Spring Break

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Hello everyone!

While I apologize for not updating you on my life sooner, I must admit I’ve been so busy having fun that I’ve just had no time! It’s been quite the whirlwind semester. When I last updated you, I was enjoying the amazing snowstorm that we experienced on campus. Since then, all the snow has melted, spring break has come and past, many important events were performed and attended, and summer plans were decided. Life at Harvard is always dynamic, so I’ve had to stay on my toes to make sure I can catch what’s thrown at me…or at least dodge it. Let’s take a look back and a glance forward, shall we?

March was a big month for me, as it brought my Spring Jam for a cappella and my birthday, two events that were strangely comparable. Jam is our only on-campus event that’s specifically for our peers/parents/friends, and so it takes a lot of rehearsal (think 5 hours a night for two weeks) to prepare. As some of you might recall, I was diagnosed with vocal nodules in December – they’re basically calluses on the important part of your voicebox – so I wasn’t sure how this semester would pan out for me, as far as singing went. I had to stop singing for The Nostalgics, my Motown band, but was able to sing with The Opportunes, as long as I continued taking my medications and attending vocal therapy at Mass Eye and Ear. Both treatments have been going very well for me, and so I was able to have an amazing jam with the people I love; I even got to solo on one of my favorite songs, which was far beyond my expectations for the semester! Check it out below.

Jam day brings most of my family into the area. My dad and I had a great lunch at Clover, one of my favorite restaurants in the square (and my definite recommendation for cheap eats if you come to visit) and watched the Men’s Lacrosse team beat Georgetown in an incredible game. As a photographer for The Harvard Crimson, I had the opportunity to cover the game, and although I’ve been doing it for a whole year and a half now, the thrill of snapping photos never gets old.

Sick shot. Check out that action!

My mom, grandmother, grandfather, aunt, uncle, and cousins all came to see me as well! It was really awesome to have such deep support from my family, as well as from my friends, who came out to listen to the music and take some pics as well. The next morning we had brunch with the Opportunes alumni, which was a great way to experience the community and dedication to the group, even after you’ve graduated. I feel very lucky to have such a tight-knit group of friends on campus 🙂

Yay Opps!


If I didn’t get enough of the Opps from rehearsing and performing at Jam, a week later we were on our way to the Dominican Republic for our Spring Break Tour, which I had set up as tour manager. We hopped on the plane at Boston Logan and spent a week singing, swimming, and most importantly, relaxing and having fun with one another. I was surprised to find myself not sick of the Opps by the end of the week, which is quite an accomplishment; we are an overwhelming group of large personalities! It was definitely one of the most fun times I’ve had in my life, and definitely at Harvard. We even went SNORKELING and made up a song to sing to the fish, which was pretty bizarre but also hilarious. Check out a few photos below!

Opps on the Beach!


Me and My Friend Brian!


Pirate Night!


Once we returned to Cambridge, it was time to start working again. Three of my classes require a research project of some sort, so I had to start interviewing and taking field notes on slam poetry culture, Celtic music in Boston, and the Vermont dairy farm crisis – not too shabby a schedule if you ask me! The subjects are incredibly interesting (I mean, I chose them for myself), but they happen to require a lot of time, so I’ve been very overwhelmed with coursework for the past month, and I will continue to be until the semester wraps up. I’m studying such a wide variety of subject material and have a lot of flexibility in my coursework, which is something I really appreciate about the Anthropology and Music departments, and especially the joint concentrations! Joint concentrations are Harvard’s [dare I say, superior] version of the Double Major; basically, instead of fulfilling two disjoint majors’ requirements, I am taking a slightly reduced course load in each department (16 courses instead of 20) and will have to write a thesis that combines the two fields in a very comprehensive product. I am SUPER excited to write my thesis, but luckily I have a ways to go before I have to start thinking about that.

