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Song of Ourselves

Here it is! Thank you all for participating in the reconstituted poem exercise we did together. Phrases from the peom were taken from Walt Whitmans Song of Myself in his larger collection entitled Leaves of Grass. I encourage all of you to keep reading more Walt Whitman! I know two minutes definitely wasn't enough time to get to know the poems I handed out, but they are definitely worth spending some time with. Thank you to everyone for your amazing presentations as well! It was a wonderful semester and I look forward to having classes with all of you over the next for years. 

Every Atom belonging to me as good as belongs to you… and every atom of my blood formed from this oil, this air


Houses and rooms are full of perfumes the shelves are full of perfumes I breath the fragrance myself and know it and like it


I know that the hand of god is the promise of my own and the spirit of Fod is brother of my own


The smallest sprout shows there is really no death all goes onward and outward, nothing collapses


If they are not the riddle and the untying of the riddle they are nothing


This is the meal equally set, this is the meal for natural hunger, it is for the wicked just the same as the righteous, I will make appointments with all, I will not have a single person slighted or left away


I laugh at what you call dissolution and I know the amplitude of time


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Paper 13

Lost for Now


            College. The word elicits many different responses, reactions, and connotations. However one important and often overlooked aspect of the college experience is that of being lost. There is an unrealistic expectation, whether unspoken or otherwise, of college students to know what they want to study when they enter college. Not only is this expectation unrealistic for 18 year olds, it is also detrimental to their learning experience. But what does it mean to be lost? And how does it interact with academia? Moreover, what can be gained from it? Rebecca Solnit cites the Old Norse definition of los, from which lost comes from, as the disbanding of an army (Solnit, 7). As Solnit says, this suggests falling out of formation, or going beyond what one knows. In the academic sense, this is exactly what being lost implies. College is a time for students to go beyond what they know, to dabble in as many things as possible before discovering their passion. Being lost academically has value, it can help one find themselves academically as well as personally, shown through Rebecca Solnit’s Field Guide to Getting Lost.

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Last(?) Site sit

So, here I am. The last site sit of the semester. And while I'm sitting here I can't help but wonder if this will be the last one of the year? I hope not. I know that I am in complete control of whether or not that continues, but I am in control of a lot of other things that tend to fall by the wayside. Taking a break from the library or my dorm room or whatever other pressures of college that I'm facing has been immeasurably beneficial. Even on this cold, brisk morning I am enjoying the peace and quiet that the moon bench has always provided me with. I will miss it, something I didn't expect myself to be saying at the beginning of the semester. Pulling myself away from everything for a little while every week is a huge relief. My view and perspective of and towards the moon bench has not changed much, but my appreciation of it definitely has. The moon bench is a wonderful site on campus, and it is also a resource. One that I have utilized every week to sit a while and ruminate, and one that I hope to continue to use to take a little break and get some fresh air once and a while.

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Ecological Imaginings and its ESEM

On the morning of November 18, Susan, Elizabeth, Max, Sarah and I set out boldly to teach each other a little bit about the botany and geology of the campus...

Well... Maybe it was more of a saunter... 

Either way, it was a very enjoyable, as well as informative walk. We started out in front of Erdman, began walking towards Taylor, but decided to detour back to Max's site sit outside of Erdman instead. There we talked about the invasive English ivy, and other invase plants. We defined weeds as something that doesn't belong and won't leave. We then spent some time comparing our two classes. We talked a little bit about the writing expectations and the reading we had been doing. Since we were all in the ecofeminism unit at the time we discussed how feelings played into class discussions, and how nice it was to have feelings validated as positive contributions to the discussion, rather than brushed aside as inconsequential. 

After that we (Susan, Elizabeth, and myself) led Sarah and Max to Taylor to identify the one of the two main types of rocks that the majority of Bryn Mawr's buildings are made out of. We used the handouts provided by Maria Louisa Crawford to identify the types of rock Bryn Mawr was situated upon. We discussed what happened to the old quarries after the rock had been removed; some turn into lakes, some turn into dumps. 

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And now for a change of pace...

While getting lost on the world wide webs I stumbled upon this... hm....Hard to believe it was written by a woman.

