William and Mary
Sofia Chabolla
Sofia Chabolla

About  Posts

Hometown: Jacksonville, FL
Class of 2014

Choose Home

April 4, 2014 by

Admitted Class of 2018,

Congratulations on your admission to William & Mary!

Now that you have received your wonderful and exciting emails from the W&M Admission Office, it’s your turn to choose what college to attend! Yes, this is daunting, I know. I remember having SO MANY questions about what I would experience in college over the next four years. So, when making this tough of a choice, I hope that you all will think about what you hope to gain overall as part your collegiate experience. I hope you choose a place that deep down you feel that you can call home. If during your college decision making process you choose ‘Home’, I believe that your experiences and achievements will exceed your wildest imagination.

I want to tell you why, when I chose a college, William & Mary became my right choice.

Four years ago, I mapped out my goals and expectations for the next four years. Even then, though, there were so many aspects of my collegiate experience that I had no way of knowing what would happen. I was going in blind. I didn’t know then that I would have the chance to help curate a Michelangelo drawing exhibition and have my name published in a book on the subject. I didn’t know that, while studying abroad, I would watch an outdoor opera performed in Florence Italy’s Piazza Santa Croce, only a day after taking an art history class inside that same church. I didn’t know that I would spend a summer afternoon working for the Admission Office by playing a cut-throat game of kick ball against the Deans on the Sunken Garden. I didn’t even know I’d be making almost nightly study runs to Wawa for chicken strips or chips and salsa – per W&M student tradition. (But let’s face it: #Gotta_Hava_Wawa)

Here, I believe that I am able forge a path with distinct involvements, leadership roles, secret study spots, and groups of friends. As part of the William & Mary family, I am able to truly be myself and am motivated by others to succeed and achieve. Once I started college at W&M, all of the surprising moments and details of my college experience just seemed to fall into place. Here there are so many opportunities – unique and surprising and altogether pretty magical opportunities – that I have been able to take advantage of.

One of my huge time commitments here is my role on AMP or Alma Mater Productions – the campus event programming board. I am truly honored to have had the chance to run some of the major events on campus over the last four years. Some of my favorite weeks are slam packed with AMP events. I get to hear an Environmental Sustainability speaker on Tuesday, hug a llama at a petting zoo on Wednesday afternoon, listen to friends perform at a student music showcase on Thursday night, Keep up my team’s title of Trivia Champions on Friday, and go to a Wiz Khalifa concert on Saturday. After months of planning, seeing an event run smoothly and successfully is a joy. AMP has provided me with an engaging work opportunity and a busy schedule, but also with a solid group of friends and like-minded individuals who are all passionate about supporting their community and giving back to campus.

I will never forget one of my favorite nights this year, going to a sorority formal with one of my best friends. Even though I am not affiliated with a Greek organization, I have always felt so included and welcomed at any event that a Greek organization has put on. After we danced the night away, we traded our heels for tennis shoes and ran across campus to AMP’s Late Nite Glowball event. Yes, we were still wearing our dresses and bling, but those boys had to watch out; we were pretty lethal with glow-in-the-dark dodge balls. That night epitomizes for me the magical possibilities of W&M and all the opportunities that I can take advantage of each day with my friends and organizations.

This year, I also discovered the joys of brunch. I LOVE brunch. Conveniently, Williamsburg is somehow the capital of pancake houses in the United States. The number of restaurants where I can indulge in pancakes and bacon is truly astronomical. Because of this, a group of friends and I recently decided to create a “Brunch Tour of Williamsburg” in order to travel around the area testing out all of the brunch locations possible. French Toast, Huevos Rancheros, and Honey Butter’s to-die-for corncakes really are the best way to start the weekend while laughing around a huge table with my best friends and Brunch Buddies.

