This interview of Teaghan Rose was originally published in the Summer 2021 issue of the Open Conenctions Magazine.
What led you/your family to OC? Before OC, I attended an online charter school for three years. I found that staring at my computer for most of the day was not how I wanted to spend my time, especially at 15. My younger brother and sister were already attending OC so I decided to try it for a year and ultimately stayed until graduation.
At what age did you start at OC? What programs were you involved in? I started attending OC when I was 15 in the Shaping Your Life Program.
What favorite memories of OC would you like to share? I volunteered in the Open Program (4-8 year olds) once a week during my time at OC. Working with younger children was a grounding experience and gave balance to my time in Shaping Your Life. I remember fondly playing in the creek and forest and enjoying the natural areas of OC with the Open Program.
What have you been up to since OC? My first stop after OC was studying at College of the Atlantic, Maine, for 4 years where I earned a degree in Human Ecology and focused on food systems and foodways. While at College of the Atlantic I took a range of fascinating courses, worked with migrant farmworkers, and was an Acadia Scholar Fellow in Acadia National Park for a summer. I also took advantage of a study abroad opportunity in Spain where I studied foodways around apple cider and cheese in the Cantabrian Alps. I have been living in Rome, Italy, for the past two years and completed my MA in Food Studies in December 2020. I have just completed an internship with USAID’s Forestry and Biodiversity Office and Bureau for Resilience and Food Security and am preparing to start working with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations’ Office of Emergency and Resilience with a focus on Yemen.
How did OC impact you? What did you find useful? I found the independence that OC gives you in terms of managing learning/academic work to be helpful, especially once I started college. I remember many of my peers struggled with time-management during my first year of undergraduate work but I was able to manage my time in a healthy way thanks to my experience planning aspects of my academic path in conjunction with my programs at OC.
How did OC hone your Self-Understanding? Being able to explore what I was truly interested in at OC was important as I discovered both myself and—down the road— what I wanted to do as a career. Today, I have many interests and I can thank OC, in part, because I was supported in learning about any interest I had.
In fifty years, what five things will you remember about OC? 1. Open Mic Nights 2. Working on my Symposium speech in the Loft 3. Shaping Your Life spaghetti fundraiser nights 4. Sitting on the bridge over the stream with the Open Program youth 5. Assisting Mollie with After-Program Ceramics Program
If you had not gone to OC, imagine how you might be different? As I have gone through my formal education and now starting my career, I have been hearing more and more about the value of being interdisciplinary, both in education and in my field. OC instilled in me a solid understanding of the benefits and value of an interdisciplinary understanding which I don’t think I would have embodied in my knowledge of my field, to the extent that I do today, if I had not attended OC. Understanding the interdisciplinary nature of the real world and solutions to global issues is becoming more important and having such a strong background in the concept has been an advantage.