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• October 2013 • Mawrginalia [mawr-juh-ney-lee-uh]: Latin, plural noun. Notes, commentary and similar material about or relating to The Bryn Mawr School.







5 | REMAWRKS 6 | PICTURES OF THE MONTH Fall Spirit Day, Eid celebration, author Sharon Flake’s visit, former Governor Bob Ehrlich’s visit, Race for the Cure, Middle School Mix It Up day, Halloween 10 | MAWRTIAN MINUTES Bryn Mawr hosts reception for leadership benefactors; Fall Visiting Days; Bryn Mawr to host screening of “Girl Rising” 12 | TEACHERS’ CORNER 13 | UPCOMING EVENTS CALENDAR 30 | SENIOR VOICES: THE CLASS OF 2014


CONNECT WITH BRYN MAWR! Want to be up-to-date on what’s happening at Bryn Mawr? Check us out on social media:

28 FEATURES 14 | FOUNDERS DAY 2013 The Bryn Mawr community gathers to honor the legacy of the five founders. 20 | MEET ME AT THE BEE: A PHOTO ESSAY The Upper School stages their fall musical, “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.” 24 | FALL SPORTS REPORT Field hockey, soccer, volleyball and cross country. 28 | WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS! Varsity tennis brings home an IAAM A Conference championship title. 29 | IN THE NAME OF LOVE(LACE) The Upper School celebrates “Ada Week” in honor of 18th-century mathematician Ada Lovelace, the first computer programmer. Editor’s Note: We hope you enjoy reading each issue of Mawrginalia. If you ever have any comments, or if there is a story you’d like to see in Mawrginalia, please email me! Laurel M-O Weijer Assistant Director of Communications

ON THE COVER Two Lower School girls excitedly anticipate the arrival of the Fall Spirit Day parade, led by the Morgan State University Band.


FROM THE HEADMISTRESS It has been said that if we do something twice at Bryn Mawr, it becomes a tradition. While that is a bit of an overstatement, it is true that we have a large number of beloved traditions here, which I think is only natural, given that our school is nearly 130 years old.

Maureen E. Walsh Headmistress

“Each of our traditions honors a different aspect of school life, but what they share is community.”

This month, we celebrated two of my favorite traditions: Founders Day and Spirit Day. The feeling of these two occasions is very different. On Founders Day, our school community gathers in the Graduation Garden to remember the five pioneering women whose vision for girls’ education inspired them to found our school in 1885. We celebrate their legacy, and we honor the faculty and staff members who embody the best of what Bryn Mawr has to offer our students. Founders Day is a time for us to remember and celebrate our mission and our values. It is both serious and joyful—an appropriate mix, I think, as we reflect on the “delights and demands of learning.” At the opposite end of the spectrum is our other October tradition—Fall Spirit Day. Campus seems to explode with green, yellow and white as the girls (and the faculty) seize the opportunity to show their Mawrtian pride. They arrived decked out in feathers, face paint, tutus and Mardi Gras beads. In the afternoon we gather for the annual Spirit Parade, led by our fifth grade and the drum corps of the Morgan State University Band. One of my favorite moments of the parade is when we process up the Lower School drive, where students from Little School through fourth grade are eagerly waiting to greet us. Their excitement is palpable, especially when they catch sight of our mascot, the Bryn Mawr Mawrtian. I find that there is a beautiful symmetry in the traditions—like Founders Day and Fall Spirit Day—that open our school year, and the ones that close it. Founders Day is the only occasion prior to June that we gather in the Graduation Garden; Spirit Day gives the fifth graders their first taste of what it is like to lead the Middle and Upper School communities, as they will again at Gym Drill. Each of our traditions honors a different aspect of our school life, but what they share is a sense of community. Whether it is Founders Day, Spirit Day, Gym Drill, Class Day, Graduation or any of our other traditions, the core intent is the same: coming together as one to celebrate that which makes Bryn Mawr a unique and wonderful place to be.

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REMAWRKS The phrase “academic rigor” is ubiquitous in the private school world. Mission statements and taglines are rife with this sentiment. However, I’m not sure that most families truly know what it means anymore. Certainly Bryn Mawr has been known in the area as one of the most “rigorous” schools, with a college acceptance list that validates its “rigor.” Beyond the synonyms “challenging” or “college preparatory,” though, I wonder if the average student or parent could talk about what academic rigor actually looks like or why it is important. I’d propose the following answer. Our sixth graders are currently reading “A Wrinkle in Time” by Madeleine L’Engle. English teacher Beth McDonald asks the students to answer this question about the protagonist: “How has Meg changed throughout the book?” In our seventh grade science class, students are studying cladograms (charts of animal relationships through evolution), and Ms. Brendler is asking them, “What do you think T-Rex tasted like?” In our eighth grade ancient history class, Dr. Coccagna had her students do a close reading of the Egyptian “Hymn to the Nile” and asked them, “What would have happened if the river had ceased to flow?” In each of these classes, students will brainstorm the answers to these questions individually, with a partner, and in groups. They will write, compose, diagram, debate, and communicate their answers. The teachers will then ask them additional questions that will require them to evaluate, analyze, compare, defend, critique, synthesize, interpret, extrapolate, and conclude. Students will leave class intrigued, questioning, fired up, and doubtful. This is academic rigor. Don’t let anyone fool you into believing that rigor has anything to do with the pace or amount of content delivery, the hours of homework assigned, or the number of D’s earned in a class. Rigor is not exhaustion. Rigor is not gobs of confusion. Rigor is not the number of AP courses you can stuff onto your transcript. The Bryn Mawr faculty understands that rigor has everything to do with the type of thinking we ask of our students; the assessments that go beyond listing, naming, defining, summarizing, and remembering. When rigor is done right, students are ready for any career they may ever hope to have and prepared to tackle whatever obstacles life may throw in their path.

Amanda Macomber Middle School Director

“When rigor is done right, students are prepared to tackle any obstacles in their path.”

October 2013 / Mawrginalia / 5

PICTURES OF THE MONTH FALL SPIRIT DAY Fall Spirit Day was tons of fun, with students and faculty from all divisions donning spirited white, yellow and green outfits to show their Bryn Mawr pride. After students participated in the annual parade with the Morgan State Band, they gathered in the KVB Gym for a pep rally that recognized fall athletes.

Top, clockwise from left: Lower School students cheer as the parade approaches; Middle School students participate in the parade; Ms. Cho and Mr. Waters were Spirit Day royalty. Below, left: Clarke Williams ’16 receives a well-deserved standing ovation after singing the national anthem. Right: seniors run through the tunnel of their classmates.

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SPECIAL VISITORS & CELEBRATIONS The Upper and Middle Schools welcomed two special visitors in October. In the senior elective Baltimore: Down to the Wire? students met with former Maryland Governor and United States Congressman Bob Ehrlich (top left) to discuss some of the issues Baltimore currently faces. The class engaged in a spirited debate during Ehrlich’s visit, touching on issues ranging from the Affordable Care Act to minimum wage laws and the government shutdown. In the Middle School, students heard from author Sharon Flake (top right), who spoke to the girls about her books, what it is like to be an author, and some of the issues that young adults encounter. Below: members of the Muslim Student Association hosted a party for Eid, a religious celebration that happens twice a year. A large group of students and faculty gathered in the library quad for the party, and the festivities included s’mores and henna tattoos.

Visit our Facebook page to see more great photos of Fall Spirit Day, Halloween and lots of other great school activities!

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MIX IT UP DAY On National Mix It Up Day, Middle School students took part in an activity making webs with yarn to show their connections to one another. Mix It Up Day promotes getting to know new people and breaking routines. Students had a great opportunity to see how much they have in common!

RACE FOR THE CURE In mid-October, a group of Upper School students from the Pink Ribbon Club took part in the Susan G. Komen Foundation Race for the Cure. Here is what club leaders Maire Stierer ’16 and Raina Coleman ’15 wrote about the experience afterward: “We had a total of 25 registered team members, and we raised over $1,500. The team arrived in Hunt Valley at 6:45 a.m., ready to take part in the event. We all walked the 5K as a team, and we had a blast! It was pretty cold, but time flew by. In total, the event raised $1,250,711. Our success this year earned us the right to use the Susan G. Komen logo, and The Bryn Mawr School is now recognized as an official Race for the Cure team. In the future, we plan to continue to raise awareness around campus, specifically with our “Mawrtians for the Cure” bracelets and t-shirts. We also hope to get involved with local hospitals in their quest to find the cure.”

