November 5, 2013
This week, I was named “campus cutie” by HerCampus, an independent online student publication which, each week, profiles a campus cutie. The articles normally go out on Friday mornings, and you never know who is going to be next!
I was sitting around on Wednesday night and, while studying for my organic chemistry test, an email popped up from HerCampus. I was pretty shocked as I read through the email saying I had been nominated. I didn’t think I would ever be considered for such a thing.
There were questions about my idea of a perfect date, my favorite types of candy, my celebrity crush, and even my response to learning about my nomination.
As you can imagine, I remained humble throughout the entire thing. The really weird part about the publishing of the article is that I knew before everyone else on campus did. I had to keep it a secret for two whole days. That may not seem long, but to not tell something to anyone (despite the fact that you want to!) is super hard. Anyway, I obeyed, and no one knew but my best friend.
What has been even weirder is that people actually recognize me from just this article. Little do they know that for, to me, it started as just a campus secret.
November 4, 2013
Kurt and I are taking you behind the scenes of an annual Connecticut College tradition: Fall Weekend. It's a weekend complete with athletic matches, the annual all-group a cappella concert and HarvestFest, an open market of Connecticut College swag sold by clubs and teams.
November 4, 2013
“SLOWLY AND CAUTIOUSLY add 17ml of 6% hydrogen peroxide.” That is copied word-for-word and inflection-for-inflection from my General Chemistry 103 lab manual.
This was part of the experiment I did last week, a section of a 3-lab experiment I will eventually write a lab report about.
Chemistry does not come easily to most students, myself included; I frequently find myself up late trying to memorize common ions and the difference between a p-orbital and a d-orbital. But there is one part of chem I am always a little excited to go to: chemistry lab.
Why? Because it’s just like potions class at Hogwarts.
But seriously, we go over a brief procedure on the board, and then use our lab manuals (like a textbook) to do the experiment. Some are gifted (or lucky) and their solutions come out exactly as described, while others sit and watch green brown slush gurgle in their cauldron *ahem* beaker.
In lab last week we did two different chemical equations, and our solutions changed from the color of orange juice, to the color of carrot juice, to looking like old hot chocolate and finally to a bright green you could only get from liquefying jolly ranchers... all in a little over an hour. If that isn’t magic, what is?
During the part of the lab when we had to “SLOWLY AND CAUTIOUSLY add 17ml of 6% hydrogen peroxide,” we had heated our solutions to a boil and were slowly pouring in the hydrogen peroxide. Yes, that’s the same stuff we use to clean our cuts. As I poured the first few drops into the solution, it frothed, bubbled and made an angry hissing sound. “Oh my god,” exclaimed my lab partner, “it’s just like potions!”
While it’s sometimes hard to find fun in our 8 a.m. lectures, the sheer enjoyment (and Harry Potter comparisons) of chem lab makes it all worth it.
October 31, 2013
This week in my philosophy class, we took quite an interesting spin: We wrote law briefs. You know those things that I guess lawyers use when they are looking at cases? Yeah, I had to write one of those. Roe vs. Wade was my choice of topic.
I’ve always thought something about the law. On a very basic level, lawyers go to court, and they want to win. No one wants to lose, especially when your life sentence is on the line.
After reading the case I have to say that I think otherwise, and for good reason.
For me, Roe vs. Wade was about more than going to court and winning. It was about formulating an argument and bringing to light issues about law and society. I was able to identify and formulate both sides of the argument, which to me is really cool problem solving.
Don’t get me wrong: I love science...I don’t plan on changing that perspective. In the back of my mind now I think about the question “can I integrate this science perspective into law?” Soon, I plan on talking with a pre-law adviser about what types of classes I should think about taking, and how I should go about possibly self-designing a major. This all developed from me writing one brief, but you better watch out; I’m very competitive.
October 30, 2013
As a sophomore, I did not think I’d already have to be considering what my senior thesis might be.
However, when you are applying to the Goodwin-Niering Center for the Environment (GNCE,) part of your application mandates a proposed thesis or senior project.
This means thinking about my future A LOT.
Thankfully I am a future-oriented person who knows what she wants to do with her life. But all of those ideas only existed in my head, and putting them down on paper with a plan for the next two and half years of college are solidifying them in a way that is a little intimidating.
On a optimistic note, you can’t say that college is not preparing students for the future, since through this process I have thought seriously about long-term goals, have had to prepare for interviews, reached out to superiors and learned how to craft a serious proposal. These are all skills you need to have in the world after college.
One of the great aspects of GNCE is that not all of the students in it are environmental majors. There are chemistry, anthropology, philosophy, even English majors, and all want to connect the environment to their major or interest.
Applying to the Goodwin-Niering Center is a great example of what most of what extracurriculars at Conn are like; a lot of hard work, but all in preparation for opportunities you would not have access to anywhere else.
October 29, 2013
Pictured is Wai Ying Zhao, a senior art major here at Connecticut College working late night on an installation piece for our construction and installation class. You can find students just like Wai Ying in Cummings Arts Center working on projects at all hours of the day. We make jokes about “living” in Cummings and having a bed installed somewhere for each of us because we actually spend more time in Cummings than we do in our own rooms... it’s like our second home. The great thing about Cummings is that the building is accessible to art students 24/7, meaning we can work as late as we’d like.