Another one of my favorite moments from this semester was the spring tradition of Campus Golf. The event is a Greek philanthropy where teams dressed in crazy costumes play a round of golf across Old Campus. My team decided to be Sexy Presidents. Let me tell you, it is somewhat difficult to make President Martin van Buren look sexy with a bald cap and white pillow-stuffing mutton chops at 8:30 on a Saturday morning. It didn’t help when George Washington, Honest Abe, Teddy Roosevelt and I ended up being chased around the Sunken Garden by a mob of Sailing Club members dressed as knights from Monty Python and the Holy Grail—all wielding golf clubs and coconuts. I don’t think I made one hole that morning of Campus Golf. That said, the philanthropy did however lead to a spring break trip with my golf caddies, my fellow presidents, and one of the Knights Who Say ‘Ni!’. During campus traditions and community events, it is friends like these who have made an impact on my overall time here.

These are only a very few of surprises and moments that have made my college experience so special. I chose a school that fosters innovation on a campus steeped in tradition; a school that stresses service to the community; and a school that revels in the unique and quirky passions of its students. In being part of this environment, all of my experiences became possible.

William & Mary is my Home. I wouldn’t change my decision for the world.

So, Class of 2018, I hope in your final decision you choose ‘Home.’ Choose a college where you feel you can thrive and take advantage of all the magical possibilities available to you. And if you want to really see if William & Mary can be ‘Home’ for you, I hope that you will join the Tribe on April 12th for W&M’s Day For Admitted Students. See you on campus soon!

Looking Back on a Summer as a Senior Interviewer

August 13, 2013 by

I’m having a hard time comprehending that this week marks my last week as a senior interviewer at the W&M Office of Undergraduate Admission. How can senior year be coming up so soon already?! Every day at the admission office has been busy; I have been giving tours, manning the lobby, answering phones, giving interviews and completing evaluations. But don’t worry—it hasn’t been all work all the time. I come in some mornings and have delicious Cuban espresso tastings with the deans and I can count on some type of cake waiting for me in the kitchen in the afternoons. (My life revolves around the possibility of free food apparently.)

I remember being so nervous when I showed up to the office on my first day of work this summer. I had no idea what to expect. I didn’t really know any of the other interviewers or deans beyond their profiles on Facebook or our past emails, and I had no idea what an interview would be like. To top it all off, it was my 21st birthday. What a great way to celebrate, right? It turns out, though, that everyone in the admission office was so welcoming right from the beginning. I was shocked! There was cake and excitement all day! I have to say this turned out to be one of my favorite birthdays. I don’t often get ‘Happy Birthday’ sung to me by over 150 strangers before their tour of campus….

The awesomeness only escalated over the course of the summer. The Dean vs. Interviewer kickball game this July was intense with a lot of trash talk and more baked goods leading up to the game. If you haven’t already, check out Dean Livingston’s Admit It! blog post about Kickball Week. We did end up letting the Deans win in a close game because we’re nice. Don’t let them convince you any different.

I joked to my friends and family that after this summer working for the admission office, I would turn Green and Gold with all my W&M love. I realize now that it was not a joke at all. This summer has strengthened my love for the College and reaffirmed for me in every way why W&M was the perfect college choice for me. Telling hundreds and hundreds of people “Why I chose William & Mary” after their tours has a way of doing that to you.

So, to everyone who contributed to making this the perfect summer, thank you. From the 14 interviewers’ first week of training all the way to our surprise Thai dinner extravaganza last night, it’s been pretty darn cool. I am so glad too that a small amount of interviewing continues in the fall. I’m going to miss all of the crazy antics in the basement phone room, and meeting all of the incredibly smart and talented prospective students every day!

To any prospective students and their families that might be reading this:

This summer I was continually in awe of all of your academic and extracurricular achievements. I kept thinking to myself, “There was no way I was that cool and put together in high school! These guys are going to take the world by storm.” I loved hearing about your goals, your quirks, and your passions. Too many times I wrote in my follow-up evaluations: “I WANT SO-AND-SO TO BE MY NEW BEST FRIEND!” The deans are probably sick of it, but it’s true! You guys all did wonderfully. (Also, thank you for indulging me and answering “Who would you want your two celebrity parents to be?” I appreciate it.)

