I have deeply benefited from my time at Goddard College. I came in as a member of the old campus based program in 1997 and eventually transferred to the low residency programs- which are now the exclusive model for Goddard programs – to complete my BA. in 2003. A traveler and an adventurer, the flexibility and independent nature of Goddard’s Individualized BA was exactly what I needed to accommodate my life changing trip to live in Morocco at the beginning of my BA. I eventually wrote a Bachelor’s thesis on Post-Colonial Identity Politics which piqued my interest as I experienced the cultural layers of Moroccan society – colored by French, Portuguese, Spanish (and even earlier – Arab) colonialism and the tourism that carries the country today.
I was doing this, unknowingly stepping into my role as an ethnographer, far away from the college yet I was linked to my advisor and other members of my advising group and of the Goddard community. I was independent but not alone. I was asked to spend time thinking about, practicing, and learning to know what I really wanted to get out of my studies. I was challenged, asked to start again, asked to edit, reconsider, branch out, focus in. It was challenging and delicious. The residencies were a mystical kind of woodland gathering where doers and dreamers and ambitious seekers all came together to hunker down and get to figuring out. You had to be brave. You had to bear it all. And you had to listen well to others. It was a very real microcosm for life.
Seven years after my BA graduation, I returned to the campus to complete an MA. By this time, I had spent many more years living and working in Morocco, a year in Turkey and more than 2 years in the UAE. I came back seeking that challenge. I was bored. I had seen a lot and changed a lot. I was practicing Islam, married to a Muslim man – a Moroccan I had met while working in Casablanca. I came back to write about Islamic Feminism with a consciousness studies concentration. Again, insanely challenging, causing cycles of confidence, eagerness, self doubt. In the end I came out of it with inner power. I am resourceful. I am self assured. I am not weary of intellectual risks. I met many life long friends – one who has become a business partner – a few perfect soul mates. I have so much to say about my time at Goddard. I look forward to speaking with any and all who are interested.