Sometimes when I tell people that I’m Korean, I feel like a liar. And other days, when I go to the Asian Center for Empowerment (fondly known as the ACE) on campus, the word has never felt more right. Growing up in Vermont, I’ve never known many other Asian people. And I can count on one hand the number of people I’ve met who are, like me, a quarter Asian.
“If you want to get paid to sit and eat cookies while monitoring more cookies, sign up for the M&Cs shift!”
This was the first time I heard about M&Cs, or milk and cookies. I was a first-year international student, attending a work-study meeting where we were to select shifts to work for Dining Services. A senior came up to the people in my row and quietly whispered this sage advice, which I took. (Thank you, kind member of the class of 2018!)
During summer and winter breaks from Mount Holyoke, I work as a technician and an intern at three different veterinary hospitals. Two of the hospitals treat small companion animals and one treats wildlife: the New England Wildlife Center in Weymouth, Massachusetts.
As a pre-veterinary student, I am incredibly privileged to be a part of these three communities. Over the past few years, I have developed so many important skills — from drawing blood to making small talk with clients — that I hope to one day utilize when I am a veterinarian myself.
Before there was speech, was there song? Before there was ready light, was there a flickering glow? The deepest reaches of the human heart seem to know these truths instinctively. That such simple sensory experiences — voices raised, candles held close, warm bodies seated side by side — can elicit such profound feelings of comfort, peace and kinship speaks to the power of embedded memory. Were we made to sing? To make music? To be together? To reflect? To connect?
After two years of dogged fundraising — and raising of eyebrows throughout Massachusetts — one woman’s dream became a reality. In a time when higher education for women did not exist. When educating women was seen not just as unnecessary, but as harmful and subversive.