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Hi blogosphere, Jake from the Admissions Office here. On my walk home from the office yesterday I meandered through Harvard Yard to check out Freshman Move-In Day.  Here’s a collage of my photos from the festivities featuring some of the new students, their families, and a variety of upperclassmen excited to greet the new class:

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Salut!

The last time I posted, I’d just returned from an incredible weekend in Nice, but I’ve been working away busily in Paris since then in the Harvard Summer in Paris program. Today was our last formal class, and something similar to Reading Period begins now so that we can have time to really crack down on our final projects. The projects themselves must be based around the idea of Revolutions, have a similar theme to one of our lessons, and of course be situated in Paris; as I love food, people, and history, I decided to focus on the open-air food markets of the city. I’ll be making a short film (around 15 minutes) on the lighter side of the market economy, using lots of vibrant colors and rich sounds from the incredibly varied markets, and will also have to write a lengthy research paper. (Mine will probably be 15-25 pages, depending on all of the historical information I find in the various libraries of Paris.) The real work starts now, and I have to motivate myself! This is the hardest part of any assignment…the daunting part. However, I’ve made myself some deadlines and checklists, so hopefully I’ll be all set come presentation time. Then, back to the States 🙁 / 🙂 …I want to go home, but summer is too short!

Back to Paris: what have I been up to, you may ask? I could tell you…but I’d rather show you. Check out some pictures below, with very descriptive captions.

 

I happened to catch the Tour de France, which was a total blast. It was a gorgeous day (rare for this summer), the crowd was wild, the racers were fast, and my man Wiggins won! It really was an experience that I’ll never forget.

 

My friend from Harvard/Germany, Jan, came to visit! Anneli (left) and Mandi (center) hung out with us during the beautiful few days in Paris.

 

I took Europe’s fastest elevator to the top of Tour de Montparnasse, the only skyscraper in Paris proper. There, you can see the Eiffel Tower, which I have yet to climb, and in the distance, La Defense, a district right on the other side of Paris’s border.

I ate Berthillon ice-cream! It’s the same price as all of the other [incredibly expensive] glace in Paris, but tastes so much better. Here we have Cassis, my favorite flavor.

I made it to Versailles with my friend, Anneli! It was a gorgeous excursion, and we decided not to go inside the Château, preferring to explore the sprawling grounds, which included a farm (much to my delight). It rained a bit, but hey, it’s Paris.

 

My friends and I spent the evening at “Au Lapin Agile,” a very famous cabaret in Montmartre. Picasso used to hang out there, at the very same tables as us!

 

For my project (and my pleasure) I went to the Marché Bio des Batignolles, an organic market near me. Check out this CHEESE!

 

So, I don’t exactly know these people, but they were my neighbors during one night’s screening of the Olympic Games. A giant screen and beanbag chairs were set up at Hôtel de Ville in the center of Paris, and we got to watch some swimming and handball for free! (Although I much prefer Equestrian.)

 

We went to La Maison La Rocher, an incredibly well-known modernist house created by Le Corbusier; little did we know, this amazing architect had built the Carpenter Center, which houses much of Harvard’s Visual and Environmental Studies building, and is the only North American building by Le Corbusier!

 

Mandi and I went kayaking at Paris Plages on the Canal St. Martin, in the 11th district. Though we ended up playing kayak-polo instead of going for a leisurely outing, it was really fun and worth the price…that is, it was free!

 

I went to Le Musée d’Orsay for the second time this summer. It used to be a train-station, hence the giant clock. As a student, we get free admission, so I am able to spend as little or as much time as I want per visit. I was only there for an hour and a half, and will go again to explore the 5th floor.

 

Okay, so this is the Musée d’Orsay again, but it’s my absolute favorite piece in the WORLD: the model of l’Opéra Garnier. Note the size (enormous) and the sign in the corner saying no pictures…whoops! (Also, this is where the Phantom of the Opera took place.)

