Category Archives: General

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Beyond the Rivalry: Utilizing the Tri-Co

Post by Ethan Lyne ’19

When you received your letter of admission to Haverford College, it also included a letter of admission of sorts to Swarthmore and Bryn Mawr College. All three of these colleges are a part of the Tri-College Consortium, one of the most tight-knit liberal arts consortium in the country. As a student at Haverford, you have the opportunity to explore, take classes, and eat at all of these schools with little to no barriers preventing you from doing so.

Bryn Mawr, Haverford, and Swarthmore all are some of the top liberal arts colleges in the country and each school feels a bit different and features different academic programs that another school doesn’t offer. Sadly, there are many students who don’t use this rich diversity of resources on hand and often just to stick to their home campus.

I am here to encourage you to take a risk and go see a speaker at Swarthmore or register for an archaeology class at Bryn Mawr. The Blue Bus to Bryn Mawr runs constantly and is only a 10 minute ride, so it is super easy to work a Bryn Mawr class into your busy set of classes or come see an interesting lecture in the evening. The Tri-Co Van to Swarthmore runs a bit less frequently and takes about 25 minutes, but it is still simple to integrate an event there into your busy life.

And the best part about the Tri-Co Van is that it is way more comfortable and quiet than a ride on the Blue Bus.

While Haverford does offer a wide variety of departments and classes, both Bryn Mawr and Swarthmore offer an even greater diversity of courses. Bryn Mawr offers fields of study in subjects like Growth and Structure of Cities, Archaeology, Education, and Russian that Haverford doesn’t offer. Swarthmore also includes departments like Engineering, Medieval Studies, and Black Studies that explore topics that Haverford’s scope doesn’t cover. Even within the departments that every college shares, there are several outstanding courses that attract students from all colleges, like Sociology of Harry Potter at Bryn Mawr.

For me, the best part about visiting these other campuses is the different architecture and atmosphere each college offers. Not only do trips to the two campuses bring you out of the Haverbubble, they also allow you to meet new people that chose another school for another reason than you chose Haverford.

Even though are some rivalries between students of the three institutions, like the year-long competition between Haverford’s sports teams and Swarthmore’s sports teams for the Hood Trophy, there is largely a conciliatory atmosphere between most members of the Tri-Co community and most students of all schools get along.

With almost half of our sophomore year gone, there is no better time to break out of the limits of Haverford than now. As members of the Tri-Co Consortium, we are able to use all the resources of two other top-notch colleges as if we were almost students at these schools. After taking classes at both Bryn Mawr and Swarthmore, I truly enjoyed exploring these campuses, studying in their different libraries, and eating in their dining halls. I hope you are also able to do the same. They are not as far as they seem!

Thoughts One Has When Writing A Paper

Post by Alex Bernas’ 19

What do long lines in the dining center (DC) and the struggle to write papers have in common? They’re inevitable parts of the college experience!

What is the key difference between long DC lines and the struggle to write papers? There are people who can help you through the struggle of writing papers. Unfortunately, they cannot get you to the front of the long DC line.

Did you ever have to write a paper for a class where you couldn’t ask your professor for help? Was your professor too intimidating?



Or were office hours just not an option?

screen-shot-2016-11-08-at-12-34-45-pmMaybe you have a class/sports practice that always gets in the way.

Maybe your concerns had nothing to do with your professor. You just don’t know what to write about.

screen-shot-2016-11-08-at-12-37-36-pmThis happened to me a lot last semester when I was tasked to write a paper that had multiple open-ended prompts to choose from.

Then, there is the classic case of writer’s block, wherein writing the very first word feels like an accomplishment.

Or maybe, it’s another situation where you write then reject your ideas.

Because how are you supposed to write so much about something?

As the deadline approaches, you realize that you can’t procrastinate any longer (just as I’ve been procrastinating with giving you the Writing Center memes).

BUT you don’t need to panic. Together, you and your tutor at the Writing Center get through the inevitable struggle of writing the paper.

The tutors are trained to deal with all your writing emergencies!

ironboardPhotographed from top to bottom: paper (washing machine), you (ironing board), tutor (floor).

Maybe they never took the class you’re struggling with, so they don’t know anything about your assigned topic.
screen-shot-2016-11-08-at-12-56-44-pmEspecially for specific courses like my first-year writing seminar on the History of Haverford College. Having visited the Writing Center for this course at least once every two weeks, I learned so much about writing from Religion majors, History majors, Economics majors, and English majors.

