Orientation and Possibility

Posted August 26th, 2011 by Albert DeCiccio Ph.D., Provost, Southern Vermont College

As we begin a new academic year—with new faces in the student body, the staff, and the faculty, in newly renovated spaces, all within the beauty of Southern Vermont’s Green Mountains—I want to offer everyone a gift. 

Please read “I Dwell in Possibility” carefully, enjoy the word play, and consider how it may affect this Orientation weekend.

I Dwell in Possibility

Emily Dickinson

I dwell in Possibility–
A fairer House than Prose–
More numerous of Windows–
Superior–for Doors–

Of Chambers as the Cedars–
Impregnable of Eye–
And for an Everlasting Roof
The Gambrels of the Sky–

Of Visitors–the fairest–
For Occupation–This–
The spreading wide my narrow Hands
To gather Paradise—

Among other topics, Emily Dickinson was writing about the possibilities inherent in poetry that are less likely with prose. I think the poem speaks to what it means to be in a college like SVC. 

I write this because, at SVC, learners complete academic and civic work by demonstrating the capacity to think critically and creatively.  In so doing, in a sense, learners acquire the ability to “gather Paradise,” or to change our world in dramatic ways, following in the footsteps of such recently discussed agents of change as Gloria Steinem, Steve Jobs, and Richard Wilbur.

Welcome everyone to the possibilities of Southern Vermont College.



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