Sarah Silliman ’01 and I met in her Brooklyn home on a beautiful Monday morning. She made us coffee and we talked in her sunny backyard. She asked what my itinerary for the day was, and when I told her I was going to see Shelby Chestnut ’06 afterwards, she said “I know Shelby! I see her on the train.” It’s funny that even Antiochians who may not have gone to school together know one another and stay in touch.
Growing up in Yellow Springs, the last place on earth that I wanted to go was Antioch—partially, I didn’t think about it, my parents weren’t involved in the school, it wasn’t really in my sphere. But once I hit that time of wanting to go to school, I wanted to travel, I wanted to see different places. I applied to a lot of colleges on the west coast, and then slowly Antioch crept into my vision, because it was an opportunity to travel and do a lot of different kinds of things and shape what I wanted to do. And not just go to one place, but go to many places. At that time, it was one of the few places that really valued practical and applied learning. Not just that you did it for one summer, but that it was really a part of your evolution. It has a reputation and a standard for actually using your experiences in new ways. When I entered, the last thing on my mind was studying economics, but Antioch kind of wove all the experiences that I had within the classroom and then back out. It wasn’t like they were directly related, but it was a journey that I felt really brought me to a certain place I don’t think I would have been able to choose when I just walked in the door my freshman year.