(fifty) or sights and sounds

Tomorrow marks the last day of the semester! Dorms close, and everyone is expected to be either moving into Rhoads for the break, or off to their next adventures.

Even though I finished all of my finals work before the exam period (!!!), I still have to stay until the very end of term because I’m an HA. Oddly, I find this time very relaxing. Usually when I’m at Bryn Mawr, I spend my time working non-stop. This kind of gives me an anxiety complex around the entire school itself, so having this time to just relax and laze around really helps to decrease this feeling. Have you heard of Pavlov’s dogs? It’s the same idea- I’ve been conditioned to come to Bryn Mawr and think “WORK.” But now that I don’t have anything, I’ve been able to combat the “WORK” feeling which produces anxiety to a more palatable “keep sleeping” or “go get a scone from the dining hall.” It’s just that time of the year- everyone is stressed out, everyone is burned out, and everyone wants to get out.

I spent today in Philly eating strawberries and camembert cheese, looking around at the city, and getting some more holidays gifts. This also means that I’m staying warm and cozy under the covers of Pam’s bed while she works. As I leave tomorrow, this will be the last day that she and I get to see each other before I leave for Florida. It’s a bit of a bummer, but we’re both excited for the break, and the ability to see our families. I love Pam’s family, and am really looking forward to seeing her parents when they visit Philly in the Spring.


I think I’m ready for the Spring Semester. Although it officially marks the “half way” mark of my final year here, it’s really excited. Granted the job search makes my heart flutter in a million different ways, but I think that’s more because I’m excited at the prospect of trying something new. Bryn Mawr has become my home, and part of it always will be, but it’s almost done with me, and I can feel that. It’s not like it’s pushing me out, per say, but rather, it’s opened the door and has a warm coat ready to put on me as I enter the winter outside. IMG_6835

A strange feeling has come over me, and it’s kind of like I’m being torn between two different places. I think I’m feeling this more so because Pam has been in the work world for a while now, but it’s like my “foot is already out the door” so to speak. I think next semester I’ll enjoy everything that comes my way, but I do think that my mind will be elsewhere. Although a part of me feels sad to think that, I think the other part of me recognizes that this is normal and a healthy way to feel.


So here I am! Eating ginger chews and snuggled up under some clean white sheets, writing my blog post before I start applying for jobs. It’s scary and it’s surreal, but it’s also amazing, and exciting. I hope that with hard work on my end (and maybe a bit of luck) things will fall into place for me in regards to this upcoming year. As I look around Pam’s room, with the sun light streaming in, and the construction noises coming from the outside, I realize how truly blessed I am to be in the position I am now- with an entire community rooting for my success, and a lineage of intelligent students wishing me luck….


…and maybe some flowers.

(forty nine) or reslife movie night

I love being an HA- tonight the office of Residential Life has put together a movie night, complete with movie theatre snacks. I’ve talked about how much I love Angie and ViAnna before, but this is another appreciation post. We’re watching Mulan, which is one of my favorite childhood movies. They’ve gotten all of the sofas in Thomas Great Hall together, invested in a projector screen, and are playing it on the wall. It’s so sweet to know that they care about us so much.


Finals week tends to be a really stressful, especially for the Hall Advisors (and other DLT members!). Angie and ViAnna do an excellent job of doing outreach to all of us and checking in to see how they can best support us. They find that usually, we just need a really big hug (and lots of candy).


Although I usually can’t go to all of the HA hang outs, I try to make an effort to go to at least one a semester. This year they hosted a LinVilla apple picking extravaganza, a spooky scary story telling, and a game night. I think it’s really sweet that they use different types of ways to try to reach out to us, especially by recognizing that we all have ways that we feel comfortable participating in.


(forty eight) or avocado toast

This has been an amazing food weekend for Pam and I. We normally have a weekly date night, but because of finals and end of term stress for me, we had taken several rain checks on going out and doing things. However, this weekend marked the first weekend where I have been DONE with EVERYTHING, so Pam and I decided to make this weekend extra special by relaxing and just splurging on things we enjoy.