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A little rain and fog in the morning couldn't dampen the Halloween enthusiasm that was readily apparent all over campus. From the Lower School parade, which showcased a huge variety of costumes, to Upper School convocation, where everyone from the Cheetah Girls to Clark Kent made an appearance, it was a very festive day!


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MAWRTIAN MINUTES Noteworthy news from around the school

Bryn Mawr Hosts Reception for Leadership Benefactors On October 1, members of Bryn Mawr’s Board of Trustees and Headmistress Maureen E. Walsh hosted a reception in honor of leadership benefactors. Guests heard from Headmistress Walsh and Board of Trustees Chair Hon. Julie R. Rubin '91 about the many ways their generous support benefits Bryn Mawr girls and their teachers. To view more photos from the evening, please visit our Flickr page. Each member of the Bryn Mawr community is invited to become a donor by making a gift to the Annual Fund. The Annual Fund benefits all of our students and faculty. By making a donation, you will help to maintain Bryn Mawr’s reputation for excellence. If you would like to learn more about how your contribution will make an impact, please contact Ann Kangas, Assistant Director of Development at We are most grateful to all of the donors who contributed to Bryn Mawr last year, raising a total of $3,028,594 for our students and teachers! To review the list of donors and to read donor stories, visit the 2012-2013 Report on Giving. Username: community / Password: owlgate

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TEACHERS’ CORNER Each month we profile three teachers to give them a chance to share, in their own words, their thoughts on Bryn Mawr and their teaching philosophies.

Anne Puckett Lower School Music Years at Bryn Mawr: 7 Years Teaching: 17

Andrew Davis Middle School French & Spanish Years at Bryn Mawr: 4 Years Teaching: 7

Vicky Miyamoto Upper School Math Years at Bryn Mawr: 3 Years Teaching: 7

What do you like most about teaching at Bryn Mawr?

What do you like the most about teaching at Bryn Mawr?

What do you like most about teaching at Bryn Mawr?

I really enjoy the freedom I have here to design my curriculum and implement it in the way that I think is best. I feel like I have the autonomy to choose the material that I think is important to teach, the goals that I set for my class, and how I want to reach those goals.

The campus is beautiful—it feels like being on a college campus with all of the different buildings and the open space. I would have to say, though, that my favorite thing about working here is the students. They are wonderful kids—very hardworking and respectful. I’d never been at a school where students will thank you after a class, and these students do.

I love the environment here, and I love the students and my colleagues. The students make each day fun and interesting. They are so smart, friendly and open-minded, which really makes teaching them a joy. I like working with my colleagues because they continually inspire me to be a better teacher and to try new things in my classroom.

What is your teaching philosophy?

What is your teaching philosophy?

I want to prepare students for the real world. As much as possible, I try to mimic real-world situations where they will use the languages they learn here. I focus on using conversations and activities that will prepare them practically for when they visit a Spanish or French speaking country.

I really believe in teaching conceptual understanding, because I think that if a student understands a concept, learning the skills will come more easily. I always try to teach the “why” behind any concept. Some important parts of developing this type of understanding are discussion, working in small groups and explaining concepts to one another, and then applying those concepts to a wide variety of problems.

What is your teaching philosophy? I believe that all children are musical, and that anyone can learn to be musical. I think that having music as a core part of a curriculum is very important, and I love the emphasis and value that the Lower School places on arts-based learning and integrated learning between different content areas. I try as much as possible to reinforce skills that the girls are learning in other areas by incorporating them into our music classes. How do you integrate the Lower School’s one-to-one iPad program with your music curriculum? We use a lot of the same apps that other teachers use in different content areas, which is cool because it means that the girls get to apply their thinking skills to different subject matter. It is another way to reinforce what they are already learning. 12 / Mawrginalia / October 2013

You taught in Cameroon, Africa for two years with the Peace Corps. What aspects of that experience do you bring into your teaching here? Working in Cameroon and seeing the conditions that the students had to contend with in order to learn really made me a more compassionate and empathetic person. I think that now I am better able to put myself in my students’ shoes and understand how they feel.

What role does technology play in your classroom? I try not to force technology into every lesson, because then its use becomes artificial. I find it very useful for demonstrating concepts that are dynamic, and that would be difficult to show just using paper.


UPCOMING EVENTS CALENDAR Starting this month, we are happy to provide a calendar of upcoming events between now and the next issue of Mawrginalia. Events are subject to change, and not all events are listed here. For the most up-todate information, or to learn more about an event, refer to and your divisional newsletter. For information about upcoming alumnae events, please see page 39.


Monday Tuesday


Wednesday Grade 8 Parent/Student Night, 7:00 p.m.






Bryn Mawr/Gilman Middle School Play, 7:00 p.m., Gilman



Bryn Mawr/Gilman Middle School Play, 7:00 p.m., Gilman



Thanksgiving Convocation, 1:30 p.m., KVB Gym

Pre-first Parent Coffee, 8 a.m.

Screening of “Girl Rising,” 6:30 p.m., Centennial Hall



Thanksgiving Break




K-2 Girls’ Night Out, 6:30 8:30 p.m. (pre-registration req.)

Coffee with the Experts Series: Teri McCambridge and Maggi Souris, 8:15 a.m., Mt. Wash.

Grade 2 Parachute Assembly, 8:15 a.m., KVB Gym Middle School Dance Company Performance, 7:00 p.m., Centennial Hall



Professional Day-school closed






10th grade Parent Social, 7:00 p.m.

Grade 1 Parent Coffee, 8 a.m.



Grade 3 Parent Coffee, 8 a.m.



Grade 5 Parent Coffee, 8 a.m.



Winter Spirit Day



Grade 5 “Pick-up & Pizza” to learn about the Middle School, 5 p.m., North Building



K-2 Winter Concert, 8:30 a.m., Centennial Hall



Grade 2 Parent Coffee, 8 a.m.



Grades 3-5 Winter Concert, 8:30 a.m., Centennial Hall


Founders Day 2 0 1 3 The Bryn Mawr School was a bold experiment when it first opened its doors in 1885. Founded by five formidable women active in women’s education and the suffrage movement, Bryn Mawr was the first college-preparatory school for girls in Baltimore. The rigorous curriculum and emphasis on the importance of exercise were revolutionary ideas for the time. Bryn Mawr’s founders believed in the value of a classical humanistic approach focused on arts, language and physical education, and endeavored to give girls access to the same quality of education that boys received. The strong female leadership of the school set the bar high for Bryn Mawr students from the beginning. More than 129 years later, we are proud to continue the tradition of high-quality education for girls that our founders envisioned. While many things have changed—the campus, the uniforms, the curriculum—the mission that our founders tasked us with remains at the heart of everything Bryn Mawr does. Each year in early October, the entire Bryn Mawr community gathers to celebrate Founders Day, the school’s birthday and a commemoration of the bold women whose pioneering vision led to the creation of 14 / Mawrginalia / October 2013

Facing page: Award winners Joanne Cho, Bill Waters and Jen Arrogancia. Below, top: Dayseye sings “Jerusalem.” Bottom left: Susan Orlando accepts her award. Right: Charlotte Armstead receives an award for 30 years of service.

Bryn Mawr. Founders Day also recognizes the important contributions of our faculty and staff, marked by several awards for teaching excellence, as well as recognition of years of service. Another highlight of Founders Day is the keynote speech, given each year by a distinguished member of the Bryn Mawr community. This year's speaker was English teacher and alumna Kris Schaffner ’93, the recipient of last year’s inaugural award of the Alumnae Master Teaching Chair. For the full text of Schaffner’s speech, please see page 17.

