Life At Ripon – Clarence Sanon ’15

Chapter 1: Awareness

[Editor’s Note: Clarence Sanon ’15, Rachel Detrie ’15, and Kaitlyn Welzen ’15 are writing rotating monthly entries for the Ripon College Newsletter chronicling their senior year experiences. We hope you enjoy their perspectives on Life At Ripon!]

Hi Readers,

This is my first blog EVER, so it is interesting that it would come through the medium of Ripon; nevertheless, I am excited to let you all get a peek inside my experiences at Ripon College. I am Clarence Sanon, a senior communication major and philosophy minor. Rhetoric is a passion that I had since before I realized what rhetoric even meant. The ways words and messages play a huge role in our everyday lives is incredible, and learning how to master persuasion is powerful.

I am from Chicago, the city of Bears . . . that includes baby bears too, Cubs. I don’t really get why the Sox named themselves the Sox, and I don’t know why they didn’t name themselves the Socks instead. I am not a fan of baseball, but if I were, everyone in Chicago would tell me I would have to be a Sox fan since I am from the Southside. I have 4 siblings, and we all are all just about 4 years apart (my mom swears she did not plan it out that way). My family is Haitian; my mother came from Haiti when she was about 21.

Many of the things I learned about life came from my mother. Not so much directly, but more so indirectly. Observation is an invaluable skill that humans naturally are born with. Learning and becoming something different than a first generation immigrant was something I had the opportunity of looking forward to. I attended Kenwood Academy which is not too far from President Barack Obama’s home (trust me, it is not as glamorous as you would think, especially when the secret service makes you late for school all the time). I never saw him in person, but many of my friends got to see him when he was voting at the grammar school not too far from us. All in all, I enjoyed Chicago and my experiences there. They shaped me into becoming the person I am today and prepared me, moderately, for life in a rural setting.

Luckily, for me, I was able to be in a city with a diverse populace and a high school with diverse students. I was challenged ethnically, racially, and intellectually by individuals that looked both the same and different from me all in the name of personal development. Living in a big city, modesty and holding back opinions was not something that we did (or at least I never did or ever noticed). Candor was revered in my community and high school, but such social interactions were different when I moved to Wisconsin. The Midwest “niceness” showed in my first couple of weeks here. Where I grew up, if a person has no inclination of speaking to you, he or she just said that. Being black on Ripon’s campus forced me to be more adaptive than I have ever been.

In my blogs this year I will focus on the experiences I have had on campus and how they have helped me shape my new view on the world and people. It will be a highly retrospective and introspective account of my college career. I hope a blog detailing what happened and is happening on campus from 2011-2015 will be just as fun to read as it was for me to write. I hope the lasting impression of this blog is that it makes you think about the time you were in college and if the social contexts have differed since you were here. If you are currently on campus reading my blog, then thank you for taking time to see what I have to say, and I hope that you can make a difference while still on campus.

Till the moon rises again,

Clarence Sanon ’15

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