Thursday night we went to Abe Fisher (pronounced “Ay-buh Fih-sher” by everyone, except Pam, who was under the impression it was pronounced “Ah-bay Fih-sher”) which according to their website is, “is inspired by the journey of the Jewish people from their ancestral homeland to the Diaspora. Making their way across Europe through the Middle Ages, to Germany and Poland, France and Spain and beyond, Jews developed a cuisine that balanced local customs and ingredients with biblical laws and traditions. Ultimately, they found their way to the New World, creating thriving Jewish capitals in places like New York and Miami. Chef Yehuda Sichel’s menu pays homage to centuries of tradition (Montreal Smoked Short Ribs), while embracing the idea that cultural exchange places cuisine in a continuous state of evolution (Hungarian Duck, Chinatown-style).” In short, this place was crazy good. Pam and I always eat family style wherever we go, and this place was super centered around that, which made it even better for us.

Pam and I are both pretty adventurous eaters, but the one thing that we won’t agree on is how to cook beef. Pam likes hers medium rare, whereas I like mine well done. She tells me that any chef would scoff at my choice, and would take it as an insult to prepare the meat that cooked- then I remind her that I’ve seen enough autopsy/crime scene photos/dead people in my life time to remind me of the bleeding piece of meat in front of me, then we both move on with other foods. The best part about Abe Fisher was the service- I’m totally biased because our waiter gave us a free drink and free entree so that was pretty amazing.

Frida night Pam and I went to Charlie was a sinner. This vegan restaurant is a tapas style restaurant, and Pam and I have been wanting to eat here since forever. We finally got our chance! The inside of the restaurant is gorgeous- it reminds me of a library for some reason. It’s a pretty small space, but with mirror lined walls, lit candles, and high ceilings somehow this resultant makes it seem a lot bigger than it actually is. The atmosphere was perfect, and Pam and I ended up sitting around for a long time just talking.

Saturday Pam and I went to Little Spoon Cafe for lunch. I was able to snag some photos of the cafe because it felt less formal, and I didn’t think I would be stared at if someone saw me taking photos with my phone. We split avocado toast, and each had tea. It was a really great morning to share with someone I love so much.

IMG_6801 IMG_6804

I ended my weekend by having a Star Wars movie marathon. We watched 4,5,6, and part of 7. Miscalculating the time just a bit, I couldn’t keep my eyes open past 2:30am, so we decided to pause The Force Awakens so I could enjoy it in all of it’s glory. In other news, Star Wars make so much more sense when you watch them back to back, and the little details that you would have otherwise missed out on don’t go unnoticed. Pam and I had a great time discussing the theory behind it all, even though we recognize that none of it is real.


(forty seven) or philly skyline


This semester has been particularly hard on Kate, Meera, and myself. We’ve been though quite a lot together, for reasons I won’t disclose. Regardless, everything that’s happened this term found itself on the 18th story of a beautiful building in downtown Center City yesterday. The view was crazy.


I’m a fan of skyline views anyway; having come from Miami, nothing beats the sun setting over the skyline when you’re heading towards South Beach, and you’re looking backwards to downtown. But wow- yesterday took my breath away.


I think it was so amazing to me because we could see so far away- I was able to find the Walt Whitman Bridge, the weird domes by the Philadelphia zoo, and the power lines that I can see at night from Bryn Mawr. I felt look a bird looking down at everything. Kate and I stood by the window, trying to figure out what was what, and where things were.


It was also really cool because we got a panoramic view from east to west, which was interesting in regards to cloud formations. Having learned about the types of clouds in like third grade, my recall was pretty lacking, but it was still really cool to watch them float by the windows, seemingly out of our reach.


Then I made the mistake of looking down, and my fear of heights came back to full realization, and I felt vertigo kicking in. Kate was still enjoying the sights, so I quietly closed my eyes and waited for my fear to pass.

