Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Day 362: "No machine can take you into the mansion of happiness."

Days here are becoming so packed that I have to take notes during the day to remember everything in the evening!

I had breakfast with a very special friend this morning -- Priya Gill! We wanted to say one last goodbye, and to discuss our concerns and quandaries as we both embark on hugely new phases of our lives. We also read a bit of Latin together so that Priya could go home and say, "I studied Latin at Harvard."

Farewells aside, I made my way to our "first official welcome to Harvard" from Dean Shapiro, our Resident Dean. Directly afterwards, Eliza, Dipti, and I attended a brief presentation called "Student Computing @ Harvard" -- while figuring out the college's technology, I also completed my remaining Freshman Seminar applications from my cell phone to make the deadline at noon -- phew!

We then headed over to check our campus mailboxes. Send me love!

1500 Harvard Yard Mail Center
Cambridge, MA 02138

We enjoyed our first lunch at Annenburg Hall and then walked through the Farmers' Market at Harvard, having a look around and sampling some spicy chocolate. From there, it was on to a talk entitled "A Harvard Education" -- this reaffirmed the value of a broad liberal arts education and, while I didn't need to hear it reaffirmed, it reminded me again why I'm so happy to be here. The college requires that we take classes across a broad range of subjects in order to better understand and contribute to the world around us. This philosophy is music to the ears of this hopeful Classics and Environmental Science and Public Policy major who wants nothing more than to take every class offered and learn everything there is to know. One speaker put it well when she said, to my amusement and bemusement, "The course offerings here are an intellectual cornucopia of delights!"

From this talk, I headed not to the gym as priorly planned but to the Medical Services center, where, after an hour and a visit to each of its four floors at least once, I had successfully (and painfully) received the one vaccination standing in the way of my registration with the college. 

I touched briefly back down at Greenough before attending a lecture by Jill Lepore entitled "The Meaning of Life." Suffice it to say that the first Harvard lecture I attended made me cry. Through her at first jocular but throughout brilliant analysis of the board game "Life," Professor Lepore gave us something to think about as we define our lives at Harvard. My tears at the end came perhaps due to the  similarities in message of the lecture and Marina Keegan's poem Bygones, my favorite work.

Mind blown by this lecture, I caught up with PSang before heading to dinner with Jude. Over our spinach and sweet potatoes, we discussed various Latin and Greek authors and some of the Classics course offerings here over which we're currently drooling. I made my way over to our second entryway meeting next, during which we played another mingling game and acted out common roomie strife scenarios. We trickled from here into an ice cream social for Greenough residents, where I got to talk to Kevin, a neighbor and German and theater enthusiast! We talked about parallels between Shakespearean English as compared to Latin and as compared to German, and he encouraged me to come out for theater auditions -- I just might have to!

I'm back in my dorm now to meet my 12 o'clock Cinderella blog curfew and avoid being turned into a pumpkin!

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