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Hello, my name is Michela Laurin, and I am from Pittsfield, a small city in western Massachusetts. I am turning 19 years old in October, and I am taking a gap year in between high school and college to expand my horizons and learn more life skills before I move into the next chapter of my schooling.  Although my area has its charm, opportunities for young people are very limited, and there is little in the way of stimulation.  I wanted to do something completely different and break out of my comfort zone, so I chose to go to Morocco and immerse myself in a culture that is vastly different from my own.  I was inspired by my Modern Middle East class this spring, which focused on the recent past of the Middle East, and sought to set the record straight on the U.S.’s past and present involvement in Middle Eastern affairs.  A little about me:

  • I am a big fan of gothic rock and dark electronic music, but I generally have a pretty eclectic taste in music and listen to it constantly. My MP3 player is the one thing that I really couldn’t do without on this trip. My current favorite band is Boy Harsher, a minimal wave duo hailing from Northampton MA
  • I am interested in fashion, especially avant-garde designers like Alexander McQueen and Iris (can’t remember her last name), but I do have some serious problems with the industry and am unsure if it is something that I could see myself doing in the future
  • I worked 4 jobs this summer, although only two were really regular, so I was able to have a flexible schedule and able to incorporate my two less demanding jobs that were more like unpaid internships
  • I am kind of a jack of all trades. I have a lot of experience in the performing arts, but I am also a bit of a history buff, and I have experience in 3-D printing. Additionally, I do a short backpacking trip with my family every year to the White Mountains in New Hampshire, and I traveled across the country once when I was 16
  • I am very detail-oriented

I am very excited to meet you all and look forward to our time together. Ciao!