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One of my favorite things about HUDS (Harvard University Dining Services) is that there is always dessert. Actually, dessert is only officially available with lunch and dinner. That being said, there are some really sugary cereals available during breakfast (think Lucky Charms, or rather Marshmallow Mateys), so I’m going to go ahead and count that as dessert.  The point is, if you are looking for a sweet treat after your meal you are well cared for.

Most importantly, there is no shortage of dessert diversity. HUDS lunches feature a variety of cookies. The flavors change from day to day and from House to House, so there’s pretty much something for everyone. Sometimes I am in the mood for a classic sugar cookie, but if I am feeling more adventurous I might prefer a peanut butter cookie. Thanks to HUDS, both flavors have the potential to be a part of my lunchtime reality, and that’s a beautiful thing. The dessert at dinner has even more variety to it, so it feels like more of a surprise. It could be bread pudding. It could be pie. There could even be a selection of whoopie pies. There really is just no telling.

Now, all of this dessert diversity is thrilling for someone with an adventurous sweet tooth (like me). However, HUDS also offers frozen yogurt at every meal for the student that appreciates a consistent dessert option.  There are typically two flavors available at each meal.  The featured flavors are usually vanilla and chocolate, since they are the classic choices, but every now and then HUDS surprises us with a less conventional option (dulce de leche, red velvet cake, etc.).  For example, the other day at dinner the dining hall in Currier introduced “Graham Cracker Pie” frozen yogurt, and it the best flavor yet. I wish I could share the experience with you, but you’re just going to have to trust me on this one. Think about it. It was so good that it inspired me to write an entire post about HUDS dessert. Honestly, just reflecting on the whole experience has put me in the best mood. It really is the little things…

Graham Cracker Pie Frozen Yogurt in Currier<3

Also, to be clear, some people do choose to treat themselves to healthier options (frozen yogurt without toppings, fruit, etc.) and some people choose to skip dessert altogether. I’m just not usually one of them.

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The sun is setting now, lazy afternoon light sliding through the wide-open windows of my house in Vermont. The sky is dotted with puffy clouds in the east, but a clear azul is spreading across the rest, contrasting against the beautiful rolling green mountains which surround me. With my cat on my lap and my dog at my side, begging for my zucchini fritters, I couldn’t feel any further away from Paris, where I returned from almost a week ago. I’ve transitioned back smoothly after a not-so-simple trip home, and now all I can do is reflect on my summer, soak up the last of my time in Vermont, and look forward to the oncoming academic year.


I have been enjoying some good food…here, at a local barn-raising

My time in Paris didn’t turn out to be how I’d expected it; not worse, per se, just different. It quickly became clear that my french wasn’t going to improve by as great a margin as I’d hoped, but in lieu of improved grammar, my conversational skills and linguistic confidence increased substantially. I also became fast friends with the city itself which, as far as urban spaces go, is spectacular. In addition, I made some incredible friends from all over the world and all over Harvard, whilst eating baguettes in a cloud of second-hand cigarette smoke. (Ech. Not going to miss that.) Now I’m not sure what I’ll be up to next summer, and where I’ll be spending my time. Perhaps Paris again? Or perhaps the countryside? Or Italia? Good thing I’ve got a few months to decide 🙂


