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Hey Everyone!

Congratulations to all those who got into Harvard this year! You all worked extremely hard and now have the opportunity to visit colleges and decide which college environment fits you best.

For this blog entry I wanted to share a video I have been working on for the last couple of months. In the video, I give my perspective of what Harvard is really like. I hope you all enjoy it.

Here is a link to the VIDEO!


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Cultural Food Demonstration with FLP

One of the things I feared as I clicked the accept button to confirm my attendance at Harvard College was that I would be the odd one out at a school full of well-off families and ostentatious students. But I was happy to find that was not the case. Even from my first day upon meeting my roommate I realized students were just like me, from schools and backgrounds like me or diversely different in a great way.


My freshman roommate & best friend, Anita, & I [Harvard-Yale Football Game Day]

Even with the discussions of continental philosophy and solving problem sets (or, psets) over dinner, there’s a great diversity of opinion and culture. This week with the Food Literacy Project (FLP) with me and a few other house representatives put on an event with HPACE that celebrated cultural exchange. HPACE is the Harvard Program for American-Chinese Exchange and “aims to bring together top students from universities across China and Harvard students in a weeklong series of events and activities to promote mutual understanding between the students of both countries.”


FLP provided a typical American dish and how-to course, and HPACE did a dumpling demonstration. We ended up going with guacamole making both for ease and deliciousness but I was surprised to learn that avocados are rare in China—most students were loved to try the guacamole with chips, having never tasted avocado or tomato people except here in the U.S.

A How-To Guac’ Demonstration

The dumplings as well were equally delicious. One of my favorite things about food is the ability to bring diverse people together in conversation and to create a community. The event was about more than just food literacy, but cultural literacy and just fun. It took place at the Mather House Junior Common Room (JCR) and the people playing on the foosball table and piano provided a nice background against it all.


After the event I headed to Clover Food Labs in Harvard Square. Clover really wants to connect to the local community, including Harvard, and so I work a there for just a few two hour shifts a week. There’s always something going on in the square, which is great and yesterday was not exception. Clover was having a launch party for one of their new vendors, a common happening featuring samples and conversation that happens for example each time a new coffee roster is featured at the store. Even though Harvard’s embedded within the city of Boston, Cambridge often feels like an exciting home away from home where you see old acquaintances at these events.


Tonight my friends and I are doing dinner in Cambridge at Inman Square near Harvard to celebrate my boyfriends 22nd birthday. I’m looking forward to the social outing before locking myself in the room for the next two days (midterm on Monday). After that, freedom (until finals at least…). Until then, hope you all have a great weekend!




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This time last week, my proverbial plate was pretty full, but the storm has passed.  This week I turned in two mid-term papers (hooray!), and I have life left in me yet.  I will admit that I had to sleep in this morning in order to recover, but in the afternoon I walked from the Quad to Sanders Theatre in order to enjoy the 27th Annual Cultural Rhythms performance.

Like I mentioned the other week, I missed out on the show my freshman year, so I feel like I had two years of anticipation stored up.  I had heard rave reviews from my friends that went to the performance last year, but I have to say that Culture Rhythms still managed to exceed my expectations.

First of all, John Legend was honored as the Harvard Foundation’s Artist of the Year, and he did not disappoint.  He was a cool, confident, and charming host for the afternoon.  He even humored the audience by singing a few lines from his hit single, “Ordinary People”.  Before the show I was already a pretty dedicated fan so I was swooning like a schoolgirl the entire time.  My friends sitting next to me couldn’t help but laugh at my enthusiasm.  Apparently I left my pride outside of the theater this afternoon.

Mariachi Veritas performing in Sanders Theatre

Mariachi Veritas performing in Sanders Theatre

Ballet Folklorico de Aztlan

Ballet Folklorico de Aztlan

Corcairdhearg (Irish dancers)

Corcairdhearg (Irish dancers)


Cultural Rhythms is basically a showcase of a selection of cultural performance groups on campus.  The groups featured included Mariachi Veritas, the Harvard Breakers (a breakdancing/popping/locking dance crew), and the Kuumba Singers.  I have to say that my favorite part of the afternoon was probably the grand finale.  The final performance featured one or two representatives from each of the different groups that performed in Cultural Rhythms.  They all came together in one dance, and they incorporated choreography from each of the earlier performances.  Also, to top it all off they were performing to John Legend’s “Green Light”, as he looked on from his seat on stage.  I can’t think of a better way for them to have concluded the show.  You could tell that they put a lot of thought into the organization of the show, and I really appreciated the attention to detail.

All in all, it was an incredible afternoon.  Right now I am in the best mood imaginable because Cultural Rhythms is symbolic of what I love about being a student here.  Diversity is, without a doubt, the feature of my college experience that I value the most.  I love the excitement of being constantly exposed to the unfamiliar.  Moreover, diversity here at Harvard goes beyond race and ethnicity.  The student body is composed of individuals that represent various academic interests, and people that have distinct talents that set them apart for everyone else.  I genuinely feel like every student here has something different, something unique, to offer the undergraduate community.

Keeping that in mind, I am going to bask in the brilliance of a fantastic afternoon, and listen to some John Legend on my iTunes.  Happy Saturday!

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The tickets for the Harvard Foundation’s Cultural Rhythms went on sale this Thursday!  I am happy to report that I got in line as soon as I got out of class in the afternoon, so I am now the proud owner of two tickets to the show!

The Harvard Foundation for Intercultural and Race Relations is devoted to encouraging diversity on campus by sponsoring activities and events that promote cultural awareness.  Although I am not personally involved in the group, I have a few friends on-campus that work as interns for the Foundation.  Culture Rhythms is the Harvard Foundation’s biggest production of the year, and each year the Foundation selects a distinguished performing artist that represents the Foundation’s mission statement, and honor them with the title of Artist of the Year.

There are a bunch of different components to the Cultural Rhythms Festival, including an ethnic-cuisine tasting and a small luncheon in Kirkland House with the Artist of the Year, but the main production is the afternoon performance in Sanders Theatre.

Luncheon in Kirkland

Last year's luncheon in the Kirkland House dining hall.

The show features performances by a wide array of cultural groups on campus, so there will be singing, dancing, and just about anything entertaining.  Moreover, the show is co-emceed by a Harvard Foundation Intern and the Artist of the Year!  To be clear, Cultural Rhythms is exciting in and of itself, but the Foundation has done a great job of attracting well-known and influential Artists of the Year while I have been here at Harvard.  Last year, Shakira was honored with the title…and this year the Artist of the Year is John Legend!

This year's poster for Cultural Rhythms.

This year's poster for Cultural Rhythms, featuring John Legend.

This will actually be the first Cultural Rhythms show of my undergraduate experience.  Last year I went to the luncheon in Kirkland with Shakira, but I didn’t make it to the actual performance.  I was having one of those days and I was too tired to do anything but sleep, so I gave my ticket away to a friend.  At the time I was dealing with my first wave of midterms, and school and health come first!  It was, admittedly, a bitter pill to swallow, but this is my year to redeem myself.  In 2012 I will not opt out of Cultural Rhythms to take a nap… I hope.

Shakira at Cultural Rhythms

Shakira receiving a special gift from the interns of the Harvard Foundation. This was taken at last year's luncheon.

That’s about it!  The show will be at the end of the month, so I’ll be sure to give you all a full report.  Happy Weekend!

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