Questions, Memories, and Encounters

October 5, 2012
By AliceDean GOLD, Skopje, Other
AliceDean GOLD, Skopje, Other
11 articles 10 photos 3 comments

Favorite Quote:
The happiness in life is the conviction that we are loved.

Life is a spell so exquisite that everything conspires to break it.

'One of the things that distinguishes man from the other animals is that he wants to know things, wants to find out what reality is like, simply for the sake of knowing. When that desire is completely quenched in anyone, I think he has become something less than human.' — C.S. Lewis

'Wit beyond measure is man's greatest treasure.' — Rowena Ravenclaw

Every story has an end, but in life every end is just a new beginning.

‘Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really Great make you feel that you, too, can become great.’ — Mark Twain

‘Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools talk because they have to say something.’ — Plato

‘I am only one, but I still am one. I cannot do everything, but I still can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something I can do.’ — Edward Everett Hale

‘You are no bigger than the things that annoy you.’ — Jerry Bundsen

‘Cats are smarter than dogs. You can’t get eight cats to pull a sled through snow.’ — Jeff Valdez

'What gets us into trouble is not what we don't know. It's what we know for sure that just ain't so.' — Mark Twain

'Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.' — Benjamin Franklin

'What is essential is invisible to the eye.' — Antoine de Saint-Exupéry in "The Little Prince"

'If you're holding out for universal popularity, you'll be waiting a long time.' — Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore

'I have balls of yarn.' - Monika Spancheska

'Well, it [the news] changes every day, you see.' - Harry Potter

'You can't give a Dementor the old one-two!' - Harry Potter

'And they'd [the Death Eaters] love to have me. We'd be best pals if they didn't keep trying to do me in.' - Harry Potter

'There's no need to call me sir Professor.' - Harry Potter

'A Study of Hogwarts Prefects and Their Later Careers... That sounds fascinating...' - Ron Weasley

'I want to fix that in my memory forever. Draco Malfoy, the amazing bouncing ferret...' - Ron Weasley

'Because that's what Hermione does. When in doubt, go to the library. - Ron Weasley

'Can I have a look at Uranus, too, Lavender?' - Ron Weasley

'...from now on, I don't care if my tea leaves spell 'die, Ron, die,' I'm chucking them in the bin where they belong.' - Ron Weasley

'Percy wouldn't recognize a joke if it danced naked in front of him wearing Dobby's tea cozy.' - Ron Weasley

'And what in the name of Merlin’s most baggy Y Fronts was that about?' - Ron Weasley

'Well, I don't know how to break this to you, but I think they might have noticed we broke into Gringotts.' - Ron Weasley

'Just because you've got the emotional range of a teaspoon doesn't mean we all have.' - Hermione Granger

'Grawp's about sixteen feet tall, enjoys ripping up twenty-foot pine trees, and knows me as Hermy.' - Hermione Granger

'To the well organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.' - Albus Dumbledore

'It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.' - Albus Dumbledore

'Fear of a name increases fear of a thing itself.' - Albus Dumbledore

'Humans have a knack for choosing precisely the things that are worst for them.' - Albus Dumbledore

'Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak!' - Albus Dumbledore

'It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.' - Albus Dumbledore

'You fail to recognize that it matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be.' - Albus Dumbledore

'I do love knitting patterns.' - Albus Dumbledore

'And now Harry, let us step out into the night and pursue that flighty temptress, adventure.' - Albus Dumbledore

'I would assume that you were going to offer me refreshment, but the evidence so far suggests that that would be optimistic to the point of foolishness.' - Albus Dumbledore

'Time is making fools of us again.' - Albus Dumbledore

'It’s the unknown we fear when we look upon death and darkness, nothing more.' - Albus Dumbledore

'From this point forth, we shall be leaving the firm foundation of fact and journeying together through the murky marshes of memory into thickets of wildest guesswork.' - Albus Dumbledore

'What happened down in the dungeons between you and Professor Quirrell is a complete secret, so, naturally the whole school knows.' - Albus Dumbledore

'Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?' - Albus Dumbledore

Of course, any time the family produced someone halfway decent they were disowned.- Sirius Black

'The mind is not a book, to be opened at will and examined at leisure.' - Severus Snape

'Ah, of course. There is no need to tell me any more, Ms. Granger. Which one of you will be dying this year?' - Minerva McGonagall

'Really, what has got into you all today? Not that it matters, but that's the first time my transformation's not got applause from a class' - Minerva McGonagall

'We teachers are rather good at magic, you know.' - Minerva McGonagall

'I wouldn't go out with you if it was a choice between you and the giant squid.' - Lily Evans

'You know, Minister, I disagree with Dumbledore on many counts...but you cannot deny he's got style...' - Phineas Nigellus

'I'll join you when hell freezes over.' - Neville Longbotom

I start my walk at Pembroke Arch. Why? Because I live in Pem East right now—Pem is now the center of “my” campus. I calculate the distance to everywhere from Pem East because that will tell me now much time I will need to get there. I can safely conclude that my life has become Pem-centric.