In Vermont, I’ve managed to keep myself busy, despite the relaxed feeling that’s permeated my bones. Yesterday was very exciting; I went on my first riding lesson in seven years! The horse farm is in Milton, way up north, so I decided to stop by Burlington (our ‘big’ city) on the way there to do some shopping. But back to the lesson. I’m seriously considering playing polo for Harvard’s team, and I had to see whether or not I was over-romanticizing my sentiments towards the sport. So I budgeted a bit for the lessons, called up the stable, and arranged a lesson for the next day. It went very smoothly; I rode a lovely buckskin for more than an hour in the arena, cantering on my first day, as well as accidentally jumping a small hurdle. (Whoops. Don’t tell my mom.) I felt so comfortable, and I have two more lessons waiting for me before I head back to Cambridge, where I’ll be setting up my single (!) in Currier. As a former resident of Canaday, I am fully aware of the lack of architectural beauty that plagues the newer dorms, and Currier is no exception. Thus, I have decided to decorate my room fantastically (I mean it) and so all of yesterday’s shopping was geared towards the housing department. I went to two fabric stores, a craft store, some standard decorating stores, a few cheap-o stores, and returned home with all of my goodies: a bathmat, two square leopard-print/camouflage throw pillows, another smaller throw pillow, yarn, frames, and a bunch of fabric. Do not worry. The fabric will be covering those hideous throw pillows, making them absolutely gorgeous. Ah, my domestic life is flourishing. I move from stovetop to sewing machine to clothesline just like a little housewife. Except I’m designing my room. Which will win prizes and be featured in the New York Times Style Magazine, if we’re lucky.


This might be part of my bedroom. Yet to be decided.

As far as the less-important aspects of school go, I suppose I have to choose classes. (Please note that I am joking, as I have chosen my classes as of two months ago.) I have a few conflicts…okay, waaay more than a few, and this semester is the last one that I have before I must declare my concentration…which is still up in the air. Romance Languages and Anthropology? Visual and Environmental Studies and Anthropology? …Architecture concentration that has yet to be created? I DON’T KNOW. And the clock is ticking, so I’d better decide quickly. I am so excited to return to school, although I am totally afraid that I’ll be overwhelmed and have a rerun of my freshman fall, which was not so nice. Wish me luck, anyhow!



No, that is not me.

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There’s a line I say quite frequently that I wish I heard others vocalize as well: “We met at science camp.” I actually say it with a shy pause – definitely not because I’m slightly embarrassed or anything…it’s just for the dramatic effect!

I spent two of my high school summers at science camp: COSMOS (California State Summer School for Mathematics & Science) at the University of California Irvine and YSP (Young Scholar Program) at the University of California Davis. Whenever my peers question these summers, I naturally articulate that it was THE BEST SUMMER EVER as my eyes roll to the back of my head to replay all my cherished and hilarious memories. The chemistry and neuroscience classes/lectures that I attended, the hands-on research exposure and experiences, and most definitely the people I’ve met, all can explain my personality and interests, which is a huge reason why I put tremendous effort into maintaining my friendships from science camp.

Last semester at the epic annual Harvard-Yale football game, a friend from science camp – the only Yale student I know – reached out to me and offered to tour and host my friends and me during the weekend of the game. We all had so much fun with my friend showing us the local hot spots and agreed that this one weekend was too short. Therefore, this past weekend, the Yalie visited me for Yardfest! He’s never been to Harvard before and has been pretty committed to bashing it since he got waitlisted, so naturally, my goal was to change his opinion. My favorite quote of the weekend: “Harvard is so great! There’s a river and we can walk around at night.” I’m so glad that he not only felt safe roaming the streets of Cambridge, but also had a blast at Yardfest where students wildly danced to The Nostalgics (with Reid!), 3LAU, Das Racist, and The Cataracs. For two years now, Yardfest has pulled through to be an awesome Sunday evening and since the event ends before 10pm, there’s still time to study after!

Although New Haven Yalies may appreciate Harvard’s security, this week, I’ve become cognizant of not only how excited and committed Harvard students can get about the most random things, but also how much I love this enthusiasm!! If you follow us on Twitter (which you should!), I tweeted about an article about all the House Wars that have been arising – check out Caroline’s take on the wars! As a freshman last year, I wasn’t aware of these inter-house wars that are such a perk to House Life! I’m a proud Mather House resident, and us Matherites are led by a somewhat anonymous “General Mistie” (a spin off one of our house master’s names?).

If you’re a high school senior procrastinating, let me help you out by providing some HILARIOUS insight to the emails that have been sent out:

Read this Crimson article for relevant background info.

