What Students Really Say About Farmington
Did you come to Farmington knowing you wanted to be a dual major in Sociology/Anthropology and Women’s and Gender Studies?
No, originally I wanted to be an Elementary Education major with a focus on Spanish. Because I’ve spent time in Costa Rica I already was fluent in Spanish I thought I’d want to teach there for a couple of years. But I came to realize it just wasn’t for me. So I began exploring other academic areas.
So how did you choose to major in Sociology/Anthropology and Women’s and Gender Studies?
I’ve always been very pro-choice and very liberal and I’ve worked with pro-choice organizations at home. Sociology/Anthropology appealed to me because I really like learning about different cultures and I’m especially interested in Latin American cultures. I added Women’s and Gender Studies because I’m particularly interested in women’s issues in Latin American countries. I want to do something to help women in Latin America in some way. The dual major combines both of those interests very nicely. Combined, it’s the perfect major for me.
How would you describe the Women’s & Gender Studies program at Farmington?
Women’s and Gender Studies is a really small program so you get to work closely with your professors and with the other students in the program. The classes are very discussion-based, which is a good fit for me and how I like to learn. I like to learn by participating.
What has been your favorite class at Farmington?
Well, I took a Peace Studies class for my first-year seminar and that was definitely my favorite class. The professor was amazing. And my Spanish classes have been incredible, too. I’m going to minor in Spanish, and I love Linda Britt [Professor of Spanish]. I think she’s amazing. She’s a lot of fun. My geography class with Brad Dearden [Assoc. Professor of Geography ] was really great, too. He does a lot of survey research in Guatemala — working with the Women’s International Network for Guatemalan Solutions. Brad taught us a lot of things I didn’t even know went along with Geography.
Are your professors too easy or too hard?
For me, they’re just right, pretty much all of them. They mesh really well with my learning style, and the workload’s good — not too hard and not too easy. But I guess it depends on the class, too.
Do any of your professors stand out?
Well, for me, my two favorite professors from last year were Lee Sharkey and Doug Rawlings. They just made me think more, like about what I was saying or when I’d write a paper. They really expanded my horizons. But Lee Sharkey was my favorite professor from last year. And Alice Adams [Assoc. Professor Women’s Studies] is amazing, too. All the classes here are so small and so hands-on you get to know everyone in the class really well, including the professors — which is nice.
Do you feel like you can really communicate with your professors?
Absolutely. I like that the professors here can relate to you on a personal basis. They’ll tell about their lives and their experiences and that’s always interesting — and valuable in an academic sense.
Have you done an internship?
I haven’t yet, but for Women’s and Gender Studies, it’s a requirement for the major. I’m working on setting it up so I can do my internship in Nicaragua working in a women’s health clinic.
Have you done a service-learning project at Farmington?
Actually I have — in one of my Women’s and Gender Studies classes last year we raised money for a women’s shelter in Nicaragua. That's sort of how I got the idea for my internship.
Do you like your experience at Farmington so far?
Yeah, I do, definitely. It’s been a lot of fun.
What do you like best about Farmington?
I like that it’s small, and I like the downtown area and going down by the Sandy River. And I love that it’s in the mountains, in the foothills of the mountains. It’s just a beautiful place to live.
How would you describe Farmington to some one who never heard of it?
I’d tell them it’s a really small school. It’s pretty hands-on, and you will definitely get to know your professors really well. The people here are pretty cool for the most part, and it’s in a really cute town. I like it here a lot.
Had you ever been to Maine before you came to Farmington?
Yeah, lots of times. I spent a lot of time in the southern part of Maine, because Portsmouth is so close but I’d never spent time in Farmington before.
What had you heard about Farmington before you came here?
Not many people had heard of it, and there was a girl who graduated before me who came here, but she transferred. Most kids from my hometown in New Hampshire just go to school in Boston or schools in New Hampshire because it’s nearby. The kids from my hometown are pretty varied, but I can see a lot of them coming here and liking it.
