When we last left off, you were still reeling from your out-of-body-transcendental-info-session experience, during which you learned about the cosmic wonder that is the Hurford Center for the Arts and Humanities Student Seminars Program. One semester later, one semester wiser, you now find your yourself having declared a major, secured some kind of skill-building summer internship, and contemplating…Junior and Senior years.
To recap for those of you who don’t know me, I’m Kelsey, a senior, double majoring in English and Linguistics. A couple months ago, I answered a question on the Sophomore Forum about double majoring. You can read that discussion here.
Double majoring really worked for me, and I’m so glad that I’ll (hopefully!) graduate this spring, having experienced both disciplines, written both theses, and worked deeply with two different departments in two very different but related academic areas.
Although I had originally planned them to be the same essay when I applied to be a double major, I’m actually working on two theses, both on related topics. I’ve been studying Quenya, the invented Elvish literary language that J.R.R. Tolkien created for his realm of Middle-earth (NERD ALERT). Because the language was written into the book, I’ve been able to look at one topic from both a linguistic and a literary perspective, which has been especially important, as Tolkien himself was a linguist and a writer.
That’s one of the main reasons I decided to double major: my interests lie at the intersection of English and linguistics, and I found them to be easily combinable. My English knowledge makes me a stronger linguist, and vice versa, and I wanted to write a thesis in both.
Sitting in the upper tier of the Philips Wing, the stacks are lined with books several decades old– among them, perhaps, ones that belonged to former Haverford students and others, seminal texts in the early Haverford curriculum.
Maybe you’re pumping Lady Gaga through your headphones and curiosity gets the best of you. Maybe you just like to read. If you’ve taken some time to browse these books, have you wondered what it was like to read them as a Haverford student in the 1800s? Did you question if someone was sitting in this same spot cramming for a term paper 100 years ago and wonder if they left any inspiration for you?
This year, in preparation for a spring exhibit in Magill, we’ve been digging in the archives to explore the reading communities and rituals of Haverford students in the 1800s. Student literary societies were vibrant outlets for student-led events including debates about current topics (such as Suffrage or Lincoln’s Election). The literary societies located a space of extra-curricular reading and student leadership. Students even created their own libraries to complement those of Magill’s (at that time) selected holdings.
I’m Kelsey, a senior at Haverford. Last fall, as a junior, I spent my semester abroad in Belgium, at the Katholieke Universiteit of Leuven, located about 20 minutes outside of Brussels.
It was incredible—the food (Chocolate! Frites! Waffles! Mussels!), the people, the language, being surrounded by centuries of history. And best of all, Belgium is located right in the middle of Western Europe, which meant I was able to travel cheaply! (Read more about my adventures at my travel blog, kelseyisabroad.tumblr.com/.)
All that to say: studying abroad was one of my favorite decisions of college so far. It was so necessary for me, both academically and personally, to take time off from Haverford, and to see a different place. But deciding that I wanted to apply for study abroad through Haverford Continue reading Is Study Abroad For Me? (It can be!)→