(forty one) or garden party girls

Today, I asked Sophia and Shannan to be my garden party girls!! It took some planning, but with the help of my friends and my first years, I was able to do it and still surprise them.

At 7:40 pm all the first years met in my room with their lanterns. This was quite the feat, but luckily I have a single, so we were all able to squeeze. Two of my first years had volunteered to be look outs for Shannan and Sophia, so they were outside of their respective rooms. The rest of the first years took a flower each, and joined three of my best friends and I at the back stairwell.

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I had each first year line up in a row along the staircase, so that way when Shannan and Sophia walked up the stairs, they would be greeted with a friendly face, and a single flower. We waited a while for the two lookouts to lead Shannan and Sophia over. When they were at the bottom of the stairwell, I hid behind my friends who were stationed at the top so they couldn’t see me.

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Each first year gave them a flower, and when they got to the top, I gave them the rest of the bouquet, and asked if they would garden party for me- and they said yes!

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I think Shannan was more surprised than Sophia, because she sat on the floor for a bit. It was so cute, we all hugged, and my amazing friends were taking photos for memories.

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At the end of it all, I am the happiest camper. I can’t believe that my surprise actually worked, and I can’t believe that all of my first years were so great and did such an amazing job. This is one of the Bryn Mawr traditions that really cements for me my upcoming graduation, so I’m really overjoyed that I was able to plan something that reminds me of some of my other favorite traditions.


(forty) or sick girl blues

Well, it’s official- I’m sick. After such an amazing weekend away from my work, I slowly went into a health decline, only to wake up today stuffy nosed, hot, and exhausted. I have gotten sick around this same time every year, for the last seven years. I think it has something to do with the changing of the weather, but mostly the stress that tends to come around this time. Last year, I was stuck in bed for a week. I’m really just praying that this doesn’t happen to me this again year. Granted, I am ahead on my work so I can technically sneak by with getting sick and being unproductive, but I was really looking forward to doing work at my leisure rather than in a frenzy.

In other news, I’ve been prepping for a special something that will happen tomorrow. I don’t wanna ruin it, but just trust me on this one…. Anyway! This preparation took me to Ardmore, two train stops away from Bryn Mawr. I personally really love Ardmore. Once, I took all of my homework to the Ruby’s Diner in town, asked the manager if my friends and I could have a table in the back so we could camp out and do our homework, and he let us sit there in silence for actual hours. We ordered milkshakes and cheese fries whenever we finished the old basket, but regardless, it was super cute and very kind. The manager asked us what we were studying, and gave us all respectful distance while we worked. This is the impression I have of Ardmore- little cute buildings, friendly managers who let you stay in their resultants to work on homework, and lots of ladies in yoga pants going to who knows where. They also have a Trader Joe’s which is a college students dream. It has healthy food that is decently affordable in comparison to other grocery stores. Plus, they sell the world famous cookie butter that I adore (but can no longer eat without flashbacks of stomach aches from my freshmen year thanksgiving- please refer to previous blog posts…). Ardmore also has a farmers market that I have walked around but never have actually purchased from because I find the prices pretty expensive. It’s still really cute, and they have free samples.

On the other side of the train tracks, Ardmore has a cute little video store and some nice restaurants. Personally, I haven’t seen a movie renting business since I was little, with the rise and fall of Blockbuster, so to see one in Ardmore makes me kind of happy. Don’t get me wrong, I love Netflix and instant streaming, but I do kind of enjoy the “hunt” to find the perfect movie, although exasperating as it can be. It’s just like getting a book from a library- you have the call number, you go to where it should be, it’s not there, you ask for help, you realize it REALLY isn’t there, and then you settle for something else that you probably wouldn’t have gotten if what you REALLY wanted was available, so you settle, but end up liking what you settled for better than what you would have originally gotten. Movie stores and libraries have a tendency to do that and I’m not sure how.

In short, my sick, stuffy little mind wanders back to the freezing cold train platform that I was stuck as for half an hour in Ardmore, clutching a bag full of ~*preparations*~ for tomorrow. Naturally, when I came back to my room, I sat in front of my heater, covered myself in a blanket, and tried to get some heat back into my limbs. Will I leave my room again tonight? We’ll see.