How did you find out about Farmington?
Well, my cousin lives nearby in Skowhegan and she signed me up on the school’s mailing list without me knowing! So one day a Farmington catalog arrived in the mail and I read it and it sounded cool so I drove up to visit. Surprisingly, Farmington was the only school I applied to.
What was it that interested you?
Well, I originally started here as an Elementary Education major. I knew it had a great reputation for teaching.
What does a liberal arts education mean to you?
I’d describe it as the beginning of the rest of my life. Liberal arts prepares you for what you might do for the rest of your life, I guess. Pretty profound, huh? [laughs]
Where there any surprises when you came to Farmington?
There weren’t really any surprises. But sometimes it’s a lot colder than I thought it would be. Like today [laughs] but I’m such a wimp.
What did your parents think about Farmington?
Oh, they liked it a lot. They think it’s a really cute town and they like the academic part of it, so, they’re very happy I came here.
Do you live on campus?
Yeah, I actually live in Scott Hall. I like the dorms, but I’m going to get an apartment next year. Two years is enough for me. I want to get out and live on my own.
Do you participate in any campus events?
If there are things that interest me, I’ll go. Like last weekend I went to see a guest speaker who came to campus, Bobby Seal. But I work on campus in the library, at the front desk, which takes up a lot of my time.
Do you ski or hike around Farmington?
I hike and I like being outside in the summer. I don’t like being cold, so I don’t ski, but my roommate does. She skis a lot.
Are you involved in any campus organizations?
Yes. I’m in the Voice of Women on Campus (VOX) where I’m the vice president. It’s a student organization that works with the area’s domestic abuse programs: the Abused Women’s Advocacy Project, and the Sexual Assault Victims Emergency Services. We also go to women’s advocacy conferences and meetings and things like that.
What do you plan to do after you graduate?
I’ll probably take a year to figure that out, but I’m pretty sure I’m going to go to grad school at some point.
Do you feel like Farmington’s preparing you well?
What are some things that Farmington could do better?
I don’t know. I don’t have any complaints right now.
What does Farmington do really well?
My advisor and my professors, in general, are really great at guiding me along and just helping me figure out what you want to do. Everyone’s really helpful and nice. I know it sounds cliché, but Farmington is a very friendly school. I’d say Farmington does friendly extremely well.
What advice would you give to someone who’s just starting out at Farmington?
I would probably say don’t declare a major right away, because it’s a great school to explore your options. Just go out and have fun and meet people. Your perfect major will come to you when you least expect it to — don’t pressure yourself to declare a major right away.
- Kristen Bisson
From Waterville, Maine
- Emily Baer
Double major: Art and English
From Brunswick, Maine
- Andrew Thompson
Double major: Music and Art
From Plymouth, Massachusetts
- Shawn Rogers
From Dover, New Hampshire
- Lesley Kittredge
From Mount Vernon, Maine
- Kristen Simoneau
Community Health Education - School Health Education
From Jay, Maine
- Shane Koski
From Auburn, Maine
- Renee Meserve
Early Childhood Education
From Westbrook, Maine
- Casey Myers
Early Childhood Special Education
From Winooski, Vermont
- Craig Nadeau
From Fairfield, Maine
- Michaela Hitchcock
Environmental Planning & Policy
From Springfield, Vermont
- Erica Austin
Double major: History and Geography
From Turner, Maine
- Alison Gerrish
International & Global Studies
From Portland, Maine
- Lisa Kittredge
Liberal Arts Undecided
From Mount Vernon, Maine
- Nate Burns
Double major: Music and Philosophy / Religion
From Wayne, Maine
- Genesis Burke
From Amesbury, Massachusetts
- Mary Beth Kirby
From Farmington, Maine
- Joel Hatfield
Secondary / Middle Education
From Palermo, Maine
- Courtney Church
Sociology / Anthropology
From Portsmouth, New Hampshire
- Emily Langton
From Manchester, New Hampshire