In the words of General Mistie:


The war council has decreed its intent to defend Currier if Adams continues hostilities towards our Quad brethren. Note that we only act to protect our allies from harm, and will declare war if necessary:

“Decree to Save the Tree” (best document title ever…Currier’s Mascot is the Tree)

Mather House takes this opportunity to remind the warmongers of Adams House that we have long maintained a strategic alliance with Currier House. Our houses unite every year to promote peace and prosperity, setting an example for all Harvard houses to Increase Mather and Currier spirit.

Adams’ recent encroachment on the sovereignty of Currier is an unwise and rash decision, greatly underestimating the strength of Currier and its allies. Pforzheimer House has already declared its solidarity with Currier, reminiscent of the Pfoho-Adams War of 1999.

Adams would be wise to remember Mather’s actions in the Great House War of 2004, where we acted courageously in Adams defense against Kirkland. When Kirkland infringed upon Adams territory by stealing the Adams gong, Mather courageously stepped in to protect Adams against its stronger opponent. Without Mather Gorilla warfare, the gong may have never been recovered.

We will not be the house that stands by and watches its allies struggle alone. Mather calls on Adams to rescind its declaration of war by 11:59:59 P.M. Wednesday April 11th, 2012. If Adams does not comply or takes any hostile action against Currier or its allies, Mather will immediately declare war in solidarity with its Quad allies.

We urge Adams to reconsider their reckless decision and advise the citizens of Adams to implore their leaders to withdraw their declaration of war. After almost eight years of peace, Mather does not wish to enter hostilities with any house. But where there is tyranny, we will fight for the right to maintain housing independence.

General Mistie

And to not play House favorites, I’ll also illuminate the participation of Cabot House:

Let it be known that on this day, the Tenth of April in the year Two Thousand and Twelve, the House of Cabot did officially enter into an accord with the House of Currier. We, the people of Cabot, are joining in defense of our ally, sturdy Currier, with the good Houses of Pforzheimer and Mather to denounce and oppose the acts of aggression taken by Adams House against our sister house, fair Currier.

Adams House’s declaration of war and illegitimate claim to the territories that rightfully belong to Currier House is an offense and provocation to all Houses. Following the senseless and terribly made Adams housing day video, Cabot residents did not succumb to provocation and instead let the people judge Adams. However, we can no longer stand idly by and watch Adams continue to commit these acts. We, the people of Cabot, will not stand for such injustices and must act to impede this infringement upon our Faust given and unalienable Rights (one of my personal favorite quotes of all time!), among these being Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. In the spirit of Quad solidarity and in support of the rights of all peoples of all Houses at Harvard to live freely and peacefully, the undersigned do declare that the people of Cabot have entered into a defensive alliance with the House of Currier and will be at war with the House of Adams if any acts of aggression are made.

Until the time at which Adams publically recognizes its misdeeds and renounces its actions, Cabot House will maintain its hostile relations to Adams. Let it be known to the Harvard body that Cabot House, the Heart of the Quad, will not stand for houses that act dishonorably. Quarter will not be provided to those who wish harm against our brothers and our sisters.

Lastly as a consequence for Adams continued dishonorable acts of aggression and vitriol, Adams house residents will be held to Cabot House dining hall restrictions, whereby Adams house residents will not be allowed to eat on Tuesdays from 1:30 PM until 2:00 PM. Let this be a lesson to all who transgress against such peaceful houses as Currier.

Semper Cor,

Cabot House

The technical, sophisticated language, the historical references, and just the overall passive aggressive tone makes me want to read multiple textbooks on these House Wars! I’ll always LOVE the intensity that Harvard students bring towards not only their academics, but also extrapolating ridiculous jokes.

This type of enthusiasm will definitely carry over to this weekend as we welcome the newly admitted undergraduate class during Visitas (formerly known as Pre-Frosh Weekend)!! We’re all so excited to see you…looking lost, confused, and holding a crimson folder with a dandy map inside! Be ready for free swag! The weather is for sure welcoming as I just had my first class outside today on the steps of Memorial Church!