 

While walking through the center of Paris, I heard the familiar sound of bagpipes (cornemuse in French). I happen to play the same instrument as these old fellows from Ontario, so we had a great little conversation about the lovely instrument.

 

In true Parisian fashion, I sported a black blazer and walked 400 steps to the top of Nôtre Dame Cathedral; sadly, I did not become a hunchback nor Victor Hugo.

 

Yes, I ate éscargots for dinner. No, they weren’t expensive; in fact, a supermarket that sells only frozen food is known for having the best snails in Paris! (Cross my heart.)

 

Though this may appear to be in the middle of a jungle, it’s actually at Buttes Chaumont, a park in the 19th arrondissement of Paris. The giant caves were a really cool surprise, and a lovely way to wrap up our final afternoon visit.

 

Well, that’s all about Paris. Although I’ve been mostly in the French mindset, I’ve started shopping {translation: looking for} courses for the fall, using this amazing website called Harvard Class. (Nope, I don’t know the people who made it, but I do know that it’s a heck of a lot prettier to look at than the my.harvard tool or the CS-50 standard tool.) I’m trying to figure out my concentration, which means I want to take 7+ classes, as my interests are very varied (hehehe say that outloud). It will take me a bit longer to decide, but it’s so exciting; this time last year, I was doing the exact same thing, obsessing over the coolest thing ever: school. (Synonym, Harvard.) So, incoming Freshmen, if you find yourself doing the same thing, be proud. Go onto your rooftops and sing your love of LS1B. Text your best friend the truth: that no, you’re not really going to Mike’s party tonight, but rather cozying up in your bed and making sure you have the prerequisites to take that Physics of Sailing freshmen seminar. (But go out eventually, please. And take a fun freshmen seminar, one that has no homework, or coursework for that matter.) Freshmen, GET PUMPED. Harvard is as overwhelming as it is amazing, and that’s saying something, as I slept for 3 days when I came home from my first semester. Congratulations again, and can’t wait to meet you once we get back on campus!

À plus tard!

-Reid

 

 

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Nathan Fry, Associate Director of Athletics and Freshman Proctor

These days, when people hear “Harvard Athletics” the first thing that pops into their minds is probably “Linsanity.” And, although we love Jeremy Lin as much as Spike Lee does, we are also proud of the fact that nearly 75% of our undergraduate population participates in organized athletics activity on our campus. Harvard offers 41 varsity sports – most in the NCAA – and features nearly 1,200 varsity student-athletes. But there are great opportunities for students to get involved regardless of their skill level.

Freshmen dorms compete for the Yard Bucket – the freshman intramural championship – each year in sports ranging from soccer, to table tennis, to basketball, to foosball, to flag football, to a spelling bee. Shout out to Apley Court, where I live as a freshman proctor, who won the Yard Bucket in 2011 for the first time in our dorm’s history!

And in the Houses, you’ll be able to compete for the Straus Cup, which is awarded to the top intramural program for upperclassmen. You’ll find robust intramural opportunities in the Houses too, including ice hockey, fencing, basketball, volleyball, ultimate Frisbee, innertube water polo, and more!

Apley Court won the yard Bucket in 2011

Apley Court won the yard Bucket in 2011

Our department has seen a sharp increase in competitive and non-competitive club opportunities as well. Our club program now features 60 club teams, with a fascinating mix of offerings: from ballroom dance, to kung fu. From fishing, to shooting. From curling, to tough mudder. Figure skating to spikeball! We have over 1900 participants in our club sport programs. Chances are, if you are interested in a club sport, we have it. And if we don’t, we’ll help you start one!

