Thank You

Thank you JHU.

Thank you to Outdoor Pursuits for helping me meet first Hopkins friends. I felt so much more confident (and a whole lot smellier) after pre-o than when I first arrived on the Hopkins campus. Thank you to my freshman year RA Sam and Clark house for being so friendly and welcoming.

When I moved in, I was nervous about being homesick, but you guys made me feel so welcome. I loved our nightly dinners. Thanks for making my birthday, a day I thought I miss my family the most, a day filled with such great surprises.

Thanks to Lidiana, my freshman and sophomore roommate, for helping me adjust to college, inspiring me with your passion for social issues, and having our random talks. I loved listening to your wide range of music. Special thanks to Danny and Elliot for always letting me try some of their mom’s fresh baked goods.

Thanks to the FFC for providing a little slice of heaven with your pastries. Those melt-in-your-mouth cookies have been a constant deficit since I went off the meal plan and I haven’t found any cookies just like you. Thanks for cheesecake brownies – a dessert that I still dream about. Thanks for supplying my favorite cereal, Kashi Heart to Heart. Thanks to the staff, but especially Gladys for swiping us in everyday with a smile and scolding me for going outside without a jacket. Thanks to the Daily Grind for introducing me to Jamaican meat pies and supplying the most amazing milkshakes ever. Thanks to Alkimia for the great coffee and the empanadas. Thanks to Levering for your soup.

Thanks to Professor Dahuron for teaching me first (and last) ChemBE course. You made my introduction to chemical engineering so exciting and answered all my random hybrid French and chemical engineering questions. Thanks to all my ChemBE professors for teaching such interesting and challenging courses. I actively think like an engineer now. Thanks to the French department for having such fun courses and stretching and pulling my writing ability. I have loved every single lecturer I’ve had in this department, but special thanks to Derek Schilling for doing such an amazing job at making a subject that I was not interested in learning about (French literature) so interesting and engaging, Bruce Anderson for being incredibly enthusiastic about teaching, and Kristin Cook-Gailloud for her playful approach to French.

Thanks to Shaun, for being my first ChemBE friend (and putting up with me for 3 years) and for being a great friend in the lab, laughing with me on my “today is just not a good lab day” days. Thanks to Michael for sharing some long days in lab with me and talking about the most random things. Thanks to Jena and Wadsworth for being such fun people to work and chat with. Thanks to Hasini for helping to introduce me to Wirtz Lab and all the other upperclassmen for inspiring me with your accomplishments in and outside of lab.

Thanks to Jude, my graduate student, for teaching me how to think like a scientist, solve problems on my own, and how to see the details and the big picture. Thanks to Wei for always fist bumping me. Thanks to Anjil for always helping fix the microscope. Thanks to Angela for always talking about such interesting things when we’re both working in the hood. Thanks to Ivie, Ryan, Shaun, Jena, Wadsworth, and Jude for being such formidable Settlers of Catan opponents. Thanks to all the other graduate students and post-docs for teaching me the skills I needed to know and being great people to work with. Thanks to Dr. Wirtz for allowing me to join this wonderful lab.

Thanks to the SAAB application committee of 2010 for choosing me. Being on the Student Admissions Advisory Board has been such a pleasure. Thanks to Daniel for hiring me sophomore year – working in your office was always fun and filled with great stories. Thanks to Laurin, for being such a fun boss and helping us settle in once Daniel left. Thanks to Ardi for having some of the most interesting conversations I’ve had on campus and sharing my passion for languages too. Thanks to Shelly for being our new boss, making me laugh all the time, and really taking our opinions and ideas seriously. It has been such a pleasure. Thanks to Paul, Chelsea, and Cheryl for being fun people to share our office area with and sharing fun videos with us. Thanks to Shannon for being such a fun admissions counselor to work with.

Thanks to Joe, Miranda, Nick, Allysa, and Tess for being such great coworkers. Thanks to Nick and Joe for always responding quickly to my tech questions. Thanks to Allysa, Nick, Tess, and Miranda for being such great SAAB co-leadership board members. Thanks to Miranda for sharing my love of Baltimore. Thanks to Tess for being the Statler to my Waldorf and our interesting conversations. I’m going to miss my work buddies so much next year. Thanks to the rest of SAAB for being such amazing people – I am so inspired by all that you do and how everyone writes such great blogs and does such cool things. Thanks to the SAABers older than me for moving me with your amazing accomplishments. Thanks for commenting on my blogs and making me feel special. Thanks to the younger SAABers for making me feel old (just kidding :) ), but really I am so excited to see all the great things you’ll do here at Hopkins. Thanks to Sydney for being my first SAABffl, Trisha for helping me get through Calc III, and Ian for hosting me in Milan.

Thanks to Baltimore for being my first (city) love. You taught me how to use public transportation, how to find random restaurants, and to always be willing to try new things. Thanks to Baltimore for having such friendly citizens who are always willing to strike up a conversation. Thanks to Baltimore for being unpredictable in the best way. Thanks to Baltimore for being a city that has so much to offer college students.

