Die Bärliner - The Bard College Berlin Student Blog
Tag "Love"
on the Bard College Berlin Student Blog

Starry night (Credit: Pexel Free Stock Photos)

Aries (March 21—April 19): It’s your time to shine, Aries, although I don’t see how that’s different from any other month. Maybe you should do everyone a favor and be a little less . . . yourself this month.

Lucky numbers: the low value, quiet ones

Taurus (April 20—May 20): You’re naturally stubborn in your beliefs, Taurus, so star signs and horoscopes have been deemed as “unscientific” and “bogus”—and no amount of persuasion will allow you to see the truth. Because of this, the universe has arranged a special karmic journey for you this month. Godspeed.

Lucky numbers: all of them. You’ll need the luck.

Gemini (May 21—June 20): In an unsurprising Gemini move, you’ll be caught in a bald-faced lie this month. Maybe this wouldn’t happen if you were more straightforward, but it’s too late now. Instead of pulling your usual move—blaming Saturn—you should beg for forgiveness and promise you’ll never gossip again. Because we all believed you the last time.

Lucky numbers: the imaginary ones

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The Milky Way (Credit: Pixabay Free Pictures)

Pisces (February 19—March 20): Happy birthday, Pisces! As Jupiter oscillates in a random direction, you’ll experience surges of rage and suspicion. There’s no reason to rationalize these feelings. Channel them into a subtle passive-aggressiveness that will keep your friends on their toes.

Compatible partner: Scorpio

Aries (March 21—April 19): Two months into the year, and you still haven’t followed a single one of your New Year’s resolutions, Aries. Mercury will be in retrograde this month, which is as sure a sign as any that you should quit while you’re ahead. You wouldn’t have been any good at yoga anyway.

Compatible partner: Aquarius

Taurus (April 20—May 20): Valentine’s Day was a lonely ride for you, Taurus, after you deleted Tinder on a whim. Maybe you should lose the “single and loving it” mantra. It just brings more attention to the problem.

Compatible partner: Don’t bother.

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The children take half an hour between classes to finish their homework! (Credit: Tanya Sharma)

The children take half an hour between classes to finish their homework! (Credit: Tanya Sharma)

Have you ever looked at a dancing young girl and smiled because she emitted such warmth and such joy? My two weeks at Aarti Home were spent experiencing just that. In 2014 I had the wonderful opportunity to begin my work with this organization. Aarti Home, located in the Kadapa district of Andhra Pradesh — a state in Southern India — began as a small shelter dedicated to the rescue and care of abused, abandoned, and orphaned girls.

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Laura Kuhn 1

Fall scene. Credit: Valerii Tkachenko

A poem to the boy who owes my heart some heavy-duty patches, and soon, before it heals all crooked

For awhile you were happiness

A type I had never tasted before

Somehow familiar –

like nutmeg and cinnamon,

fragrant and warm –

But somehow,

with laughter


a body and soul

Your taste was new

This happiness was …


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The community garden is captured in all its bloom. The community garden is an important shared space for students in Annandale

Late summer flowers bloom in the Bard Community Garden (photo by Gaia Marcaccini)

I am writing this because last week I had to write a letter to the mother of my dead best friend. I am writing this, because it has almost been a year, and I am still trying to process life, and lack thereof, and what it means when 18 year-olds die.

I got an email in December from her aunt. It was a mass email. She sent it to remind us that the year anniversary of her niece’s death was soon approaching and we should all write a letter about her. She would gather them and give them to her parents. A sort of anniversary/memorial/remembrance/“I am so sorry that tragedies like this can even happen in the first place” gift. I am writing this because I ignored that email. The email did not ignore me. I got The Email twice a week for two months, I ignored all of those too. The Email became an important part of my life, like a countdown to the day she died, a year ago (even though, when your best friend dies, you are certain time stops). Then it was the last day before the deadline and I felt emotionally obligated. If I ignored the email plea, maybe they would think I didn’t care, and that is the worst thing the dead’s parents can think. So, I wrote a letter trying to verbalize my love for her. Trying to explain to her parents that I would do anything to bring her back. Somehow thinking that had to be explained. I was unsatisfied. It was too hard, it is difficult to explain your love for a dead girl, and maybe more difficult to explain it to her parents. So I am writing this to explain it, to try to explain it.