Our recreation facilities offer a wealth of opportunities to “get in a sweat”. Our most popular facility for undergraduates is the Malkin Athletic Center (MAC), which has 70 pieces of cardio equipment, an indoor pool, free weights, basketball courts, and many group exercise and personal training programs. But beyond the MAC, we have several hidden gems (or is it hidden gyms?) throughout campus, including Hemenway Gymnasium by the Law School, the QRAC (across the street from the Quad Houses), and Beren Tennis Center, which boasts 18 outdoor tennis courts. Learn to sail at the Sailing Center, or learn to row at beautiful Weld Boathouse.

The Department of Athletics believes in the philosophy of sound body, sound mind. Regular physical activity and exercise is an important part of a daily routine. Whether you aspire to a competitive Division I athletic experience, or if you simply prefer to take a light jog on a treadmill, the Department of Athletics will serve you well. Visit gocrimson.com to find out more!

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Hello!

Here are some photos from my trip!

Mosque in LA

Finals of CUPSI!

 

Delicious Mexican Food

 

Streets of LA proper

 

NYC in the Rain

 

 

So yesterday was the last day of classes (ohmigosh). However, I still have class to go to; today we’re watching a play presented by Italian 40 for part of our Italian Acd final, and we have an oral exam on Monday. The only weird part about taking a foreign language is that we meet during Reading Period and have exams during that time instead of in the Final exam period. So, on Friday I’ll have my final French presentation on the topic of writers fighting against oppression, and on Monday I have my oral exam for Italian, and then I am DONE! (My final paper for Expos is also due on Monday…eek, I have to do some research in Harvard’s intimidating library system.)

 

List of Things…

 

Besides studying this upcoming weekend, I’ll be participating in Grand Elections for The Crimson (from the other side, as an exec instead of a comper, electing the compers to the board) and playing many gigs with The Nostalgics. YAY. My mom is coming up to hear my band play for the last time this year on Saturday and Sunday, and she’s also going to see my Freshman Seminar’s printmaking art show! It’s in the Adams Art Space, which is really cool, and we’ve been working hard to set this exhibit up, so I’m excited to have her come!

 

Sneak Peek of Exhibit!

 

I’ve been reallllll busy these past few days trying to catch up on the work I missed last week, but soon it will be done and I’ll be missing it all, so I’m savoring it, I guess. I’m going to stick around until June 1st, and my dorm crew work doesn’t even start until May 13, so I have an entire two weeks to do absolutely WHATEVER I want! I am looking forward to exploring Boston, Cambridge, and other places around the area. Perhaps I will bike to Walden Pond, or better yet, take the train to Appleton Farm, my favorite place in Massachusetts. (Seriously, it is so gorgeous.) I will also be packing up all of my stuff and moving it into storage in Currier, where it will stay until next fall when I move into my new room! (Crossing my fingers for a single.) I’ll be far, far away in Paris…it’s becoming so real, I bought my ticket last week and this week we have an orientation meeting to figure out logistics! Harvard is great; even if you hate everything about it for some weird reason, you can’t deny the amount of resources that abound from the university (:

 

I don’t have much else to write about. If any of you have questions, feel free to comment and I’ll cover them next week! Congrats on accepted students, and choose Harvard … you will not regret it.

peace

-reid

 

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Visitas Weekend has finally come! Every April, Harvard opens its gates to the admitted students for a jam-packed weekend full of diverse events, great food, and incredible conversations. This is an important weekend because the admitted students have to make the decision of where to spend their college careers. It’s an exciting time of college exploration and finding out if Harvard is right for you.

My favorite part about this weekend is meeting the Admitted Students- or as we call them at Harvard- the “Pre-Frosh.” Current students get the chance to host Pre-Frosh in their dorms during Visitas in order for a chance to see what it’s really like to go to Harvard. Hosts are also there to provide any kind of advice, guidance, or past experiences to help the Pre-Frosh make their decision. I signed up for 3 and I can’t wait to pick them up and show them around once they get here!