Thanks to Charlotte and Anna, my two best friends from home, for listening to me rant sometimes and always being willing to host me for a weekend in DC. Your perspective keeps me grounded. Thanks to Anna for sharing links on my wall so that I’m always informed and laughing. Thanks to Charlotte for the fashion advice and the deep chats we have. Thanks to both of you for always going with me to the modern art section of the American Museum of Art – I know I’ve taken you both there two times each.

Thanks to my family for being so supportive. Thanks to Grandma for always keeping up with my blog and supporting me in my many endeavors. Thanks to Oma for your emails with cool links. Thanks to Mom and Dad for constantly supporting, calming, and motivating me. You really are the best parents ever. Thanks to my brother Stephen for being such an awesome brother, the much-needed truffles freshman year, and being the best person to watch movies with ever. Thanks to Nikki for all the inside jokes.

Thanks to Melissa and Lex for being my closest friends here at Hopkins. We’ve shared a lot of laughs, a lot of hours studying together, and two very long train rides to Montreal and back. Thanks for putting up with me all this time. Thanks for pushing me to do new things and telling me to YOLO. Thanks to Lex for motivating me with your insane will-power and great sense of humor. Thanks for introducing me to new music and always being willing to dive head first into an assignment. Thanks to Melissa for being my coffee shop exploring buddy and a cohabitant of Gilman Hall. Thanks for your funny links on my wall, volunteering at the Hippodrome with me, and watching Orioles games with me on the computer. Thanks for the tea, the chocolate, and the meals.

Thanks to my friends and classmates that I didn’t thank by name. You’ve all made my Hopkins experience the fantastic experience that it was.

Thanks to my fellow students. Never have I been around more inspired or determined students – it is such an honor and pleasure. Hopkins students really spark the most interesting conversations.

Thanks to JHU professors and lecturers for the challenging, enriching academic experience. I learn a week’s worth of high school classes in a 50 minute session here. The work here has made me a problem-solver, a question-asker, and overall more independent person.

Thanks to JHU security for helping us feel safe. Thank you to the custodians for making our campus gorgeous.

Thanks to JHU for the resources – the spectacular buildings and campus, the research labs, and the ability to start new projects or businesses if you want to.

Thanks to you. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading all the posts as much as I’ve enjoyed writing them. To any Class of 2018ers and entering freshmen of years to come, I hope you enjoy and explore Baltimore, take lots of different classes, and enjoy your experience here.

Thank you JHU.

and I just want to thank you for giving me the best 3.5 years of my life...

and I just want to thank you for giving me the best 3.5 years of my life…

Posted in Academics, Reflection |


Through My Lens

For me, my biggest “extracurricular” activity is working in Wirtz Lab. I’ve written a few posts about it – look here, here, here, and here. I think that research is such a critical part of my undergraduate career- I’ve learned how to create experiments, how to research to find answers to my questions, solve problems and barriers that are ultimately going to come from doing your experiments, how to organize and analyze complex data, how to ask questions, how to work in a professional environment, how to become prolific in an area, and how to be observant of all changes and differences.

On my engineering tours, I like to say that research is incredible because you get to do what you learn in class. One time, I went to my cell biology lecture and we learned about fix and stain. That afternoon, I did a fix and stain on my cells in lab. This semester, I’m taking a documentary photography class. We look at the use of photos to tell a story. How does a photographer compose the scene to articulate his or her sense of the story? I decided to focus on my lab and how we use all the tools and supplies to study cancer.

Without further ado, here’s Wirtz Lab through my eyes –





lab coat





jude in the hood


drug resistant








Posted in Academics, Research |


Hidden Gems

I must admit that I’ve been a terrible person. Indeed, I have held out on some of my best Baltimore finds in fear that everyone would find them and then I would never be able to get in! However, I am redeeming myself and sharing the best of the best.

Teavolve – Teavolve is amazing. One day the summer after freshman year, I was looking for a coffee shop to do some work at and I found that Teavolve had free wi-fi. I was in the mood for some tea, so I went on over. I was a bit overwhelmed by the tea choices, so I ordered some mint chocolate hot chocolate. IT WAS SO GOOD. Since then, I’ve been able to overcome my fear and experiment with the different teas. They come in a personal tea pot and are absolutely delicious. However, my absolute favorite part is their food. I love the grown up grilled cheese and their crepes. They also have a great open mic night and cool performers come often during the week.

Crepes. Chocolate. Tea. What more can a girl ask for?

Max’s Empanadas- Max may not be the best at geography – this Argentinian restaurant is located in Little Italy. These empanadas taste good. They have a great level of doughiness in the  crust and the inside has a great combination of flavors. They are also sold on campus and in the Waverly Farmer’s Market.

Halal Grocery Store near Waverly Farmer’s Market – Again, good food close to campus.

