Tag Archives: experience

Chunks of Wesleyan History Experienced by Sharon Wade, Bon Appetit Employee

weshop

Not too long ago, Sharon Wade – one of the Bon Appetit employees that we all know and love –  agreed to meet me in Usdan for an interview. She greeted me with kind blue eyes and a genuine smile. I knew she had been here a very long time and I wanted to pick her brain about her experiences at Wesleyan. She had warned me in advance, the week before at work, about how she’s prone to going on and on and reassured me that I shouldn’t be afraid to cut her off if necessary. As we got into the flow of the interview, which was not very difficult with Sharon’s enthusiasm, I certainly knew what she meant, but by no means was I going to stop her. Sharon sat with me in Usdan for approximately an hour, during which she told me about what she’s learned during her time at Wesleyan, expressed both her loves and her qualms with campus issues, and shared some wonderful anecdotes about students. The following is a transcript of our conversation, edited for clarity.

How long have you been working at Wesleyan?

Probably… around 29 years. A long time – flown by, just like that. It has flown by!

Has it been at Weshop the whole time?

No, this is my second time at Weshop. Because we can move all around. We just have to bid on jobs, awarded by seniority, throughout the campus. We’ve all done probably most everything. I’ve been a cook. For overtime, I did tons of utility. That took me around the world… I’ve done register at the old campus center, I’ve done it [at Usdan], I’ve done at Weshop, so everybody has really moved around, which is a great part of the job because [you can say,] ‘you know what, I think I’ll do that.’ As long as you’re qualified and you’re the most senior person signing – and everybody signs – you get to the job.

Follow-up: Classism at Wesleyan

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Classism is complex, no doubt. Talking about money is supposedly tactless — hey oh last weekend’s This American Life — but Americans do it all the time. And even if we didn’t, a person’s wealth or, more accurately, assumed wealth, is presumed through many a factor — where they’re from, what (who) they wear, their skin tone, their manners, their speech, their prior education, the list goes on… Many Wesleyan students feel a discomfort when confronted with issues of class; this discomfort may be born from being privileged in one’s upbringing, feeling a lack of understanding of class issues, or being keenly aware of the difficulty of living on a relatively low income in the U.S — and this is certainly not an exhaustive list of sources of discomfort in discussing class. But however complex, uncomfortable, or delicate the conversation, it’s time everyone at Wesleyan recognizes and becomes sensitive to the fact that Wes is no haven from classism.

As an introduction to wealth inequality in America here’s a video. For thoughts on class at universities, check out this recent magazine article from Yale. Also, this excellent exhibition at Skidmore (and source of the photo above) titled “Classless Society” provides some great fodder for thinking about class.

At Wesleyan, the general concept of classism is usually articulated in relation to quests for social justice on campus. For example, a search of the Argives for “classism” will return Wespeaks and pieces such as this and this. Of course, during the last couple years, issues of classism have become more specific: the elimination of Wesleyan’s “need-blind” label, calls for alumni to halt their giving, and recent USLAC efforts and protests of the conditions under which university employees work (for more on this subject, read BZOD’s great three-part series, or check out this post about the Privilege & Policy forum on classism).

1002588_10151723365390509_1599490200_nOf course, experiences of class difference are not limited to these pretty well-publicized, institutional level efforts. With this in mind, the goal of this write-in was to give voice to some of the more every-day influences of class difference students experience. Many respondents felt the need to start at the beginning:

Collaborate For Success Info Meeting

Collaborate for Success

Leah Temes ’13 brings you an education opportunity you won’t want to miss:

Join Collaborate For Success, a new student group dedicated to bringing together Wesleyan students with local high school students for tutoring and enrichment sessions. Get involved in the local community and gain experience in the field of education!

Email me at ltemes(at)wes(dot)edu if you have any questions!

Date: Sunday, January 27th
Time: 5pm
Place: Exley 141
Cost: Freeeee

Blogging while studying abroad? GIMME YO URLzzz

Psst. Hey you. Yeah, you. You, the one reading Wesleying in your Parisian cafe/German bar/Czech spire/Tibetan hut/South African safari jeep/Mid-East kibbutz/Nicaraguan commie village.

Are you blogging about your experiences out there? Yeah? Well, listen – here’s your chance to expand your readership a bit. And you want to expand your readership, because if you’re blogging and the only souls reading it are your parents, your siblings, and maybe that kid who has a crush on you but you haven’t actually met yet, it really sucks. It’s like masturbating a little too much – it’s fun at first, but then later on it just feels like the abyss has opened up in your gut and your soo aloonnee sooo alooooneee sooooo aloooonneee.

So, if you want your blog advertised here on Wesleying so that more people can take note of your existence, send us an email over at staff(at)wesleying(dot)org. Be sure to give your email the subject header “Study Abroad Blog” so we don’t mark it as spam.

Come on, don’t be shy. We want to hear from you. And don’t worry, we’ve done this many times before.

xoxo

frostedmoose