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Bryn Mawr in me

mtran's picture

Pembroke Arch - Bryn Mawr College

I suppose that none of you find it hard to name the place in the photo above. Yes, Pembroke Arch! When I was a high school senior, it was the first thing to pull me towards the college (as I was at a college fair and Bryn Mawr booth struck me with a big print of the photo). One year later, it was the place where I made my first step into the campus as a real Mawrter. Now, whenever I think of Bryn Mawr, Pembroke come to my mind. To me, Pembroke arch is the door opening to a new horizon, connecting my first impressions to a right apprehension of the college. In the beginning, the college attracted me with its collegiate gothic style. Given where I come from – a Vietnamese local high school of much smaller size and simpler design – a college with such unique architecture gets me really excited. With the ancient stonewall and elegantly carved top, Pembroke Arch immediately brought me back to the thousand-year-old beautiful and giant castles in my grandma’s old fairy tales, where princes and princesses live happily ever after. And now, having been at the college for three weeks, the castle has become so familiar to me that it is already a part of my daily life. There hardly is a single day that I do not go through the arch. On one side, it leads me to the center of the campus, where I go to classes everyday, where I join Bryn Mawr’s amazing traditions and activities. On the other side of the arch is a road leading to Erdman dinning hall where I enjoy my wonderful meals or work as a student worker twice a week. I have come to realize that the arch never stands alone. It seems like it has been standing there for thousand years, observing the activities and maturation of generations of Mawrters. Pembroke arch truly represents the college as, not a lonely castle, a castle of liveliness, youth and energy. 

The site I have chosen to revisit weekly is behind of my dorm, Rhoads South. The outside lounge in the back of Rhoads South residence hall looks to an enormous grass lawn and a small pond often referred to as Duck Pond (which is a little far away). As shown in the photo above, the site represents another characteristic of Bryn Mawr College: a peaceful garden. It is here that I can never feel more safe and sound, calm and peaceful. Perhaps it is because of the tender and gentle combination of the shades of green from the plants and blue from the sky. Or it could also be due to the reminded childhood memories I had in my home country, on the green rice field, with my childhood friends. The feeling when I stand small in the middle of the big natural world is as if I am a part of it, I befriend with elements of nature and I feel so happy and comfortable. Contrasting with the lively and energetic campus center, the place is a space of silence and rumination – a great way to either start or end a day.



Barbara's picture

Another picture of the Duck Pond

Bryn Mawr College Duck PondI love the place you chose so much, Minh! My friend took a picture from the other side of the pond and I'd like to share it with you.