Rachel Tso ’95 is a media literacy education advocate on and around the Navajo Reservation, and teaches media literacy and filmmaking at the STAR School. With her students, she is creating a documentary on "playground peacemaking." She is also working toward a master's in sustainable communities at Northern Arizona University.
What brought you to Antioch College? What was your major? I had taken time off after high school to travel the country. While traveling, I witnessed and recognized injustices and environmental destruction that I had been unaware of before, and I decided I wanted to do something about it. Around the same time, I decided that I was through traveling and ready to take action. I started hearing about Antioch College. It took me 10 days to travel home — and without fishing, without asking anyone — someone would mention Antioch to me at least once a day for those 10 days.
While at a coffee house in my home town, Tallahassee, I ran into an old friend (Ariella Gottschtalk) from high school who was home on a break from — you know it — Antioch. Her's was the last mention in those 10 days. She gave me the phone number, and I called the next day, got an application and rushed it back. I was accepted for the next semester, which started only a few days later, in January 1992. My major was environmental communications. I didn't really enter with a major in mind, but I took an environmental journalism class from Ann Filemyr thiat blew me away!
What's your favorite memory of being at Antioch College? There were a lot of them... I remember running out to the field late at night during a rain storm to dance [and] a group of kindred souls simultaneously decided to do the same thing. I remember walks in Glen Helen, showers in the waterfall, swimming in the lake, taking over the administration building, taking Pennell Hall, learning how to do a press conference, being a part of the clown coalition against Quayle, attending lots of protests, and learning to have a strong political voice.
I remember sitting in a circle outside in Paul Smokers class discussing peace; the bonding in Birch ("Birch First!"); my friends—lots of good friends; late nights editing; crocuses blooming in the late winter, like purple jewels out of crystals of white snow; learning to organize with Students Organized for Native American Resistance; yoga; juggling; making announcements in the caf; Ani Difranco concerts; weird concerts with drumming and bags of wine pouring over us; making strange one-shot videos for Bob Devine's classes.
[As for] the co-ops, I guess I don't really have a favorite—I have a collection.
Was there a professor that made a huge impact on your life? Ann Filemyr!!!!! So much of an impact I named her as my oldest daughter's god(dess) mother. Also Bob Devine and Anne Bohlen.
Were you at the most recent Reunion? Unfortunately I have not been back to Ohio since I left in December 1994 ... I wish I went. After seeing the pictures I regretted not making it a priority.
Any stirring words of wisdom about the independence of Antioch College? The world needs Antioch College. It's an appropriate evolution for Antioch to be independent.
If you could bring one thing to the future of Antioch College, what would it be? Well, I'd love to host co-op students out here—we could definitely use some at the STAR School, and of course, there is always herding sheep at Black Mesa.
Why do you donate to Antioch College? Because the world needs Antioch!