Giving Students {Pause} For Thought: An Interview with Grace Glasson, Multifaith Chaplaincy Fellow and Co-coordinator for {Pause}

Grace Glasson, currently a Junior at Bates college, has been working as a fellow for the Multifaith Chaplaincy since the beginning of the semester. Her job mainly focuses on creating and setting up for the {Pause} service that occur on Wednesdays at 9 every week. As a Fellow, Grace works about four to five hours a week. And although Grace is new to this job in particular, she is not new to the world of on-campus jobs, as she also currently works as a Peer Writing Assistant and as a barista at Le Ronj.

Grace heard about the position, which revolves around planning the content for {Pause} gatherings, through an announce email from the Multifaith Chaplaincy saying they wanted hire Fellows for the coming year. To apply for the job, Grace filled out an application through the Chaplaincy and had an interview with Bill Blaine-Wallace, Emily Wright-Magoon, and a current Fellow who co-coordinated Pause at the time. “I applied for this job because I really enjoyed attending Pause for the past two years at Bates” states Grace, “it’s a great space for reflection and community, especially during the hustle-and-bustle of Bates.”

{Pause} is a weekly service of music, dance, poetry, prose, and silence. Each week, there is a different theme which the service focuses on, as well as different performers from the Bates community.Grace finds it important to have a night in the middle of the week for silence and performances, which is why she decided to work to coordinate the gatherings rather than just attend them. “I guess I wanted to contribute to the environment I enjoyed so much and get as many people involved as possible.” {Pause} is meant to be a time for Bates students to take a break from the stress and obligations of their lives and instead focus on stillness and reflection.

Every Monday, Grace starts off the week with a Pause meeting with the co-coordinator Fellows, Bill, Emily, and Liana to check in with one another, discuss the theme for the upcoming week, and discuss any updates with scheduling future performers. Mondays is when themes for future Pause gatherings are thought up and Grace finds that “when we pick a theme for each week we all discuss what it means to us. Hearing how different people relate to one seemingly simple word or phrase is really interesting.”

On Tuesdays, Grace attends a general Fellows meeting where all the members discuss what is going on in various aspects of the Chaplaincy, also allowing a great deal of time for checking in with each other about how the last week has been. When it comes to working for the Multifaith Chaplaincy, meetings do not only focus on what needs to be done, but also on the individuals who make up the community which is so vital for many students at Bates.

Wednesdays are {Pause} days. The Fellows show up to the chapel at around 8:30 to set up for the Pause performance, which consists of setting up the table at the front with candles and the singing bowl, putting candles on the aisle holders, and deciding how they wish to set the lights for the mood that week.

When asked about her favorite part of being a Pause co-coordinator/Multifaith Fellow, Grace replies that she sincerely enjoys how the job gives her the ability “to come together with a group of lovely people each week to not only enjoy each other’s company, but also create a safe, quiet, communal space each week at Bates.”

Working as a Fellow has helped Grace work with others to create certain types of spaces and work towards common goals. “I also think it has helped me appreciate how silence can do productive work for reflection and connection” she adds. “I have learned that, although it may take me some time, I can eventually open up and connect with people in unexpected ways.”