Awards and Recognitions Alumnae Science Chair Heather Wilson, Upper School Science The Alumnae Science Chair was established in honor of the distinguished women scientists who began their educations at The Bryn Mawr School. Apgar Award for Teaching Excellence Susan Orlando, Second Grade The Apgar Award recognizes a teacher who has made a significant difference in students’ lives by motivating students’ interest, curiosity, and love of learning; applying new teaching concepts and methods that expand students’ horizons and potential; and serving as a mentor to stimulate students’ intellectual development beyond the curriculum and the classroom.

Blair D. Stambaugh Award Wendy Kridel, Athletic Director The Stambaugh Award was created to honor former Headmistress Stambaugh. It is given annually to a member of the faculty or staff who has contributed the most to the overall welfare and well-being of the school community. The Blanche & A.V. Williams Master Teaching Chair Suzanne Stevens, Middle School Math The Blanche & A.V. Williams Master Teaching Chair was established by Jennie Lee Williams Fowlkes ’65 in memory of her parents, who had abiding respect and admiration for the teaching profession. The chair is awarded to an outstanding teacher in any division or department. Elizabeth Sheridan Sinclair Chair in the Fine & Performing Arts Genie Arnot Titus ’93, Lower School Art The Elizabeth Sheridan Sinclair Chair in the Fine & Performing Arts was established by the Sheridan Foundation in memory of a longtime trustee and past parent, Betsy Sinclair. The chair honors a member of the fine and performing arts faculty for distinguished teaching in the field. Ella Speer Colhoun & Elizabeth Atkinson Reynolds Fund Jen Arrogancia, Upper School Math This award is given to a teacher who has made a significant contribution to the school outside of the classroom. The fund recognizes an important quality that typifies independent school teaching at its best: a dedication to young people as whole human beings beyond the limited scope and measurements of classroom performance. The Millicent Carey McIntosh Chair in the Humanities Bill Waters, Upper School English & College Counseling The Millicent Carey McIntosh Chair in the Humanities honors a faculty member whose teaching ability, distinction in his/her field, and 16 / Mawrginalia / October 2013

concern for the special educational needs of girls reflect the tradition of Millicent Carey McIntosh. The faculty member generally holds the chair for two years. The Robert G. Merrick, Sr., Chair in History Joanne Cho, Upper School History The Robert G. Merrick, Sr., Chair in History was instituted by Mr. Merrick, one of Baltimore’s leading philanthropists, before his death in 1986, and is funded by the Jacob and Annita France Foundation. Patricia A. Dieter Staff Award Rob Davis, Grounds The Dieter Award is presented to a member of the clerical or operations staffs who has demonstrated outstanding loyalty, dedication, and hard work in support of the well-being of the school. “37-45” Award Kathy Halle, Little School The “37-45” Award is presented in honor of the faculty, administration and staff who worked at Bryn Mawr during the years from 1937 to 1945. The award is given to faculty members who have served the school with distinction.

Years of Service Awards Five Years:

Helene Coccagna Karen Cullen Jim Lancaster Alyson Shirk

Ten Years:

Megan Brown Sarah McKittrick Becky Morris Patti Rickert-Wilbur Sally Roessler Michelle Sapp

Fifteen Years:

Jason George Jenniffer Gray Kyoko Redd Emily Tankersley

Twenty Years:

Vicki Mermelstein Dolly Rhea Debbie Waranch

Twenty-Five Years: James Brown Lois Kakel Gwen Nkwanyuo

Thirty Years:

Charlotte Armstead Jeanette Budzik Lynn Byank Pat Nothstein

Thirty-Five Years: Pat Sheridan

Keynote Speech Kris Schaffner, Bryn Mawr Class of 1993, received her B.A. in Education and English from Kalamazoo College, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude. She later went on to receive a Master’s degree in Literature from Middlebury College. At the 2012 Founders Day ceremony, Schaffner received the inaugural Bryn Alumnae Master Teaching Chair award. During her tenure at Bryn Mawr, she has also earned the Ella Speer Colhoun & Eliza Atkinson Reynolds Fund Award in 2011, the Hazel Haseltine Adkins Scholarship in 2006 and 2007, the James Andreas Scholarship in 2005, and the Cynthia LeBoutillier Teacher Chair in 2001. Below is the text of the speech that she delivered to the Bryn Mawr community on Founders Day. *



Let me begin by thanking you for listening. I know you have a lot on your mind—that’s the very nature of the Bryn Mawr girl—but we have a moment now to pause in the “business and struggle of our everyday lives” to put ourselves in perspective: to see—and commemorate!—belonging to one another and to a story that is nothing short of revolutionary. I believe that story is worth knowing, and I believe this ritual is worth our attention. Besides, we get to do it here—on this beautiful day, in this special garden. This campus is one of the gifts of our school—notice it, take care of it, enjoy it. I’ve been in this garden more times than I can count; I’ve even given a speech here before. I remember that it was sunny, that my uniform shirt was missing a button, that I had borrowed a uniform skirt from my best friend, that all my classmates were sitting behind me. I believe most of them are still behind me, no matter who they’ve become or how far away they’ve gone…in part because this place will always be home to us in a way that neither miles nor years can erase. So, practically yesterday, it was 1993, and I was a graduating senior telling my classmates to wear orange, to drive with the windows down, to ameliorate. (And for the record, I still believe in all of those things). I believe I was telling my classmates to “be unconventional” and “engage in the world with confidence and joy”—and I know that I learned both of those lessons here. That is the legacy of the Founders, and that is some of my favorite stuff of Bryn Mawr. I knew it back then, and I spoke to my classmates with the conviction that we could go into the world beyond Melrose Avenue capable, remarkable and brave. And so we did, and all these years later, this gathering gives Bryn Mawr girls, past and present, a rare chance for reflection and an important chance for gratitude. Here, in this garden, we join our voices in song and in prayer in ways that are more about what is sacred than what is denominational; we are the Bryn Mawr community, and, thanks to the Founders, we have something to celebrate. October2013 2013 / Mawrginalia / 17 September

Let’s start with considering the past. Our Bryn Mawr history is a good story, and it reaches well beyond its facts, as good stories do—it stands behind us to remind us of why we are here, and it stands before us to speak to our potential, to get us to reach for what we can be. To talk to you about all this is no small task, but as a Bryn Mawr girl, I know that, sometimes, all you can manage is a leap of faith. While I stand beI was telling fore this microphone with my classmates too much to say, there’s nothing to do but break to “be unconthe silence with good ventional” and intention. Of course, that’s what the Founders did, “engage in the too.

world with confidence and joy”—and I know that I learned both of those lessons here.

A couple hundred years ago in Baltimore, education looked different. If a girl was fortunate enough to be educated, it probably happened behind closed doors and with private tutors. In my mind, that means it was pretty, polite, appropriately dressed, lonely and quiet.

That doesn’t sound all that good to me. Fortunately for me—and for you—the five Founders knew we deserve better. That small group of women shared the unique vision that girls are as intellectually capable as boys. They understood that great minds were being underestimated and—worse—ignored by the conventions of their time. And they refused to accept it. They turned their conversations into action, and when Bryn Mawr opened its doors in 1885, it did