The summer before senior year will be full of research for my thesis, last summer was full of Parisian culture, and this summer will be oh-so-close to home: I’ll be working at Harvard’s Admissions Office as the tour and info-session Coordinator! I am really pumped to work and stay on campus (yes, I get free room and board!), as I have yet to be in Cambridge during the summer months, and I hear it is lovely. I’ll have about a week to go home between recording for the Opps and starting work, but I can take a bus ride up for a quick weekend here and there…or so I hope. It might be challenging staying on campus for a whole year without pause, but I suppose I will let you know about that once Junior year starts. (Ahh, I am getting so old!) Speaking of which, I had my birthday at the end of March! I had a cider and pancakes party in my room, and required everyone to wear flannel in the Vermont fashion. It was actually really fun and very successful, so I was pretty pleased.

Okay, I am off to lunch with my friend Ned, I will catch you all later! I promise to update about the rest of my life soon, and maybe I’ll run into you, readers, at Visitas or at an information session (this summer? this year?).

À Bientôt!



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This past week was Spring Break, and I ended up staying on campus to work on my junior essay for my History and Literature tutorial.  The junior essay is a 6,000 word (give or take) paper that every Hist and Lit student writes in the spring of their junior year, in preparation for the senior thesis.  To be clear, most concentrators don’t stay on campus to work on this essay, since the assignment spans the majority of the semester.  I just stuck around because I made a last-minute to write a new paper on a completely different topic, and I decided it was worth is to give up my break to focus all of my attention on my work.

Since I sacrificed sunshine for a better paper, and I ended up spending a lot of time in Widener Library working on my second paper.  My research often led me to the Widener Stacks, which are basically endless.

Some of the books are stored underground in Pusey Library, which is connected to Widener by an underground tunnel (you can see the tunnel in the diagram above).  A trip to Pusey is a rare occasion for me, and I couldn’t resist the urge to play around with the electronic book shelves while I was down there.

So this is basically how I spent my vacation: Pusey Stacks Clip

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Spring break kicked off last Thursday for me. And I can’t think of better timing. Last week was filled with a whole lot of midterms and Women’s Week Events so I’m especially glad for the chance to slow down a little and sleep 🙂

So, amidst all of Mather’s Housing Day craziness, my twin sister and I packed up all our luggage and headed to the airport to board our flight. But first… we decided to make a pit-stop in Rome. It was my first time in Italy and it was absolutely amazing! It was so nice just walking up and down the streets of Rome, eating gelato, and taking in all the sights– the people on the streets, the artisans and their handiwork, the streetside cafés and gelatarias. Roma even in late winter is absolutely delightful. It’s a city with it’s own personality for sure! My twin sister and I only had 12 hours and we wanted to make the most of it so after finding our way around the train station we hit the Colosseum, the Pantheon, the Trevi Fountain (my favorite!), the Vatican, and the Spanish Steps. It was a lot in a little bit of time but I can’t think of a better way to use a layover. After trekking around Rome for a day, getting my fill of gelato, pizza, expresso, and cannoli we boarded our flight to our real destination: Israel!

So you’re probably thinking— Israel? It’s not exactly the stuff of beach get-aways and normal spring break trips. Most of my friends either headed home or hit the beach. But my whole family was planning a reunion in Israel (my uncle is currently stationed there as part of his post with the UN) and I couldn’t think of a better place to be. Granted, this trip hasn’t really been a vacation. It’s been really educational and incredibly insightful– just thinking about the history of this place and the current international climate it finds itself in blows my mind. The views, the cityscapes, the sites we’ve visited have been amazing. Not to mention, President Obama’s trip just happened to coincide with my visit to Israel so I’ve had more of an opportunity to openly talk with Israelis and Palestinians alike about US-Israel/Palestine relations and just what they think are the prospects for peace in this tumultuous region.

