Kane Willis '15
My name is Kane Willis! I’m from Southern California; to be more exact I’m from Claremont, California, which is 40 minutes from LA, 40 minutes from the mountains and snow, and 40 minutes from the beach. I know what you must be wondering… why did you ever leave beautiful Southern California for Massachusetts? Well, Amherst College is absolutely gorgeous and it really was the perfect school for me!
I am a Political Science and English double major here at Amherst. I’m also involved in various activities on campus. I’m a co-captain of the Mock Trial Team, I’m a research assistant for a couple professors, I write for the campus newspaper, I’m an athlete and do much more! A couple things you’ll notice about me if you stop by the admissions office; one, I’m taller than everyone here at 6’9 and two, everything I’m wearing is always matching! Make sure to say hi even if I’m conducting your information session or tour!
I have completely loved my past three years here, and I’m really stoked for my last and final year. I can’t wait to see how it unfolds. Please feel free to email with questions, thoughts, blog topics or recommendations at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Hidden Pleasures of the Town of Amherst.
Everyone thinks that the town of Amherst is extremely small. It is small to a certain extent, but there are so many hidden gems out there that students, staff and faculty have yet to discover in Amherst and the surrounding area; especially, all of the amazing hidden places to eat. This week one of my fellow interns, Nicole, took me and the rest of the summer interns to this amazing ice cream place called Flayvors; it’s just about a 7 minute drive from campus and boy is it worth that 7 minute drive. When you first get there you see this very cute wood like structure with a picture of a huge scoop of ice cream and a big cow!
Flayvors was such a good way to cool down from a hard and hot days work at the admissions office. The ice cream was amazing; Flayvors really takes pride in the fact that their ice cream is all natural and the milk used to make the ice cream was gifted from their very own cows. What makes this place even more special is that just behind the ice cream shop there is a giant beautiful field filled with cows running around; and just to the right of the ice cream shop there are these adorable calf’s in these cute little pens. They look at you and are practically saying “pet me please!!!!” We even ran into one of the deans, Kia! The interns and I had an amazing time. Flayvors is just one of the amazing hidden gems out there that students just don’t know about. If any prospective or admitted students ever get the chance to go adventure around the town of Amherst or the surrounding area please do it! Everything is beautiful from the big giant houses to the luscious green forest areas. It truly is a wonderful sight to behold.
These pictures are of Leslie, another intern (kinda suprised with the photo), and a wonderful girl who goes to UMASS! She gave me extra Resee's :)! WOOT!
Amherst College Fashion!
What do Amherst College students wear??? Great question! In fact, that’s a question every prospective and incoming student subconsciously has in the back of his or her mind. If you walk around campus, you will see that Amherst is a very preppy campus. You will see Sperry’s, whale shirts, colorful pastel shorts and pants. However, there are so many different, fashionable, and just extremely interesting outfits that students are always sporting. Amherst students are very fashionable in their own unique way, and I encourage whoever is reading this blog post to create and bring their own style to Amherst, or wherever you may go, that exclaims who you are. You don’t need to wear what the “typical Amherst student” wears, but even if you do (I sport the preppy look once or twice a week), make it your own!
I definitely try to put my own “stank” on the more popular styles. What’s my “stank” you ask? Another great question! The thing that is most unique about my style, regardless of what “style” I have on, is that everything in my outfit will always match. If you see that I’m wearing blue, orange and black, everything in my outfit will be blue, orange and black in some way, shape or form even down to the socks and underwear. It may sound simple, but it’s not! It’s actually quite difficult at times. Below are picturesof some of my outfits that I wore to work here in the admissions office. Anyways, I love looking around and seeing what everyone on campus is wearing. Hopefully, if you come to campus and hop on one of my tours or just see me running around, you’ll get to see my very own unique Amherst style. I will feature one very stylist prospective applicant each week, so if you’re visiting, dress to impress!!
Basketball and Amherst Fashion
Today I spoke with a lovely lady who was totally in love in with the New England preppy fashion look and was also interested in playing basketball in college! If you read my post on “Amherst Fashion”, you’ll know that the preppy style is well represented here! Furthermore, both of our men’s and women’s basketball programs are absolutely stunning! Just in the past fours years they have combined for two National championships, seven National semifinal appearances and 6 NESCAC Championships. Over the past four years, both programs combined to have a 227-22 record for a 91% winning percentage! Impressive, right? This is just one of the wonders of Amherst College and Amherst athletics!
It's A Bird, It's A Plane, No... It's The Staff!
The staff at Amherst is so wonderful. They are by far some of the kindest and funniest people I’ve ever met. The only reason the campus is able to function is because of them. They make our food, they clean our dorms, they pave the snow so we can get to class, and most importantly, they provide our security. They are all basically superheroes. I’ve had the opportunity to really get to know many of the staff members and some of them havebecome close friends of mine!
Above: Greg and Matt, both wonderful Amherst College staff members :)!
Just this past weekend I played in a basketball tournament with some of the staff members and had a blast. All of our games were really tough and really close. Not only did I have the chance to play with them, but I was also able to meet and interact with the members of the surrounding community; which was absolutely fantastic. I met some very cool and funny people. What made the tournament even more special was that it served to remember a young man named J.J. Dushane who died in a car accident 7 years ago; he loved basketball so they made two basketball courts and hold this tournament every year in his honor!
It’s important to remember that we shouldn’t take all of the little things for granted! One day you’re going to have to clean your own house, make your own food, or live on without someone very important to you. Treasure those around you and everything they do for you no matter how small or how big, because everything they do and every moment you spend with them is precious.
