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A Sweet Treat

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The Scoop on an Ice Cream Stall in Baltimore Where Six Alumae/i and Students Happen to Work

Rae Walker, ‘17, and Hannah Speigelman, ‘15, at the Little Baby’s Ice Cream Stall. Photo Credit: Sophia Hancock

The bustling upscale “food hall” R. House is home to a surprising subset of the Goucher community. Tucked into a corner of the marketplace, Little Baby’s Ice Cream sells handmade, small batch ice cream with unique flavors, like Earl Gray Sriracha. The slim, brightly lit stall also happens to be the workplace of six former and current Goucher students.
Perhaps you’ve seen the ad. Sitting in front of a black backdrop, a person who appears to be made of a thick white substance stares outward, wide-eyed. He reaches up, scoops at the top of his head with a large spoon, brings the spoon to his mouth, and licks it. A faint lullaby plays as a slow voiceover begins his hypnotic monologue by saying, “there’s good reason for my glistening skin.” The camera zooms out. At the end of the clip, a cheerful logo for Little Baby’s Ice Cream appears—a smiling ice cream cone holding a spoon and an ice cream scooper. While perhaps it is not the most immediately appetizing, the popular youtube ad certainly gets your attention.
My knowledge of this ad campaign, however, did not lessen my surprise when Goucher alum Rae Walker (’17) informed me, somewhat offhandedly, that in addition to teaching full-time and getting a Master’s degree in education, he also scooped ice cream at a place called Little Baby’s.
Little Baby’s Ice Cream (LBIC) was founded in Philadelphia in 2011 and has expanded over the years to offer catering services in Southeastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Baltimore, and Washington, DC., with stalls located in D.C. and at Baltimore’s R. House. The founders believed that that ice cream could “bring people together.” Classic. It gets a little weirder, however, in the next part of their mission statement, which states that they see ice cream as “a unique opportunity to subvert people’s expectations,” a goal which they achieve in their ads, flavors, and business model.
“Little Baby’s is known for its weirdness,” said Hannah Spiegelman, ’15, the current manager of the Baltimore branch. Spiegelman worked in ice cream shops during the summers. At Goucher, she studied history, with a minor in art history. After graduating, she was determined to go down a path that involved museum work. However, after working in Special Collections at Goucher, she realized that it wasn’t the right path for right for her. In December 2016, when she saw on Instagram that the Little Baby’s Ice Cream (LBIC) stall at R. House was hiring, she applied. Within a year, she would become the manager herself.
“I realized that food is my greater passion,” said Spiegelman. “When I graduated…I thought that whatever I decided to do now [immediately after graduation] would be my life, but the more I talk to people, I see people who’ve completely changed what it is they’re doing. It’s okay not to know. People say ‘you’ve had four years to figure it out,’ when actually, no, I’ve had four years to become a completely different person and now I need to take time to process it.”

LBIC has kooky initiatives like a Pay It Forward Board through which you might pay for ice cream for a cancer survivor or a single dad, or for someone to do ten push-ups in the shop. Their biggest competitor in the area is The Charmery, probably due to the fact that, in addition to selling small-batch high-quality ice cream, both the Charmery and LBIC cater to eccentric tastes, with flavors like the Charmery’s Old Bay Seasoning and LBIC’s Pizza flavor.
When the photographer and I arrived at Little Baby’s for the interview with Spiegelman, Walker, who was manning the stall, handed us samples of every flavor that they had in stock. Earl Gray Sriracha was unexpectedly delicious and had a nice kick to it. After the interview, we walked away with scoops of Lychee Lemonade, which was very lemony and similar to sorbet, and Chocolate Mint Cookie, which was like eating Girl Scout Thin Mints in ice-cream form. Both were vegan flavors but certainly did not taste “vegan.”
LBIC’s unusual offerings attracted Spiegelman. “I hate boring ice cream flavors,” she said.

