Fencing & Friendships

Are you in a class right now?

Yeah! I’m in the Intro to 3D Design. It’s been pretty interesting, there’s some things where I’m really not sure what to do with the instructions given, but that’s any class.

What drew you to taking this class?

I needed to fill my schedule!

Where you interested in art, or was this a last resort?

I mean, I like looking at art, but I’m not particularly great at making it. 3D art, where you get to play with clay and cardboard was a lot better than 2D art, where you actually have to have an understanding of depth and how to draw a straight line, which, you know, I can’t.

Were you surprised at all at what you’re able to do?

Well, kind of the way he’s been doing it this year, is he gives us 15 minutes in class to explore one concept. Then later, we come back and improve upon whatever we made, but most people just ditch whatever they cobbled together with cardboard and hot glue in desperation and make something actually nice-looking, which is more than I can say.

Did you expect to be working with those kinds of materials?

My roommate took the class last semester, so as much as I was paying attention to what she was doing, and as much as we were in the same room at the same time, I kind of had an idea of what I was coming face-first into.

So you’re not as interested in art as one might presume a person taking an art class would be, but what are you interested in on campus or what have you gotten yourself involved in?

Well I’m a Psychology major, and I’m on the fencing team. It’s a lot of fun and there are a lot of crazy people. For some reason, there seems to be a certain sort of crazy that tends to be attracted to hitting each other with bits of pointy metal.

Did you do fencing before William & Mary?

Nope, I came freshman year with no idea which end to hold the sword from, they have basically been teaching me for the past four years and it’s really cool. There have been a handful of tournaments we get to go to every semester and it’s a lot of fun.

How do you feel about fencing, do you feel differently than when you had first started?

Definitely feels a lot less painful, because there are muscles that you don’t use in everyday life. Honestly, it’s a lot of fun and something I gradually built up confidence at.

Was anyone surprised that you took up fencing here?

Given my propensity towards whacking anybody with anything vaguely tube shaped when I was a child, I don’t think my family was particularly surprised. I think this was more seen as a “finally, she has an outlet.”

So what year are you?

A senior, which is a bit of a scary thought. Wow, it happened fast.

Do you have a bucket list of things you would want to do?

Not particularly, I’m kind of just hoping to take advantage of whatever opportunities show up. I’m not going to go out looking for 5,000 extra things to do when I’ve got three essays already due. Not to say that I still won’t procrastinate.

What has been something about the campus or the people that have been instrumental in the way you’ve taken on these past years?

Definitely the fencing team, when I came to William & Mary freshman year, I didn’t know anyone and was anxious with no friends. And then the fencing team was like “Hello! We’ll be your entire social life” and I was like “Okay!” So now I can’t get rid of these people… But it’s a lot of fun and they are always entertaining.

Did you have the opportunity to welcome the new freshmen into that too?

Yeah, I’m still kind of hoping that I can be the same kind of upperclassman to somebody as I had coming in. Lots of love and thanks to the people who’ve helped me through freshman year, because I did not know what I was doing.

Do you feel like you know what you’re doing now?

Well, I know where all the buildings are! At this point, I tend to forget that you need to budget out 20 minutes to get from one end of campus, because it’s just like ‘Oh, it’s just over there by the Rec…’ and then I realize I have to walk all the way to the Rec.

Are you going to continue on with fencing later on, after college?

Probably not, because fencing in college, you just have to pay club dues and you get a ton of college events. I get to go to those without spending thousands of dollars. Once I get to be an adult, then I’d have to find a club near me as I can’t go to a school one anymore. I have to pay for all my tournament fees, for all sorts of new equipment because the requirements for grown-ups are higher than the ones for school tournaments. I can’t get away with the 10 dollar blades anymore. Unfortunately, once you get out of school, fencing is much a rich people’s sport. I’m just enjoying it while I’m here.

What was the initial thing that motivated you to go to fencing?

Well, I was at the Activities Fair as a freshman, and I saw someone walking around with a sword, and I followed them!  

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