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Watercolor by Amelia Walsh

Watercolor by Amelia Walsh

Mila Rosenthal sat in the kitchen of her apartment a week before the first air raid of her city: Berlin. Her son, Peter, was still asleep in his room. Mila set the kettle on the stove top and walked around aimlessly, humming to herself. As the water began to boil, she watched the steam rise. It was beautiful. The vapor twisted and turned, dancing in the air before disappearing altogether. Mila was so mesmerized by the steam that she failed to recognize the kettle shrieking at her that the water was ready. The thing that tipped her off was the sound of Peter yelling from his room to “Make it stop!” Mila quickly dimmed the flame and made herself a cup of tea. She added some of the hot water to powdered milk for Peter. He emerged from his room sleepy-eyed and sat down at the breakfast table. He began sipping his warm milk. Mila stared at her beautiful boy with the unconditional love only a mother can know. Peter was six years old and would be starting kindergarten at the end of the summer. The year was 1940 and it was mid-August. Mila told her son to get ready for his trip to his Aunt Petra’s house.

Petra was the sister of Mila’s late husband, Aaron Rosenthal. He died in a car crash in late 1938. At the time, Peter was four years old. The other driver survived the crash and claimed that Aaron caused the crash intentionally, as if he wanted to die. Mila tried to ignore that idea. Aaron’s death alone was devastating to her. She channeled all of her love, which was once distributed evenly between Aaron and Peter, into her son. Motherhood consumed her life. It was the perfect distraction for Mila, who did not care to focus on the state of her country or the death of her husband. Instead, she packed lunches, patched clothes, and planned outings. 

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Plato's Symposium (painting by Feuerbach)

It was an absolute delight to attend James Redfield’s lecture. He visited ECLA on the 8th of May. The lecture focused on Plato’s Symposium, and James Redfield discussed Socrates’ ideas about love. The lecture in text form was given to all the audience members, which made it even easier to follow James Redfield as he delivered lecture. He spent the first half of the lecture laying down a very detailed account of the Symposium’s historical background and how each of the characters was placed in the setting of Rome of that time. This introduction very smoothly paved its way into the book as Professor Redfield connected real-life incidents to some of the characteristics and speeches that the guests in the Symposium state.

I had read the Symposium three years ago, but after sitting through this lecture, I could actually feel the Symposium somehow as an event that had actually taken place. The lecture helped me visualize the Symposium as a real-life event as Professor Redfield brought each character alive by giving a detailed yet relevant biography. Before sitting through this lecture, the love which Socrates has for his friend Alcibiades only seemed like two very long accounts of love that have little relevance to modern-day life. After James Redfield’s lecture, I could relate to the characters  as I would in my real life. For Socrates, love is just another way to find your true self, the hidden self that can help you determine your path in life. According to James Redfield, Socrates attempts to extract more out of his erotic love than just enjoyment of sexual element of it. Love, for Socrates is an accelerative force to leave a mark in this world.

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Weimar - Goethe's House Am Frauenplan

Weimar – Goethe’s House Am Frauenplan

The trip to Weimar was literally one of the ‘Aha’ moments in my life. This is how Weimar happened; a day before we actually had to leave, I spent the whole day reading Galileo for a class. With my head drowned in my books I wondered to myself if I would ever get to spend some time with myself. Often one is able to discover many things about oneself while travelling. After a whole day of classes I came back to my room, dreading more work for the weekend. Then I read an email offering a free ticket to Weimar with the group that was travelling the next day.

And so it happened. I took that ticket and in an hour I booked a room in a somewhat nice youth hostel in Weimar. Despite having found a bed right next to a woman who snored all night long and the fact that the sheets stank very badly, my Weimar trip is definitely one of my most memorable excursions.

Read more and see a photo gallery of the trip!