Updates from Swarthmore
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
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Read Full Post | June 28 2010 | Swarthmore and Updates from Swarthmore | No Comments » |
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:
Generated by Facebook Photo Fetcher
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Read Full Post | June 25 2010 | Swarthmore and Updates from Swarthmore | No Comments » |
On the way to Chester
I recently had the honor of driving the Engineering Department’s 1986 Suburban Scottsdale. I first encountered this vehicle, a veritable institution of the Department first acquired as a chase car for a solar car race, in my freshman year trips to Chester to tutor with the Engineering Department. Until being instructed to drive to a water quality sampling site the other day, I never thought I would have the honor of driving this esteemed vehicle. (Esteemed meaning that the brakes are questionable, there’s no power locks or windows, and the lining on the back ceiling is falling down so as to obstruct the view out the rear-view mirror).
My Small Liberal Arts College Unexpected and Possibly Too Close for Comfort Vehicle and Professor Accessibility Index (SLACUPTCCVPAI) is now currently:
- Number of Faculty/Administrators I’ve been driven by: 8
- Number of Faculty/Administrators’ houses I’ve dined at: 3
- Number of Faculty/Administrators’ vehicles I’ve driven: 1
… Read the rest
Read Full Post | November 08 2008 | Swarthmore and Updates from Swarthmore | No Comments » |
Fountains at the Bellagio
I had a great time in Las Vegas for the 2008 International Writing Centers Association and National Conference on Peer Tutoring in Writing joint conference. A fellow Writing Associate and I presented a poster of some research we have done on diversity in Swarthmore’s Writing Center. We went to a great workshop on anti-racist work in the writing center and heard a great keynote address by Nancy Grimm, a scholar whose work we drew on. I also got to meet and hang out with some writing consultants from the Harvey Mudd Writing Center. It was quite fun, and Halloween on the strip was grotesquely intriguing. Of course, the TSA had to do their part in dampening the fun. Apparently, the Las Vegas snow globe that one of my travelmates bought for her niece was too much of a threat to homeland security to pass through the security checkpoint.
My first destination was the monorail station, of course
Lights and confusion
Our band of engineers was fascinated by the spiral escalators
Pirate seductresses singing "let's go all the way"
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Read Full Post | November 02 2008 | Swarthmore and Updates from Swarthmore | No Comments » |
Las Vegas from the air
Later this evening, I will be flying to Las Vegas for a joint conference of the International Writing Centers Association and the National Conference on Peer Tutoring in Writing. Tomorrow afternoon, a fellow WA and I will be presenting a poster detailing some of our work here at Swarthmore. Updates to follow…… Read the rest
Read Full Post | October 30 2008 | Swarthmore and Updates from Swarthmore | No Comments » |
Gross looking runoff under the Baltimore Pike overpass
On Wednesday while studying for my first exam in Water Quality and Pollution Control, I decided that I needed to go for a jog up the Crum Creek. I could get some exercise while at the same time exploring a local impaired stream – what better way to prepare for a test on urban runoff?
I’ve wanted to go explore Smedley Park, which is north of Baltimore Pike, for a while. What had stopped me up to this point was having to cross the creek, Paper Mill Road, and Baltimore Pike, all without any clear pedestrian markings. This means getting from the lower right to upper left corner of this picture unscathed:
I found the appropriate paths and made it to the park. The quiet woods and fat groundhog were enjoyable. I’m definitely glad I found the way up to the park and plan on returning there soon. Things should be gorgeous when the leaves change.
One lane road in Smedley Park
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Read Full Post | September 26 2008 | Swarthmore and Updates from Swarthmore | No Comments » |
The Environmental Studies Program at Swarthmore sponsored a great talk tonight centered around mountaintop removal coal mining in West Virginia. Ken Hechler (Swarthmore Class of 1935), the former long-serving Secretary of State of West Virginia, and Larry Gibson, an environmental activist, shared their perspectives on the harms of coal inherent in its mining, processing, and combustion. I met both of them before the talk and was impressed by their passion and energy. At 94 years old, Ken was a little hard of hearing, but had a vast amount of experience and perspective to share. Larry shared some deeply personal stories about his childhood in West Virginia; more about his work is available at the Keeper of the Mountains Foundation. While Appalachia is a vastly different setting than Roxbury, MA, where I was working this summer, I definitely consider the issues they discussed tonight to be ones of environmental justice.… Read the rest
Read Full Post | September 24 2008 | Swarthmore and Updates from Swarthmore | 1 Comment » |
Former Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis, Swarthmore Class of 1955, gave this year’s Constitution Day talk yesterday. He was an engaging speaker, and it was informative to hear his views on the election, the history of abusing the Constitution during times of “war,” and the Bill of Rights. He apologized for not beating President George Bush in 1988, arguing (only half-jokingly) that if he had, we wouldn’t be in the mess we are now. He also shared some entertaining stories about his experiences living in Wharton, venturing into the Ville, and scheming on breaks.… Read the rest
Read Full Post | September 18 2008 | Swarthmore and Updates from Swarthmore | No Comments » |
I moved into my room at Swarthmore on August 24th. I am living in a spacious single in Dana (campus map). The vast majority of my stuff is now organized in my room (after being unpacked from my luggage, in storage across campus, shipped, etc.) Even with all of my clothes, books, boxes, luggage, electronics, and other junk, I have plenty of room. Pictures:
- Window bench
- Green view
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Read Full Post | September 02 2008 | Swarthmore and Updates from Swarthmore | No Comments » |
Next year, I will be living in Dana. The dorm has a great location, close to classes and directly adjacent to the Crum Woods. Click here for an aerial view. The large number of trees makes my sister Quinn think it’s an Ewok village.
