Journey Through The Mid-Atlantic

My thesis project examines Bayard Rustin, perhaps most notable for serving as the deputy director of the 1963 March on Washington. Yet, he led a lifelong commitment to civil and human rights in America and abroad. A pacifist, Rustin modeled nonviolent action (as a reflection of his belief in Gandhian principle) as a means to bring about social change. Raised by his Quaker grandmother, Rustin went on to become a Friend* himself. Scholarly discourse regards Rustin primarily for his Civil Rights era contributions, leaving his lifelong career largely unexamined. That is, aside from biographical texts and collections of his writings. I remain interested in how his Quaker background influenced his commitment to and actions toward social justice in America and abroad.

Mary Poppins might say, "Feed the birds!"

Having poured through the seminal and subsequent Rustin biographies, I decided that I would take advantage of my prime location in the Philadelphia region to travel to Washington D.C., where the Library of Congress holds the Bayard Rustin papers, a vast collection of Rustin’s speeches, letters, memos, photographs, and other materials. The first half of this blog post I wrote while in the Madison Reading Room. Now, I write to you from Union Station’s Starbucks (with the bar seating, that is!) where I have begun chugging a dirty vanilla chai to renew a bit of my energy.

To recap, I departed Tritton Hall, where I live on campus this year, at 6:30am. Before heading to the Haverford train station an 8 minute walk away (if you’re speed walking), I swung by Bruegger’s bagels to devour a rosemary olive oil bagel. A DC (Dining Center) banana proved to be a nice snack on the 20-minute train ride to 30th street station where I quickly made my way to the MegaBus departure location. The 3-hour bus ride was the perfect time to read a short story (and watch its film adaptation) for my Japanese Literature and Film course before taking a half-hour nap. Surprisingly, Google Maps led me in the appropriate direction to the Library of Congress building, at which point I went on a wild goose chase to receive researcher authorization from several bureaucratic centers. In the end, I was able to spend 4.5 solid hours in the reading room with a cornucopia of Rustin papers, some of which will be invaluable to the future of my thesis.
Now an hour away from Philadelphia, I think I’ll make this post final. Here’s a photograph I captured of Union Station as I made my way back from the Library of Congress. How nice the 58 degree weather (F) was!

As Night Consumes Union Station

 

 

Reflections and Photos from a Quaker Consortium Traveler

I can confidently say (read:type) I’m an expert at traveling from Haverford to Bryn Mawr to Swarthmore to the University of Pennsylvania. Our four institutions form the Quaker Consortium, schools all founded by the Religious Society of Friends, once upon a time. I have a course at each institution this semester and am thoroughly enjoying the experience, in and out of the classroom. The time I spend gazing outside at the passing ‘burbs and city streets on the Blue Bus, Tri-Co Van, and SEPTA train make me appreciate how small and intimate our 220-acre campus is. At the same time, I consider myself privileged to see so much of the Philadelphia area, especially as I have memorized the street signs and unconventional placement markers (e.g. Wendy’s).

Before you and I get too hungry, I may also say (read:type) how much I enjoy eating at Bryn Mawr by swiping my OneCard (the same gateway for eating at Haverford) and at Swarthmore by passing along a voucher I procured from the Haverford Dining Center Office. When in Philadelphia, I go frolicking for gelato at my favorite spot, Capogiro. As a student receiving financial aid, I appreciate Haverford’s policy of covering transportation to and from University of Pennsylvania to erase the cost of commuting to class. I sometimes rationalize that the money I might have earned in order to pay for my transportation can instead be invested in gelato…

A sunny, breezy afternoon @ Capogiro with Ananda Coleman '16 and photographer, Damon Motz-Storey '16, capturing our moment of glee

Stay tuned for future info and photos documenting my Quaker Consortium travels!

When I make my way back to Haverford, this is the beauty I behold.

Three Degrees of Separation

Six Degrees of Separation. I’m sure you’ve heard of this concept before… if not, feel free to click the link to learn more! Don’t become too impressed with this idea, however. Here at Haverford, I’d like to suggest that we’re more likely to have three degrees of separation with one another.

This is one of the reasons why I was so excited to downsize from a high school of 2,000 students to a college community just shy of 1,200. I love living and learning in an environment where I have the opportunity to get to know my close friends’ close friends.

