Day of Learning

Last Wednesday, Bryn Mawr hosted “Community Day: Race and Ethnicity at BMC and Beyond”. It was the first time such an event took place on campus, and I have to say, I am grateful to have experienced it as a Senior. Personally, I feel like Bryn Mawr has experienced many things pertaining to race and race relations on campus this year, and the Community Day cultivated Bryn Mawr’s general belief of acceptance and knowledge.

The day started early in the Schwartz gym, and then split into two seminar parts, where students were able to pick and choose which seminars they wanted to join and participate in. As an Asian American on campus, I was very happy to see that there were seminars specifically focused on Asian Americans and their position in society as another ethnic minority. I am currently taking a class where we analyze and learn about Asian Americans in pop culture, and it was very relevant to what I learned at one of the seminars that I attended, “Perspective on Asian Identities”. A lot of people think about other minority groups when they think about racism or racial inequality, but it was great to see students on campus lead a discussion where the “model minority” was also discussed in the context of the two issues mentioned above, and how there are certain stereotypes that are propagated throughout American society and culture.

This year definitely was different from my other three in that the issue of race and being knowledgable about race relations and inequality was very relative throughout the two semesters. The school went through specific experiences that brought the conversation to light, and I am grateful to be at a school where the issues weren’t ignored, but used to raise awareness and knowledge about what we can do as a community and also as individuals.

Until Next Time!

Brunch on the Mainline

Hope everyone had a great, rest-“full” Spring Break! Being back at home in California was so great – The LA weather went through a heatwave, so i woke up to 80-something degree weather every single day… a great change from the harsh windy winter we’ve had here in Philadelphia. Now it’s back to the work grind, and even though I already miss home, i am excited for the rest of the semester.

Being a senior – with a car has opened up a lot of possibilities in terms of being able to get off campus whenever I want. SEPTA is great, but sometimes, the winter weather makes it hard to get yourself out of bed. and honestly, who wants to wait for the train when the frigid air is being blown all up in your face and hair? not this gal. Thanks to my blessed car, i’ve been able to explore and visit a lot of restaurants and cool cafes throughout the year. However one meal in particular seems to be trending among college students and people of all ages in fact. Brunch! Being on the mainline, there are many places that serve a great brunch, but I wanted to take a little time to write about three that have been particularly great.

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Brunch with Mawrters at White Dog Cafe, Wayne

White Dog Cafe, Wayne – A bougie Sunday brunch place that has a great interior and style! I first came here on a Sunday after church, and the place was packed to the brim! Luckily, we skipped waiting in line for a table and opted to sit at the bar, where we were served by the friendly waitress and also had prime seats in front of the TV. We ordered from their special brunch menu and got the Banana Foster French Toast, which was a delicious challah bread with caramelized bananas, as well as the Lancaster County Three Eggs Omelet, which had smoke bacon, goat cheese and the option to be made of only egg whites. I also got to go back for a Saturday birthday brunch with some friends and ended up ordering the omelet again, but it tasted just as great. The bread that they give you before your entree is to die for, and it always varies, so make sure you go more than once to experience their different breads! The dishes are a bit pricey compared to other restaurants, but seems normal for the Mainline audience. This place also makes itself available to students by being near the Wayne train station (perhaps a 10-15 minute walk?).

pumpkin spice french toast... unforgettable!

pumpkin spice french toast… unforgettable!

Nudy’s – Always full, always cozy, always a great option. I first heard of Nudy’s from my friends at Villanova. Thus, I wasn’t that surprised when I went there for the first time and saw a bunch of Nova students repping their school with their school wear while enjoying their brunch. Located past Wayne in Devon, the restaurant itself looks like an actual house and the seating arrangement is really cozy. Be prepared to stand a wait a bit, especially if you go on Saturday or Sunday between 11-1. It’s a popular place for college students because of its fast service and decently priced menu. I will always remember the pumpkin spice french toast that I ordered off their special’s menu… mostly because of the way it melted in my mouth and how it tasted so good with the cream cheese frosting that came with it! Make sure to check our their specials menu because it changes from season to season.

my instagram post of our meal at Minella's Diner!

my instagram post of our meal at Minella’s Diner!