During Spiegelman’s time at LBIC, the number of Goucher-affiliated employs has steadily increased. Many of them work at LBIC in addition to having other positions and/or applying for or saving money for graduate school.
For example, Yael Ben Chaim, ‘16, started at LBIC in April 2017, while she had an AmeriCorps position working at the Maryland Farmers Market Association at a nearby location. She appreciated the combination of the office-based AmeriCorps job and the customer-service. Currently she works at MOMs Organic Market and she plans to go to graduate school for social work within the next two years. Yael’s favorite flavor is Plain. “It is simple, sweet and easy to enjoy,” she says. “It also mixes well with any other flavor on the menu!”
Rae works at LBIC at night and on the weekends. During the week, he is a Special Education teacher in a Baltimore public school, and is getting his master’s in education through Teach for America. Rae is also a fan of LBIC’s plain ice cream, but will willingly try any of the more unusual options.
Emily Abramson, ‘18, self-described avid tea drinker, started at LBIC in July 2017. She’s currently at Goucher in her final year for a Masters in Management. She also works part-time as a graduate assistant for the Office of Community-Based Learning (CBL) and is an intern for AARP Maryland’s state office, working to coordinate a statewide food drive in April. Other than all of that, she’s a freelance artist.
Emily’s favorite LBIC flavor would either be “Pumpkin Curry for the sweet/savory combo [and] the currants and cream because it reminds me of picking currants from my backyard when I was a little kid” or the “Cherry Hibiscus because the strong bitter flavor of the hibiscus counters the sweetness of the candied cherries perfectly.”
After she was hired at LBIC, Abramson encouraged Sophie Anger, ‘17, who was still a student and was looking for a weekend job, to apply. Anger started in September, while she was student teaching second grade at Roland Park Elementary/Middle School. Her favorite flavor is Coffee Toffee, because “I just love coffee ice cream, but I also loved our seasonal crushed candy cane, and chocolate ginger.”
Goucher student David Hernandez, ‘18, also works at LBIC. A history major, he is currently working on an archeological dig on campus, called the Epsom Project. His favorite flavors are a tie between Cherry Hibiscus because he’s “never tasted anything like it,” and Vegan Thai Iced Tea, which is made with delicious coconut cream.
This little ice cream stall has turned into a mini-Goucher community outside of Goucher. They work hard together and enthuse about their coworkers’ positivity, passion, and inspiring desires to make positive change in the world.

Rae Walker, ‘17 scoops ice cream at Little Baby’s Ice Cream when he’s not working as a Special Education teacher at Dr Carter G Woodson Elementary Middle School. Credit: Sophia Hancock

Spiegelman’s job as a manager, however, is not without its difficulties.
“R. House oozes that white men built it,” said Spiegelman. At the time that Spiegelman started at the newly-opened Baltimore branch, LBIC was partnered with Blk//Sugar, a bakery owned by Krystal Mack, who was the only woman and only black person working as a manager at R. House.
“I love the people that work here,” said Spiegelman. “It’s just the people upstairs…When I go to meetings with them, I’m the youngest, I’m the only woman…Everyone else is a white male.” Spiegelman laughed, drawing connections between her awareness of her management situation and her experiences at Goucher. “You don’t realize everything you’ve learned until you’re put into a situation, and then you’re like oh, that was very Goucher of me.”
A Goucher education can be taken in many directions. In addition to reflecting on how Goucher had opened her to a certain way of thinking, Spiegelman also emphasized how proud she was of all of her co-workers. “When you hear about alums, you just hear about alums in law firms, but the majority of graduated students are working in food service or something like that…[they are] working five jobs…and it’s all valid and awesome,” said Spiegelman. “There’s a lot of pressure to get salary jobs right out of school, and it would be great to have a salary job right now but there’s nothing wrong with working just because you love it. People should be celebrated for making it in this crazy world.”

In addition to managing Little Baby’s, Spiegelman works part-time in Goucher’s Special Collections. And on the side, she makes her own ice cream, based on historical art, events, and people, etc.! (Follow her on Instagram: @asweethistory). Her favorite LBIC flavor is Maryland BBQ because “it is unexpectedly delicious” and she hopes to go to graduate school for food studies in the fall.