Another one of my favorite parts of this weekend is that Presencia Latina falls on the Friday of Visitas. Harvard’s Presencia Latina is a spectacular Latin Arts Showcase where groups from across the Harvard, Cambridge, and Boston communities can come together to celebrate the Latin culture. I really hope some of my Pre-Frosh can make it to the show! I was at Dress Rehearsal last night until the early morning so I know the show is going to be a great one, as always.

Another reason why this year is so special is because Presencia Latina has reached it’s 10th Year! That’s an entire decade of Latin Arts. I really appreciate that Harvard gives us the resources and space to celebrate a culture that means so much to me and I know that we’ll continue sharing this beautiful culture for years to come! That was one of my concerns about coming across the country to college- I thought I would lose my culture. Luckily, Harvard provides a ton of opportunities to celebrate the culture you grew up in as well as learn of the diverse set of cultures that make up Harvard’s student body. This weekend will be unforgettable.

To get a look in to what last year’s Presencia Latina looked like, check out this video!

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CUPSI!

YARDFEST RECAP:
This is the stage of YardFest, a really fun music festival that Harvard hosts. We (my band) opened for The Cataracs, Das Racist, and 3LAU; it was really fun to play, but I wasn’t a huge fan of the other acts.

It was really fun performing at Yardfest, although the crowd wasn’t that into it. At the festival, there were a few giant tireswings, and I definitely was close to falling off of them, but it was a huge blast and I got to feel like a kid again. There aren’t many times at Harvard when you get to just chill as an entire campus, and this was one of those rare moments when a lot of the students enjoyed each other’s company while listening to some dope beats. (Good music.)

 

 

Woohooo YardFest stage later!

 

Our Set list; we ended with Beyoncé's "Love on Top" and it was so good!

 

One HUGE perk to playing at YardFest (besides playing, obviously) was that we got to have a Green room in Sever to ourselves that we could chill in before and after our set. (It happened to be my Italian classroom in Sever, which was pretty funny.) We also got free YardFest shirts, and got to hang out with the other “bands.” The only drawback was that we had to go to class the next morning after playing, but I can’t complain as one of our guitarists, Will, ran the Boston Marathon the next day!

CUPSI 2012, OR HARVARD GOES TO CALI:

So, I’ve been talking about this for a while. On Tuesday morning, 4 of my fellow teammates/students on the Harvard Poetry Slam Team took the T to South Station and boarded a Bolt Bus to NYC, on our way to catch the flight to LAX for the National Poetry Slam Competition. We actually made it, because I’m sitting in the hotel room right now! Here’s a quick recap from the road.

15 minute break between bus rides to NYC for CUPSI!

 

LaGuardia, waiting to board American Airlines.

 

Gorgeous Clouds in NYC

 

Chicago O'Hare airport, lookin' green.

 

Creeping around the Airport! Yay Chicago.

 

Sunset in LaGuardia…before the ridiculously longggg plane ride.

 

Wooh! Is this Chicago or LA from the air, I can't remember.

Finally, we all landed in LAX (with a dream and a cardigan) and headed over to rent a car. The car lot was HUGE.

Yaaay rental car place! We got such a nice carrrr.

We showed up at our hotel late Tuesday night (very, very late; 5 am on Wednesday from east coast time) and crashed, hoping to catch some z’s before competing on Wednesday.

Our très chic hôtel

The next day was obviously gorgeous, as this is So-Cal and is so niceeee.

Look at all dem Palmtrees @ U of Laverne!

 

Yay, CUPSI! It's real!

We registered and everything! YEAH!

Woah, there's Harvard

 

The crazy athletic center at U of Laverne

 

So today we competed, and we did a pretty good job for the first time we’ve ever been in a CUPSI slam; I won’t go into all of the scoring details, as they are pretty weird and complex, but we rep’d. Then, we got some delicious free food (I ate too much icecream…but who cares?) and danced for a while with members of the 48 other poetry slam teams that are competing here. We just got back from a cipher (read:non competitive rap battle, if such a thing can exist) at the DoubleTree where the majority of the poets are staying, and I am exhausted. Tomorrow we compete again, which is going to be really fun but I need some rest. Pardon if this post is short.