It’s been a really different kind of Spring Break to say the least but one I wouldn’t want to trade for the world. We’ve covered so much in just 7 days– from Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, Dome of the Rock, and Via Dolorosa (the path that Jesus Christ is said to have made to his crucifixtion and eventual resurrection) to the Dead Sea and Bethlehem up to the north of the country and to the coastline in Tel Aviv– and I can feel my brain literally expanding take this part of the world– a part I’ve never really gotten to know– in. Now I’m just bracing myself to leave this world of falafel, mango juice, chicken schwarma and hummus for good ol’ Harvard once more 🙂 Happy weekend!


I would steadfastly contend that some of the best things just happen – that’s how my Spring Break was planned.

This Spring Break would be my first outside of PBHA’s (Phillips Brooks House Association) Alternative Spring Break program. For the past two years, I’ve participated and directed the trip to New York City where a group of hand selected undergraduates volunteered with God’s Love We Deliver and wandered both medical schools and the big city!

Last semester, I initially thought I would have to take the MCAT (Medical College Admissions Test) after Spring Break due to hardships registering for a January spot, but I got lucky and secured a sweet and ideal test spot! Thus, my Spring Break opened up 🙂 My luck doesn’t end here because one of my roommate’s mom had a Disney gift card reward that would not only pay for our hotel at Disney World for a few nights, but also some meals! As if things couldn’t get any better, my other roommate’s older sister works at Disney and was available to join us on our Spring Break getaway and she could get us all our park admission tickets as well! This extremely fortunate series of events created the best (and cheapest) Spring Break to Disney World ever!! As a California native, I’m quite familiar with Disneyland so I was beyond stoaked to venture into Disney World for the first time!

Third year in college, but Spring Breakin like we’re 3 years old

In the wee hours of the first day of Spring Break, my roommates and I hopped on a plane to Disney World. As with most college students, transportation to the airport is more often than not a struggle. Lucky for us, the Boston Logan International Airport (equipped with free wifi!) is relatively close – I know a lot of other schools aren’t so conveniently located near airports, let alone international airports! Harvard is also great about making the college to airport trip not only easier, but also much more cost effective. The UC (Undergraduate Council) organizes shuttles as Caroline mentioned in her latest blog. Additionally, one of the UC’s more recent initiatives is their “Split a Cab” campaign that basically fosters an environment where students can contact each other with the end goal of splitting the cab fare. Most students are economically minded and will send emails over list-servs to get in touch with people going to and back from the airport. My roommates and I actually shared a cab with someone in the early morning because neither the T (subway) or shuttles were running at 4am!

Needless to say, we had a phenomenal time at Disney World with all its thrilling rides and scrumptious food!!! The Florida sunshine was completely necessary, especially since we returned to a snowy Cambridge 🙁 Sometimes it felt like we never left Harvard – we ran into 2 incoming class of 2017 freshman at the adventure park! My roommates and I wanted to talk to them and congratulate them on getting in early, but were initially hesitant because of the blatant potential creep factor. We approached them under the context that I “work” for the Admissions Office to play it cool. In the conversation, both parties were really excited but my roommates and I definitely felt like the karate master who is all knowing of the wildly fun adventures they’ll have in college. I also promised them I would mention them in my blog, so if they’re reading, I did eat all the churros I said I would eat.

Harvard seemed to follow us around Florida, or at least our upperclassman house, Mather. The week leading up to Spring Break is Housing Week which ends with Housing Day – an epic day where all freshman get placed into their upperclassman house for the next three years with their friends. Think the human chaotic version of Harry Potter’s sorting hat.

This year, the theme for Mather was a pun off of Monster’s Inc.

My favorite part of the shirt was the back though:

Our house is infamous for its concrete architecture.

I’ll embarrassingly admit that I thought the theme was just a random throwback to the movie a few years ago. Until we realized there was a sequel coming out and then really appreciated the sweet pun…

Solid examples of the strong community Harvard fosters. My roommates and I also discussed Harvard and its name. Dropping the name is commonly termed the H bomb. I definitely dance around dropping this bomb and would much rather drop little grenades like “I attend college in Massachusetts” or “It’s a school in Boston” commonly followed by “Well, it’s not really in Boston, but an area just outside of Boston” and if the inquirer is really pushy, they’ll get it out of me…maybe. My roommates think it’s weird that I still avoid it that much as a junior in college, but I’ve always noticed a change in dynamics post H bomb and it’s a change I don’t really like. I’m not embarrassed nor ashamed of my school, I just rather not openly discuss it? Not sure, I’m weird about it.

