When I was at Bennington I knew what I was passionate about: I loved dance, yoga, nutrition, writing, language, design, women, anatomy, accounting, human biology, talking about sex, educating and empowering people, being creative, the entrepreneurial spirit, and warm (over-heated) spaces. Bennington taught me it was okay to expect all of those interests to be career worthy. Almost eight years later I learned how to meld every single piece of my Bennington education (okay not the piano or banjo lessons) into my perfect career. This year I opened Window of Heaven Acupuncture & Yoga. As sole proprietor I handle accounting and marketing, as well as teaching private therapeutic yoga lessons and composing beautiful Chinese Herbal formulas and acupuncture treatments. I found the most artistic and creative medicine out there and I love it more every single day. My practice specializes in women’s health, birth and fertility, so I get to talk about periods and empower women all day long in my sunny, overheated studio in Northampton, MA. And when I’m not in the studio I’m blogging at http://windowofheavenacupuncture.com/window-of-heaven-words. My blog teaches people how to redefine health and live a passionate, satisfied life. I teach 6 yoga classes a week and bike to the yoga studio and my office. Even in my wildest fantasies during the Bennington Years I couldn’t have come up with anything this good.
I have always thought of myself as a dreamer. I come up with new dreams daily it seems. Thankfully my time at Bennington taught me how to start turning these dreams into reality. Bennington taught me to believe in myself and my talents, to get out of my own way and create a life that I want to live. To find ways to be creative in all that I do. One of my dreams has always been to be a singer in a rock band. I was always too scared to perform in front of a crowd but finally stepping out of my own way and leaving my fears behind, I have found such a joy in performing. Bennington has taught me to dream big and know that I can accomplish my dreams no matter the size. The list is long, but exciting.
Sam Damon ’09
If I started listing the number of dreams I have, this could become one heck of a post but I guess, a good way to streamline some of my goals is to reel back to earlier this year when I wrote my senior thesis. One of my long-term “dreams” is to help the general public understand its relationship with the media, and realize how people affect media practices by being active consumers of its content. I believe that all human beings have stories to tell and that the commonalities between our experiences allow us to understand and communicate with one another despite the limitations of distance, time, and culture. Even if it’s just a handful of people, I hope we someday understand that we are all collectively responsible for this ever-changing world, and that we have the power to lead these changes in a positive direction.
Eissa Saeed ’12
As a group of good writers, with exceptional creativity and originality, I hope that current alumni and students will forgive my sappy prose.
When I started at Bennington I thought I would end up a lawyer, like my dad. I began my first semester signing up for classes in Politics, Mediation, Philosophy and, on a whim, Photography.
As the semesters passed, my schedule filled up with more photography and painting classes, edging out academic work. The ability to design my own plan and lack of prerequisite courses allowed me to change my path mid-way through school and set my cap at becoming a photographer.
Thank you Bennington for all those hours I got to spend in the VAPA darkroom and painting studios, making work and talking with classmates. This gave me time to experiment with new materials and ideas, and the courage to take risks. My fellow classmates still number among the most impressive and creative bunch of people I have encountered.
The memory of that spark of discovery I felt many times at Bennington remains with me now, driving me to search out new lessons and ideas. I felt it when I made my first chromogenic print, finished my first oil panting, saw a modern dance performance in Jennings, heard Jonathan Kline speak about the history of photography and when Ann Pibal showed us work from contemporary female painters.
While in school I gained the ability to take risks and experiment in art making. Even when no one is watching, I continue to make new work. My dream is to make art consistently for the rest of my life and continue to learn and share.
Catharine Maloney ’05
My name is Julie Moore and when I was at Bennington, my dream was always the same –to one day start my own therapeutic practice and offer low cost mental health therapy to those in need. During my time in the beautiful mind and landscape that is Bennington,I swam in a sea of creative and intellectual inspiration. The love, support, and drive a felt around me was empowering, for I had always felt alone in my passion for perseverance. In Bennington,I was surrounded by an explosion of brilliance and it motivated me to keep reaching towards my dream, even though I came from a poor family background and was riding the wave of financial aid and full time employment while matriculating. I graduated with flying colours on paper and inside my spirit. All the Field Work Terms I had in my time there along side my grade and personality landed me a job from the get-go as a mental health therapist to impoverished mentally ill folks in Philadelphia. I thought life could not get better. But after four years working at the same job with no progress in sight, I began to feel an aching to move forward. I was far away from the Bennington bubble and on my own now, but the inspiration from that time was still inside me, and remembering all I achieved there and afterwards propelled me to move forward and apply to graduate school. I got into a program at Temple University for Counseling Psychology that accepted only 10 people. I was ecstatic. I have completed my first term now with a 4.0, landed a new, better paying job in my field and am one step closer to my dream, which remains to open my own practice. I have myself to thank most of all, but I cannot forget for a second all the people at Bennington who invested their love and nurturing with me to help me go far. David Anderegg, Mirka Prazak, Cindy Luce, and Tammy Fraiser were only four of the many incredible people who supported and continue to support me even now. In your time at Bennington,if you are not already there, you will meet strange and fantastical spirits who will perplex and please you –people who will change your world and self view for the better. Do not be scared to risk the mundane. Do not be afraid to reach out to your professors, peers, other staff, and therapists there (hey, we ALL need help sometimes!) Bennington will transform you into something ridiculous and wonderful that is fully you –just new. Don’t fight it!
Julie Moore ’08
Welcome! We’re very excited to hear about your work and how your time at Bennington has contributed to your dream.