 

Happy Happy VISITAS weekend, wish I could be there…but then again, this is what Harvard’s all about–opportunities to do crazy stuff like this.

Peace

-Reid

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Hello everyone!
My computer charger is broken so this will be a very short post, as I only have a few minutes left on my battery before I have to go track down someone with a charger.

REALLY exciting things in the future:

•This Sunday I’ll be playing with my band at Yardfest, the big outdoor festival that Harvard hosts every year. We (The Nostalgics) are opening for 3LAU, Das Racist, and The Cataracs, which will be terribly fun and tiring!

•Next Tuesday I’ll be going to the University of LaVerne in LA  to compete nationally with the Harvard CUPSI Poetry Slam Team! We weren’t sure if it would happen, but it really is! Check out our website here for more information.

•I’m currently finishing all of my forms for my Study Abroad Program in Paris, France this summer. This is also 100% happening and it is so exciting. I cannot wait to post about my experience this summer!

Okay my computer is going to die, I shall post some more later!

-Reid

 

My Busy Thursday

 

A few hours later…

I’m back! (Surprise.) Anyways what would I like to talk about? (Please feel free to comment with questions or requests for things you’re interested in, wondering about, etc.) This past week has been chock-full of rehearsals for CUPSI and for YardFest, so I’ve been doing a lot of memorizing and having late-night rehearsals; that’s one thing that’s incredibly different from high school, where none of my activities went later than 9pm, and I fell asleep around 10:30. It is odd to think back to the days where 11pm was really late, whereas now I’m still working/singing/slamming around that hour.

Speaking of high school, my two friends who have been living out west are coming to visit me in a week! They’re driving across the country and will be stopping in Boston around the time that Reading Period starts, then they’ll continue home. It’s a shame that I won’t be back to hang out with them for the month of May, but May really isn’t summer in Vermont, and I’m going to have to work very hard during that time so that I have spending money for France and funds to rent (NOT buy) textbooks. Yay, Dorm Crew and Reunion Jobs! I’d recommend doing Dorm Crew for pre-orientation, because you can start out with a lot of money, some friends, and a really good sense of campus. (However, the other pre-orientation activities are pretty cool…but if you’re worried about money at all, Dorm Crew is the way to go.)

This upcoming weekend, I’ll be taking some pictures for The Crimson of the women’s Lacrosse Game. They’ve been doing much better than normal, which is exciting to watch, and makes me want to play lacrosse again! I played lax and field hockey in high school, and was active in a lot of clubs, music, and theater, which I think is the reason I got in here. (All colleges are looking for someone who fits the bill, and they knew I was prepared for this business.) Anyways, I will also be preparing the Reunion, Commencement, and Year-in-Review newspapers for The Crimson during the month of May, so I can chill with my photofriends. (YEAH!) Now all I have to do is make it through exams…ergh. Being gone next week isn’t going to ease the pain of taking exams and boosting my grade, to say the least.

Hope all is well, happy rainy Thursday!

-Reid

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Hey everyone! This week’s post is different than normal; I decided to take some photos and collect some information about Freshman Housing at Harvard. It’s known around the country for being incredible, as you’ll find out while reading this post. Click on an image to enlarge it, click on a title to find out more information, and enjoy the post! If you would like another resource, click here to be redirected.

 

 

Harvard freshmen all live on campus around Harvard Yard, the central location of Harvard College. There are four “yards” which encompass various dorms, all of which have their perks. When you’re a sophomore, you live in a House (or the Dudley co-op, if you so choose) until you graduate, but this post is only about freshman housing…perhaps I’ll feature upperclassmen housing next year. If you’re interested in learning about how the housing process works, check this out; otherwise, keep reading!

IVY YARD:

Apley Court

Apley Court is known for huge suites, marble bathtubs, and its distinct location between the Yard and River houses.