L.P. Steamers- Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, but L.P. Steamers has the BEST crabs in Baltimore. Located right off the Banner Route in Canton, this place looks small and doesn’t seem to fit a lot of people. However, you walk in and find lots of tables covered in paper (and free crayons). Order a bucket of crabs, grab your hammer, and dig in.

just my uncle and some crabs

Rush Tickets for the Hippodrome- The Hippodrome is a theater that I volunteer at, located in West Baltimore. They normally have travelling shows – last time, I ushered for We Will Rock You (basically Queen’s version of Mamma Mia, but so much better and set in the future). If you usher, you get see the show for free. However, you can also sign up for the raffle to win really cheap orchestra tickets for select shows. Not many people participate, so your odds are actually pretty good!

Soup’s On- This small place located near University of Baltimore has amazing soups. Super easy to get to from the JHMI shuttle and it’s actually the perfect medicine for sick friends.

Nando’s Food Haven- Blame JHU_Tess for my love of Nando’s, a British chicken place. When I came back for my junior year, my stomach hunkered for their spicy Peri-Peri sauce. When volunteering at the aforementioned Hippodrome, I tried the Nando’s in Baltimore (thank you Admissions_Ardi for informing me of its location) and it was great. While visiting Nando’s, I realized that this area actually has amazing food – a great pita place and a fun Mexican restaurant.

Public Markets- I’m pretty sure my best friends were about to kill me for talking so much about the public markets, but I had these life-changing pierogies at Sophia’s Place in the Broadway Market. They were just amazing. The public markets in Baltimore are filled with lots of different and delicious food of different types. It’s also super affordable!

Proust had madelines, I got pierogies

Peabody- I am in no ways musically talented. However, I am able to experience great music via the talented people at Peabody. Watching amazing musicians perform is an honor and I am so glad I have been able to watch them.

doesn’t hurt that the campus is gorgeous

Cylburn Arboretum- A gorgeous nature preserve a few miles away from campus – with a buffalo head in a huge mansion.

TriBeCa Coffee Roasters- A newbie in the Baltimore coffee scene, TriBeCa is full of people that know what they are talking about when they are talking about coffee. They explain the types with such excitement and the interior is super clean and crisp-looking. This is also the best place to eavesdrop conversations because the regulars are so cool- but I didn’t tell you that :).

Posted in Advice, Baltimore |


Classy and Fabulous

first first day of school look

first first day of school look

Since it’s my last semester at Hopkins, I start to get nostalgic about things. It can be big things- the last midterm I will ever take or the last big project I will complete. It can be food related things – the last time I will get free Chipotle (tear, tear). It can be little things- the last time I will celebrate my birthday here. And some of the things are silly – this is the last time I will sit in this room on a Tuesday or the last time I will be able to celebrate Halloween in Baltimore.

definitely going to miss carma's chai tea lattes

definitely going to miss carma’s chai tea lattes

For me, the weirdest thing about graduating in December is that I might not be surrounded by such amazing and talented people all the time and be presented with such amazing opportunities every single day. One way I tried to console myself was by taking a lot of random classes, so without further ado, here are my classes of Fall 2013!

AS.210.417 Eloquent French 

This is my last required French class. It’s all about improving your French in ways that you’ve never really been taught before. We get lists of synonyms and better ways to express ourselves through French. I really feel like my written French is improving as we have written eight essays throughout the course of the semester so far. The topics are really interesting- just this semester, I’ve written a letter to Santa Claus, described and then later analyzed what a coffee shop said about human nature, and wrote a personal narrative about a striking moment in my childhood. The class is small and we all have gotten to know each other. My professor makes the class really fun and light-hearted while also giving us a lot of great information!

EN.540.409 Modeling Dynamic/Control

This is the last required lecture class for ChemBE- it’s a lot of math. I really like it – we learn about ways to model different systems and it makes me think about how I control things in my life more. One example from this class is how a thermostat works – how do you create the device so that it gets you to the right temperature quickly? You have to also consider how sensitive the room is. Can it sustain quickly changing temperatures that oscillate before it gets to the right set point? Can it go up really high before it settles down? Apparently, we’re going to discuss pharmacokinetics later this semester, so I’m pretty excited about that. My professor is really great at explaining things  – instead of just putting something on the board, she explains why the answer makes sense and it really helps the information sink in.

AS.371.303 Documentary Photography

I took this class from a recommendation from a friend and I wasn’t really sure what to expect. Throughout the semester, we are creating projects of 10 pictures about a story or an issue. It was pretty difficult to come up with a good topic, but it’s been really cool to learn about how to use a camera. I literally had no clue what aperture and focal length where before I took this class, so it’s been really exciting to learn more about this! My professor picks really interesting photographers to look at. I studied the Farm Security Administration in high school, but it’s really interesting to analyze it from a photo point of view.

picture of a family from a field trip we took

picture of a family from a field trip we took

EN.570.334 Engineering Microeconomics

I decided to take this class on a whim and I’m actually really enjoying it. It’s interesting to learn a little more about the business world and its quirks. It’s interesting how they’ve put rules on consumer’s behavior. My professor does a really great job of explaining economics in a way that an engineer would understand it. She uses really great examples that allow me to really understand the material.

