That Girl: Carolyn DiProspero
January 29, 2010
__Carolyn DiProspero, a history and government double major from New Jersey, is cheerful and animated when we meet at The Daily Grind Wednesday morning. At first glance, one would not think that she is a big colonial history buff, part of her attraction to the College of William and Mary, with a soft spot for philanthropy, both with her sorority, Kappa Alpha Theta, and the campus sexual assault awareness group Every Two Minutes.__
*What are the differences between New Jersey and New York?*
Not that different. It’s not really exactly what it’s portrayed to be on television, like “Jersey Shore.” I love the show, but that’s, like, a small population.
*What kind of extra curricular activities are you involved in?*
I’m in Theta. I’m also involved in Every Two Minutes; it’s this group on campus that does all-female sexual assault awareness, education, prevention. I’ve been involved since my sophomore year. [I’ve] also [been] involved in Orientation as an orientation aide for the past three years. As a senior, I don’t really have anything to do now. I’ve kind of phased out all the leadership positions. I feel like I have so much free time.
*What do you do with your new free time?*
Well, I’ve been trying to really pay attention to my classes because I’m in this program that’s a five-year program for education, so next year I’ll be here working on my Master’s in elementary education. So I feel like it’s clear that what I’m learning in the classroom I’m going to need next year, especially in terms of education psychology. So I have this sort of epiphany like, “Oh my gosh. I’m going to be responsible for children.” That’s kind of a scary thought.
*So you’re a government and history major and you’re doing an education program?*
I didn’t realize I wanted to do the program until this past summer when I worked at a summer camp with kids. I had done work with kids, and I was enjoying it, but I feel like I need some sort of job where it’s different every day, because I can get bored with things very easily. So I feel like, being a teacher, it would be different every day, and it’s always changing. I was just kind of floating through a liberal arts education until I decided that I wanted to be a teacher. Then, luckily, the school had this program that you apply to by the second semester of [Junior] year, and I got in. I just had to take the GRE, and so it was a pretty sweet deal. Obviously it’s William and Mary, so it’s going to be a good education.
*What made you want to be involved in Every Two Minutes?*
Well, one of my friends in high school was sexually assaulted at a party our senior year. She didn’t really say too much about it, but she kind of hinted at it. I had no idea what to do, how to help her. I just did what I thought was best, which was be there for her and talk to her. But when I got here and I saw the program that we do for freshmen, I just thought that that was something that I’ve never really learned about. Sexual assault is kind of a taboo issue. I just kind of wanted to learn more about it. And I feel like my reasons to be in the group have kind of expanded since I’ve been here. Since it’s a taboo issue and people don’t really talk about it, you don’t really realize how many people have experienced either some form of sexual assault or felt uncomfortable in a situation, like out at a frat-dance-party kind of thing. So that has really motivated me. And the people that I’ve met at Every Two Minutes have been really motivating as well.
*Is Kappa Alpha Theta involved in any activities that stand out for you?*
One thing that we do that I really liked a lot: Our philanthropy is CASA, which is Court Appointed Special Advocates. They work with kids through the court system trying to be a voice for those kids in terms of divorce cases or child abuse, stuff like that. There’s a chapter right up Jamestown Road, so we usually have a couple interns there, [as well as] our philanthropy; all the benefits go to CASA. Last semester I went to CASA as part of an envelope-stuffing thing, and it was really cool to make that connection because, as service chair, I have worked to raise money for this cause, but I feel like there’s that stereotype that sorority philanthropies are meaningless. But it was good to make that connection and attach a face and people to that name we were working so hard to raise money for.
*What is a crucial part of your day?*
I usually go to Colonial Williamsburg. Being a history major and coming to William and Mary, that was a major draw for me. And I just love going down there with one of my close friends. That’s something I do pretty much every day. Just like a loop around DoG Street. It’s nice to get out of the house and get away from studying. And I just love the atmosphere and people-watching. It’s really funny watching tourists.
*What period of history do you find the most appealing?*
Colonial history. The things I’ve been able to do through the history department have been amazing experiences. My freshman seminar was on a Saturday morning at like, 9 o’clock. But, it was the first semester of freshman year, so I really don’t regret doing that. We would get up and go to Blair [Hall] and have a lecture for 50 minutes and then get in this van and drive all around Virginia, going to these historical spots that were dated anywhere from 1600 to 1800. My professor, professor [Jim] Whittenburg, who is also my adviser is just so knowledgeable and so interesting.
*Do you have any superstitions?*
I’m really not into superstitions. I’m really into “You are what you make it.” Well, I can’t get out of bed on the left side of the bed. I always have to get out on the right side. It’s a weird quirk.
*What are your biggest fears?*
I feel like I’m very into, as a second semester senior, missing something. I know that sounds kind of lame, but I kind of wanted to soak it all up, so I guess right now my biggest fear would be that I would miss out on some really awesome opportunity. But I think every day is a new opportunity.
__On that happy note, we end our interview. With a smile, Carolyn heads out the door of The Daily Grind and back into her favorite colonial wonderland to continue her new-found free time.__