And to those on my tours: we braved the humidity (and sometimes cataclysmic rain) together! Thanks for laughing at my jokes, letting me gush about all my past campus activities, and not letting me run into any more trees than necessary.

To everyone: best wishes on your entire college search & applications! It was wonderful to meet and talk to all of you. Thank you for coming to W&M!

Sofia

Orientation is Coming…

July 24, 2012 by

To all incoming students – Freshmen & Transfers:

By now you have all received your housing assignments and roommates. I hope you are all gearing up for college and Move-in on August 24th! As a current member of the Tribe and one of the Orientation Aides (OAs) for this fall (get ready Jefferson Hall – it’s going to be EPIC), I want to welcome you to the William & Mary community and let you know how excited we ALL are to meet you.

Since my own freshman Move-in to Yates in 2010, Orientation has become my favorite time of year. I now wait for Move-in with excitement and anticipation along with all the other yellow-shirt clad OAs. But let me tell you, I did not always have the urge to dance and cheer when I heard any reference to Orientation. Before my time in Williamsburg started, I was nervous about taking the next big step in my life. I was worried about meeting the girls on my hall, saying goodbye to my family, and living in a dorm room with some random. I had heard from my sister about her summer orientation at UNC Chapel Hill, and from my friends at UF and FSU back home, but the 5 day orientation at W&M was an altogether different beast. It was daunting and I was scared.

So to all incoming students, I want to let you know that the beginning of your college experience is going to be incredible. Yes, there will be a little bit of nerves on your first day, but that is normal, and everything will work itself out. We Orientation Aides, as well as the entire William & Mary community, will be here for you- welcoming you into our Tribe family. We are so excited to meet the students who will continue the legacy of W&M and will be your support, guides, and friends for the next 4 years. And for the record, I had no need to be scared my freshmen year. The girls that were on my hall are the absolute sweetest, and my random roommate is now my best friend – roomz, you know who you are.

So what exactly happens during Orientation – secret rituals and rites of passage? Obviously. We all dress in black capes and chant in Latin for a week. With candles. And incense.

No, I’ll be serious. The analogy that I have heard a lot – and is really the only thing that fits – is that Orientation is basically a 5 day summer camp. Though with a few less Lindsey Lohans, ear piercing sessions, and isolation cabins than you would see in The Parent Trap. We start off on the 24th with Move-in day. You, your parents, and hundreds of student volunteers in “We Sweat for You” t-shirts have a few hours in the lovely Williamsburg humidity to make your new dorm room your home. Then, once everything is in your room, the fun begins! Hall Cheers are rife, President (T-Reves) Reveley becomes your new idol, and you have over 26 new hall mates and best friends. But I don’t want to spoil all the details. Let’s just say that the Orientation staff has packed your schedule with a balance of information sessions, mixers with other halls, Tribe traditions, and free stuff! We will make sure that class registration runs smoothly, that you sign up for way too many clubs at the Activities Fair, and that you know your Tribe lingo. We’re big on the abbreviations here.

So with that little Orientation teaser (I wish I could get a man with a deep voice to read this aloud to you like in some action-packed Summer Blockbuster trailer. “IN A WORLD…” Maybe my next blog post?) – get ready for college!! William & Mary is awaiting your arrival. I can’t wait to meet you all on the 24th. I’ll be the one in the highlighter yellow t-shirt.

Please let me know if you have any questions about the move-in process, Orientation, or freshman year! Ask anything in the comments below (or send me an email!) and I will share all of W&M’s deep, dark secrets. That’s what I’m here for.

One Tribe, One Family,

Sofia

P.S. If you noticed my really cool Game of Thrones reference in this blog title, you will fit in well at W&M. I keep it classy.

