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The Experience, Julia Kaback '18

Hometown: New York City, New York
Major: American Studies, Politics, Society, and Policy
Minor: Dance
Activities: Tennis club, The College Voice, Hillel House

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Favorite aspect of Connecticut College:
There are so many, but for me,  it is the support available on campus. From the Academic Resource Center, chaplains, deans, career advisors, the friends you make here, and your professors, you will always have someone watching your back! These people will always help you, even if it’s going to be a late night!

Favorite memory at Connecticut College:
As a junior getting ready to go abroad, I will always remember dancing with David Dorfman during my freshmen year in a class called “Movers and Shakers.” Knowing that it was my birthday the following week, David had the whole class sing "Happy Birthday" standing on one leg. It was hysterical watching them attempt to do so. I have been dancing with the department ever since and laugh every time I think of this celebration in my class.

Favorite activity in New London or the region:
If eating counts as an activity, I'd be happy to be the champion. Going to the Oyster Club in Mystic on a Saturday night, and diving into a bowl of clam chowder. It’s simply perfect.

The Funded Internship

- The Experience, Julia Kaback '18 

I’m getting ready to go abroad. Just today (Friday, November 18), I applied for a visa to live and study in Israel for four months next semester. Following my trip to the Israeli Consulate, my mom and I ventured to Aroma, our favorite Israeli coffee chain in New York City and sipped on a cappuccino for her and an iced chai latte for me. When we sat down, my mom asked me about my plans for my summer internship and if I had thought about remaining in Israel over the summer. This is where I drew a blank, and told my mom, the news most parents struggle to hear, “I don’t have plans BUT... I do have a few ideas. Don’t worry, I’ve got the funding from Conn secured and will start gathering ideas over Thanksgiving.”
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Student 'office hours'

- The Experience, Julia Kaback '18 

I am not afraid to say this because, like so many other people in the world, I am a slow reader. I am a slow reader, but also have a language-based learning difference, which makes it hard for me to decode languages. When reading something, I'm often slow, impatient and resort to skimming rather than actually reading. When I was in high school, my school began offering what it called the 1-1 Laptop Program, where each student and teacher was given a laptop for academic use. These laptops were loaded with software that would help each student become a better reader and writer. Enter Read&Write Gold, a computer program designed for students like me with struggles in decoding language.

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Podcast with Nina Flagg

- The Experience, Julia Kaback '18 

I came to college having taken one dance class at 4 years old. Since then, I have avoided dance classes—but when I came to Conn, a lightbulb went off! My first year seminar, Embodied Resistance, was rooted in dance and I have been officially hooked on dance classes since. My experience with that course motivated me to take four dance classes at Conn. Unlike previous semesters that were filled with modern and West African dance, this semester I am taking a hip-hop class. Hip-hop is not just a form of dance—it’s a culture.

Nina Flagg is loud, excited, passionate, expressive and has great taste in music. She is also a faculty member at Connecticut College, and I am excited to say that I had the opportunity to sit down with her for a one-on-one interview. Nina Flagg has inspired me, and I am excited to share our podcast with you! 

Pivot? A review of the Dance Club’s Spring Show

- The Experience, Julia Kaback '18 

A student performance from "Pivot"

As a recently declared dance minor, I have decided that watching dance is a lot more fun when your friends are a part of the show. Why put your feet through the pain when you can sit back, relax and appreciate your peers put on a beautiful dance show?

On Friday, Feb. 26, I went to see “Pivot," The Dance Club’s production. Why was the show titled “Pivot”? In dance, we pivot when maneuvering our bodies to move elsewhere on the dance floor, as a way of transferring weight. 

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My Stars Hollow

- The Experience, Julia Kaback '18 

My first visit to Israel was in December 2015. My mom and I took this picture on the beach in Tel Aviv.

Over Thanksgiving break, I spent some time at home and decided to binge-watch a Netflix series. With my busy schedule at school, watching television can be rather tricky. Since it was a holiday weekend, I decided to treat myself to a quiet night in with the “Gilmore Girls," a tv classic from the early 2000s . As I watched the show, I found myself drawn to the character Rory, played by Alexis Bledel. Rory sees the fictional town of Stars Hollow, Connecticut, the setting of the show, as her home. Even with her crazy schedule, she always finds herself returning to Stars Hollow, Connecticut. On that night in particular, I found myself in a position quite similar to Rory’s: I am in a period of transition. A place in Connecticut has also come to be my home and I am getting ready to leave this place in three weeks for my semester abroad in Israel.

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Loss, and what grief means for a college student

- The Experience, Julia Kaback '18 

I remember where I was when my Grandma died, but not how I grieved. I was young at the time and struggled to understand what it meant to grieve. Death is part of life and learning to accept that aspect of human experience is a lifelong journey. College is a place to learn, so I decided I would explore the concept of grief at Conn, a safe place. It’s also a place where those who ask for help will receive it. 

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Leaving my nerves on the 777 plane: A reflection on my semester abroad

- The Experience, Julia Kaback '18 

Julia Kaback poses in JFK while awaiting her flight to Israel.
Leaving for Israel: February 10th

On the morning of Feb. 10, I awoke with nerves the size of the Boeing 777 plane I was about to board. My fears might have been large enough to hold me back, but now I see that my plane-sized anxiety came from fearing the unknown. That day, I left for a four-month semester abroad in Haifa, Israel. It did not occur to me then that spending time away from Conn would be an opportunity to grow in ways I had not imagined. 

