Abigail Saltzman '20: Human Corgi, Feminist, Change-Maker

Name: Abigail Saltzman

Year: Class of 2020

Major: Political Science

Minor: Classics

Hometown: Millburn, NJ

Campus Activities: Epsilon Delta Mu, Wiggin St. Elementary Volunteer

Unofficial Work Study Position: Campus Vampire

 

Hey, Abigail! Thanks for meeting with me. First things first: what animal describes your personality?

I have to say a corgi. Physically and mentally. I have short limbs. I’ve been told that my personality also resembles a corgi. I haven’t really had the pleasure of spending much time with corgis. I would love to, sometime in the future. I do feel a special connection with them as part of the animal kingdom.

 

Tell me about your synesthesia. What's it like? 

I see numbers and very specific colors, and I also see numbers in a very specific plan in my head. So, like, your birthday, 4/30/98, would be purple, light blue, gray, and then 98 is orange and red.

 

On the topic of your extraordinary brain: do you and your sister have twin telepathy?

Short answer, no. Long answer? Since we were raised together, sometimes we do say things at the exact same time. Or, sometimes we’ll be able to guess numbers, which sort of touches on my synaesthesia. Like I’ll tell her the colors of the numbers and she’ll guess the numbers. But that’s cheating, not twin telepathy. You’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do.

 

 

What draws you to Classics?

I love how old it is. Like, I think it’s so cool that some of the greatest thoughts that have ever existed are from so long ago. So some people see society as always progressing, but so much of what we base our modern academics and society on is from so, so long ago. From ancient times. And I think it’s so cool that we can figure things out from that today. Also, some of it is so hilarious. Like Aristophanes. It’s so funny how we see the ancients as these boring old guys but they write these completely ridiculous plays and scenarios that are funny even today.

 

Besides the ancient Greeks, what does Kenyon Greek life mean to you?

For me, going into Kenyon, I knew I wanted to join a sorority because I’ve never been great at putting myself into new social experiences, so I knew that having a set group of girls to hang out with, whom I connected with, would be really helpful in putting myself out there and having a fun college life. And it turns out I hate all of you. (Just kidding.) I really connected with EDM the most during rush—I never felt like I had to put on an act when they were around me, which is a really good feeling.

 

 

What would you want a non-Jewish person to understand about Passover?

When I talk to people about the rules of Passover, they often ask very specific logistical questions, which for me has never really been the way I go about it. Especially since some of them do seem very arbitrary. For me, it’s all about doing what, historically, Jews have done. It’s more about what makes sense with the story of Passover. It’s less about being a religious follower and more about being in touch with the tradition of it.

 

What could Kenyon do to become more friendly to Judaism/Passover?

The Market could do a better job at selling Kosher and Passover food. Peirce’s food policies, too, make it impossible to take Kosher food out of the dining hall, which wouldn’t bother me so much if there were another place on campus to get it. I think, overall, lots of people in the school are not very conscious of what Judaism is. I don’t know if that’s Kenyon or if that’s people coming from backgrounds that I’m not conscious of, so I think a better dialogue about different religions—not just when specific holidays come up to force people to be conscious of them—would be better.

 

Let’s talk about the Women’s March on Washington. What was it like for you?

It was a very, very special experience for me because I felt like I was really a part of something bigger. I think we all had a very hard time with the election and the results, but seeing that all these people are with me, wanting to make a change just as I do, was very empowering and uplifting.

 

 

Could you explain your battle scar to me?

It was a Saturday night in February, and I was in a Milk, just, you know, being the social butterfly that I am, when—out of nowhere—a full closed can of Keystone Light struck me. It just collided with my face. I was in shock. I didn’t really feel pain at the moment until somebody told me I was bleeding, and that blood was rushing down my face onto my shirt. (The stains have since come out.) I rushed to the bathroom, with my friends to help clean me up, and a Band-aid was found to put on my face.

 

Is there a moral to this story, or is this just senseless collegiate violence?

Wear a helmet to parties. Always check your surroundings when standing still. Don’t bargain with your health, see a doctor. I like to call myself a survivor. Every time I drink Keystone, I consume the enemy. I think that’s very empowering… as a feminist.

 

How do you go about being such an empowered woman in the face of adversity?

I would say that what I've learned recently and what is very important is never to be afraid to be yourself, and it’ll make you feel ten times better every day knowing that you are putting out to the world exactly what you feel you are. Don’t put on a show for anyone. I would just say that society—oh, God, society, man—will always try to tell you, male or female, the way that you should be acting or the things that you should feel, but the only person who can do that is yourself. Lots of women today definitely need to hear that. It’s a hard thing to follow, but once you get there, it’s a very empowering thing.

 

Image credits: Amelia Yeager, Abigail Saltzman, Marcy Lefkovitz