I apologize for the delay in this post! The past few weeks have consisted of seeing Macklemore & Ryan Lewis at St. Joseph’s University; helping friends check out sublets in Philly, watching Life of Pi outside on Merion Green; discovering the beauty and “green-ness” of Northwest Philly after planting trees with Weavers Way, an urban farming non-profit in Philadelphia; attending the release party/open mic night for Nimbus, Bryn Mawr’s literary and art magazine; and drowning in work before finals.
This past weekend was a fantastic break before getting into finals mode. Once I had turned in a paper for my last day of classes, I went to see my friend Elizabeth’s acapella group Acabellas have their final spring performance. They performed some of my favorite songs such as “It’s Time” by Imagine Dragons and “Home” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes. The rest of the night was spent catching up on Parks and Recreation, bracing for the crazy (fun!) business of the days to come.
The next day, my friends Elizabeth and Alia and I all boarded the Blue Bus to Haverford’s weekend-long spring festival: Haverfest! There we celebrated Holi, an Indian festival of colors, by throwing colored powder at each other and taking lots of photos of the aftermath. We ate grill-cooked sausages out on the grass and got to pet llamas and goats at the petting zoo. I headed back early to shower before hopping on the R100 and a bus to get to Norristown to go to Minado, an all-you-can-eat sushi and seafood buffet, for my hellee Monica’s birthday. I went to the same restaurant for my heller Duong’s birthday last year so it’s become a sort of *delicious* Hell tradition. We scarfed our weight down in the most expensive seafood possible (crab legs and sea urchin sushi anyone?) to make it worth our money and made sure to embarrass Monica by having the waiter and whole restaurant sing her happy birthday. Once we arrived back, I dashed to the Campus Center to line up to make a May Day flower tiara in preparation for the day to come!
The next day was the day I had been waiting for for an entire year: MAY DAY!!! I woke up early to see the gifts seniors had “May-Dayed” down to me and adorned myself with my flower crown and white dress. May Day is full of traditions: this one being that seniors pass down gifts each May Day morning, some gifts have been passed down since the 1930s! Sometimes they’re silly, sometimes they’re sentimental, but it’s always a way for seniors to pass down a bit of themselves to their favorite underclassmen. I joined my friends for the traditional strawberries and cream for breakfast before getting in line to be in the parade.
Faculty and staff who had been nominated as “worthies” (so everyone’s favorites) walk in the parade dressed in costumes that fit the theme of May Day (this time being the Roaring 20’s). The president, the senior class presidents, and the song mistresses get to ride in a horse-drawn carriage in the parade as well. I got to be in the parade because I was a May Pole dancer! May Pole dancing is a traditional activity for May Day festivities, where dancers run opposite directions to weave together the different colored ribbons. It’s a lot of fun but people always get confused so it turns into a big mess, plus the seniors always win the competition anyways.
After the May Pole, the president and class presidents give outlandish speeches before the senior hoop race. Seniors are the only ones who can walk down senior row so they take part in the tradition of “racing” their hoops down. Most people usually walk but a determined few (including my heller Amelia) race down to the end because as the tradition goes, the first person to reach the end gets their PhD first! After the Hoop Race, we have the May Hole, where we break the bonds of the patriarchy and have a giant white parachute with flower petals on it with Dar Williams playing, a feminist addition to May Day from the 60s. I always love telling my friends at other schools about this tradition because it’s so “Bryn Mawr” in every way and really showcases the quirkiness and passion for social justice that makes us Mawrters.
The rest of the day is spent eating picnic lunch, going to acapella concerts, getting henna tattoos, jumping in bouncy houses, getting sunburned no matter how much sunscreen you put on, getting snow cones, cotton candy, and popcorn for the Campus Center, dancing to the band (a live jazz orchestra this year!), laying out in the sun, and of course, taking lots and lots of pictures with friends in your white outfits and flowers!
One of the things I love most about May Day is that everyone is so beautiful because everyone is glowing from happiness. It’s the one day of the year where we can put aside our work and spend time outside, lazing about and running around, with the people who mean the most to us. It’s an emotional day of saying good-bye to our seniors as well, making it a beautiful day in both happy and sad ways. At the end of Step Sing, the juniors moved up to the senior steps meaning they can now start the celebratory anass and walk down senior row. May Day is always a way to see how the people your friends with change and grow since it captures you each year. I love being able to see myself grow up with my fellow Mawrters.
Senior year is going to be scary: thesis writing, job/fellowship applications, taking the GRE, thinking about going into the real world, but I also couldn’t be more excited to make it the best year ever. I can’t wait for being a hall advisor on Denbigh 3rd,;for taking my first class at the graduate school of social work to see if social work is really what I want to pursue with my life; being 21 and getting to go to concerts and bars in Philadelphia; knowing Philadelphia better after this summer and hopefully continuing my work with the Mural Arts Program, making sure my jobs and extracurriculars go out with a bang; meeting the class of 2017; making new friends and having adventures with new ones. I’ll do a proper good-bye to junior year post for next time but for now…
ANASSA KATA! BRING IT SENIOR YEAR!!!