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Finding Center

Susan Anderson's picture

As I started my walk my definition of center and border changed.  I began planning out my journey by choosing the Thomas cloisters as a geographic center and the areas near the roads surrounding Bryn Mawr as its borders.  However, as I walked another interpretation of center popped into my head.  Biologically, organisms clump themselves around where there are the most resources.  Typically, there is the most life where there is the most water because most organisms need that to survive.  Humans have partially removed themselves from this practice.  Because we have tools that bring our necessities to us, we look to go to places that satisfy our social or academic needs.  So, as an academic institution, the people of Bryn Mawr center themselves around the buildings where they have classes.  The whole campus is set up with academics at the center.  This is where the most activity happens on week days.  Then, on the weekends, the center shifts to the dorms as students seek to fulfill their social needs.  As the human mind is complex, an idea like center is more complex than mathematical proportions.



Elizabeth's picture

Coming Back Home

Like Susan, I, too, started my walk with the cloisters in mind. I thought that they would be a good center, and that the roads beyond Goodhart Theater, where I hadn't explored as much, would make a nice, decisive, edge to the Bryn Mawr campus. And, similarly, my idea of the campus changed as I was walking, writing my paper, and in the days since then. As I was walking (and stopping to sit in trees), I was exploring. And, every day in class, I think that I explore. I learn new things and meet new people and discover things that I never knew existed. But, like plants, I have a place with resources that I love to go to. And, no, it isn't the library or the classroom. Every day, I skip down stairs, trudge up another set, and then walk up a hill to get to my classes and the dining halls. I live in Brecon. I am far away from most things on campus; I don’t, unlike most Mawrters, live near classrooms or the dining halls or even other dorms. Because I live so far away, all of the mementos I brought from home, most of the new friends I have been making, and the learning I have been doing out of class, is far away from my classrooms. Although I explore when I am in class, I always have to plan my next move carefully, because travelling from Brecon to the main campus is a grand excursion. And, having made my nest of books, blankets, tea and friends in Brecon, that is where I always come back to, and so it is the center of Bryn Mawr for me, on both the weekends and the weekdays.