IMG_6793 IMG_6794

Later on in the day, we went to a restaurant called “Munches.” It was a cute little deli, where Meera got a delicious tomato and grilled cheese sandwich with an avocado on the side. She was so happy- she kept telling us how it was the ideal sand which, and how this place made it perfectly, “The perfect proportion to bread and cheese.”

After spending part of the day in the clouds, I’m happy that I made it back to the ground with my friends. It was kind of a day where I was able to realize how full circle things have come, but it was really relaxing and it really needed a day like that.

(forty six) or done is good

At Bryn Mawr, we have a bunch of unspoken traditions, such as Bryn Marriages, The Hunt is Up, and Done is Good. Each of these things plays an important part in the way that Bryn Mawr students interact within our community. For this blog post, I want to talk about one that I think is the most prevalent, as finals are upon us: DONE IS GOOD!

The idea of “Done is Good” is kind of a preemptive combatant against being perfectionists with work. For example, if you write a paper, you can always keep editing that paper, and changing it, and restructuring it, until forever. Then, you end up turning in a paper that you feel isn’t good enough, while also having spent waaayyyy too much time on it. By saying Done is Good, it’s a way of removing yourself from your work and saying that you’re done with it. I find it to be a really great tip in regards to separating myself from something that I may not feel to be done, but that I know to be done.

We celebrate this idea within our community by having dorm leadership team (DLT) hosted Done is Good hall hangouts. Usually the entire dorm gets together to make lists of the things that they still have to do until they’re done. You would write things like “Sociology final exam,” “Finish Thesis,” and “Clean room before break” on it. Next to each thing that you have to do, you tape a piece of candy to it. That way, when you finish the item, you get to eat a piece of candy! Some people post their done is good lists outside of their room, as a kind of public incentive to finish everything and keep themselves accountable. Other people keep them in their rooms to motivate themselves in a more private manner, while other people (me my sophomore year) eat all the candy in one go. However you go about your list, you’re doing it right.

I find huge satisfaction in finishing my list, and then recycling it. I’m not sure why- maybe because it’s highly symbolic of totally letting go of all of the work I just completed. The ultimate Done is Good is getting rid of your list, and realizing that you have nothing to do. This means that break is officially upon you, and you can enjoy it to the fullest!

(forty five) or housekeepers

A love letter to three lovely ladies;

Dear Miss Sandy, Darlene, and Filomena,

Thank you for being surrogate mothers to nervous college students of all ages. Thank you for looking out for us, when we were looking down, too worried to look ahead. Thank you for the pep talks, the kind words, and the love that you’ve shown all of us throughout our time at Bryn Mawr. We appreciate your work as housekeepers, but more importantly, we appreciate the emotional work that you’ve put into learning about each of us as individuals, and trying your best to reach out to us.

To Miss Sandy- Thank you for rooting for freshman year me! Thank you for being the first adult I connected with on this campus, and also offering hugs and encouragement. Thank you for giving me your special cough drops when I was sick, and going out of your way to check in on me when I was feeling down. Thank you for reminding me why it’s so important to have a college education, and for telling me to stick to it.

To Darlene- Thank you for the tough love and pep talks. Thank you for telling me to pull myself up and keep going. Thank you for being a constant presence even when you yourself weren’t feeling so well. Your stories got me though long days, and your jokes got me though long nights. Thank you for trying especially hard to make connections with people that you felt needed support.

To Filomena- Thank you for being a strong, solid, and compassionate woman. Thank you for doing little things to show me that you care, and that you are thinking about me. Thanks for the advice you give to me, and the conversations that we have. Thank you for your fresh vegetables- probably the freshest veggies I have eaten in years. Thanks for radiating love to everyone you meet.

I feel pretty confident that I can speak on behalf of quite a bit of students when I say thank you, and we love you. Even though our time at Bryn Mawr is relatively short, your presence within it has made us value our experiences here even more. We will miss you, but we will think about your kindness always, and hopefully, we will let that influence the way that we interact within the world. As you’ve reminded us time and time again, graduation isn’t a good bye, but rather a see you later.