EN.540.313 Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Lab 

Senior Lab had always sounded scary to me as an underclassmen. In the class description, it says that the class is not well-defined and upperclassmen sometimes complained to me about the workload. It’s hard to describe this class, but it’s basically a simulation of working in the real world: the professors give you a packet of information and a topic and you have to create experiments to answer the question that the packet is asking. It’s sometimes difficult, but it’s very rewarding when your group finally gets the right data. I know the skills I’m learning in this class are useful and I can see how Hopkins has trained me to think like an engineer when approaching problems.

last first day of school look

last first day of school look


Posted in Advice, Classes |


Dear 17-Year-Old Kate,

Hi. It’s me, or you I guess, from the future. I know you’re probably freaking out that you can read blogs from the *future*, but just calm down for a second and hear what I have to say (and no, to answer your question, unfortunately, teleportation has not been invented). I’m giving you some valuable advice that 21 year old Kate has learned

-Explore Baltimore from early on.

If you’ve read most of my posts, you’ll know that I’ve been enamored with the city of Baltimore. One of my biggest regrets is not exploring it that much until the summer after our freshman year. Start exploring coffee shops and understanding the public transportation, so that you don’t make a huge fool of yourself when Anna comes to visit (pro tip: N Charles is west of St Paul which is west of N Calvert). Talk to Baltimoreans and find where the cool, unknown places are. There is so much in this city and starting your adventures here freshman year will only enrich them.

-Take random classes. 

As much as you love French and ChemBE, sometimes the classes you take outside of those areas will be the most interesting and life-changing. Taking these classes will provide outside perspective and sometimes even add to your understanding of other classes. One of the best classes I took was in Writing Seminars.

-Learn as much as you can about other cultures.

One of the most awesome things about Hopkins is how many people are from all over the world. Ask lots of questions and you’ll learn really interesting facts about life outside the US. Also, Koreans are seriously the best dressers. Take heed, young Kate.

-Studying with Tunes

At home, you’re used to studying in the kitchen with lots of talking and lots of chopping. Make playlists for different moods you’re in and use them. You’ll thank me when you’re writing papers or doing problem sets.


You’re not going to realize this till later on, but running really balances you out. So, strap on those sneakers and just do it. Trust me, I know you!


-Try New Things

Say yes to people. Don’t say yes to crack or jumping off bridges, but feel free to try new things. Your future love/obsession with the Orioles stems from a time you gave a shaky yes to an invitation to a game.

-Give Back to the Community

There are so many different community service organizations – try to stay with one throughout your years. You’ll be jealous of the adorable Tutorial kids and their tutors if you don’t.

-Don’t Be Afraid to Go For Things

Try for that internship you aren’t sure about! Say yes to taking Modern Dance classes and stick through it even though you have no rhythm!


Have this attitude all the time!

-Go to Office Hours

I know you think professors are these mystical unicorns, but they’re actually pretty cool and helpful. The advice they give is seriously invaluable.

-Don’t Be Afraid to Change

College is a state of flux and there are going to be things you are going to change your mind about. I know this is unlike you, but welcome the change.

-Don’t Overcommit

But knowing you, you will sign up for 49 organizations at the SAC fair and try to take a lot of credits. So, if you don’t take this advice, learn how to budget your time and don’t be annoyed if you don’t have enough time for 20 clubs and 20 credits and a job and an internship and your budding chocolate obsession.

-Do Things Outside Your Major

Sometimes it’s good to help work on marketing pamphlets. Sometimes it’s great to write down your thoughts. Doing things outside of ChemBE will not only help work multiple parts of your brain, but it’ll even you out too.

-Always Make New Friends

You’ll meet new people in the most random of ways and always be open to adding new people to your circle. People here are amazing and it’s an amazing opportunity to soak up all the students here have to offer.

-Keep in Touch with People from Home

People outside from Hopkins can give great perspective on lots of things. Plus, they know the embarrassing time you fell down the stairs – and you always want to relive that.

-Take it Easy on the Free T-shirts

I know you’re so excited about the free t-shirt opportunity – and have some skills from all those years at Stepping Stones, but restrain yourself. You’re going to get to a point sophomore year where you realize you have over 50 t-shirts and some of them really don’t have any sentimental value and they’re just lying in a pile under your bed.

free sunglasses? always a yes.

free sunglasses? always a yes.

-But go for the free food

Who can say no to a free samosa?

-Stockpile FFC cookies.

