Back to School

Swarthmore's Big Chair and its minions

Swarthmore's Big Chair and its minions

At 8:00 this morning, I’ll be starting an intermediate Spanish class. After four years of having to drag myself out of bed on this day of the year, I seem to have been conditioned to report to a classroom despite my supposed freedom from Swarthmore. For the first time in four years, I didn’t spend the last night of my summer vacation watching The Graduate; though I have to admit having some delicious cerdo asado y gallopinto with friends here in Managua is an excellent substitute tradition.

I’m now in Managua, but I’ve left my blog updates behind in Northern Belize. I’ll catch up this week, when I find time in between my homework and twenty hours of classes.

Commencement

Some of my family on Swarthmore's big chair

Some of my family on Swarthmore's big chair

I was fortunate to have many members of my family travel to Swarthmore for graduation. Student Romane Paul, molecular biologist Bonnie Bassler, Quaker activist and organizer John Braxton, Morehouse College President Robert Franklin, and actor Stephen Lang delivered meaningful, thought-provoking, humorous, and reflective speeches. You can watch the whole ceremony here.

Since the Engineering majors are awarded separate BS degrees, we have a history of pulling pranks as our names are read. We wanted to ease President Chopp into this tradition; we had her illuminate light bulbs on our caps by flipping a switch as she handed us our diplomas:

Our Engineering graduation prank: lightbulbs on our caps

Our Engineering graduation prank: lightbulbs on our caps

Senior Week

Sparklers in Wharton Courtyard

After four years, our last hurrah at Swarthmore came in the form of Senior Week.  Highlights included a night of bowling at Northbowl, our last bonfire in the Crum Woods, trips to Tom Jones, fireworks, Star Wars viewings, and tours of the college belltower:

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Rowdy Board of Managers Party?

Dozing off on the stage

Now that I have my diploma from Swarthmore, it’s safe to post this picture. Looks like the Swarthmore dignitaries had a late night of partying…

Taiko at the Swarthmore Student Dance Concert

Last week I performed in Swarthmore’s Spring Student Dance Concert with a Taiko ensemble:

Taiko

Lang Concert Hall

Last week, students from Tamagawa University came to Swarthmore and gave an awesome performance as part of their Cherry Blossom Festival Tour.

Taiko Drumming

Taiko Drumming

Spring Break

Iconic London vehicles

It’s incredible that a month has already passed since Spring Break.  I traveled to the UK to visit a friend studying systems engineering at Oxford.  I was able to see London, Oxford, Bath, and Sheffield.  Highlights included the London Transport Museum, riding the DLR, drinking the spring water at Bath, rooting for Oxford in a national championship football match, and hearing some good news on my last night in London.

Reactivation

After a two-month hiatus, my updates return just like the Clothier Bells’ ringing (the reactivation of which, probably inspired by all of the tuition-payers visiting for Parents’ Weekend, still has not fixed the chimes that are randomly omitted or the hour-long daylight savings time lag).

Much has happened in the last couple of months, so expect updates over the next week as I procrastinate on my Urban Studies thesis and E90 project.