(twenty four) or lantern night

Lantern Night is one of my favorite Bryn Mawr Traditions. I remember my freshmen year being so magical. I remember walking through the hallways of Thomas, my black robe getting caught behind me with every other step. It was silent, and dark, except for the glowing faces of upperclassmen illuminated by their lanterns, who smiled at me as I passed. Some whispered things like “Welcome Home” and “Happy Lantern Night” as I crept closer and closer to the cloisters. When I reached the outdoors, I was met with bitter cold and silence as I’ve never heard. It was the kind of silence where if you closed your eyes you knew people were surrounding you, but you couldn’t hear them. My first thought was “Wow, they really weren’t kidding about this cult stuff.” But I was excited, and it was so beautiful, and I just wanted to look around and take it all in.

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This year wasn’t much different in the sense of me wanting to take it all in. It’s my last year, and I wanted to look around and really get a good feeling of how it would all end. Realistically, this will be my last lantern night ever. Ever! I’ve been able to experience all the ‘stages’ of lantern night – getting my lantern (freshman year), running (sophomore year), watching (junior year), and swinging (senior year). I was really excited to swing this year, because all of my best friends were doing it as well. I’m really happy I got to share this experience with them.

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My job as swinger meant that I had to swing my lantern in time to the Pallas Athena, and sing it about a zillion times with other juniors/seniors. During the Pallas, runners run the lanterns to the first years and distribute them. This takes quite a bit of time, so after about ten minutes of swinging my lantern and singing, I felt like my hand was going to fall off. I totally caught myself slacking off, but I jerked myself back into it by reminding myself that someone my first year had done the very same thing for me, and it’s only fair that I pay it forward.


Lantern Night was beautiful this year, even though the class of 2020 totally butchered the Sophias. It was pretty funny actually- regardless you all did so good! And I’m so proud of you and happy to welcome you all home. Every class year has little slip ups when they sing the Sophias, so just know that in four years time, you will be able to recite the greek adequately enough to fool any non-classics major on your pronunciation.


Even though I skipped step sing (sorry! I was exhausted!! and emotionally drained!!) I had such a nice night. It felt weird without Pam being there, but I think it was symbolic of some sort of circular closing motion. Regardless, I’m leaving this tradition behind with the way I started it- into the dark with the light of my lantern.


(twenty three) or i’ve got stamina

Today I spent the entire day studying. It’s so pretty outside- part of me is jealous that I’m stuck indoors, but the other part of me is enjoying being curled up in Carpenter Library reading and analyzing texts for my thesis. Luckily, Emma and Ellen have joined me. It seems that every senior is now hyper aware that a quarter of their last year has passed, and now we only have three fourths to go. Part of that is a really amazing and great feeling, but the other part is sheer horror. Like the kind of horror where you can feel your stomach sink into the ground, and you feel you body temperature drop dangerously low.

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Granted, Bryn Mawr isn’t forever. Nothing is forever, as Pam likes to remind me. But I feel as if we are all in such a delicate stage of our lives right now- soon we will be out of limbo, and forced back into society. These last four years have flown by, and I frequently find my thoughts wandering back to other memories. It’s a little painful, because these things are in the past, and nothing we do can make us feel how we once did. It’s also really reassuring because that is how we know that we have grown and changed. It’s a weird paradox to be stuck in between, but I know that once I’m out of my undergraduate experience, it will be another memory that I will look back on and think “because of this i have grown and changed, and from that I am a better person.” I think a lot of my thoughts end at this conclusion, because it’s the easiest one to process and accept.

The idea of memory, the past, and change from experiences, are ones that I think of frequently, but feel as if I have the least understanding on. It’s aggravating to try to press these thoughts, but only have them end up producing more questions rather than having me come to conclusions. I recognize that thought processes aren’t linear, but rather expand outwards, but sometimes I wish things were just a simple A to B to C to D makes ABCD. Maybe if things were like ABCD, I would be wishing for the uncertainties I have now.


In other less-meta news, someone brought a tree into my hall last night. We couldn’t keep it, but I kind of liked it in the hall (don’t tell my residents). It brought some life into the area!