Not a dorm, but Holden Chapel, my favorite building in the Yard

 

 

Hollis

Yay, Hollis! Suites, which are only doubles, are absolutely gigantic.

Holworthy

I personally love Holworthy, mostly because of their awesome (yet again giant) suites and their common room, which is the best on campus in my opinion.

Lionel

 Lionel’s twin is Mower. I get them confused. There are only 40 residents, and each suite has a private bathroom!

Mass Hall

Mass Hall is incredible, with around 14 freshman living there, because it also houses President Faust.

Mower

Lionel’s twin, home of one of my favorite people, is both adorable and tiny.

Straus

Straus, home of my future roommate (!), is awesome. It’s in a private yard, has lovely rooms, and really cool staircases (things you notice when living in Canaday).

Stoughton

Stoughton! Home of more great people, this dorm is awesome because it looks like it is split in two. Other reasons include huge doubles and ideal location to run Primal Scream.

CRIMSON YARD:

Union Dorms!

Union dorms (Pennypacker, Greenough, and Hurlbut) are “far away;” that is, they are really close to Lamont,

and about as far as Straus to Annenberg. Also, because they’re farther away, there’s more space to have better rooms.

Hurlbut

Despite its gross name, Hurlbut is gorgeous. The suites are huge, and there are many “pod systems” comprised of luxurious singles around a big common room.

Pennypacker

Pennypacker, home of the radio station WHRB, has in-suite bathrooms in each room, a central staircase, and tons of dorm pride.

Greenough

Greenough has hardwood floors and huge suites. Enough said.

Wigglesworth

 

Wigg is where it’s at! This incredibly long dorm has the best practice rooms, where I spend most of my time, and has spacious suites to boot. You’re very close to all of what Harvard Square has to offer!

 

OAK YARD

Canaday

Canaday is my dorm! As a resident, I can honestly say that it is the ugliest dorm on campus, rivaling Mather (an upperclassmen house). The good things of Canaday include our own courtyard, proximity to everything (it takes me less than one minute to walk to class), heightened security (riot-proof building…but that’s not actually a plus to living in Canaday), and most importantly, the GIANT windows. I live in the common room, though, so that might effect how I see the world (pun).

Thayer

Thayer is awesome. I love it. It has the best interior design, with hardwood floors, crown molding, and pale green walls. The rooms are big. My future blockmate and friend since 7th grade lives there. It’s really close to Canaday!

 

ELM YARD

Weld

Dream of Weld. If you like huge common rooms, you’ll love Weld.

Matthews

Matthews also has incredible housing. Pattern? Yes.

Gra

Grays Hall

Grays is known as the Harvard Hilton for a reason. (Hint: best rooms.)

FEATURED ROOMS

I asked around campus in order to find some of the best freshmen dorm rooms Harvard has to offer.

To the class of ’16, you might be lucky next year and end up in one of these sweet suites!

A Weld Room

 

Welcome to the huge common room. Boasting dormers, a hand-made coffee table, and natural light, this common room might be the best in the yard.

 

Pictures from home are displayed on a clothesline in a whimsical fashion.

 

Check out this coffee table, complete with Crimson!

 

A white-board wall is a creative and artistic addition to this lovely room.

 

Both Weld doubles and singles are spacious and well-lit.

 

An Apley Room

This single in Apley Court is enormous, complete with walk-in closet and and hardwood floors.

 

Same room, different angle: check out that closet!

 

This might look like your bathroom at home, if your bathroom had a marble bathtub.

 

Although this room is on the 5th floor, who wouldn't want to ascend that staircase every day?

 

Two Hurlbut Singles

If this room had a superlative, it'd be best-dressed.

 

A not-so-average college dormroom is common place at Harvard!

