As a first-year, Sam Weisman ’17 applied for and landed a coveted position on campus—student program manager for the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues. While all students have an opportunity to attend Clarke Forum events, which bring national and international experts and thought leaders to campus, Sam regularly interacts with and interviews the celebrated guests, all while building the skills it takes to help plan, promote and execute a major lecture series. Below, he talks about the broad education these experiences offer, the value of individuality, his favorite video game and why he chose Dickinson.
Clubs and organizations:
The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury.
The Fisher King.
Favorite learning experience:
Working at the Clarke Forum has been my favorite learning experience in every way. I am learning to carefully frame controversial issues, visually and in writing, with an awareness for both representation and detail. Interviewing expert lecturers has exposed me to many brilliant minds and challenged me to communicate across disciplines. (I also never expected I would enjoy making posters for lectures so much, but working with images in Photoshop is very fulfilling.)
[Assistant] Professor [of History Emily] Pawley’s History of the Environment was the first class I enrolled in, and it remains one of my favorites. Starting my Dickinson career by discussing the history of development, resource management and human-environment interactions laid a valuable foundation.
In my spare time, I play Call of Cthulhu, a Lovecraftian horror role-playing game set in the 1920s. It’s a great game for the imaginative sci-fi and history nerds out there. One highlight was [a battle between] the historic economist John Maynard Keynes and a horde of New Orleans jazz-zombies.
On choosing Dickinson:
I discovered Dickinson only a couple weeks before the application deadline. I made up my mind because this college values education with a strong emphasis on sustainability and global study, set within the many contexts of the liberal arts.
Favorite place on campus:
The rocky outcrop between Allison and Morgan.
Favorite Dining Hall food:
Apple pancakes with apple butter.
Proudest accomplishment so far:
I helped organize a book drive with a student programming group at the Clarke Forum. The drive started with a lecture about childhood poverty, health and literacy. The important message of that lecture was put into action when we received more than 400 books from the Dickinson and Carlisle communities.
If I could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, it would be …
David Bowie. “Ziggy” constantly redefined his own narrative while holding onto a core identity.
Most important thing I’ve learned so far:
There are many more questions than answers. Even experts can only scratch the surface. The depth of knowledge and experience is intimidating, but it offers infinite opportunity to learn and expand. I am grateful to be in a place that encourages that type of inquisitive growth.
Published September 16, 2016