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Send a message to Ben Osterlund
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The people at this school are what make Vanderbilt a special place. It's such a friendly group; I've always had people who can help me with my work if I need it, or will come with me to a concert or new restaurant in Nashville. In classes, in my freshman and sophomore dorms, and in the organizations I've been in, I've met amazing people who push me to succeed and be better everyday.
Describe a favorite activity/organization and why you like it.
I joined Vanderbilt Spoken Word because one of the RAs in my freshman dorm heard me freestyle (Sam Edwards; he's also a Tour Guide) and said I should try it. From the get-go, VSW has been such a welcoming group, and I love going to meetings just for the people there. That said, this is a group that's got bars! I was lucky enough to be able to perform a rap piece as part of a group in last year's VSW Showcase, and it's easily been one of the highlights of my Vanderbilt experience.
Describe a favorite class and why you like it.
Last year my freshman writing seminar was about Ancient Latin Civilizations. I hadn't had much exposure to the Inca, Maya, and Aztec empires; my professor was so passionate about the history of these places that the class couldn't help but be caught up in the subject. I learn all about the Spanish Conquistadors, the in's-and-out's of each of the empires, and I analyzed a legitimate 16th century Guatemalan pictograph for my final project. It was an awesome experience.
Describe your experience becoming a part of the Vanderbilt community.
On my freshman floor, Hank 6, beginning the first week of school, everyone would hang out in our common room at all hours of the day. It became an implicit rule for the floor: if you weren't in class, if you didn't have a test you need to study for, you were in the common room. We would play Wii, talk about politics, fantasy football, then go out to dinner, breakfast, or get haircuts together. It was awesome to have a core group of fiends from the very beginning, and coming back from class or studying I always loved walking through our commons room and spending time with everyone.
What are your favorite books?
Lord of the Flies, The Old Man and the Sea, The Art of Fielding, Life of Pi, Strong Inside (this year's Vanderbilt book)
Who are your favorite music artists?
Chance the Rapper, Future (who have both been to campus in the past three years for performances), Kanye West (who I saw in Nashville), Drake, and Frank Ocean
What are your favorite TV shows or Movies?
Chicago Cubs baseball, plus I'm a big documentaries guy, so 13th and Louder Than a Bomb are two of my favorites