Morgan Ashly Brown '15
Hi there! My name is Morgan Brown & I am a sophomore here at Amherst College. I'm from the golden state of California - Monterey, specifically - but I've slowly learned to love winter in Massachussetts. I'm a Theater & Dance and Psychology double major, but I also dabble in English & Art. On campus, I am a Student Health Educator, a Tour Guide, & a member of the Student Support Network, Whistle a Happy Tune, and Women of Amherst. I am also currently stage managing a senior thesis in the Theater & Dance department. In my spare time I love reading, catching up with my Hulu queue, & having movie nights with my friends. I hope to one day pursue a career in acting.
If you have any questions, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Morgan's Blog Posts
More Accurate Self Portrait
So my hair is ever-changing. Seriously. I get bored with it every couple of months. Here's an accurate self portait in case you're curious. :)
I've decided that this blog doesn't contain enough pictures. If you guys are going to take the time to read all of the enlightening (on a good day) things I have to say, I should at least give you pretty photos to look at!
During first-year orientation, students are assigned to squads. Upperclassmen serve as squad leaders. This is me, my squad partner, & my squadees! I'm the one with pink hair. It was a phase. Don't judge.
Meet Emerson! & pink haired Morgan again. This boy is one of my besties & if you decide to come to Amherst, you should not tell him that this photo of him is on my Admissions blog. :)
This is Chapman! It's my dorm. (More of a house, really.) No one really knows where it is, so congrats! You're ahead of the curve.
This is me doing theater-y stuff. Fall semester I was in Performance Project. It's a course taken by seniors in which they collaborate with their actors and dancers to create devised performances. Our piece was super cool. I got to wear a blindfold & stand on this chair for super long periods of time.
My friends & I at the WIlliams game. Amherst students love their athletics & we love to hate Williams. GO JEFFS.
Last one, I promise. I took a bunch of publicity photos for Amherst & this is my favorite. (No I did not intentionally match my hair to my laptop case.)
Thanks for looking. Hope you enjoyed the photos. :P
Last week, I declared a second major. So now I am a double Theater and Dance & Psychology major. WOOHOO! (I'm excited. Can you tell?)
What does this mean you ask? This basically means that in order to graduate from Amherst with both majors, I need to take all of the required classes for both. I chose to declare a Psychology major in large part because of the Abnormal Psychology course that I am taking this semester. It is taught by Prof. Julia McQuade & she is absolutely an exceptional professor. I'm used to taking more artsy classes, so I was a little bit thrown off for the first few classes at the beginning of the semester, but I gradually began to get into the swing of things. Abnormal was the first college class in which I had had a test (GASP) because all of my previous classes had been paper classes. It was also my first lecture course.
I'm also excited to declare this major because it will help me to pick my courses for subsequent years. It usually takes me a couple weeks of browsing the course catalog and arrange, rearranging, and rerearranging in the online course scheduler to put together the perfect schedule. Because I now have required Theater & Dance classes and Psychology classes, I have a little more structure to my schedule and less time to browse the entire course catalog. (That being said, you should totally read that thing from cover to cover at least once. We have so many cool, interesting classes!)
Woo. Just wanted to bare my soul & let y'all know how happy I am that I've kinda sort of had a major life epiphany. On to bigger and better things.
It's Monday! & I fell out of my bed this morning. Looks like it's gonna be a great week! :)
Back to the Grind
Alas, Spring Break is over. Is there anything more sad that going to your 9am class on the Monday morning after Spring Break? Relaxing is over. Sleeping in until 3PM is no longer possible. Being weirdly productive because you have absolutely nowhere to go all day is impossible. Luckily, my friend Liz reminded me of one of the most wonderful facts about post-Spring Break life at Amherst: Social events on social events on social events!
Of course, we prioritize acadamics here, but one of the other arguably important facets of your college experience will be your social life! I thought it might be fun to give you (yes you, whoever you are, reader) a rundown of some of the events coming up! Here goes...
This friday we've got Marsh Coffee Haus! Marsh is one of our "theme houses" on campus. As the Arts house, Marsh must do some sort of arts-related programming every semester, or so I understand. This programming comes in the form of Coffee Haus! Any student can perform anything. It's a wonderful way to test the waters with that song you've been writing since seventh grade. (I'm sure it's great!)
