It’s That Time of Year!

At Bryn Mawr we have a system of “Self Scheduled Exams.” During exam week, students can choose when to take their exam. There are usually three time blocks per day and several designated rooms open. When we are ready, we then pick up the exam we wish to take from the dean’s office and bring it back after three hours. *

Sample Exam Schedule

I have always admired this policy because (a.) Bryn Mawr trusts its students to abide by the honor code and we do not betray that trust. (b.) We can take the exam whenever we wish. If you want to leave early for break, take the exam on the first day. If you are a procrastinator, you can leave it until the last day! (c.) It is up to you the student to structure the exam week that will work best for you.

During exam week some tips would be :

Take Study Breaks. Whether that means a walk in the woods, or a cup of tea or an espresso and a venting session with a friend. Save time for yourself.

Remember to sleep. My sleeping patterns always falter in the weeks leading up to exams. Can’t get to bed early? Take a 20 minute nap in the middle of the day. You will feel refreshed.

Make study groups with your classmates. It helps to compare notes with friends, especially if a concept was particularly challenging.

Make an offering to Athena. It may give you that extra boost of divine wisdom needed to conquer your exams. Athena watches over College Hall and she is always surrounded by various offerings ranging from garlands to handwritten notes. Naturally exam season is when the offerings multiply at her feet.

Here are some other tips from BMC students!

 

Lizzie Siegle: I drink tea and coffee, try to form study groups, make a fun study playlist (instrumental Disney music! Also Christmas music!), and take study breaks by dancing to upbeat Disney songs. I also go over my notes, meet with professors and TAs, and make lists highlighting what I want to accomplish and when.

Tiffany Wang: I prepare for finals by usually setting up a study plan a week beforehand and then trying my best to actually follow the plan. I also stock up on snacks and prepare to never leave my room!

Paola Salas: I like to make a really pretty and motivating Done-Is-Good list early on! It helps me have the right mindset and the artsy-ness of it makes it entertaining. It’s all about balance!

*Most but not all exams are self-scheduled. Generally beginning language exams have a set date. Furthermore, in some classes you may have a paper or final presentation in place of an exam.

Q: What are your tips for exam week?

Seven Things I Cannot Live Without in my Dorm Room

The carved owls sitting on top of the bannisters were what caught my eye the first time I toured of Bryn Mawr…The owls, the grand piano in the common room, and the *stained glass doors of each dorm room. Now, in my third year at Bryn Mawr, I have a cozy room in that same dorm, Rockefeller.

For new students, what follows are a few packing suggestions. These objects always come with me to my dorm room at the Mawr!

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Lantern Night 2017

Lantern Night 2017

I love Lantern Night because it combines two of the most important aspects of Bryn Mawr; our tightly knit community and our thirst for knowledge. During the ceremony, each first-year is given their own lantern symbolizing the light of knowledge being passed down.

The lantern is in the student’s class color; dark blue, green, light blue, or red. (My lantern is a lively green and sparkles when the candle inside is lit.) Our lanterns always come with us to college as they are one of our most precious symbols of our attachment to the Mawr. Currently, my lantern is nestled between the books on the mantel above my fireplace.

Sunday at 9 o’clock, runners from the sophomore class placed the glowing ruby lanterns with wrought-iron little owls as the design at the feet of each first-year. Soon after, with the stunning backdrop of the cloisters of College Hall, and the song of the Sophias in Greek “Friends of wisdom, let us gather…” led by the Night Owls, the first years held up their sparkling red lanterns. The cloisters were illuminated.

Lantern Night is a solemn tradition. It is beautiful because of the night sky, the black robes, the Greek songs, and of course, the light of our lanterns. At the closing, the first years picked up their lanterns and silently processed out of the cloisters. Just on the other side of College Hall, we could hear their excited screams and cheers.

I remember holding my lantern my first year, surrounded by the upperclassmen, friends, classmates, alums, warmed by the heat of the lantern and the knowledge I was a part of something so sacred and special in Bryn Mawr’s history. I know that my lantern, and what I have learned at Bryn Mawr, will travel with me for the rest of my life.

