Allegheny pushes its students to find a way to leave their own marks on the college. Bonner Service Scholars are tasked with opening up new community service projects on campus. The I Heart Meadville group opens connections between Meadville businesses and Allegheny students. With graduation coming up I’ve been wondering how I will be remembered on this campus. As it turns out, it was easier to build a legacy than I thought.
I still remember my first open mic night at Grounds For Change (GFC). I was the only person to do slam poetry after an endless string of musicians and singers so I was pretty nervous. Nonetheless, I swallowed my butterflies and did my poem. After that first performance, I couldn’t be stopped from going to open mic nights*. My sophomore year a few of my friends were always asking when I’d be doing poetry again. My junior year it was more than just my friends. People were introducing themselves to me at GFC and at parties. I was requested at open mics. Even if I just went to observe, a sign up sheet was thrust upon me. There’s a joke among my friends that I have a fan club at Allegheny. It’s funny because it’s almost not a joke. Gator Activities Planning (whose members attend open mics) even brought two slam poets to Allegheny this year. Coincidence? I think not.
The point of all this is that I found something that made me truly unique at Allegheny. I found a new way to connect with my peers when I was sure they wouldn’t understand me. Now they want to write their own poetry and they film me when I’m on stage. I’m proud to say that I’ve built a tradition of poetry at Allegheny, one microphone at a time, and I can’t wait to see the next generation of poets.
*This is actually not true My homework has kept me away from many an open mic night – but not all!