Spring Break is now on its final weekend 🙁 It’s back to reality…but not too fast. I’ve definitely spent the last two days eating like it’s my last meal and rolling around my bed laughing so hard from TV shows like Psych and The Big Bang Theory. The dining hall won’t be open until Sunday dinner, but my roommate and I trekked to the market thanks to Harvard’s evening van service, something I definitely heard of a lot freshman year that hasn’t come up until some of my friends reminded me of it. The evening van service is, from my understanding, like a supplement to the normal shuttle. My roommate and I used the evening van service to shop at a nearby store a mile away to stock up on snacks and semi-real food to hold us over for a few days until the dining hall opens. It’s a great service that I’m kind of kicking myself for due to my lack of use these last 2.5 years!

My procrastination is somewhat admirable..? I hate (haaaateeee!) skipping classes, but I did a lot of that these past few weeks in order to maximize my midterm preparations. Ending this blog now to get back to the swing of things! Hopefully next weekend, I’ll be able to give an update on my summer plans!


**updated April 12, 2013 at 4pm

In response to some of the comments… (sorry the comments section closed so I can’t directly reply!)

Students definitely get nervous leading up to and on Housing Day! It’s more of a nervous excitement though. I think the closest feeling to it is coming to watch a sports game. There’s this intense, exciting energy all around you and you know you’re going to have a great time regardless. There are people in the vicinity that want what you want and those who want what you don’t want, but you’re all super excited to have your future determined (phrasing it in the most dramatic way). Every house warmly welcomes freshman as the future personality and spirit relies on the shoulders of the freshmeat .. erhm, freshmen!

When I was a freshman, there wasn’t a particular house I wanted to be in because there are soo many pros and cons to each house. I honestly did not want to be put in the quad though and am still glad I don’t live in the quad :p but I do appreciate the quad and go there like once a week which is much more than the overwhelming majority of river people can say!

Side note: Upperclassman dorms are divided into two regions: the river and the quad.

Pretty decent references:



Keep in mind, there are opportunities to transfer houses so it’s not the end all, be all kind of situation. I love Mather House and my sweet suites, but I’m in other houses all of the time! Some people aren’t even sure of where I actually live.

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The title of this post makes me sad. This past week was my last spring break…ever. I was able to travel a bit and spend some time at home. Spring break started at 3 am last Friday as I headed to the airport to fly to Seoul, South Korea! That weekend, I’d spend more time in the air traveling, than I would on the ground. I was only in Seoul for about 30 hours. It was the quickest (and longest) trip I’ve ever done. What an oxymoron.

My friend (and former PAF–Peer Advising Fellow, or an upperclassman buddy that is assigned to each and every freshman!), Lilli ’11, and I traveled together to shoot another episode of the Korean documentary we’ve been hosting for the past year. I’ve mentioned this before in previous posts, but to recap: “Homo Academicus” is an education documentary series consisting of 4 episodes that I’ve been co-hosting with 3 other Harvard students (Brian ’14, Jenny ’13, and Lilli). We traveled to various countries around the world to observe how cultural differences, privileges, and inequities affect education and styles of learning. One of the coolest things that I’ve done while at Harvard–definitely something I’ll remember for the rest of my life. It’s also something I would have never had the opportunity to pursue if it weren’t for being a Harvard student.

Lilli and I in front of one of our promotional posters!