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so against a lot of resistance. It can be hard to open doors when there is a great deal of force pushing the other way, but those five women were determined to shove themselves—and, as it has turned out, all of our selves—into history. Here’s part of how that has worked for me. Just down the hill, in the Lower School Multipurpose Room, the Headmistress got my attention. Hers was a presence both warm and important, and when the lights went off and her voice rang clear, we all settled down. As the first brown and white slide snapped into view, the students grew silent enough to listen. Although I can’t remember all that she said 30 years ago, I know what she told me, and the pictures continue to live in the labyrinth of my Bryn Mawr mind. Photo after photo of smart, brave, unconventional girls—girls who were proving people wrong long before I even existed— flashed before me, bright against the darkness. As I sat there gangly, cross-legged and wideeyed, a part of myself got made. I remember seeing early Bryn Mawr students riding open-air trolleys to get to school. I remember the images of what looked like prehistoric gym equipment, their impossibly long skirts and their beautifully stoic faces. I remember my favorite picture of all: girls on a city rooftop in a winter study hall—outside in grey cold, wrapped in wool, bent over books. These girls were my heritage, and they seemed both far away and familiar. Through the years, I got used to seeing their faces, and they kept me company as I grew up. Their courage and tenacity laid the groundwork for my own efforts and failures and discoveries, and they taught me about confidence and resilience along the way. I needed those qualities throughout my decade as a Bryn Mawr student because this place never let me off easy. My classmates were talented and my teachers demanding, and it was clear we had good work to get done. It was equally clear that

thinking hard and being smart were pleasures— that Edith Hamilton was right when she said,“too little stress is laid on the pleasure of becoming an educated person, the enormous interest it adds to life. To be able to be caught up into the world of thought—that is to be educated.” For as long as I can remember, I have been grateful for being “caught up into the world of thought;” being well-educated has comforted me in a sometimes disappointing world, it has helped me to love deeply and well, and it has led me great places. As Ms. Hamilton wisely noted, being educated means I am almost never bored. I see humor and beauty and connections and meaning all over the place, and I know I learned to think like that here. I know I was taught why language is gorgeous and paint provocative and sweat healthy and confusion useful. I know I was asked to be smart and to be strong, and those requests came on a daily basis and in countless forms. Sometimes, it meant facing a math quiz; sometimes, it meant running just one more lap; sometimes, it meant getting caught in the rain as I crossed Northern Parkway to take a class off campus. Sometimes it meant being called on when my hand wasn’t raised. Always, it meant holding myself to a high standard—one that honored the women who came before me and made my school, their testament to a belief in me long before I even came into being. That belief in me was a clear part of Bryn Mawr: I saw it in the challenging assignments of my teachers, the smart arguments from my classmates, the questions I could not immediately answer. Life at Bryn Mawr was asking a lot of me, and I was alive in giving it my best. When you grow up used to high expectations, life outside of Bryn Mawr can seem a little less

dynamic. As a classmate of mine recently said, she “learned more at Bryn Mawr than some people learn their whole lives” (and that isn’t always easy to handle). The good news is, there is something infinite about Bryn Mawr, and there is something that holds us together long after we graduate and part. I know it because some of my closest friendships are those I’ve made on this campus. I know it, too, because whenever I meet an alumna, we instantly conI am grateful nect with something that can best be described as for the love a common language—a shared understanding that is joyous, that we are spirited, smart the faith that women who understand our world and each other remains unin truly important ways. I’ve had the honor of shaken and working with Bryn Mawr alumnae—women who the principles graduated decades apart that are still but who speak that common language. And I immovable. have sat among the lush minds of current Bryn Mawr students, reveling in their capacious curiosity and knowledge and hearts—and I know we are connected, too. I stand here today grateful for the vision, work, and product of the five Founders. I am grateful that Bryn Mawr makes kindred spirits of us all. And I am grateful for the love that is joyous, the faith that remains unshaken, and the principles that are still immovable. I hope we all can be. And on this Founders Day, may we take pride in our history, may we dare to be unconventional, and may we venture to drive with the windows down.

October 2013 / Mawrginalia / 19

MEET ME at the



In October, the Upper School staged their fall musical, “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.” The diverse cast of 24 students represented three area schools and ranged from freshman to seniors. Here, some of the cast members share their fond memories of the show.

This musical was a wonderful experience, and the cast was so talented. We all became such close friends, and I’m so thankful for that. -Sol Iriarte ’16 20 / Mawrginalia / October 2013

One of my favorite parts of the show was the improv spellers. They each brought something special to the production and made us laugh over and over again, even though we’d already heard the jokes. Jasmin did a really great job in her improv part as a middle school orchestra conductor and the first speller to be eliminated. -Ellie Grabowski ’15

Lizzie was never once flat, hoarse or shy of emotion. I'm so glad we pushed each other to try out for this musical, which I know will be a defining experience of my senior year. -Criss Moon '14

Ali is incredibly modest about her talent, but on stage she is a show-stopper. The first time she sang “Prayer of the Comfort Counselor” in rehearsal, we all turned to each other, completely dumbstruck. The amount of vibrancy and soul in her voice is truly something special. -Lizzie Smith ’15

October 2013 / Mawrginalia / 21

ossible; est extent p ll fu e th to 5 aracters Grabowski '1 body our ch ie m ll e -E to l. a w c re si u g f this m ll of us really as a result o y ll a n I think that a o rs e p grew a lot know that I

I'll never forget this song or Mina's performance! From running around the stage to doing ballet to stealing the orchestra’s piano to accompany herself, I couldn't help but sit in awe of Mina's talent. -Lizzie Smith '15

22 / Mawrginalia / October 2013

I also

Being a dog person who respects cats, I knew that "albumgraecum” must be introduced into the script. Sefa’s character of the cat-obsessed Gertrude was the speller for the role. One of my favorite moments was introducing Gertrude with the sentence I wrote. -Criss Moon ’14

“The I Love You Song,” where th e character of Olive dreamed of her absent par ents, was so emotional, and beautifully done b y Alyssa, Lizzie and Darnell. -So l Iriarte ’16

Lisa role of Rona e th r fo t c e it was perf haracter and c Lindsay was r e h to in got so Rona. She Perretti! She ally become re r e h g in 6 e se a Giancola ‘1 li e inspirational -C ! w o sh de the definitely ma

October 2013 / Mawrginalia / 23

FALL SPORTS REPORT The varsity field hockey team had a good year, finishing regular season play with a record of 10-7-2 and winning their first championship game before bowing out after a hard-fought semi-final match. Head Coach Jeanette Budzik says that one of the biggest challenges the team faced this season was skill development; the team was very young, having graduated 10 seniors last year. “The stronger players were instrumental in working with new players to help the team move forward,” Budzik notes. Next year, Budzik says she looks forward to working with the team to achieve stronger league results. “We will be losing four seniors, so the bar will be set high for returning players.”

Varsity Field Hockey Coaches: Jeanette Budzik, Karen Paterakis Philippou ’86, Nina Emala ’06

As a coach, Budzik is most proud of how disciplined the players on the team were, and how dramatically they improved. “I appreciate being able to witness each athlete's improvement every day, not only in skill but also in each girl's realization that she matters and has an individual responsibility to her team,” Budzik explains. “They encourage, help and support each other. There’s a wonderful spirit on this team that makes coaching a joy." Player honors: Rachel Park ’14, WMAR Athlete of the Week Most memorable moment of the season: “Three of them! First, winning the Bryn Mawr/Roland Park Trophy for the eighth year in a row! The girls played a beautiful game, one the best games of the season, and won 3-0. Second, in our final league game against St. Paul’s, we went into overtime. Towards the end of the extra period, defender Alex Argo ‘15 made a diving save across the cage, deflecting the ball at the very last second to prevent a goal. It is one of those moments that is implanted in my mind forever—it was that amazing. Finally, for me personally, having the chance to coach with two Bryn Mawr field hockey alumnae, Karen Paterakis Philippou ’86 and Nina Emala ’06." -Jeanette Budzik 24 / Mawrginalia / October 2013

Junior varsity volleyball had a good season, with the girls continually working to improve as they faced tough opponents. Head Coach Jasmine Harrison ’07 cites injuries as one of the toughest things the team faced. “The lineup had to be changed many times over the course of season,” Harrison notes. The positive aspect of this was the fact that it gave girls the chance to try different positions, even if they had not played them before. “I am most proud of the willingness the girls showed to play any position, even if they were not experienced in it, in order to meet the needs of the team,” Harrison says.

Junior Varsity Volleyball Coaches: Jasmine Harrison ’07, Alison Jaspers, Phil Gilotte

Most memorable moment of the season: “Our nail-biting third game win against Chapelgate Christian Academy. We won by two after going point for point in the last two games.” -Jasmine Harrison ’07

Varsity Volleyball Coaches: Eric Green, Jessica Green

The varsity volleyball team worked very hard this year, and improved a great deal over the course of the season. According to Head Coach Eric Green, the biggest challenge the team faced was “working hard and improving, but not being able to pull out the matches that we took to four or five sets.” One of the highlights of the season was the team’s win over Chapelgate in the first round of the championships.

