Story Time: Lighthearted Name, Adult Content
It’s Sunday evening and the Pugh Center, Colby’s multicultural common ground, is packed beyond capacity. More than 100 people are listening as Anna Caron ’13 tells the story of how she arrived at Colby despite the emotional difficulties of being estranged from her father while he was investigated for the murder of his best friend.
“I guess the theme of my story is resilience,” said Caron, who ended her account with tears as she told listeners she will get to renew her relationship with her father next year as she works for a teaching program near her old home in New Hampshire. Her father was found not guilty, after years of investigation.
Caron’s story is one of many being showcased in a new SGA initiative called Story Time. Inspired by a similar program at Williams, SGA President Morgan Lingar ’13 and Vice President Kareem Kalil ’13 wanted to initiate something similar at Colby to give students a chance to hear from their classmates.
“We ran [for SGA] under the platform of strengthening Colby’s community” Kalil said. “Story Time is great because in less than an hour we can learn a little more about the people we see on campus every day.”
If the number of attendants is any indication, this event is on its way to being a tradition. Each Story Time has garnered more listeners than the previous one, and the last speaker of the semester, Dom Kone ’13, packed Page Commons, a much larger venue, when he spoke about being an openly gay national track champion.
Kalil and Lingar pick speakers based on student nominations. In its first semester, students have heard from a diverse group of people – from Pandit Mami ’14, who spoke about his childhood in war torn Sierra Leone, to Elliot Marsing ‘14, who spoke about his harrowing experiences as an Alaskan fisherman during high school. Each speaker ended their story with a message to the audience, whether it was to go out of your comfort zone, or to stay hopeful.
“I’m a good friend of [Anna Caron]” said Shireen Smalley ’13, who was in tears after Caron’s presentation. “But I had no idea she was going through all of those things.”
After the presentation, Smalley joined the line of 10 to 15 people who waited to give Caron heartfelt hugs. Caron was all smiles. “This,” she said, “is the best part.”