Family Weekend 2011

By Laura K. Garrison

Snow in October??

It’s that time of year again – the leaves are starting to change, there’s a chill in the air, and Fall Break is waiting just beyond the stress of midterms. In the midst of it all, Barnard students welcomed the arrival of their parents and siblings for Family Weekend on October 29th and 30th and enjoyed a brief pause from the hectic midterm season with their loved ones in New York City.

On Friday morning, there was a veritable change in the atmosphere of the Quad as students welcomed their parents to campus. For many first-years, it was the first time they had seen their parents since the end of August, when NSOP officially kicked off their first semester of college. Families were initially checked in at Barnard Hall and then taken to their daughter’s dorm which was, by now, a much different space than the empty room it had been on move-in day. After swapping greetings and stories with roommates and their families, guests could choose to audit Barnard classes, tour departmental resources on campus (see where Sarah Jessica Parker’s twins go to pre-school!), attend a number of panels and discussions, or go out and explore the Big Apple. Friday’s events were capped off by the theatre department’s performance of Marisol, a play by Jose Rivera.

Though the threat of snow had been well-broadcasted throughout the week, students and families alike were nonetheless surprised to wake up to the flurry of snowflakes outside their windows. While the early burst of winter in October prompted my roommate and I to listen to Christmas music on Pandora, others (particularly those hailing from more tropical regions) bundled up in hats and gloves to enjoy the first snow fall of the year. Unfortunately there was little accumulation of snow, and the biting cold and freezing sleet prompted the Fall Festival (a title that became little ironic, I might add) to be moved to the 17th floor of Sulzberger Tower. There, the RAs from the Quad hosted students and their families as they enjoyed an array of pumpkin and apple inspired treats while the winter weather raged on outside. More panels and discussions groups were open to families, and two more performances of Marisol were held Saturday evening.

Even though Saturday was the last official day of Family Weekend, many families stuck around on Sunday to take in every second of their weekend in New York Though goodbyes were inevitable, it was well worth the brief distraction from midterms and papers to be able to spend time with loved ones from home. With Fall Break just days away, however, students are looking forward to a longer escape from their busy lives at Barnard, whether enjoyed back at home or in the city.

Laura K. Garrison is a first-year at Barnard College and a staff writer for The Nine Ways of Knowing.

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