The first place I head to without any deliberation is Erdman. It is morning, and I have a craving for a cream cheese bagel and some orange juice. I notice very little about my surroundings for I am on a quest—get food. After I have had my fill and my physical needs are sated, I exit Erdman full of willingness to get it done, even though I was not sure what “it” was. This was odd, for I am not a morning person; just getting out of bed is the most strenuous thing I do every day. I attributed this zest of sorts to being in college, finally taking courses I want to take, not what colleges will find appealing on my application form (not that I listened to that advice in high school much in the first place).

Nonetheless, I decided that too much excitement might do me more harm than good, so I did a “stop exercise,” something I learned in my numerous transformational leadership trainings. I focused my thoughts, found inner calmness, and became aware. Aware of the things going on around me as well as the things going on inside me. I engaged all my senses. I was then ready for my walk.

I continued straight along the path from Erdman to Pem Arch. I see many faces: some are eager to start off the last working day of the first week of school, some not so enthusiastic to be up at that time of day. I do not recognize many of these faces yet, but I am sure as time passes I will be able to meet more people.

I took a left turn to walk by Wyndham. As I was passing by, memories of International Student Orientation flooded me, so I decided to visit the Sunken Garden as well. As I was standing alone in the Garden and remembering playing ice-breaking games with other international students, a lone squirrel (or was it a chipmunk? I really cannot tell them apart) had scurried down from one of the trees and was standing about seven feet away from me, head cocked to the side, inspecting me, not sure whether I was friend or foe. When I noticed it, I smiled—I have always believed that animals can sense how you feel towards them, so I try to be as friendly as possible. However, I was not sure whether the little creature could tell that, for it was still standing on its tiny rear legs, assessing the situation. I decided it was time to continue my walk.

I did not go much farther than the Sunken Garden—just until the Admissions building close to the ‘Bryn Mawr College’ sign—because that is what I consider to be the boundary of the campus. Instead, I retraced my steps back to Pem Arch and from there I walked to Dalton. I did not want to go further because, for me, there is nothing of interest east of Dalton. I stopped by Guild to have a meeting with my Dean, but that short interruption aside, my walk continued without a stop.

I walked past Denbigh, Merion, the Campus Center and Radnor, all the way up to Park Science—beyond that is just too far away. I can honestly say that the walk was as uneventful as it possibly could have been. I was paying attention to all the people around me walking hurriedly to class, the tree leaves waving lazily to the almost-nonexistent breeze, the cicadas chirping away loudly, well hidden from the prying human eye. But it all seemed normal to me. Was it possible that this new life that I was thrown into (willingly, of course) only two mere weeks ago was becoming more natural to me than the life I was used to for eighteen years before that?

I was pondering that question when I realized I was nearly late for my first class of the day (thank you Bryn Mawr time!), so I hurried back from Park Science to Taylor. After I was done with class and my shift at UnCommon Grounds, I willed my exhausted body to go over to Canaday. Truthfully, I know there are more buildings beyond Canaday, but to me this is the campus boundary. I do not use or visit the buildings on Cambrian Row, so Canaday was my boundary stop. I was careful not to walk through Senior Row or split the (pseudo-) Friendship Poles at any point of my walk—I do not want to break any traditions during my first week of college! But I realized at a certain point of my walk that I was no longer focused, calm, or aware, that the walk had become more of a goal or task to accomplish than something I would enjoy doing. In simple words, I had lost my morning’s zest.

I decided to retreat back to Pem East, to gather my thoughts and bring back some energy into myself. As I now go over my recollections and reexamine my thoughts, I realize I posed some very important questions to myself during my walk, as well as remembered a very dear time of my life, even though it was only ten days ago. And, of course, I had the most entertaining “wildlife” encounter (if you can call a squirrel staring at you that) I have had in a while. All in all, it was a wonderful start to both my day and the weekend.

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