A Little Extra
As part of the interviews, I asked alums to write what they appreciated about their co-workers. They all had many lovely things to say. Emily Abramson’s comments were so sweet and individualized, however, that it was impossible to resist publishing them all.

From Emily, on her co-workers:
Hannah: A sweet boss and always someone that is there for me. Both of us have this unique quality in which it can take one of us upwards of half an hour to tell a story, so there’s never a quiet moment when we’re working together.
Yael: An angel, and one of the sweetest people in the world. She brings out the goofy side in me, and we’ve heard reports from other R House staff that they can sometimes hear us laughing from across the building.
Efehi: I love Efehi for many many reasons, one of which being that she’s the only one that can keep up with me when I’m dancing in the stall.
Rae: Rae and I always manage to make each other laugh so hard we wheeze when we work together.
David: David’s smile always charms the older gay men into giving us lots of tips, which I appreciate. He’s so so sweet, and incredibly understanding.
Sophie: Through thick and thin, Sophie is a dear friend and a great person to work with. We spend slow days at work experimenting with weird flavor combinations and laughing at ridiculous college stories.
Zac: An impeccable fashion sense and such a down to earth dude.

Spiegelman also happily made it clear in her interview that Goucher students who visit Little Baby’s (while she is the manager, at least) will receive a discount.

High Number of Goucher Grads Teach for America

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Rae Walker ‘17 is is currently teaching at Dr. Carter G. Woodson Elementary/Middle School (PK-8th). Photo Credit: TFA Baltimore

This past year, Goucher was among the top colleges and universities to contribute new members to the Teach For America 2017 corps. With six alumni joining, Goucher contributed significantly to a nationwide network. This past year was also the first year that students were able to apply early to the program–during their junior year of college. Two Goucher students did so and were accepted.
Teach for America (TFA) is a national organization that certifies recent graduates and others without teaching certification to work as teachers in low-income communities. Applicants fill out an online application and complete a group interview online or in-person. Once accepted, applicants fill out a form with their location preferences from a list of 53 different regions across the nation. TFA teachers commit to teaching for at least two years as full-time salaried employees of the school in which they are placed.
As an organization, TFA focuses on understanding and combating educational inequity, an angle that tends to appeal to Goucher graduates. For Rae Walker (‘17) this was one of the reasons he decided to apply. “[As a public school student], the quality of your education literally depends on your zipcode,” Walker said in an interview. “In Parkville they have iPads while in Cherry Hill, we’re struggling for paper. And that’s needed for the curriculum, because they [the school] don’t buy textbooks.”
Walker graduated from Goucher as an English major with a concentration in creative writing. He knew he wanted to be a teacher, but he dropped his major in education because he believed that focusing on his content area (English) was more important than learning theory.
Walker is currently teaching special education at Dr. Carter G. Woodson Elementary Middle School (PK-8th) in Cherry Hill, Baltimore. He is also working on his Masters in Education at Johns Hopkins and is on track to receive a doctorate in five years.
Walker was drawn to the field of special education because of its relationship to inequity, and the situation that results from the over-diagnosing of students, particularly poor black students. “For gen-ed teachers, [labelling students with an IEP or Individualized Educational Program] is like code for ‘I don’t want to teach you, so I’m going to put you in another class,’ and this can happen as early as 1st grade,” said Walker. Once students are labeled as in need of special education, the effects of that label are difficult to reverse. For Walker, one of the important aspects of teaching special education is advocating for his students.
Teaching in low-income communities requires teachers to be very committed and invested in their students. Lila Stenson (‘17) appreciates the connections she’s been able to make with her students, “learning about their lives and telling them about mine.” Stenson graduated with a degree in Sociology and Spanish and is currently teaching 7th and 8th grade Spanish in Memphis, Tennessee. “It’s really fun to see [my students] grow and get excited when they can say new things in Spanish,” said Stenson.
Walker has also certainly become invested in his students. The Saturday after this interview, he was planning on taking one of his students to the movies because it was their birthday. “I’m a black male figure [in this student’s life], so we’re going to the movies,” Walker said. “On Friday, we’re going to celebrate with a cake.”
Because his special education classes are self-contained, Walker spends all day with the same nine students, who range from 5th grade to 8th grade. According to Walker, it is actually illegal to have over three grade levels together in the same class, but it often happens in Baltimore public schools because of understaffing. TFA works to combat understaffing in schools, but it is not enough. As Stenson states, TFA “really isn’t a long term solution to ending the problems in education.”

