Macalester Today Winter 2011

4 firsts

Sam: Bagpipes, recycling, and art

Sam Leopold-Sullivan, who plans to double major in art and environmental science (“I’d like to be able to afford to eat when I’m done with college”) is already diving into the art half of that equation.

Her first-year course is 3D Design with art professor Stan Sears, which included making a lantern for his annual Lake Pepin Art+Fire Festival. She also keeps busy with her own projects, having by October designed and produced a necklace, a dress, and an incandescent Mohawk—made of tiny lightbulbs—to wear to the Art+Fire event. “I like everything about college,” she announces, “especially the art department, where you can make stuff for three hours and have it be a class.”

I like everything about college, says sam

On the science side she’s taking a climate systems class (“I didn’t expect it to be so physics-heavy”); she’s also enrolled in beginning Russian. (“I wanted to take a class with a different alphabet and Arabic was full. But the Cyrillic alphabet is hard to get used to.”) Sam is enthusiastic about the sunny and mild fall weather St. Paul enjoyed this year, noting that in October it’s usually still 100 degrees back in her hometown of Phoenix.

What else does she like? Free bagpiping lessons, Ax Man Surplus, the Minnesota Orchestra, student-organized dances, the knitting club, the Art Alliance, food at Café Mac (“it’s really good and mostly healthy”), the variety of people, even her job in recycling—at least on the nights she can avoid dorm duty (“too many bottles with liquid left inside”). She’s less entranced with her dorm room (“half the size of my room at home and I’m sharing it”).

Next semester she hopes to take a fiber or sculpture class and to continue playing with pipe band; next summer she’d like to find an internship in fashion or jewelry design in almost anyplace but Arizona (“In the summer the minute you step outside you’re a raisin.”)

As the only child of a single mom, Sam is deeply missed at home but says, “Mom’s doing pretty well. It helps that she started a new job this fall. But we do call and email a lot.”

ben watching the snow