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Reflection on our final project: space and education on campus.

lijia577's picture

First of all, for tonight, I'd say that our final performances are really a "happy ending" for our esem class while it's also a good start point for all of us to carry on our discussion.

Words about our project:
The reason we choose this particular topic is that we noticed the disparity between "how we feel when we stay here" and "who are we." Bryn Mawr is such a special place that the designing of the campus and the way it has been used are so "classist." A space is somewhere need to be occupied while as a part of the "Bryn mawr" structure, we, as students, have to face the pre-occupied spaces (the connotations of upper class) on campus and balance it with our own identity. After some many years, education, space and students changes a lot; however, there is one thing that remains to be  true, people would have mixed feeling about themselves on campus when we first come here and find our own way to settle down in a comfortable way. For the time we staying here, all we want is to convert the place into home, a place we feel comfortable doing everything and grow.


MVW1993's picture

  This project was very


This project was very significant in that it allowed us to explore a subject that we had all struggled with – finding a place on campus and how we fit into the collective Bryn Mawr space. Of course, the problem with exploring seems to be that we came up with many, many ideas – too many to be presented in one short video. So while this video certainly does not represent all of those complex ideas and issues regarding space on campus, I think it does represent our most coherent stream of ideas. The video begins with a few dictionary definitions of words that we associated with space on campus: space, structure, class, education, and home. We thought it was important to apply some technical terms to the words that we have been using for this entire semester, and we hoped that these definitions would serve as reminders for the rest of the video.

We then examined the way that M. Carey Thomas viewed Bryn Mawr because we thought it was important to analyze the principals that this campus was founded on, as it is these exact principals that got us thinking about where we fit into this campus. We used color coding as we drew on a map of Bryn Mawr, to represent those terms that we defined in the beginning of the video; the most interesting of these color coded images, to me, is the big blue circle we drew that encompasses the campus, where blue represents class.

We then proceeded to ask other students to define Bryn Mawr as we felt it was important to see how students who had not taken this E-Sem course felt about Bryn Mawr. Their responses were, in fact, somewhat similar to our own. We then proceeded to define our own feelings about space on campus on that same map of Bryn Mawr. This part of our project was, and still feels, rather complex to me, as it seems to summarize both our good feelings towards and objections to Bryn Mawr. In a way, it was really very cathartic to do this activity though, as it helped me, personally, define my own space on Bryn Mawr’s campus – something I have been struggling with for quite some time.

We ended our presentation with the simple, yet very complex question of, “How do you define Bryn Mawr?” We thought this question was important to ask because we wanted to stretch beyond the realm of exploring our personal definitions and feelings towards Bryn Mawr, and rather encourage others to contemplate their own definitions of Bryn Mawr. Interwoven within question, is the contemplation of the ideas of space, defining one’s own space on campus, and defining one’s feelings about Bryn Mawr.

lissiem's picture

How we made it

It took us a really long to actually get the concept we wanted into some sort of physical format.  We knew we wanted to do something with a map and descriptions but we weren't sure how to address the connotations of buildings at Bryn Mawr.  After playing around with the idea for a while, we decided to show M.Carey's intensions and the way that has changed (or not) for us as students today.  We also struggled with what how to go about changing the connotations of buildings and if we should.  Since we didn't know how to go about it, we decided to leave it open ended, and leave the viewers with a question at the end rather than a solution. And after a significant amount of time (a long, long time) of video produding and editing, we came up with our final product! We were all pretty proud of how the music and lyrics matched with the video as well.