Spotlight: Student Rachel Pelican

By
October 30, 2003

How you can meet Rachel: She sells cookies on the steps
of the Tea Shop.

Born and raised: on an organic farm near Davis. “I admire
my parents who chose to remain ‘on the land,’ as it gives you real
perspective, and a true appreciation and understanding about
nature, food production, and seasonal living.”

Why she is at Mills: wants to see if women are nicer to
each other when there isn’t the immediate threat of sexual
competition. She wants to find out if all-women means
all-empowering.

Her major: Women’s Studies.

Recommends the following classes: Women and the Law,
Laurie Zimet (for the amount of pertinent and applicable
information); Race and Ethnic Relations, Bruce Williams (for
learning about/understanding contemporary racist ideologies);
History of the Civil Rights Movements in America, Andy Workman (for
dynamic presentation style and a more complete understanding of the
Civil Rights era, and the complicated plight of African
Americans).

She speaks: “I would like to add one thing. I want to
thank every Mills student who is kind, respectful and honest, and
who takes the time to dialogue with and know people, for Mills
truly has an eclectic, very unique student body. I don’t mean the
ones with their circle of four friends, who flash that plastic
smile, like everything’s “all good” when its obvious it isn’t. No.
I mean to say that, I recognize that Mills (as an institution)
encourages every woman to be the most she can be, and does not
necessarily (openly) encourage us to be compassionate and
understanding, or even open to learning about each other’s
differences (and similarities?). But each one of us can. I am just
putting forth a call to make change that is meaningful for
everyone, not just for ourselves. We have such a small population
of undergrads here that it is possible to make this college better
than it is today. Remember: it takes courage to open yourself up to
acknowledging that everyone is not sharing your experience; it
takes love to realize that under that “facade” everyone wants to
feel accepted, appreciated, and validated; and it takes time to
learn about yourself, which is the best use of your time. Instead
of worrying about how you compare to someone else, take some time
and go inside. Recognize that each of us is beautiful and perfect
in our individual manifestation, but never forget that we do, and
always will, depend on (and should be grateful of) every person;
for without each other and this forgiving planet of ours, we would
each be nothing. We only get one undergraduate college experience,
and I hope the future students of Mills feel less animosity, more
understanding, and a true way of feeling connected. I love you
all.”


Spotlight: Student Rachel Pelican was published on October 30, 2003 in Features

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