A Balanced and Healthy Lifestyle

July 19, 2012 by

This morning, the Muscarelle Museum interns took a field trip to the Office of Health Promotion in the W&M Campus Center to talk to Ms. Sarah Menefee about Public Health, stress, and a well balanced lifestyle here at the College. As one of our weekly “Campus Enrichment Programs,” it was a perfect moment to step back and look at the ways that I, as well as the Tribe community, view public health. The health office on campus is here for us to provide educational, referral, and outreach services about wellness, disease prevention, and other health-related issues. They can help with anything from sexual assault and alcoholEDU to nutrition and stress.

And let me tell you: William & Mary can be a stressful environment! The work & students are very competitive. For me, stress comes not always from the work alone—but I tend to stress about stress! I see all the work others are doing, and think to myself, “Do I need to do more? Am I not working hard enough?” Isn’t your automatic response when someone says, “these are all the things I have to do…” to think of- or reply with- all of your own tasks for the week? Stress snowballs, and when one midterm leads to another, it is hard to know when it is OK to stop, take a break, and relax.

Ms. Menefee was right this morning, though, in explaining that stress affects everyone differently. Every individual combats stress in a different way. As a group we talked about some ways to relax or have fun away from the rigorous workload and academics. I wanted to share with you all some ideas and opportunities to relieve stress around campus and Williamsburg. So when you, a friend, or a classmate is stressed, remember that your time at W&M should be balanced. Take some time for fun and relaxation!

  1. Jamestown & Yorktown beach. Nothing relieves stress like a beach day!
  2. The Massage Chairs. The new chairs on the first floor of Swem are awesome, but I really can’t pass up the free massages in the Read & Relax area. Though somehow I am ALWAYS there when a tour group goes by, and I look totally crazy.
  3. The Sunken Garden & Barksdale field. Great for impromptu games of Ultimate Frisbee, Picnics, and laying in the sun with friends on a beautiful day.
  4. The Gym & the Department of Campus Recreation: Whether you make use of the Rec Center’s climbing wall, Semester Fitwell passes for Body Pump and Zumba Classes, many exercise machines, or MAC court for intramural sports – the gym is a convenient and great break from class. There are so many opportunities for outdoor trips through the Dept. of Campus Rec, as well as massage sessions, a massive pool, and Racquetball courts where I love to take out all my aggression and look absolutely ridiculous.
  5. Netflix – need I say more?
  6. Running (or a nice walk/hike). Another great stress reliever, I love to jog down DOG street and through the Matoaka Fitness Trails behind the Gym. Just make sure to run with a buddy!
  7. Busch Gardens – what better way to forget work then to ride front row on the Griffin or by rocketing through the Black Forest on Verbolten? Summer & Season Passes = the best. Just like W&M Student Day each fall.
  8. This summer I went back to Waller Mill Park – off Richmond and Airport Road, 10 min from campus – and like Lake Matoaka, there are hiking trails and you can rent canoes & kayaks every day of the week. I feel like I am so far away from the real world. It’s the ultimate Williamsburg getaway.
  9. Call home! For me personally, calling my family to talk about my day helps me to calm down and put everything in perspective. My family always makes me feel so much better. So be it friends, family, a counselor, or member of your religious organization: talk it out!
  10. Campus activities! I am sure you all have clubs and groups that you are involved in and which are great distractions from stressful school! Also, organizations like AMP (Alma Mater Productions) are here for you – bringing fun activities & events to campus throughout the week.

If you have any questions about public health, staying healthy at W&M, or individual lifestyle and stress management, the Office of Health Promotion (it is changing names from Health Education) is a great resource for students. They are always open to students, or you can contact them through their website or by calling (757) 221-2195!

What are some ways that you relieve stress or relax around campus?

Sofia. – Cant wait to see you all in the fall! Continue to have an amazing summer!

Work Hard, Play Hard.

