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My thoughts are fractured and fracturing. My visit to the moon bench (where I will remain for the rest of the semester) wasn't memorable, to say the least. While I was sitting there I was aware that there was a storm brewing somewhere off the coast, and it seemed appropriate. The weather is cold and nasty, it has transformed my mood which was initially one of lightheartedness into one reflective of the storm, dark and gloomy. Sarah C's post stands out to me because she has found "a gateway to Mother Earth herself." I would love to visit the duck pond, maybe we could go as a class? I feel like I need to reconnect to the Earth and nature, even while I was sitting outside in the midst of it I did not feel connected to it. I felt very distracted, and I think my gameplan for next week will be to try and continue to find ways to connect with the Earth. Rather than change my spot on campus I would like to try and change my perspective or mindset when visiting my spot and see how this changes it.

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A Place for Everything and Everything in Its Place

Regretably, I have missed the deadline for this post by not one, not two, but five days. With all the hustle and bustle of going home for break and the preparation that entails this fell through the cracks. It fell way, way, way through the cracks. I am extremely sorry that I am so late.

The moon bench will never feel the same having been to Harrinton House. I find myself questioning everything around me. Where did these trees come from? What part of the world are they native to? The trees I found beautiful for weeks before now seem eerily out of place. I wonder what this land looked like before the white settlers began to alter it. 

Before going to Harrinton house everything about Bryn Mawr all seemed to be in perfect harmony with itself. Bryn Mawr just seemed to belong; it seemed perfect for the land on which it is situated. But now I can't help but question all of it. I still find Bryn Mawr extraordinarily beautiful, but having been to Harrinton House and learning about the evolution of the land I view Bryn Mawr in a different light. I wonder what it looked like before it became Bryn Mawr College. Were there still squirrels? What kind of flowers were here? 

Regardless, Bryn Mawr is here. And it belongs. And we belong here. We may not have started here, but a lot of things on the Bryn Mawr campus didn't start here, and although they may have started as foreigners, the campus wouldn't be the same without them. 

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Babushkas, Scarves, and the Moon Bench

I can hear every raindrop fall with astounding clarity. The sun manages to creep it's way under my heavy eyelids. It is cold and it is wet and I am tired. The stone bench and the weather have been conspiring against me. 

In Russia the babushkas used to yell at me for sitting on stone surfaces. They said it would make me infertile. They told me the cold from the stone would travel up my abdomen and make my uterus cold; the hard surface wouldn't help either. However, as soon as I sat on my jacket or my scarf it was completely fine, like my sheer scarf was enough to protect my fertility. I always thought this was the stupidest thing I had ever heard. How could an entire country believe something so absurd? In retrospect it makes sense. It is so hard to be a mom in Russia, women want to give themselves as good of a chance as possible, even if seems ridiculous to someone else.

But here I am, sitting on a cold, stone surface and thinking about the sweet, terrifying babushkas who were always looking out for me. I think next time I visit the moon bench I will bring a scarf in honor of the countless babushkas who took the greatest pleasure in scolding me. They would cringe at me now, but I think they will be very proud of me next week when I have a scarf to save my uterus. 

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The Moon Bench

This week I decided to approach my spot on the campus in a new way. I wanted to do an illustrated representation of the moon bench, and look at it from a different perspective. Usually when I sit in the moon bench I look down senior row, it is a beautiful view but it is not the only view. Today I sat facing the moon bench and it gave me a different feel for the space. I noticed the "mini forest" behind the bench, and after I did my sketch and added color, I realized how ugly it is compared to the beautiful green, gold, and brown colors that surround it. Looking at the moon bench this way gave me a new appreciation for it. It provides a wonderful view of the campus, but the bench itself is not so beautiful. Even the golden glow cast by the sun did nothing to enhance the bench, it remained cold, and gray, and stone. The life aroud it however lit up, and interacting with the wind and the sun. Overall, I enjoy sitting on the moonbench to appreciate the surrounding nature, but the bench appears to me to be distinctly out of place among the beauty that surrounds it. I wonder what it will look like in the winter, will the enviornment take on similar qualities of the bench?

