Author Archives: Kristie

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


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!

Pre-registering for my LAST Semester…

Last week was a huge silent milestone of my senior year of college – I pre-registered for my last semester in college. What?! The more and more I think about it, the stranger it feels. I still remember sitting in my apartment back in Seoul pre-registering for my ESEM and Fall semester schedule of Freshman year after getting accepted into Bryn Mawr. I really can’t believe that I’m almost done.

I think that one of the best things about Bryn Mawr is it’s size. Pre-registering can be a nightmare, but since we are a smaller school, I don’t ever have to worry about not being able to contact a professor in time to get a tentative syllabus, or not being able to squeeze into a professor’s office hours to ask about their class. I can’t tell you how many times i’ve just shot an e-mail asking about a class throughout these past three years.

Dean’s are also always available – I don’t remember ever having to wait for more than 10-20 minutes during my Dean’s walk-in hours during pre-registration week, which is  miracle based on what my friends from other schools have told me.

I guess it’s bittersweet to think about the fact that this is the last time i’ll be able to create a schedule for myself based on my academic interests (that sounds a lot more depressing than it should). College, i’ve realized, is so great in that unlike high school, where you’re required to have back to back classes and limited options, you can make a schedule that is perfect to your tastes. Of course, there are gen reqs but those can be fun too and won’t seriously mess up your schedule (plus you have four years to take all the classes you want!). After this semester (and thesis, woohoo!), i’ll be finishing out my major and minor requirements in the Spring, but I have to say, I cannot wait for my 4 day weekend (Philadelphia and the Mainline treasures are calling my name!).The travel-obsessed foodie inside of me is jittering with anticipation!

Until Next Time!

Glamorous 12+ Charity Gala

This past weekend marked a new adventure in my life – I changed it up and decided to attend my first Charity Gala. It was held on behalf of 12+, an organization that helped inner-city students in Philadelphia. I, as well as two other Bryn Mawr students attended together, along with some friends from Villanova. The gala itself was a great experience, and the testimonies given by the students reminded me that not everyone is as lucky as me or other Bryn Mawr students when it comes to pre-college academic opportunities.

Bryn Mawr students at 12+ Gala, Yuju Park '16, Eunyoung Park '15 and moi!

Bryn Mawr students at 12+ Gala, Yuju Park ’16, Eunyoung Park ’15 and moi!

The majority of the night was dedicated to a series of auctions that were meant to raise money for 12+. The auction prizes ranged from gifts cards to restaurants to court side seats for the 76ers games! A couple of us bid for a gift card to Sugar Philly, and believe it or not, our number was called! We were jumping up and down, because although $25 doesn’t seem like much, when it comes to Macarons, it’s more than enough for three girls.

What really resonated with me throughout the night was the mission of 12+. Although they are only focused on one specific high school, they have plans to expand to two more in the very near future. I think about all of the opportunities we are given here at Bryn Mawr, as well as my experience in high school and think about all of the encouragement and support I was/am given. It’s organizations like 12+ that make it possible for students who were born into a certain negative environment to reach their true potential, which I think is what made the gala so great – people were able to hear from the actual recipients of 12+ support, as well as were given the opportunity to contribute financially as well as socially in terms of writing letters of encouragement.

mainline crew!

mainline crew!

This weekend was definitely a great reminder as to how important it is to give back as well as help others in need. Sometimes, I forget how lucky I am to attend a school like Bryn Mawr where help is always given or available to people in need.

Until Next Time!

Bryn Mawr & Beyond

This past weekend was parents/family weekend! You could tell by the sudden influx of cars all over campus (parking was hard, eep!), and of course, by all of the parents following their daughters around campus. Bryn Mawr did a great job in hosting another family weekend, and I had the chance to be part of the activities by participating in “Bryn Mawr & Beyond”, which was hosted by our lovely LILAC and CDO.

published! sort of... the booklet with all of our summer experiences.

published! sort of…
the booklet with all of our summer experiences.