Minella’s Diner – located on Lancaster Ave. in Wayne, this place is a true representation of what a diner experience should be like. Out of the three, Minella’s has the most traditional menu of breakfast and brunch items, but if you’re not feeling like a brunch person, they also have a lunch menu as well. The restaurant itself is a lot bigger than the other two restaurants as well, and they have classic booth seating and a bakery in the front for those who want to take some treats home. I ordered a typical breakfast meal of scrambled eggs & hash, while my other friends ordered salads, muffins, and pancakes… it’s the best place to go if your group has a range of tastes. We had to wait about 10-20 minutes to be seated, but the service was great, and it was a really casual setting, which is good for college students like myself!

No matter what kind of mood you’re in, brunch has a way of making everything better – from midterms to finals, or just a desire to eat out with friends, there are so many options on the mainline! So the next time you find yourself craving pancakes, omelette, or a good ol’ cup of joe, make sure to check out these three places near school!

Until Next Time!

 

Flowers, Flowers Everywhere!

This past weekend, a couple of Mawrters and I went to see the Philadelphia Flower Show at the Convention Center in the city. It’s crazy, but I’ve never had the chance to go prior to this year; more like, I never knew it was going on in time to attend (oops!). The theme for this year was “inspired by the films by Disney and Pixar”, so that was a plus. I absolutely love and will always enjoy anything Disney, so I was very excited to go with my friends!

We enjoyed a great dinner in Chinatown, which was only a 5-10 minute walk from the convention center (I shall post about a couple of restaurants that are absolutely bomb in the near future). The convention center itself was really huge, and the area that the flower show was located in was like a huge warehouse of sorts. The tickets were super cheap ($20 for students with ID!) and parking was very easily accessible, and was reasonably priced when split between the 6 of us that went.

What I didn’t know was that the flower show actually was a competition of sorts! As we walked around, there were displays that were created by students and schools, as well as various gardening groups around the city. We saw displays inspired by Fantasia, Alice in Wonderland, Tarzan, Peter Pan, and Frozen…. just to name a few! The smell of flowers was almost overwhelming, but it reminded me of spring at Bryn Mawr, when all of the flowers begin to bloom and bring the campus back to life. It took us around 2  hours to enjoy and explore the entire exhibit, and the fact that it was inside was an absolute relief.

The flower show is still running until this Sunday (March 8), and I highly recommend that people take a little bit of time to go and see the beautiful displays! It amazes me that people are capable of making such art from things such as flowers… that are already beautiful when they stand alone! It’s definitely a great way to end a stressful week of midterms or a great way to start off a long-awaited Spring Break!

Until Next Time!

Last Hellish Friday

Me and My Hellees on Day 1 of Hell Week!

Me and My Hellees on Day 1 of Hell Week!

Happy Friday, Bryn Mawr! Wednesday started off my last Hell Week, and a flow of nostalgia has been running through my mind ever since. It’s still unbelievable that it’s actually my last Hell Week – I still remember asking my Heller to hell me, and receiving my own schedule and performing at Goodhart with all the other Radnor freshwomen… boy, does time fly by!

Hell Week schedules that I made for my Hellees

Hand-Written schedules! As is our family’s tradition!

Hell week was so great for me because it really was a time where the entire student body came together to celebrate each other and welcome the freshwomen into the Bryn Mawr community. It may seem like a bunch of silly gestures from afar, but through all of the things that are experienced during this week-long tradition, a new bond is created between the youngest class and the rest of the Mawrters on campus. Hell families are a long-lasting tie that’ll keep you connected with a long lineage of Bryn Mawr women – I remember meeting my great great grand-heller at May Day during my freshman year and it was like an instant connection! It really solidified a feeling a belonging – at least personally. As a sophomore, it was great to give back and do what my Heller did for me for my own little hellees. It’s a completely different experience being on the other side, but nonetheless it was just as memorable!

our extended hell family on May Day, 2014!

our extended hell family on May Day, 2014!

It’s bittersweet to know that this will be my last Hell Week as a Bryn Mawr student. However, just as I met my Hell-ancestors, i’m sure that i’ll be continuing the tradition well beyond graduation. Happy Friday, Bryn Mawr!

