Movie TimeGAMBIER, Ohio (February 25, 2011)
Are the liberal arts a form of self-defense? Watch "Into the Minds of Kenyon Students" to find out. The video clip by student filmmaker Jack Whitacre ' 12 received the $500 first prize in the Kenyon student video contest, sponsored by the Office of Public Affairs. The contest invited students to create short videos about "real Kenyon," to give viewers a feel for what makes Kenyon the distinctive, quirky, "different" place that it is.
Whitacre's decidedly quirky video featured not only self-defense (in the form of a muay thai workout in the Kenyon Athletic Center) but also Middle Path, a full moon, and a pre-med philosophy major speculating drily on how writing a good paper is like the movie Inception. Whitacre also used his own music in the clip.
Second prize and $300.00 was awarded to Gracie Gardner '13 for "The Matador." Gardner's submission reenacted a 2009 prank played by students who placed a portrait of a Spanish matador in Peirce's Great Hall, where the walls are adorned with portraits of Kenyon's early benefactors and presidents. Unnoticed by Kenyon administrators for several months, the dashing matador occupied a proud place in the gallery of historical figures and became something of an inside joke among Kenyon students.
Sophomores Nicholas Nazemi, James Neimeister, and Jack Mankiewicz split a $100 third prize for their submission, "Kenyon College Modernization," a spoof about Kenyon's student apprentice teacher (AT) program in foreign languages. The program is designed to increase practice in speaking through interactive drill and conversation sessions led by student ATs, who often bring touches of humor to their work. "We took these humorous elements and brought them to their (il)logical extreme" in making the AT "an emotionally fragile robot," said Neimeister, who is majoring in Modern Languages and Literatures.
Judges for the contest were Director of Public Affairs Shawn Presley, Director of New Media Patty Burns, film professor Jon Sherman, Alex Kaplan '11, and cartoonist and filmmaker Dan Shefelman '84 P'14. The videos will be featured on Kenyon's YouTube site and Facebook page and will be made available on the College Web site.