Now, this is the most important advice I will give you. You will enjoy the FFC cookies a lot – the warm, gooey chocolate chip cookies and the melt-in-your-mouth sugar cookies will forever be in your dreams. However, once you leave the meal plan sophomore year, your heart will ache for these glorious pastries, so you must stockpile these cookies. One suggestion: create a fake book, fill it with cookies, and hide it in Gilman’s personal library in Gilman Hall. You’ll thank me later.

cookies are not a sometimes food.

cookies are not a sometimes food.


An Older (and hopefully) Wiser 21-year-old Kate

Posted in Advice, Reflection |


Dressed to Impress: A Guide to Clothes Shopping in Baltimore

The “Oh My Gosh, I Have an Interview Tomorrow and I Have Nothing to Wear” Shopping 

It’s bound to happen once during your time here at Hopkins and the Towson Mall is really perfect for that. They have a ton of chain stores that really run the gamut from Forever 21 cheap “borderline business casual” to more upscale stores. It’s a place where you can definitely buy your first “pant suit”, but also buy an affordable, but nice interview outfit. Plus, they have an amazing fro yo place there where you can decompress after squeezing into two piece suits (seriously though, why are these so uncomfortable).

The “There’s a Theme, but I Don’t Own Anything Space-Related/a Prom Dress/80s” Shopping

The Baltimore Bike Party always seems to have themes that I don’t have clothes for, but are willing to pay a only little bit to get. The Goodwill on Greenmount is a really easy and quick walk. They have a lot of cool stuff for really cheap that’s for everyday wear, but also a lot of more crazy (less daytime) wear. One of my past roommates got this incredibly colored ski jacket our sophomore year.

The “I Want to Buy Overalls/A Fur Vest/Add Your Own Ephemeral Trend” Shopping 

I think the Inner Harbor is the best for this one. It’s easy to get to, has a ton of places to grab a quick bite (like my fave Noodles and Company), and always seems to have a juggling show when I’m there (I’ve seen the same juggling show around five times and multiple different jugglers).

oh hi

oh hi

Seriously, they have H&M, Forever 21, and other stores that will carry trendy pieces. And the jugglers rock – once a guy juggled children!

The “Baltimore Unique” Shopping 

There are a lot of awesome boutiques and small shops in Baltimore that have great stuff. My favorite is definitely Ma Petite Shoe. Ma Petite Shoe is a shoe and chocolate store with a French bent (I might be a little biased in calling it my favorite shop in Baltimore). They have amazing shoes; I got a great pair of boots there and they gave me great tips in maintenance. Most of the shoes there could be classified as artwork (and therefore are un peu out of my price range), but so fun to oogle and dream about.

nominated for "estrogen heaven" by city paper baltimore

nominated for “estrogen heaven” by city paper baltimore

seriously obsessed (courtesy of ma petite shoe - http://mapetiteshoe.com/dime-store-in-hunter-green-suede/)

seriously obsessed (courtesy of ma petite shoe )

Another great “uniquely Baltimore” shop is Party Dress in Fell’s Point. Liking their Facebook page was a huge mistake as they post pictures of their dresses on sale all the time and make me want to go shopping ALL THE TIME.


When I got to college, my style was a mix of trendy pieces and classic French-inspired pieces. As the semesters flew by and my classes became more one-sided and “math and science”-y, I needed an outlet for some right-brain thinking. Fashion was this outlet. I started to love taking pieces and trying to find ways to wear it in unexpected pairings or in unexpected ways. This was incredibly fun and relaxing and my fashion got a little more eclectic. But, since I’ve been on a college budget, I’ve gotten very into thrifting.

I really enjoy the Goodwill in Fell’s Point (and interestingly enough, I’ve visited it on both my past birthdays). They have a pretty good selection of clothing (and really cheap cookware – thing to note if you’re living off campus). Last time, I went I got a pair of Nine West shoes for $5 dollars and started talking to this woman who said she got those exact same shoes for $85 dollars earlier that summer! It’s also really close to Broadway Market, a public market that has the best pierogies. Literally, I’m obsessed.

what dreams are made of

what dreams are made of

Other great thrift stores include any Value Village in Baltimore and Debois Textiles. Debois Textiles is more out of the city, but I’ve heard a gold mine as you definitely have to dig and search and there is a lot of just random fabric.

Baltimore also has a wealth of great consignment shops. I especially like My Dear Vintage by Penn Station, 9th Life in Hampden, and my absolute favorite, Fashion Attic in Fell’s Point (maybe I just like the pun). They range from more vintage (like Grandma’s closet) to consignment (I got a great express dress there). The owners are really fun to talk to at this places and they always have a lot of great stuff. I found a great mustache ring there for a $1. What more can a girl ask for at a vintage shop?

However, my absolute favorite place to shop in Baltimore is their flea market shops. My absolute favorite is The Antique Man – Flea Market in Fell’s Point, but there are a bunch all over the city.

how could you not like a place that sells elvis pigs?

how could you not like a place that sells elvis pigs… (but wait, there’s more)

and a giant Elvis statue?

and a giant Elvis statue?


a poster for the the theatre I work at (when it was still a movie theater)

a poster for the the theatre I work at (when it was still a movie theater)

I think my favorite part about Baltimore shopping is that you can find amazing things for not that much. And for the things that are more expensive, you have amazing window shopping.

