Alexandria Marcella de Rubira

Alexandria Marcella de Rubira

Hometown: Aliso Viejo, California Major: Anthropology; Latin American Studies Minor

Why did you come to Bowdoin?

As a joke, I told my mom that I wanted to go to school as far away as possible. She may have interpreted that as a small college in the East Coast. In reality, I read about Bowdoin in a book about colleges, and the person who wrote about Bowdoin must have done a really good job because I liked what I read and decided to apply here. I had never been to the East Coast before and I actually had never even heard of any NESCAC schools. But, after visiting in April of my senior year in high school, I knew that this was where I wanted to go. While academics were important, location, dorms, and food were the aspects that made Bowdoin unique from the other schools I was looking at. Bowdoin is a residential college, so the food and dorms are an important part of college life. You only spend about 12 hours in class each week. I probably spend just as much time in the dining hall a week, and definitely more time in the dorms. The location is also crucial because Bowdoin is close to the coast, not isolated, but also not in a major city. Maine is so different from where I live and I really wanted to go somewhere new for college. At Bowdoin, I get the best of both worlds. I am able to enjoy the snow, and the different seasons, but I also get to go home to warm weather for the breaks.

Why did you decide on your major?

I came into Bowdoin thinking I might major in psychology or neuroscience, but I soon discovered that I did not really enjoy the time commitment needed for labs in the science courses I took. I didnít really want to major in anything in particular, but I knew I had to in order to graduate. Luckily, I ended up taking Anthropology 101 spring semester of my sophomore year. I looked at all of the requirements for the major and I decided that I enjoyed it enough to take all of those classes and major in it. The nice thing about Bowdoin is that there is a lot of room to take a variety of classes while still fulfilling the major requirements.

What's the best class you've ever taken at Bowdoin?

While some classes stick out more than others, I donít really have a favorite class. Looking back I am able to really appreciate Marine Biology with Professor Teegarden. I will never forget walking through mud up to my knees and digging for worms a few feet long in the mud. I hated it at the time, but I learned a lot in the class and for once really enjoyed the hands on experience offered during lab-time. Last semester I also randomly took Drawing I with Professor Mullen. I was so surprised at how much I learned in the class that I am now taking Painting I with him this semester. Itís refreshing to take a class that doesnít involve writing a bunch of papers and reading. While I enjoy the classes in my major, these classes stick out because they are so different than the rest of the classes that I have taken at Bowdoin.

What extracurricular activities do you participate in?

Between swim team, water polo, swim lessons, and life guarding, I have somehow ended up spending a huge chunk of my time at the pool. I have been a member of the swimming team all four years at Bowdoin. I have also played some water polo. This spring we formed a club womenís water polo team. During my time at Bowdoin, I have really enjoyed the laid back atmosphere that goes along with club sports. I came to Bowdoin having played water polo throughout high school, and only swam (and consequently, participated in the swim team) to stay in shape for polo. In addition to sports, I have also been active in an unofficial knitting club. My friend who graduated last year started it my freshman year. I couldnít believe that people actually knitted at Bowdoin and went as a joke. She taught me how to knit and I have been addicted ever since.

What's your best Bowdoin memory?

Again, I really donít like favorites. Some of my favorite Bowdoin memories will probably have to do with the swim team, the dining hall, or spring. I will never forget the swim team training trips to warm places (Puerto Rico) in January. Itís perfect because itís a time to hang out with your teammates (and swim) without the stress and distraction of schoolwork. Everyone has to eat, no matter how much work they have, so the dining hall is a great place to socialize. Finally, while I love the change of seasons, my favorite time of year would have to be the few short weeks in the spring when it is warm enough to sit outside on the quad. This is just one of the reasons why Ivies Weekend is my favorite weekend of the year.

What's your strangest or funniest experience while at Bowdoin?

Well, this is probably one of those stories where you had to be there, but I will attempt to tell it to you anyway. At the beginning of this year I was lucky and acquired a futon. However, it was in Brunswick Apartments and I live in Pine Street Apartments. If you arenít familiar with Bowdoinís campus, Brunswick and Pine Streets are about as far apart as you can get while still being on campus. Unfortunately I donít have a car and I couldnít find anyone with a car that the futon frame would fit in. I had, however, just bought a cheap Walmart bike. So, my roommate Abbie and I walked over to Brunswick Apartments and balanced the futon on top of my bike. We then proceeded to wheel the bike and futon all the way back to Pine Street. It took forever and we got many weird looks along the way. We were even able to capture it on video tape because some of my friends happened to be driving by and saw us (why they were carrying a camera and recording random passers by is beyond me).

Have you studied away during your time at Bowdoin?

Initially, I really wanted to study away somewhere but couldnít decide where to go. I also chose my major relatively late, so I ended up not going abroad because I wanted to take a lot of classes for my major and get them out of the way. However, I did go to Ecuador during the summer between sophomore and junior year. Although my plans there didnít really work out, I was able to travel around the country and visit all my relatives. It was really nice to just get out of the country and travel around and experience another culture. My experience there is what ultimately led to my decision to minor in Latin American studies.

Is there anything else about Bowdoin or your experiences here that you would want prospective students to know?

Like I mentioned earlier, donít pick a college solely based on rankings or academics. The location, food, dorms, and people are just as important, if not more. Your college is your home for four years, and it should be a place you enjoy.

Story posted on May 25, 2004

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