Thursday, December 19, 2013

Defining Pitzer: A home away from home

Taylor Caldwell - Mercer Island, WA

Pitzer is curious, inquisitive, and insatiable. Pitzer is diverse, quirky, and unique. Pitzer is well-rounded, passionate, and involved. Pitzer is community, friendly, and intimate. To define Pitzer College with just one word, or even three, would be a crime of inadequate praise for a school that has made me the person I am today. At this school I have battled and won a war with depression, I have fallen in love and gotten my heart broken, I have lost friends and made new ones, but above all I have never been happier or more sure of who I am and what I want out of life. Pitzer has been a safety net, a vast yet intimate community of students with their arms spread wide to any and all newcomers. I knew this was the right place for me when I returned back to campus after my first fall break, telling my friends that I was “so excited to come home”. I even made the mistake a few times to invite people over to my house when I was simply referring to my dorm room. 

This place is especially hard for me to define because I find it to be extremely fluid. Although this school provides an overwhelming amount of resources and opportunities which anxiously await students to take an interest (and they normally do), the Pitzer experience is only what a person makes of it. There truly is a niche for everyone, making the campus an adaptive and ever changing safe space for each individual student to explore their passions, desires, and talents. From a Balinese gamelan ensemble to queer burlesque, it is the uniquely curious and adventurous nature of the Pitzer student body that allows this campus to thrive. Though some may find the abundant number of cacti and succulents to be oddly comforting, others may not love Pitzer as much as I do. The point is, the way I define Pitzer College may be entirely different through someone else’s eyes and that is not a bad thing, rather quite the opposite. The soul of this school, comprised by the unbelievably benevolent facilities and dining hall staff, the knowledgeable faculty, and the rest of Pitzer’s amazing employees have created and fostered an environment conducive to a high degree of academic rigor without the cut-throat pressures of an Ivy league, a flourishing social scene without the exclusive cattiness of a Greek system, and most importantly a place that any and all students can call their “home”.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Green Bike Program Olympics

Robbert Little- San Francisco, CA

The official mission statement of the Green Bike Program is centered “the reuse of old bikes and parts” providing “community members free access to bicycles, tools, repair lessons,” any member will tell you our bike-related events exhibit the spirit of the Pitzer GBP.  Two weeks ago, the GBP hosted the second annual “Green Bike Program Olympics.”  The structure of the Olympics was simple and ridiculous – open to all Pitzer students, teams of two represented countries from all around the world, including Nepal, North Korea, Antarctica, Finland, and more.  Of course, costumes were highly encouraged.  Lauren Phipps and I, representing Antarctica, won this contest hands down.

After taking a Green Bike Program photo, contestants began a series of rigorous bike related challenges. First off – Cog Ninja-stars. Contestants lined up ten yards from a painted target and hurled a small bike cog, some with deadly accuracy. Needless to say, through harsh winters and cold summers, Team Antarctica had plenty of practice and won this contest with the first toss (bull’s-eye!). Scores were taken, giving each team a first, second, and third place. From there, we all moved out on to the grassy mounds for our “Huffy-Toss.” Outside of our shop, bike frames litter the concrete, providing prefect props for an event that mirrors tossing a discus. Teams lined up and one by one hurled a heavy and unwieldy metal frame as far as they could. As entertaining as the distances teams could throw the frame (or lack there of in most cases), interpretive and creative tossing-techniques paralyzed the observers with laughter.  

Why the 6 hour plan ride is worth it

Abigail Barnstone- Newton, MA

One of the reasons I chose to come to Pitzer is its location.  I would say 99% of the liberal arts colleges I looked at were in the middle of nowhere…. until I looked at Pitzer.   I love that Pitzer is within Los Angeles County, but forty-five minutes away from the actual city.  This way you get a nice, quiet and safe place to attend school and access to one of the biggest cities in the world.  It also makes Pitzer a school where people emphasize community: Pitzer is not a suitcase school.  We do explore the area, but we tend to do it together.  For the next few weeks I am going to tell you about my favorite places to go in Los Angeles.  This week is West LA.

If you talk to any of my friends, they will tell you that I am in Love with Santa Monica.  It is the perfect balance of beachy, city and artsy.  Not to mention the food is amazing.  At the beginning of the semester a few friends and I ventured to the Santa Monica Farmers Market where I ate the best Panini I have ever had in my life and washed it down with some coconut water, out of a real coconut.  After I finished that we hit the beach were we boogie boarded, sun-bathed, surfed and swam.  If was a nice treat and a really great spot to do some school work.  I mean who doesn’t want to do their homework on the beach?!

What I love most about Santa Monica is that is also right next to Venice.  Specifically, I really love to go shopping on Abbot Kinney Blvd.  There are tons of really unique shops and some head turning street art.  It is a fun atmosphere weather you are just trying to window shop and hang out or buy something.  Personally I am more of the window-shopping kind of gal because the prices are pretty high over there.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Choosing from across the sea

Ciera Fleming – Kapolei, Hawaii

During my senior year of high school I was constantly going to information sessions for the colleges that visited my school, but Pitzer’s stood out the most. Being from Hawaii, I had never heard of Pitzer until the morning before the information session when my college counselor told me that it would be a great fit for me. I was hesitant to add another college to my long list but I quickly fell in love with the core values that matched many of my own, and I knew that I had to apply.

Once it finally came down to making a decision, I was between two very different schools: Pitzer and a school on the east coast. So I decided to attend Pitzer’s admitted students day to make my final decision. I remember walking into the dining hall for dinner, nervous as I walked through a sea of unknown people. But as I sat with a group of other prospective students, a Pitzer senior that was not a part of the program sat down with us to answer any questions that we had. Every person that I met was so excited to tell me about their Pitzer experience and everything they loved about it. I had never experienced so much kindness and warmth at any other school that I had been too and I knew I would probably not find such a unique environment anywhere else. I loved the weather, the food and most of all the people. I could tell right away that everyone was just happy to be at Pitzer and I knew that I had finally found where I fit.

So close, yet so far

Joey Grotts – Los Angeles, CA

My process of choosing a college took until May 1st: the due date of my statement of intent to register. Growing up in Los Angeles, I was surrounded by the big university culture, almost to the point at which the Claremont Colleges were blocked out of my sight. Once it came to senior year of high school, I realized I should expand my horizon. As I looked at several different schools, the difference being size, core values, and location, I still did not have an idea of where I wanted to spend my next four years. I slowly narrowed my choices down by location: I wanted to stay in Los Angeles County (Pitzer is a block away from the San Bernardino County line). When it came to the crunch time of choosing, I had a large public university and a small private college on my list. Pitzer was that small college. The only part left to do was to visit and hope that from imagining myself as a student there, I would be able to make a decision. The Admitted Students Day at Pitzer provided the forum for me to explore the Pitzer community. Even from the fifty minute drive over to Pitzer, I could sense something special. Whether it be from the welcoming community, the beautiful mounds, the core values, or the tasty dining hall, I really felt like a belonged. Senior year was a stressful time with applications and decisions, but Pitzer College felt like a breath of fresh air and a great place to start the next four years. As a sophomore that has already had numerous wonderful experiences because of this great school, I can say now that I am so proud and happy to be a part of the Pitzer community.