I don’t see how that’s a bad thing. I’m quite the fan of Ewoks…
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F3XBwVp7Fjs[/youtube]… Read the rest
Read Full Post | May 20 2008 | Swarthmore and Updates from Swarthmore | No Comments » |
Today is the second day of classes in my second year, but I’ve been on the East Coast for three full weeks now. Over the summer I worked for an environmental campaign in Orange County. We helped to get Congress to pass a federal renewable energy standard, which will commit the whole country to getting 15% of its electricity from clean sources by 2020. Starting back on August 14th, I served as a Student Resource Person for the TriCollege Institute at Haverford College. I spent a couple of weeks facilitating workshops about diversity for first year students starting at Haverford, Bryn Mawr, and Swarthmore.
I moved into my apartment (picture) at Swarthmore on August 26th. The college owns about 15 units in this 12 story apartment building. My roommate from last year, Chris, and I share a room and a bathroom. Things are quiet, the view is green (picture), and my room is only a 15 minute walk to the center of campus.
My mom came out to visit, and we did a bit of sightseeing along the East Coast, especially in Scranton, PA and Boston. She didn’t really like the idea of going down into a coal mine (picture), but once we were down there, it was a pretty neat experience (picture). It was nice to get a bit of downtime before classes started.
I’m taking five courses this semester (schedule). As a Writing Associate, I will be peer reviewing a few papers, especially for the mythology class to which I’m assigned. I also plan to work as an intern in the Intercultural Center, sing again in the church choir, and compete in a couple of debate tournaments. Unfortunately, the dojo that provided senseis for our aikido class here can’t work with us anymore, but I’m taking a lifeguarding class instead that is turning out to be enjoyable. Overall, things will be pretty busy but manageable.… Read the rest
Read Full Post | September 04 2007 | Updates from Swarthmore | No Comments » |
Things are starting to settle into a nice routine here. My classes are all going well. I especially enjoy the material we’re covering in Latin, elegies of Propertius. It’s definitely a shift from the epic poetry of the Aeneid I worked on last year, but Propertius is easier to handle in terms of syntax and grammar than Vergil. My sociology of law class has been quite amusing. We meet every Monday for three hours. The Sunday before each class everyone in the class (27 people) turns in a paper about the week’s readings. We then discuss these as a group. Last week we discussed at length social perceptions of canibalism. Today’s class spent the first half debating whether fines for speeding tickets should be a fixed price or fixed as a percentage of income. The second half was then a mock court trial in which we argued whether or not elephants should be allowed in Delaware County. That was quite entertaining, and reminiscent of our endless debates in Mrs. Altieri’s class about the number of elephants Hanibal took across the alps.
On the fun side of things (even more fun than all my classes), I’ve definitely been keeping busy. Aikido is going very well, though it’s a very different style than I’ve trained in for the past four years. We have a rotation of senseis, which is on one hand a bit disconcerting, but on the other hand beneficial because we can work in different areas of expertise. For example, every month we have a weapons training in which we do swordwork for an entire hour. My roomate Chris is on the soccer team, so I’ve been watching a lot of the matches. I’ve joined the debate team, and our first novice tournament is Saturday. We have a great debate program here, and I can decide to go to whichever weekend tournaments I choose (from Virginia Tech to Colgate in Maine) with no obligation and travel expenses paid. I’ve started to go rock climbing with the outdoors club (picture). They scheduled a skydiving excursion for next month. Unfortunately, two people were killed last week at the jump school we were planning to use, so our trip is postponed until we schedule with another academy. I’ve spent plenty of time exploring the woods and arboretum on campus. Everything is so green and beautiful, and there are plenty of paths (picture) to hike along. I have had a couple of close calls with some of the ferocious larger-than-squirrel wildlife in the Crum Woods though (picture). I made my debut with the Trinity Episcopal Church choir, and it’s definitely nice to have a bass section with a couple of other people (I was generally a bit lonely in the St. Mary’s choir back home).
One of the biggest reasons I decided to come to Swarthmore was the overall atmosphere. This has been so perfect for me over the last couple of weeks. Two Fridays ago I went to a Classics Department picnic.… Read the rest
Read Full Post | September 18 2006 | Updates from Swarthmore | No Comments » |