 

 

Happy Lantern Night Class of 2021!

 

 

 

Outside College Hall the freezing night air was alight with warm red owls and filled with the contagious excitement and joy of the first-years swinging their lanterns.

Quotes from Lantern Night:

“Seeing all the different-colored lanterns made me think of how all these girls have been through Lantern Night too. We’ve all been in the same place, and we’re all welcomed at Bryn Mawr.”

“I love my lantern!”

“My lantern went out…but I got a new one!”

“It was just so pretty to be in the cloisters with everyone there, that was so nice.”

Favorite part?

“The singing part!”

“Getting a free lantern!”

“Coming together, feeling you are part of a bigger sisterhood.”

 

Why Bryn Mawr?

For all the prospective students reading this, I am sure you have been wading through a sea of information during your college application process. I remember the choices, the forms, the interviews, but where to start and how to choose? Here are my reasons for choosing Bryn Mawr, and what I would have told my high-school senior-self!

Bryn Mawr is a small college with about 1,700 students. Because of our size, our classes are frequently small. One of my classes this year has six participants! However, even in my first year, class sizes ranged from ten to thirteen students. With smaller classes, we have more opportunities to delve deeper into the material. We ask questions, we debate, we share our opinions, and we get to know each other. Class discussions are essential at Bryn Mawr — I cannot remember a single Bryn Mawr class that did not involve discussion. Instead of silently taking notes while our professors lecture, we students are participating actively, by putting forth our ideas — what excites us about a subject, what puzzles us. Furthermore, our professors know us outside of class, they ask us how our hockey game went, or what we spent our Saturday doing, or how our other classes are going this semester. The small class sizes helps us build a greater camaraderie with our classmates and professors.

One of my favorite aspects of Bryn Mawr is its relationship to other colleges around the area. There is the Bryn Mawr & Haverford Bi-Co (Bi-College Consortium), the Bryn Mawr, Haverford, and Swarthmore Tri-Co, and the Bryn Mawr, Haverford, Swarthmore, and University of Pennsylvania Quaker Consortium.  These ties between colleges allow Mawrters to take courses at other colleges, (and students from other colleges may come to Bryn Mawr for some courses). We have access to the plethora of courses at these nearby colleges in addition to our own course catalogue. I took two semesters of Chinese and a French course at Haverford. Before coming to Bryn Mawr, I was skeptical about how often students would take courses at different colleges. How realistic was it to actually take a course at Haverford? Very! The Bi-Co Blue Bus runs several times an hour and the trip to Haverford, just over ten minutes, makes it surprisingly easy. The dozens of students from both colleges who board the bus can attest to that fact. Therefore, we have the opportunity to choose from not one colleges’ course offerings, but two or three. Although I have yet to take classes at UPenn or Swarthmore, several of my friends who have done so and have loved it!

The traditions at Bryn Mawr were one of the primary reasons I chose Bryn Mawr. From Parade Night to Hell Week, to May Day, traditions are precious to us Mawrters because they are unique to our community. They unite us to decades of Mawrters who have participated in the same traditions. Lantern Night, when the incoming class receives their lanterns of knowledge in their class color is November 12th. Check back then for a new blog post documenting this year’s experience!

Going to a women’s college you feel camaraderie and unity with other women who have shared your experience. Just as there is a bond between Mawrters regardless of when we graduated or whether we are graduate students or undergraduates. (Quite similar is the companionship we share with other Seven Sisters Colleges; some of my closest friends are from Mount Holyoke and Wellesley.) You are among strong women who love to learn and are not afraid to voice their opinions. There is an energy, a curiosity for knowledge and a confidence that Bryn Mawr has instilled in us that will remain with us long after graduation.

Still deciding? Send me your questions and I will do my best to answer them!

