Exploring Intellectual Curiosity

Zoe Lockard

Zoe Lockard '13
BA in Literary Studies and the Creative Arts, Urban Studies

I had decided at sixteen, in rural Senegal, while interviewing a local midwife, that I would become a doctor. However, before planting my eye onto a microscope, I wanted to expand my arena of thought and indulge in the liberal arts. Therefore, when applying to university, I expected three things of the institution I was to attend for the next four years. First, it had to be within an exciting urban environment: I am a city rat. Second, it had to require my mother more than six hours to visit me: under six hours, she would have visited me every weekend. Third, it needed to be abroad: I did not want the typical American college experience. AUP embraced all these qualities. Due to my very French mother, I was luckily already fluent in French.

With no academic compass, I entered First Bridge, an interdisciplinary offering team-taught by two professors and specially designed to introduce new students to life at AUP. It was a marriage between art, philosophy, and the environment. For me, as a seventeen-year-old newly immersed in such a peppered span of academics, this course was an introduction into liberal arts and what was expected intellectually. It fulfilled and far surpassed my expectations. I was taught to think analytically, yet encouraged to express myself originally on paper.

My advisor, the truly amazing Jula Wildberger, planted a seed of curiosity, using ancient Greek and Roman philosophy as a carrot on a stick (not to say I am a horse, but it was a juicy carrot). The next four years were spent cultivating my bizarre marriage of majors and minors. I graduated from AUP, in four short years with a major in Literary Studies and the Creative Arts, a major in Urban Studies, and minors in Applied Mathematics and Philosophy. This looks like an unlikely combination, but these majors and minors blend together well. A city can be read through its literature and analyzed through statistics. Philosophy requires logic, which is nurtured through mathematics, and can be understood more deeply within its historical and urban context. I gained an acute perspective on the human body within the context of a cityscape. Much like a body, a city can disintegrate and become weak due to poor planning and lack of infrastructure to support it. My understanding of urban development and city planning helps me to comprehend the organizations dedicated to human health, how health functions among the complexities of human societies. I have acquired historical knowledge about the successful absorption or disastrous rejection of infrastructure, medical services for instance, in urban spaces.

Taking advantage of the plethora of classes in which my majors and minors let me indulge, I sat next to people with varied interests whose nationalities ranged from Egyptian to German to Kazakh to Colombian. With the math students, I struggled to reach the value of X - Eureka. Among the bookworms, we discussed each other’s analysis of Pynchon’s The Crying of Lot 49, each name-dropping obscure philosophers or schools of thought we thought applied to the chaos that is the novel. Every class had an inimitable flavor with people that propelled and tested my comprehension. And in the very intimate setting of each class, each professor was always very involved in expanding our views.

Creating my individual space within cosmopolitan Paris, I blossomed as a student and followed the whims of my intellectual curiosity. - Zoe Lockard

I crossed paths with people who had unique backgrounds and diverse mixtures of cultures. Never having been considered American or French but always a liminal creation of both that never belonged fully, I enjoyed studying alongside people whose idea of home was what they themselves had decided to call home. I met people who had lived in ten different countries, yet had chosen Paris as their stable home for the next four years, which in their eyes was a deep commitment. Our desire to live and participate actively in a city like Paris melded us more deeply than any dorm could have done.

After graduation and sending my deferred acceptance to the Post-Bac Pre-Medical program at Columbia University, I moved to Berlin. The desire to learn a fourth language arose from the exposure to German literature, German punctuality, German philosophy, and an admiration for the German urban boom taking place in its capital. Jetzt, spreche ich Deutsch fast wie ein Berliner—aber mit einen süßen Akzent.

At the end of a sabbatical of six months in gritty and buoyant Berlin, in May 2014, I will commence Columbia’s Post-Bac Pre-Medical program in New York City. Creating my individual space within cosmopolitan Paris, I blossomed as a student and followed the whims of my intellectual curiosity. With the help of AUP’s faculty, I can now look forward with confidence to meeting the demands of a challenging professional degree, while integrating into electric and bloodthirsty New York.

Meet more students and alumns from the Department of Comparative Literature and English.
 

Zoe Lockard

Zoe Lockard '13
BA in Literary Studies and the Creative Arts, Urban Studies

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    The Paris Summer School in Design at AUP gives students a unique chance to participate in an international teaching–led research workshop on design and performance. Read more...

  • mouse

    Online Privacy: the PRIPARE project

    A woman enters a liquor store. Within seconds, the man behind the counter has figured out her name, where she lives and her birthday. Read more...

  • Shadows

    Warhol's Shadows

    This fall, a landmark exhibit of Warhol’s work is opening at the Musée d’Art Moderne, co-curated by Professor Hervé Vanel. Read more...

  • Jura

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    Nibbling on a piece of rich, milky, nutty cheese might have more cultural implications than you think. Read more...

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    Varda from 4 to 6

    “Marie Regan, c’est Agnès Varda!” Professor Marie Regan had just received a voicemail from reknown filmmaker Agnès Varda and was playing it back to students. Read more...

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    Tired of studying art through slide projections? Come to AUP and learn from sitting in front of the original works themselves. Read more...

  • Opera Garnier

    Paris Through its Architecture

    What course enables you to discover Paris' rich architectural history while bonding with fellow students? Read more…

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    The Summer Creative Writing Institute offers students the opportunity to practice writing well-crafted fiction and literary nonfiction under the guidance of highly accomplished writers. Read more...

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  • Macarons-Workshop

    Macaron and Chocolate Making Workshop

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    Professor Hägel has developed a course that combines a research seminar with watchdog activism in order to scrutinize the power of the ultra-wealthy: “billionaireswatch.org”. Read more...

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    Proust and Beckett

    In “Proust and Beckett: The Art of Failure,” students read a selection of works from both authors, who are undoubtedly two of the twentieth century’s major prose writers, and explore their stories through museums and exhbitions. Read more...

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    Over the course of the semester, the student pairs learn their way around HD cameras, microphones, and the ins and outs of the editing program Final Cut Pro in order to produce two video projects. Read more...

  • Picture of students and visitors in the Louvre

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    The program's goal is to enter into dialogue with Louvre visitors around a work of art. The program was conceived to draw youth into what are often perceived as discouragingly daunting walls. Read more...

  • Fashion Journalism

    Fashion Journalism

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  • Picture of bookshelf

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