Until Next Time!

Calling all Foodies!

As a second semester Senior (who is done done done with her thesis, yay!), i’ve found a lot of time to explore around Philadelphia and the Mainline… in terms of food! Yes, Bryn Mawr foodies, there are so many hidden gems (as well as famous eats!) all around our school, and for the remainder of my time as a Banter Blogger, I hope to reveal as many places as possible – and hey, enjoy some good food while doing it!

As someone who has lived abroad, as well as studied abroad and just had the blessing to travel, i’ve realized that no matter where you go, there will always be new types of food all around you to try out, as well as food that will comfort you regardless of your situation. I know i’ve had my fair share of healthy food therapy while here at Mawr, so in celebration of that, i’ve decided to write about the places i’ve been and the places i’ll go! Plus – i’m a bit of an instagram junkie, so food pics are natural, so why not write about it too?

our delicious medium-rare fillet mignon!

our delicious medium-rare fillet mignon!

Philadelphia Restaurant Week – This past month, I had the chance to experience Philly Restaurant Week. It happens once every semester, and boy, don’t miss out! This time, I got to experience Valanni, which specialized in Spanish and Mediterranean cuisine. We had the most delicious pre-fixe dinner course, which included tapas, paella, fillet mignon and a mouth-watering fried-oreo (what?!) dessert. I recommend this place for a GNO, date night, or even just a place for drinks (for those who are above 21 of course!). The bar area had mood lighting and although small, it was cozy, not cramped. The restaurant was busy and packed by the time we got there, and it definitely had a youthful vibe. The paella had plenty of seafood and could easily feed two people, and the fillet mignon was cooked to perfection. You’ll find it at 1229 Spruce St. and trust me, you won’t be disappointed! For those who can’t wait for the next restaurant week to try this place out, I do think that they  have something for Valentine’s Day and a special Sunday Brunch menu for the day after. Overall, the prices were reasonable (especially for restaurant week) and i’d definitely go back if the opportunity presented itself.

Until Next Time!

Taking Classes at Penn

It’s already almost the middle of February and I feel like I just got back for Spring term yesterday. One of the best things about going to Bryn Mawr is the fact that i’m given so many options when it comes to classes and where I can go find them. It’s something that I’ve been reminded of, especially this year after taking advantage of the Quaker Consortium with the University of Pennsylvania. Not only do I have access to a bigger campus, but I also have access to professors and resources that enhance my academic experience.

Last semester, I was pretty much consumed by my research for my senior thesis. As a History major, I had decided to write about Korean history in relation to the Japanese occupation from 1910 to 1945. We have a great East Asian Studies department here at Bryn Mawr and Haverford, but there is a huge focus on China and Japan. I needed a mentor and expert on Korean history, and that’s where UPenn came in. I took a class with a History professor at Penn last semester, which was a survey class of Korean history, beginning  in the medieval period. Not only was I ecstatic about taking the class, I was also relieved and thankful to find a professor who specialized in Korean history, and so close by! He became someone I was able to confer with on a weekly basis, and I found many primary and secondary sources via his expertise and the Van Pelt Library on Penn’s campus.

This semester, I am taking a senior seminar with the same professor. I am also taking a class about Asian Americans in pop culture with a sociology professor who is an absolute joy to listen to and learn from. Bryn Mawr has given me an almost 4-D experience in that it not only provided a holistic academic experience on its own, but also provided 3 other options (4 for some who decide to take advantage of Villanova!) through the Tri-Co and Quaker Consortium with Haverford, Swarthmore and UPenn. It was one of the top, if not the #1 reason why I chose to attend this school almost four years ago, and I haven’t regretted my decision! The transportation options via the Blue Bus, Tri-Co Van and the reimbursement program for Penn have made it so easy for me and i’m sure many other students to make the most of our four years as students of the Philadelphia area, and I’m going to make sure I take advantage of the time that I have left!

Until Next Time!

First & Last Retreat

This past weekend was a break “from the world”, in that I got to experience the spring retreat for my college ministry, “Growing in God’s Grace”. I’ve been at this church for the past four years, and I really wanted to participate in the retreat, but never had the time, or had conflicting schedules – but this Spring I made sure that I would be able to go and spend some time with my friends from the Mainline campus, as well as those from the University City campus.

