Personal Narrative: Thoughts on Kenyon’s Upcoming Poverty Simulation

The Thrill is proud to feature personal narratives. Today’s is authored by Alex Greenwald ’16. 

I didn’t grow up in poverty, but I was surrounded by those who did. About 76 percent of my elementary and high school classmates were on the free lunch program, and for many of them, that was the only meal they got each day. Several of my family members and friends are on some form of government assistance, even though they are able to and do work. As for my parents and I, we were always fine, but never what you would call “well off.”

I was not conscious of any of this until I got to Kenyon, despite the fact that one year on the Hill costs more than my parents earn annually (financial aid is a beautiful thing). However, almost immediately upon arrival in Gambier, I began to realize that my experiences at home put me in a minority here. Among the first things to greet me during orientation was an invitation to a dinner for first-generation students “who may find the transition to college overwhelming,” while legacy students had a private dinner in another room. Later, I found myself  in class with students who made comments about “poor people,” describing them as uneducated and uninformed. At first I tried to dispel these misconceptions, but eventually it became clear that I would not succeed. While I have had many empowering, enriching and joyful experiences at Kenyon, the message has been clear: if you don’t come from the same background as most of your classmates, you don’t belong, are assumed to be maladjusted to college life and an uncomfortable anomaly that has to be handled delicately. Continue reading

Personal Narrative: The Shape of Our Table and The Wall in Peirce

The Thrill is proud to feature personal narratives. Today’s is authored by Adam Rubenstein ’17 and was written in response to a previous narrative by Michael “Trixie” Kengmana ’14. If you have a personal narrative you’d like to share with the Kenyon community, please submit

Those of us who are students of modern American history have been treated to the ironic stories about Henry Kissinger and Le Duc Tho, and the arguments over the shape of the table that delayed the Paris Peace Talks. All the while American and Vietnamese soldiers and civilians were dying, and a generation of progress toward peace, prosperity and the conquering of poverty gave way to cynicism, deficits, and decay.  One generation later, divisions have been erased between the two nations, but the scars still persist: The Vietnamese environment was laid waste, and they are only now emerging from a failed communist experiment; America’s adventure in Vietnam transformed our political landscape. It forever changed the way we look at the application of power. Or at least we thought so, until Afghanistan and Iraq.

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Do it Tonight: POV x SpoWoCo, Evening of Spoken Word and Music


If you’ve been around Kenyon for a while (or read The Thrill frequently enough), odds are you’ve heard of the Project for Open Voices, a student coalition that publishes personal narratives of Kenyon students. Tonight, together with the Spoken Word Collective, they are hosting an Evening of Spoken Word and Music performances. To learn more about the Project for Open Voices, check out their first publication here (their second publication will be released tonight), or check out narratives that the Thrill has featured, here, here and here.

  • What – Evening of Spoken Word and Music
  • Where – The Horn Gallery
  • When – 8:30PM

Personal Narrative: “An Elementary School Bully Inside of Your Head”

The Thrill is proud to feature personal narratives. Today’s is authored by an anonymous student.

EDIT: Earlier this was posted as a piece from the Project for Open Voices. It is actually not POV sponsored, but just another kick-ass piece from the Kenyon community! 

Hi. I’m a Kenyon student, and talking to people makes me so scared that I start to shake sometimes. I’d appreciate it if you could take a little time-out from finals to listen to my story. It won’t take too long.

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A Rundown of Today’s Public Forum in Response to “The Good Samaritan”

Today, on Thursday February 1st, students, faculty, and members of the Kenyon community gathered in the Bolton theater to participate in a forum regarding the concerning nature of the former spring mainstage The Good Samaritan. Wendy MacLeod ‘81, both a professor of Drama and Playwright-in-Residence, wrote and then released the script to the Kenyon community in hopes of gathering feedback for the spring production. Since Professor Macleod’s student-wide email with the script, the campus has engaged in conversations about the racist and harmful themes throughout the play. We at The Thrill have already published two messages to the campus, from both students and faculty. We encourage you to read them both.

Professor Macleod initially released the script to the campus in order to engage in a dialogue between the community and herself. Over the course of the week, in reaction to rising demand to cancel the spring production, President Decatur released a statement encouraging discourse, protecting the spirit of academic freedom, and offering a slight change in events. Professor Macleod would no longer field questions and comments herself, but instead sit on a panel with relevant members of the campus community. President Decatur named Associate Provost Jeff Bowman as the moderator, and he invited Ivonne Garcia (Associate Provost and founding faculty of the Latin@ studies concentration), Balinda Craig-Quijada (Professor of Dance and chair of the Drama, Dance, and Film department), and Jonathan Tazewell (Professor of Drama) to sit on a panel with Professor Macleod.

However, on January 31st at 5:05 pm, Professor Macleod released a statement to the entire campus community, stating that she would be withdrawing the play and cancel the spring Bolton show. While never explicitly apologizing for the discomfort and harm her script caused for many, she did state she would no longer attend the panel– citing a hope “that the community can get to issues larger than a single play.” Many students (and faculty), including the writing and editing staff at The Thrill, found the lack of accountability both frustrating and disappointing.

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