The Apocalypse, a Long Drive and a Bad Pair of Legs

Hey everyone! I’m a new Student Ambassador and before I discuss the events of this semester so far, I wanted to introduce myself, and add some things about myself! My name is Dylan Panarra and I’m from the beautiful and sunny state of New Jersey…that is when it’s not being destroyed by hurricanes and on fire…is it the apocalypse in N.J. or what? I was born and raised near the shore. I went to public school through my life, however, I did have some deaf education when I was young and often went to deaf summer camps. In high school, I found a strong passion of mine, which is art. When I visited RIT I didn’t know a lot about the art school here but when I was there I found out that it was one of the top art/design schools in the nations, and my future was sealed. I knew I wanted to go here. Now, fast forward more than two years later. I’m now a second-year student majoring in Industrial Design, and loving every day of it here.

As you may know, RIT has recently undergone a big change, which is converting to the semester system. This school used to work on a quarter system. The weeks were shorter (10 weeks), class work/workload was much more, and I thought it was stressful, but I didn’t mind it. Nowadays, I feel I have so much free time with 15 weeks to deal with. This is pretty much a blessing to an Art major.

Recently, this past weekend was homecoming weekend. I heard many great things about it. Sadly, I had to miss it. I had decided to embark on a fantastic long journey to  *Suspenseful music* …Fisher, Indiana. My brother recently bought a home there, and became a teacher at the Indiana School for the Deaf, also known as ISD. So I viewed that weekend as a opportunity to visit my brother whom I haven’t seen for nearly half a year. I got in my truck and drove over 1,100 miles in one weekend. Helping my brother get settled in, having home cooked meals, spending time with family, seeing my nephew roll around in primer paint and get it everywhere… was worth every minute.

While I was in Indiana I saw many healthy things, and a strong health-oriented community, which my brother is a part of and it helped me get that kick-start that I’ve been looking for, so I’ve been recently going to the gym! Almost daily too! And whew, it’s been a lot of work. RIT provides a great gym with many tools that are available for me to use such as free weights, machines, trainers, etc. You know what’s the best part of it? It’s all part of the tuition! One negative thing is all of the stairs, oh the stairs… leg days suck. I look like an old man going down the steps. I’m gonna go in the hot tub here at RIT now. It holds up to 25 people, and get up to shenanigans now with my friends, one of them who is Skip, a fellow ambassador.

Til next time, See you later!


About Dylan

Major: Industrial Design

Hometown: Jackson, N.J.

Why I Chose RIT: I’ve wanted to pursue my dreams of being an Industrial Designer since I was a freshman in high school. When I discovered that RIT had deaf students and one of the best Industrial Design programs in the country, I knew RIT was right for me.

Clubs/Activities: Swim, go to the gym and create art.

Hobbies/Interests: A hobby of mine is restoring old cars. I have a 1966 Ford truck that I drive at home, and I started work on a 1950 Chevy coupe over the summer. It’s a true passion of mine. I'm also interested in motorcycles. 

What I like Best About RIT: The best part of RIT is interacting with deaf and hard-of-hearing people as well as hearing people all on one campus. The opportunities I get at RIT as a result of these interactions are second to none.

Favorite T.V. Show: “Doctor Who,” “Lost,” “Breaking Bad” and “Smallville.”

Fun Fact About Me: I travel frequently. I've been to several countries including Switzerland, Germany, Italy and Portugal, to name a few.

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