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A journal of social practice & professional engagement for the Antioch community

Peace of Mind: Shelby Douglas ’25 at the Antioch College Wellness Center

A Rough Start to Winter

Finding a winter Co-op proved to be quite a difficult task this past term. I had reached out to a variety of places and no one seemed to be interested and we simply had a lot of hiccups in finding a place. My main goal was to find a co-op in a school. I have taught at the preschool setting before and I wanted to try my hand at a teaching to an older range of kids. However not many places would accept someone who was not actively striving to reach their educational degree or who the school wasn’t already affiliated with. Alas it was a few days before the quarter when my advisor recommended reaching out to the Antioch Wellness Center. I would be helping with their Playwell Department along with working the front desk or whatever they needed. I started emailing Trevor Lowe and Alexa Greer and I started my winter co-op a week late but with a Co-op none the less.

Finally Starting Co-op

I started working under Alexa Greer and Andrew Brody in early January. They both took me under their wing and showed me the in’s and out’s of how the Wellness Center functions on the day to day. Andrew really took in an interest as I wasn’t just a student worker but a Co-op student. He didn’t want me behind the desk the whole time as sitting in front of a desk for 8 hours a day can get quite old. He allowed me to observe and help out with a few of his training sessions as well as take a break from the desk and play Pickleball with a few of the patrons who attend the Wellness Center. I learned more and more about what the Wellness Center has to offer and how important it is to the community. I also began making friends which was something I struggled with before this co-op. I got to see Alexa receive her actual diploma from the college on her last day with the agreement that we would keep in touch. I got to meet Mani and Renee, considering them to be real true friends. About a month in to my co-op, Alexa and Andrew both left. I had only a few interactions with Trevor Lowe, who is the director of the Wellness Center, and was not sure how things would function from there. As my co-op progressed and I got to spend more time with Trevor I definitely began to consider him a mentor and appreciated how much he clearly cared about the Wellness Center. I was able to meet his family and earned a potential babysitting gig when the time comes that Trevor is not there the entire time the facility is opened. And learn about how he went to school near my hometown and if I mentioned a place he knew exactly where I was talking about.  I learned how much everyone seemed to want this ship not to sink once more but set sail and prosper in every way possible.

What now?

Before this experience I had never really paid much attention to the Wellness Center. I knew plenty of people that attended weekly, if not daily, but I assumed it was not my thing. After working there these past few months I have definitively decided that after I am not spending 30 hours a week there for work I will be coming by to attend a few classes. I want to play volleyball on Thursdays and Pickleball on Wednesdays. I want to attend a few yoga classes with Bee Holland and see the volunteers that work the morning shifts. This Co-op was supposed to be the co-op where I figure out my career path. Finally decide between law and education. Instead it has turned into a Co-op about making friends on campus and self love. I learned things about myself that I didn’t before. And in the midst of a civil war in my family, having the wellness center to help center me and give me a place to work out my frustrations on a punching bag or treadmill while also giving me peace in yoga or the pool has been so very much needed and appreciated. What I thought was a bust and waste of a Co-op has turned out to be one of the most brilliant decisions I could have made. And I am so glad that while I was not able to fully decide my career path, I have learned new techniques on how to be a better me and how lucky Antioch is to have the Wellness Center.
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<p class="p1">Hello, my name is Frank Adam Fortino. I am in my fourth and final year at Antioch College, and on track to graduate with a Liberal Arts bachelor's degree in art focused in media studies. I have spent my college career thus far, as well as my past three co-ops studying the art that is film and video making; from its history to actually creating works myself.</p> <p class="p1">I have worked for filmmakers such as Rea Tajiri (Philadelphia) and Ken Burns (Walpole, New Hampshire) who have helped me gain better understandings of the documentary form, as well as story telling in general. I have travelled to far places (Andros Island in the Bahamas) with film equipment I had to sneak in my pants to carry it aboard an overweight plane.</p> <p class="p1">I have studied and worked with found footage, animation, and essayistic forms. I have researched the links between avant-garde and conventional filmmaking (comparing Maya Derren to Christopher Nolan and <i>Sherlock Jr.</i> to <i>Un Chien Andalou</i>) and have grown very fond of experimental tactics used to convey stories through film and video.</p> <p class="p1">To highlight my passion and excitement for film, I will be organizing and hosting a film festival called <i>30(ish) Frames Per Second: A Yellow Springs Film Festival</i> ( in June of 2017. For the festival, we will be celebrating works with essayistic qualities that deal with social justice issues in some capacity.</p> <p class="p1">Along with my ever-growing fascination for movies and media, I have a strong connection to the ideal of living off of the food I grow myself, in a home that is self-sustaining, and harmless to the environment. To realize this, for my final co-op I have travelled to West Ireland to glasraí farms to live and work with a family who has very similar ideals to my own. They are teaching my how to farm, and live sustainably, and in return, I use the skills they teach me on their farm. Along with immersing myself in a culture different from my own, I am learning skills that will follow me beyond the classroom, and into the way I want to live my life.</p>

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