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Jazmin Miller ′08

One of the great benefits of my Rhodes education is the ability I have gained to see connections among seemingly diverse issues. For example, I am a varsity swimmer and a theatre major. You might think that would cause a lot of conflict since both require a lot of time and energy. On the contrary, theatre has taught me to find characters within my body that have to be trained to put forth their best effort. And both are all about discipline.

Theatre is also about communicating a message, and I have a message on my mind! You see, everywhere I turn I hear people saying, “This is wrong because they…”

We’re all different, we come from different places and perspectives and we focus on the differences instead of reaching out with love and trying to understand the other person’s pain. That’s what causes trouble of all kinds. I believe that this is one of the many factors that create racial issues.

I see this happening on our campus, in our city and throughout the world. I thought to myself, “Rhodes gives its students the opportunity to speak our thoughts and attempt to make a difference. I can’t leave here without seizing this opportunity and encouraging people to think about these issues.”

There’s only so much one person can do, but being a theatre major gives me a special opportunity because drama is magical. It can address social issues and more, simply by making people think and feel in a setting that is true but not real.

My senior project will be a 45 minute drama about three roommates—one black, two white. It is the story of three personalities and how they mix, affect and shape one another. Hopefully, the piece will raise interesting questions and initiate a much-needed discussion amongst the actors and audience members after the performance.

I really hope it helps.

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