June 29, 2012 by

Work Hard, Play Hard. Pretty much the DEN mantra here at the Muscarelle Museum of Art. (DEN: Development, Education, & New Media)

This summer I’ve been living it up in the lovely and humid ‘Burg and working as a Publishing & Curatorial Intern at the Muscarelle. The internship working for Museum Director Aaron De Groft has been such an incredible opportunity for me, as I have been helping curate a masterpiece exhibition coming in February for the Museum’s 30th Anniversary (I promise a press release soon – I am beyond excited) and publishing a book on Martha Wren Briggs: an art historian and alumni of the College who has devoted much of her research and writing to Art Nouveau stained-glass master Louis Comfort Tiffany. Also, I recently was an absentee phone bidder in an acquisitions auction for the Museum, buying pieces I had researched to add to Muscarelle’s Permanent Collection.

The hours here have been long combined with my English Senior Seminar on Hemingway and Fitzgerald. Starting work at 8 and ending at 5 have made me appreciate adults so much more. I feel like the days fly by fast when I add in homework, gym, and cooking meals – and adults do this all the time! Growing up is rough.

At the Muscarelle therefore, we believe it is important to break up research and work with fun. Each Thursday we have had “Campus Enrichment Programs” for the interns. A small group of us participated in a Williamsburg Planning Commission Meeting, helped the W&M Legal Council move into their new offices while The Brafferton is getting remodeled (there were golf carts and fresh cut flowers involved), and learned about interview skills and resume building at the W&M Cohen Career Center. The heads of the Muscarelle were also so generous as to throw me a 20th birthday party last week complete with Williamsburg’s Extaordinary Cupcakes. And today they outdid themselves with a surprise ice cream party! It was a perfect end to finishing my Seminar class this morning and completing 20 pages worth of research bibliographies.

I feel as though the Muscarelle has opened so many doors for me this summer with job experience and new networking opportunities. I am so excited to continue my work (and FUN!) through July and the next school year. Look forward to more Muscarelle and Williamsburg fun related posts coming your way soon. Also, you should like the Muscarelle Museum of Art page on Facebook. Doing so will win you my undying love and gratitude. And maybe even pie. Because life is better with pie.

And now, I’m off to Busch Gardens with the Interns. The Griffin has been calling my name. (and yes I was just there on Sunday with an amazing group of APO brothers here for the summer.) You really can never have too much Busch Gardens—especially when one season Fun Pass gets you into the park for the rest of the summer free. Williamsburg, I Love You.

Spirit of the Living Watching : W&M’s First Art History Publication

February 27, 2012 by

Before coming back to school this past winter, I was sitting at my laptop taking a break from writing summer internship applications and cover letters. I decided to look through the “Student Happenings” email that had just popped up in my inbox, and, scrolling down the list, the words NEW ART HISTORY PUBLICATION caught my eye. It was a sign—I am sure of it. There I was, begging to be part of a publishing house and magazine across the country, and the incredible opportunity to be part of an Art History magazine before summer even started had fallen into my lap. Well, inbox really. As an Art History and English student, this was a chance to combine two of my passions together into my dream job. I immediately emailed my interest including a few too many exclamation points in the hopes that I could join the budding magazine.

Now about a month later, I am thrilled to be Executive Submissions Editor of “Spirit of the Living Watching,” William & Mary’s first Art History publication. The magazine, the first issue of which will be published online on the 13th of April 2012, will include student scholarly papers, creative responses to art, articles and information about current exhibitions, and interviews with students and department professors. Also, “SOLWatching” (pronounced “soul watching”) now has a club and staff of over 20 students, all with individual jobs from layout design to finance and marketing. Being part of the launching process of the magazine has showed me the motivation and passion of students here at the college. In just a month, the SOLWatching club has worked on everything from layout and editing to marketing and fundraising for the magazine. The positive response for the proposed online magazine from students and faculty reiterates for me the enthusiasm the W&M community has in supporting student run organizations as well as the creativity of the individuals behind them.

I decided to sit down with W&M junior Michelle Repper, founder and editor-in-chief of “SOLWatching”, to ask her about the publication. Below is a part of my interview with her where we talk about her inspirations, goals, and process of creating the magazine.

