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Maddie Nature Notes

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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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