One thing that I truly appreciate about my school is that there is an abundant amount of support for anything you want to pursue – in t his case, Summer internships. For the past two summers, I was able to receive funding from the Alumnae Regional Scholars as well as LILAC. Bryn Mawr & Beyond was an event where all of the funding recipients came together in Thomas Great Hall to share with parents and students about their experiences this past summer. The event itself started around 10 AM, and we all got very cool lilac (get it? LILAC? haha) t-shirts. There was a great snack set-up and I got to sip on hot chocolate as I conversed with several parents and students about my experience with the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce (I spent May to August with the Communications and Marketing Department as their intern).

It was really great to talk to people about my own experiences with my internships, as well as being about my experience with Bryn Mawr and the summer funding opportunities I was lucky enough to enjoy. As expected, there were a lot of parents there wanting to get a first-hand opinion about what their daughters should do during the Summer, and how they too could receive funding. I’m no expert, but it was great to just share my opinion based on my experiences, as well as hear about other students and their various concerns and goals (a lot of the parents I spoke with were parents of freshmen, so it was great to hear about their adjustments, major-finding-adventures, etc.)! It’s cliché, but the event helped me reflect on my time this Summer a bit more and really helped me appreicate and realize how great our school is inside and outside of the classroom. It’s another great thing about attending a small school – there are so many opportunities, and those opportunities are most definitely within reach of everyone!

Pho! Credits to G.K.

Pho! Credits to G.K.

On another note – there is a new Pho restaurant on the mainline and it is delicious! I am a huge fan of pho, so I was ecstatic when my friends told me that Pho Street had just opened up. We enjoyed a bowl (or two) this past weekend, which was their grand opening. If and when you have time, I highly recommend that you sit down and enjoy a bowl!

Until Next Time!

Mini-Olympics with GCC

It is officially Fall Break! If you’re still unsure of what to do this week, check out my last post for some ideas based on my own past experiences. I’ve been able to take a breather and relax since arriving in LA – and I have to say that these past couple of weeks have seriously just flown over my head. With it being the last Fall semester (dun dun dun!) I’ve been focusing on 1) senior thesis 2) taking advantage of living near Philadelphia and last but not least 3) getting more involved in my extracurriculars, which includes the college ministries of Grace Covenant Church!

Finding a Church in college has been a roller coaster of an adventure in itself. I found myself solely responsible for getting up early on Sundays, as well as for making the effort to go from one church to another in hopes of finding the right fit. Harvest Christian Fellowship was a big help my freshman year, and that’s how I ultimately found GCC. One thing I love about GCC is that they have special events, including one that happened two weeks ago, appropriately named “Mini Olympics”.

Mainline Team w/ our amazing banners @ Mini-Os, 2014!

Mainline Team w/ our amazing banners @ Mini-Os, 2014! Ended up getting 2nd Place out of many!

Although Bryn Mawr, Haverford, Villanova and other Mainline campuses enjoy GCC ministries located locally, GCC is actually huge in that it has a University City campus as well, which caters to students in the Philadelphia area, including Penn, Drexel, Temples, etc. Every fall semester, the “Mini Olympics” take place, where all the small groups from GCC compete against each other in a series of relays, races, and general physical challenges. The Mainline small group has had a long-standing goal of winning the trophy and coveted 1st place position, but we ended up with 2nd for the 2nd year in a row, which was sad, but hey – it could’ve been worse (plus, we ended up having a great time).

Sunday Service @ Baldwin School

Sunday Service @ Baldwin School

For people who are still looking for a church – take a chance and explore all of the great ministries around the Mainline! Whether it’s GCC or somewhere else, Bryn Mawr makes it easy with church tours via Harvest Christian Fellowship. It’s a great way to connect with other students from other schools who are also looking for a good church community to plug themselves into, as well as a great way to meet really cool young-adults and mentors. For GCC, here’s some quick info about weekly meet ups that happen:

Tuesdays: Bible study in Erdman Pit @ 7 PM
Wednesdays: Bible study in Rhoads Study Room @ 7 PM
Fridays: “Friday Night Live”// Joint-Friday fellowship with other Mainline schools, 7:30 PM
Sunday: Sunday Service at the Baldwin School @9:45 AM!

Until Next Time!