S: How did you come up with the idea for SOL Watching?
M: I was procrastinating last semester during finals week—and thinking about the publications on campus, because I often submit, and I noticed the fact that we didn’t have anything relating to Art History. I really wanted to get the Art History major out there, and make us as legitimate as other majors, if not more so, by having a publication. I then talked to my friends in the Art History Department to see what the student interest would be in a magazine and what they thought of the idea of starting one. They were all really excited about it, so I printed off some flyers and put them in Andrews. Then, I sent emails to Student happenings to see if there were any people interested!

S: What about the title of the magazine specifically?
M: Well first off, there is a Gauguin painting called “Spirit of the Dead Watching.” I had been thinking about the painting a lot, because it was part of my Honors Thesis actually, and also about what our jobs are as art historians. I was thinking how we are meant to watch and, personally, how [Art History] is so much of an emotional experience and connected to who we are as individuals. I thought of it then that “your spirit watching” would be what the magazine is about.

S: What are your goals for the magazine?
M: We really do want to include the entire Art History as well as creative community at W&M. As far as the Art History department goes, I know it would be hard to get in touch with alumni, but I think that they would get excited with this project and could support us with funding or interviews about jobs after graduating with an Art History major. As a department, we are tight knit because we are so small and we are all passionate – because you really don’t do Art History unless you are passionate – so I thought people would get excited.

As far as the rest of the creative community, I didn’t want this magazine to be pigeonholed into scholarly responses only. Such an emotional response doesn’t have to be interpreted in just a sterile scholarly way. I think that so much can be learned from doing poetry and music. OK- did you ever see Pixar’s Ratatouille? He eats a mushroom and some cheese and then music is all around him? That’s what I want to see! If a musician looks at a piece of art and hears something, I want to hear that- I want to know! I think that so much can be learned from that creativity, so I also want to incorporate theater, music, dance, and art history into the magazine.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________

If you have any old papers, creative writing, or responses to art- “Spirit of the Living Watching” would love to publish them in our upcoming magazine. Email us submissions at SOLWatching@email.wm.edu including works cited if needed and links to /scans of the images you reference! Also follow SOLWatching on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with the magazine and our journey to our first publication Friday April 13th, 2012. Many thanks to the W&M community, Art History Department, and Publication Council for helping “Spirit of the Living Watching” with its first steps towards becoming a lasting publication and a positive contribution to campus.

Spring Registration

November 2, 2011 by

Registration Week is upon us again, everyone. It’s that hectic time of year when we plan what we want our schedule to be the next semester, but know deep down inside will turn out very different after our time slot is over. Some of us get incredibly lucky and take Adventure Games, while others (like Hitler from last years’ fantastic viral registration YouTube video based off Inglorious Bastards) do not. I know from experience the anxiety that scheduling can cause sitting on Banner two minutes before registration opens at 3:30 pm. I also know the feeling you get the moment you hit enter, and your schedule comes back with only eight credits. It can be hard when we get our hearts set on having no classes on Friday or none before 11:00 am. And it can be frustrating when we have one specific major track class that we need to take, and all the spots have already been filled.

One surprising thing that I have found during my time here at the college, however, is that it is always the last class that I sign up for, or switch into on a whim, that I have enjoyed the most. Add/Drop has giving me the incredible opportunity to start my mornings laughing with Professor Simon Stow in Race, Rhetoric & Poetry in American Thought, and fulfill my GER 7 in the process. I have learned in-depth knowledge about the culture of my ancestors and the skills needed to write a good thesis paper with Professor Susan V. Webster in Art and Art History of Colonial Latin America. And with Add/Drop I signed up to take a literature course and ended up deciding to be an English major because it was something that I truly had a passion for.

