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Emily

Emily

Year: 2013
Hometown: Baltimore, MD
Major: Political Philosophy, Policy and Law

What are your intellectual interests?

Social Issues (Women’s Issues)

English (American Fiction, World Literature)

Natural History

Environmental and Land Policy

American, European and Military History


What is the most surprising thing you’ve found at U.Va.?

Noble the Friendly Dog. He lives in garden number five and I believe he belongs to Pat Lampkin. He is the sweetest thing on Earth and I have gone many a time on stressful or just plain old nice days to get a little petting and puppy love in to brighten my day.


Where are your closest U.Va. friends from?

Richmond, VA; Fairfax VA; Wilmington, DE; Sterling VA; Atlanta GA; Glasgow, Scotland . . . a whole bunch of places! I tend not to think of people in terms of their hometowns so I often forget.


If you were stranded on a deserted island, which book would you want to have with you?

The Poetry of Pablo Neruda so I would not forget how to dream.


How do you spend your Spring Breaks?

So far for first year I just went home to visit my friends and my puppies! I’m hoping to give Alternative Spring Break a try next year.


Where do you go to study for exams?

Generally I go to the lounge in my dorm, a garden on the lawn, the Bio-Psych Library in Gilmer because it has lots of pretty windows, or upstairs at the Starbucks on the corner.


Did you visit U.Va. before deciding to attend?

Yes, and so many times too. I came back for all sorts of alumni events with my parents, we went apple picking at Carter’s Mountain in Charlottesville every fall, and when my sister went to U.Va. we came down to visit her a couple times a year.


Why U.Va.?

My mother, father and big sister all went to U.Va., so I grew up visiting Charlottesville every year. For a while I thought that U.Va. was college and that there weren’t really any others. By the time I had to apply to different places, I decided that I wanted to be a black sheep, and I applied to a ton of other places. In the end though, nothing really compared to how beautiful, how friendly and how connected with the community U.Va. is. I’m convinced that if you go here, your children are going orange and blue, too; there’s just too much love for U.Va. in our alums.


Describe your favorite professor.

From an academic standpoint, Victoria Olwell in the English department is my favorite professor thus far. Her class was intensely discussion based; she made every book interesting to read and gave us the opportunity to be examined on our reading throughout the semester instead of in a single final format so we could go into greater depth.


What was your favorite class?

Transnational Texts and Gender: ENMC 3510 with Victoria Olwell


Have you taken a university seminar? Which one? Why?

Yes! I took a USEM called Appalachian Natural history. Personally, I’m oriented more towards social justice and politics, but I’m still interested in science. My seminar was amazing! Our professor actually took us on a three-day field trip to Mountain Lake Biological Station, a University-owned tiny mountain campus of sorts in southwest Virginia designed for biological field work. Seven other students and I caught newts with our professor, cored trees with our professor and even made dinner and did the dishes with our professor.


What activities are you involved in?

Sustained Dialogue, Madison House at the Charlottesville-Albemarle SPCA, Gamma Phi, Take Back The Night, and Monroe Society because I love prospective students!


What is your favorite extracurricular and why?

Take Back the Night was a really meaningful experience for me. It brought attention not only to preventing sexual assault but recognizing life after trauma and honoring and helping those people who have experienced assault or abuse. We held a vigil in the Amphitheater on April 8th where hundreds of students gathered to listen to survivors anonymously share their stories. It really hit home a message about speaking out and breaking the cultural bounds of taboo, shame, and guilt that often surround a victim.


How would you describe the students who attend U.Va.?

Warm, friendly, driven but relaxed, hardworking but good natured, dedicated, altruistic, energetic.


How is college different from high school?

First of all, and most important to me, you’re not in one building all day. You go outside between classes or to study. Another big difference for me was the huge degree of flexibility in picking and scheduling classes. That kind of freedom was great and also a great responsibility in terms of structuring when I did my work. There’s also a lot more responsibility in general, but in a fun way. Your mom will not nag you to clean your dorm room, or do the laundry. It’s a really cool experience to feel independent and in charge of yourself.


What was your first-year living situation like?

I lived in Webb Dorm, which is, well was, one of the Alderman road residences, so that means it was suite-style with ten girls in my suite and a nice big common room. I chose random rooming assignment so I didn’t know my roommate going in, but we emailed back and forth and she was an amazing person I’m glad I got know. My suite really bonded and got along even though we all had pretty different personalities. I feel like I made some of the best friends I’ve ever had as a result of living in Webb.


What is your favorite memory from your time at Virginia?

This is a horrible question because who can really choose? If I had to pick a beautiful memory, I’d pick December 2010. During finals, in Webb lounge at the bottom of my dorm, I was writing my paper facing out the big windows. My association council hung up Christmas lights so it was dim and really pretty, and it was snowing outside. My friend and I rushed outside and played in the snow, then caught a bus to the corner and got Starbucks, sat upstairs in the study lounge and watched the snow fall through the windows. That memory just gives me a warm fuzzy feeling.


Have you lived on or off Grounds each year?