October 29, 2013
What role do designers play in social movements? I dashed from my cross-country meet to hear Lee Davis ’88 give an answer.
Davis majored in studio art and his passion for design has led him around the world and through various careers. He studied alongside design gurus in Switzerland and Japan through a Thomas J. Watson fellowship, worked as a graphic designer for CARE (a humanitarian organization which fights global poverty), co-founded NESsT (a business which stabilizes and grows social enterprises), and traveled to Eastern Europe to conduct projects related to NESsT.
Davis now works as a Fellow at Yale School of Management and as a scholar-in-residence in the Center for Social Design at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). At MICA, his students design for social causes such as the urban Real Food Farm of Baltimore, which improves residents’ access to healthy food and boosts Baltimore’s local economy.
He flashed us photos of their flashy work: a decorated vegetable truck that brings produce to the people, gorgeous graphic logos, top-notch t-shirts.
Evidently, design brings social causes into view; design sets them ablaze. If I learned anything else from Davis’s presentation, it’s the value of a versatile liberal arts degree to give its holders freedom to enter (and — as Davis has done — combine!) various fields. Before we left, he fed us more explicit design-related wisdom: “Increase the size of the Connecticut College diploma.” The diploma design must, after all, reflect the quality of the degree.
October 28, 2013
On Friday the 18th, on the cusp of Fall Weekend, I jumped in the car and drove to the train station to pick up Emma, one of my best friends from high school.
We had decided over the summer that she was going to come visit me over Fall Weekend at Conn, in part because I knew my family wasn’t going to come visit me, but also because I knew there would be plenty of stuff for us to do.
Plenty doesn’t even begin cover it.
On Friday night the festivities began with lively a cappella concerts from the seven groups on campus. These were followed by a jaw-dropping performance by America’s Got Talent finalists Fighting Gravity, a black-light dance troupe displaying (wait for it) gravity-defying illusions. A dance ended the night in the giant tent. I asked Emma if she had fun as we walked back to my dorm, and she replied with an enthusiastic “Of course! How could I not?”
On Saturday we took a tour of the campus, watched the soccer game, and explored Harvestfest, where all the clubs on campus set up tables in the giant tent to sell merchandise as a fundraising opportunity. After dinner at the dance, I introduced Emma to other friends from around campus and also took several priceless pictures in the photo booth.
Sunday, after walking back from a lazy start in Harris dining hall, I asked Emma about her impressions of Conn. As a student who lives in New York City, she was awed by the fact that even on our small campus we remained busy, how there was always something to do.
At the train station I hugged Emma good-bye and she told me to come visit her in NYC. She then said that she hoped to come back to Conn and visit again, maybe next semester. I said, “Yes! Totally!” but I’m not sure how I can top another visit as great as this one.
October 25, 2013
What do vaginas mean to you? It’s a simple question at first sight, if you’re just thinking on the surface. Vaginas are so much more than the surface, especially for me. I am an only child, and my mother was a single mother. There, I said it. I hope you feel the emotion I have towards vaginas through the computer screen, and what they mean. This year, Alia Roth ’14 is producing the Vagina Monologues. It is a show that happens annually at the college during the spring semester, this year on February 20-22.
To promote the show, Alia decided upon a video. She reached out to a group of us students via email. She asked if we wanted to participate in this video. She told us she was going to ask us each a question when we arrived to do the filming, and it was going to be a surprise. I immediately accepted. Never have I been so thrilled to have the opportunity to work on this type of project.
The day of recording came, and I told the camera-no, the world-what vaginas truly mean to me. After I was done I left Alia and John, the videographer in shock. They were amazed at what I had to say. Everything I said was true. We were emailed and told to prepare ourselves for the release. I was sitting in my room watching the video alone, and there was a smile from ear to ear on my face. I was happy.
The video was posted on major media websites and YouTube the following day. It has over 100,000 views at this very moment. The world and our campus really got to see what other students and I had to say. I have always been proud of the role my mother has played in my life. For being able to deal with me and be successful, but now I am also proud of Alia. I am proud of her for showing the world that there are men who really do understand that there is more than a face value to a vaginal treasure, which the world must learn to respect.
October 25, 2013
This year we had one of the biggest Fall Weekends that Connecticut College has ever seen, as we celebrated the completion of our $211 million Campaign for Connecticut College that President Higdon started publicly in October of 2008. The weekend started off with the bright blue illumination of the tent, complete with the College’s tree logo projected on it. The first event of the weekend was ONE.EPIC.NIGHT, which was a night filled with exciting performances by the a cappella groups, dancers, two very funny MC’s, a speed painter and Fighting Gravity. This was followed by food trucks of all sorts and a dance. Day two started with Harvestfest and brunch under the tent where clubs and organizations on campus got to sell all sorts of great stuff including t-shirts, posters, coffee mugs, phone cases, raffle tickets and baked goods for the clubs to raise money. This was followed by an exciting soccer game against Bowdoin College on Harkness Green. The night culminated with a green-screen photo booth, performance by Bear Mountain and a dance under the tent.