(twenty two) or a 40 degree drop

I’ve been listening to Beach House and my nose has started running, so that can only mean one thing- FALL IS OFFICIALLY HERE! I have no clue what’s been going on with the weather recently, to be honest. It was 80 degrees just last week and I was wearing shorts, and now it’s a solid 42 and you won’t catch me outside in less than three layers of clothing.

Unfortunately, the beginning of fall also signals the beginning of winter, and the beginning of the end of term. Don’t get me wrong, I really do love the seasons here. Florida has two seasons- Hurricane Season and the Summer. PA is a really nice break from that. But even after four years, I still am mystified by the winter, and how people can live in the cold that long without having some serious side effects. Within three days of the weather dropping, I’m already cold to the bones.

I’m also already thinking about all the work I have to do. The classes at BMC have a tendency to give you a bunch of work, coupling that with a want of social activities and a good night’s rest, achieving a healthy balance is pretty hard to find. I’m currently at a place where my planner is filled to the brim with mandatory activities, and I’m having a hard time squeezing anything else inside of it. I think this is a similar feeling felt around campus, as my friends have also been complaining of similar woes. It’s really aggravating to create plans and then realize you may not have time for those plans- it’s actually pretty disheartening as well as disappointing.

I’m also the kind of person who will plan things way in advance in an attempt to create a weekend where I wouldn’t have any work. However, random things keep popping up that need attending too! Which is super annoying when I’ve been looking forward to time off! Praying that the working world isn’t like this as well- I’m getting tired of feeling like I have things I need to attend to 24/7.


(twenty one) or the time i was stuck between a rock and a hard place

Last night, Pam and I went to Hillary Clinton‘s rally in Philadelphia. For those of you who don’t know, this year is a big year for America’s governmental system. We will be electing our next president, and this year it seems like a lot of pressure is being put on who will be the winner. Maybe it’s always been like this, but during the last election I was too young to vote, and therefore was not privy to the anxiety that surrounds the outcomes of elections. Ironically, it feels as though this election has the weight of the world on top of it. I have never attended a political anything, so with Hilary Clinton coming to PA, I decided I needed to go out and experience it.

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I think everyone needs to take a break from politics, the media, and outside sources, and just sit with their thoughts. How do you feel about civil rights? Foreign policy? Government spending? Systematic racism? Education? LGBTQIA* rights? Women’s rights? The environment? The list of things that are important to people will go on and on, but once you have thought about the things that are important to you, look up what candidates stand for. No- NOT what they’re yelling about each other on TV. Look at their voting patterns. Look at what they have done in the past. Look at official statements and press conferences. Do you feel like they would be represent you and what you hold as personal truths? Good- then it looks like you found yourself a candidate. If you didn’t- that’s fine! You have autonomy and you should be able to make the choice not to vote if that’s what you want to do. If you feel like both candidates have supported things that you don’t feel comfortable backing, I understand that. I agree with that, and I think you aren’t alone in that feeling. In the end, I don’t want to endorse someone who upholds systematic racism and patriarchal values within a governmental organization that feeds on creating wars and distrust within it’s people. I don’t want to vote for anyone who creates trauma for the people they are ‘trying’ to represent. I wish I didn’t feel the obligation to feel that. But for the most part, that has been something that has been instilled in our generation. 

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This election has been interesting. I’ve seen some pretty horrible things being said by people I thought were what I would deem morally sound. Unfortunately, I think this election has really brought out the bad in some people. I think it’s also testing my limits on the ideas of morality- what deems good and bad? Obviously this thinking only exists within a binary, and therefore is flawed by its own nature. But even if I change my thinking to include a grey scale, how do I really feel? It’s hard to look at someone and say “I know you would hate me if you knew I was dating a girl, but I also know you volunteer at a homeless shelter weekly because you care about your community.” How do I feel about that? That person obviously has what I would deem ‘good’ qualities, but they also have ‘bad’ ones as well. What I’m really trying to say is as a non-party affiliated gal, I really hate how this political binary is showing me that so many people I know are still horrible, horrible people and I now must choose to vote within the system that continuously breeds these individuals, or face very literally consequences.

