The bee suit is white but stained with gold. (These colors remind me of my grandmother, who always wore white with gold; she was very glamorous.) I walk slowly down the hallway because the suit is too big—the legs fall over my shoes and onto the ground. A long string, wrapped three times around my waist then tied in a clumsy bow, attaches the veil to the coveralls. I wear canvas gloves with the fingers gummed together. 

From week to week, I can see the details of my life with clarity because I immerse myself in them, but the overall purpose may elude me. When I look at the colony, it is exactly the opposite. As we open up the hive, I see the system functioning as a whole, though I don’t fully understand its intricacies. It’s sometimes hard to see things both ways. 

—excerpt from Emma L.’s Common Application essay, with some photographs of her rooftop bees. —Sarah

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    emma is the coolest. i love her
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Artifacts from applications to Bennington College

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