(thirty nine) or 2k16 thnxgvng

Wednesday night, I went into Philadelphia and Pam and I immediately began grocery shopping. It was really hectic because apparently every other Philadelphian had some last minute shopping that they wanted to do, too. Unperturbed by long lines, rushing mothers, and cranky children, Pam and I braved three separate stores- mind you, in the blustering cold- with nothing but a few bags to hold stuff in. Ending our adventure at Trader Joe’s, Pam and I came back to her house for FOUR HOURS OF CLEANING.


However, it was very much worth it! We woke up Thursday morning, and began prepping the house and the kitchen for the arrival of Kylie, a friend of ours, who was coming from D.C. When Kylie got here, it was so nice to just sit around and talk with each other. For the lunch/dinner (we found ourselves just sitting around the table talking and eating in both of those meal times… so pretty much forever) we ordered a bunch of Indian Food from one of the restaurants that were open around the corner.

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This Thanksgiving was different than other Thanksgivings that I have attended, but it was still one that I will treasure and enjoy. It was a totally different experience having to get everything prepared ourselves (although we cheated and bought the main courses…), but it was still really nice to prepare something for someone else. Plus, we all got to have some much needed quality time together.


After a day of sitting around, eating lots of good food, and watching movies, Pam and I are enjoying (yet another) day off. We’ve been watching Broad City, which I have never watched before but I’m really enjoying it. We’re also trying to figure out what to get each other for Christmas- which means that she tells me exactly what she wants, and I sit there uncomfortable while she tries to weasel something out of me. I was never good at telling people what I wanted for gifts, but she’s gonna crack me.

(thirty eight) or first day of break!

The day college students have been waiting for is finally here- the first day of Thanksgiving break! First of all, thank god. The last two days have been horrible for me- I’ve been waking up at about 6:45am and working (literally) nonstop until 10pm, then going around my room getting it clean and prepared for the next day, and then crawling into bed to fall asleep at around 1am. It’s been pretty terrible, and I am so happy that it is done. Now, I can wake up whenever I want, and start my work without other pressures.

I have a work shift at Residential Life before I leave for Philly today, but I’m looking forward to it, as I love my bosses. My plan for thanksgiving is to go into Philly and stay with Pam. It’ll be really nice to work somewhere that isn’t Bryn Mawr for a change- plus that way it’ll still feel like a break, versus just being alone on the desolate campus. My freshmen year I stayed at Bryn Mawr, and it would have been miserable if two upperclassman hadn’t realized what was happening, so they stayed, too. Anna and Katie were the absolute best, and they made my first thanksgiving away from home perfect. Anna cooked an entire Thanksgiving meal in a microwave (including Turkey, pies, string beans, sweet potatoes), and Katie set up the common room TV to connect to her computer so we could watch movies. We spent the break all together, never separated. It started to snow in the morning, and I, being from Florida, ran outside and played in it as Katie and Anna watched me from the windows. We ate an entire jar of speculoos cookie butter while we watched the Thanksgiving parade. It was magical. IMG_7108

My sophomore year, Anna and I took a trip to visit our friend Skyler in Chatham, New Jersey. Anna and Skyler had both grown up in Chatham, so they knew each other from before College. I had met Skyler my freshmen year before she transferred to Rutgers. Anna and I drove up together in Anna’s car, and I was in charge of making mixed tapes long enough for our drive. As we got closer and closer to Skyler’s house, the sky began to look more and more like it would snow. As we pulled into the borough of Chatham, little snowflakes began to dust the ground. We were greeted by Skyler’s mother, Cindy, with hot sandwiches that tasted like doughnuts. We all slept in Skyler’s room. We got to play with her dog, help her parents cook thanksgiving dinner, and met her entire family. Skyler and Anna took me to a local bakery and we had “real” bagels, because apparently the bagels I had been eating in Florida weren’t actual bagels- they were right.

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My junior year, Pam and I went to D.C. to have Thanksgiving with her family. This was the first time that I had met Pam’s second and third eldest siblings, along with Patty (Pam’s sister-in-law), her nieces, and family friends. Patty is an amazing cook, and she made such an amazing dinner. I played with Pam’s nieces, and got to know her family a bit better. I was kind of nervous to go to D.C. beforehand, mostly because I wanted to make a good impression on her family, but I really enjoyed myself (and Pam said they liked me phew). Patty “accidentally” forgot to serve Pam’s favorite pie at dinner, so she loaded Pam and I up with lots of food to take back to college. I drove to and from Bryn Mawr, so this time Pam was in charge of music.

