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Photo by matt d'annunzio

Rachel Apone ’15


Hometown: North Bend, Washington (where Twin Peaks was filmed).

Who I was when I got to Reed: I had recently battled severe depression and was attracted to Reed because it emphasized diversity and expanding people’s experiences.

How Reed changed me: The most transformative aspects of Reed for me were the moments of unintentional, unconscious learning from my peers and professors.

Word to prospies: Some days Reed will be overwhelming and stressful, but it will augment you so profoundly that it is definitely all worth it.

A concept that blew my mind: In The Gender of the Gift, Marilyn Strathern talks about how in Melanesia individuality is about eliciting reactions from other people who define your personhood. Gender isn’t defined by your body, but is more an elicited form or essence.

Obstacles I overcame: I was diagnosed with ADHD my freshman year—a transformative but difficult experience. Because Reed is so rigorous, I viewed it at first as something holding me back, but as my Reed experience progressed, I came to see my ADHD as an asset.

Outside the Classroom: Played in both the orchestra and chamber quartet. Played tango music with a professional group from Argentina. Mentored for Eye to Eye, a program that matches college students with elementary students who have ADHD or other learning disabilities.

Thesis: Defacing Things: Emerging Pentecostal Modes of Action in Papua New Guinea 

What it’s about: In Papua New Guinea the Speaker of Parliament removed traditional artwork from the Parliament building because he believed the artifacts contained evil ancestral spirits and PNG is a Christian nation. He was criticized for not respecting Melanesian culture. But I take another perspective. As a Pentecostal he has a different stance on materiality and what can be known about the world. You have to continually reconstitute the past in order to break away from it. I also look at the murders of suspected sorcerers in PNG, despite the population’s conversion to Christianity.

What it’s really about: The charismatic Christian public in Papua New Guinea.

What’s next: I’m considering graduate school.