Revolutions come in all shapes and sizes and, by my definition, are occurring constantly around us in our everyday lives. To highlight the versatility and omnipresence of “Revolution,” I have identified revolutions that are occurring here on our own campus, and have catalogued them here:
Many students, myself included, feel so changed by their experience/s at Davidson that they consider themselves as having a “personal revolution” of sorts. A few students have shared their personal revolution stories with me, which I have included here. Personal revolutions are happening all around us constantly, as people grow and change. Davidson fosters “personal revolutions” especially because it is an environment of growth and learning, and college-age students are generally at a very formative time in their lives.
Taylor Drake, Davidson College Class of 2021
Taylor wrote about his personal revolution at Davidson in his own Humanities portfolio, and has allowed me to share it as a part of my catalogue of revolutions at Davidson.
Julia Tayloe, Davidson College Class of 2021
“Since coming to Davidson, a personal revolution for me has been my choice to reject the idea that I need to wear a bra every day. I almost never wore bras because they’re more comfortable for me, I wore them because I thought I needed to so everyone else would be more comfortable. My revolution went slowly, and started by accident. I would wake up late for my 8:15 and jump out of bed and run to class in my pajamas, usually sweatpants and an oversized t-shirt, never a bra. I would usually have a meeting or errand to run right after class, and I would end up spending my whole day without a bra on. I eventually started intentionally not wearing a bra when I felt like nobody would be able to notice. After a few months of that, though, I realized I was prioritizing everyone else’s comfort over my own. There is nothing inherently inappropriate about my body, and I should only wear bras for myself, when I feel like. This revolution has been incredibly freeing for me, and I am glad to have made a step forward in my own body positivity.”
Charlie Rae Bender, Davidson College Class of 2021:
“I can confidently say that I am not the same person who arrived here last August. I came here with a very cynical, close-minded and judgmental outlook on life- college life in particular. Over the course of the year, I’ve slowly but surely been able to reevaluate my beliefs, remove the negativity in which I had begun to root my identity and look at life with a longing for adventure- wherever it may lead me. I don’t really know what’s ahead of me, but with every trial I’ve faced I’ve learned to let go of what’s trivial, surround myself with positive, loving people and have tried to take advantage of every possible opportunity with which I have been afforded both at and outside of Davidson. I can honestly say that while my life is by no means settled or without its moments of weakness, I have found my identity in hope, optimism and progress rather than judgment.”
Davidson students Evan Yi and HD Mellin recently organized and led a “Disorientation Tour” of the college, exposing and discussing white supremacist history and presence at Davidson. The tour, which took students to various sites relevant to Davidson’s problematic past, revolutionized the conversation around the history of Davidson.
As the earth revolves around the sun, we experience the natural, constant revolution of the seasons at Davidson.
I took these pictures throughout this year as I was struck by the beauty of each of the seasons at Davidson. I find it so amazing how the same physical space can change so much and feel so different. It makes me question how we define a “place.” Perhaps this is a last-minute thought for a future Humes portfolio.
When it was announced that the Union Station would be closing after winter break of the 2017-2018 school year, students worked quickly advocating and putting together a petition to keep it open. Because of the action taken by the students, the Union Station will stay open until the end of the 2017-2018 school year.
Traditions and the Changing Student Body
Perhaps a more abstract “revolution” at Davidson is the constant changing of the student body. The change in individuals alone is a revolution of sorts, but it also causes changes in things such as “traditions” at Davidson. Because the student body is so small and tight-knit and because each individual student usually only spends four years here, traditions are easy to start and are quick to be deemed “traditional.” Often times, a first-year student will be introduced to something that has happened for the last few years as a “tradition,” and will simply assume that it’s been around for decades. One example of this is the Humanities Ball and certain students’ perceptions that it always happened when, in reality, it only really took place a couple of years in a row and was then retired.
(This thought was prompted/inspired by a discussion with the Humanities class on our study trip to South Carolina in January 2018).