that’s something that we talked about and that Hodge left a ton of space for us to talk about. I’m very proud to be a part of that community [the Russian department]. The way that that community engages with the work that we do and the things that we’re studying is really thoughtful.”