Whether we cross paths at a Lunt concert, a FAB* Ben and Jerry’s Bingo competition, a Haverford basketball game, or during a birthday party screening of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, I have found that there is no limit to the settings in which I can meet new people. As a self-identified social butterfly, I’m in the right place!


Ben and Jerry’s Bingo in the Dining Center, 2011

I’d like to reminisce about the collegiate wonderland Sonia posted about earlier. Founders Green was where I found myself sunbathing and reading for class that day… that was until some of my freshmen recruited their friends lounging nearby to assemble for a random pyramid building project.

In the process of this endeavor, I met a few new people and enjoyed their company as we worked together to make a human work of art. This is a testament to how delightfully surprising Haverford can be just when you think you’ve met everyone there is to know! Plus, who doesn’t love procrastinating from schoolwork by way of making new friends, having a few laughs, and building a structure somewhat resembling a pyramid?


Impromptu Human Pyramid, March 2012

Close enough?

*Fords Against Boredom

Work: The worky work that sounds worky. – An almost (not quite) paraphrase from the wise Patrick Star

I absolutely love working at Haverford. Yes, I do enjoy doing homework, but here I’m referring to work-study. Time away from my bedroom desk, library carrel, campus center chair, and dining center table to earn some cash and gain some valuable work experience is, well, valuable. I work in the Admission Office filing application materials, hosting in the lobby, giving campus tours, and interning for Multicultural Recruitment. I’m a student tutor in the Writing Center as well as a member of the Gender and Sexuality Studies Steering Committee. Each month, I work about 40 hours. In my humble opinion, I might work a bit more than your average Haverstudent, but I find that the structure of my days, weeks, and months with these work schedules really helps me strike the balance between work, homework, and play. Plus, the money is great pocket change for dining out, buying presents, and saving up!

As a student on financial aid, a portion of my package is designated as work-study funds. I, along with others on work-study, have first dibs for and/or special designation on job applications. Not on financial aid? Never fear!  There are a cornucopia of job opportunities for all students! Nearly every academic department and administrative office offers something. Base pay for all on-campus jobs begins at $9.00 your first year. Each year, you receive a $.25 increase! Below are just a few neat professions I want to highlight.

- Marshall Auditorium concert usher

When the Orchestra or Chamber Singers perform, you get paid to hand out programs and keep folks from walking in and out of the auditorium during performances.

- Morris Infirmary Health Services monitor

Someone gotta cold? Show them where the free cold medicine is. Oh, and the cough drops.

- Cantor Fitzgerald student assistant

Greet visitors to the gallery, hand out exhibit information, and enjoy the beauty of the displayed pieces.

- Sexuality and Gender Alliance lounge monitor

Point students in the direction of the free cookies, juice, books, movies, and comfy couches.

- Gardner Integrated Athletic Center Facilities monitor

Greet guests entering the lobby, headed to the fitness center or locker room before a practice and/or gym workout.

There are so many jobs on campus; I couldn’t possibly cover them all here. Always feel free to consult our Career Development Office, which displays a handy  Job Board icon that you can access as an enrolled student. And remember, if you ever feel an itch to find a job off-campus, between Bruegger’s (please follow the link for a mouth-watering image), Kiwi Yogurt (as of this past August!), Chipotle (need I say another word?), and Suburban Square, there are endless opportunities to make a buck… they just may not start out at the $9.00 base pay-rate of all on-campus jobs.

Happy job hunting!

 

Help Wanted: Freshman seeking pre-registration advice!

11:59 PM EST, this evening, is the deadline for Spring 2012 pre-registration. Gasp! The panic sets in…

I kid, I kid. There’s not much to stress out about this deadline, especially for freshmen. As a first-year student (read, affectionately, frosh) at Haverford, you have a whole support network helping you navigate course offerings. I am one of those folks!

As an Upper Class Adviser, not only do I live on a freshmen hall as a friend and resource for frosh throughout the year, but also work with them each semester to pick and choose courses that match their passions and interests. Having been trained by and gained guidance from the Dean for First Year Students, the Director of the Writing Program, and Chairs of academic departments and programs, I’m a student expert of the academic opportunities available for frosh. Plus, I’ve had two years of being a student myself. In that time, I’ve been advised by my own Upper Class Adviser and done my own research in trying to pick a major, minor, and concentration.