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Thinking back on my college Thanksgiving experiences, I’m reminded of how meaningful they are to me. They all touch my heart in some special way, and I find myself longing for those moments once again. All of them were made possible by people coming together- friends, my girlfriend, miscellaneous adults- to make someone far from home feel loved, welcomed, and for a moment, part of the family. Being away from home on a day where so many people are together is kind of hard, but people over the last few years have really come together to make me feel cared for.

(thirty seven) or cold philly nights

Yesterday was so much fun! Pam and I went to see Weaves, Fear of Men, and Mitski at the First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia. First of all, I thought it was rad as heck that this random church was like, “Yes, let’s have these youths have a rock concert in our basement!” Second thought was, “Am I really going to enter into this spooky looking stairwell to get into this tiny basement of this random building?” The answer was yes.

Pam and I met up with our friends Hannah and Meera at the concert. They had gotten up to the very front of the pit, so we are directly in front of the stage. Pam, being smaller than me, and as agile as a cat, grabbed my hand and successfully pulled me through the crowds to get to Hannah and Meera. The people at the venue (in the basement? I mean both are accurate descriptions??) seemed super sweet and just here for the music, which is a lot different than a lot of the other concerts I’ve been to.

The first opener was a band called Weaves. Having come for Mitski, I hadn’t even looked into the openers. But wow- I was blown away. I’m actually listening to “Coo Coo” as I write this. The band, especially the lead singer, had an amazing stage presence and it made me really happy to be in that space jamming out the their music. I wish that I had their set list, because I have this song that they played stuck in my head but I don’t have the words or any factor that will help me find it. Guess I’ll have to listen to all of their songs to find it…

(Below! Lead singer of Weaves)


The second opener was called Fear of Men, and they were also really good. They had a different presence, but it was still super enjoyable. Pam and I both agreed that we really liked the style of the lead singer, and the bassist/pianist. From the song that I linked, you would assume that they would have a chiller ~*vibe*~ but that’s not it- I wish that I had some way to differentiate the two. I guess that the best I can get to is Fear of Men is spookier? Regardless, it was still really good.

(Below! Fear of Men)

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And finally, the reason we came that night- Mitski! I love her music, and Meera has been to a few of her concerts before, so I was really excited to finally see her in person. Unfortunately, I think something was bothering her because she didn’t seem to really be into it. But regardless, she still came, and still sang, and for that- it was a fun time. She played First Love/Late Spring so I was a very happy camper.

(Below- Mitski rocking out. I loved her shirt, and lack of shoes).

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It was such a fun night to get off of campus and enjoy some of the things Philly has to offer. And as per usual, it was really nice to spend time with my friends/girlfriend.

(thirty six) or walk though the “woods”

It’s been a hectic past week! I’ve been trying to start my final papers for classes now- that way when the term closes I can be focusing on my thesis and getting it published. I’m not sure that I’ve shared this with you all; my goal for my thesis is to get it published in an academic journal. I want to pursue a PhD in history and teach, and I know that publications are a large part of getting accepted to a well-respected institution, and increase my chances of job prospects, so I’m really going 110% with my thesis. Fingers crossed for me!!!

So with the stress of trying to finish two 15 page papers, proof my thesis, go to classes, study for said classes, working four jobs, and also do things like eat/shower/sleep, you can say that I’m doing pretty alright on the busy front. But I’m as happy as a clam, and am over all quite content with things right now.


I decided that today I needed to focus on me for a bit. I slept in (until 11!!), did all of my laundry, and took a nice long walk while I called both of my parents. I miss them a lot, but unfortunately for me, I am so busy with school that I don’t get to call them as often as I would like. By the time I leave the library, it’s normally about 10pm, and I don’t want to wake them up.


I walked along the back of Rhoads. It’s quite pretty behind the pond- I’m not sure that a lot of Bryn Mawr students realize that we have a cute little walking path along the waters edge near the tennis courts, so it’s kind of like my secret little path. The leaves from the trees were all yellowing and falling, and with every gust of wind, the leaves would fall down like snow. I also love the sound- you know, the swoosh rustle of the leaves when the wind picks up. It’s so calming. If I could bottle that sound and take it with me wherever I go, I would.

Tonight, Pam and I are going to see Mitski! Now that I’m less stressed out, I am happier to reemerge into the world and go on date-dates, rather than just trying to calm down and plan for the next week’s work with her close by reassuring me that I have time to finish it all, eating Chinese take out, and sharing space (although I secretly love those dates, too). I really love Mitski’s music, so I highly recommend listening to her! Pam knows that I really like her, so when she saw that Mitski was coming to town, she swooped and got tickets (thank you, Pamela).

