What Is A Reedie, Anyway?

Heather Hambley

Classics

September 1, 2014

Hometown: Albany, Oregon

Adviser: Prof. Jessica Seidman [classics 2013–]

Thesis: “Gender- and Genre-Bending in Ovid’s Heroides 16 and 17”

What it’s about: Ovid experiments in the margins of traditional, male-dominated epic mythology, and crafts a fictional epistolary exchange between the lovers Paris and Helen of Troy to subvert stereotypical gender norms. 

What it's really about: Ovid writes fan fiction.

Favorite class: In Gender and Theatre, we studied Takarazuka (the all-female Japanese musical troupe) one day and RuPaul’s Drag Race another. Prof. Kate Bredeson [theatre 2009–] has done an amazing job of facilitating an experience that is inclusive.

Favorite spot: I love how I can just walk by the classics professors’ offices, stick my head in the door, and chat. The professors here are so accessible.

Cool stuff I did: Developed a data management system for community safety, backpacked in the Olympic Peninsula, taught a summer art class to ninth graders, tutored writing for Humanities in Perspective (a collaboration between Oregon Humanities and Reed that holds a free humanities class for adults living on low incomes), started attending Quaker meetings.

Who I was when I got to Reed: I came from a small, evangelical high school that praised people for being bubbly, outgoing, and sweet. I internalized this model, making small the parts of me that craved quiet and reflection, things that I needed to honestly connect with those around me. Coming to Reed, I looked forward to freely exploring these parts I found most meaningful: silence and resting and listening.

How Reed changed me: I used to either completely reject other people’s ideas or completely conform to them. Reed has taught me to negotiate these extremes, and how to collaborate and to trust myself.

Financial aid: I had tons of financial aid, including work-study, a Pell grant, a Reed grant, an Oregon Opportunity grant, etc. I would not be here without the generosity of Reed.

What I would tell prospies: You actually begin learning when you become practiced in saying, “I don’t know” without fear.  At Reed we say, “I don’t know, but I want to,” which takes it to the next step.

What’s next: Teaching Latin at a local high school.