http://nbrnstn.tumblr.com/post/96542495601/after-a-full-summer-split-between-boston-ma

nbrnstn:

After a full summer split between Boston, MA, North Carolina’s Smokey Mountains, and Toronto, Canada, I am back at Bennington and so ready for this term!!!

I am really visual art heavy this time around… here’s what my schedule looks like:

Mold-making and Slip-casting with Yoko Inoue

Art in the…

A peak at some of the work one student is making. Are you impressed? We certainly are!

I had so much fun with winter, I had to do all of the seasons!
You can check them all out here:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sFH_ypH9OKQ&index=2&list=PLKDCZ2L-6kJvVPaMl55DS6rnWH_6CaT_u

I had so much fun with winter, I had to do all of the seasons!

You can check them all out here:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sFH_ypH9OKQ&index=2&list=PLKDCZ2L-6kJvVPaMl55DS6rnWH_6CaT_u

What’s Bennington College like in the winter? Here’s a one minute video to show you.

The Dewey trees. They bloom into a brilliant pink right in front of Dewey house, but they didn’t really bloom this spring. We think it might have been because of the unusually long winter!

Photos taken last year.

Goodbye, Bennington.

Goodbye, Bennington.

The Bennington Boat Building Club.

A group of students decided to build a 15 foot plywood boat made from 95% reclaim material in just one semester… in the middle of Vermont.

The Best Assignment Ever


This term, I took Michael Cohen’s “Idea’s and Practice: Conflict Resolution” class.  The final assignment for this class was to write a paper analyzing a civil conflict that we find interesting and come up with possible solutions to it. In my paper I analyzed the Sri Lankan civil war  using Edward Azar’s theory of Protracted Social Conflict. 

This paper is definitely my favorite assignment of all time. :)

The beginning:

The end:

Rediscovered this gem in my notebook, jotted down during a great conversation in Honors Seminar on Twain last week. Will be adopting it as my motto for the summer.

Rediscovered this gem in my notebook, jotted down during a great conversation in Honors Seminar on Twain last week. Will be adopting it as my motto for the summer.

What’s a “great conversation” to me?

We all have great conversations almost every day. But there are some conversations we have that are powerful enough to describe an entire chapter of our lives.

This is a picture of me receiving the National Literary Award for my novel in 2009 from Mahinda Rajapaksa, the president of Sri Lanka. The award, previously won by other Sri Lankan authors such as Michael Ondaatje has reputation of an average recipient age of 50. I’m the youngest National Lliterary Award winner in the world.  When I walked up to the stage there was applause suddenly paused by a searing silence. Everyone was surprised to see how young  I was.

The conversation I’m having in this picture was no longer than 15 words but looking back, I realize it defines my entire childhood.

The President:  “How old are you?”

Me: “Sixteen, sir”

The President: “How old are you, really?”

Me: “I really am sixteen, sir”

When I published my first novel at the age of fourteen, (after being rejected by several publishing houses that said they “don’t publish books written by kids”) I received all kinds of criticism. Titled Colombo Streets, my book was based on the lives of children (like myself) growing up with the war in Sri Lanka.  While the book sold out 3 editions in a year, became a national bestseller and received many great reviews, there were also many  people in my country who argued that children/ teenagers should not be allowed to publish work about sensitive topics such as ongoing wars and civil conflicts. Some were so infuriated that they created entire hate-blogs on my writing. “A word of advice to parents: Encourage your children to read first, buy them books, rather than let them publish their book. They will thank you for it, when they are ready to write their novel as adults,” one of the bloggers wrote.  I never quite understood why people believed my age should keep me from publishing my work.

I think back to this conversation every now and then. The reason I treasure it so much is because it  reminds me of who I really am. How I  learnt to break conventions at such a young age,   and how I should never let anything; may it be  my age, gender, or the color of my skin;   hold me back from living my dreams.   

I’m eternally grateful to this conversation. Because I truly believe, it is what brought me to Bennington. 

So yeah, that’s a great conversation to me. 

Seen at Crossett Library. :) 

Seen at Crossett Library. :) 

Picture this: You’re in the middle of the throes of finals. You’ve been writing a philosophy paper for your Environmental Ethics course and editing a film all night. All of a sudden, you get a text: Midnight Breakfast tonight! Could it be true? You continue to write. It’s 11:40 now, so you put on some shoes and walk to Commons where there is indeed a line of students waiting for Midnight Breakfast. Yes! you needed this. The entire student body it seems proceeds into the dining hall where several faculty and staff are serving waffles, pancakes, and doughnuts. In fact, your anthropology professor is the one to serve you potatoes. Music emanates from the big room of the dining hall where you find more staff and teachers playing live music and your friends are already dancing. You barely have time to scarf down some food before your body is compelled to dance. And of course, your friend John Lawson starts to swing dance with your college’s president… (cue video)

My plan in a Vine.

The Meaning of a “Great Class.”

Last term, I traveled “Through Syntax to Style: A Grammar of Writing.”

John Gould, teacher of the course, gave us our first assignment: “The Hemingway Shortie.” 200-300 words, approximately, and not a single sentence longer than 10 words.

Then followed the Faulkner Shortie: we were to resuscitate our Hemingway Shorties and turn the entire 200-300 words into one sentence.

Both assignment prompts followed their own rules. I cherish this detail. Combined with the wild imagination of the assignments themselves, it made for the best Bennington class I have ever taken.

Below are my Hemingway and Faulkner Shorties, respectively.

10:00am | Thursday | The Barn
Needless to say, I had trouble focusing in Philosophy this morning.

10:00am | Thursday | The Barn

Needless to say, I had trouble focusing in Philosophy this morning.

Throwback Thursday!
I don’t miss you, Winter (although you were beautiful).

Throwback Thursday!

I don’t miss you, Winter (although you were beautiful).