Swarthmore has an incredible number of opportunities spanning every facet of student life, but research opportunities are a specific example that I have recently begun to appreciate. There are so many ways to get involved on campus, and working with professors on their projects or on your own individual projects are two wonderful experiences that Swarthmore makes possible for its students.
This semester I am involved in a bunch of psychology research projects. First, I’m working with Prof. Daniel Grodner on research examining perspective taking in conversation. Our project involves both eye-tracking and studying how people choose to describe objects to others. I’ve found the work incredibly fascinating and rewarding.
I’m also working with my friend Sarah on a project that we designed for Barry Schwartz’s class Thinking, Judgment, and Decision Making in the fall. This project is particularly exciting because Sarah and I (along with a third classmate of ours who is currently studying abroad) designed it ourselves and are implementing it independently (with the help of Prof. Schwartz). It’s another incredible research opportunity, and we’re having a blast carrying out what we initially thought would only be a hypothetical experiment designed for class.
Last, I’m also working on an experiment in my Research Design and Analysis class on how mood affects judgment. What’s great about this project is that it’s part of the class, so even if I weren’t working on my other projects, I’d still be getting research experience as part of my regular course schedule!
Though I’ve focused on my experience in the psychology department, similar opportunities exist across all departments and disciplines at Swarthmore. I think the ability to get involved in such fun and engaging projects is just one of the many great opportunities open to Swarthmore students. Just like Ke$ha when she added a dollar sign to her name, Swatties all over campus are taking advantage of the nearly infinite options available to them, and that’s part of what makes Swarthmore such an exciting place to be.
Until next time!
During the last week of winter break, I was lucky enough to attend a psychology conference in New Orleans. The conference was held by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, and attracted thousands of psychologists from all over the place. I also had the opportunity to present some research I did last summer, which was very exciting.
I had a great time at the conference, and I couldn’t have gone without Swarthmore’s support. Swat has conference funding specifically designated for students to travel to conferences, and that resource made it possible for me to go to New Orleans. Many of my friends have also been able to use that funding. For example, my friend Noel got funding to go to a spoken word conference last spring.
I think it’s great that Swat supports and encourages its students, enabling us to explore our interests outside of the College. It’s really nice to be somewhere with so many resources, and I’m looking forward to continuing to take advantage of them during the rest of my time here!
Until next time!
P.S. I made it through an entire post without a celebrity reference! That’s more impressive than Beyoncé’s halftime performance.
Some of my friends and I went to the Philadelphia Museum of Art yesterday! A couple of my friends are taking a class for which they had to pick a painting from the museum to write about, and the rest of us came along for the ride. It was great to get off campus and enjoy Philly a little bit. What’s really nice about Swarthmore’s location is that there’s a train station on the edge of campus, so all you have to do to get into Philly is hop on a train for 15 minutes. Much easier than, for example, getting through the emotional heartbreak caused by the end of 30 Rock.
Here are a few pictures we took yesterday. There aren’t too many, because we mostly forgot to document out adventure.*
My friend Estefania in the American wing!
There’s fun art outside as well!
Overall, it was great to venture into Philly, and the whole adventure was almost as fun as watching Tina Fey and Amy Poehler host the Golden Globes!
Until next time!
*Like how the makers of the Hangover 2 forgot to write a new plot.
Well, despite the excitement of Ke$ha’s new album release, finals period has still been a very busy time at Swarthmore! The libraries have definitely been seeing more business than usual, as everybody studies for exams and writes final papers. But, stressed students aren’t the only ones who’ve been in the libraries lately. There have also been deans, along with student council members, on an almost nightly basis, handing out candy, cookies, power bars, and other tasty treats. Although these snacks don’t make finals a walk in the park, they definitely go a long way toward making this time easier to get through. And, it’s another way in which the administration shows its support for the study body on campus. We’ve been gobbling them up, so my guess is the treats are almost gone. That’s okay, though, because finals are almost over as well!
Until next time!
Finals are approaching, the weather’s getting colder, and our favorite TV shows are about to go on winter hiatus. All things considered, this should be a stressful time of year. And, in some ways, it is. At Swarthmore, however, there continues to be a wonderful and supportive community.
Our atmosphere just got even better, with the advent of a new Facebook page called Swarthmore Compliments. It’s basically a forum for people in the Swat community to compliment each other, which is pretty great. Feel free to check it out here!
I love that students here take time out of their incredibly busy schedules to help each other and to continue improving our community. The Swat environment, unlike my feelings about the new Twilight movie, really is positive, supportive, and encouraging.
Until next time!
Next weekend, I’ll be reading a part in my friend Sophia’s play. Sophia is an honors theater major, and as part of her honors preparation, she wrote a full-length play titled All-One.
Sophia’s play is an impressive feat and a beautiful piece of work* and I’m really enjoying being a part of her reading. We had a first reading a few weeks ago, during which a handful of Philly-based actors and I gathered to read through the play in front of a small audience so Sophia could get a sense of what her play sounds like out loud. In the upcoming read, we are again performing with a script, but it will have some minor staging and we have the benefit of a more thorough—if abbreviated—rehearsal process.
This process is especially interesting to me because the other actors are professionals. My friend Nathan, who’s reading the stage directions, and I are the only Swarthmore students reading in the upcoming performance. I think it’s incredibly cool that Swarthmore has the resources to bring in outside actors; it’s definitely a testament to the opportunities available to students on campus. Sophia gets to hear trained actors read her words, and I get to watch them work throughout the rehearsal process.
Within the vast array of impressive resources available at Swarthmore, I worry that those available to students of performing arts, like Lindsay Lohan’s album,** are often overlooked by perspective students. The Dance, Music, and Theater Departments all offer fun and valuable opportunities, even for students who are not academically involved in the department. In the spring, for example, I look forward to Production Ensemble, the Theater Department’s annual large-scale main stage show. I can sign up to receive credit for it, which makes it easy to fit into my class schedule. That’s just one of many wonderful ways to get involved in performing arts at Swat.
Until next time!
*I assume that the opposite description could be applied to the upcoming Twilight movie.
This has been an eventful week! Midterms ended, Taylor Swift went through a breakup, and now a hurricane is coming to campus. And all this after only a few days back on campus!
Swarthmore had fall break about a week ago, and we all got a nice week off to relax and rest up. I went back home to Wellesley, MA for break to see my family and friends. But while home, I also grabbed lunch with a former professor of mine, who had been a visiting professor at Swat last year and now works at Wellesley College.
We had a great lunch, and it really made me appreciate the relationship we built last year. I took two anthropology classes from her, both of which were interesting and engaging. It also made me glad to be at Swarthmore, where I have the opportunity to forge close relationships with faculty members.
At Swat, every professor holds regular office hours, but most of the professors I know also keep their doors open whenever they’re free and encourage students to drop by. I’ve had many professors who urge students to stop by and chat, even if it’s just to talk about the weather. I love that professors seek relationships with students, and I think it adds a lot to the academic experience at Swat.
I often find myself behind schedule because I drop by a professor’s office expecting to ask a five-minute question and end up leaving 35 minutes later. Unlike Lindsay Lohan’s shoplifting habit, however, this is a good problem to have! Swarthmore already has impressive academics, and the engaged, accessible professors add even more to the student experience. It’s nice to know that the support system behind you includes your professors, and that they’re trying to help you succeed, and that’s one of many great things about learning at Swarthmore.
Until next time!