Overall, whenever someone says something problematic, I try to have a productive conversation with them to try to work through some of the thought processes that they have. Normally, I have a good conversation with people who have “Ah-Ha!” moments, and it’s good. Now, I’m faced with hostility that doesn’t even allow for positive confrontations. It’s interesting to see how the validity of an argument is misconstrued depending on how someone interprets your political affiliation to be. Actually, it’s really aggravating. You can’t just jokingly call someone a F****t and expect everyone to laugh with you. Someone’s gonna call you out for being mean! And homophobic! And if you just blame it on someone being ‘politically correct’ or ‘overly sensitive’ just remember that you made someone else feel bad. Who cares if you think that they need to suck it up? If YOU have ever been made to feel uncomfortable, and you were told to suck it up, I am so sorry! That’s really sad, and not how the situation could have been handled. But you can’t do that to others now!

I found this really interesting- its a post from another blog, complete with their own personal typing style

Honestly something that bothers me more than most things is having my compassion mistaken for naivety.

I know that another fish might eat this bullfrog right after I spend months rehabilitating it.

I know that turning a beetle back onto its legs won’t save it from falling over again when I walk away.

I know that there is no cosmic reward waiting for my soul based on how many worms I pick off a hot sidewalk to put into the mud, or how many times I’ve helped a a raccoon climb out of a too-deep trashcan.

I know things suffer, and things struggle, and things die uselessly all day long. I’m young and idealistic, but I’m not literally a child. I would never judge another person for walking by an injured bird, for ignoring a worm, or for not really caring about the fate of a frog in a pond full of, y’know, plenty of other frogs.

There is nothing wrong with that.

But I cannot cannot cannot look at something struggling and ignore it if I may have the power to help.

There is so much bad stuff in this world so far beyond my control, that I take comfort in the smallest, most thankless tasks. It’s a relief to say “I can help you in this moment,” even though they don’t understand.

I don’t need a devil’s advocate to tell me another fish probably ate that frog when I let it go, or that the raccoon probably ended up trapped in another dumpster the next night.

I know!!!! I know!!!!!!! But today I had the power to help! So I did! And it made me happy!

So just leave me alone alright thank u!!!!

So yeah!! If having compassion for another human being and their feelings is ‘politically correct’ I’m going to do it! And I think you should too, because one day we are going to realize that it’s just us humans on this giant flying rock in lonely, lonely space, and we need to be nice to each other because literally we will all die one day, and might as well know that we lived a life where we actively tried to be kinder and nicer to one another.

(twenty) or bmc&beyond

Today I was granted the very special ability to share the internship I did over the summer with the greater Bryn Mawr community! Bryn Mawr’s LILAC (a well known acronym for “The Leadership, Innovation, and Liberal Arts Center) arranged an informational Question&Answer walk around with individuals whose summer internships were funded by the college. Over 170 students had their internships funded by LILAC! It’s such a great opportunity. If you go to Bryn Mawr, you should 100% look into it. It was such a blessing to have my internship paid for by the college, otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to economically afford taking off time from working to do an unpaid internship over the summer.

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This morning I ate two chocolate covered doughnuts with Halloween themed sprinkles and talked to curious individuals about what I did this summer! This summer, I worked at the State Attorney’s Office in West Pam Beach, Florida. I was an intern in the Homicide division, which was an interesting experience. I really loved the individuals who work in that division- they were all so helpful and kind to me. It was a hard summer because homicide tends to warrant a certain type of work required by individuals. Overall, I learned a lot, and was appreciative of my experience there.


Even though I decided that law school and law as a profession weren’t the right fit for me, I was so happy that I realized that in an internship versus three years into law school. I think doing a hands on experience of something that you want to pursue as a career is super important, especially if that career involves a lot of higher education and emotional labor. Granted, yes, I did look into a very specific and emotional branch of law that I could potentially go into, but that was the field that interested me the most, and I was beyond lucky to get the position in such a competitive division.

IMG_6340Now, to get a head start on the homework that I have so I can spend some time with Pam this weekend!

(nineteen) or quinote speaker


Today I went to listen to Spectra’s LGBTQIA + History Month keynote speaker, Qui Alexander. Qui (pronounced “Key”) is a Bryn Mawr alum, and an overall pretty amazing guy. One of my best friends, Meera, is Spectra co-coordinator, so she helped set this event up! I went to support her, but I stayed because Qui was such an amazing speaker.

