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Sara Lazarovska's blog

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Perceptions and People

So a Shadow, a Farmgirl, a Pilgrim, and a dark Alice in Wonderland visited the cloisters late last night. With the Halloween spirit hanging heavily in the air, creepy, scary, and downright ridiculous were the words of the night.

Visiting the cloisters with other people as well made me feel safer, since I visited them during nighttime once before, but it was still too quiet and eerie. There was inexplicable creeking of the castle, and the darkness of the grassy area of the cloisters was gloomy. But even with all that gloom, the cloisters became a place full of laughter and joy once my friends arrived and we played music and did silly dances and took funny photos. So I guess that the perception of a place really changes when surrounded by people - I usually associate places with the people that are there, and thus infuse the places with the energy the people bring with them.

On a side note: I noticed that Thomas Hall's facade included what looked like Baltimore gneiss (it was dark - that's what I could tell from the limited amount of light there was), which tells me that it was one of the older buildings on campus, since the other 2 older buildings, Merion and Taylor, also have Baltimore gneiss, but the rest of the buildings on campus have Wissahickon schist.

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Historical Lens on the Architecture of Thomas Hall

How was this place once a farm? Now, sitting on the edge of the non-functioning fountain in the cloisters, it seems as though the castle-like building that is Thomas Hall has been there forever, all stone, cold, and medieval. But wait - North America never experienced medieval times like Europe did. So how did this castle design end up on a chunck of what was once a 700-acre farm?

I didn't know that this part of Pennsylvania was originally settled by the Welsh. I was faced with the fact when I realized that Bryn Mawr is not the only peculiar town name around here when I first got here. Still, when the Welsh got land from William Penn, they didn't build castles that resembled the ones in their motherland; in fact, most of them did some kind of farming (usually subsistence).

So, how did Bryn Mawr College's Thomas Hall's architectural style came to be if there were mostly farms around here? I am assuming that Bryn Mawr, like Haverford and Swartmore, was originally founded by Welsh Quakers. They, I presume, wanted to capture a part of the spirit that universities and colleges back in Wales had by mirroring the architectural style and ideas, copying (in a way) a bit of home onto "the new world."

With that realization in mind, I accept the fact that Thomas Hall has not been here for as many centuries as I thought, and the fountain I'm sitting on might once have been a place where sheep lay to sleep, or where wheat was grown. Still, I prefer the cloisters with their "current look" - enchanting.

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I shouldn't be here.

Yet I am.

Why does it feel so wrong?


And emptiness.

It's eerie. And cold.

Bitterly cold.

But it's only October--

what has happened

to the climate?

Last year--the same;

short sleeves the year before.

Lacking consistency.

It's so quiet. Too quiet.

Why is there no motion,

no activity,

no sign of life?

No lonely bird chirp,

no car screech,


The first and second nature,


It's like the Earth

stood still.


I chose to write this post in verse because I thought it would capture the "wildness" of my train-of-thought writing most accurately.

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Spending the Weekend with Patrick Star


That is how my weekend is characterized. As a matter of fact, my whole week has been phlegm-y, but it was taken to a whole new level this past few days. After I discovered on Thursday that I have a severe ear infection, combatting the cold that I caught earlier in the week became much more difficult. Now I have to stifle my sneezes as much as possible and I'm not allowed to blow my nose, as to not put pressure on my ear. But my body would have none of that. I have been sneezing every ten minutes this weekend, being mostly bedridden (or roomridden, if that's even a plausible word) but still exhausted. Therefore, I did not have the chance to properly visit the cloisters this week, but I will talk about the ecology in my room.

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Take the Time to Just Stop

Blazing heat grazing my skin. Then sudden coldness, the hairs on my arms standing up. And repeat. Countless times. I am at the cloisters and I am listening to the Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone soundtrack on my MP3 player. The sounds of "Hedwig's Theme" flutter through my earphones, first softly, then powerfully, as I take a deep breath of fresh air. The blanket I am sitting on prevents me from touching the grass, but I can still feel it under the blanket with my hands and bare feet. There is a soft breeze coming from some unknown place, welcome when the sun is out, unwanted when gray clouds cover the sky and a chill runs through my bones. Although I am a person that generally likes the cold and cloudy, today I feel grateful for the sun and warmth, for it was more inviting than my stuffy room. Being out in the open gives me a clear head and focus, helping me with my task at hand: self-guided meditation and purposeful muscle relaxation. I have been so stressed out this whole past week that I have rarely had the time to stop and take a cleansing breath to relax. Therefore, I decided that when I visited the cloisters this week I would focus on unwinding from the busy week and spend some time on myself. Even though the course is titled 'Ecological Imaginings' and it may not necessarily immediate allude to paying attention to oneself, I feel that I am just as an important part of the environment and the ecosystem that we call 'Bryn Mawr' as any bird, squirrel, insect, or plant.

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The *Magical* World of Bryn Mawr College

I chose this photograph of the Thomas cloisters because this is the first "true" image of Bryn Mawr College I saw. By "true" I mean an image that was not included in a college brochure or a letter to my parents trying to convince them to enroll me at BMC. My roommate Paige Toft, when she found out that I have no idea what the BMC campus really looks like, told me to to look up "bryn mawr cloisters" on Google Images, and this is the image that first caught my eye. Instant thought: the Transfiguration Courtyard in Harry Potter! I felt immediately closer to my chosen college, simply because I knew I had found at least one place where I would feel at home at BMC. Of course, now that I'm here, there are numerous places all around campus where I feel that way, but back in July, when I didn't know what to expect of the College, this photo gave me hope and reassurance. It showed me that the college I picked at least looks like my dream school - Hogwarts. That is why the cloisters in Thomas are the site I've chosen to revisit throughout the year; although I'm allergic and therefore can't comfortably sit on the grass, this is a place where I feel happy and satisfied.

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Bryn Mawr College: The Beginning of a New Chapter in My Life

I had some moments of introspection during my walk which I will touch upon more in this post. Firstly, I questioned my willingness to do "work" at nine in the morning; I am not and have never been a morning person, so it was curious to me that I had the get-up-and-go attitude that early in the morning. As I mentioned in my paper, I attribute that to being in college, where I can take whichever classes I want (most of the time) and do assignments because I want to, not just because I have to. In high school I was pressured by my college counselor to take classes that are "worthwhile," that "colleges would appreciate seeing on a transcript." Instead, I look classes like Environmental Science, Drama, and Geography because I liked them, thus severely perturbing my counselor. Still, I was always scrutinized for taking "the easy classes" and "not trying hard enough" to get into a "good college." But oh how the times have changed - my (former) college counselor now seeks help from me for college application. Yes, that same person that told me I probably won't get accepted anywhere and that "Bryn Mawr is a weird college" is now trying to sweet-talk me into doing his job for him. We'll see how that goes.

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The Urban Creature Surrounded By Flora And Fauna

Hey! My name is Sara Lazarovska and I'm a freshwoman. I'm from Skopje, Macedonia (a tiny 2-million country in southeast Europe), and I plan on majoring in Growth and Structure of Cities with a minor in Environmental Studies. I also work at UnCommon Grounds, so if you ever see me there, say 'hi'. A fun fact about me is that my original accent is British - I took British English for 11 years - but I generally take in the accent of those around me, so here I have an American accent.

I will do my best to rank the places that I visited according to where I felt happiest, so here it goes:

1. The Dalton glass staircase

2. Campus Center parking lot

3. Park Science lab

4. English House

5. Morris Woods

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