CMJ's blog

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I sit at Goodhart

Today I changed my sit spot. My new place for musings is now behind Goodhart, at the recommendation of Zoe. (Thanks, Zoe!) I realized that I needed to freshen things up a bit, and venture to a place I have not been yet. The cloisters, while beautiful in their own mysterious way, do not offer the natural diversity that the nature behind GH affords, only green grass and gray walls. I was pleasantly surprised when I happened upon the tall arches and hights of GH, which displayed a saturated polychromatic view of dying plants.

Recently, after doing some sleuthing into BMC's earlier history, I happened upon a tumblr blog dedicated to old Bryn mawr photos. Here is the link: http://vintagebrynmawr.tumblr.com 

This website is humorous, but it also gives easy access into the lives of Mawrters past. Please enjoy this while on your hurrication from classes! The photos really made me think about how much has changed, while also how much has remained the same. For instance, aside from a few new buildings on campus, the scenery is almost identical. I think I saw one or two photos that could have easily been taken where I sat today. The timeless and uniform qualities of the architecture really struck me, especially as I sat today comparing my spot at the cloisters to my new one at GH. 

For anyone who has/will look at these photos, what sticks out at you as the biggest difference/similarity? 

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Cow's nose

Glowing viens of shist like the sparkeling wetness on a cow's nose. The formal grass carpet is overwhelmingly uniform and ridgid in comparison with the overgrowth, even in fall, of the Harriton House garden. Yet again, I find myself alone in these four walls. The vault of the sky is my roof. The House property, meanwhile, buzzes with life. Cows loll in the pasture, the air swirls with insects and plants sprawl wildly, brushing each other's stalks with tender fingers. Inside the cloisters, a breeze tickles the golden ends of my hair. Mechanical sounds are in the air. Chattering fills the space from the mouths of idle girls. Sunlight bypasses my eyelids, straight into my brain.

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Walking round octagon

Walking 'round octagon. sane brain? steps too many jenny. footfalls on rock rebel. treble voices talking troubled voices whispering shhhhhhip by the shore the shoe store. online pine daisy crazy. fart. cold nose not there. fold hose hot share. twenty to timing monotones. slap slap slap flap slap. walking round octagons. 

I walked around the cloisters fountain for 20 minutes at approx 86 steps/min, 1 step being approx 1.3 feet, amounting in about .423485 miles.  I am a crazy lady now. 

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Circus Cloisters

I drew this image while watching the rehersals of a circus dance troupe in the cloisters Sunday morning. At this partiular point, I sketched them singing Bread and Roses, a popular protest song of industrial workers at the turn of the last century. The tune also happens to be dilivered in a most enthusiastic manner en masse at one college's nighttime rituals. 

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With inspiration comes haiku

Feeling of being

alone in a place lined with

sectioned window panes.

Woman walks across

with a book in her small hands

and sits close to me.

I cannot pretend 

to be alone anymore

my breath isn't free.

She snaps a photo

in the dusk and dying light

could it be of me?

Air is crisp and still

sky is blue like winter ice

earth has brought autumn.

The woman has left

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Commitment Problems and Possible Ghosts

This is an aerial photo of the Bryn Mawr campus from many years ago, though the actual date is unkonwn. My assumption was that this was essentially the campus in its entirety at that time, though it is quite possible that the editor or photographer cropped out areas where Erdman and everything north of the gym stand today. While googleing images of bryn mawr, I came across an aerial photo and knew that was the right path to be following. After a few more google attempts I came across this one, which was of the right vintage quality that I wanted. When picking something that I need to write about or be with for an extended period of time, I often become extremely indecisive about what exactly I want. That is precisely why I picked a shot of almost the enitre physical campus, so I could be as inclusive or exclusionary as I wished when writing. This was perhap as bad idea--sometimes when there are too many options I find myself having none at all. This was not the easiest paper I have ever written for precisely that reason. 

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Walking to Nowhere: an Odyssey

First: this campus has some highly strange things in and around it (Moon bench? What?). Second, my version of Thoreauvian walking forced me to notice these weird things that are out and about around me everyday. I didn't have anywhere I was walking to, so my brain and my body began occupying themselves (after about 20 minutes of solid walking) with not what I was going to have for dinner or what I was going to do after I ate, but with the direct stimuli around me. Notable things I found (in a manner of speaking, they weren't lost exactly) were a huge, fat, making-sound-in-the-trees insect in the grass near Brecon (terrifying), a surprising amount of bumperstickers in various parking lots, very few pedestrian sidewalks (sadly..), and a medium-sized, permanent-looking fake boulder plopped down near the entrance to Denbigh. The latter was by far the most provoking thing I had seen all day. Of course, my mind immediately races to the fantastical: hidden pirate treasure from the 18th century colonial days! But really, let's be serious. Why would there be a fake rock anywhere on campus? Question for further thought/action..

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Scavenger hunt for happy feelings

Hi-- my name is Claire Johnson and I'm from Portland, OR. 

I must begin with stating that I don't think I was very "happy" at any of these places, but that each one brought out different sensations or feelings, and not all of them close to happiness. I was physically uncomfortable out doors because of the heat, and in the case of Morris Woods, the misquitos. MW was the second to last stop on this mini-hike, which was perhaps either unfortunate or lucky, as my time spent on the Dalton staircase was marred by nursing/trying not to scratch my bites (lucky because it was my last stop). However, I think out of the indoor spaces I enjoyed my time at Dalton the best, as I saw the space as the most dynamic--the closest to being outside without actually being outside, which presented a nice dichotomy. Plants would not have been very successful inside that space, though because the outer world was visible I suspected the plants/trees I did see there were content indeed. In one final note, my time spent inside Park Science (I walked all over but could not find the room--I settled for a geology-looking hallway) was the most intellectual and inquisitory, yet the natural, living world could not be seen. I had an awareness of knowledge which I did not have in other areas I wandered to, though the physical space was a bit unpleasant.

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