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Sometimes you're the fish in the fishbowl

rachelr's picture

I'm Rachel, a senior bio major, NBS concentrator, and english minor. Ranking my explorative jaunt around campus I came up with:


  1. Park Science 20
  2. Morris Woods
  3. Campus Center parking lot
  4. Glass staircase in Dalton
  5. English House I


            Familiarity and with that comfort had a significant effect on where I felt happiest. As a science major I spend a significant portion of my Bryn Mawr experience in Park. I also like 20: it is bright and open with enough space to spread out and be comfortable. You can watch both people and nature out the window but without being scrutinized yourself.

            I grew up at a school where recess was mandatory. Twice a day (rain, shine, or two feet of snow) we were outside; sometimes playing capture the flag in the woods, orienteering, skating on the creek, or swimming in the “watering hole,” as we called it. The woods take me back there. They’re familiar and constant.

            I don’t spend a lot of quality time hanging out in the parking lot or anything, but I often pass through on my way to class, from the campus center, back to my dorm. This summer portions were blocked off as Ed Harmon and a host of others planted, cut down, and transformed the space between Merion and the CC. I approve of the transformation to my thoroughfare.

            I have only taken one class in Dalton and while I like looking at the building from the outside, I feel exposed and examined when inside. While it’s light and open, it’s just too light and open. Quite the opposite, I find English House I cramped and restraining, like I have to make a concerted effort to be around the tables with a class and be able to interact and view everyone equally. 


            Happy plants?

  1. Morris Woods
  2. Campus Center parking lot
  3. Park Science 20
  4. English House I
  5. Glass staircase in Dalton


            I think plants are happiest where they can flourish. The specifics of course vary between plant species, but I think Morris Woods provides a diverse environment where a shade-dwelling plant may live beside a great oak, or a sun-loving plant can live on the edge of the woods. Here, they live on their own. The plants near the Campus Center seem happy, although a more manicured, cared for happy. They’re watered and they were planted to be there.


            Comfort and accessibility to essentials are commonalities between plants and humans. I am more comfortable in my dorm where I have immediate access to what I need. I am happy to be somewhere in the sun when I am cold, and I am happy to feel the rain when I am parched and hot.


            Humans have evolved culturally to need more than plants. While I may feel more drawn to the woods, I also know that my bed is not there, my shower is not there. The advantage for us is that we can move, find a balance between happiness and necessity.