Also on Friday, we've got a concert in Seelye, one of the dorms on the area of campus known as "The Triangle." Blood Diamonds, an electronic/dance music artist hailing from Vancouver who now resides in Los Angeles will be performing at Amherst in the Seeyle Ballroom, brought to you by WAMH 89.3 FM, Amherst College Radio. This is the first installment in a series of dance concerts to follow.
Saturday is Queer Prom! I'm super excited for this one. Look at the event description:
"Amherst College's Pride Alliance will be hosting a Queer Prom (The prom you never had with the date you couldn't bring)!! Attire: Shine your shoes and iron your shirts 'cause formal attire is Highly Suggested. There will be a PHOTOGRAPHER on deck to capture countless glamour shots to serve as your next potential profile picture. Spifffyyy. Cost: No need to count the bills in your pocketbooks; this event's on the house! (FREE) There's no drink minimum but we'll be servin' up some MOCKTAILS that will compliment the FREE FOOD you'll be documenting for instagram. (And lots of candy.) Royal Court: Prom King & Queens are so cliche. This Queer Prom will select a couple of Prom Monarchs. Could be you! ;D Music: DJ Max will deliver some 80's hits as well as some modern selections to feed the dance monster within you. Just come & Invite your friends!! All are welcome to attend!"
Does this not look amazing? I'll be sure to let you all know how it goes. <3 In the meantime, I have homework to do. (All that homework that I claimed I would do over break, remember?)
Spring Break at Amherst
Hello there lovely reader,
Why am I in such high spirits, you ask? Because Spring Break is a short 4 days away, of course. I'm not going home because California is a little to far to travel to for less than a week, but I'm still planning on having a fabulous break here. I know it seems like everyone goes home every break, but that's definitely not true. While Amherst does have a lot of students from Massachussetts and New York, we also have a lot of international students and students from the West Coast and the Mid-West who elect to stay on campus during break. I thought it might be fun to create a list of fun things you can do if you're ever at Amherst with no work to do and all of the free time in the world. This is in part to give me ideas for the break and to give you ideas if you ever come to Amherst! Granted, I do have a few things that I should get done over the break, but I'll be sure to get those done early in the break to leave plenty of time for activities! (If I sound ridiculously excited, it's only because I'm RIDICULOUSLY EXCITED!) Alright, here goes:
Random/fun/exciting/unneccesary things to do at Amherst over a break when few people are on campus & you've got days on days to spare...
- Read/ listen to music/ sleep on the adirondack chairs on the freshman quad. (Provided it's warm enough.)
- Do a Starbucks sit! (I'm serious. Opening to closing time. Buy drinks & snacks throughout the day & read that book you've been swearing you'd finish since you first got to Amherst and stopped having the time to read for pleasure.)
- Visit different dorms. (Room draw is coming up. Spring break is the perfect time to go around and figure out where you'd ideally like to live because the dorms won't be chock full of people.)
- Go to Northampton. (Take the bus & walk around NoHo for a day. There are tons of fun shops and restaurants and people!)
- Fly solo at the movies. (All the popcorn to yourself, no one whispering in your ear, & the new Wizard of Oz movie? Yes. Please.)
- Walk around your floor in your underwear. (Chances are, depending on the size of your floor, you'll be the only one there. Take advantage of the oppotunity to act like you do when you're at home!)
- Discover a new show on Netflix (or Hulu or Project FreeTV).
- Clean/ redecorate/ reorganize your room. (If you're anything like the typical college student, your room could use a little pick-me-up. Use some of your free time to finally put up those posters you ordered in November!)
- Head to the bird sanctuary (or Emily Dickinson's grave or that other quintessential Amherst spot you claim that you've been to a hundred times).
- Come visit me! (Shameless plug here. I tend to be here for breaks, so if you need an unofficial tour, do not hesitate to email me!)
Valentie's Day with the SHEs <3
So being a Student Health Educator is one of the best jobs on campus. It manages to be totally and completely intellectually stimulating, while at the same time a ridiculous amount of fun. (And I get paid!) The Student Health Educators do a lot of things around campus. We perform skits during first-year orientation on a variety of topics. My personal favorite is called "Drill Sergeant." It's about a drill sergeant teaching his company how to properly put on a condom & it is absolutely hilarious. (Yes, I know i'm biased.) We also facilitate workshops throughout the year in all dorms (not just first-year dorms) on a broad range of health topics such as: Sex & Chocolate, Nutrition, Sleep & Stress, Orgasm, & Casual Dating.