The documentary premiered on February 28, and new episodes have been airing weekly on Thursday nights throughout March. The first episode had decent ratings, but the second one shot up to number 2 on the charts. As a result of the show’s success, our producers invited us back to film an epilogue of sorts as an episode 5, and thus, the 30 hour whirlwind trip to Korea occurred. The trip itself was as crazy and fun as it was exhausting. As soon as I hopped off the plane (a combined 18 hours of travel with my layover in San Francisco), I headed to a local cafe where we would be filming. We had a live studio audience of about 100 people, which was insane! One of the show’s viewers even drove 3 hours to be an audience member; what a trooper! While I’m on this high, let me just say that we were noticed on the street a few times, which was simultaneously both really funny and super bizarre. It felt like an out of body experience, but still very cool!


Luckily, I haven’t been jet-lagged! I don’t know why. I think the trip might have been too short for me to adjust to any timezone–perhaps my body was just really tired and confused. My parents are moving to a new house, so I’ve been packing up my things and going through all belongings that I’ve lugged around for years and years. I haven’t grown in height since freshman year of high school or so, and therefore, I always tell myself I’ll wear something that is clearly no longer age appropriate for me. This cleaning really helped, though, because I sorted through my entire closet and donated 3 bags full of old t-shirts, sweatshirts, and pants! The best part was that I drove back to campus to pick up my friend, Teagan, who stayed at school for spring break, to join this adventure. The joys of being a (fairly) local Harvardian: campus is just a short 40-minute drive away. Massachusetts residents, I’m talking to you! Being able to drive back and forth to campus from home whenever you’d like is such a huge plus!

I’m still in the midst of packing and am only home for one more day. Yikes. I should probably go do that now, but I’ve had a lovely last spring break that I’m sure I’ll look back on with fond memories. Crossing my fingers that it stops snowing!

Also, HUGE congratulations to the Men’s Basketball team on a historic win in the NCAA Tournament! I have a few friends on the team and am so incredibly happy for them! Can’t wait to root for them when they play Arizona!

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Hello Everyone!


I actually only have 5 minutes in an internet cafe so this will be very short.  I am currently on Spring Break with some Harvard friends, and it has been fabulous!

First, I participated in Harvard Model Congress Europe´s conference in Madrid, staffing the National Security Council committee.  The delegates in my committee (shout out if you´re reading!) were AMAZING!  I had such a wonderful time getting to know them and listening as they dealt with issues surrounding Cybersecurity and Illicit Arms Trade.

Now, I am in the Canary Islands with some friends!

Must go (place is closing), but I will update next week!



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Well hello there!

If you’re wondering why I sound so rested and relaxed, it’s because today is officially my second day on Spring Break! I’m writing this blog post from the comfort of my Baltimore living room, where I have been lounging for an excessive amount of time. One of the best things about going to Harvard College is that it’s only a 1.5-hour flight back to the 410. Literally, Friday morning I was waking up in my dorm room, and twenty four hours later I’m hanging out with my parents at home. Ah, Spring Break…

I got home by way of Logan Airport – the airport that’s located just a few miles away from school. Usually, I just take the T there, but if I’m feeling particularly swanky, then I’ll splurge on a cab ride. This time, however, was especially great because of a new Undergraduate Council initiative – the Airport Shuttles! Just in time for this Spring Break season, the Undergraduate Council has now implemented airport shuttles that leave every hour between 4 AM and 7 PM the weekend that Spring Break starts. Now, instead of having to pay $40 for a one-way cab ride, or schlepping my luggage on the T, I was able to pay just $6.50 online to reserve a seat on the shuttle going to the airport. It got us to Logan in twenty minutes flat. Thanks to the shuttle service, I got to the airport, to the Southwest terminal, through security, and to my gate, all with enough time to buy a soft pretzel and the latest People Magazine. So, in case you were wondering, members of the Undergraduate Council, you’ve definitely gotten yourself a new fan in yours truly!

Like I said in my last post, my plans for Spring Break this year are pretty mellow. I’ve got plenty in my Netflix queue and the relatively warmer Baltimore weather to keep me busy, but I’ll let you know if anything exciting happens.

