Snowy Midterm Season

Even though Spring Break is right around the corner, it doesn’t look like Spring just yet in Philly. Today we had a snow day, and so I took the opportunity to get ahead on my Midterm Exams.

One of my favorite things about Haverford, and specifically its Honor Code, is that my professors trust me and expect me to do the right thing. So, my Microfinance professor assigned us a timed, take-home, closed-book test to do at some point in the week when we had time. Here’s me, cozy and warm in my apartment with a mug of tea as the snow continues to fall outside, just about to take my exam!


I’ve set a timer for 60 minutes. Wish me luck!!

Study Abroad: Exploring Paris

Eiffel Tower

Hello from Europe! I am currently studying abroad with Sweet Briar College’s Junior Year in France Paris program, one of FIVE Haverford-approved study abroad programs in France alone. The Study Abroad Office has approved over 60 programs in 40 countries and on every continent except Antarctica—if you might be interested in studying abroad, you have options!

Even before I started applying to colleges, I was 100% sure I wanted to study abroad and 80% sure I wanted to go to Paris…but if you’re not as into the whole planning ahead thing, fear not! Haverford helps with every step of the process and can provide you with great resources as you make a decision about studying abroad. About half of all students at Haverford go abroad for a semester in their junior year and some go abroad for the whole year.

Check out my shots of the Eiffel Tower and a panorama of the Paris as seen from the Sacré Coeur. Very cliché, I know, but they’re popular sites for a reason!

Here are some highlights of my time abroad so far: Continue reading

Plenary at Haverford College


Students raise their “Plenary Packets” to vote for a resolution.

Last weekend, Haverford students came together for a unique Haverford tradition: Plenary.

Plenary is a once-per-semester session where the student body meets in the gym to talk about life at Haverford and how we can make revisions to our policies and programs. It is a pillar on which stands our entire system of student self-governance. The Haverford administration trusts us to lead and run Plenary so that we can make administrative decisions and recommendations on our own, and they know that we take the process very seriously.

Two-thirds of the student body must attend in order for Plenary to take place. Students stand and present resolutions on which a two-thirds majority of attendees must vote “yes” on in order to pass. These resolutions can range from the expectations that Student’s Council places upon its members to a recommendation from the student body to remove the college’s paper towels in the interest of environmental sustainability.

This past Sunday, there were nine resolutions, including revisions to the official policies of Honor Council and the ratification of the Honor Code itself.  Continue reading

Tri-College Linguistics Conference

On February 13, Haverford hosted the first Tri-College Undergraduate Linguistics Conference. Linguistics is a Tri-College major at Haverford, which means that Haverford, Swarthmore, and Bryn Mawr share faculty, and students can take courses for the major at all three schools.

At this Tri-Co Conference, undergraduate students from across the country presented on a wide variety of topics.  I was able to attend the first presentation on Right-Node Wrapping, and it was an excellent display of high-quality scholarship produced by an undergraduate.

I also had time to see part of the outstanding keynote lecture from University of Texas at Austin Professor of Linguistics, Richard P. Meier on pointing in sign languages, a topic that encompasses, among other areas, syntax and phonology. Another fascinating area of his keynote was the discussion of psycholinguistics studies comparing pointing in Autistic deaf children of deaf parents to pointing in non-Autistic deaf children of deaf parents.

This gathering of so many undergraduates interested in pursuing projects in linguistics made for an exciting and erudite atmosphere at the conference. If you are interested in the Tri-Co’s thriving linguistics community, check out

Science painting in the snow!