They ask you for your thesis statement. This might be your reaction.

Or maybe you know your thesis statement, so you tell them what it is. And you have your outline planned out to the finest detail too. But when they probe you to go deeper or play devil’s advocate, this is your reaction.

No worries, they’re here to help you either way.

After all the questioning and probing, your thesis statement becomes a gem.
gemMaybe your tutor rephrases your words into exactly what you’ve been wanting to say all along. Or maybe you arrived at the answer yourself. Congratulations to the both of you for unearthing this new gem of knowledge!

And you become more secure in your understanding of the topic.

You become amazed both at yourself for your new understanding and at your tutor for how they unearthed this wisdom in you. Then you ask your tutor for the notes they took during the session. And they remind you that they wrote your words, not theirs.

The Writing Center is here to help you, no matter what stage of the writing process you’re in or what you have to write about. So don’t suffer in silence. The writing process is a communal experience of exploring and sharing knowledge. While you learn to finesse your writing, your tutors enjoy gaining new pieces of wisdom from your papers.

Make an appointment with the Writing Center Today!



*Editors note: We apologize for the delay in post as Monday’s tech outages impeded a timely delivery. 






















To Speak or Not to Speak; Don’t Ask me the Question

Post by Elom Tettey-Tamaklo

The power of voice and expression is something that has always intrigued me. From toddlers attempting speech for the first time to full- blown professional theatrical pieces, the ability to express various emotions and accomplish otherwise mundane tasks through voice is something I have always admired.

“One of the largest mammals found in water is the hippopotamus”, I exclaimed to my 12 seminar mates proudly (as if I had discovered the cure to cancer). Without warning, a sudden awkward silence enveloped the class, replacing the jovial and somewhat ‘safe’ space that often characterized class discussions.  I knew something was wrong but I didn’t know what its was. Did the lettuce in my lunch sandwich betray my pearly whites? Was something wrong with my face?  A plethora of thoughts rushed through my mind. Was it something I said? It suddenly hit me! Of course it was something I said! I had pronounced hippopotamus as Hee-Poh-Poh-Tay-Mos and that was not ‘right’- whatever ‘right’ was. This was the genesis of my experience with the ‘wrong’ voice.

when the realization of one’s difference stifles personality, creativity, intelligence and comfort, something needs to be done urgently.

Coming to Haverford College as an international student, I had always been intimidated and even ashamed sometimes by the strikingly different accent that poured out of my mouth every time I spoke. From pronouncing waderrrr as wha-ta to enunciating the - J – in Fajita, my accent was, and is still is, a stark reminder of my difference. This made me uncertain about speaking up in class- even when I knew I had important contributions to make. Even in social settings I would always hold back and rehearse my few lines of speech over and over again before I actually said anything. I couldn’t afford to be the ugly duckling, especially in a place like Haverford, where our diversity index is somewhat malnutritioned and in serous need of resuscitation. My situation is not a peculiar one and many other internationals or different -accented individuals face this constantly.

I must admit however, that it is almost normal to face this kind of pressure, especially in a liberal arts college where there is a major emphasis on communication. However, when the realization of one’s difference stifles personality, creativity, intelligence and comfort, something needs to be done urgently. However, this epiphany didn’t hit me until I began to behave like a mute. I retreated into my shell, refused to associate and explore opportunities simply because heads would always turn when I spoke. I would not speak up in class and dreaded the idea that the teacher may call on me to speak. With such a big personality ready to burst out, I felt I was slowly being suffocated. At this point I decided to put all fears behind me and speak up!

This deliberate decision to speak up was reflected in class, my social spaces and even outside the college parameters. I would still rehearse the lines sometimes but always make sure that they never remained unvoiced opinions. The first couple of times, my voice would oscillate so much, I sounded like a broken record. However, as I kept speaking and telling myself that my opinions were as valid as anyone’s, I realized I became more comfortable asking for a cup of wha-ta or making my observations about the Hee-Poh-Poh-Tay-Mos without repenting for sounding different. I must say it hasn’t suddenly become a piece of cake to speak, but it has definitely gotten better and is steadily getting better. So the next time you feel as though you shouldn’t speak up because you fear you’ll sound silly or awkward, understand that your opinion matters and is valuable even when it may not be the conventional voice; after all your differing sound makes Haverford a more colorful place!

-Until Next Time,