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Procedure of a Constructing a Metaphoric Creation

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Alisha Clark

Professor Jody Cohen

November 6, 2014

Procedure of a Constructing a Metaphoric Creation

    Early in the morning, when the sunlight is peaking through the window shades, the gardeners are at work. The faint sound of the law mower mowing becomes a soothing rhythm as you pull up your favorite pair of jeans. At Bryn Mawr, when Summer was still at play, so was the incoming class of First Years. 

     I squat on Cambrian Row to get a clear shot of the campus. I aim the camera from Park to Rhodes, but caught the beauty of Senior Row and pieces of Radnor. I swat at a lingering nat as I focus on the campus until I noticed the bed of flowers that sat closer to my lens. Click. I took the shot of not only Bryn Mawr’s beauty but, the beauty that the new bed of flowers behold. 

     The colors were vibrant compared to yesterday’s rotten batch. However, after the series of unfortunate events that took place on campus, I was hoping the batch of flowers would be able to thrive even though the soil was so cold. 


During the second week of being a Mawter, the environment changed around the incoming freshman when rumors spiraled around us of a confederate flag being visible through the windows of Radnor. An email from the Dean’s Office was sent out saying, “Late last week, two students tacked a confederate flag on the wall outside their dorm rooms and taped a “Mason Dixon line” onto the carpet, both of which they removed when confronted by fellow students in leadership positions.  We take pride in the fact that two institutions that lie at the core of our community—self-governance and the honor code—empowered our students to confront this issue.  Nonetheless, this situation has sparked emotional reactions among many community members.” (Dean’s Office) After a week of insecurity, Bryn Mawr’s campus was seething with tension. Shortly after reading the email, I began to walk to my first class, however I couldn’t shake the fact that an amateur act like the one presented happened at such an elite institution. 


I decided to dig deeper into Bryn Mawr’s core and came across M. Carey Thomas. A woman who dreamt and shaped Bryn Mawr into what it is today. It truly is a blessing to have such an empowered the woman who believes in the political, social and economic equality of the sexes in our history. She’s the true meaning of a Feminist. In A certain Style of ‘Quaker Lady’ Dress, it shares Carey’s purpose and says, “There we would live loving each other and urging each other on to every high and noble deed or action and all who passed should say ‘their example arouses me, their books ennoble me, their ideas inspire me and behold they are women!’” (Horowitz, 6) Carey was a woman who was not only hopeful, but determined to fulfill her dream of having an institution for women to study without any additional distractions domestically, worries and or other restraints. Usually, dreams are dangerously wild things but, once captured and put into play, powerful movements can insight you into who you really are as a person. M. Carey Thomas, had an inspirational dream of giving birth to Bryn Mawr College, providing a place of study for women and about women— white women.

Heat it:

It’s 2014— if someone thought Bryn Mawr was cured of its racist ways, don’t disillusion them. Each discussion made me understand that and it made me crumble inside. 

“This isn’t the first time something like this happened! Look at the history of past events that took place!”, A student yells to the audience as she scatters a pile of reports and emails across the carpet. 

I felt misplaced, just like the flowers that are planted all over campus. It was no longer Summer, yet the gardeners kept planting Summer-like flowers everywhere. How could the flowers ever survive when the environment in which they were placed never welcomed them? How could first year students (specifically colored first year students) ever survive in an environment which welcomed them with despair. 

Bury it: 

As time progresses the amount of layers increase. Therefore, the dream that Carey dreamt long ago, no longer existed exactly how she imaged it to be. But, since Bryn Mawr was built as her legacy, her driven image is what makes racist acts still apparent Today. If you know how to read a rock, you can refer to it as the core. Something so deeply rooted that it takes more than a day, a week or even a year to change. It can take up over millions of years for such a deep impact to occur geologically in order to shift the rock completely. To understand Bryn Mawr’s environment completely, you have to look as a rock. Examine the lays of the rock, you can see all of the fires it has endured internally. 

I compare First Years to the planted flowers because they were placed here at Bryn Mawr, just like the student. They were single handedly picked based on style, color and abilities to adapt. Just as incoming students are picked by admissions out of a variety but, are decided upon ability to adapt and thrive in a new environment. It is up to the flowers to then stretch their roots and grasp into the soil. But, only if the conditions are right. First Years will only stay at a place far from home, if there are things to keep them warm inside—cheeks to press against in a tight hug, hands to hold, friends to adore. Taking apart of one of the biggest classes of color students at Bryn Mawr should be something positive, but due to the conditions many of the flowers are expiring fast.  


Works Cited: 

Horowitz, Helen,  “A certain Style of ‘Quaker Lady’ Dress” and “Behold They Are Women!” Alma Mater: Design and Experience in the Women’s Colleges From their Nineteenth-Century Beginnings to the 1930s. Knopf, 1984. 105-133.


Andrea Friedman, Meta/phor. April-May 2002


Dean’s Office Emails.