Here’s to 24 homework free hours!

(thirty five) or IGD&BRN

An Open Letter to the Bryn Mawr Undergraduate Community:

I’m adding another tradition to our list! Please repeat after me, “Before I graduate, I will take at least one class with Ignacio Gallup-Diaz and Bridget Rose Nolan.” Ok- promise? I’m sure a lot of you have heard my rantings and ravings about both of these lovely professors, and if you haven’t, you haven’t been around me long enough.

Ignacio teaches within the History department, focusing on the early modern Atlantic world, colonial America, colonial Latin America, and Native American history. According to his biographical blurb on the history department website, his courses “explore how European conquest and settlement of the Americas, coupled with the forced migration of Africans and the continued presence of Amerindian communities, led to the evolution of complex societies.” But his courses do more than that! His courses give students the tools and the abilities to understand deeply complex situations in which oppression and opposition came together to interact within a specific time frame resulting in the historical narratives we have today. He also tells us fun cat stories when the days seem to never end. His most recent endeavor included making my entire class cups of tea. He likes to wear tweed suits, and he has a “Simpsons” chess board in his office.

Bridget, or an affectionate “Bri” under my breath and not in class, works in the sociology department. She has the capability to out smart someone into giving her their wallet and ATM pin, but choses to resist this, and instead uses her infinite wisdom to teach social behavior in society. I think she could probably kill me with a pen cap, but I don’t think she ever would. She works actively to tap into learning methods that are accessible for everyone in her class. She goes above and beyond what is expected of her as a professor, and tries her best to make sure that everyone has an access point in which to learn when they are her pupils. Although she is listed as Interim Faculty, I swear to GoOoOoOoOoOod if Bryn Mawr lets such an amazing professor slip through their hands the ground will open up and swallow this institution as a whole. In short, they need to give her a tenured position soon before another school snatches her up. She’s qualified up to her nose, and she even worked for some ~fancy~ places.


In short, if you see either of these two walking around campus you need to:

  1. Say “hello” and introduce yourself if you do not know them.
  2. Stare at them a bit and hope that you can absorb some of their intelligence.
    1. Alternatively if it is a bad day you can ask if they have any chocolate in their offices. Answer: yes. Yes they do. Ignacio may offer you some tea, whereas Bri may give you some vegan candies.
    2. Alternatively alternatively, if it is a BAD bad day, you can ask if they have any tissues at hand. Answer: Ignacio will have a handkerchief in his pocket, and Bri will lead you back to her office for the nice tissues with the quilts in them to collect whatever you produce after having a hard cry.
  3. Ask what classes they are teaching next term and how you can get into them.
  4. Leave the conversation a better person, with a new perspective on life, and a new pep in your step.

Trust me, you will not regret it.



(thirty four) or haffner finds

Bryn Mawr has two dining halls that are being utilized by students on a day-to-day basis: Haffner and Erdman. It’s really funny to see how each dining hall has accrued some sort of weird culture around it. For example, the slogan “Haffner Provides” is a common thread among BMC students. Also, if you talk about the “Erdman chairs” everyone will groan. I don’t know what about the dining halls polarizes people, but boy does it ever. You’ll have students who will refuse to go to the other dining hall just because they’re “morally against it.” …ok….?

My ~personal~ preference is Haffner, mostly because they have a really nice salad bar, which means that I can eat delicious salads whenever I want. Being a salad connoisseur, I tend to be left high and dry by the Erdman salad bar. They have the same things over and over, which is good for consistency, but Haffner will occasionally have special things, like cranberries, blue cheese, and almond slivers. To me, these little finds make the Haffner pursuit even more meaningful.

Today Meera and I went on an adventure to Haffner to see if we could get anything particular tasty after a particularly tough day. To my delight, I had a delicious slice of speciality pizza (I’m not sure it’s name, but it had arugula and prosciutto on it which was delicious) along with a cucumber salad. Meera has a vegetarian speciality pizza, with plain yogurt. Overall, a successful experience.

(thirty three) or eurydice

Yesterday I went to see Bryn Mawr’s Eurydice. I mostly went because one of my best friends Ellen is in the show, and I know how hard she’s been working, so I wanted to come to support her.