I tell you all of this because Valentine's Day just happened & the SHEs did a bunch of cool stuff in line with the holiday. A couple of days before Valentine's Day & on Valentine's Day, we tabled in Keefe. (Amherst lingo for 'we had a table in the campus center at which we did things.') At our table we had so many great things:
- Candy - After all, what is Valentine's day without conversation hearts, QT PIE?
- Cuties - You know, the little California mandarin oranges.
- Kiddie Valentines - These are actually the best. You are never too old to send your friend a Disney Princess Valentine.
- Temporary Tattoos - Yes, I totally did wear Princess Belle proudly on my arm for the rest of the afternoon.
- Passive Ed - This is just a fancy term for a type of programming that involved putting your intended message on a flyer. We had tons and tons of hilarious, yet informative passive ed. My personal favorite was titled 'The Six Types of Kisses to Avoid.' On a more serious note, we also had a variety of passive ed covering topics from self-love on Valentine's Day to the characteristics of a healthy relationship.
- CRUSH CANS! - This was my favorite part. We let people send as many Crush soda cans as they wanted to anyone from a friend to an actual crush to a boyfriend or girlfriend. Then we emailed those people telling them to come to Keefe (the campus center, remember?) on Thursday & we delivered their soda with a note from their crush. It was a really fun idea & people seemed to really enjoy it
I think that it was an extremely successful event & it was ridiculously fun to be a part of, to boot. By the way, Conversation Hearts are my absolute favorite candy in the world. Any guesses as to how many boxes I ate last week? First person to guess correctly wins a sense of self satisfaction!
My Body is Beautiful Week
So, I'm sorry to keep talking about my SHE (Student Health Educator) activities, but this week was one of our most important weeks. This week was our second annual My Body is Beautiful Week. I think that this week is extremely important for a number of reasons. Almost everyone has body image issues & it's nice to acknowledge the fact that we are not alone in our struggles with our appearances. Body image issues can become amplified in college especially when one is in a high-pressure setting with other students their own age. Because so many of Amherst's students are high-achieving athletes as well as students, our culture also heavily emphasizes going to the gym and eating healthy food. Although going to the gym and eating healthy are very important to one's health, the point of this week was more about loving your body as it is.... right now. These are all of the awesome events that we were able to accomplish this week. :)
On Monday we tabled in the Campus Center. (See my last post for the definition of tabling!) At the table we had tons of great healthyish snacks (applesauce, pretzels, wholegrain chips) & a few indulgences (chocolate, cookies). People had the option of signing a pledge if they wanted too and they could also send a body gram to their friends. The pledges had messages ranging from 'I pledge not to fat talk' to 'I pledge to say one good thing about my body out loud every day when I look in the mirror.' The body grams were little slips of paper that people could fill out with messages such as 'Your body is beautiful' & 'Nice legs!' Upstairs in the campus center people had the option of taking photos behind a sign that said MY BODY IS BEAUTIFUL! (Note: People were given the option to be as dressed or as undressed as they wanted to be!) Here's how one of my pictures turned out:
After people took their picture, they got a tank top! Wooooo! Here's what the tanks look like. The front says (SOME)BODY TO LOVE & the back says CHANGE THE WAY YOU SEE. NOT THE WAY YOU LOOK.
That night we also had a speaker, Ragen Chastain. She is an amazing woman who spoke to all of our students about feeling positive about your body wherever you are, right now. On Tuesday, we continued the tabling & also had a Women's Dinner that night. We had a GREAT discussion about body image, ate tea rolls, & just generally had a wonderful time. Wednesday night was ZUMBA!!!!! Have you ever Zumba-ed? (Yes, I've decided it should be a verb. That's how great it is.) Zumba is a form of exercise that is super fun. It's dancing, but pretty easy dancing. It's all about having fun & laughing with your friends while engaging in exercise. Our Zumba instructor was amazing. Her name is Lauren Franks & she works in the Registrar's office here at Amherst. Here is a link to her FB page if you're interested: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Zumba-Fitness-with-Lauren/254068547979929?ref=ts&fref=ts.
& that was it! (By week, I really meant three days.) Although this was only our second year doing it, I think that it was a huge success! If you have any suggestions for events that we could host for next year's My Body is Beautiful Week, please do not hesitate to email me & let me know. I welcome any & all suggestions!