Please please please let Antioch College stay open. I’m headed to Ohio now. (Pictured here is an image I remember from my admissions brochure.)
I’ll be on campus shortly, to return to the place where I:
had my eyes opened • had my ideas and views challenged • found inspiration • found my voice • studied harder than ever for myself, as there were no grades so it wasn’t ever about grades • over-credited every quarter I could because I loved classes • learned from some of the best professors I’ve ever had • discovered Jean Rhys • discovered Francesca Woodman • met incredible friends • self-designed my major • photographed dozens of friends and strangers for my senior project • edited the community newspaper, twice (or was it two-and-a-half times?) • edited an anthology of stories • worked for years for the Antioch Review • studied abroad in Kyoto, Japan • co-oped for a community activist organization • co-oped for a newspaper • co-oped for the PR office • wrote the story that got me into grad school, which was later published in Orchid, one of my first published stories • saw some crazy things • heard some crazy things • went out into the “real world” and found it to be even crazier because it was not Antioch • found love • found out who I am
I discovered Antioch accidentally. The first time I heard of the place I was 15. A friend down the road from me told me his dad was a professor there and that it was the most incredible college and I would love it. (To those who know the college, his father was a certain B. Devine.) Ohio! I scoffed at the time (I was living in upstate New York; I had never been west of Pennsylvania). I’ll never go to Ohio, I said.
Never say never.
The Board of Trustees announced they were closing the college this summer. Here’s my initial reaction. But right now a group of very dedicated alumni have been working hard to raise money to try to keep the school open. This is the weekend the Board of Trustees could reverse their decision. It could happen.
The school is for a certain kind of student. Someone passionate and independent and willing to put in the work to design a college experience of his/her very own. It is an alternative—and we need alternatives. I hope it stays open, for people like me.
You might get a kick out of this, featuring the first president of the college, Horace Mann (designed by e):
That’s where I’m headed. I don’t know what I’ll find when I get there, if I’ll recognize anything, anyone, if a campus with limited facilities due to the impending closing will be too sad to bear. I’ve heard there’s a photography exhibit with one of my pictures in it… I want a chocolate shake at Young’s. It’s been a long time, but e and me, we’re on our way there.