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carolyn.j's picture

Choosing my avatar took me slightly longer than I anticipated, for considering all the misrepresentation a single, stand alone image can present.  What I ultimately came up with is a picture my friend and I took while studying abroad last fall.  I have unquestionably learned a tremendous amount during my time at Bryn Mawr, from a combination of courses, people, and experiences.  I often look back on study abroad, though, as the first time I really began to build a more concrete concept of how I wanted to play out my academic interests in the world.  In addition, my distance from Bryn Mawr and the people I knew there gave me a new perspective to consider the nature of the assumptions and knowledge I held - both of myself and the world around me.  My time away was in many ways transformative, even if that process and its results are not always obvious. 

As to the scene actually depicted - a lot of what I found myself deconstructing had, unsurprisingly, to do with my major interests: political science, feminism, social justice, etc.  This was often done with the friend pictured.  In this particular instance, we were farcically protesting the infuriatingly sexist lecture we had experienced the day before by wearing these t-shirts, made in the night between the two lectures.  While we had attempted to counter the comments the previous day, we were repeatedly silenced; the shirts were our alternate form of protest, performed largely for our own satisfaction.  This particular moment in my time abroad captures a lot of what that whole experience taught me and meant to me, which in turn has often been invaluable as I continue to pursue feminist and other studies back at Bryn Mawr.