The Scarlet & Black

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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Students Speak: What’s in my bag?


What are the essential objects for navigating a liberal arts campus? Trail mix, mango Juul pods, a spare copy of Foucault’s “Discipline and Punish”? This week, The S&B’s Marnie Monogue ’21 and Shabana Gupta ’22 took to the campus to explore what a typical Grinnellian might be carrying with them in their backpack.


“So many folders. I like to print things out, so they’re real thick. … Lipstick, I have rosemary [essential oil], some crystals, a little lotion, some SHACS ibuprofen, hand sanitizer, a nail file, calculator, charger and my D-Hall hat. … The rosemary and crystals I use when I study and when I take tests.” – Rylee Beltran ’22

“I have two bags, so I have a lot of stuff. I’ve got my strep medication … my notebook and my folder and then my other notebook, and clearly I don’t use the folder I have, because I also just have a lot of loose papers. This book we’re reading for French, or just finished reading, called “Au commencement était la mer” … was really good. The language is really poetic and simple and really nice. In my other bag, I have … my P-Card, a pen, wallet, headphones, old Kit Kat wrapper, a Mitski ticket crumpled up and some earplugs.” – Victoria Park ’21


“This is my pencil pouch, there’s also a pad in there, a plastic fork, and a stapler. This is all my notebooks and stuff, so I have my stats binder, my sketchbook. My laptop also typically goes in here … and this is a hodgepodge. So there’s markers, but there’s also a baby first aid kit, two books, another sketchbook and a bag of Cheetos that I forgot about! And an umbrella. I have so much stuff going on, it’s kind of sad.” – Zainab Thompson ’22


“In the middle, that’s the oldest stuff from the beginning of the semester, and then new stuff just keeps on getting added to the outside. I have my laptop right here, not protected or anything. I have some sunscreen, one highlighter, some crumpled-up papers. … I have a really bad MacBook charger; it shocks me every time I plug it in. A passport. [A sticker] from the CLS. Yeah, that about covers it!” – Steven McDowell ’21

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