Until then, have a great week!!!


Oh, and PS: did you hear about the Harvard Basketball team? Besides being really tall and collectively really handsome, they’re also in the NCAA tournament this year. GO HARVARD!

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Losing an hour may not seem much, but 60 minutes is huge when I think about all the sleep I didn’t get this week 🙁

Between midterms, papers, and that activity called eating on top of attending classes and lab, I’ve been beyond swamped – not only this week but the 2 previous weeks before too! Spring Break couldn’t have come at a better time! SUNSHINE HERE I COME

I’m currently posting from the Boston Logan airport and will update as soon as I can 🙂

Happy Mid-March yall!


**updated March 22, 2013


I’m back on campus now from a delightful Spring Break and am no longer in travel mode – still working on getting off of vacation mode though! I am blogging from a much better mental mindset now compared to where I was a week ago. Spring semester definitely gives Fall semester a run for its money in terms of fun festivities and enjoyment.

I’m definitely enjoying all my classes again and that includes both required and non-required/elective classes. Having the freedom for elective classes is a perk of being an upperclassman; but I’m taking 3 required premed/Neurobiology concentration requirements that people normally take their freshman and maybe sophomore year that I’m really enjoying too! When I tell this to people, they’re always surprised as to why I put off these classes, but that’s just how my schedule worked out because I front-loaded my organic chemistry (aka orgo) and physics series. Since the majority of my classmates are freshman, it’s funny to watch them Facebook or nod off during lecture because as an upperclassman (I’m guilty of all above too), I am much more cognizant of my ticking time as an undergraduate and really appreciate the great lecturers that are available to me. I literally sit in class, really excited about having the opportunity to sit there … and may or may not be fighting the urge to high five freshman among me. I’m just happy to be taught by professors who are excited about the material they’re teaching because back at my public high school, this was not the case.

Although I love my classes, the hardest aspect about them is that all of their first midterms were spread out. You typically hear of students complaining (whining) about how they have all their midterms in the span of a few hours, but midterms are a struggle regardless of when they’re scheduled. Due to my 1 midterm a week schedule, I lived a very extreme month. I would study haaard leading up to the test and then treat myself to probably more relaxation time than I actually deserved afterwards, and then I repeated this vicious cycle. On top of this, I was trying to manage summer applications: finishing personal statements up, collecting recommendation letters, interviewing, pondering about medical school, and all that mentally taxing business. All in all, I think I would pick spread out midterms over condensed midterms if I was forced to choose the better of two evils.

One of my goals for this blog is to show prospective students (and their families) that Harvard College students are of course academically focused, but that this studious rigor also applies to outside of the classroom as well. I’d be comfortable saying that all students have at least one activity they are 200% committed to outside of class – check out Meaks‘ altruistic arm and Scott’s passport stamp collection!

There are two highlights of my week beyond the classroom.

1. Faculty Dinner – a few bloggers have written about our experiences with faculty dinner. Basically, both freshman and upperclassman dining halls host these faculty dinners at least once a semester. It’s a casual setting over delicious food where students can invite a professor or teaching fellow (aka TF, usually a graduate student) so both parties can get to know each other better. Although nerve wracking, it’s a great opportunity that most university students don’t get, so I try to take advantage of it every chance I get. This spring faculty dinner in my upperclassman house, Mather, I invited my preceptor from two years ago! All freshman are required to take an expository writing class (colloquially called Expos 20) that revolves around different focuses. My class was called Tales of Muder and I absolutely attribute my affinity towards writing to this class. I loved this class because of the structure (or lack thereof!) and I still refer back to my notes when I hit a wall outlining papers to this day. My professor and I caught up over these last (and fast!) 2 years. I had such a great time and definitely walked away from dinner knowing I will always find a friend in my Expos professor!!

