Clarkie of the Week: Emma Dinnerstein

Drashhti Bilimoria, Layout Editor

Emma Dinnerstein (‘20) can often be found picking up way too many shifts at the info desk, volunteering for the community, and sending newspaper clippings to her adoring fans. By the way, she’s a salad.


Scarlet: What is home to you?

Emma: Oh wow, that’s starting out strong. I think home to me is where I’m the most comfortable, whether that’s with family or my friends or by myself, it’s where I’m most comfortable.


Scarlet: Tell me a little bit about yourself.

Emma: I am a Junior studying political science and art history. I’m originally from South Florida. I am 20 years old, I’m a gemini. My favorite color is purple, but I wear a lot of black.


Scarlet: Why did you pick Clark?

Emma: This is a long one, but my family’s from South Florida, so everyone just goes to one of the major state schools, and that’s it. It’s really the cycle that you find yourself in. The state schools are great, most of my high school stayed in Florida. I was part of the really small minority of people who didn’t. My dad, both his sisters, and one of my grandparents, all applied to Clark, all got into Clark, but did not go, and my mom’s younger brother also got into Clark and didn’t go. So when I was applying to schools, my dad asked me to look at Clark and I said, “yeah sure, whatever.” I looked into it, took the virtual tour, which was super confusing; I saw the free fifth year, and I didn’t really know what I wanted to do with my life so I thought, this is good. I applied, obviously I got in, and when I was comparing schools with my tests of financial aid and campus life, and where it was and all the other factors I was looking at, Clark was passing all the tests. My dad’s family wasn’t really on board with it at first; they didn’t want me to go to Clark, they wanted me to go to the University of Florida – but I put my foot down. I said, this is it for me. I want to go to this small school in the middle of Massachusetts that nobody knows about and they eventually got on board, and now we’re here, three years later.


Scarlet: Has it lived up to your expectations?

Emma: Yes and no. I think because I didn’t know anything about this school, it set new expectations, but I also think as I have stayed here for three years and have learned more about the expectations Clark puts out to the world of itself, it does not. *laughs* When you hear people talk about what it means to be a Clarkie and what Clark can offer you, I don’t necessarily see it sometimes, and I don’t know if it’s because what I’ve gotten myself involved in but sometimes I do feel that there is a discrepancy between what Clark puts out to the world and what it actually does for its students.


Scarlet: You’re studying abroad next semester. Can you tell me a little about that?

Emma: I will be studying abroad in London under the CAPA program. I have an internship with some British museum, they haven’t told me which one, and I’ll be helping organize community events and a lot of different community outreach and art programs they have at the museum. The haven’t told me which museum it is, I have a feeling it’s probably one of the national museums in the area, but yeah. I wasn’t planning on going to England, I was planning on going to Italy, but the internship that was being offered through CAPA was something that I was really excited about because I haven’t actually done a legit internship, I’ve just been working a lot, so it was exciting to do something that seemed to be what other college kids were doing and it was good to not have to think about it. It was like being handed one on a silver platter … like you’re going to go study abroad, you’re going to go to this cool place in Europe, and you’re going to get an internship, have a good ol’ time. So that’s probably why I was looking into England. That’s the main aspect of it. It’ll be exciting, and it’s easier to travel once you’re already over there. Everybody talks about it, but it’s different to actually experience it.


Scarlet: Yeah I’ve heard it’s cheaper to travel between countries as well.

Emma: It’s cheaper than traveling between the states. After England, I’m traveling to France because I have to leave the country after my work visa expires and it’s less than a $100 with my baggage and everything, and that’s very convenient.


Scarlet: I know you’re a Junior and it’s okay if you don’t have an answer to this, but do you have any plans for life after Clark?

Emma: I have a game plan. I’m looking to go into law school. I don’t plan on staying for the fifth year now. None of the fifth year programs really appeal to me in what I want. In high school I was in a program for law and history, so I’ve always thought of myself as working in the legal system, so I will be going to law school. I have finalized that internally. I don’t know what comes after law school. I don’t know if I will use my law degree, but I’m going to go to law school and I’m going to finish law school, and yeah, that’s the next step, taking the LSATS and going to law school.


Scarlet: Oh, are you part of the pre-law society here?

Emma: I get the emails. *laughs* Technically I am but I’ve only gone to a few of their events. I’m not really an active member. Mark Miller is my advisor and he also runs the pre-law society so we talk about it, but I’m not a deciding body. I just lay low, it’s not even on my resume, which is bad but…


Scarlet: We all know you’re very active on campus, so can you tell me a little bit about the various clubs and organizations you’re in.

Emma: So the first thing I’m involved in is the National Residence Hall Honorary, or NRHH. Basically, we are a community service club here on campus that does small projects on and off campus and around Main South area. I’m the membership chair for that club, which means I plan all the social events and I do all the induction events, national affiliations for members, stuff like that. So I have that responsibility and it’s just a nice way to do projects for community service but not be overwhelmed. It’s a nice middle ground to be a part of something, whether it’s really small and people may not really know, but it still makes an impact on some way. It makes me feel like I’m still doing something for the community.

The other major thing I am a part of is student council. I am one of the two representatives for the Johnson-Sanford dorm and I am one of the chairs for the finance committee, which allocates all the budgets and SAF funding for the hundred something clubs on campus. I also work at the information desk in the UC, mostly night shifts because I get a lot of work done. Those are probably the three things that keep me busiest. I feel like I’m not an exciting person.


Scarlet: No you are. *pause* I didn’t say that very convincingly.

Emma: *laughs* Yeah, so those are the three things I dedicate most of my time to.


Scarlet: What’s something people might not notice about you at first glance?

Emma: I’m legally blind. I can’t see past my own face, like its all blurry. On my license, I have something that says I’m legally blind. I can drive and everything because it’s correctable, so the vision is correctable, but it just means that I wear contacts and glasses. People are always freaked out when I put on my glasses, and i’m just like, wait, there’s more. It’s just a fun thing to bring up because a lot of people don’t understand the differentiation between total blindness and legal blindness but it’s basically correctable. But when I wake up in the morning, the world is blurry, and when I go to bed at night, the world is blurry


Scarlet: Last question. If you were any food what would you be?

Emma: Hmmm any food. Okay… a salad… and not like your traditional like lettuce salad. I’m thinking a salad could be versatile. I’m thinking you could make a fruit salad, you could make a pasta salad, you could make a lettuce salad, you could make a dessert salad, so I feel as a versatile person, a salad. You can make a salad whatever you wanted to be. I can be whoever I want to be because I’m a salad. It’s such a cheesy answer but I’m kind of digging it now. It’s also the same answer I would give if someone asked me what i would eat for the rest of my life – salad.