According to the pamphlet passed out to the audience, “Qui is a queer, trans, black Latinx educator, organizer, yoga teacher and consultant based in Philadelphia. He is currently the Program Coordinator for the Haverford College Women*s Center. Qui started his organizing in undergrad to help create and hold safe(r), more inclusive spaces for people who live on the margins.



His work centers on the intersections of gender, sexuality and racial justice; healing and transformative/restorative justice; and anti-violence work. Qui has shared his work at various universities, conferences and community centers, both locally and nationally. Believing the personal is political, his work strives to focus on personal liberation and healing to make movement work more sustainable.

In a nutshell, this means that Qui is the kind of guy I want to actively listen to on a stifling hot Wednesday night, in a dimly lit great hall, on the verge of a cold. He has an amazing ability to make anyone feel at ease and comfortable. Not only was he very personable, but he was personal, and funny, and was able to talk about really hard things in a way that didn’t make me want to get up out of the room and cry. I spent a lot of the talk listening and just contemplating what he was saying, but I did write down a few phrases and sentences that really hit home for me:

“Breaking down to break through”

“Looking my identity in the face”

“Harm is not a binary”

“Hurt people hurt people”

“I’m not like you on purpose!”


“I don’t think we should apologize for any of our feelings “

“We think our reactions are our feelings….(Instead I am now) creating spaces between my feelings and how I react to them”


“You have to feel your rage and anger in order to heal from it”


Overall, it was a really great experience, and I am super happy that I am able to participate in events like this. I find that the more I stretch myself out, the more I learn, and the more I resonate with other thoughts. It’s quite a powerful feeling, but one that also brings me quite a great deal of peace.

I’m going to end my blog post with a drawing that I made on my HA board. It’s based off a comic strip, but it was something that I thought my hall needed to see, and think about, so now I’m sharing it with you all.  FullSizeRender(Image depicts a human hand stretching out towards a glowing firefly. Human asks “Firefly- tell me your truth.” Image changes to firefly in human’s upwards facing palm. Firefly replies, “Some things you must simply…” image ends with firefly flying into darkness, Human reaches upwards to firefly, “…let go”)

(eighteen) or the ford

I have a confession to make- although we are a college that prides itself on being a tri-college consortium, I have only ever taken classes at Bryn Mawr. Granted, my rationale for this is because Bryn Mawr is by far superior so why would I ever dream of taking classes else where? I know that other students really do enjoy the other schools and like getting off of BMC’s campus to explore other areas. So today I did that by visiting Haverford!

We have a blue bus that takes us to other schools, which is really great because it’s free! It’s also a pretty cozy bus as far as buses go. School buses from where I come from are always dirty, broken, and unsafe, so coming here I was astounded by how clean and nice they were. Anyway! The ride is pretty short to Haverford, about ten minutes, so you can curl up in a seat and watch the passing trees and houses. It’s especially nice in the fall because suddenly you’re surrounded by a rushing swirl of colors from changing trees. Plus, the windows of the bus are open just a bit, so you get a really nice breeze through the cracks.

As a campus, Haverford is pretty (bRyN MaWr iS BeTTEr). They’re a Quaker school, so they have architecture that, to my understanding, reflects this. It has lots of greenery which I appreciate. They do a pretty good job of having outdoor seating as well. I found myself a rocking chair and just sat around and enjoyed the weather for a bit today. IMG_6296 IMG_6297

They have a lot of open spaces, which I can image would be a nice place to play sports! It’s a bigger campus than Bryn Mawr, and having no idea really where anything is, I usually stick to places I know, or allow others to lead me around like a child. Overall Haverford is nice, but my heart really does belong elsewhere.

(seventeen) or the things you don’t wanna hear on a flight

I headed back home today! Home, that is- Bryn Mawr College. Funny how names for places are so interchangeable…. I woke up this morning at 4am with a solid two hours of sleep under my belt. I tend to be super nervous before traveling anyway, and airplanes are the ultimate stressor for me. Couple extreme motion sickness with a horrible past of flying and you get me! 21 year old Angela, shaking silently as I board planes. Fortunately for me, planes are apparently safer than driving in a car. Unfortunately for me, at an altitude of 30,000 feet, nothing reasonable seems to resonate with me. I just know that I am suddenly being propelled at a zillion miles an hour between the surface of the earth and outer space and all of a sudden I begin to question life after death. Couple this existential crisis with a few bounces from turbulence and I’ve already drafted text messages dictated who gets what of my stuff.

