My Summer at Barnard

My Summer at Barnard

Here in Morningside Heights, summer is coming to a close on Barnard’s campus. Though we have a few more weeks, every building on campus seems to be fluttering in preparation for another academic year. As Resident Assistants are moving back in for training, students who lived on campus for their internships are heading home for one last bit of vacation. I myself am gearing up for my junior year (!) in less than a month.

I spent the summer commuting between Brooklyn, where I live with my mom and black lab mix, and Manhattan, where I spent my days at Barnard giving tours on sunny summer days. I also moved, which essentially boils your life down into all the boxes, bags, and baskets that you can find, so I am super relieved to be done with that! Some highlights of my summer include: volunteering for Barnard’s 2016 Reunion, turning 20 and hitting Sugar Factory to celebrate, and perhaps most importantly, seeing loved ones, old and new.

Honestly, though, I am already looking forward to returning to my corner of Morningside Heights full-time: to that first-day-of-classes “Block Party,” that is complete with barbecue fare and joyful reunions, heat slipping slowly in sweater weather, and preparing for long nights of work armed with coffee and friends. Academic change is actually afoot for me! This last semester I was lucky enough to gain entrance into Barnard’s chapter of the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship which is a program for students interested in diversifying the academic world through the pursuit of a doctorate, and ultimately a position as a tenured professor (see http://barnard.edu/mmuf and http://www.mmuf.org/ for more information). Throughout our summer colloquium, we spent time drafting a proposal for a mini research project that we could potentially pursue during the rest of our undergraduate years. I ended up deciding on an interdisciplinary project that will look at the perspectives of young (aged 18-24) Puerto Ricans and will specifically look at their views on the America-Puerto Rican relationship based on whether they grew up in the states or on the island. In fact, the project was so enthralling for me that I decided to change my major from English to American Studies. The English program at Barnard is incredible, but the interdisciplinary look at how we consider what it means to be “American” truly suits the sorts of intellectual questions that I want to pursue. Wish me luck throughout program planning, so I can get on track for my new major!

Thanks for reading about my summer in a nutshell, and I hope to see you on Barnard’s campus on a fall day sometime soon!

Cheers,

Talisa

tjr2136@barnard.edu

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