Letters from abroad

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April 24, 2006

Letters from a broad features letters from Mills women who are currently studying away from Mills. This week's letter is from Taylor Conrad, a Public Policy major. Taylor is studying at Melbourne University in Australia.

Seeing as I am halfway across the world, I have a confession to make: I have always been a little doubtful of the whole "women's education." I look at my high-school friends and see them having these fabulous experiences in co-ed colleges, and I doubt my decision to attend Mills. I've always felt like I was missing out on something.

I have another confession to make: I no longer feel that way. Being a Mills woman comes in handy when there's a six-inch poisonous centipede threatening the life of your tent-mate in the Australian Outback. As a Mills woman, you have no qualms about combating the vicious thing, even after your tent-mate screams, "Get a boy! Get a boy!"

"We don't need a goddamn boy!" this Mills woman yelled as I sliced and diced the stinger-exposed monster into yesterday. Inhumane? Maybe. Evil? Probably. But, there's really no telling what I – someone who is a fan of catching spiders and setting them free outside – would do after traveling through the Outback for four days and encountering two of the world's most venomous snakes and a few of the world's most poisonous spiders.

I promise, though, living in Australia isn't always that combative. In fact, contrary to popular belief, there aren't kangaroos running around everyone's backyard here. Disappointingly, I can count the number of wild kangaroos I've seen on one hand. People here don't really wear khaki shirts and shorts too much… I've only seen this attire on fellow American travelers. Funny how that works out.

My Mills education has come to the fore-front in the real world. I feel like I have REALLY been able to use what I have learned – not just in classes, but in the Mills experience as a whole – and apply it to academic and social areas of my life. And the whole "women's education" now totally makes sense.

The other day, a woman told me her life was like a feast of delights, she didn't know what was coming next. She was so passionate about exploration and experience, and I could totally relate to her. It made me so thankful for this adventure that has been studying, living and traveling in Australia. It also made me thankful that I get to return to the wonderful place that is Mills. I'm so looking forward to coming back in the Fall. And pretty much rockin' it like every senior should!

Cheers,

Taylor


Letters from abroad was published on April 24, 2006 in Opinions

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