Study Abroad Checklist

Avignon/ H. Novak

Study Abroad is one of the most exciting aspects of the college experience. Of the students who study abroad, the majority choose to study Fall semester of their Junior year. However, much of the planning for study abroad takes place Sophomore year. But first-years, it’s never too early! Here are some of my tips for preparing to study abroad:

Map at the Study Abroad Resource Library in Guild/ N. Pacheco

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Plenary 2017

Twice a year, once in the fall and again in the spring, the Bryn Mawr student body gathers in Goodhart Hall for Plenary, where together we make and pass resolutions. Anyone can make a resolution, and in the weeks leading up to Plenary, the resolutions are presented before the Self Government Association. Each resolution must be accepted by one-sixth of the student body for it to be presented at Plenary. The student vote at Plenary will ultimately determine whether a resolution will pass.

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French Mutations Film Festival

“Avril et le Monde Truqué Image.” Http://Alliancefrancaise.org.sg, Alliance Francaise , July 2016, alliancefrancaise.org.sg/event/avril-et-le-monde-truque/.

Have the French Mutations Film Festival signs caught your attention? Were you intrigued by the selection of films? Because there is never a shortage of student activities (both on campus and off), sometimes the choices can be overwhelming. There is even a daily newsletter compiled and sent out by the Bryn Mawr College Communications team. Should I go to the lecture depicting the travels of Europeans in China during the 17th century? Should I go to the 7 p.m. showing of Avril et le Monde Truqué put on by the French Department? Perhaps I should just stay in my room and finish that paper which is due tomorrow. As much as I am often the person scrambling to finish work on time, I would still defend attending activities that pique my interest.

“French Mutations Film Festival Poster.” Bryn Mawr, Departments of French and Francophone Studies at Bryn Mawr College and Haverford College, www.brynmawr.edu/french/activities/french-mutations-film-festival.

Thursday night I joined several other students for Avril et Le Monde Truqué (April and the Extraordinary World.) I knew nothing about the film other than the fact Marion Cotillard plays the voice of the main character. Two hours later, I was a Jacques Tardi fan. Tardi, a French graphic novelist, is the creator of this fascinating reimagining of Paris had the Franco-Prussian war never taken place. (In this alternate reality, there are two Eiffel towers, and scientists mysteriously are disappearing from the world!)

Guest Speaker André Benhaïm/ H. Novak

This film and six others have been carefully selected by the Bryn Mawr and Haverford French Departments for their French Mutations Film Festival. Furthermore, after each showing, the departments have invited guest speakers, (specialists in the movies or topics the movies cover,) to answer questions based on our reactions and interpretations to each film.

*All the films are shown with English subtitles. The discussions following each film are conducted in English. Anyone is more than welcome to attend!

Check out this complete list and summary of each of the films!

 

A Bryn Mawr Welcome: Parade Night 2017

A Bryn Mawr Welcome: Parade Night 2017

 

How good it is to be back at the Mawr! On Friday, Bryn Mawr College celebrated its first tradition of the year; Parade Night. Bryn Mawr has a plethora of traditions yet each one is unique. This wonderful week— full of hugging friends we had not seen all summer, exploring our dorms, choosing our classes, culminated with Parade Night; a grand welcome to the new class of 2021.

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Little Nonna’s

A Taste of Italy in Philadelphia

Seafood/ H. Novak

Nestled in a residential part of 13th Street at the intersection with Pine sits a cozy Italian restaurant called Little Nonna’s. Good Italian food is not hard to find in Philadelphia, especially along Christian Street, south of Center City and around the Italian Market. However, if you’re going to a show, Little Nonna’s is ideal, as it is within walking distance of Broad Street. Little Nonna’s serves up some amazing Italian comfort food, providing both the flavors we’ve come to expect in Italian cooking (basil, rosemary, sage . . .), along with the warmth and aroma of an Italian kitchen.

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Crispy Roast Duck

Ting Wong

Ting Wong/ H. Novak

If you stand beneath Chinatown’s main gate, Ting Wong’s bright red sign on the left side of the street is hard to miss. So are the roast ducks hanging in the window. One of the better-known establishments in Chinatown, Ting Wong is famous for its roasted meats at reasonable prices.

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