Goucher was among the top colleges and universities to contribute new members to the Teach For America 2017 corps. Photo Credit: Teach for America

Stenson became interested in education in part because of her experience working at a summer camp called Breakthrough Collaborative that works with students from under-resourced urban schools. Stenson’s experiences working in local schools through the Office of Community-Based Learning (CBL) added to this interest.
Walker also mentioned one of CBL’s programs, Middle School Mentoring, when talking about what influenced his decision to stay in Baltimore and teach. Both Stenson and Walker highlighted the way in which Goucher encourages students to engage with equity and social justice.
One thing that TFA corps members seem to have in common is their passion for what they do. “I think it is really cool to have a lot of new energy in the teaching field, as a lot of teachers who have been teaching for a while are burnt out,” Stenson wrote in an email interview.
However, because many of the applicants for TFA are young and inexperienced, they also face extra challenges. Stenson has twenty-seven students, which she said is actually a pretty small number compared to some of her coworkers’ classes. She is fortunate to teach a subject (Spanish) that is not tested at the state level, because it comes with more freedom. On the flip side, however, there is also no pre-prepared curriculum for her to use. “I did not major in education and while TFA does pack a lot into their summer training institute, you are still pretty unprepared for teaching everyday on your own. Classroom management and behavior issues are something that I struggle a lot with,” Stenson wrote.
Eliezer (EC) Cartagena (‘18), who did study education and was one of the juniors who applied early to TFA last year, critiqued this aspect of TFA. “TFA tries to train teachers in the summer, which is literally impossible. A lot of people will be woefully unprepared,” said Cartagena.
Cartagena also critiqued the fact that many people use TFA as “a stepping stone,” and move on to other careers. Cartagena emphasizes that students need consistency. “Two years seems like an injustice,” he said.
While many TFA alums move on to other careers, there are also TFA alums who stay in the world of education. As Walker points out, some of the biggest changemakers in Baltimore public schools, the principals of “turnaround schools,” are TFA alums. Cartagena hopes to stay in the school system for at least four years, while Walker sees himself continuing to teach ten years from now.
One of the incentives for applying to TFA are the benefits that come with the program. In addition to offering the opportunity to become certified to teach, TFA offers a summer training institute, an extensive alumni network, affinity group networks with other TFA members, mentor partnerships, and online location guides. TFA also has partnerships with graduate schools. Regional programs either require or encourage TFA corps members to work towards a Masters in Education. Fellowships and awards are also available to help teachers get a financial boost. For Stenson, who was moving to an entirely new city, she appreciated having the support network that came with TFA. “Memphis is a new home, so it is nice to have other people who are new and trying to explore the city as well,” she said.
TFA tries to draw a diverse group of members, and they advertised that their 2017 corps was more diverse than ever. Cartagena highlighted that TFA considers diversity factors besides race, like gender identity and sexual orientation. Walker also mentioned the diversity of educational backgrounds of corps members: “you’ll meet people from across the gamut, from Harvard, Stanford, from your local community college.”
However, despite their diversity of backgrounds, many teachers will face the same challenges. “Teachers are overworked and undervalued, and you need to be really dedicated, because financially you won’t get much from it,” said Cartagena. “Only apply if you’re really passionate about making change happen in school systems.”
Stenson emphasized the importance of flexibility and adaptability. “Things will not run smoothly, materials will not be available, school schedules and student behavior are always unpredictable,” she said. “A lot of this experience is just trying to roll with things.” Walker seconded this. “If administration emails me tonight and says, ‘we’re teaching in the dark tomorrow,’ then I’ll say, ‘okay, I’ll bring a flashlight,’” he said. Walker suggested that teachers should have a “growth mindset”–not just believing that their students can grow, but that, as teachers, they can, too. “You can’t enter the classroom thinking about what happened yesterday,” he said.
Overall, Goucher’s recent graduates who are members of the TFA corps seem proud of the work they’re doing. “It’s a noble profession,” said Walker.
For the 2018-2019 school year, there are a number of TFA application deadlines approaching, through March 2018. If you are interested in applying, Cartagena, who asked several people to look over his application, advises other students not to be afraid to ask for help. “People think that they have to do things on their own, but that’s not true,” he said.
For assistance with the application, students can also take advantage of on-campus resources like the Career Development Office.