2. Research Presentation – I’m a research assistant at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Decision Science Lab which is part of a great program of “social science scholars” who are undergraduates working on a variety of projects at many different labs around campus. About once a month or so, the institute organizes a luncheon where one or a handful of students will present the research they have been working on. It’s always nice to attend these luncheons because a constant reminder that I’m a part of something bigger continues to motivate me. This month, a student presented his work on audio files from the Supreme Court and how he tackles this enormous data set to determine (vocal) emotions and how (or if) this affects their decisions/decision-making processes. I’m always amazed whenever someone is answering a question I have yet to think of!


Hope you all enjoy reading about everyone’s different Spring Breaks!

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Greetings from the snowy sidewalks of Cambridge!

I believe it’s safe to say that the groundhog lied this year when he said that spring was right around the corner. It started snowing Thursday morning and didn’t let up until Friday afternoon. Subsequently, I had “It’s Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas” stuck in my head all weekend, despite the fact that it’s March.

Snowy Street

The snow this week gave me “Nemo” flashbacks!

Irregular precipitation aside, it’s been a pretty slow week here. We’re all gearing up for Spring Break, which is just around the corner, unlike its seasonal namesake. This week, if I wasn’t buried under a mountain of snow, I was buried under a substantial mountain of homework. Papers, midterms, problem sets, and presentations were the name of the game for me. Don’t worry; I’m not complaining – I actually enjoy having a lot of schoolwork to do, especially when it’s subject matter I’m interested in.

A few weeks ago, I attended “Sing It Sisters!” an open-mic night celebrating African American Women as a part of Black History Month. The event was part of the 15th Annual Walter J. Leonard Black Arts Festival. It was funded by the Undergraduate Council (our Student government) and held at the Queen’s Head Pub, on the ground floor of Memorial Hall. Everyone had a great time, and the set list included song performances, spoken word presentations, and some group numbers. At one point, I believe there was a group that attempted to perform the “Single Ladies” dance. I can’t say their execution was particularly successful, but they certainly entertained the crowd.

open mic night singing

One singer performed her own original music! It sounded incredible.

Generally, one of my favorite things to do on campus is attend artistic performances. Last semester, my roommate Kendra and I attended an Opportunes Winter Concert. The Opportunes are one of the many a cappella ensembles on campus. They’re amazing, and each one of their members is incredibly talented. I’ve heard them sing everything from Gladys Knight to Eagle-Eyed Cherry, and their dance moves are always excellently inventive. What’s the best part about the Opportunes? Our very own blogger Reid is a member! Win, win, win.

opportunes concert

The Opportunes were amazing! My favorite song they performed was “Skyfall” by Adele. I always feel surrounded by talent at this school.

Anyway, what’s truly been on my mind this week is the countdown to Spring Break. As much as I love Harvard, there’s nothing like going home for a week to hang out with my family, watch television, shop, and relax.

Stay warm, wherever you are!


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A few weeks ago, while a few of the bloggers were walking home from the blogging dinner reunion/meeting, I asked one of our new teammates Rob about his freshman year, specifically about the contrast between his fall and spring semesters. It’s insanely beautiful how most college students adapt to new campus environments. You start off in the fall with little hope of losing that deer in headlights, wide-eyed freshman glow. Yet you come in hot at the beginning of the spring semester shopping classes like you have a closet of awesome, high end swag already. I was mostly surprised by the idea someone threw out there that the spring semester is always better than the fall. I cannot wholeheartedly agree. On a scale of 1 to 10, both semesters are AWESOME with its own perks and defaults. However, I do think spring is more conducive to social activities.

You may or may not have gasped at the fact that I’m talking about social activities on the Harvard College blog. It’s only human nature that after feeling trapped in an igloo prison during seemingly perpetual winters that we want to bust out, or rather bust a move. That’s why I made sure fellow blogger Scott was at my sorority’s spring social event called Crush. It sounds semi-violent when all the girls start talking about who we “crushed,” but it’s the most elementary school-innocent conversations because each girl gets the opportunity to anonymously crush two boys. The social committee hand makes invitations and delivers them slyly to each door. It is then in fate’s hands whatever happens after. Love at first sight? Maybe. What I do know definitively is that Scott and I won the dance battle.