Love always,


(forty four) or chilling out

Although today has barely began, I am already heated so I have compiled for you a list of things that help me chill out, with the hope that maybe you find them calming, too!

  1. 19 German Junk Foods The Rest Of The World Urgently Needs
  2. Cooking With Dog
  3. Tasty Cooking Videos
  4. Looking Up Apartments in the Area!
  5. Calming Gifs
  6. Videos of people getting their hair cut???
  7. Funny Cat Videos
  8. Pressure Cleaning Videos?


(forty three) or the best holiday elf

Last night I finished all of my work early, so I did as any college student would do when they have free time on their hands- I braved the cold and went into town to do a bit of holiday shopping!


Let me begin this tale by a little preface- I am not nearly as festive as some of my other friends. I don’t have a mini Christmas tree, I don’t illegally burn candles in my room for Hanukkah, and I do not leave out a sick of butter for Pai Natal in the hopes that he won’t steal one of my toes. But I do sing Christmas songs to myself, with a particular preference for the ones that my parents used to play for me when I was little, and I do like getting gifts for people I care about, because that’s what capitalism has taught me and I can’t not comply.

Before I set off on my adventure, I double checked my list of things to buy. My friends and I are doing a secret snowflake, so I wanted to make sure that person X got something that she would like and would enjoy. Checked on my list. My hall voted and decided to allocate some of the hall budget to buying Filomena, our housekeeper, a gift. Checked on my list. I needed to get a few more things for Pam, and some other things for other loved ones in my life. Check, check, check. And I needed to get wrapping paper- yes, that’s right- this year I was going to splurge for wrapping paper instead of using recycled bags that I’ve used for every other year. Because this year, I’m a college senior, and college seniors buy wrapping paper because that’s one of the first steps into real adulthood.


After compiling my extensive list (rats!!! I needed to also buy tape for the hall- thank GOD for lists or I would have forgotten!!) I put on Christmas Music 100 Hits by Spotify, and proceeded to walk briskly into town. After listening to what felt like the entire Bing Crosby Merry Christmas album, I finally made it to my first stop. Knowing that some of my friends read this blog, I can’t say what I bought or where I went otherwise they’ll figure things out, so I’m going to tell you about Filomena’s gift! Filomena is such a lovely lady- she cleans Rhoads North, but she does so much more than that. She checks in on students who she thinks are struggling, she strikes up conversations with you, she gives you advice or tough love, and she always has a hug just when you need it. Filomena is such a lovely person, and whenever I see her I always smile and run to her to see how she’s doing. Filomena really loves plants and planting. Once, she brought me two cucumbers from her garden. It was really cute, but two cucumbers is a lot for a college student who doesn’t own a knife, so I shared it with Colm, who ate his cucumber like an apple. I followed suit soon afterwards once I realized that a spoon was 100% unhelpful. ANYWAY what I’m trying to get to here is that Filomena loves plants and has an amazing green thumb. Some of my first years thought it would be really nice if we could get her a plant for the holidays, so I got her an amaryllis bulb, a pot, and soil. I also bought her ferrero rocher because everyone likes ferrero rocher and if they say that they don’t it’s because they have a nut allergy and physically can not eat it.


Two stops later, and I found the perfect gift for another friend. I love Burt’s Bees products and I found this gift box of a selection of them and in my mind I thought “This is perfect for her” and before I could think of anything else, I threw it into my cart because I knew that she deserved a nice Burt’s Bees gift set, just like all of my friends deserve porsche 2016 boxsters but I can’t afford those so whatever I get them will have to do and I hope they like it.