Overall, Green says that he is most proud of how, even in the midst of a tough season, the team kept working hard and playing with heart. “I can teach them the skills of volleyball and I can teach them the rules, but I cannot teach them aggressiveness and having the will to win,” Green says. “While everyone may have it already inside them, it’s my job as a coach to coax it out of each one, and the way to get to it can be different for each girl.” Most memorable moment of the season: “After an extremely hard hit from the other team, one of our girls dug the ball, but it was going out of bounds and very high to the ceiling. The ball ricocheted off the ceiling and was about to touch the floor, but Amy Chong ’14 dove from about 10 feet away and stuck her hand on the floor. The ball bounced up off her hand (a legal play called a “pancake”), and someone passed it over. The other team had immediately turned to cheer after their hit, so no one was paying attention when we passed the ball over, scoring the point. We work on pancakes during practice, but I think it was hard for them to believe it would work during a game. It was great to see them so excited and proud of each other.” -Eric Green

October 2013 / Mawrginalia / 25

Junior Varsity Field Hockey Coaches: Megan Hanson, Caroline Chessare

The junior varsity field hockey had a challenging season. The young team, composed almost entirely of freshman, frequently faced opponents who were older and more experienced. However, says coach Megan Hanson, “They worked so hard and played with heart in every game. They were always supporting one another.” Next year, Hanson looks forward to working with returning players to continue to develop their stick skills and their love of the game. Most memorable moment of the season: “Scoring a goal in the Severn game and seeing the sense of accomplishment on the girls’ faces.” -Megan Hanson

This was a tough year for the varsity soccer team as they weathered their second year in the A Conference. Head Coach Tina Steck says that the biggest challenges the team faced were a string of injuries that changed their lineup several times, a very young team, and a strong conference schedule.

Varsity Soccer Coaches: Tina Steck, Tim Almaguer, Kim Dubansky, Pete Kakel

Steck says that, with a large number of players returning next season, she expects to expand on the progress made during this season as they build toward the goal of becoming better players and a better soccer team. Overall, Steck is most proud of the large improvements the team made over the course of the season, and the resilience the team demonstrated as they pushed to continue moving forward during a challenging season. Most memorable moment of the season: “On Spirit Day, we hosted league foe Mount de Sales. After a tough game, we were able to come from behind in overtime to tie the game.” -Tina Steck

26 / Mawrginalia / October 2013

Cross Country Coaches: Jim Lancaster, Jessica Bolz

The regular season record for cross country, 5-1, spoke to the strong season that the team had. A large, diverse group, the team fielded several runners who would often finish one behind another. After a final that Athletic Director Wendy Kridel called “tough-as-nails,” they finished as the B Conference runner-up. Next season, Head Coach Jim Lancaster says that the team will have a challenge as they move to the A Conference, but he is confident that they will be equal to the task. Lancaster says that the most remarkable thing about the team this year was how much drive they had, and how they always continued to fight and to strive for success. “They also work well together and really know how to run as a pack,” Lancaster notes. Most memorable moment of the season: “The best moment of the season for me was watching the team run season-best times at the Third Battle of Winchester Invitational.” -Jim Lancaster

WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS! Tennis brings home an IAAM A Conference tournament title

Tennis Coaches: Matilde Taborda-Almaguer, Kate Brendler, Jennifer Galambos

Both the varsity and the junior varsity tennis teams had a great fall season, finishing undefeated with records of 9-0 and 8-0, respectively. Co-Head Coaches Tilly Taborda-Almaguer and Kate Brendler say that the biggest challenge the team faced this season, and in past seasons as well, was finding the time to do team-building activities with everyone. “This year was one of the biggest teams—21 girls between varsity and JV—we’ve had in a long time,” Taborda-Almaguer says. “Having two or three matches a week while we are working on different strategies in practice made it feel as though we hardly had any time to spare.” Building on the success of this year, Brendler says that they will aim high for next season. “Our goals are to win the regular season, and to do well in the tournament—meaning having four or more Bryn Mawr girls in the finals of the tournament.” As coaches, both say they are most proud of how the players handled difficult situations during matches. “One of the hardest things to let go of in tennis is the fact that we don't have line-judges during our regular season matches,” Taborda-Almaguer says. “At times, bad calls happen, and we teach the girls to ‘keep their cool’ and avoid being upset about it. This is not always easy to do, and our girls are very good at handling those situations graciously.” Player honors: Cameron Corse ’17, Singles 1 tournament champion, IAAM Athlete of the Week, IAAM All-Star; Lily Burchell ’17, Singles 2 tournament champion and IAAM All-Star; Maggie Oros ’14 and Kristyna Hermanova ’15, Doubles 1 tournament champions and IAAM All-Stars. Most memorable moment of the season: “For varsity it was, without a doubt, the tournament week. For the JV team, it was the fact that they went through their season undefeated. In the nine years that I have been coaching this sport, we have never had both varsity and JV finish undefeated in the same season.” -Tilly Taborda-Almaguer

28 / Mawrginalia / October 2013



by Emily Letras, Upper School Technology Teacher In many countries, October 15 is marked by a celebration of Ada Lovelace, a brilliant 18th century mathematician and, ironically, the daughter of Lord Byron. Lovelace worked closely with Charles Babbage (another pioneer in computing), and she is widely considered to be the author of the world's first computer program. Here at Bryn Mawr we enjoy a good celebration, so we decided to celebrate Lovelace and other pioneering women in science, technology, engineering and math (the STEM fields) during “Ada Week.” The week kicked off with an interactive convocation on October 14, where the Upper School received a visit from Ada Lovelace herself (played by Lindsay Hexter '14). The audience helped to write a computer program using a tool we teach in the ninth grade Emerging Technology classes to teach Ada how to dance the Cupid Shuffle. Another highlight of the festivities was the week-long Green vs. Gold team scavenger hunt, in partnership with the Athletic Association. Each day, students received a clue that led them to information about an important woman in the computer science field. Students who followed the clues and reported their findings earned points for their team. Ada Week also included a school-wide advisory competition, which had students cracking cryptograms and researching women in STEM fields. During club periods on Wednesday and Thursday, students were invited to the computer labs to sew circuits with conductive thread and to experiment with MaKey MaKey (pictured below, at right), a tool that allows students to program anything conductive—like Play Doh, bananas, hands and more—into a "key" on the computer. Finally, on Thursday evening a group of students gathered to participate in a Hackathon (pictured below, at left). Their goal was to build their own 3D printer using a kit that was won by one of our 3D printing and design teams last spring. Hackathon participants were able to follow online guides and work through challenges to assemble more than half of the printer in just one evening. We're hoping to complete the project soon, and then use the printer for some of our 3D designs. All in all, the week was a spectacular celebration of women in computer science and STEM. We know that Ada would be proud!

October 2013 / Mawrginalia / 29


SENIOR VOICES: THE CLASS OF 2014 Each year, seniors have the opportunity to present issues that matter to them to their classmates. Most do this in the form of a Senior Convocation—a twentyminute speech on any topic. In every issue, we highlight excerpts from convocations given that month. Occasionally, we will also highlight other senior speeches given at special occasions, letting members of the Class of 2014 share, in their own words, what matters to them.