Back in September, I advised each of the 12 freshmen I have come to know and love about course options and the lottery system. They’ve got eight solid weeks of college under their belts now and, perhaps, a stronger grasp of what they’d like to study. I’m also here to help them build time management skills, learn how to communicate with their professors (in person and over e-mail), decode syllabi, understand the (pre)registration process, and with just about anything else.

The Upper Class Adviser is not someone frosh must report to about course choices. We’re a resource available to them if they’d like our assistance. I met with a handful of my frosh this month to brainstorm pre-registration options. A few others had a complete list that they wanted me to look over. The rest had already been in contact with their Faculty Adviser and completed the registration process. No matter what stage they were in, I was excited to help them. I can’t wait until April when pre-registration for their sophomore year begins, and the advising commences again. Until then, I guess I’ll double check that they’ve all submitted their registration… that 11:59 PM deadline can really creep up on a Haverstudent!

 

Tarrytown Adventure!

At the end of September, I traveled to Tarrytown House: Estate and Conference Center in Tarrytown, New York for the Haverford College Board of Managers retreat. I got to spend this great weekend adventure with Jen Zelnick, 2012 class representative to the Board, and the Students’ Council Co-Presidents, Lizzie Douglas and Florencia Foxley. I was recently elected as the 2013 class representative, which is why I was along for the ride.

This ride turned out to be a difficult trek. Jen offered up her ‘ol reliable SAAB sedan and exemplary driving skills (no doggin New Jersey drivers, please), which should have made our trip just under two and a half hours. After picking up Lizzie and Florencia from the North Dorms, we headed to Wawa for proper sustenance and sugary-goodness, followed by a stop at the gas station. In retrospect, the stop at the pump is where we believe the incident occurred…

As Jen attempted to merge onto Interstate 476, we realized her left-side mirror was missing! Perhaps the glass had shattered while she was filling up the tank, perhaps not. We decided the most responsible decision would be to turn back and head to campus to find another vehicle instead of making the illegal drive up to Tarrytown without a side mirror. While on our way back, we made arrangements to get a rental car. Well, it was Jason McGraw, Director of Student Activities and Assistant Dean of the College, who made the arrangements. Thanks to the power of the iPhone, we were able to figure out how to get to Bargain Car Rental in Media, PA.

Following a light run through the campus center with Florencia, a rainy drive to Media, and a swift auto swip-swap on campus, we were back on the interstate. Water poured from the sky, doing everything to delay our arrival, but Jen led us through the flood. Kudos to Lizzie for manually operating the E-ZPASS that detached itself from the dashboard!

The rainy interstate. Credit to Florencia for the dreary yet beautiful image!

 

The GPS led us about a half mile past the entrance to Tarrytown House. Again, the power of the iPhone rescued us. We finally pulled onto the estate at 8PM. The darkness of night hid the proper parking spaces from us, so we sought out an alternative space…

We had impeccable timing. Rounds of applause welcomed us in the Garden Room of the Biddle Mansion where the managers, faculty and staff representatives, and guests were just beginning to dig into the dinner salad. It was nice to finally be there, six hours from our original departure!

I found an empty seat at a table with Violet Brown and Joan Wankmiller, the executive duo in the Presidents Office that put together and pulled off the very successful Board retreat. While chowing down on a delicious flank steak, I chatted with Ann Satterthwaite, Board member and clerk of the Board of Trustees at Friends’ Central. I continued to meet other members of the Board, all of whom were very friendly and interested to hear about how I ended up at Haverford and why I was interested in being a student representative.

On our way to 8AM breakfast! When was the last time I was up that early to eat?

 

Throughout the entire weekend, I effectively felt like a member of the Board. During all of the presentations and discussions, both in the larger group and within our conference table groups, I was a valued participant. I look forward to future meetings with all of the people who have given and continue to give so much of themselves, their time, energy, and enthusiasm to make Haverford the wonderful place that it is. I’m honored to be a student representative to the Board and look forward to future meetings… closer to home.

 

From left to right: Lizzie, Florencia, Joanne Creighton (our current president!), Jen, Me, John C. Whitehead ’43, Cathy Koshland ‘72