Abbigail Jones ’15 welcomes me into her dorm with the widest smile I’ve seen in a week. “I love the Green House! How’s it going?” She glides into the room and bids me to sit down on her comfortable bed as she points out the various attractions of her room.
“I have a thing for postcards, they’re kind of my vice,” Jones says, gesturing at her postcard collection on the wall. A third of them were sent to her by her friends, beautiful ones of Roman baths in London or ridiculous ones of an inappropriate usage of a photo booth. The rest are from places Jones has visited herself, far more familiar places like New York City, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., and Baltimore too. They’re arranged into two fan shapes, and at the bottom of each is a postcard of Oregon. “It’s back where I’m based, so it’s like everything I do or go to comes out of that.” She grabs a sand dollar fossil from her desk, a white disc-like stone with the faint imprints of an animal from long ago. “I found it on the Oregon beach, and it’s an actual little piece of home. It still has sand in it,” and Jones tips it on its side, a cascade of Oregonian sand dropping into the trash bin, conveniently nearby.
An actual fan, in black lace, is on top of the postcard collages. It’s from Jones’ first ballet performance, more than a decade ago. “We did Raymonda,” Jones says, dragging out the last syllable, suddenly lost in a reverie. “Ballet has always been a large part of my life. I didn’t get to dance last semester, but now I’m taking seven dance classes, five days a week, and it’s fantastic!” She clasps her hands together and looks straight ahead. “It keeps me grounded, it keeps me focused, directed, and I can let go of everything else bothering me. I know where I am in the studio, I know where I belong.”
At night I come back to take a picture, and Jones has plugged in her warmly bright Christmas lights, draped gently over every crevasse. It’s cold and dark outside, which makes Jones and her room seem even more cheery. “My room is illuminated with glorious wintertime coziness,” Jones says, “good for hot cocoa and movies.”