October 18, 2013
As someone who does not mind travel, (and as someone who likes seeing her family,) I find myself on the Northeast Regional trains between Connecticut College and Philadelphia quite a lot. It’s only for breaks, but we have four in total, which equals two four-hour trips four times a year… or 32 hours on the train every school year.
While on these train rides, you often meet people and make small connections with them. My most recent trip was on Sunday, October 13. After an ungodly 45-minute delay at Penn station, the train began to move again and, as I started working on some Italian homework, a young couple sat down across from me.
The couple and I didn’t really interact besides an occasional eye roll at each other when the train lights flickered on and off. Only when we had left Old Saybrook, the stop before New London and Conn, did I talk to the couple. They were talking amongst themselves about where they were and how far through Connecticut the train was. I politely told them we had left Old Saybrook and were headed to New London.
We began chatting, and after establishing that I was a sophomore at Conn, the man and I realized we were both from Philadelphia and knew each other’s neighborhoods. At this point he gave me a fist bump and declared: “Any one from Philadelphia is alright by me,” which is such a Philly thing to do: anyone from our city is automatically cool.
It’s a treat to meet someone from your hometown; it makes the train rides a little less lonely, even if it was only the twenty-minute bit between Old Saybrook and New London.
October 18, 2013
Oh fall break, how we were excited when you arrived. I have waited for the day when we would have our first break from classes, a break also from society. Classes can really take it out of you. Fall break, from Wednesday evening through Sunday, was amazing to say the least. It’s the time when people have some serious life changes.
The number one question on Monday is definitely “So how was fall break?” Some went apple picking, got haircuts, visited family, dentist appointments, traveled, held Netflix marathons and indulged in fast food.
Of course, not everyone can do life-changing things over fall break. Like me: I just sat around with my best friend, ordered food, and let fall break go by without a care in the world. That is why we love fall break so much in the first place, right?
October 14, 2013
This is a Rugby game that I attended during fall break. Rugby is a club sport on campus, but the team practices and treats the sport as a varsity team. Similarly, rugby is the only club sport that stays on campus during Fall Break along with the rest of the varsity sports teams. About 95% of the team had never touched a rugby ball before playing for Conn College. With great coaching and mentoring from experienced players, the rookies catch on pretty quickly to a sport that was foreign to them months before.
October 14, 2013
Though I transferred to Conn a mere month and a half ago, it already feels as comfortable as home thanks to the royal wonders of Knowlton House.
Running upstairs and knocking on Joanna’s door for that much-needed dose of chitchat and chick-flicks (most recently, "27 Dresses"), gabbing with Peruvian Gabby (in between brushing teeth) at 7 a.m. about our intended morning workouts, and cooking crepes in Knowlton’s pantry to prep for French Club with club co-head and floor neighbor, Emily.
Personal faves include the baked mac n’ cheese and pork dumplings. Not to mention those chocolate chip toffee Heath bars... Mmm...
3. Language Lunch Tables
Gotta love discussing French popular films and joking about the stereotypes of northern Frenchmen with Professeur Chalmin. En francais of course!
4. Roommate Amanda (Jixuan)
A sister to come home to, though an ocean divides our hometowns.
5. Location: South Campus, on Temple Green
Classes a minute’s walk across the Green, delicious soup and artisanal bread in Freeman dining hall a few doors down, the start line of women’s cross country practice at the tree out the back door.
A grand staircase fit for a cliché ballroom entrance, crowning bedroom ceilings, rich hardwood floors, a fireplace. Not surprisingly, Knowlton began life as the campus hotel for the (once all-female) students’ male suitors.
Perhaps honoring Knowlton’s historically male guests, Knowlton Knights attend a dinner sporting mustaches and fancy attire.
Across the street from Gallows Lane, Knowlton conjures up its spirits to throw down a killer haunted house. For those easily spooked, pumpkin carving’s also a golden option as part of our Fright Night series.
8. The Piano
A trusty friend when the time comes to plunk out that music theory homework. A godsend when the lunch hour pianist (a talented and surprisingly consistent Conn student) lays his fingers on its ivory keys.
Juan saves the day with his cheery “good morning,” spotless cleaning, and spare set of room keys if one helplessly finds oneself locked out of one's room. Not that I have ever been locked out ;) ;)
Who won the Camelympics chant? KNOWL-TON! Who won? KNOWL-TON! Frankly, who else?
October 10, 2013
CAMELYMPICS: a dorm versus dorm competition that takes place every fall at Connecticut College. The events include soccer, Jenga, dodgeball, Bananagrams and quidditch, to name a few.
This year I was determined to represent my dorm, Windham, in at least one event. Luckily, my best friend also lives in my dorm so we decided that we would sign up together.
Our issue? I am an athlete; my best friend Natalie… is not. But amongst the many contests we found a happy medium and signed up for the photo-scavenger hunt.