I believe it’s important to take at least one class each semester, not because it’s a necessity, but because you love the topic. The work load in college can be heavy and intensive, but keeping a balance in your classes with ones that you love, or just want to try because it sounds fun, can make waking up on busy Mondays so much easier. So, as we all fight for spots in classes and ask the teachers for overrides, I just want to say Good Luck. I hope that all of your schedules work out. Also, I hope that you will find, even if it’s not on you original top choice schedule, classes that you will truly enjoy. Just don’t sign up for Children’s Fantasy Literature, because that’s the class I want.

:) Happy November everyone: best wishes on the rest of this semester, as well as the next.

12 Things I Learned Abroad

August 4, 2011 by

I wish I could have had internet access to blog during my time abroad this summer in Florence. But unfortunately, internet access was hard to come by in the city. So, because of this, I thought I’d upload an email I was able to send to my family about what I had noticed and learned while being a part of a different culture.

12 Things I’ve learned in Italy

1. Weather in Italy, like the bus system, is totally unpredictable. One minute we’re studying Art History in the sun on Piazza Signoria, and the next we are soaked as the sky decides it is time to hail all over us. The 40 minute walk home in the rain was… wet.

2. I have really come to appreciate American men and American bathrooms. Many of the ones here are dirty and inappropriate. Except when it is conveniently Men’s Fashion week in Florence and the collection venue is right across from where I have classes.

3. Watching dubbed Italian television and movies with my housemates is hilarious and actually really helps my understanding and comprehension of the language. Dubbed Italian is slower and very formal, without any regional dialect difference. Spending time watching movies became great practice and a way to also learn new vocabulary.

4. On that same note, Italians have a strange passion for Walker Texas Ranger. Or maybe Berlusconi does, because it is on every night and he controls all the TV channels.

5. I am going to miss the three course meals cooked by my Homestay nona, Mama Pia. Every night we have a pasta course, a meat and vegetable course, and then dessert.

6. I love how a gelato a day is totally acceptable here. The key when looking for a gelateria is to look at the banana flavored gelato. If the color of it is bright yellow- WALK AWAY. Authentic banana gelato will be gray without color die. If you find gray banana gelato, you can trust the quality of the entire store.

7. The Jersey Shore is in Florence. That is all I have to say.

8. I have created my own hybrid Sofia language. It combines English, Spanish, Italian, extreme hand gestures, and strange sound effects. People seem to understand me somehow though.

9. Sitting in the Piazza Santa Croce with hundreds of Florentines while watching Notre Dame de Paris was breathtaking. People hung out of the windows of surrounding buildings just to see the Italian remake of the French opera. Being a part of that night was one of my top experiences in Florence.

10. My roommate Sally buying Harry Potter in Italian gave us the sad revelation that the translators have changed all of the characters names. Albus Dumbledore becomes Albus Silente in Italian?! I mean, really?

11. Studying Art History in the birthplace of the Renaissance is unparalleled. I can’t count how many times I have stumbled upon a masterpiece by Fra Angelico or Masaccio totally by chance. The pieces take my breath away.

12. Italy is beautiful. City life can be crowded and hectic and at times- expensive and confusing- but I am really, truly happy here.

Studying abroad through the W&M Reves center has been an incredible experience. I feel so lucky to have had this opportunity so soon in my college career. I hope you will take the chance to study abroad for the summer or an entire semester. I would definitely recommend going to Italy to study, experience a new culture, and live it up in Florence.

Welcome Class of 2015!

April 14, 2011 by

Hi everyone! Guess what? The Day for Admitted Students is this Saturday! I wanted to write a special welcome to the newest admitted members of the W&M community- transfers and the Class of 2015. I know these last few weeks have been incredibly nerve-racking for you all, as you waited to see the decision in your email inbox.

Now is the time to narrow down your choices and pick the school that’s perfect for you by visiting the campuses, asking questions, and meeting other students. If you are having trouble pinpointing the right college- Admitted Student’s Day is an awesome opportunity to do just that! On the 16th, the Sunken Garden is going to be filled with current students and clubs here to answer your questions and tell you some of their personal experiences about being part of the Tribe.