I’m familiar with the greek myth- Eurydice, wife of Orpheus, dies tragically on their wedding day after being bitten by a snake. Orpheus, a famed musician, was only able to play mournful tunes after her death. The nymphs and gods were so moved by his sadness that they told him to go to the gates of the Underworld to retrieve Eurydice himself. Here’s where the story takes two major turns. In one account, Orpheus goes to the Underworld and plays his music for Hades and Persephone, and they are so moved that they allow her to return to the world of the living. In another account, Orpheus uses his music to put the giant horrifying guardian of Hades to sleep, and is therefore allowed to take back Eurydice. Either way, Hades tells Orpheus that he must walk out of the Underworld without looking back, and Eurydice would follow him out. The catch, however, was that Orpheus was not allowed to look back until they both had returned into the world of the living. If he looked back at her, Eurydice would be taken back into the Underworld.

The story ends with Orpheus entering the daylight, where he turns around to look at Eurydice. Unfortunately, she had not crossed the threshold yet, and she was pulled back into the Underworld.

This Eurydice is based on the greek myth, although the plot is loosely adapted into a much  more modern and mournful tale.

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I don’t want to ruin it for anyone who plans to watch it, but I will tell you that it’s a dark and moving piece that broadcasts that it will leave you with more questions than answers. Adding new characters, and modern adaptions, I really was (scared?) fascinated by the Rocks.

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I really loved the set. Again, not wanting to spoil it for you, I just want to put a little disclaimer out into the inter webs that the river Lethe is attributed with loss of memory. The etymology is super interesting, but just remember for the sake of the show that if someone is dipped into the Lethe, they will lose their memories….

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Overall, I’m happy that I got to have a fun night with Meera watching the show! The cast and crew did an amazing job, and I’d give it 10/10.

(thirty two) or in times of need

In the aftermath of what has been a very trying and emotionally draining election, Pam and I decided to try to find a sense of peace by going on a nice date and spending some quality time with one another.

For my Christmas gift last year, Pam and I were supposed to get massages, so we finally made the arrangements to get them done at Spa Terme Di Aroma. It was SO wonderful. Pam did all the work, so I can take no credit for finding this place. We went after she got out of work, and I finished classes, so it was really the perfect end to a long day. When we entered the space, we immediately noticed the aromatherapy oils that the technicians had infused into the air. It was such a relaxing setting- I felt like all of my stress was starting to melt away.

My technician was super sweet and kind, and told me that “I shouldn’t be so tense for someone so young!” although she “can understand why- you all have a lot of stress on your plates these days.” She told me that I needed to drink more water and moisturize because this winter was going to really ruin my skin (I’m trying!) and that I needed to stop keeping tension in my body (Where else should I put it!?) and that maybe I should do some daily stretches to keep myself from getting so tense (I will add that to my list). Then she started the massage! Honestly, I haven’t felt so relaxed in literal months- it wasn’t the type of “Oh, I’m so relaxed I’m going to fall asleep” it was the “I am so relaxed I now see what she meant by holding tension in literally every muscle of my body.”

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After re-entering the world, Pam and I walked to Zento, which is a contemporary Japanese restaurant in Old City. We had both been talking about how we had been really craving Japanese food, specifically tempura, so we decided that this was the ideal spot to grab dinner. Whenever Pam and I go out, we always eat “Family-style” which means that we get a bunch of things to share together, rather than two big meals. We find that not only is it more cost-efficient, but we also get to try more things on the menu. Plus, that was we can be a bit more adventurous in the things that we get.

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We split the shrimp and vegetable tempura, agedashi tofu, spicy tuna roll, and the real crab roll. Although we noticed that “fried in some sort of something” was a recurring theme, we justified it because hey!- we haven’t been on a fancy date night in forever. Plus, I’ve been living off of Goldfish for the last week, while she’s been eating rice and beans, so we both deserve a little something special.

After dinner, we headed back to her home and enjoyed the skyline. I tried to get photos of the twinkling lights on some of the big boats at Spruce Street Harbor, but the lighting was not good so they came out completely dark, or they all came out blurry. However, I did snag this really pretty photo of the Ben Franklin Bridge. It was all light up, and the photo doesn’t really do it justice.


Overall, it was such a nice night. I haven’t really gotten to explore Old City, but I would really like to go again and just walk around. Even though I’m back to the stressful reality of post election life, school work, and the end of term, I’m happy that I have a nice memory to hold on to until the next one.