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Photo by Matt D’Annunzio

Carmen García ’11


Hometown: San Diego, California

Who I was when I got to Reed: I got voted the biggest hippie in my high school, which is kind of embarrassing.

How Reed changed me: I learned how to harness the tools of intellectual and creative inquiry. Additionally, I have finely tuned my abilities of balance, having to juggle a full course load with three jobs, a social life, and enough sleep.

Influential books: Mallarmé’s Divigations, Deleuze’s Dialogues, and, of course, Don Quixote. I’m prone to exaggeration, but I think of my life in terms of before Don Quixote and after.

Favorite spots: The sauna! B.Y.O. lavender bath salts.

Random thoughts: When I first came to visit Reed, I sat in on a hum conference and I had the feeling that this was my place; that I needed to come here. I knew it was expensive. My dad and I found this empty classroom in Eliot and had a talk. I remember telling him, “I know this is the place for me.” And he said, “I really want you to go here, but we need to see about financial aid.” Because of that financial aid, the Edding grants, and the Reed grants, I was able to come here. I can’t stress enough what an incredible gift that is.

Cool Stuff I did: Climbed Mt. Hood and Mt. Adams. SEEDS. ESL coordinator. Barista at the Paradox. Dance! RAW director of artist hospitality. Translated poets. Spanish tutor. Studied in Buenos Aires. Lived in Old Dorm Block. Learned how to cuss in French. Read Baudrillard’s Simulacra and Simulation.

Adviser: Craig Epplin

Thesis: El Pulso del Mundo: Primitive and Posthuman Poetics in Vicente Huidobro’s Altazor

What it’s about: I analyze Chilean poet Vicente Huidobro’s avant-garde poetic school, Creacionismo, and its obsessive view of language as the intersection between modernity and prehistory. I look at how Huidobro uses the poetics of machinery, such as conveyor belts, windmills, and cars, in order to create a poetic gesture.

What it’s really about: Chaplin meets Cervantes meets Steve Reich.

What’s next: Summer fellowship with the Nation magazine, then teaching English in Paris. Then grad school in international foreign policy. I want to be a diplomat.