After my shopping, with all of my parcels in tow, I realized that I had missed dinner. Luckily, I was in Bryn Mawr town, so I thought that I would treat myself to a nice sandwich from Cosi. Mind you, Cosi isn’t necessarily a super fancy meal, but it’s affordable and I really like their food. I rarely go, but when I do I always get the turkey avocado sandwich because it is delicious. I trek all the way to the restaurant, thinking about this sandwich the entire time. As I get closer and closer, I’m reminded of how much I love Cosi and why that specific sandwich is so good, and overall it’s so nice and I am so excited to get this sandwich- so naturally, when I get there the restaurant is closed. Not closed for the night, like closed closed, as in goodbye.

Walking back to my room, I decided that I needed some cheering up, and turned my Spotify Christmas songs back on. As I’m accelerating my pace to get back to home quicker, I notice that most of the “Christmas” music is actually assortments of songs from The Jackson 5 which was confusing because they do sing holiday songs, but they were playing everything but those?? As much as I love “Can You Feel It” I was really trying to feel holly-jolly. The walk home was not as festive as this holiday elf would have wanted, but I couldn’t change the songs because my hands were full of delicate items.

When I finally got back to my room, I broke out my adult purchase (wrapping paper) and began to tackle the gifts.


Only when I started wrapping did I realize that 1) I can’t wrap a nice present to save my life and 2) all of my gifts, ALL OF THEM, were weird shapes. Most of my gifts look like little lumps, but again, the lumps have heart and soul in them, so I’m just hoping my lumpy gifts make my friends smile. In addition, I couldn’t remember if Pam likes to unwrap presents so I took a risk and wrapped all of her things individually. This included the food items and the gifts that were already wrapped by a company. So, Pam if you are reading this and don’t like unwrapping a bunch of things- too bad you’re stuck with it because it took 4 hours and I’m not unwrapping all of them.

By about eleven at night, the deed was done. Most of my gifts were wrapped (I only have one more package coming in the mail!!!) With my holiday music turned off, and my wrapping paper stored preciously under my bed, I finished up the night by watching last year’s SNL holiday episode. The best holiday elf, aka me, succeeded once again and is ready for the winter holidays of 2016.

(forty two) or what it feels like to thesis in history!!!!

The thesis process for history majors is going to change next year, so my year is the last class year that has a required thesis paper. The paper is due at the end of the first semester, which is really great because then you get Spring semester off* (*to apply for graduate programs or jobs). The paper itself is a really cool experience to research something that interests you as an individual. It also gives you the validity to go into an academic space and look through all their cool resources, and if anyone asks why you’re getting your grimy little paws all over their first edition of I Ching you can say that you’re ~thesising~ and they’ll back off, when in reality, you’re studying ancient Roman empires that have nothing to do with Chinese Classic Texts or divination, but you had read The Man in the High Castle and you’re just trying to figure out whats going to happen to you post-graduation.

It also feels great when first years ask what your thesis is about and you start going off on your long rattle, but then you remember who really cares about these things except for you? But then you look up and they are ENTHRALLED and your faith in academia is once again restored.

Then you go home for break, and you meet up with your old friends, which is always fun but highly uncomfortable especially when they bring up your major!! Having chosen a STEM™ field, they always feel entitled to remind you that they are ~~~practically~~~ guaranteed a job, and what are you doing again? Law School? or are you becoming *nose rockets towards the sky* a professor?

Ok so maybe it’s not that dramatic, but you would be shocked at how many people have tried to tell me that their undergraduate degree in engineering will 100% get them a job with 6 figures right out of undergraduate, and they don’t understand why the humanities are important. Which makes me go on my long angry, but revised, thesis rant about how uncovering silences in historical narratives are integral to our understanding of the world in general, but then they interrupt me and ask if I even know what an integral is in regards to math (I DO! You need to find it in relation to a function with respect to the X! It’s also called an anti-derivative!!! Take THAT!).

Then you come back to school for the rest of the term and lock yourself in your room until you finish your thesis. When you emerge, it’s day light savings so you really don’t get to see the sun for the last month of writing , but it’s worth it because you have just written your thesis and who CARES because you are SO CLOSE to turning your thesis in and literally you will be done, done, done with it!!!

But then you remember that you really loved writing and researching and part of you kind of wants to do it all again…