Incoming scholar Sass explains here her reaction to receiving the scholarship, what she’s apprehensive about, and her love for owls.
Greetings from Milwaukee, Wisconsin!
My name is Sasheene Little Feather Denny, but nearly everyone calls me Sass. I am both humbled and honored to be one of the recipients of the Davies-Jackson Scholarship to St. John’s in the Fall of 2013.
I am a graduate of Alverno College, a B.A. in History with a philosophy and elective studies double minor. The philosophy minor is self-explanatory, but the elective studies part was really my way of taking more philosophy courses. I prefer to think of my undergraduate career as examining the past and the ways of thinking that shaped it.
I love reading any and everything, my love affair with words translates also into many attempts at writing (although how good I am has yet to be seen), I am decidedly feminist, I play a mean game of Guitar Hero, I’m obsessed with owls, my favorite movie is When Harry Met Sally, and I am a dedicated Whovian. So this opportunity to travel across the pond has definitely sparked my geek flame!
I am also Native American, claiming ancestors in both the Oneida and Ojibwe tribes. Standing in my shoes, consideration of the past is colored with many different viewpoints, some painful and some infuriating, but through this process I truly believe that a better future can be built. That’s what I hope to do with the knowledge I’ll gain at St. John’s.
I first learned about the scholarship through my faculty advisor at Alverno, John Savagian. He explained the scholarship application process during a meeting and told me to take a few days and consider whether to apply. I told my family and friends and their response was a unanimous and an echoing “DO IT!” I followed their advice and the rest is, as they say, history!
Honestly, the chances of my receiving the scholarship were slim to none as far as I was concerned. I even planned out my graduate career by applying to various graduate schools. I was definitely NOT expecting the email stating that I was chosen. I was in shock and in some ways I still am. A mistake must have been made, my awkward mind tells me over and over.
My mom is both epically terrified and immensely proud, my best friend can’t stop bragging about me to random strangers, my other friends are all so supportive and the professors I’ve been lucky enough to learn from have been incredible in both their willingness to help me navigate studying abroad and in their pride in me. And me? I can’t stop thinking about the fact that I have never stepped foot outside of the country before and now I’m going to the United Kingdom for two years. It’s surreal when I consider where my life could have gone if I’d listened to statistics.
Preparing for St. John’s has mostly been fiscal up to this point. I am incredibly lucky in the support both my professors and the scholarship have provided. My brain is still dead from the semester and I haven’t had much inclination to read academically, so I’ve been catching up on my leisure reading list.
Preparing mentally is what I think I will find most difficult. I expect to experience a huge culture shock, and my greatest fear is that I won’t recover in time. I also fear that my awkwardness might lead me to do something laughable, as it is wont to do.
However, the fear is overridden by an incredible excitement. I don’t think I’ve ever wanted something to hurry up and get here while simultaneously wishing I had more time to prepare. Alverno College is more ability based, so my content knowledge isn’t quite up to par in my opinion. I plan to remedy that situation by soaking up as much as I can between now and October when term begins.
Aside from these obvious apprehensions, I am ready to begin this next chapter of my life and hopefully I can manage it with a good dose of determination, dedication and just a touch of sass.