What is your preferred name and your major and minor?
My name is Mable Buchanan, and I’m an English major and Spanish minor.
What are some of the jobs you held while at McDaniel?
While I was at McDaniel I worked in a couple of different places. I worked for the phone center, Admissions, the Office of Student Engagement, and JeannieBird Baking Company on Main Street.
Did you enjoy your time at McDaniel? How?
I did enjoy my time at McDaniel! I tried to make it my own by trying to be as interdisciplinary and creative as possible. I was lucky to have two amazing independent studies, and to get to work on some really fun independent research projects through the Honors Program and summer research in the English Department, and I filled my schedule every semester (though I don’t necessarily recommend that). In my academic life I was trying to make the most of every second, and in my personal life I was lucky to find some wonderful friends from all over campus who helped to make every day unforgettable.
Who do you think is/was your best mentor(s)?
I had so many mentors at McDaniel! There is so much to learn from every single person here. Some people who I learned a lot from are Dr. Bendel-Simso in English, Dr. Upton in History, Dr. Regis in English, and Carol Zaru in Arabic, and my favorite class was Poe with Dr. Kachur. I know that wasn’t part of the question, but that was the perfect class and anyone interested in the sensation tale or Antebellum authors should take it so they can all read Poe and be happy together.
What is your best memory at McDaniel?
My best memory at McDaniel is still the 3K that I ran with Lucy Benson and Mollie Murphy my junior year, where I was seated last (expected to run 5 minutes slower than the next slowest runner) and they both ran the race with me and helped me hit a faster pace so I wouldn’t have to run alone. I have so much to thank the Cross-Country and Track teams for, even just helping me to discover something that makes me a stronger and happier person! Now I’m starting a new set of training after finishing my first half marathon ever, and I feel really lucky that the program welcomed me my junior year (despite my utter lack of skill or experience) and that Coach Renner helped and encouraged me through each meet, practice, and round of shin splints until I was able to grow as an athlete both physically and mentally.
What were some of the challenges you encountered and how did you overcome them?
There definitely were challenges. When I began to make a point of trying new things, (chemistry, ASL, and music theory would be good examples) at first it was really disheartening when many of them didn’t come naturally. But some of my professors were very supportive and helped me, and I learned both to not give up and to celebrate small successes. There were few woes that office hours, long nights in the library, a long run to think, and Ben & Jerry’s dairy-free ice cream couldn’t help alleviate, and even those woes helped me to learn more about my limits and how to healthily go beyond them.
What are your plans for after graduation?
My plans for post-graduation are still dependent on where I hear back from, but in general I would be really happy to pursue a career in a field where I can use creativity to help people.
What advice can you give to those not graduating?
My advice to anyone not graduating is to try new things (even the ones you’re not good at!), make a point of doing things you’re afraid of (it’s worth it, I promise), and to appreciate the people around you! Some of the most rewarding experiences I had at McDaniel were the result of joining groups or communities I would never have expected to be a part of, learning from professors from very different disciplines, and working outside of my comfort zone. Make the most of every second!
Is there anything else you want to share with the McDaniel community?
I am so grateful for my time at McDaniel and happy that I was able to find the kind of place that fosters creativity, is interdisciplinary and globally-minded by necessity, and encourages students to succeed but also provides the challenges we need to grow. I would also like to share that my final project in the Honors Program is a rap musical puppet show about my Edgar Allan Poe research, because I think that sums up exactly both how I approached my time at college and how McDaniel stepped up and gave me the opportunity to explore, be creative, and put heart into every new thing that I learned.