Posted in Baltimore |


A Day in the Life: Senior Edition

7 am -- getting up in the morning, got to be fresh. If you had told me that I’d be getting up at 7 last semester, I would have laughed very hard, but I actually really enjoy my time in the morning now and feel so much more awake for my morning classes.

7:05 -- Leave for a run. This semester, I’ve been running either at the gym or in Roland Park. Roland Park actually has the most beautiful houses and I love just wandering around these streets.

this house actually used to be a pharmacy

7:50 -- Return to the apartment and shower.

8:00 -- Dry hair, eat breakfast, get ready, and relax. Forget where my glasses are (I guess I’m allowed to have “senior moments” now).

dark chocolate granola & greek yogurt

dark chocolate granola & greek yogurt

8:45- Walk to work in admissions.

9:00- Check in with Shelly, email people about guest, academics, and activities blogs, and help prepare for the upcoming open house (RE: make sure Shelly buys candy).

9:55 -- Walk to class (but not without stopping for a free coffee in the lobby of Mason).

10:00- Controls. This is my last lecture class for ChemBE and I’m really enjoying it so far. It’s taught by one of my favorite professors in the department and it seems to be interesting so far.

controls system on a patient with diabetes

controls system on a patient with diabetes

10:55- FREE CORNBREAD ON THE BREEZEWAY! I knew there was a reason I named my blog “The Breezeway”.

11:00- Eloquent French. This is my last French class for my minor :(, but it seems like it’s the one that will fill in all the cracks that I’m missing out on. You learn about more formal expressions (nevertheless v. but) and I feel like my writing is already improving. We also have a creative writing assignment this week (and this will be the first time in all of college that I’ve had one)!

photo 2 (68)

12:00- Lab. Talk to my graduate student about an upcoming project about something I’m super, super excited about and finish working out details on this week’s experiments.

1:00- Lunch. I’ve been really into salad lately for lunch and I’m pretty proud of the way I invented to pack it (even though I know it’s not that exciting). I pack my spinach, cheese, craisins, and onions in all chopped up. I put a romano tomato in not chopped up and have a tiny little container of balsamic dressing. Nothing’s mushy when I open it for lunch and I cut up the tomato and shake up the dressing (get some cardio in). I know, time for Made for TV commercials.

i don't know why i'm so impressed with myself - it's quite strange

i don’t know why i’m so impressed with myself -- it’s quite strange

1:30- Senior Lab Meeting. My last class for ChemBE is senior lab where they give you a packet of information to complete a lab. It’s pretty stressful and the instructions are quite vague, but I know at the end, it will be really helpful to making me think like an “engineer” and be ready for the real world.

3:30- Back to work in admissions. Tried this amazing Kit Kat Crunch combo. It was amazing to say the least. Planning my re-con mission to search for supplies for the Open House. Too bad my ninja costume is at the dry cleaners.

lists on lists on lists

lists on lists on lists

5:00- Help with an information session for Engineering Ambassadors for free pizza! YUM!

6:15- Gilman to do work and get inspiration for outfits from the well-dressed people there.


7:30- Break. Meet up with my friend Melissa to gossip and catch up.

8:30- Back to work. Alexis comes to Gilman and we work on some senior lab calculations. It took us a while, but we finally got the conclusion, we wanted!

10:30- Relax, chat with friends, and get ready for bed.

outfit of the day

outfit of the day

photo 4 (53)

because normally people go to chembes for outfit advice :)

Song of the Day: Georgia on My Mind by Ray Charles

Video of the Day: 

Posted in Academics, Campus Events |


You’re a Blue Jay, Kate

My dad likes to joke that the “wand chooses the wizard” in terms of colleges and their students. Sometimes, a student isn’t sure why a school is right for them, but each school (like the wands) are looking for students that match their characters and personalities. If the character of a wand and the wand don’t match up, they can’t perform magic. If the personality traits match the students and the school of Hopkins, it’s that students are very driven, have a strong work ethic, and passionate. Being at a school like Hopkins has pushed me to strive for things I’ve never even thought possible.


When you’re in an environment with people that work hard and are passionate, you naturally become more passionate and driven. I’m constantly inspired by the people around me starting businesses, making amazing discoveries in labs, writing publications, and doing really interesting internships. Everyone here is very passionate and talking to people can spur new interests. With this drive and new passions I’ve discovered, I’ve constantly had trouble choosing between classes and have taken large course loads each semester.  I’ve never encountered a Hopkins student that wasn’t on top of their requirements or heard of someone who had to stay an extra semester because they forgot to take a class. So, in December, I’ll have 157 credits. Since I will have fulfilled all my graduation requirements, I will be graduating a semester early.

reading in barnes & noble inner harbor

reading in barnes & noble inner harbor

Some people say students shouldn’t think of college as a set of checkmarks on graduation requirements. I don’t think that’s what happened. I came into Hopkins not expecting to graduate early and decided on it when I realized it was even possible.


