Celeste Robinson, ‘06
"FCS gave me the tools to manage conflict by remembering that all I can do is assert my truth and listen compassionately to others."
These days, I'm living and working in Minneapolis, where I never would have expected to find myself but now love. The community organizing I did in college around labor and housing issues in the Twin Cities gave me a strong social network and familiarity with the city, so I stayed after graduating. Those same connections led me to a job as a full-time community organizer on the campaign to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour in Minneapolis. In my free time, I do a lot of reading, cooking, and sitting on my front porch (when it's not snowing).
I am really excited about the politics of translation. I'm studying Arabic, and in the next couple years I hope to dig into the ways American media and political discourse deals with translations of texts, speeches, and terms from Arabic into English. I think it's a vital point of inquiry about Western and American conceptualizations of Islam and the Middle East.
The most important thing I learned at FCS was how to use "I statements." They drove me crazy at the time, but I think they ultimately framed the way I think about conflict, difference, and integrity. I'm a passionate and enthusiastic person, and I think I'm naturally inclined to bring that energy into disagreements. It's easy for me to stop listening, but FCS gave me the tools to manage conflict by remembering that all I can do is assert my truth and listen compassionately to others.
It's hard to pin down just one important teacher at FCS; I remember feeling like I had such a deep relationship with each teacher every year. Each was formative to my sense of self and my experience of being a child. Mr. Mark deserves a special shout-out, though—his catchphrases are still part of my vocabulary.
Sidwell Friends School
Macalester College, B.A. in English and Arabic & Middle Eastern Studies