Life After Goucher: Hannah Kuehl ‘16

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img_1157-2-2Responses collected by Erika DiPasquale, Associate Editor

March 5th, 2017

What have you been up to since graduation? 

What haven’t I been up to since graduation?! Since last May, I’ve discovered what it’s like to be a nomad that lives by the seasonal work she can find. But I love it! Of course it has been a little stressful at times, but for the most part I’ve really enjoyed the freedom to move around and the different jobs I’ve done. Right after I graduated, I went home to New Hampshire and started working at a summer camp near my hometown called the Mayhew Program. I was co-leading outdoor trips of backpacking, mountain biking, and canoeing for groups of at-risk and low income boys. It was really exhausting, difficult work, but I loved it and learned a lot. After that, while I was applying for my next season of work and waiting to hear back, I worked a bunch of odd jobs…some apartment cleaning, babysitting, worked at a waterpark, paraprofessional at a high school, just about anything that came up. This was a little more of a stressful season and there were definitely moments when I wondered why I hadn’t gotten a “real job” after graduation…and then I heard back from the BOEC! This was an internship out in Breckenridge, Colorado that I applied for, and it was a position as an adaptive ski and snowboard instructor with the Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center. So, I packed up the Prius and took a little road trip out to Colorado! I’m currently about halfway through my internship and loving it. I live with 11 other interns in a cabin, there’s always an opportunity to learn something new, and I’m outside working and playing every day! I plan to go back home for the summer and work with the Mayhew Program again, but next winter I hope to be back here with the BOEC. It’s been an adventurous year!

What do you miss about Goucher?

I miss the community of Goucher the most. Being able to walk two minutes and bust through your friend’s door is pretty great, and once you’re out of college it’s harder to connect with your friends in the same way. Even if you’re not living on campus, having all of your friends and a community of people to support you in the same area is really unique and a lot of fun. It’s also nice because you’re all essentially on the same schedule or are doing the same things so it’s easier to hang out…out of school people are working different jobs or living in different areas with time zone differences, so it can be tough to connect.

Any advice for seniors? 

Relax! Enjoy your last few months together. Then when you do start looking for your job or next step, do what you want. It’s okay to not have every step planned out, but find things that you’ll be happy doing. In my last semester, I remember one of my professors saying that every person should have at least a little time post-college where they’re living in a nasty apartment, barely scraping by each month, and living off of ramen. And that’s okay! My best advice is to not worry about finding the perfect job that’ll last forever. Do something that interests you, meet new people in a new place, and get some fun life experience.

What do you know now that you wish you had known as a first-year or before graduating in general?

I wish I had known how important connections are. Most of the work and things that I’ve done in the last year have come from random conversations and people that I’ve met, so I’m learning how important it is to foster these relationships. Previous experience and having a college degree are also definitely important in landing jobs, but it really has been the personal recommendations and the connections to different people that make the biggest difference in getting an interview. Be nice to people because, if they can, they generally want to help out!

What part of your Goucher experience has had the most influence on your first year out? 

This is a tough question to answer because there’s so much growth and change that happened for me throughout my four years at Goucher, and it’s hard to pick just one part that’s helping me now – being an athlete helped with time management, being a student taught me how to search for and use information, being at a liberal arts school opened my eyes to what’s happening in our world, having small classes taught me how to create relationships and get involved with people around me. Something that has surprised me, though, and has been more influential in my first year out than I expected, is my Spanish degree! Not only do employers love that I’m bilingual, but it’s also been incredibly useful (much more so than I expected in Colorado!). I give ski and snowboard lessons in Spanish, I can communicate with a lot of employees and people that work on the mountain, I can translate when there are language barriers on the bus, and just in general it’s been a great skill to have.

