“So my favorite memory from Summer Immersion was when we all, as a group, walked through the main quad and looked at these benches with poems on them. We talked about what the poems meant to us and sat around a little circle in the grass and listened to Andy Bush from the Jewish Studies Department, and he explained not only what the poems meant to him, but also listened to how they affected us.
And I realized in that moment, that coming to Vassar, no matter who I was talking to or what the conversation was about…that every conversation, every person I would meet here had something to share. And sometimes it would be whether you wanted to listen or not, but it was very valuable, what they were trying to say, and it was worth your attention and your time to give them an ear and allow them the space to share what they wanted to say.”
So I’ve learned that there’s so much that I don’t know, and there’s so much left that I want to learn.
During Summer Immersion, we were introduced to the world of film by Professor Harvey, and I’ve never thought about film, but she had us read this essay about the relation between time and slow cinema and photography. It made me think about film in a different way that I wouldn’t have otherwise. And then we watched slow cinema, and she told us, like, “You’re probably going to fall asleep,” and I’ve never heard a professor tell me that you’re going to probably fall asleep, even though we were meant to fall asleep watching it…analyzing it afterwards was so interesting. And Professor Bush’s class, when we were reading the Elizabeth Bishop poems, I would have never taken the time to reflect on the poems on the benches along the way to the Deece, or even Professor Syedullah’s grounding principle.
And sometimes I find myself just breathing in really deeply, and then letting go of thoughts in the same way she told us, while we were meditating, to think of our thoughts as clouds…All amazing things that I’ve learned through Summer Immersion.