We chatted with Abigaile about what it's like playing on the volleyball team!
What are you studying at Simmons?
Psychology with a double licensure in elementary education and special education. I'll graduate with my BA in 2017 and MA in education in 2018.
What drew you to your major?
I’ve always wanted to work with kids. My junior and senior years of high school I participated in a preschool lab where I observed a case study child for the year and created lesson plans for an entire class of preschoolers. My teacher for that class was the director of my preschool when I was 4 — so I had known her for the majority of my life. The way she interacted with the children and the way she instructed us how to teach them inspired me to try and one day be as good a teacher as she is.
What's your favorite part of your program?
Doing fieldwork hours my first year. Actually getting to go into a school and practice what I’ve learned in my classes was so much fun. The best part of it was seeing how the child had improved and grown by the end of the year and knowing that I had a part in it. It was incredibly rewarding and I’m excited to continue with fieldwork, student teaching and eventually having my own classroom.
What's your favorite class you've taken so far?
Education 156. It’s the introductory education class where we go over everything we’re going to encounter as teachers. We did projects on bullying, learned about Teach for America and did service learning hours — which was the best part. The fact that the class required me to work with children in a school was the best thing that could have happened my first year. It opened my eyes to the reality of teaching elementary school. It was a huge learning experience and my drive to become a teacher has only gotten stronger.
What sport do you play? What position?
I play volleyball. I'm a middle blocker.
How do you balance being a student athlete?
It definitely has its demands and is very time consuming. To handle it all I use a planner to know when things are due, when I have an away game and when tests are coming up so I can plan my studying around practices and games. When you write it all out and plan to do one subject for this chunk of the day and the next subject for the next chunk, it’s very manageable.
What's your favorite sports moment in your Simmons career?
When we beat Colby College my first year. We were a very young team and were overlooked by many teams. Colby is a NESCAC team and Simmons volleyball had never beaten a team from that conference before so to win that game said a lot about the potential and the fight we had as a team.
What's your favorite part about playing sports at Simmons?
My team and the sports community. My team is my family and made the transition into college a lot easier for me. We're there for each other whenever someone is going through something tough, we’re understanding of each other’s commitments to things other than volleyball and we have so much fun together. I’m very lucky to have 12 sisters who I can always count on! Another great part about playing sports is that you also have the rest of the sports teams. We have our own little community in which we all share a common goal of exceeding and a common love of competing. We help each other succeed by supporting one another and going to games whenever we can. It’s a really great feeling to be part of something that has so much support, love and competition.
Do you have any superstitions surrounding games?
We have a cheer that we do before every game after we change into our jerseys. We don’t usually do it in front of anyone else so it’s our own personal tradition. Personally, I have a couple superstitions — I wear the same headband for every game of the season, I touch the top of the doorway when we leave the team room after our cheer at home games and when we run to shake hands with the other team I touch the bottom of the net once.
What's your Simmons moment?
Last year when Simmons students came together to show their support for the Black Lives Matter movement. We walked through the Colleges of the Fenway chanting and students went to the protests at the State House. Seeing our community come together and be part of such a powerful movement that is trying to change the views of this world made me overwhelmingly proud to be where I am and surrounded by such driven, strong women.