Sophomore combines theatre with kindergarten
Mallory Schettine '17 of Schenectady, N.Y., has wanted to be a teacher ever since she can remember. With that goal in mind, she's combining her elementary education major with another - fine and performing arts.
Her dream? To become a kindergarten teacher who volunteers at a children's theatre.
"The drama department in my high school was one of the most supportive and educational places I could have been, with some of the most encouraging teachers who are still a huge part of my life today," she explained.
"I knew drama wasn't just a hobby. I have learned so many valuable life lessons from the theatre, such as time management, problem solving and how to present myself to the public. I knew I needed to continue that learning in college."
Although Schettine belongs to a number of clubs on campus, her favorite is Yorick.
"Yorick is full of brilliant, hilarious people who all have a passion for one thing: Shakespeare. Last spring we did a production of 'Pericles: The Prince of Tyre,' which is a play people might not necessarily know, but thanks to Yorick's talented cast, technical team and director, we brought it right into the minds of people in North Adams," Schettine said.
"While most people may be intimidated by a Shakespeare club, I would recommend it to people who don't think Shakespeare is the easiest to read," she continued. "The club members will go above and beyond to make sure you understand Shakespeare, and their passion is so contagious you can't help but fall in love with Shakespeare's work, too."
She's also involved with Student Teachers in Class Support (STICS).
"Not only is it a way to volunteer in classrooms, but it is great experience for anyone thinking about an education career," Schettine said. "My first assignment was to a sixth grade reading class. While the students and teacher were welcoming and made those Wednesday mornings the best day of my week, it helped me realize I wanted to teach younger kids.
"My spring semester assignment was in a kindergarten classroom, and it felt right. I was able to help kids develop base skills that they will need for the rest of their lives, and that's something I wouldn't have understood without STICS," she explained.
While she devotes most of her free time to Yorick and STICS, initially Schettine had a hard time choosing which extracurricular activities to focus on.
"My parents always told me that the way to turn school from a chore to an experience is to get involved," Schettine said. "So, on the first weekend of school, MCLA had this club fair where you could see a bunch of different clubs the College offers. I got carried away and signed up for 14 different clubs. There are so many fun ones to choose from!"
Also an admissions ambassador, Schettine says it's a fun way to show people the college she loves so much.
"You're more than just a tour guide. Ambassadors are a connection between interested students and the College. They're mentors, advisors, and all-around good people. I am beyond honored to be one."
What does she want prospective students to know about MCLA that she didn't discover until she became a student here?
"I was always told in high school that professors would never remember my name. Not only do my professors know my name, they know what I like. They know my strengths and my weaknesses. You won't be a face in the crowd. You won't get lost among the masses unless you really try. Everyone wants to see you succeed, and they will work just as hard as you to help you."