Institute of Politics

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If you were anywhere within a five mile radius of Harvard Square this weekend, you probably already know that this was a big weekend for us college students. If the loud thumping music didn’t give it away, the crowds of students all walking towards and gathering in the yard on Saturday evening would have. Two words, two syllables, and a whole lot of fun: YARD FEST.

Yard Fest is the annual free College-wide concert that takes place each year in the Spring in the Tercentenary Theatre in Harvard Yard. For one afternoon and evening each year, Harvard Yard right in front of the Widener Steps ceases to be just a tourist attraction, or a part of the pathway to and from class. Instead, its transformed into a rockin’ concert arena complete with food, friends, and live music available for Harvard College students. The day starts early with Harvard houses, clubs, and organizations on campus hosting a variety of pre-Yard Fest events from BBQ’s to mid-afternoon dance parties. Gates opened at 5:00 PM with dinner and a live show. In addition to the headlining performance, student bands also performed at Yard Fest, including Puttanesca and The Cantab Cowboys. Both bands were great, and one of the members of The Cantab Cowboys hails from Eliot House (my house/the best house on campus), which already makes them a band worth listening to in my humble opinion. The headlining performer was the Top 40 rap artist Tyga.

Yard During Yardfest

People milling about the yard, listening to the music and socializing!

All in all, it was a great Saturday, and the perfect weekend to an already great week. On Monday, I went to the Institute of Politics (what is rapidly becoming my home away from home away from home…) to hear a panel conversation at the John F. Kennedy Forum.  The panel was called “Is America Working? What Business and Government Can Do” and it featured some really big names in politics including Roger Porter, Lawrence Summers, Paula Dobriansky, and Ben Heineman. They discussed the intersection between business and government today, how it has evolved, and what are some of the biggest problems the country faces today as far as employment opportunities and economic growth.

JFK Forum on the Economy

Roger Porter, Larry Summers, Paula Dobriansky, and Ben Heineman discussing the private and public sector and how it relates to the United States Government

Because Harvard College is located in Massachusetts, I have the occasional opportunity (when I’m not glued to a desk at the library) to venture outside of Harvard Square and check out the many sites that the great MA has to offer. This week on Wednesday, I went to the Celtics basketball game!

Celtics TD Garden

Celtics! It’s really too bad that they lost…but the game was FUN!

The team played against the Brooklyn Nets at TD Garden. TD Garden, just a short T-ride away from campus, was packed with Celtics fans there to support the home team. Unfortunately, the Celtics ultimately lost out to the Nets, 101-93. Fortunately, I have no allegiances to either team, so I was able to sit back and enjoy the game.

Well, that’s all for now folks!

Until next week,


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Whew! What a week/weekend! I hope you have all had a great Easter/Passover/April Fool’s Day!

Congratulations to the Class of 2017 – regardless of where you end up, getting accepted to Harvard will undoubtedly be something you remember for a very long time. I had the opportunity to talk to high school students from my hometown who had recently been accepted to Harvard. It got me thinking about why I love the school so much. The number one reason I love this school is because there is truly never a dull moment and there is opportunity around every corner.

For example, last Wednesday I was able to hear Jon Favreau speak at the Institute of Politics (IOP) at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Jon Favreau is President Obama’s former Director of Speechwriting.

Jon Favreau visits the IOP

Jon Favreau, the President’s former speechwriter, visited the IOP last Wednesday to talk about his work on the campaign trail and in the White House.

He spoke at the IOP about his experience writing speeches for the President, working on everything from campaign speeches, State of the Union addresses, to White House Correspondent Dinner jokes. Favreau regaled us all with stories about working side-by-side with the Commander in Chief, an already accomplished speechwriter himself, and what he believes makes a good speech. You can check out the IOP website for a full video of Favreau’s visit.

Last Saturday I was lucky enough to score tickets to the Lowell House Opera. Lowell House dining hall was transformed into an opera house, complete with a stage, lights, and a makeshift orchestra pit for the production. This year was the 75th anniversary of the Lowell House Opera, and they put on a Midsummer Night’s Dream. I have read the Shakespearian play several times, and have seen it performed once or twice before. Seeing it performed as an opera, however, was a completely different experience and one that I am unlikely to forget. The acting was great, the singing was phenomenal, and the set design and costumes made the performance come alive. It was also really funny – I found myself laughing out loud at some of the character’s antics, and I left the show impressed, and a little curious as to how they could remember all of their lines. It’s one thing to have to speak all of that dialogue, but to sing each and every line at an extremely high pitch? Wow.

Much to the dismay of my roommates, I’ve since been inspired to practice perfecting my own operatic abilities around my suite. I’ll let you know how it goes…

Until next week!


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This summer has absolutely flown by! I’m going to do my very best to summarize everything I’ve been up to for the past two months, so here it goes!

I started my summer with ten days of backpacking with the First-Year Outdoor Program, leading a training trip for this spring’s class of trainees. I had gone on a training trip myself last year, but leading one this year turned out to be a completely different experience, and I loved it. As a leader, we were responsible for guiding the trainees through the trip and making sure they learned all of the social, technical, and medical skills they need for the orientation trips this fall. The weather was also awful on the trip – probably upwards of four feet of snow at the top of some of the mountains!


Our training trip at the Zealand Falls Hut in NH!

After I got back from my backpacking trip, I started an internship working in the Superintendent’s Office at Boston Public Schools downtown. I got the placement through Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government – the Institute of Politics is an undergraduate organization focused on politics, and they run the “Director’s Internship” program for undergrads over the summer. I applied to the program back in February, when the IOP was accepting applications for its 60 placements all over the country. I have friends who got placed at organizations such as CNN, the MacArthur Foundation, Google, and the Department of Education in DC. It’s a really amazing program!

My internship’s turned out to be super interesting, and I’ve been really impressed with all of the people I’ve gotten to know in my office. I’m in a really lucky position, because despite being the only undergrad in the building, I get to sit in on meetings with executives from the district’s Central Office and research new initiatives for the Superintendent. I don’t really have a set schedule or assignment, and mostly work on whatever comes across my desk and sit in on meetings as they happen, but the spontaneity makes the work exciting.

As far as the rest of my summer goes, I’ve spent most of my weekends taking day trips and spending time with my family. I’m living in a big house at Tufts with some of my friends from high school, which has been a ton of fun. Harvard spoils us with the guaranteed on-campus housing, though – the house I’m staying in this summer is off-campus, so the girls we’re subletting from all have to deal with rent, utilities, and grocery shopping during the school year. Glad I don’t have to think about that while I’m studying or writing a paper!


Celebrating a birthday with friends at Tufts

I’m sort of shocked that the summer has flown by so quickly – I’ll be done with my internship next week! Once I’m done at Boston Public Schools, I’m moving right back to Harvard to start planning for the FOP trips that will be leaving at the end of August. I’m also looking forward to getting an email from the Advising Programs Office in the next few days, because I get to find out about my freshman advisees soon! Can’t believe school is only a month away!

From one of my weekend trips: dancing at my cousin's wedding!

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