A friend of mine told me that her uncle also has a fear of flying. He wears a bicycle helmet on planes. He says that he knows it won’t really protect him, but God wouldn’t laugh at him for trying.

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Thankfully for me, it was a pretty smooth flight. However, when the couple next to me (middle and window seat) sat down, the man leaned over to me and told me that he was sick and may need to get up during the flight. Already silently saying a rosary for the safety of the plane, I legitimately felt my blood drain my body, for I am a sympathetic puker. For those unfamiliar with the term- it means that when I see someone throw up, I feel the need to throw up. I braced myself for a long, long, long two and a half hour flight.

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But I made it! In one piece! I got to BMC alive and well and a little dehydrated but who cares?? Not me! I’m a very happy camper. Now, to do the laundry I didn’t do before the break…


(sixteen) or something french

And so my last day home has come sooner than expected! Am I ready to go back to school? Unclear. I always wish I would have more time in Florida until I get back to school and realize how much I’ve missed it. But for now, I’m allowing myself to indulge in a bit of self-pity that I will once again be returning to a constant work load.

One of the hardest things about leaving home would be leaving behind Effy. I recognize that this blog has quickly become me turning into the trope of “A Crazy Cat Lady,” but for anyone who has pets they don’t see frequently- hopefully you can relate.


It’s just hard because with anyone else I can talk to them and tell them when I will be leaving and when I will be coming back. For him, it’s a nasty surprise every time he sees my suitcase come out. He doesn’t know when I’m leaving or when I’ll next be back, so he sulks around my things hoping to divert my departure. It’s really quite sad, and constantly tugs at my heart strings. When he realizes I’m leaving, he stays closer to me, and meows whenever I get too far away from him. Unfortunately, I can’t sit down with him and say “I’ll be back for the holidays! You’ll see me soon!”- all I can do is sit on the floor and pet him and hopefully he recognizes this as my way of saying “I’ll be back.” It’s even harder because my parents say that after the first few days of me going back to school, he’ll sleep on my bed and hang out in my room more than usual.

I’m spending my last day with my parents just sharing space and relaxing together. It looks like it’s going to rain, which is my favorite type of florida weather. That usually means the temperature outside is bearable in the afternoons, and the cloud coverage blocks out enough of the sun for me to go outside without having to shield my eyes.

Although I am a pretty good baker, my dad is an excellent cook. He’s always trying out new recipes and ideas. The vast majority of it is delicious, and from recipes I wouldn’t otherwise have access to.

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Today, he made us something French- Blueberry Cobbler in a Cabbage Leaf. Although the cabbage leaf may sound kind of gross, you really need to trust me on this- it’s delicious. I’m not sure who figured out this taste combination, but 10/10 points to you. It’s a winner, and a recipe that apparently changed the perception of French desserts. He knows more about the history behind it than I do (ironic as I’m the history major), but it was quite fascinating.

Overall, I’m enjoying my last day home, but it’s already slipping away too quickly.

(fifteen) or writers block trail mix

The time has come! I have writers block on my thesis- so here I am, blogging about why it’s ok to take a break from working to allow your thoughts to flow! I have found that college produces a sort of stigma around productivity and quality of work- work is unspokenly expected to be high quality and deeply thought out at any given time. But sometimes that’s not possible! You can’t expect to be your best worker at all given times. Honestly, this is probably one of the hardest lessons that I’ve learned while in school. I’m still trying to learn it, so this is me actively trying to learn.

So here I am! Taking my own advice, and letting myself relax. Once again, my kitty-cat Effy is by my side keeping me company. I made myself a snack- chocolate chip pieces, raisins, and peanuts (It’s kinda like trail mix you get from stores, but also a comfort food that I can always make when I’m home). I’m also sitting outside to just enjoy the weather before I head back to Pennsylvania. It’s the little things that make it all feel good!