Seraphina Mallon-Breiman, ’16, a sophomore from Woodstock, N.Y., is an explorer at heart. She’s leaning towards a major in sociology/anthropology, but she’s keeping her options open.
“The sociology/anthropology major is an all-encompassing category in which I can encompass a variety of my interests,” she said. “And I really like Eleanor Tison and Mark Dailey.”
Seraphina, along with a handful of other students, spent the fall 2013 semester at the 13th century Brunnenburg Castle in Italy’s South Tirol province. The experience fed Seraphina’s curiosity and eclectic interests: the 17-credit block course wove together classes in design, agroarchaeology, history and literature, food and culture, and included a course on the poetry of Ezra Pound, taught by Pound’s daughter. The semester included stops in Florence, Ravenna, Venice, Switzerland, Austria, Germany and personal trips to London, Marrakech, Barcelona and Rome.
“Everyone should go on the Brunnenburg trip. It’s hard to be back; while you’re there, you realize that, in America, our world views are limited,” she said.
“Seemingly, everyone throughout Europe can speak more languages than you. As well as the fact that you can go hiking in the mountains and cross multiple different countries within just a week. You can’t do that in North America, it’s cool,” she said.
Additionally, Seraphina is a belly dancer, an active member of the theater program (she’s performed in a number of plays), sings A cappella, is a member of the equestrian club, and works with the social-media team at Green Mountain College, updating the college’s Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook accounts.
“I photograph a lot of events, write about it on the school blogs, and help promote,” she said, “I photographed almost everything we did in Brunnenburg.”
Seraphina’s future is, like most college students, a little bit ambiguous. “It’s taken me a while to figure out that change is a continuing aspect of life,” she said, “and yet I’m always shocked when things shift in my life.”
“I’m trying to figure out what will fulfill my passions and also make a difference. If you tell people that in the future you’d like to be happy, they’ll say it’s an unsatisfactory answer. But that’s all I really want. I just want to be happy and create that experience for others,” she said.
By Tim Halteman ‘15
Editor’s note: See some of Seraphina’s photos and her account of living and studying in the Italian Alps in the GMC student blog "The Rope Swing"