I lived on-Grounds for my first year, and this year I live off-Grounds because that’s just what my roommates and I decided was convenient for us. Also our apartment is super close to this fro-yo place called Arch’s and I am a sucker for the Chunky Monkey (vanilla yogurt, Reese’s, bananas, peanuts).


What is your favorite thing to do in Charlottesville?

Honestly, I love just exploring, walking or biking around town, especially just hanging in the used book stores on the downtown mall (there are at least three that I know of).


What’s your favorite restaurant in Charlottesville?

I go bonkers for Eppies. It’s on the downtown mall and they have the best mac and cheese I have ever had, and as a veggie head who loves cheese, I would say my opinion on this one is pretty trustworthy. I always get the “pick three platter” with broccoli, a sweet potato, mac and cheese, and cornbread.


Is it easy to get to Charlottesville?  (Especially from out of state?)

I am from Baltimore, and it’s roughly a 3 and a half hour drive when there’s a little traffic near DC. U.Va. partners with Home Ride, which is a bus that shuttles students on weekends up to Vienna, Virginia, and from there I can take the metro across DC and my parents pick me up on the Maryland side, and at the end of the weekend it can take me home, too.


What do you do in your free time?

I spend a good deal of time just hanging around with my friends chatting away. Sometimes when classes are dolling out a fair bit of work, when I have a bit of free time I’ll catch up on some mindless show on Hulu just to unwind a little, or take a nap in one of the gardens (a little unorthodox but it’s wonderful). Aside from that, there’s usually some sports game or some club activity or philanthropy event going on so I’ll hit one of those up with a few friends.


What is the competition in your classes like?

I don’t feel like there is much of any competition so it’s hard to answer this question. Maybe it seems like I’m being trite, but classes are really just about your personal learning experience. You do as well as you want, participate as much as you want, get to know the professor as much as you want. It’s never really occurred to me how other people are doing in a class, besides enjoying the discussion with them.


Have you had a chance to study abroad?

Not yet! But I am really excited to go maybe next summer or summer after third year. U.Va. has a program at Oxford that offers English classes covering twentieth-century British and American lit. And that’s my jam. I’m also considering a comparative politics based study abroad in Europe or the Middle East.


What is something unique about U.Va. that few people know about?

UVA has a biological station in Southwest Virginia for field biology work and there are classes there during the summer. If it hadn’t been for my seminar, as a person studying outside the sciences I’m not sure I would have found out. But they’ve started offering summer courses at the station in drawing, so now more people can get a chance to go up there.


How can a student stay active? 

Personally, I’m a huge fan and patron of our gyms, especially the AFC (Aquatics and Fitness Center). I also ride my bike around Cville, and tons (and I mean tons) of people run all over Grounds.


Is it hard to be a student on a small budget?

Absolutely not! I try to keep my expenditures pretty low myself and I think it’s really easy. Dining plan covers all the food needs, but when I want to go out, it’s so easy to get cheap food with my friends. The Dumpling Store on the corner sells these amazing sesame noodles for three dollars. Aside from food, there’s so much to do around Grounds and in town that’s either free or really cheap. Concert-wise, the Jefferson on the downtown mall usually charges only twenty bucks a pop for a ticket, which is good for music lovers like me. There’s always something going on around Grounds, whether it’s an arts production, or a personal favorite from this past Spring, Potter Palooza. I also love Newcomb theater, where you can see movies that aren’t out on DVD yet for three dollars. Basically, it’s easy to find something to do that’s inexpensive, even if it’s just Frisbee with your friends.


Can you have a car at all? Do you need one?

Now that I’m a second year, I can have a car, but I’ve chosen not to. Charlottesville is really easy to walk and I have a bike to ride for leisure or if I want to ride somewhere farther. The University Transit Service buses get me anywhere I needed to go on Grounds  and I’ve discovered how awesomely convenient the Charlottesville Area Transit buses are. All I have to do is show my ID to the driver so that I don’t have to pay the 75 cents each time and I can hop on the 7 bus and be at Kroger for my groceries in a matter of minutes. I think Charlottesville is designed to help reduce the need for a car and honestly, it’s a small step towards helping out the environment to take advantage of the transportation this city offers.


What is the Greek system like?

I really love our Greek system. I hadn’t thought about rushing or pledging before I came to college, and even when I rushed I didn’t know if I wanted to do it. But I found that sororities are really nice groups of girls supporting one another. Greek life also puts on a bunch of philanthropic events for the whole community. My favorite from this past year was Sigma Pi’s surf and turf, because who doesn’t love food and supporting a good cause? In general fraternities and sororities don’t have the stereotypical disdain for one another. I have good friends in seven different sororities as well as tons of friends who aren’t. It isn’t a factor that divides the student population or experience, rather it just adds to it.


Are you involved in community service? How?

I’m involved in community service through Madison House Pet Pals Program at the SPCA as well as with Campfire USA and Boys and Girls Club of America through Gamma Phi Beta. I also am interning at the Women’s Center next year as a Sexual Assault Outreach intern. I’m also extremely exited about trying to participate in the Jefferson Public Citizens program with a focus on women’s health issues.