So last night I had to give a speech on behalf of the Posse at Middlebury Blog in front of educators, donors and politicians. My job there was to convey the missions of the blog, give a reading from selected posts and reinforce the importance of the Posse Foundation program in higher education institutions. I would be lying if I said that I was anything but a wreck. As I approached the podium, clutching articles that I had printed out just minutes before, I realized that I had forgotten to actually go through all the articles among the chaos and pick out what I wanted to read. “Aww heck,” I said in my head. Here I was, a representative and co-editor no less, standing in front of a roomful of some of the most important people that could make or break the program with nothing to show. I started to sweat profusely under the spotlight, both metaphorically and physically. My heart raced. My throat dried up. The papers spilled on the floor in my nervousness. And then, I woke up. (This dream actually did happen by the way.)
For many students on the Middlebury College campus, the Black Pearl Ball is one of the most buzz-worthy events of the entire year. For those who have no idea of the Black Pearl Ball, it is a campus-wide dance hosted by the Middlebury student organization, Women of Color, that takes place during Homecoming Weekend. The event is attended by not only current Middlebury students but alumni as well. So how did the Black Pearl Ball, which in the recent years has also served as an alternative option to the Homecoming Formal itself, even came to be?
And so it happened, Las Chicas were finally in España. Las Chicas, of course, are Shipnia and myself; it’s a name we affectionately acquired while at Middlebury from our long-time Middlebury professor, Irina Feldman. The title was appropriate enough because Shipnia and I had started our Spanish language and culture immersion together at Middlebury. The two of us vowed over chocolate milk in the Ross dining hall that “neither of us could change our mind about going abroad without the other [during our junior of college].” So with the clank of our glasses, Las Chicas had begun the journey that would one day place us right in the heart of Spain – Madrid.
“Ni hao ma? [How are you?]” my Posse older sibling greets me in Mandarin Chinese.
“Norminah! [Alright!]” I would respond in Russian. “Kak dela? [How are you?]”
“Wo hen hao. [I’m well],” replies Luis, a fourth-year Posse scholar, in Chinese again.
The conversation would then follow with Luis asking a clarifying question about Chinese grammar while I ask him how to translate a phrase from English to Russian. Once we have exchanged our mini-language lessons, we would hug, say goodbye in Russian/Chinese and then depart for our respective classes. [While these encounters were frequent,] Our language exchanges also often extend beyond the minute-long mini-lessons.
My name is Rana Abdelhamid and I am running for First Year Senator for the class of 2015. Ever since I arrived on campus I have been inspired by all the extraordinary work that Middlebury students are doing on campus and that has pushed me to pursue my own passion in leadership [positions] as well. [Back] In New York City, I was involved in a lot of leadership roles, from student government to just being an older sister. Now as a student at Middlebury College, I would like to take on a new role as the voice for my class. I believe that the concerns of the class should be addressed which is why my campaign involves listening to students’ concerns and addressing them into my platforms. (This is why my fliers contain direct quotes from students about problems that they want to address.) As a First Year Senator I will continue to listen to the voices of my peers and ensure that they are brought to the table. I am also a part of Middlebury Posse 13 and the Posse community at Middlebury has really empowered me for this position through all of the support that they have to offer. Don’t forget to vote!
Elections are being held TODAY (Monday, October 10th, 2011)
Look for the e-mail from the SGA.
UPDATE: Congratulations To Rana! We wish you the best of luck and can’t wait to hear about your great work on the SGA.