Life After Goucher: Isabel DaSilva ‘16

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Responses collected by Erika DiPasquale, Associate Editor

March 5th, 2017GraduationPic-2.jpg

What have you been up to since graduation?

I’ve been interested in publishing since about halfway through my time at Goucher and I’d had editorial internships at W. W. Norton & Company and at BookReporter.com during college. So, right after graduating, I attended the Columbia Publishing Course (CPC), a six-week long, intensive course on all aspects of book, magazine, and digital media publishing. The course was structured with two weeks of lectures on the book industry, a week for the book workshop, two weeks of lectures on magazine and online publications, and a week for the magazine workshop. We also had sessions that allowed us to develop our resumes and cover letters, as well as individual meetings with the director the program, Shaye Areheart. There was a line-up of amazing speakers who came to speak with us: we got to hear from editors and publishers (like Morgan Entrekin from Grove/Atlantic, Liese Mayer from Scribner, Chris Jackson from One World, Nico Pfund from Oxford University Press, etc.), authors (Tayari Jones and Eddie Huang), along with agents, publicists, marketing directors, book jacket designers, and sales directors. Along with hearing from and being able to work with some of the best people in publishing, one of my favorite parts of the course was when I got to go up to Adam Rappaport, the editor-in-chief of Bon Appetite Magazine, and ask him what the chef Bobby Flay is really like in person.

What do you miss about Goucher?

I miss the proximity of everything. I miss having friends live on the other side of the wall or a few floors down instead of on the other side of the country. I miss being able to roll out of bed and walk to Van Meter in ten minutes to go to a class or have a meeting with a professor. I, of course, miss all the lovely people who are still at Goucher who I don’t get to see everyday anymore. I also kind of miss how, at college, there’s a lot of energy being focused on students’ personal growth (as there should be!). What I’ve found working at Bloomsbury, though, is that you are often working to assist someone else or working towards a larger goal, and—while that can be extremely exciting and rewarding in and of itself—I do sometimes miss having it be my own work that I’m focusing on.

Any advice for seniors?

Step one: DON’T FREAK OUT! Seriously, everything’s going to be ok. Step two: Have some sort of plan for right after graduation so you don’t feel like you’re just moving back home or stepping out into some void. Having a plan doesn’t necessarily mean having a full-time job right away (although, if you have one, congratulations!). I was able to go straight into the CPC program after graduation, and there are a ton of summer programs for different fields that you can participate in that will likely help you find jobs (or even just clarify what you want or don’t want to do). But even if you don’t have something more formal set up for right after graduation, I strongly suggest setting up informational interviews with people you admire in the field or fields you’re interested in pursuing. At the end of the summer after graduation, I was able to get an informational interview with the head of hiring at Simon & Schuster, and—although she didn’t have a job for me at the time—that meeting has led to several interviews, so you never know where meetings like that can lead (and you also get to meet some super interesting people!).

What do you know now that you wish you had known as a first-year or before graduating in general?

I guess my best advice to those somewhere at the beginning or middle of their college experience is that you don’t have to know what you want to do right now—and, even if you thought you knew what you wanted to do, it’s ok to change your mind. At the beginning of college I had absolutely no idea of what I wanted to do (I didn’t even know what I wanted to major in). At one point, I was positive I wanted to be an elementary school teacher and then I spent one hellish summer as a camp counselor and decided that profession seriously was not for me (education majors, I applaud you—you are fantastic people and much more patient than I will ever be!). It wasn’t until sometime in the middle of college, when I started working as a tutor in the writing center, that I realized reading books and working with people on their writing is actually a profession, so I started learning more about publishing. Since then, I’ve learned so much more about the field and about what editors do and have fallen in love with the industry. But who knows? Maybe in another year I’ll run off and decide I want to start my own cupcake shop! My point is, be diligent, do internships and informational interviews, but one of the best parts about being in college is that it’s fine not to know for sure and try out different things.