NATASHA FRANKS So you’ve found a time machine. Congratulations. Allow me to guide you through the process of determining what you should and shouldn’t do with your newly-acquired contraption. Rule number one: Do not change the past. Time is a delicate thing. You can’t just go altering it, no matter how tempting that may be. Don’t tell your parents to invest in Microsoft. Don’t ask Edith Wharton to make “Ethan Frome” less boring. Don’t rewrite the finale of “Lost.” But by all means, prevent the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand. I can’t stop you. Just be prepared to arrive in a present where all your friends are semiintellectual sloths, because that’s what happens when you mess with time. Imagine returning home to find that the entire planet is now populated solely by Bactrian camels. You can’t eat anything, because they’ve trampled all the crops. You can’t drink, because they’ve stored all the water in their humps. If that doesn’t convince you that changing time is bad, then I would recommend watching Ashton Kutcher’s underrated masterpiece “The Butterfly Effect” for more information. Rule number two: Don’t touch anything. Rule number three: Don’t take anything from the past with you to the present. It could cause an irrevocable break in the time-space continuum, resulting in you returning to a world where something seemingly-impossible has happened, like an alien invasion or the government just shutting down. Rule number four: Dress appropriately. You don’t want to show up in 19th century Massachusetts wearing short-shorts and a bandana shirt. Use common sense: if the society you’re entering is fond of bearskin jumpsuits, then you had better go hunting for one. 30 / Mawrginalia / October 2013

Ideally, when visiting the past you will be a silent obyour time machine and resume your normal life. server. But if you really do want to meet someone, There is literally nothing that can go wrong. then go ahead, wave at George Washington. That’s not hurting anyone. But take heed: now is not the Speaking of “literally:” a lot of people tend to use time to air your views on this season of “The Vamthis word as its own antonym, claiming that lanpire Diaries.” To determine an appropriate converguage evolves and therefore if enough people use sation topic, I recommend doing some research on a word to mean a certain thing, that thing is what it whatever time period you’re traveling to. In some now means. Oxford English Dictionary, the official ancient cultures, one wrong look could spell the difkeeper of the English language, defines “literally” ference between people dancing at your wedding as describing something “literal”—as in, someand dancing on your grave. Certainly, there are thing that actually happened. It goes on to say some precautions that seem obvious; for example, that, “in recent years, an extended use of literally as a Bryn Mawr girl, you might want to avoid Salem has become very common, where literally is used in the 1600s. But there are other customs of which deliberately in nonliteral contexts. However, it is the average time-traveler not acceptable in formal might not be aware. For English.” As much as I love instance, you want to know formal English, I do recogthat the ancient Aztecs nize that language does practiced human sacrifice indeed evolve. After all, WHEN TIME TRAVELING, before your heart is being we’re speaking a different SOME PRECAUTIONS ARE placed on the altar. language than people in Baltimore did one hundred OBVIOUS; AS A BRYN MAWR By now you’re probably years ago. The word “aweGIRL, YOU MIGHT WANT TO thinking: “Is there anything some” used to mean “ingood about time travel?” spiring fear or awe,” as a AVOID SALEM IN THE 1600s. I know, when you first disgod would. Now, we use it covered that time machine, to refer to what we had for you couldn’t imagine anylunch. There are rare cases thing better. You imagined when both definitions apbeing like Dr. Who, or Joseph Gordon-Levitt in ply. For example, the pasta bar is both awesome as “Looper,” or the main characters from the classic in “cool” and awesome as in “Cthulhu himself has Disney film, “Cinderella 3: A Twist in Time.” But at descended from the heavens to bestow upon us this point, you may be on the verge of selling your this delicious meal.” time machine to the first person who asks for it. “Wonderful” has undergone a similar transformaWell, don’t. Because while the past is a dark, scary tion. At one time people said, “They’ve discovered place, the future is full of endless opportunities. a new world in the west? How wonderful!” Today, Nothing you do there matters. Punch someone. we say, “I had a bagel for breakfast and it was wonRob a bank. Talk to your granddaughter. Talk to derful.” If someone from the past overheard one of your great-granddaughter. Talk to your great-greatour conversations, they wouldn’t understand why granddaughter’s goldfish, because people in the fuwe’re so intense about what we eat. We might as ture can do that. See who grows up to be attractive, well be speaking a different language. so you can return to the present and marry them while they’re still ugly and unwanted. All of your ...Which is a great segue into my next point. When wildest dreams are now within reach, and the best most people think about time travel, they picture part is, it’s consequence free! Even if you do get in arriving in what is basically a historical movie, trouble, what are they going do? Carbon-freeze you where everyone talks pretty much as we do now, (because that’s what they do in the future instead except with English accents. While this is relatively of arresting people)? Please. You’ll be released in a true for people in America or England within the last five or six centuries, maybe, most people few years, whereupon you can hop right back into


October 2013 / Mawrginalia / 31

NATASHA FRANKS, CON’T. throughout history have spoken ancient forms of Greek, French, Egyptian, Hebrew, Arabic, Latin, or hundreds of other languages (because the world is a really big, really old place). If you showed up in the court of Cleopatra speaking the way you post on Twitter, you would probably be suspected of demonic possession. Even if you decided to go to England around the turn of millennium, you won’t hear Shakespearean phrases such as, “Do you bite your thumb at me, sir?” but instead something more like, “Fæder ure þu þe eart on heofonum; Si þin nama gehalgod...” because that’s what Old English sounded like. That particular phrase is the opening of the Lord’s Prayer. And don’t think you can get around the language barrier by going to the future instead of the past. (To the citizens of future-superpower the United States of Canada: you will be speaking Old English.) All of those fun things you thought you could do in your consequence-free future will be a bit more difficult, considering you’ll effectively be a mute. To make matters worse, you can’t even drown your sorrows in cake or cookies or calorie-free future pizza. If you gave an ancient Incan a Big Mac, I doubt their digestive system could handle it. So why would you, an ordinary twenty-first century human, be able to withstand consuming liquid neon, or whatever people in the future put on their pizza? Potentially, you wouldn’t even be able to breathe in the future, considering our rapidly-depleting ozone layer and ever-changing atmosphere. You might take one step out of your time machine and immediately burst into flames like some kind of vampire. And even if that doesn’t happen—which, realistically speaking, it probably won’t—you will still look like an evolutionary freak if you go too far into the past or future. In the seventeenth century, the average height of a woman was five feet. In the twenty-fourth century, the average height may be well beyond seven feet. Wherever you go, you will be the odd one out. This may lead to you being worshiped as a god or being chased out of town by an angry really could go either way. But let’s say that, despite all the potential dangers, you still want to time travel. I don’t know why—maybe you’re just really passionate about personally experiencing all the thrills of anesthesia-free surgery. If that’s the case, then keep this final piece of advice in mind: Do not discuss your time-traveling adventures with others. There is no easier way of being booted from every social circle you’ve cultivated than by mentioning over dinner one night that you’ve met Abraham Lincoln. Before you know it, you’re being shoved out the front door under the pretense of some “family emergency” your friend has to deal with. You didn’t even know she had a cousin Chad in Latvia, or that sheep typically attack humans, but you sure hope he pulls through! Now that you know how to use your time machine responsibly, you can consider taking it for a practice run. On a clear night, go outside and look up into the sky. Congratulations, you’re time traveling! The light from the stars nearest to us have taken four light years to reach Earth. For other stars, such as those from our neighbor the Andromeda galaxy, the light has taken 25 million light years to reach us. This means that the stars we see are images of the past, some from before civilization itself existed. Even our sun’s light is eight minutes old. If we were able to develop a way of traveling faster than the speed of light, we could have someone stationed by the sun, waiting for it to go supernova. When that happens, our sunwatcher would speed back to Earth and inform everyone that things are about to get really hot, really fast. If you live near a Walmart and feel confident in your ability to kill a few people for a bottle of water, like our ancestors once did, you might survive the remaining seven minutes before the explosion reaches you. Full disclosure: I am not a scientist, but I’m confident that if you spoke to someone at NASA about the scenario I just described, they would tell you that it’s impossible. But don’t take my word for it. Give your time machine a shot. Visit the Cretaceous Period and find out what really killed the dinosaurs. Stop by an ancient civilization to see what they liked to put on their pizza. Watch an original performance of “Othello” at The Globe. Or, if all else fails, just go stargazing. 32 / Mawrginalia / October 2013