So Class of 2015: I welcome you to William & Mary. If you decide to choose Williamsburg as the place you want to spend your four years of college- I cannot wait to meet you all in August for Move-in Day and to be one of your OAs for Freshman Orientation. If you have questions about Tribe life, being a freshman, or William & Mary in general- comment below and I would love to answer anything you want to know.

See you on Saturday for Admitted Students Day!

Your fellow TWAMP,
Sofia

Spring Semester 2011: Clubs, Applications, and the Future of Minority Studies Colloquium

February 27, 2011 by

Hi everyone! I hope you are having a wonderful spring semester so far and are diligently working to obtain the coveted A on all of your midterms. The past few weeks at William & Mary have been packed with essays, exams, applications, club meetings, and so many campus events that I haven’t had a free moment. February is when many organizations, clubs, and specialized housing send out applications and conduct interviews for students joining in the fall semester. After filling out quite a few of these applications myself, I am so excited to announce that I am now a member of the Italian Language House and Summer Study Abroad Trip to Florence with my roommate and fellow blog extraordinaire, Sally Wade! I am also volunteering at the Muscarelle Museum of Art, working in a new AMP committee, practicing on a co-ed intramural soccer team, and interviewing to become an Orientation Aide!

For the past six weeks, I have been taking a one credit short-course taught by Hispanic Studies professor John D. Riofrio on National and International Minority Studies. The course is a group discussion that culminates in a colloquium called Subjugated Histories, Decolonizing Practices that Professor Riofrio organized with the Future of Minority Studies Organization at the college this weekend. My class has been reading papers written by many prominent professors and activists from universities across the country on topics such as Human Rights, Critical Pedagogies, Native Issues, Decolonization, and Race and Immigration. The national colloquium then talks about these ideas in panels and discussions between the students, professors and activists. The interdisciplinary issues discussed are then related to national current events and controversial issues like the Arizona Bill SB 1070 and Affirmative Action.

One of the panels that I went to this weekend at the colloquium was lead by Stanford Professors Paula M. L. Moya and Hazel Rose Markus. Their presentation, 8 Conversations about Race, was an eye opening and informative discussion on their ideas about race and ethnicity in America. (Their opinions and arguments on the subject drew from research and studies written in their book Doing Race that my class had read and discussed earlier in the semester.) Moya and Markus argued that race is not something that humans have inside of them- genetic and biological differences-but instead a set of processes that people DO. This view was a totally new way of conceptualizing race that I had never thought of before. I found their ideas on the eight conversations fun and accessible because they gave pop culture and current events as examples like Avenue Q’s song “Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist”, a Colbert Report Clip, and the Sesame Street song “I Love My Hair” during their presentation. Moya and Markus’ ideas and research are only one piece to the puzzle in the discussion of racism, minorities, and prejudice talked about at the colloquium. I know I am not nearly as eloquent in explaining the in depth ideas that they present in their book- so definitely follow the links below to find out more about their views!

Being part of this class and event opened my eyes to controversial topics such as race, and it has given me the knowledge and opportunity to start forming my own opinions and views on the current social and cultural state of our country. This whole experience was so different than all the other courses that I have been in so far at the college. After taking more fact based classes like art history and natural psychology, it was refreshing to see the new and emerging ideas on race at the colloquium as well as getting to formulate my own views in discussion.

Ok. That was about the longest blog ever! I promise to instead write less and more often. I wish you all a wonderful, fun, relaxing, and safe spring break.

Ciao tutti!

Sofia

Learn more about The Future of Minority Studies mission, Moya and Markus’ book Doing Race, and read Professor Riofrio’s blog about the Colloquium by following the link below!

Doing Race: http://humanexperience.stanford.edu/doingrace

FMS Website: http://www.fmsproject.cornell.edu/about_overview.htm

Rio’s Colloquium Website: http://wmfms.blogs.wm.edu/