My seven semesters at Hopkins have been wacky, wild, and all over the place (in a great way). Each semester and each year has a totally unique identity and feel. Though I’ve tried, there’s really no easy way to showcase all that I’ve done and experienced here; no way to truly feature the little moments and places and things that’ve worked their way into my fond memories of Hopkins.
There are a bajillion things that could represent and sum up my Hopkins experience; here are just 26, A-Z.
The Gilman Atrium is my favorite place on campus. You’ll find me here pretty much every day. I love studying in here; the high ceilings and marble table tops and social atmosphere are just super conducive to my work style. Gilman is the “humanities building,” meaning that all my fun, like-minded friends are always here, too, and I overhear all kinds of interesting conversations. The Atrium is also home to Alkimia, my favorite cafe on campus. Their empanadas are amazing and they have my favorite tea on campus!
It’s no secret at all that I’m a Baltimore girl. I’ve lived here for 21 years, and there is truly nowhere else I’d rather have grown up and gone to challenge. Baltimore is unique; it’s challenging and complicated. Not everyone gets it or appreciates it; not everyone should. But Baltimore is such a big part of me.
C (the) Centre
The Centre is the hub for all things film & media studies. The film & media studies program is a co-op with MICA (Maryland Institute College of Art), an incredible art school down the road, and so both schools share this building and resources. It’s amazing what this building and partnership have afforded; my resources are now doubled. And we have this gorgeous, shiny, state-of the-art clubhouse to validate all of our awesome work. The best part? It’s located on North Ave (more on that later) in Station North, the arts and entertainment disctrict of Baltimore. Meaning: I get to step off campus for class, and immerse myself in the art world. Pretty cool!
The Digital Media Center is the place on campus where you can check out production equipment, use super expensive software, book a recording studio, 3D print, and a ton more. As a ~creative~ student, I’m here a lot. They have amazing resources and are so willing to help with every project! Also, I didn’t take this picture lol
E Earl Grey Tea
I stopped drinking coffee my sophomore year (I know, it’s crazy that I’m still alive, right?) and so instead, I always have a cup of earl grey tea in hand. Or a tea latte from Carma’s (pictured).
Every spring, a flock of plastic pink flamingoes mysteriously takes over the Gilman Quad. It’s so weird and wacky. Also, flamingoes are sort of an unofficial symbol of Baltimore, thanks to John Waters.
G Golden West Cafe
Golden West in Hampden is my favorite restaurant. I go here so much. Like weekly. It’s really laid-back and funky and great for every meal (I swear, they’re never not open). I get so excited going with people who have never been because I’ve tried pretty much the entire (extensive) menu so I get to make recommendations.
Hitchcock has been a cornerstone of my film education. He’s my favorite director, and I find his work so rich and fascinating, ripe for analysis. This year, I TAd a class on Hitchcock, and reading students’ analyses reinvigorated my love for Hitchcock and affirmed my passion for film studies. It was also kinda crazy to think that little ol’ me has enough knowledge and experience to provide thoughtful feedback on student work. Woah, I’m old.
I’ve had some awesome internship experience during my time at Hopkins, from a fall internship at a marketing agency to a summer internship at a wedding planning & design studio to my trusty year-round job in admissions. Hopkins has afforded me incredible opportunities in these different fields, and I feel like such an ~adult~ from these experiences.
“The public is sensitive to little things, and they wouldn’t have full confidence in a college that didn’t know how to spell ‘John.’” -Mark Twain
What’s up with the S at the end of Johns? Well, that is that dude’s name; it was the maiden name of his great-grandmother. So it’s not John, as Twain wishes, and it’s not John’s.
K Kinetic Sculpture Race
How do I even begin to explain some of this weird stuff that happens in Baltimore? The Kinetic Sculpture Race is an annual competition sponsored by the American Visionary Arts Museum. Competitors build huge, man-powered pieces of art that they race around the city. It’s so weird!!! I love it.
I’ve been a Hopkins lacrosse fan my entire life; it’s an occupational hazard of growing up in Baltimore. Sometimes I’m still a little (weirdly) starstruck that I’m classmates with people I used to watch on tv. But mostly, I’m just so excited to go to every game and cheer on our boys and be the only person in the stands who actually knows the words to the fight song.
M Maxie’s Garlic Knots
O, Maxie’s Garlic Knots. You are $2.50 for 6. You are available late at night. You are doughey and warm and garlicky. I love u.