When you sit on Mem Church steps, you're overlooking Tercentenary Theatre…that's Widener Library straight ahead!

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Hi all!

I’m checking in with you guys after taking a spontaneous study break this evening.  This weekend was supposed to be work, work, work, because I have a couple of short papers to turn in this week, and a lot of reading to take care of.  However, tonight is also the night that Currier House is hosting their Millennium Dance, so I decided to head across the street to check it out.

The upperclassmen houses here at Harvard are a lot more then student residences.  Each house also functions as social space for the undergraduate student body.  Most houses will host a couple of parties a year, and typically these parties will have a special theme.  Decade dances seem to particularly popular here on campus.  Every year, there are three dances held in three of the twelve houses in honor of the most recent decades.  Leverett House on the River throws the 80’s Dance, Pforzheimer House (my house in the Quad) hosts the 90’s Dance, and Currier (also in Quad) is home to the Millennium Dance, in honor of the 2000’s.

Since the Millennium Dance is in such a convenient location, my friends and I decided to take a short break from our work to burn off some steam on the dance floor.  We didn’t want to get too distracted from our work, so we decided to head over to the dance in Currier as soon as it opened at 10:00 pm.

I had a great time letting loose with my girl friends and dancing around to the music of our youth.  Britney Spears, the Backstreet Boys, N*SYNC, and several other performing artist’s from our younger years were all featured on the DJ’s playlist.

One of several dance circles on the dance floor at the beginning of the night.

I’m back in the Pfoho Library and ready to power through a few more chapters of Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man for my History and Literature tutorial on Monday.  I never take the undergraduate housing system for granted because it affords me with fun and random opportunities like attending the Millennium Dance tonight.

The ceiling was covered with images from the 2000's, including pictures of Beyoncé, George W. Bush, and the American Idol logo.

Until next week!

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Some days are just great days.  But one thing I’ve discovered about great days is they often require some measure of set-up.

For example, last night I finished my homework around 11:30.  I could have stayed up into the wee hours of the morning studying for a midterm I have this week, but I decided to instead go to bed early (we’re talking about college time, where midnight is just when things are getting started and 9 am is an ungodly time to be awake).  Once my teeth were brushed and my face washed and I was tucked comfortably into bed, I allowed myself to watch two episodes of one of my new favorite shows – New Girl — before drifting off to sleep.

I awoke at 8:30 am to a new special treat.  Over the weekend I had found an alarm clock app on my phone that allows me to wake up to my favorite radio show from back home in Pittsburgh – the 96.1 KISS Morning Freak Show.  Nothing quite wakes me up like the familiar voices of Mikey and Big Bob and the ridiculously funny things they say.

Next, I made it to my 9 am class (remember what I said about college time…) ON TIME, which is a big deal for me.  After learning about IS-LM graphs in Macroeconomics, I got to return home to Currier House for the afternoon!  This never happens in my schedule.  Living in the Quad with the busy schedule that I have, I generally leave my room sometime between 9-10am and don’t return until between 9-10pm.  The time I spend in between classes and meetings I spend either in PBHA or my sorority house!  Meals are usually grabbed in other dining halls (or dhalls) on the River.

But Currier dhall is by far my favorite, and it is soooo nice when I get to come back to my house during the day.  Sure, some people may say it looks like a retirement home (and it really does), but Currier dhall boasts a super social environment where people eat, do work, and hang out all at once.  And what can I say, there’s just no place like home!

This is a picture of the Currier House dining hall — courtesy of my phone

So basically my day so far has been awesome, but it took a little bit of work.  I got myself to bed at a decent hour, got over eight hours of sleep, got myself out of bed this morning, etc.  And it was all SOOOOO worth it!

The rest of my day is not going to be quite as relaxing.  After dinner, I have meetings until 10pm.  Ugh.  And I have a midterm and pre-paper due on Wednesday.  But with the sun shining through the skylight in the middle of my dhall, I can’t bring myself to be stressed out about it.

Hope your lives are going well!  Happy Spring!


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