Macalester Today Winter 2011

4 firsts

Ben: Buffy, Frisbee, and the man cave

Apparently even East Coast prep school students are shocked by Macalester workloads. Or so says Ben Bernard, who graduated from Lawrence Academy in Groton, Mass., but has nevertheless found it “kind of a surprise to get here and actually need to work hard for good grades.”

At press time he was trying to complete his homework early in the day and early in the week so he didn’t “end up doing it all on Sunday night.” When he’s not studying, music lover Ben has been attending concerts at the Cedar Cultural Center and Epic Event Center in Minneapolis.

His first-year course, “Vampires: From Monster to Superheroes,” is his favorite. “So far we’ve watched Buffy (awesome), Blacula (even more awesome), and several old adaptations of Dracula, including Nosferatu (slightly less awesome).” The class, made up mostly of women, has also read Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Twilight.

kids at mac are friendly says Ben

Ben has found it easy to meet people at Mac, which he partly attributes to living on a “particularly tight-knit” all-male floor of Doty affectionately known as “the Man Cave.” He also plays ultimate Frisbee twice a week in front of the Leonard Center.

Starting college may have been harder on Ben’s parents than it has been on him, he concedes. He and his twin sister are their only children, and since they both left at once, it’s extra tough. “They’re dealing fairly well, but I get a lot of emails,” he says. “It’s one of those bittersweet things that must suck for parents: it’s nice that you did a good enough job raising your offspring that they can function on their own, but it hurts that they don’t really need you that much.”

Ben’s sister, Emily, is at Carleton College, just 45 miles away, allowing him to see her regularly. But he doesn’t envy her small-town college experience. “Carleton is in the middle of nowhere. Also the kids at Mac are friendlier and more willing to have a good time. It’s pretty much a constant library party over there.”

ben watching the snow

ben throwing a snowball

ben in his dorm room