Nathaniel McCloud '23 is a double major and student-musician who loves reading and, lately, skateboarding. Below, he discusses favorite professors, classes and books and the key factor that made college life brighter during last year's remote semesters.
Clubs and organizations:
The Dickinsonian, Dickinson College Jazz Ensemble, Dickinson College Community Orchestra and the Writing Center (tutor).
Bullard Music Scholarship and Alpha Lambda Delta.
God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater by Kurt Vonnegut. Vonnegut’s writing is enjoyable in general, but I like the tempered, human tone that this story takes, compared to Slaughterhouse-Five or some of his other famous work. I spend as much time thinking about Tess of the D’Urbervilles, though. It’s hard to choose—there are so many books that I have enjoyed!
Probably Knives Out.
Favorite class/learning experience:
Ethical Theory with Associate Professor of Philosophy Jim Sias was really exciting for me. My interests in philosophy lie in ethics, and the class exposed me to some unique developments in virtue ethics, which pushed my thinking in new directions.
Hard to say! So many professors have been great to take classes with, and they've been giving of their time, but I’ve especially enjoyed the discussions with Associate Professor of Political Science Toby Reiner. He’s super enthusiastic about the ideas we work with and always willing to tell a story. Now that I’ve had a bunch of classes with him, I can tell when some of his stock stories are about to come up, but they are still entertaining!
Favorite Dining Hall food:
Donuts. Anyone who knows me well knows that I love donuts, and the Caf donuts are a serious threat. I had to make a rule that I would only eat them on the weekend. The rule is loosely enforced.
Best thing about my major:
The conversations with faculty and peers have made studying philosophy and political science deeply enjoyable. Collectively struggling with a question that an author raises or going back and forth on the best interpretation of a passage is an exciting challenge, and I’m really thankful for my classmates' perspectives, which make that process so engaging.
Best thing about my Dickinson experience:
No matter where I’ve been on campus or who I’ve been around, I’ve been able to make friends and build relationships. It’s a testament to all of the wonderful members of the Dickinson community, and it has made the challenge of online classes a lot more bearable.
I've been learning how to skateboard as a pandemic-era replacement for the excitement and activity I’ve missed out on, compared to a normal semester. I wouldn’t call it a talent yet, but hopefully I’m on my way there.
If I could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, it would be …
Kurt Vonnegut. His writing is so engaging, and everything that I’ve read about his life makes it sound like he was hilarious in person, too.
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Published June 22, 2021