Although Harvard does not recognize fraternities and sororities (meaning we’re not like a student recognized organization that can, for example, reserve rooms on campus), I’ve really enjoyed how my sorority connects me with not only other students on campus, but also in the greater Boston area. Nearby Tufts University which also has a sizable active Greek life is inviting one more sorority to campus which led me to explore their campus this past Monday when I was representing my chapter during Kappa Alpha Theta’s extension presentation. At this event, there were Thetas from Harvard, MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), and BU (Boston University), as well as the national fraternity president! It was a pleasure mingling with Thetas at other campuses to see what their experiences have been like because all of our campus specific involvement differs, but there’s an unparalleled similar foundation upon which the first female fraternity was built upon.

Don’t get me wrong, spring semester has its academic rigors as well! I had my second midterm of the semester this past Tuesday in my Math 19a class. I was honestly, initially dreading this math class because my math course last semester met 3 times a week and had a pset (problem set) due EVERY TIME we met. Not okay. However, I’ve grown to love Math 19a. The class is really small and I feel like we’re already a community! Might even go ahead and say that it’s my favorite class this semester! This math class focuses on applying differentials to the life sciences, modeling predator-prey systems to epidemics and human heart positions within the body. The material totally makes all the premed sides of me tingle with warmth. By all means, I’m not saying I was excited for the midterm, but it helps that I adore the professor.

Math 19a is taught every semester, which in my opinion, is pretty rare since most classes are usually just taught in either the fall or the spring. It’s taught incredibly well, but most notably for the freshness of the class. There are advantages of it the class being help every semester such as the professor is consistent, extremely knowledgeable, and familiar with how students will grasp certain concepts. However, there comes a point when some professors who have been teaching the same course for so long that it becomes mundane and seems too rehearsed. Math 19a, however, sort of “refreshes” every semester. The professor changes the scientific articles that each set of students read and analyze as well as the psets, warm up problems, and lecture notes. These seemingly small changes make grand differences because it keeps everyone involved on their tippy toes rather than complacent and comfortable. I’m a big fan of the class and I’m nerdily looking forward to integrating math into my biology knowledge!

My midterms are spaced out pretty well this semester; I really have nothing to complain about. My next exam is Monday night in LS1b (genetics). I have to be honest that it’s been a little hard to study with Spring Break on my mind. I do have exciting plans for my vacation, but on campus, the few days leading up to Spring Break is Housing Day  http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2012/3…) where all the freshmen (self-grouped into ~8 friends) get assigned an upperclassman house to live in for the rest of their undergraduate years!

For the freshmen, this waiting period is full of unknown and maybe some excitement. The upperclassmen have the most fun job of advertising their own respective houses though. Students (more often than not) always have pride for their respective houses as you can hear in everyday sly comments in casual conversations. This house spirit magnifies with great intensity the weeks leading up to Housing Day though because there is so much glory to be had when freshmen rightfully desire the house in which you reside.

This time of year is very exciting because everyone’s (hidden) talents come out. In order to publicize the greatness of an upperclassman house, there are Facebook fan pages and pep-rally-like events/study breaks. Yet my absolute favorite form of spirit is Housing Day videos which are typically parodies on culturally relevant/hilarious matters in the media. I’ll leave you with a few videos:

My house/best house, MATHER HOUSE last year jumped on the Call Me Maybe coattails and created this gem:

This year, we wanted to double up and went with a James Bond twist with the help of the House Masters and Administration!!

Last year, Quincy House came in a close second to Mather’s Call Me Maybe by adding their Quincy flare to the movie Inception:

As you can see, not all the parodies are current. We appreciate throwbacks too!

Adams House (notorious for the gaudy gold decor) came out with a real gem – or should I say they struck gold?

I have to say that the best throwback this year was Lowell House, known for their loud bells:


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