Hopkins has a distribution system that has allowed me to take classes in a range of subjects and allowed me to minor in French. I’ve gotten to take a ton of classes in lots of different disciplines. Intersession has allowed me to take classes in history and German. I even got to read Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace, something I never thought I’d accomplish.

i had friends that convinced me to start running and had me run a 5k

i have friends that convinced me to start running and run a 5k

I want to be surrounded by people like those at Hopkins forever because they motivate me to be the best I can be. I am so thankful for the opportunities Hopkins has presented me (if someone told me I’d be co-writing a research paper and researching in Switzerland in high school, I would have laughed), but I am eager for the next step in my life. I can’t wait to use the skills I’ve learned at Hopkins.


I’m not sure of the road ahead, but I know Hopkins has prepared me

Posted in Academics, Why Hopkins |


Senior Year Leap List

I’m graduating soon -- and starting to realize that these are going to be my last few months at Hopkins and in Charles Village. To make sure I hit all the things I’ve wanted to do in Baltimore and on campus, I’ve made a leap list (yep, totally stole that from the Bachelor) of things I want to do before I graduate and I’ll check in before I graduate. I’ve already completed two, but I did them after finals, so I’m counting them.

1. Visit the Peabody Library 

a little too much sun

a little too much fun in the sun, eh?

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You’re probably thinking, “Kate did not go to the Peabody Library before her senior year?! She is a travesty to Baltimore lovers alike!” I know! The Peabody Library is closed a lot (which made me question its “so-called” connection to Hopkins -- until I realized it was just public records and the Peabody musicians use another library).

2. Finally decide on the Berger-Otterbein debate.

A debate that stretches the beginning of time, is greater than the headbutts of donkeys and elephants, and even caused me to make many trips to taste test (okay, maybe I just wanted cookies).

 Both cookies are made in Baltimore, but they couldn’t be any different. Otterbeins are hard, flat, buttery, and crunchy cookies whereas the Berger cookie is a sugar cookie with a hunk of chocolate frosting on top. Both have their merits, but I need to settle the debate before I leave Baltimore.

Otterbein (Courtesy of Food & Culture, Hon)

Otterbein (Courtesy of Food & Culture, Hon)


Berger (Courtesy of Blue-Eyed Bakers)

Berger (Courtesy of Blue-Eyed Bakers)

3. Go ballroom dancing at Mobtown Ballroom. 

Every Monday and Friday, they have beginner classes and then a dance-off (well, actually it’s just a dance).

4.  Get on the cam at an Orioles game. 

just chilling with BFF

just chilling with BFF

5. Go to Lamill Coffee’s Pastry Happy Hour (to get half off pastries!) 

whew that was fun

whew that was fun


6. Go to a Bromo Seltzer Arts Tower Open House.

The Bromo Seltzer Arts Tower has over 30 studios. On Saturdays, they open up the towers to tour and see their work!

7. Play Bocce in Little Italy.



8. See if L.P. Steamers truly has the best crabs.

9. Watch the Orioles win the world series.

10. Eat all-I-can-eat at Vaccaro’s all-you-can-eat pastries and gelato night.

185334_10150758743050486_4874802_n11. Become a regular at Latte’da.



12. Go to a stoop storytelling series.

You can’t walk around Baltimore without seeing people sitting on their stoops. The storytelling series allows seven random people seven minutes to tell a story about anything.

13. Be featured on a Yelp! Baltimore ROTD

Yelp is basically my best friend when it comes to finding things to do in Baltimore, so I’ve just started contributing more. I love the tone of Yelp reviews and I’m trying to make them all my own.

14. Go to the warrior emporium and see if I find a ninja.

tumblr_lvg8owYsxh1r7sdpho1_128015. See another planet at the Maryland Science Center.

I heard that they had free telescope access there on Friday nights. I went not expecting anything, but found an amazing and friendly telescope person willing to answer my million questions, the rings of Saturn, and a really awesome view of the moon!

16. Give someone a bus ticket.

I was waiting for the city bus and someone handed me a bus ticket because they didn’t need it anymore. I would love to repay the favor.

17. Snatch a last piece of free fudge from the Fudgery. 293232_10150758743545486_6231147_n

18. Do some Michael Phelps stalking at Pete’s Grille.

19. Buy an ice cold water from this guy.

20. Go to Fell’s Point on Halloween.

21. Attend the Night of 100 Elvises.

All Shook Up.

22. See an Out of Your Head Collective at the Windup Space.

23. Ride the Banner Route on the Charm City Circulator to Fort McHenry.

24. Go duckpin bowling.

25. Find a good spanakopita, chocolate tsoureki, moussaka, magiritsa, and baklava place in Greektown.

True fact- “there are two kinds of people -- Greeks, and everyone else who wish they was Greek” (so we could eat their food on a daily basis).

