Claudia Marroquin '06

Claudia Marroquin

Claudia Marroquin '06

Hometown: Los Angeles, California
Major: Art History, with a minor in Government and Legal Studies

Why did you choose to come to Bowdoin?
When looking at schools, I figured that my college years would be the perfect opportunity to live in a place completely different from Los Angeles all while enjoying the amenities that college has to offer. So, when I visited Bowdoin during the Spring Invitational I was sold. Not only was the campus beautiful, but the people were also friendly, there appeared to be tons and tons of activities, and the weather didn't seem so bad. In addition, I was the only person from my high school who had even heard of Bowdoin. I wanted to be adventurous.

Why did you choose you major?
I took one art history course during high school at a community college and loved it so much I had my eyes set on the major. During orientation, I remember meeting Associate Professor of Art Linda Docherty and one of the teaching assistants for Art History 101. After taking Prof. Docherty's course, I was hooked. Art history was an incredible way for me to fuse my interests in history, social criticism, art, identity issues, and, at times, politics. I now walk around identifying architectural styles of buildings and love to walk through a museum and actually know what I'm looking at rather than just gazing at the pretty pictures.

What has been your favorite course at Bowdoin?
That's a close one. It would have to be between Prof. Docherty's "Photography and Identity" and Prof. Mary Hunter's "Music of the Arab World." In Prof. Docherty's class, we examined photography as both a social document and a work of art. My final research paper allowed me to study the photographs taken during the Los Angeles riot, an event I remember vividly, and exploring the different biases that the photographs portrayed. In Prof. Hunter's music class, I was able to begin to chip away at the theories and practices of Arabic music, a genre I thoroughly enjoy listening to during my spare time. In addition, the class was very interactive since we all learned the different iqa'at (drum beats) that are the foundation for the pieces. Professional Arabic musicians came to class and allowed us to get a sense of the amount of improvisation that Arabic musicians employ. On our last day of class, we all participated in three different styles of Arabic dancing -- a martial arts type of choreography, trance-inducing movements, and a community dance. It was great!

What extracurricular or work experiences have you had at Bowdoin?
What haven't I done? I have been a member of the Women's Intercollegiate Rugby team throughout my four years. It's been one of the best experiences since it has allowed me to clear my head of my stressful classes all while hanging out with some awesome girls, getting in shape, and venting my frustrations in a constructive way. I've also been involved in Obvious (a hip-hop/breakdancing group), Anokha (a South Asian performance group), and Belly Dance to satisfy my urge to dance and perform. During my sophomore and junior years I worked at the payroll office processing all the student timesheets. So, I guess you could hold me accountable for any mistakes that you had on your checks. SORRY! For the past two years I have been working at the Convenience Store, the computer labs, and driving the safe ride van. I'm sure I have seen everyone on this campus at one time or another while working these jobs. Lastly, I mentored a child through the Big Brother/Big Sister Program once a week and played numerous board games all while giving a child in need of one-on-one time with a adult a space to speak openly about her concerns.

Did you study abroad during your time at Bowdoin?
While I did not study abroad, I did travel to Guatemala, my mother country, on an Alternative Spring Break trip to volunteer at a non-profit organization providing an education and a safe space to the children who reside near the city dump. My junior year, I went with the women's rugby team on tour to England, where we played in exhibition games against women who have grown up with rugby. While we didn't win any games, we came close and did give those teams a run for their money. It was also great to see professional rugby games and to play rugby in a country where the sport is appreciated nationally.

What is your best Bowdoin memory?
I must say that I truly enjoyed Ivies Weekend sophomore year. My sister was visiting from Los Angeles, [the hip-hop group] Dilated Peoples were performing on the Museum steps, the weather was beautiful, and everyone was enjoying their time together. I was hanging out with my favorite people and not worrying about upcoming finals.

What are your plans for after graduation?
I am moving to Boston and starting a job at EF Education, an educational travel company in Cambridge. Eventually, I plan on going to grad school and specializing in something. What that something is ... I'm not quite sure yet.

What advice would you give to a prospective student or first-year about the Bowdoin experience?
First, explore, explore, explore. There are so many hidden secrets at Bowdoin. There are endless research, volunteer, internship, and extracurricular activities of which you can take advantage! Don't let them go to waste. As I sit in my room contemplating graduation in a week, I would have to tell first years to appreciate Bowdoin. It's such a great place where you can meet some of the most amazing and interesting people, you shouldn't just concentrate on school work. Get out there and enjoy the Bowdoin experience.

Story posted on July 24, 2006

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