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Student Snapshot: Hadley D’Esopo ’23

Hadley Desopo

Hadley D’Esopo ’23 was looking for a college with a strong sense of community, and that's exactly what she found at Dickinson. Below, she discusses how an English professor made classes accessible and fun during a pandemic, the close friends she’s made through Dickinson and how her facility with American Sign Language came in handy during a theatrical production.

Hometown:

Acton, Massachusetts.

Major

English, with minors in educational studies and theatre.

Clubs and organizations:  

Mermaid Players (vice president), Liberty Cap Society (tour guides), Theatre & Dance Department (media assistant), Explore More (student-leader), Orientation (student-assistant) and English Majors Committee.

Honors/scholarships/awards:

Walkley Award for High-Achieving First-Years in Theatre, Dean’s List and Kappa Delta Pi.

On choosing Dickinson:

When I was looking at colleges, it was important to me that I found a college with a strong community. Many of the students I spoke to at other colleges said they liked their schools but also that they could see themselves being happy at other schools too. At Dickinson, every person I spoke to, whether that was students or professors, said they couldn’t imagine themselves anywhere else.  After having been here for two years, I can say the same thing about Dickinson.

Little-known hobby/talent:

I’ve been teaching myself American Sign Language (ASL) since first grade! I got to apply that hobby to a production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame in high school; I translated and performed the song “Out There.” I am by no means fluent, but I think I have a pretty good grasp of it. My friends will tell you that I have a habit of signing while I talk, despite none of them actually knowing ASL.

Favorite movie:

The Princess Bride (I can quote almost the entire movie!).

Best thing about my major:

The variety of classes! The English department does an amazing job providing an array of classes on all types of literature. Because of that, I’ve gotten to read books and explore topics I might not have otherwise explored.

As I kid, I wanted to be …

… a professional ballerina.

Favorite professor:

It’s so hard to pick! All the professors that I’ve had were wonderful. But if I had to pick one, I’d say Associate Professor of English Jacob Sider Jost. I took his classes The Fairy Way of Writing as well as Shakespeare and Tragedy last year. With our classes being online due to the pandemic, these topics might not have worked well over Zoom. But Professor Sider Jost adapted his classes and teaching to work well in a virtual world. He made the difficult language of Shakespeare-time literature and plays accessible and fun. I even have a list of funny quotes he would say during class, and I look back at them from time to time when I need a laugh.

Best thing about my Dickinson experience:

As cheesy as it sounds, I’d have to say it is the friends I’ve made. I met my main group of friends freshman year, when I went up to their table at dinner one night and asked if I could sit there. Over the past couple of years, we’ve become incredibly close. We even lived together during the parts of the pandemic when we weren’t allowed to be on campus. We’ve experienced so much of Dickinson together, and having them by my side has made all those experiences even more fun.

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Published September 27, 2021