Bryn Mawr small group reppin' this weekend!

Bryn Mawr small group reppin’ this weekend!

We stayed in New Jersey at the Harvey Cedars Bible Conference Center, which stood on the edge of the waterfront, which was beautiful… it might’ve been even better if the weather were, say, 20-30 degrees warmer, but no complaints! A 2 hour bus ride from school got us there around 8:30 PM, where we dropped off our things and immediately headed into the evening session of our retreat. Our guest pastor was Victor Kim from the Remnant Church in New York, and boy, was he funny! After a fulfilling 3 hours, we were teamed up with our small groups, with whom we would spend a lot of time debriefing the sessions afterwards over food.

Bryn Mawr Seniors taking some time to be silly and enjoy life after Sunday Service

Bryn Mawr Seniors taking some time to be silly and enjoy life after Sunday Service

Saturday was crazy in that we woke up at 7 AM (yikes! haven’t been up that early for anything except for class…) and headed down to the conference room for our morning session… lunch followed and the afternoon session went from being 3 hours, to 4…to 5! Dinner was served and then we headed back for our evening session which went from 7 PM to 2 in the morning! During these sessions, Pastor Victor spoke to us about themes and concerns important to college students, including time management, prioritizing as well as being bold in our quest to enrich our faith as college students on campus. It was really refreshing to listen to and learn about these things, especially as a student trying to juggle lots of different extracurriculars and school work here at Bryn Mawr.

feeling refreshed after retreat!

feeling refreshed after retreat!

Sunday morning service took place and we had some time afterwards just to say our goodbyes to our small group and other students from the different campuses. Church has been a great part of my school life here at Bryn Mawr in that it helped me find a group of girls pursuing similar interests and lifestyles, as well as provided a way to connect with students from surrounding schools like Villanova, Penn and Haverford. It’s nice that Bryn Mawr is such a liberal school that has outlets for so many different beliefs, interests and hobbies and I believe that’s why it was a lot easier to find such a great fit of a church early on. It would’ve been a lot harder if there wasn’t intervarsity, or GCC at the Fall Frolic of my freshman year…

So this past weekend, I did grow in God’s grace, but I also realized a couple of other things. I’m a senior, and every small group meeting (Wednesdays, 7 PM!), Friday fellowship and Sunday that I have left are going to be precious and time well spent. I should take advantage of the time I have left and really work hard to develop the friendships and mentorships that i’ve cultivated thus far, and ultimately… I just hope to spend as much time with my friends from GCC Mainline until… dare i say it, graduation in May (eeeep!)

Until Next Time!

Confusing Juno & Other Snowy Moments

This past week, there was a flurry of snow from Juno, and a flurry of hope for cancelled classes all throughout the Mainline and Philadelphia. Whereas New York and Boston experienced a “snow-pocalypse”, Juno was didn’t live up to it’s name here in Pennsylvania.

It reminds me of last year’s Spring term, when cancelled classes were a common thing every week in January and February. Never in my life have I experienced so many “snow days” (this is probably because there’s no such thing in Seoul where I went to high school, or in California where I live right now). As someone who lives in California now, I am so used to wearing shorts, tank tops, and maybe a jacket at night when the temperature goes down to… 40? 50?… I am definitely not a Winter person, but even so, Juno was bearable!

campus is still beautiful during snow season.

campus is still beautiful during snow season.

I remember the first time it snowed when I was on campus as a Freshman. I whipped out my blue snow boots with elephants on them (yes, elephants), put on my under armour heat tech that I had brought from home (from my soccer-playing days), put on about a gajillion layers on top of that, and squished myself into my brand new winter jacket (which I still wear). It’s funny to think about how little I put on (my jacket, long pants, no more snow boots) as a Senior, especially since I was so over-dramatic about snow three years ago. I guess that’s what happens after being at Bryn Mawr for three years – I’ve become a snow master! Come to think of it, it didn’t surprised me that we didn’t have a snow day this past week – Bryn Mawr has experienced a lot worse (remember the power outages last year, anyone? Hurricanes that felt like they were going to knock down the dorms?) so yes, we trudged on through Juno.