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Improvising

- The Experience, Julia Kaback '18 

Taking a cue from a friend, well actually many friends, I decided to take Introduction to Improvisation this semester. The class is instructed by Visiting Professor of Dance Shura Baryshnikov from Brown University and, so far, it has been one of the most challenging dance classes I’ve taken in my time at Conn. It may well be the hardest because it has pushed me to think about my relationship with touch, but also the Earth.

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Happy New Year

- The Experience, Julia Kaback '18 

When applying to colleges, religious life on campus was not on the top of my list. I was more focused on schools with strong academic support, strong student-faculty relationships and small class sizes. What I was not expecting upon my arrival at Conn a year ago was Hillel. I started attending Hillel events on Friday nights to ease my homesickness during the Sabbath, but did not quite realize the role it would take on this fall.

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Getting Ready for Homecoming

- The Experience, Julia Kaback '18 

Pictured here are my friends: Aviva on my left and Peter on my right, this is from last years homecoming. We’ve all been friends since 2nd grade!

My high school did not have a football team, nor did it have cheerleaders. The closest thing we had to a pep rally was Blue and Gold Week, a celebration of school spirit and the seniors, who were six months away from graduation. Following winter break, my school had its version of homecoming where alumni would come back for an advice panel, snacks, and a basketball game. This January I will return to homecoming for the third time as an alumnus, and I am excited to share my college experience with students and parents who are about to embark on their own college journeys and post-high school careers.  

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What Happens at Department Support, Stays in Department Support

- The Experience, Julia Kaback '18 

"Art in the making"

This is a secret I’ve been hiding for an hour. I'm sitting in my room now, after watching David Dorfman Dance rehearse new material. It's super top secret, but I can reveal one thing: It’s awesome! Since declaring as a dance minor in March, I’ve been spending a lot more time in the dance studios and with the faculty, while I complete my department support. Today, I got to watch the company and take photos of them for their social media page. What I saw was art in the making, an unfinished piece.

When I start summer break, I will miss running up the stairs to the Dance Department. It feels like home and the wicker chairs in the office will not be the cushions for creative discussions of work in the company. I have found my support at Conn, and can’t wait to see what the rest of my department support will look like in the fall!

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Club tennis

- The Experience, Julia Kaback '18 

Students can sign up for club sports and other student organizations at the Student Involvement Fair.

It's 4 p.m. on a Wednesday and I am in a frantic hurry to put on my tennis sneakers. I have signed the consent form, dressed in my tennis whites and I'm hustling to the Athletic Center for club tennis practice. Today, we expect 10 students to play—maybe more, as there are over 111 on our mailing list. As I make my way across the bridge to the indoor courts, I can feel my heart racing and wonder if this is how Serena Williams feels before a big match. Maybe, I think, but she is a pro and I am someone who plays recreationally.

Conn is known for its sports teams but people often forget that we have club sports, too. Club tennis is a community of tennis players who want to play tennis and, most importantly, have fun!

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Baba Ghanoush, Hummus, Falafel, Oy Vey

- The Experience, Julia Kaback '18 

Food from the Jerusalem Food Tour.

On April 19, the Connecticut College Hillel and Yalla Bina, the Arabic Language and Culture Club at the College, hosted the most delicious event on campus: The Jerusalem Food Tour. Because I recognize my own bias (I salivate if something is covered in tahini), I did not expect to see many people at the event. However, when I arrived at Cro, I was surprised. The room was like a falafel in pita—stuffed.

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'Shabbat Shalom' in an Unorthodox Way

- The Experience, Julia Kaback '18 

President Bergeron celebrating Shabbat with students at Hillel. (Photo credit: Simon Luxemburg/CC Hillel)

Everyone in the Jewish faith has his or her way of ringing in the Sabbath. At Connecticut College Hillel, we try our best to accommodate everyone and their respective traditions. That said, on April 1, our Hillel group was invited to celebrate the Sabbath with President Bergeron. We dined, wined (using Kosher wine), sang, and ate so much that some of my friends and I joked about moving into the president’s house. Why is there no alternative housing option for such?

After completing a crazy busy week at Hillel, we craved the Sabbath dinner and its luxurious flavors. The salmon, sesame noodles, green beans and sweet potatoes were delicious, but did not compare to the cake that followed the meal.

Simon Luxemburg, president of Connecticut College Hillel said, “The purpose of the dinner was to celebrate Shabbat with community and delicious food.”

I couldn’t have said it better—Shabbat Shalom!  

 

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#CCFallWeekend

- The Experience, Julia Kaback '18 

Students and parents browse Harvestfest.

As my father and I finished unloading our packed SUV in early September, I began to get rather nervous. My dad was getting ready to leave and then I suddenly shouted the words, “I’ll see you in October!” Was it really going to be October when I would see my family again? I grew rather upset because I am very close with my family. We have always been tight-knit, and what partially drew me to Conn was its proximity to New York City, which meant an easy trip home. Except, this semester, I haven’t gone home once!

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