26. Go to every building on campus and introduce yourself to a fellow Hopkins student (stolen from http://hub.jhu.edu/2013/05/15/jhu-class-of-2013-bucket-list)

27. Buy ingredients from Waverly Farmer’s Market to make a delicious meal

Anyone who knows me well knows that this is a hard task for me as I am a terrible cook.

28. Eat a slice of Mobtown Brown or Baltimore Bomb pie at Dangerously Delicious Pies (stolen from http://hub.jhu.edu/2013/05/15/jhu-class-of-2013-bucket-list)

29. Go to a Baltimore Bike Party with an amazing costume.

30. Actually get a tan on the Hopkins Beach.

31. Take a bunch of pictures in the Howard Street alley -- where there is a ton of legal street art thanks to the awesome owner of Load of Fun Studios.

Courtesy of Charm City Advisor

Courtesy of Charm City Advisor

32. Sing Good Morning Baltimore to Baltimore… one last time.

33. Go to Hampdenfest!

34. Pop some tags with only $20 in my pocket and complete the $20 outfit challenge.

35. Go to the Lighting of the Quads.

36. Go to Nacho Mama’s, Brewer’s Art, Pickles Pub, Owl Bar (only if his eyes are blinking), and 13.5 Wine Bar after I turn 21.

37. Find the Olympic Gold Medals that the JHU lacrosse team won.

38. Take good photos Baltimore from techniques I learned in my “Documentary Photography” class.

39. Find out what is behind this door.


40. Truly say thank you for the amazing opportunity JHU has been.

Posted in Baltimore, The "Real" World |


The Hipster’s Guide to Study Spots

Disclaimer: This is in pure jest. Everyone has their preferences on study spots, but this is just a funny way to express my opinions on them.

MSE Library

Rating: 2/5

I do not like the library. The fluorescent lighting washes out my perfectly chosen dark wash skinny jeans. Even though I like underground clubs, my study experience is not conducive to this. One pro – there are a lot of great books for researching on things like the evolution of Helvetica. It’s pretty heavy stuff- you probably won’t understand it. I guess having a lot of books passed for a study space in the past. It’s seriously old news. The next study space is infinitely better.


Brody Learning Commons

Rating: 3.5/5

I loved Brody Learning Commons before it was even built. I tweeted with the construction workers and helped the less serious coffee drinkers on the student choosing committee for the coffee shop, the Daily Grind. They didn’t even seem to be able to tell the difference between beans from Argentina and beans from Chile. Ugh. Luckily, they chose my advice and the Daily Grind is an acceptable place to get my java fix. When Brody Learning Commons opened, everyone seemed to flock there like people on a top 40 song. It was just too mainstream and I needed to find somewhere new.



Rating: 3.5/5

What a poor excuse for coffee. Real friends don’t let their friends drink Starbucks. Nice atmosphere though – if you can get over the terrible coffee, the people are cool and the conversation is interesting. I once overheard a conversation about dating zombies. At least some people think original. It’s a little pedestrian. I’d rather not be involved with corporate America.

Gilman Hall

Rating: 4/5

Gilman Hall is the home of the humanities. Naturally, this allows for the best dressed study space on campus. It’s like going on to Lookbook for inspiration. It’s actually a place that enjoys my looks inspired by a mix of Judge Judy and Zooey Deschanel. The coffee isn’t like that common drip scum and they actually have interesting food like gluten free treats, organic fruit, and empanadas. Gilman actually has people that appreciate vinyl and a good glass of kombucha. Gilman has a lot of natural light which is great for shooting with my Diana camera.


One World Café

Rating: 4.5/5

Finally, a place that understands coffee. Any place that doesn’t know what a flat white is not a friend o f mine. With a bottomless cup, organic and vegan treats, and cool people, this place is actually a good place to go to. Their food is absolutely amazing. Even though I’m not 21, I’ve heard that their beer is really good as well. And we all know beer is the new wine. Back to studying, they have plugs, WI-FI, and a great music mix to get your brain functioning. I once wrote a 100 page Russian comparative literature paper based in the media of string.

Levering Bar

Rating: 5/5

Levering is a building on campus that houses a coffee shop, a food court, and even a grand hall for big events. Levering is so cool that it’s normally not even considered a study spot; it’s just that amazing. The bar used to be around when the drinking age was 18 and students could drink there. They even have a lot of bulletin boards for community events. I post my blog there. Instead of keeping it online, I print it out and staple the sheets on the board. I love when things are refashioned and that’s exactly what the Levering Bar has done. Even better, they have exclusive free events (like “make your own build a bear”). They don’t announce them; you just have to be there. But obviously, don’t go to study at Levering Bar. You’ll ruin the amazing atmosphere I’ve set up.


Posted in Academics, Baltimore, Homewood |