English, A Capella and LGBT
Today I had the chance to speak with a young man who's academic interests lie in English. The Amherst College English department is absolutely fantastic and all of the professors have such wonderful personalities. These professors are your mentors, your employers and most importantly, they’re your friends. Random fact, just the other day I babysat my English professor’s two beautiful twin daughters.
There is such a broad variety of classes in this department from The Literature of Madness to Children’s Literature to The Queer Historical Novel. There are always so many interesting choices to choose from! Furthermore, the professors who teach them are so fascinating and just simply amazing; you’ll be enlightened each and every class. You feel like you should stand and clap as they enter and leave the room, because they do such a great job.
He was also interested in a capella and LBGT groups on campus! Amherst College is known as the singing college for its various a capella groups on campus. Here we have 6 a capella groups! We have: The Sabrinas, The Blue Stockings, DQ, Route 9, The Zumbeyes and TI. Each group has their own unique feel and type of genre they like to perform. They also have the best concerts, and any student can try out for these groups! In terms of the LGBT life on campus we have our Queer Resource Center (located in the basement of Morrow Dormitory), which holds weekly meetings about LGBT topics that effect not only our community here at Amherst, but also our worldly community. Twice a semester the Pride Alliance organization puts on two GAPs (the gay Amherst party), which always have such fantastic themes. Not only does Amherst have a great and friendly LGBT community, but so does the five college area! Every weekend there’s always some type of LGBT event going on at one of the other campuses whether it’s a drag show, a LGBT party or even just a fun dorm hangout amongst the five college queers! You will really have a gay ole time at Amherst (no pun intended lol).
There many places on campus that Amherst students don’t know exist. For example, if you ask a student where the Japanese garden is 9 times out of 10 an Amherst student will say “whaaaaat, we have a Japanese garden?” I am certainly guilty of this… which is why I went out and explored a building on campus I’ve never been inside of (I didn’t even know the name of this building… I know right? Shameful! Shhhh!).
So this is the Bassett Planetarium. I have never been in here nor did I even know it existed… awk…
I guess it’s called Morgan Hall (named after Morgan Stanley I believe) and it was built in 1853.
Wow, this is a beautiful painting. Whoever emails me the name of the building in this picture will get a shout out!
Maybe when I die I’ll get a plaque in a pretty building….
So I went all the way up the stairs of this building to only find out that the planetarium was closed. Fail… but that’s totally fine; this was a wonderful excursion and I was completely mind blown by the beauty of this building! I’m going to try and come back during the school year to see if I can go into the planetarium! The wonders when you explore your surroundings, huh?
LJST and Senate
Today I spoke with a wonderful girl who is interested in pursuing law and learning about how to really take advantage of the open curriculum! Outside of academics she’s interested participating in the senate.
So, Amherst College doesn’t offer your traditional prelaw program, but we do have a major on campus called Law, Jurisprudence and Social Thought. This major and the classes within the major are set up in a similar fashion to law class. The professor will randomly call on whoever (and she/he will know your name) and ask you to answer the question or to tackle the case at hand… which means you better do your homework!
In my opinion, the best way to take advantage of the open curriculum is to take a class in a subject matter you nothing about! Just go explore and you will find what you’re passionate about!
The senate also known as the Association of Amherst Students (AAS) is in charge of making student life and our campus a better place for all. Joining Senate is the biggest way to have a huge impact on our community as a whole.
Room draw can be a very fun, but stressful time! So the way it works at Amherst is that everyone (who is not an incoming first-student) is in the room lottery. Naturally, seniors have the highest number then juniors and then sophomores. It’s so stressful, because you need to figure out where you want to live, what room do you want, etc. So the real thing I want to address is “what happens when you’re at the bottom of the room lottery?” Well, great question! You’ll be absolutely fine! One thing you should know is that if you’re in the bottom third of room draw (in your class) you will be in the top third next year if you indicate that to residential life! However, if you’re like me you will always be 1 or 2 people from the bottom third… So what happens then? Regardless of where you are you’ll still have great picks. Sophomore year my friends and I all got rooms on the same floor in Morrow Dormitory. Junior year I got into Wieland Dormitory as a junior… typically that dorm goes to senior students; it may look like a prison on the outside but it’s absolutely gorgeous on the inside. As a senior I’ll be living in a suite with Mayo-Smith with some of my good friends! That’s how room draw worksJ! Email me with any questions!
Stearns Dormitory (My First-Year Dorm)
Morrow Dormitory (Sophmore Year Dorm)
Wieland Dormitory (Junior Year Dormitory)
Mayo-Smith Dormitory (Senior Year Dormitory)
Last Summer Blog!
Roaming around the different restaurants and eateries in the 5 college area is a must! I’ve been to so many places this summer like Osaka, Panda East, White Hut, Hurrell’s, The Hanger, Route 9 Diner and this list goes on… (I love to eat and so does Leslie Coronel. She’s a bad influence). However, the most interesting restaurant I’ve been to has been Packards in Northampton. They have a cool bar, the food is great (they serve the burgers, wings, interesting fries and just great stuff all around. But the make up of the entire restaurant was so intense. It’s undescribable… just look.
The peeps above are my good friends Lucas, Amir and Elaine!
All summer we’ve had family dinner together at various restaurants across the 5 college area! It’s been great! ! Family = Interns and other members of the admissions office. It's just been a great summer!
You'll see some of the admissions deans above, Melissa (the person who holds the office together. We call her the intern mom.) and President Biddy Martin (top left)!