 

A Grays Room

This spacious common room gets a cozy feel from the christmas lights

Same room, different angle: brick walls add a classic Harvard touch

 

Too Cute to Bear

A Canaday Room

 

This common room, although messy, is well-lit and has colorful touches. (And it's where I live!)

 

A Canaday single may be smaller than some, but it's cozy and guaranteed to be yours (or in this case, my roommate Helen's) for at least a semester.

 

Canaday rooms make you incredibly happy, as displayed by my roommate Rachel.

 

THANKS SO MUCH FOR READING! I HOPE YOU ENJOYED GETTING TO KNOW A LITTLE BIT MORE ABOUT HARVARD HOUSING!

 

until next time

-reid

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Hello everyone!

GOOD LUCK ON YOUR ACCEPTANCE LETTERS(if you’ve received your emails/letters by the time you’re reading this, congrats)!!!!!! Last year, this time, I was freaking out the entire day at school, biting my nails and checking my email virtually every two minutes, counting down the time until 5pm. AND THEN MY ACCEPTANCE EMAIL wasn’t sent out until 6:45pm! So good luck!

Sorry that I missed my post last week; I was really busy until Friday came ’round, and it was already too late ): Right now, I’m at the Greenhouse Café, one of Harvard’s many dining locations, sipping on a soy chai latte and editing a few of my essays for Friday. Last night I had not one, but TWO rehearsals for The Nostalgics (at the quad) and for SOL Cupsi (in Kirkland basement), which meant I had to miss out on a lovely Indian-food study break (wop). However, I love both of those activities, so it was fine with me!  CUPSI will be going to LA in late April (yay! lot’s of fundraising to do) and The Nostalgics will be competing for the opening of Yardfest on Friday (ahh). Check out the poster I made in my printmaking class for this event!

Yardfest is a huge celebration and music concert in April, and this year The Cataracs and Das Racist will be playing; hopefully my band will be opening for them, in front of everyone! Last year Far East Movement, Sammy Adams, and White Panda came; this year’s lineup isn’t too exciting, compared to U-Penn’s Tiesto and Yale’s T-Pain and Passion Pit lineups. But what can you do…except get someone better for next year! (Beyonce, anyone?)

I’ve been relatively busy this week, and will be next week, as it is Advising Fortnight for the freshmen, which primes us for our concentration decisions. My calendar is full of fun events, such as “Cool Cupcakes and Hot Munchies” from the Anthropology department, a dinner with the African and African-American Studies department, Romance Languages and Literatures meet&greet, and Enviro-Sci and Public Policy tea! I’m really excited to decide on my concentration (major) and secondary (minor), but I have a while (luckily we declare next November) because I have no idea what I am going to do! It’s not like I don’t have ideas; I’d love to do Franco-Italian Studies, Environmental Studies, African Studies, Anthropology, and Architecture, but sadly I can’t “double major” or “joint concentrate,” as we call it here, in many of these concentrations. There are just too many requirements that I’d have to complete by the time 2015 rolled around. Also, Environmental Studies is not a real concentration here; it’s part of the Visual and Environmental Studies concentration, but is not a fixed path and varies widely based on what you’d like to study within that concept. And architecture isn’t a “real” concentration, either; there’s History of Art and Architecture, which does not prepare you for Architectural studies. So I am going to have to do some research to create my own path here, and I will have the resources if I put my mind to it.

 

Panorama from top floor of William James Hall!

As hectic as this will all be, I’m very excited to have a set direction for my academic studies. It will definitely constrict me, and I’ll have to make some hard decisions, but I will end up with a concentration that I enjoy. (And if I don’t, there’s always petitioning for a change of study and grad school!) Joint concentrations are pretty difficult to make work, but if my so-called “electives” (aka the language courses that I’m obsessed with) count towards my requirements, I’m set! I just have to do what I love, and make my huge dreams a reality. It’ll happen.