When we arrived at the scavenger hunt meeting place in Cro, the student center, we were pleasantly surprised to see pairs of freshmen; as sophomores we thought we’d have a leg up in knowing where certain things were located. We immediately sprinted off to the health center to take our first picture.
The competition proved fierce as the scavenger hunt led us to four different dorms, searching for various Connecticut College memorabilia. In one dorm, we took a picture of a Floralia bottle, part of another Connecticut College tradition.
Other items to find and photograph included the unusual members of the College community, the loveable Larrabee cats. (A pair of cats who live outside Larrabee dorm.)
The hunt culminated with a picture of us wearing three protective items, and then we ran as hard as we could back to Cro. We were proud, but a little frustrated to find that we’d won third place.
We actually should have gotten first, but it’s okay, we’ll be back next year to win first once and for all.
October 10, 2013
On Tuesday, Oct. 1, Unity House hosted a dinner discussion about how gender roles and stereotypes present themselves in the Latino culture. This dinner was one of many events to honor Latino Heritage Month, and as an attendee I was pretty excited to learn more about this culture that I knew very little about. The discussion started off by addressing intersectionalities of identity and how gender, race and socioeconomic status play an important part in how we, as Americans, view Latinos/Latinas.
America is a country rooted in binaries (black vs. white, rich vs. poor, able-bodied vs. disabled), which doesn't leave much room for those who do not easily fit a binary. Those who fit in multiple groups may experience identity in a more complex way. For example, when someone assumes that those with Latino/Latina heritage aren't educated because America is exceptional and Latin America is "backwards" in the context of a nation (the U.S.) where many women are intellectually oppressed, how does this affect women from Latin America?
Issues of class complicate this even more. The issue of an assumed lower socioeconomic status comes into play in a culture that prides itself on wealth. How do you address gender issues without discussing race and class issues? What becomes more relevant, culture or color? Does sexism/racism become a driving force for interactions and experiences?
I don't quite know what I was expecting when I engaged in this deep and powerful discussion, but as ideas were exchanged and opinions were shared, a student felt comfortable enough to share a story about how her culture impacted her experience in a classroom. This student shared a time when she felt a classroom was not a safe space, and we all felt like we were a part of her experience. Touching on stereotypes, oppression and gender inequalities, we all agreed that an injustice had been committed. After sharing possible solutions, the groundwork was placed for a student movement to create safer spaces on campus.
To me, this is one of the most beautiful things about Conn: The fact that we could all come together in support of one another's feelings and experiences to improve our community, shows our strength and compassion. A student protest was held several days later outside of Olin to commemorate a new movement. While I couldn't attend the protest, a fascinating discussion turned into something that the whole campus could learn from. Once Camels get going, there is no stopping them.
October 10, 2013
After much coercion by my friend, I trudged across Tempel Green to Ruane’s Den in Harkness House. It was a Thursday night and I had to get up early for my 8 a.m. chemistry class the next morning, but Ruane’s Den was hosting a trivia night for the first time and my friend REALLY wanted to go.
As we entered the lounge, I was surprised by how many people we there. At least 30 students, taking up the couches, armchairs and tables, filled the room. Students were grabbing snacks and tea from the café, Jazzman’s, and watching "The Big Bang Theory" on one of the large flat screen TVs while waiting for the questions to start.
My friends and I went to arguing over the different trivia questions given, ranging from “elementary school” level to “college” level. Questions varied in difficulty from “Cats of this color are thought to be unlucky” (Black) to “Which city’s playoff-bound baseball team had to start battling for ticket sales when its football team was founded about 10 years ago” (Cleveland). It was fun, even though we got third to last place. My friends and I are determined to go back, with more friends, and do it again.
October 10, 2013
We all procrastinate. It’s something that’s built into our lovely college student nature. Don’t get me wrong, I saw all the signs. The excess sleep, more time spent on Facebook, and the all-of-the-sudden newfound interest in a certain youtuber’s daily vlogs that you have to watch before next Tuesday when a new one is uploaded. I’d like to consider myself an avid learner. New things inspire me and make me realize how much there really is to learn in the world.
Anyways, I had a test this week. No big deal, it was just the first test in my organic chemistry class. Those are only worth a whopping twenty percent of your grade. It wasn’t a surprise test to everyone else, just to me. Little ol’ me that forgot to pick up the syllabus. So I can definitely tell you that stress is very real. It’s not going to disappear into thin air, and it’s actually going to make you feel like the air is getting thinner as you read this.
It’s a vicious cycle of love and hate. Loving the free time you think you have and hating yourself for thinking you had free time. A strategy I like to use to make sure I keep everything under control, even surprise tests, is to just stick to what I know. Stay with your normal flow of daily life. Don’t skip class, unless you wake up late, and don’t miss any assignments while you’re catching up. Things like this only stress me out more. Stick to your guns and make sure you aim high. At the end of the day there is one thing I do know for sure, and it’s that I am not the only one who fell in love with procrastination. It likes to get around; it’s no secret.