by Mike Faba, Class of 2010
I can comfortably and definitively say that my time at Vassar has defined who I am as a person. I have never before been in a place filled with so many engaged, brilliant and beautiful people. My experiences here have been entirely shaped by my peers, and as I look toward graduation, I know that what I am going to miss most about Vassar is not meal plans, senior housing or the amazing campus, but the presence and proximity of over 2,000 impassioned people.
Vassar students are incredibly involved. For the last three years I have served as an officer of Vassar College’s Emergency Medical Services (VCEMS), and this past year I was given the privilege of being named captain. Being an EMT on campus has given me the opportunity to interact with many Vassar students at some of their most vulnerable moments. Despite the circumstances, I have always been struck by how deeply caring and concerned Vassar students are for one another. Regardless of the severity of the situation, Vassar students are always extremely supportive of and concerned about their classmates. On many occasions, friends of sick students have debated over who is going to accompany their ailing companion to the hospital because they all wanted so badly to show their support in a time of need.
VCEMS’s volunteer EMTs give their valuable time on nights and weekends to help serve their community-time they could spend relaxing, studying or partying with their friends. I can’t speak highly enough about this wonderful group, over 50 of them volunteering to literally spring into action at a moment’s notice in the service of their community. Despite their great service, Vassar’s EMTs are just one example of students going out of their way to better the community they live in.
Vassar students are diverse in their interests and are experts at combining various fields of study to create new, exciting ways to approach problems. In addition to being an EMT, I am a drama major with a focus in lighting and set design. For me, this area of study has been the perfect liberal arts experience. I’ve had the amazing opportunity to collaborate with my peers to create exciting and engaging works of art. Once we have completed the artistic and conceptual work, I spend countless hours on a computer drafting program, doing calculations and drafting in order to turn artistic ideas into an architectural and mechanical reality. For me, Vassar students’ ability to move between the artistic and the technical, the qualitative and the quantitative, has come to typify a liberal arts education.
I know that after I graduate what is really going to stick with me are not classes, lectures or special events, but the fleeting moments of beauty and amazement that my classmates and I have encountered together. To me, it’s always been the little things that count. I will never forget my assignment to watch and observe the sunrise (twice!) with my lighting design class, epic spur of the moment hikes on the Farm, watching a hot air balloon land across Hooker Avenue, deciding to go bike jousting with friends during parents’ weekend, watching asteroid showers from the Earth circle, being on call with EMS during Founder’s Day, biking around Poughkeepsie with my sculpture class, or venturing out into snow storms to sled down sunset hill. More than anything else, it is these moments of companionship, togetherness and beauty that will define my time at Vassar.