By Kandace Fung (CMC) '19
The Scripps Voice: Tell me about yourself.
Ellie Taw: My name is Ellie, and I’m from La Canada, California, about 35 minutes away. I’m an only child, but my grandma helped raise me, so I did have company while growing up. My family is just me, my parents, and my grandma who still lives with us. I grew up in a pretty small town where everyone knew each other. The schools were also pretty small, and I really enjoyed that. That’s why I chose Scripps because of intimate size and that community.
TSV: What do you like most about going to school close to home?
ET: I love going to school close to home just because I don’t go home that often, but it’s nice to know that I can have that support immediately. Also just because when I was choosing Scripps, I don’t know, there were a lot of factors: just what Scripps had to offer, but also considering the fact that my parents are growing older and that after college I’m probably going to move out and who knows where I’m going to be. I came to thinking, “Wow I don’t have a lot of time to spend with my family, and my grandma is also growing really old so I also want to be able to see her as much as I can. I just like getting to see them and spending time because time is short and precious.
TSV: What are important core values in your life?
ET: My faith in Christianity is the biggest grounder in my life. My faith has taught me the importance of loving people, not only loving people but also forgiveness. Because loving is hard, and I’m learning how hard it is right now. Love in any situation, not just romantically but also with friendship and family - it’s just something I’m really learning right now. Forgiveness is also another value. Forgiving other people is actually easier for me than forgiving myself because it’s hard to be easy on myself ,and I really need to do that. Another thing I’m learning right now is saying no to things, and not limiting myself, but just knowing when I’ve reached my limit and when I can’t take on more responsibilities and anymore added relationships or things that will negatively impact my life. I think honesty is something that I value, but also I’m trying to put into action. Oh, I struggle with being vulnerable, that’s a huge thing. That goes along with honesty, especially when I’m struggling because I feel that here at SCripps and in the Claremont Colleges, when people ask “Hey, how are you?”, people respond, “I’m good.” That’s just a normal response. That goes along with my last value of being intentional. I’m really learning in being intentional with your actions and in words, for example, “How are you?” Like actually intentionally meaning what you’re saying and genuinely mean what you offer to people, like your promises and staying true to that. Because a lot of people just say “Hey, how are you?” as a common greeting.
TSV: How has college affected your journey in Christianity?
ET: Well, if you would’ve asked me a question a year ago, I would’ve said that it negatively impacted my journey inChristianity. It’s pushed me away because here, as a Christian in the Claremont Colleges, I feel like the minority. Because we learn a lot about the historical violence attached to Christianity, a lot of the stereotyping that’s attached to Christianity, and I don’t know, it’s just so different. Christian and my faith are just so personal to me, and I feel that when sharing that with other people, I feel I was carrying a lot of those historical violent connections stereotypes, and I didn’t want people to perceive me that way, so I wouldn’t talk about my religion - I wouldn’t share that with people my first year here. That led me to close that door and walk further away from it. I also felt that there were so many world views I was exposed to with people I was meeting with different cultures. I was like “Woah, I didn’t those these things existed!” There are just so many other world views that I got to explore becauseI didn’t see any of it at home. Also just growing into myself, that growing process. And because I’m a science major, learning about how the world is created and evolutionary processes, biological and cellular processes, it just made me question all my values strangely. Because when I was taking AISS, it was my life - all I thought about was AISS. It made me question a lot of the basic values I had in faith and how I was created. But now looking back, I think that it was important that I was challenged and questioned when I took a Feminist Interpretation of the Bible class, thinking it would help me return and center myself back on my faith, but it was actually so so so so challenging. The course just blew my mind out of the water. It was really amazing to take but it just challenged everything I ever knew. It was just so hard. but now if you ask me, I think that it was important that I was challenged and I had to question the basic parts of what I believed in because that really pushed me to really ask myself if this was what I really believed in, instead of just blindly follow what I was raised to believe. I think it’s wrong to blindly follow things and not question what you’re being preached and what you’re being taught - that’s also what Scripps has taught me.