Hi everybody!
This semester, my biochemistry classmates and I are studying the biosynthesis of skyllamycin (an antibiotic) in the soil bacteria Streptomyces. Throughout the semester, we’ve been learning about site directed mutagenesis, protein purification, molecular modeling on the computer, and many other lab techniques. But TODAY we perfected the most important technique of all….snow painting!
Thanks to Fords Against Boredom (a.k.a. FAB) for supplying me an my friend Ali with “snow paint” so we could amuse ourselves by drawing skyllamycin in the snow during our short break between lunch and lab.
~~~~Katie (and Ali!)

Theater, Film, & Food!

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Philadelphia is close and so much fun! Read on for a sampling of what I’ve done in the city this semester.

My suitemate did a summer internship via Haverford’s Hurford Center for the Arts and Humanities with the Pig Iron Theater Company. In September when we were both back on campus, she invited me to come along and see what the company had been working on (for free!). The result of the summer’s hard work was 99 Breakups, an experimental, movement-based play about relationships, romantic and otherwise, that just don’t work out. The play was staged in and around the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA), so I got to see a lot of great art in addition to a play. Read The New York Times review of the show.

This year was the 23rd Philadelphia Film Festival, so I headed downtown to watch Dietrich Brueggeman’s Stations of the Cross. Ever the film student, this was a movie I’d been wanting to see since I read the catalogue for the Berlinale (one of Europe’s most prestigious festivals) at my summer internship. Nothing like a depressing movie with heavy religious themes to kick off the weekend, am I right?

Alice's birthday dinner downtown.

Alice’s birthday dinner downtown.

Finally, a subject near and dear to every college student’s heart: food. Philly’s got a lot of tasty restaurants. Last Friday I went to University City (the Philly neighborhood surrounding The University of Pennsylvania) to celebrate my friend Alice’s birthday at a trendy sushi restaurant. Alice and I met when I was a PAF in her freshmen apartment last year—proof that Customs isn’t just an orientation program, it’s a friendship-maker! Check out the cute photo of us!

Finals Week


Brandon’s favorite study spot. Photo credit: Jessica Dixon ’16

Happy Finals Week! My favorite place to study at Haverford is this desk on the second tier of the Science Library. Today, I’m preparing to write a paper for my Philosophy of Mind course. In this course, taught by Professor Ian Blecher, we have studied Plato (Philebus and short selections from Phaedrus and Parmenides), Aristotle (De Anima 3, 4, and 5), Thomas Aquinas (Summa Theologiae, Question 79), René Descartes (Meditations on First Philosophy 1, 2, and 3), Immanuel Kant (The Critique of Pure Reason), and Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (Faith and Knowledge and the preface to The Phenomenology of Spirit).  

Community Service with Track and Field

Last month I had the chance to take part in some awesome community service activities with my track and field teammates. The Women’s Track and Field team volunteered at the Special Olympics. This year we were in charge of cheering for the athletes during their different races and walks. It was a beautiful yet surprisingly cold day, but despite the chilling winds the athletes were pumped and ready to go. We had a blast cheering on the participants of the 5k and 3k and it was clear that they were having so much fun.


Continue reading

My Top 5 Haverford Highlights

Here is a list of just a few of my favorite activities. I hope they give you a sense of some of the great things you can do on and off campus while living at Haverford.

This is where I tutor twice a week.

Southwark School where I tutor twice a week.

1. Volunteering as an after-school tutor in Philadelphia
As an education minor, I love working as a tutor! I spend two days a week volunteering at Southwark School in South Philadelphia helping 1st and 2nd graders with their homework. It’s nice to get off campus to volunteer in the city. Through my volunteer work, I’ve learned so much about Philadelphia and the neighborhood surrounding Southwark School.

My Chemistry "Superlab" reaction!

My “Superlab” reaction!


2. Working indepedently in Chemistry lab
Now that I’m a Junior chemistry major, I’m spending more and more hours working in the lab. I love running complex reactions on my own. I’m glad that undergraduates at Haverford have so much responsibility and independence.




Continue reading

The Nerd House Halloween Murder Mystery Party

A photo of our superb costumes: Teemo in his Fallout skin (Jesse Pazdera), a mummy (Harry Okun), Godric Gryffindor (ME!), Captain Hammer (Casey Falk), and the Eleventh Doctor (David Reilley).

A photo of our superb costumes: Teemo in his Fallout skin (Jesse Pazdera), a mummy (Harry Okun), Godric Gryffindor (ME!), Captain Hammer (Casey Falk), and the Eleventh Doctor (David Reilley).

The night was chill and dark. My companions and I gathered in our Halloween attire and set out for Nerd House. Upon our arrival, we encountered the eldritch scene: A mansion with ghoulish decorations, delicious snacks… and a sinister air. Continue reading