GEORGIA CARROLL When I shut my eyes, just before falling asleep, I can see the day that lies behind me. When I was little, I saw visions of wild purple crocuses down by the stream when all else was grey. I watched as snow fell on the woodpiles, or the colors of the hillside in the fall swam behind my eyelids. As I snuggled down deeper under the covers, I saw my father, whose hands smell like gasoline, and the black stains against his white skin. A history of car grease and frugality live in each crack and callous. I loved to hold my dad’s hands. And I always saw my mom, whose absolute dedication to a life well lived fills the house with the smell of Bean Burgers in the muted evenings, and our summers with hikes into the White Mountains. When I closed my eyes, I saw two big brothers who I wished could be my best friends. I pictured Forrest, who turned into the most energetic and hard working person I know. My head on the pillow, body slowly sinking into the mattress, I saw him pulling me behind him in a sled, curled up next to me in front of the wood stove or teaching me how to do flips on the trampoline. I saw Galen playing lacrosse outside on the backboard, reading to me on the couch or making me his hostage while he ran around in his Robin Hood costume. These were good days—the days when my family and my home filled every waking moment. I know my home by heart. Crusty brown fields and trees hiding behind bright winter wheat. Sweet smoke from the fire that curls into the air and sticks to everything but water. Even when my family is apart, I can feel them when I step outside. Growing up completely immersed in love and nature has had a profound effect on me. The things that it has taught me cling to me like thick vines. My parents and I used to take walks when the moon was full. One night we pushed open the back door and the cold brushed against me, sliding in the gap between my socks and my sweatpants. Snow crunched under our boots until we stopped walking. Then, the silence was heavy and complete. We stood in the middle of our back field, and the moon was so bright that we could see tracks in the snow. The chicken tracks, like hundreds of airplanes flying in two lines, dipped and arched across the white expanse. Near the chicken house, the paths crisscrossed and jumbled together. Up the little wooden ramp and past the drop door, Barred Rocks, Rhode Island Reds, and Golden Brahmas huddled together on wooden roosts, heads tucked under wings. I wondered, in that moment, where their thoughts wandered before they slipped into dreams. As a kid, I learned to love nature. I think that if you just take the time to be with it, it is impossible not to love it. Evidently, my parents believed the same. Day and October 2013 / Mawrginalia / 33

GEORGIA CARROLL, CON’T. night, they taught me. I learned about the spring peepers, the flaking sycamore trees, the geese flying south, the cicadas in the ground, goats, sheep, cows, dogs, turkeys and pigs. I learned about life, I learned about death and I learned about unconditional love.

this bathroom horror. That trend continues into my memories of middle school, when disaster struck in seventh grade. That year I made the middle school A team in basketball, and I was so excited! It was the middle of the third quarter in a game halfway through the season when it happened. Our coach had just taken a time out. When we walked back Then it all seemed to come to a grinding halt. When onto the court, I was ready to go. My friend had my parents sent me to school, I entered the real the ball under the basket. As we lined up, a stray world and it was time for me to learn some things thought floated into my mind: which way were we on my own. When I tripped and fell on my face with going? But this thought was interrupted by the short no one but my family around, it wasn’t a big deal. blast of the whistle. All of a sudden I was wide open! When I went to school for the first time, however, Completely forgetting the play we had learned only I was introduced to a feeling called “embarrassmoments before, my face broke into a giddy grin ment.” Most of us know it as I called for the ball. I just well, but when I was a little knew that I was finally gokid, it was a new concept to ing to score a basket! I was me. Unfortunately, it would right. The ball flew through TO BE FORGIVING not be new for long. the air toward me. In perfect form, Michael Jordan-style, TOWARDS YOURSELF, In second grade, our classI arced the ball gracefully room was down a different over the rim of our OWN AND TO BE GRATEFUL— hall from all the other classbasket. MAYBE THOSE ARE THE rooms. As a result, we had to share a single stall bathSomehow, I survived the KEYS TO HAPPINESS. room with the boys. There experience and continued was a large yellow “PLEASE on to play basketball in KNOCK” sign hung on the high school. But every time door, but we still encounI dribble down the court tered some problems. One day after lunch, I had towards what I am praying to God is the right basto go to the bathroom really badly. My mom had ket, I hesitate, fearing the worst. packed an extra juice box that day, and I ran out of class. I slipped past the heavy door and sat down Why do the things we do wrong cling to us so on the mini toilet. Then, I saw the doorknob twist. fiercely? Out of all of the people in that gym, I am His back was turned as he pushed through the door, sure that I think about that moment more than as if he were in the middle of a conversation with anyone else. Is it some evolutionary advantage that someone outside. I recognized him from the back keeps us from breaking social norms in the future? of his black shirt. But did I say, “Don’t come in” or Perhaps. But the truth is that most of the time, the “I’m in here”? No. I froze, staring at the lettering on moments that are the most cringe-worthy to us are his shirt that read, “Soccer Rules.” When he turned just blips in the road for people who witness them around, I was sitting on the toilet, silent, staring at or hear about them. This means that we hold a him. He backed out, mumbling “sorry!” And things lot of power over that event and how it is rememnever seemed the same. bered. In other words, what is remembered and how it’s remembered is mostly up to us, so don’t It’s funny how my most embarrassing moments have take it all too seriously. If we were able to laugh off stayed with me for the longest time. Try as I might, our own mistakes as easily as we do others’, maybe I can’t remember feeling incredibly happy or anwe would be just a little bit happier. I’m not saying gry at any point that year, even though I am sure I that I am impervious to my own mortifying mishad many other emotional experiences aside from takes yet, but I hope that someday, I will be.


34 / Mawrginalia / October 2013

So I moved past middle school and into high school, transitioning into Bryn Mawr. It was not such a different place than my old school—both places were full of great friends and incredible opportunities. But as I grew older, the pressure to be well-rounded pressed in on my eardrums and made my head spin as if I were underwater. My lungs began to feel uncomfortably empty as I dove deeper into this feeling of nagging inadequacy. The truth is, you will always be able to find people who are better than you—people who have nicer clothes, are more athletic, smarter, more popular, funnier, prettier or more creative. I have known this all my life. But a few months ago, a realization kicked my muscles into gear, forced my feet to flutter, and allowed me to swim to the surface of my pool of self-doubt. Columbus Avenue had itched at me all summer, and the summer before that. In fact, the road that made me dread that run to Lake Sunapee is nearly as much a part of my memories as the lake itself. And there I was, rounding the corner past the stop sign and slowing as the enormous hill loomed in front of me, heat rising in a shimmer off the asphalt. I had tried for years to make it all the way up this hill without stopping to walk, ever since I first started running with my family, trailing behind them, starting to panic as the distance between us increased. Mom always made it up the hill. Her trick was to start slow. She would soon fall behind my dad and me as we sprinted up the first part, half hoping that if we went fast enough, we would be at the top before we knew it. But always, about halfway up, we would stop, strength gone, and look back. And there was my mom, not even out of breath, passing us steadily without looking up. I should mention, of course, that by this time my brothers were racing down the other side. But soon, summers got emptier. Forrest and Galen were off doing internships and I found myself facing that hill alone. It took me a few warm-up tries, but then, last summer on a hot day, I managed something I had never done before: I made it up the hill. It was like breaking through a wall when I reached the top. That afternoon, I told my brothers of my accomplishment. Forrest scoffed. “Wait, this

was your first time doing that run without stopping?” I frowned. No one was impressed. But then I realized that I was. I was so proud of myself that for the first time, I was not discouraged by the lack of praise. This accomplishment was solely about me and that hill—and I felt completely and utterly happy. Quickly, I realized that if I could take that attitude and apply it to every challenge I faced, I would not only perform better, but I would be happier. When I took control of the pressure, everything became a lot more bearable. In the end, I knew that the things that I was working toward were really just about my future. Because in the long run, nobody else will have to deal with the consequences of my missed opportunities or my long-winded sighs of regret the way that I will have to. Perhaps this was my parents’ plan all along. To show me the way that other creatures live. To point me toward the fresh chicken tracks in the moonlit snow. To establish a strong, grounded family full of love and a life surrounded by beauty. Then, to send me out into the world where I would learn things on my own. Just as we have power over how our most embarrassing moments are remembered, we own the moments that are the most important to us because they are strongest in our own memories. It is not easy to change the way we think. In reality, although we are alone in our minds, there are people all around us—and it would be naive to say that their opinions of us don’t matter. But I want you to know that there is another option: to think independently. To train your mind to receive information in a positive way. To be forgiving towards yourself, and to be grateful—maybe those are the keys to happiness. So when I lie down at night, I promise to be careful when I close my eyes. I promise to remember a joke shared at lunch, a good grade on a quiz. I will remember the strength of my family and the home that allowed me to go out into the world with confidence and curiosity. I won’t worry about that word I mispronounced or the homework left to do. I will try to make my accomplishments big and my mistakes small, because I remember the joy of the first spring flowers on the greyest day of the year. October 2013 / Mawrginalia / 35