N North Ave
I mentioned that the Centre is right on North Ave; in fact, this is the view from right outside the Centre. North Ave is the main thoroughfare of Station North, with all kinds of amazing murals, bars, cafes, and little spots branching off of it. A big highlight is graffiti alley. And the closest McDonald’s to campus.
Camden Yards is routinely voted the best ballpark in America. Is it for the gorgeous view of the Baltimore skyline? For the crab dip fries (seriously)? For the unique chants, for shouting “O!” during the National Anthem? Probably all of the above. Orioles games are so much fun, and it’s easy to snag a ticket for around $10.
In Alpha Phi, you have a pham (like family, but with a ph, because sororities are obnoxious). It’s comprised of bigs and littles; my big is JHU_Ruthie (and her big is JHU_Tess!), my little Anna (the blonde), and her little, Octavia. It seems kind of trite to believe that this make believe family unit could actually be some kind of real family, but it totally is. These girls have my back, no matter what. They support me, cheerlead me. But they also keep things real with me. Don’t know where I’d be without these people.
This is a generic Brody picture that I absolutely did not take, but it was the best thing I could find showcasing Q-Level. Q-Level is that top floor there, and I used to exclusively do my work in those brown leather chairs next to that blue study room. You could always find me there. If people wanted to talk to me, they would just go to Q-Level. I don’t work there at all anymore (the library stresses me out!), though, so come to Gilman Atrium if you want to find me.
Roofs have a special place in my college experience. I spent a lot of time freshman and sophomore year breaking onto the roofs of academic buildings (I do not condone this behavior!!!) and hanging out there with friends. This picture, from the roof of Gilman, is from a really awesome night sophomore spring. A lot of my friends who live in houses also have roof access. The view from the top of a rowhome is just really beautiful and feels so peaceful.
In two of my classes this semester, Deep Listening and Media Workshop, we studied soundwalks. To be super reductive, they’re like artistic audio tours. In both of these classes, we actually went on soundwalks. In Deep Listening, we were tasked with listening to the above playlist while walking around campus. We couldn’t talk to anyone and we had to be in a new location for each. It was really interesting attaching a certain emotion and song to each spot, and being forced to just listen and be present. For Media Workshop, we went on a soundwalk around Station North. Our whole class remained silent as we walked for about twenty minutes, paying attention to the sounds around us. Two really awesome, fascinating, memorable lessons.
Thank god that Grace wrote a blog about Trivia because I don’t even know where to begin. I started playing PJ’s Trivia with JHU_Nick and JHU_Noah my freshman year, and became totally hooked. After they graduated, I found new people to play with, and kept the tradition going. Sitting for three hours every Tuesday in PJ’s is a cornerstone of my time at Hopkins. I know way too much about the Oscars because of it. Please enjoy this photo I took from the weird ledge outside my window, above PJs.
Unimini is Charles Villages’ go-to place for late night snacks. It’s open just about 24/7, meaning you can get mozzerella sticks, pints of Ben & Jerry’s, and whatever else your heart desires at any time of day. I love the french fries; you get a whole bag of ’em for $3.
Hitchcock’s Vertigo, naturally, comes up in a lot of my classes. It’s one of the most complex, rich films I’ve ever seen, and with every view and discussion on it, I gain a ton of new insight that makes me view the film differently. I’ve written papers on it, and this semester, I was able to grade others’ papers on it! So film-y.
W Writer’s Almanac
While I may not be a writing seminars major anymore, I still find ways to work writing and poetry into my everyday life. Writing this blog keeps my creative writing juices flowing, but as a devote lover of poetry, I’ve had to find other ways to feed that obsession. In high school, my creative writing teacher would play the Writer’s Almanac for us every morning, and I’ve returned to this habit. It’s really nice starting or ending my day with Garrison Keillor’s deep voice reading some awesome poetry.
I HAVEN’T HAD TO TAKE MATH SINCE HIGH SCHOOL. Aka I pretty much forget what an x-axis is. Thanks to distribution requirements, I’ve been able to satisfy my science requirements with fun, easy classes like Conversations with the Earth. There is no core curriculum at Hopkins, no specifically required classes. You can go on your own math-less journey.
When I checked my admissions decision online, I got this screen. It was confusing and exciting and that blue “Yes!” stands as a weird sort-of welcome mat to my whole time at Hopkins. Since, I’ve taken at a challenge. I try to say “Yes!” to everything. I try to soak it all up.
Emelynn and I are really hopelessly addicted to online shopping. Actually, a lot of my friends are. Some friends like to go to clubs together or get their nails done. We online shop. It’s been a cornerstone of my time at Hopkins. Gotta look fre$$$h.