What part of your Goucher experience has had the most influence on your first year out?

I would have to say that the part-time jobs I did in my last two years at Goucher have had the most direct influence on the work I’ve done since. As I mentioned, at the writing center, I discovered how much I loved reading other people’s writing and tossing ideas around with them and working together to improve whatever essay or story they brought in, which led to my passion for editing. It’s been so exciting to be able to work for people who are editing the writing of authors for real books that are going out into the real world (seriously, go buy Hot Milk by Deborah Levy—my boss, Lea, was the U.S. editor for it and it’s a fabulous book!). It was my work, though, as an SLCA director for after-school programs run out of the office of Community-Based Learning (CBL forever!) that I think gave me the best transferrable skills that I could bring to my job or talk about in interviews. Any program you can find at Goucher that gives you experience working with or managing groups of people, honing your organizational skills, or working towards a common goal with a strict deadline is an amazing experience that will give you a leg up in anything you do after graduation. Goucher also taught me the importance of good mentors—lovely people who go out of their way to nurture your skills and help you succeed—from Lindsay and Cass at CBL to Mary, Juliette, and Arnie in the English department. Speakers at CPC also emphasized how important it was to them to find mentors in publishing, and I’ve been lucky enough to find a few people at work who I really look up to and hope to find more in the future!

Life After Goucher: Caroline Less ‘15

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img_0542-2
Photo from Caroline Less.

Responses collected by Erika DiPasquale, Associate Editor

March 5th, 2017

What have you been up to since graduation?

Since graduating from Goucher, I have had so many awesome opportunities to work in public education. I completed my undergraduate degree in the Fall of 2015, and during the Spring of 2016 I worked in a middle school as a paraprofessional, where I was able to confirm my desire to teach. The summer after graduation I enrolled in Brandeis University’s MAT program and I am currently working towards getting my Masters in Secondary Education and dual certification in English and Moderate Disabilities.

What do you miss about Goucher?

I think the thing that I miss the most about Goucher is being so close to my friends all the time. In a community like Goucher, you get used to having all of your best friends within a 100 yard radius of you; it’s easy to meet up for lunch or coffee or a study session. It takes a lot more coordinating to meet up with friends post college because we all have really new and different schedules and don’t live in the same building anymore, or even the same state!

There’s also a lot more free time in college, and it’s easier and kind of cheaper to feed yourself when you have a prepaid meal plan and lots of healthy (not all healthy though) options. Grocery shopping and cooking takes up a lot of time!

Any advice for seniors?

I’d tell seniors to be selfish. Take the time to do things for yourself, and take advantage of all the things Goucher, Towson, and Baltimore have to offer. Your work will get done (you’ve gotten it done every year up to now!) and it’s important to realize that things might get harder and busier after college, so use this time to put yourself first and enjoy these last few months with your wonderful Goucher friends and the amazing and supportive Goucher staff and faculty.

What do you know now that you wish you had known as a first-year or before graduating in general?

As a retired college athlete, I wish I could go back and tell my younger self that my academic performance, extracurriculars, and who I am as a person defines me more than my identity as an athlete. I will always be hardworking, dedicated, kind, and occasionally frazzled, but I realized that it’s tough to try and keep up the identity of an athlete when more important aspirations and desires became apparent in my life in and out of college.

What part of your Goucher experience has had the most influence on your first year out?

I think my study abroad experience has been the most influential. You learn so much about yourself when you spend six months away from what’s familiar to you. Before I studied abroad, I was not entirely sure what I wanted to do after graduating from Goucher. While studying at St. Andrews in Scotland, however, I slowly realized my desire to teach, the only aspiration I could think of that would allow me to keep working with literature and help young people reach their full potential. My semester abroad also inspired me to apply for jobs abroad. I’m hoping to teach abroad after graduating and I have Goucher’s awesome study abroad requirement to thank for that!

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