Parents’ Association

PARENT SOCIALS AND SPIRIT DAY October has been a very busy month at Bryn Mawr. Parents have been participating in events both on and off campus. From Spirit Day to Parent Socials, Bryn Mawr families are on the go! Thank you all for setting a fun and festive tone for the 2013-2014 school year. Special thanks to the families and individuals who have hosted or are planning to host a Parent Social in the next few weeks: the Dreese family, the Greene family, the Holtzman/Beasley family, the Cashen/Panos family, the Clancy family, the Cross family, BG Purcell and Kathy Fried, the Dame/Duval family, Lois Marino and Jennifer Martin, Elizabeth Drigotas, the McGinnis family, the Ali family and the Yung family. Top left: eleventh grade parents spend time together at the Parent Social hosted by the Ali family. Top right: Fourth grade parents socialize at the event hosted by the Clancy family. Bottom: Faculty parents and their daughters show their Mawrtian pride at Fall Spirit Day.

36 / Mawrginalia / October 2013


Clockwise from top left: Lacey Hankin ’10, Julia Hemmendinger ’10, Bailey Johnson ’10, Amy Daniels ’10 and Allison Daniels ’08 at Fall Spirit Day 2007.

October 2013 / Mawrginalia / 37

Fulbright Scholar Stephanie Rotolo '09 (left) travels to


Stephanie Rotolo ’09

Togo, Africa, to put her global health degree to work.

As a student at the Duke University Global Health Institute, Stephanie Rotolo ’09 traveled with a professor and a handful of other students to the west African country of Togo to do fieldwork. “I quickly realized that two months was not enough time to really understand the rich culture and to get deep into a research project,” Rotolo says. Her answer: apply for a Fulbright Scholarship to spend nine months in Togo studying the use of biomedical and traditional healing practices. Here, she reflects on her work and how her Bryn Mawr education helped her get to this far-flung destination.

strategies on integration or collaboration between the health care systems, in order to promote improved access, safety, and efficacy of appropriate medical treatment.

I learned about the necessity of cultural competence for conducting successful global health field work through my classes at Duke. So many projects led by Westerners in developing countries fail because they don’t take the local culture into consideration. Thus far, the Togolese people have been very open to helping me with my project. I thought initially that some people may be hesitant to talk about this topic, particularly concerning traditional medicine, for fear that I had a Western bias. Those I have interviewed, however, are proud to share their knowledge and culture with me.

The field of global health first captured my attention at Bryn Mawr when Ms. Whalen, my college counselor, recommended that I read “Mountains Beyond Mountains,” which details Paul Farmer’s global health work. I’d always had an interest in medicine, along with a curiosity about foreign cultures BRYN MAWR BIO and languages, so global health seemed to make perfect sense. Years at Bryn Mawr: What I quickly learned to love Thirteen, starting in about the field is how interdisciplinary it is. In studying global kindergarten health, I’m studying medicine, sociology, policy, economics, educaCollege destination: tion, and history at the same time. Duke University Within global health, my main interest is in health systems and policy. In Togo, I’m conducting a qualitative study of public behaviors and perceptions of medical pluralism, which means I spend my time conducting interviews with biomedical doctors, traditional healers and patients. The objective of these interviews is to understand how people make use of medical pluralism. I hope this research can help ignite discussion among health care providers themselves, and can ultimately inform

Influential teachers: Madame Tomlinson, Mr. Norry and Ms. Solberg Favorite tradition: “All the traditions that you can’t find anywhere else, like Gym Drill, Founders Day, the International Bazaar, Class Day, senior convocations and bell ringing.”

Bryn Mawr taught me the importance of being independent and having my own voice, as well as what it means to be a leader. It was also at Bryn Mawr where I developed my curiosity for the world around me. I was always encouraged to ask questions and reach for new experiences. These qualities guided me in college, where I often looked for opportunities to apply and enhance my education outside of the classroom through internships, community service, and work and study abroad. In doing so, I discovered my passion for global health and challenged myself to go out and experience the realities of the field for a year. There are also practical things that my Bryn Mawr education gave me—like invaluable writing and communication skills, as well as thirteen years of French language training—that helped me to succeed in college, and continue to do so every day here in Togo.

October 2013 / Mawrginalia / 39

WANTED: ALUMNAE STEM MENTORS In an effort to fully support girls who are interested in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and math, Bryn Mawr is launching a STEM alumnae mentorship program. If you have any work experience in an area that relates to one or more of the STEM fields, we encourage you to apply to be a mentor for the program. Whether you are still in college, retired, working in STEM full-time or working in a field that uses your STEM knowledge indirectly, we want your help. When looking at important factors in maintaining women's interest in STEM fields, one of the things that always ranks in the top three is having a female STEM mentor. What better way for you to give back to Bryn Mawr than to help mentor a fellow Mawrtian? Requirements for mentors: • You must have 60 minutes to devote to communication with your mentee each week. This may be done by e-mail, Skype, etc. • You must have work experience in a STEM-related field. • You must be a Bryn Mawr alumna. • You must fill out the application.

Please take time to make a difference in a Bryn Mawr student's life and apply to be a mentor by clicking here. Questions? Contact Bryn Mawr STEM Director Eric Elton, PhD at

IT’S 2013. DO YOU KNOW WHERE YOUR GRADUATION DRESS IS? Is your graduation dress still hanging in your closet? Do you have gently used formal dresses that are taking up space? Consider donating them to the Alumnae Association’s gently used prom and graduation dress sale for the senior and junior classes. Drop off the dresses in the Gordon Building by Friday, November 15. All proceeds from the sale go to the Bryn Mawr prom fund. Questions? Email

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November Alumnae Gathering: Arlington, VA

Thursday, November 14, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.

Alumnae Dress Sale for the Senior Class Want to know which alumnae live nearby? Want to update your contact information immediately? Download the Bryn Mawr alumnae app for all this and more! brynmawrschool. org/alumnaeapp

UPCOMING EVENTS Click here to view all upcoming events

“Girl Rising” Screening

Thursday, November 7, 6:30 p.m. Centennial Hall “Girl Rising” is a documentary film highlighting the stories of nine girls from various countries around the world, all of whom face steep challenges in the pursuit of education. “Girl Rising” premiered on March 7, the eve of International Women’s Day, at the Sundance Film Festival. We invite you to join Bryn Mawr Upper School students and parents for this remarkable and inspiring film. Learn more and watch a preview at Refreshments will be served in Centennial Hall Lobby after the screening. RSVP by November 4 to

Monday, November 25, 3:30 - 5:00 p.m. Gordon Building

See facing page for more information. All proceeds from the sale go to the Bryn Mawr prom fund. Questions? Email

Young Alumnae Reception for the Classes of 2010-2013 Tuesday, November 26, 12:45 p.m. Centennial Hall Lobby

Gather with classmates for dessert in Centennial Hall Lobby and then join us in the KVB Gym for Thanksgiving Convocation.

Baltimore Alumnae Happy Hour Friday, November 29, 6:00 p.m. Location TBD

For Bryn Mawr alumnae ages 21 and over. Location will be announced soon–stay tuned!

Alumnae Gathering in Philadelphia

Wednesday, December 11, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.

IN MEMORIAM We are sad to report that former faculty member and honorary alumna Mary McPherson passed away on October 5, 2013 at the age of 89. Mrs. McPherson lived in Baltimore for more than 50 years and was a lifelong educator. Click here to read the obituary in the Baltimore Sun.

October 2013 / Mawrginalia / 41

THE BRYN MAWR SCHOOL 109 W. Melrose Ave Baltimore, MD 21210 410-323-8800

Mawrginalia, October 2013  

The online news magazine of The Bryn Mawr School.

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