Well folks, it’s been a little over a month since I first set foot on these winding brick paths and had my first slip on the smooth marble stairs of Gilman. Kind of an odd thing to think about, especially considering how much has already happened. You may be asking yourself, “Like what, Molly? What sorts of shenanigans have you been getting yourself into now?” Here’s a rambly li’l summary of my time at Hopkins thus far. With visual aids.
1. Happy 200th Birthday, National Anthem!
A bunch of my Clark House ladies and I ventured down to the Inner Harbor and Fort McHenry for the celebration of the 200th anniversary of the Star-Spangled Banner. We went from the JHMI to the Charm City Circulator to another shuttle up to the fort and felt very “cool” because we were finding our way around by ourselves. It was genuinely a great night to be in the city of Baltimore. We grabbed take-out and sat along the water, watching the general chaos unfold as waves of people from all over the world roamed around the harbor. The night ended with a speech from VP Joey B and a fireworks show in which they shot fireworks FROM THE TOPS OF BUILDINGS.
2. JHops Theater Community!
Hopkins has a plethora of theater groups for a freshman to choose from. I auditioned for two, for starters: The Barnstormers and Throat Culture. In the fall, the Barnstormers put on the Freshman One Acts, a show made up of four 12-15 minute plays. I’m currently in the FOAS and can safely say that they’re loveliest way to break into the theater community here. It’s a low time commitment, because they know that early freshman life can be a li’l bit overwhelming and such. I’ve loved every minute of it, and my FOA family (directors + costar/mommas + sister) is the bees’ knees.
Throat Culture is the sketch comedy group on campus, and our meetings are always the highlight of my Wednesdays. Unless the FFC gives us a quesadilla bar again, in which case they would be the second highlight. ANYWAYS, we spend our meetings going over new sketches that group members bring in, bouncing random sketch ideas off of each other, and laughing at the hilarity that ensues. In TC, I get to be involved in this fun collaborative process that I look forward to each week. My fellow members are probably the funniest people I know, and they’re always willing to help flesh out even the most off-the-wall sketch ideas (like my idea about animals doing slam poetry…just think about it). TC is…dare I say it (and I’m only saying this once)…”bae.”
3. Hampdenfest Is Best
Ah, Hampdenfest. In which I ate the most delicious funnel cake ever, gawked at (and nearly purchased) the art of street vendors galore, listened to a native Baltimore band play for a (massive) Baltimore crowd, and generally had a lovely time galavanting around with some swell Hopkins kids. After about a 15 minute walk from campus, my Clark House mates and I were surrounded by food trucks, pop-up vintage shops and so much more. Again, cue that “we so cool, walkin’ round Balti on our own” mentality. From what I’ve heard, Hampdenfest is one of many street fairs near Hopkins throughout the year, so rest assured: there will be plenty more Molly-takes-Balti iPhone app collages to come.
4. Chilly Weather + FOA’s Go Up!
I’ll just say this now: I really love fall.
Once more, with feeling: my coffee mug runneth over with pumpkin spice latte love for fall. There, I said it. Hopkins knows that with its tree-lined this and that, fall is a prime season for campus looks. And I must say, we work it. The HOP put up a pumpkin patch on the freshman quad, a haunted house in Levering, a zombie run, and the list goes on. There are even orange plaid ribbons tied around the lampposts now.
In addition to all of this autumn excitement, the FOA’s went up this weekend! As my first actual performance here at Hopkins, I’ll look back on it with gratitude for the fantastic group of people who welcomed my fellow freshmen and I into the Hopkins theater community. I’m also blessed to live with some of the best people on the planet, the Clark House peeps, who were lovely enough to make me a sign and cackle at the jokes in my FOA. They always know how to make me feel even more at home here, and I could never thank them enough for how wonderful they are. I think I’ll bake them some cookies tonight.
5. Preview of Coming Attractions
And here we are, in the present! Each time I go to the Gilman Atrium, there’s a new speaker or art exhibit or free-food-extravaganza or (insert random activity) to check out, as posted on the walls. Currently, I’m hoping to attend the next installment of the President’s Reading Series, listen to a set of speakers at The Contemporary, and watch my friends read their poetry at LitBarn, among other things (make the most of the FFC fajita bar while it’s still here, start wearing my knit hats, take excessive amounts of Hopkins foliage photos, have nighttime homework sessions in Gilman, etc).
Here’s to the many shenanigans to come!