Alumni Spotlight - Deirdre Marie Jones
"I feel that because of Abintra, I have had a genuine passion and curiosity for learning and reflection instilled within me."
|Deirdre in France|
Abintra: Tell us a little about yourself.
Deirdre: I have just moved to Marseille to continue an internship I started through the Vanderbilt study abroad program with an organization called "L'Association des Travailleurs Maghrébins de France," an organization for social justice and development for North African immigrants in France. I currently work with both a women's group and a children's group that helps nourish their development and integration into French society. This is also the first year of my life that I can remember not swimming competitively! I swim for the joy of it, my last swim was in a wetsuit along a fjord in Marseille, the water was so clear that I followed some fish darting around under the water! I also absolutely love ballet, and with swimming less have re-followed this passion by taking Russian Vaganova ballet classes. I speak French all day long now, my English has developed some French pronunciation and vocabulary to it, and I even forget English words sometimes that I know in French!
|Deirdre in her Early Childhood years|
Deirdre: Without doubt the 'Kitty Club.' Using the utmost creativity and ingenuity, a handful of girls at Abintra created a little club with our headquarters underneath the branches of a small pine tree on our beautiful playground. The Kitty Club endured throughout almost my entire time at Abintra (starting at age 5!). Each girl made their own Kitty character, mine was an orange and gold striped tabby named Sundrop. The club was led diligently and respectfully by 'Lilybug' (aka Sophie Diehl). We played and acted like curious little kitties all day long, even throwing some of the yarn from the arts and crafts box around the meeting rug and making mewing noises in our classroom! We made illustrated story books recounting our adventures, even had monthly newsletters with kitty quizzes and illustrations drawn by hand with the Diehl house as the official printing press. We developed a place for our imaginations, creativity, and more than anything for friendship.
Abintra: If you could give one piece of advice to a current Abintra student, what would it be?
Deirdre: Don't be scared of not being able to succeed or fit in the world 'outside' of Abintra. Abintra has helped you to develop an invaluable curiosity and consideration for the world around you, these are special gifts that will constantly shape your life and they are worth more than you could know!