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The Big Apple, Lawrence, Kansas, and BMC

What a weekend. Saturday I spent a very full, very incredible 12 hours in New York City. I had been once before with my parents doing all the touristy stuff people do, but this Saturday I went with my friend Kara who knew all the secret, wonderful details of the city. While we were there we visited one of my best friends from high school, Jim, who goes to the Pratt Institute of Art in Brooklyn. I think we were both a little taken back to see each other in such an urban setting, so different from the suburban/rural setting of Lawrence, Kansas. We spent lunch reminiscing (read: gossiping) about old friends and a dearly loved town that felt worlds away. Jim reminded me about everything I love about home and my hometown. After having that conversation sitting on the moon bench right now makes me think about everything I love about good old Lawrence, KS. Fall looks the same in both places, squirrels race in the treetops above and the forrest floor below. I can see the occasional person traversing the green, and leaves fall like rain. I love fall, I love home, and I love Bryn Mawr. The moon bench really made me think of home today in all the best ways possible. Even though there weren't many people out I could feel the community around me buzzing. I feel the same way sitting in a park in Lawrence as I do sitting on the moon bench. What a weekend. 

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I was wondering after our conversation today in class if anyone has been inspired to action by any of our readings in class? I mean, I would assume that's what the authors would like to see is people transitioning from words to deeds, but I am interested to see if that is actually happening. If you haven't 'done' anything yet, do you plan to? If you haven't been inspired to affect change, why not? 

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Grounds Maintenance and Perry House

Today the moon bench and Perry House collided. You all can very well see from the time stamp on this post that it is waaaay past the deadline, but tonight I shall blame the event held in the campus center this evening with "The Big Cheeses." Or otherwise known as the administrative heads of Bryn Mawr. This event was a great opportunity to get straightforward answers to questions that had been circulating among the students. One of the most prominent topics was the subject and status of Perry House. The administration was looking at it purely from the perspective of money. The future of Perry House as a residence was being called into question due to the staggering amount needed to renovate it and bring it up to code. The students had to enlighten the administration to the fact that Perry House is so much more than a building. It is a cultural and social center for Bryn Mawr's African American students, and while from a budgetary point of view the renovations may seem unnecissary Perry House's cultural significance must be taken into account when planning for its future. 

All that aside, I can't help but focus on the issue of the money needed to renovate Perry House and where it will come from. I believe wholeheartedly that it must be maintained, and I think that the solution could be found if other areas of the budget were reviewed. 

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Bryn Mawr at a Distance

While I was sitting on the moon bench today, I felt overjoyed while looking at the world around me. One of my favorite things about Bryn Mawr (among many) is that it truly does not care what your gender, race, religous affiliation, or sexual orientation is. Looking at the women and men bundled up in their fall gear walk by me either alone, in pairs, or in packs, this was especially apparent. There was no sexism or racism, there was just people drawn together by the common pursuit of knowledge interacting regardless of superficial details like the color of one's skin. This is what I notice at Bryn Mawr every single day, and it was wonderful to enjoy it at a distance. This is the first time in a while that I have felt full satisfied by my experience at the moon bench, I am actually looking forward to next week. 

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Hurricanes and Feminism

Last night while I was waiting out the most intense part of Hurricane Sandy (thus far) with my fellow dormmates our discussions led us down many paths, but inevitably towards the hurricane. And even more specifically to the question of, "why does it seem like the most destructive hurricanes have female names?" The friendly discussion turned to anger and could be summed up in one of Bryn Mawr's favorite sayings, "Death to the Patriarchy!" So I had the intention today of starting my post as a rant that would take a similar route of the discussion I had last night, that is, talking about the seemingly sexist nature of the hurricane naming system. However, I was proved wrong. Upon further investigation and according to ( the most destructive US hurricanes seem to be fairly evenly named. The list cited hurricanes Ike, Floyd, Hugo, Charley, Ivan and Andrew as the most destructive hurricanes with masculine names and hurricanes Opal, Jeanne, Frances, Camille, Besty, Agnes, Rita, Katrina, and Wilma. According to this list, 6 out of the 15 most destructive hurricanes have masculine names, or 40%. Feminine named hurricanes make up the other 60%. While these numbers are skewed towards the feminine named hurricanes it still does not show the huge gap that I was anticipating. Add Sandy to that list and the ratio is more like 37.5% male and 62.5% female, which widens the gap, but by much.

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