Gabby Edzie ’17 is a senior English major writing a creative thesis. As she nears it's final deadline, I had the chance to sit down with her and ask a few questions regarding her trajectory through the English major along with her creative writing process. As Gabby aptly observes, one of the most prized and influential aspects of the English major, and life at Amherst in general, is the opportunity to sit down with peers different from yourself and get to know each other, share thought processes and hopefully think of something new.

This past weekend, Sheila Chukwulozie ’17E performed her Theater and Dance thesis called “portrait | wound | fragment*,” largely created and acted out in collaboration with Amir Hall ’17 and a few friends. On the Amherst website, she describes her project: “[My performance is] an exploration of pain and fear that live in memory and appear in reflection.

The Rotherwas Room in the Mead Art Museum is over 400 years old. According to the Mead, the intricate wood panels that constitute the room have meandered from an English castle to a New York City gallery to Amherst over the last few centuries. The panels were commissioned to be crafted in the early 1600s by English knight Sir Roger Bodenham, were moved to a Fifth Avenue showroom three hundred years later and were eventually auctioned to Amherst alum Herbert Lee Pratt (half-brother of Charles Pratt) and subsequently gifted to the College in 1944.

On May 7, 2016, students gathered to arrange and light votive candles on the social quad — their individually small but collectively voluminous flames could be seen flickering in the wind by those dancing on the inward-facing windowsills of Crossett and Pond. This past spring, on the last Saturday before finals period — a few days after a keg found its way out of a window in Pond and a few days before the ultimate bulldozing of the social dorms — students organized a vigil to celebrate the space’s existence or destruction, or both.

“Don’t drop the beet!” Farmer Pete reminded the Women’s Cross Country team, two years ago, as we literally harvested beets on our volunteer day. People near him laughed a little, and smiled, genuinely enjoying an early autumn Sunday morning spent working on the farm. He made more vegetable jokes — I think one including Lady Gaga, and one involving a turnip — but the minutiae are lost on me now.

Outside, rain was falling, droplets slowly sliding down against the outside of the glass. It was a quiet, cozy Wednesday afternoon in Fayerweather Hall, and we were learning about the oldest living organisms in our world, and the immense beauty of “deep time” via photography, a medium that captures the present, the ephemeral.

Each senior at my high school was instructed to take the last three weeks before graduation to focus on a project, internship or idea. In May 2013, I chose to work with the design team at Gensler, an architecture firm. One of their then-current projects was to co-design a new art museum in downtown Los Angeles, named The Broad.