Matthew Armstead '08

Matthew Armstead '08, Theater, women's studies

Theater, women's studies
Poughkeepsie, NY

"I've worked with Darryl Smaw since going through the Winter Tri-College Institute my freshman year. It's been really fun, and now we have a personal basis from which to work.

"After my winter tri-co, we decided to reformat the diversity workshops held during orientation. Looking back, there is so much I didn't know, but we ran the training. After that, there was Beyond the Box, another event where I was really involved — everything from programming the workshops to picking up all the food for lunch. This was all volunteer work back then. I've been an intern since this fall.

"I like my life to not be just one thing at one time. I don't want to have tunnel vision. It's why I'm involved in so many things, and it's a large part of my Swarthmore experience.

"My time as a whole is pretty varied. From Friday night to midday Sunday, I don't pick up a textbook. I consciously decide not to. It challenges me, and doesn't make my life easy. But when I do have less to do, it makes it easier to get things done. I don't like being bored. I feel there are very few reasons to be bored. Life is just so full of so much.

"Now I have the ability to have conversations with people from different backgrounds or beliefs. It started for me in high school, but I've honed here how to form arguments. Swarthmore pushes you to fine tune your arguments in papers, but how to do that in conversation, where the goal isn't to prove yourself as the ultimate right, is something that all of the things I'm involved in helps me to do."