Written by summer program assistant Jon Butler 11F
Sometimes, you have to share a room. About 75% of new student rooms at Hampshire are singles. But sharing can be fun, and if you knew Elora Pindell 08F, you’d wish you were in the 25% of doubles with me, sharing space with an awesome coworker.
Elora and I share an office in the Merrill Student Life Center, and we’re basically partners in crime. Together, we fight mayhem and confusion to bring you the best possible new student experience, day in and day out. She’s the summer orientation assistant (read: orientation logistics expert) and definitely someone you should know.
Elora was “born and raised on the playground,” in Philadelphia, PA. She is a brilliant writer, and came to Hampshire through the James Baldwin Scholars program. After her first year, she was impressed with the supportive community she found in her friends and classmates, and became a peer mentor for a first-year Baldwin Scholar. She did her Div. III in creative writing and Africana studies, writing a collection of short stories addressing the intersection of race and gender. The Writing Center was her second home; she worked there as a Writing Intern, helping other students craft and edit their literary endeavors. She also took classes there, and claims it is one of the best spaces on campus, closely contested by the quiet patios behind the Yiddish Book Center.
Elora’s pro-tip for incoming students is to plan a semester to study abroad. It’s a “once in a lifetime experience, just fill out the applications and go!” The cultural perspective is invaluable, and she notes that it’s probably cheaper to go while you’re in school (ask the Global Education Office about grants and scholarships!). She also got involved with the student group Excalibur, which screens sci-fi movies and TV shows with a large projector on Saturday nights. She didn’t expect to join the group, but after going to a screening and loving it, she was hooked. They always have amazing food from area restaurants, and that certainly doesn’t hurt. Elora recommends dropping in on lots of student groups, because they just might surprise you. And even if you don’t like it, most groups have food at their meetings, so at the very least you’ll get some free snacks out of it!
If you want more Elora (which you should), check out this short video describing how Divisions work at Hampshire, she’s the narrator: http://goo.gl/aqffR
That’s all for now, keep asking questions! I’m putting together ideas for videos, so stay tuned for fresh content in the coming weeks.