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A Weekend in the Adirondacks

This weekend I had the misfortune to not be able to visit my location of choice on the Bryn Mawr campus, the moon bench. I chose this spot because I think its position gives it a unique and enticing view of the campus. You can look right up senior row through the Pembroke arch, over the valley of athletic fields to Cambrien row, and survey the Merion green. Sadly I wasn’t able to do any of these things, I was however able to attend a picturesque wedding in the Adirondacks of New York, specifically in Saranac Lake. My cousin Adrien and his wife Julia were married on September 22, 2012 at 3 pm in a little white chapel in the middle of the woods. It was perfect; there was no cell phone reception, no noise of the highway, a city, or anything other than the noise of the woods and of the people gathered to celebrate this momentous event. The wedding placed emphasis on the union between Adrien and Julia, as all weddings place emphasis on the couple, however Adrien and Julia made it clear from the start that although this event celebrated them, their relationship would not be possible without the support and love they received from members of their community. This was reflected in the interactive ceremony they had, the potluck, and the contra dancing that all took place that night. Julia is a park ranger in the Adirondacks and her appreciation and care for the environment shown through in their eco-friendly, environmentally conscious ceremony and reception.

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All the Wonders Great and Small

The Bryn Mawr College campus is a beautiful, complexly interesting place that few maps can capture every aspect of. This map I have selected is no exception. The map I have selected is located front and center of the campus center, and its border reads, "Here lies the Bryn Mawr campus, all its wonders great and small twill fold to fit your pocket or unfold to fit your wall." Well.... yes and no. This map does depict many wonders of the campus, but not all of them. Firstly, let me start off with saying this is an AMAZING map. It is beautiful, and every aspect of it is symbolic. The colors that are used to draw the map are exclusively blue, light blue, red, and green. A coincidence? I think not. This map places huge emphasis on the traditions, the people, and the buildings that make up Bryn Mawr. It gives a fun, quirky representation of Bryn Mawr that it is more than accurate in describing the amazing community and the people who make it up. However one glaring aspect that is not done justice in this representation is the fact that the equally beautiful enviornment in which the campus is set in is muted. The green of the landscape is represented, but it is flat, not only in color, but in dimension. The undulating lascape (most notably the valley separating the Pensby Center and Brecon from the rest of campus) is absent, and the many different types of trees and flowers are nowhere to be found. Not only the is the plant life underrepresented, the animal life is completely ignored.

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Walk Your Own Walk

At the beginning of my walk Friday morning I started out with every intention of taking a Thoreauvian one; I started out early, turned off my cell phone, declined to caffinate, opting rather to wake up with the rest of the world. However once I got outside and began my walk I realized not only was I not ready to take a Thoreauvian walk, I didn't want to. I wanted to take my own walk, which didn't turn out to be much of a walk at all. I sat down at every possible opportuniy, but when I was sitting I ended up having my most complete and clear thoughts. Basically, a Thoreauvian walk didn't work for me, it didn't help me ruminate, and I can't "walk like a camel." However, I can sit and I can observe and I can think. While I was sitting and enjoying the surrounding nature I began to think about the concept of boundaries, real and imagined ones. I think geographical boundaries are important, and they exist for a reason, however they should not limit us, and that is where imagined, or mental, boundaries come into play. Geographical boundaries do exist, yes, but the only power they have is the power we give them. There is no limit on learning, and the boundaries of a college campus do not define an area in which knowledge can be gained. You can learn just as much in the town of Bryn Mawr as you can at Bryn Mawr College. I found the walk very enlightening and liberating, and I look forward to my next one.

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Where I am Happiest

Today I took a walk around the Bryn Mawr campus visiting five different locations and discovering where I found myself happiest and why.

a.) In order of where I found myself most happy to least happy:

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