Until Next Time!

Coming Back One Last Time

The first week of school has already past, and I am already feeling like i’m in a head spin! Winter break was a perfect pause between first and second semester, and as a Senior who is done with her thesis (HALLELUJAH PRAISE ATHENA!), this last Spring semester is going to be about making it count and experiencing everything one last time…

Course registration this semester was so hard – because there were so many class that I wanted to take! If I could, I wish I could get a time turner (Harry Potter reference, anyone?) and take every single one, but thankfully, I think my schedule this semester will be comprised of the ones that I wanted to take the most, and in the end, I hope that it’ll be the best semester yet. I’m so used to thinking ‘Ah, i’ll just take it next semester’, but this time… that options not possible! yikes! Anyways, I hope everyone’s shopping week was just as successful as mine, and that’s one thing I love about Bryn Mawr – the flexibility of class shopping and registration (something i’ll miss!)

There are alot of things that i’m looking forward to this semester – There’s the Grace Covenant Church college retreat next weekend, which will be my first retreat as a college student (better late than never, right?), a DIS study abroad reunion with some of my bestest friends from Copenhagen, Denmark in New Orleans for Mardi Gras, and of course… Hell Week! There are so many more things that i’m looking forward to after that, but I think i’ll take it one month at a time. Afterall, I want to savor every single thing that I get to do this semester! How is it possible that I am already a second semester senior in college?! It seems like yesterday that I was receiving my customs packet and mug from the alumni association… (eeep!)

I’m also going to be trying to post as much as I can on this blog this semester – I want to remember everything, and this seems to be like a perfect place to do so!

Until Next Time!

The Last College Birthday

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celebrating 22!

Over this past weekend, I reached yet another marker in life – my 22nd birthday! I didn’t realize it at first, but this birthday also would be the last one i’d have while here at Bryn Mawr. It brought about all sorts of emotions, but the weekend reminded me of just how much i’ve grown while here at BMC, as well as a great reminder of just how many great people i’ve met while here as well.

color me mine!

I got to spend my Saturday with some friends at Color Me Mine – a great arts and crafts venue in Wayne. So the simple explanation of the place is that you choose a clay structure, and get to glaze it. They’ll burn it in their kiln and call you to pick up your masterpiece later. I appropriately chose a cupcake – with “feeling twenty2″ written on the side. It was a great relaxing “getaway” of sorts – We all got to catch up, laugh and de-stress. We went to a great restaurant on the Mainline, Susanna Foo Gourmet Kitchen for dinner afterwards, which was absolutely delicious. We “family-styled” the dinner, and got a bunch of great Chinese dishes, and celebrated my birthday. It was great because I purposely tried to make sure I invited my friends who are younger, because it sort of felt like the last time we’d all be in the same place after this year. I’ve realized it’s been a real stroke of luck having friends from difference classes – they’re all on the same journey but just in different parts of it. It was a perfect way to celebrate with everyone!

friends since freshman year! (we're all of age, don't worry these wines are legal!)

friends since freshman year! (we’re all of age, don’t worry these wines are legal!)

Sunday was a reunion of sorts in that I got to celebrate with friends I had made waaaaaaay back during first year. We were all in the same customs group, and experienced the ups and downs of freshman year together, as a group of Radnor froshlings. We all got together and cooked up a storm (just kidding, but we did cook an impressive meal!) in honor of “friendsgiving” and my 22nd. It was so great to come together as a group after almost 4 years… It’s been hard to get all of us together just because we’re pursuing our own paths and are making moves in the world (whoot!). But no matter how long it’s been, I feel like we’ll always be able to sit down together and talk and enjoy each other’s company.

what better way to celebrate a november birthday than with thanksgiving food!

I always tell people that I absolutely hate birthdays – just because I have a serious issue with getting older and what not (I just want to be a kid forever….). But I’ve realized that as i’ve gotten older here at Bryn Mawr, i’ve also gained more than just a few notches on the age meter. I’ve gained a great education, a group of friend I wouldn’t trade for the world, and a countless stream of memories (to be continued!) that i’ll look back at and smile about for years to come. 21, you’re going to be a hard act to follow – but 22, you’re off to a great start!

Until Next Time!