Speaking of making dreams a reality, I will be going to Paris this summer!!!!!! I received a huge Rockefeller grant for summer study, and will have a crucial jump on my concentration requirements by studying in France! I’ve never spent the summer in a city, but I’ll be home for a few weeks in June and a few in August to get a breath of country air and swim in the river near my house. I’m going to have to get into a good athletic schedule so that I don’t become too heavy from all those pastries … yum. Also, two of my really good friends will be spending the summer there, one interning in a Neuro lab and the other doing the Columbia-Penn French program. (Oh so fun.) I can’t wait! I have yet to receive another very important grant from the Romance Language department, but it should show up tomorrow as a lovely birthday present. (I’ll be 19, yay!) Check out what I could design with my potential future concentration in my potential future city!

 

So, that is all for now 🙂

Happy spring!

-Reid

 

 

PS Check out some Harvard Talent, for those of you who are still unsure of whether or not Harvard is the right fit for your artsy-selves.

(Leah Reis-Dennis from my band!)

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Inside America’s Test Kitchen

It’s crunch time. Midterm, essay, thesis due… and then a week of pure celebration also known as spring break. I’m not sure if it was thoughtful or actually unsympathetic that teachers and the Government department planned these due dates as such but I’ll go with the former.

 

Basically that means from this moment on out, for the next week I’ll be cuddled up in my bedroom and Lamont library with the continuously glowing computer light to keep me company. Yet, it’s not as bad as it sound. The myriad of other students all doing the same around me brings forth a sense of camaraderie with everyone else thinking the same, “two days until my thesis is done forever”, “six days until spring break”, and the like.

 

As a last minute push to procrastinate against the inevitable slew of work however, I journeyed earlier today with the Food Literacy Project to America’s Test Kitchen (ATK) (located in Brookline in Boston, MA). Our group and the FLP coordinator Louisa took an afternoon train to the location where ATK (the PBS cooking show) is filmed as well as the headquarters for the magazine Cook’s Illustrated and show Cook’s Country.

The Test Chef’s in action!

While I wasn’t able to grab a shot of him, we got a glimpse of ATK host Chris Kimball as we tour the location, meet and did a Q & A with some of the test chefs, and did a tasting of our own. While our tasting consisted of three varieties of dark chocolate, ATK often has to do full tastings and then recommendations of less pleasant food items on their own, such as red wine vinegar or fish sauce.

 

The whole atmosphere was ripe with enthusiasm and foodie passion, and there were delicious smells wafting from every corner. We were even able to raid their library and take home a few select cookbooks and magazines, which I’m looking forward to trying out soon.

Test #??: Wedge Salad

Indeed, it seems this whole week has been quite the foodie experience. Last night I helped film and do the sound recording for a community dinner hosted by FLP in Currier House featuring Tamar Adler and Professor Richard Wrangham, a discussion on the future of cooking. I took a freshman seminar with Professor Wrangham on human evolution and war, but it was great to have a discussion together and with other students on evolution and foodways (he wrote the book, Catching Fire). For any potential Harvard freshman, I truly recommend taking a freshman seminar if one of them piques your interest—it was a great experience to have such an intimate seminar with such a great professor as a freshman.

 

In any case, this was a great first event in a series we are starting of community dinners through FLP (“Harvard Talks Food”) to connect professors, academics, and other experts in the food industry with Harvard students as a way to build dialogue and food education. And then prior to that, I was running about a pound or so of guacamole through campus on the way to the Culinary Society’s Annual Guac’ Off (guacamole making contest)! This event is always a hit with students, but who doesn’t love guacamole, prizes, or food competitions? Local burrito restaurant Qdoba and Boloco provided delicious guac’ and queso cheese for those watching the competition.

 

All-in-all the whirlwind of a week was not much of a calm before the storm—it fact, it was quite the storm itself (the snow just continued to pile down as I attempt to ride by bike around campus yesterday). Yet the fun and education experienced made up for it.

 

Hope you have a good weekend and check-in after the “storm”!

 

~Natalie

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