Fall House Retreat: Painting and Chit-Chat

Gerrie and Shannon's bowl for the House

Shannon Chapman (CFA 2015) and Geraldine Lai (COM 2014)

As usual, the long-awaited retreat began with a deluxe breakfast prepared by the House E-board. Residents spent the morning enjoying their favorite homemade breakfast foods while making introductions and conversation. When it was time to head out, House Vice President Yadirys Collado (CAS ’14) finally revealed the retreat activity: pottery painting!

Together, we hopped onto the T, making quite a racket all the way to Arlington. From there, we found ourselves walking along a scenic bike path complete with a dog park, pond and lush greenery – the perfect place to take in the fresh autumn air. After arriving at the pottery place, everyone focused on painting their pieces to perfection while making the occasional chit-chat. Two hours later, we headed back toward BU, recommencing the conversation and laughter. By the time we arrived at those black gates of 191 Bay State Rd., we truly felt closer to one another. Here’s looking toward a year filled with friendship, memories, and much more chatter.

“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.” – Ernest Hemingway

– Geraldine Lai, HER House President, COM 2014

Save the Date! 85th Anniversary Celebration

Join fellow alumnae and current House residents the weekend of Friday, April 4 – Sunday, April 6, 2014 for a celebration of the legacy of the Harriet E. Richards Cooperative House. This celebration will coincide with our Annual Meeting on Sunday, April 6, 2014.

Mark your calendars!

85th Anniversary Celebration

April 4 – 6, 2014

Check the 85th Anniversary Celebration webpage toward the end of 2013 for more details about activities, registration, accommodations and more! We have tentative plans to host events including reunion picnics, networking, campus tours, museum visits and panel discussions.

For the time being, reminisce and get excited by browsing photos from previous Anniversary Celebrations and Alumnae Teas on HERAA’s Facebook page.

Alumnae Cook Night: Winter Respite

On Sunday, December 16, HER House alumnae from Classes 2006 through 2009 came together and prepared a hearty winter meal for House residents. HER House women were in the midst of finals preparation, and the meal seemed a welcome respite from the weight of exams and papers. The alumnae prepared a well-balanced menu, taking into account House tastes and dietary restrictions and collaborated with the House to shop for ingredients and celebrate the end of the semester – on a budget, of course! The menu included:

  • Crusty Bread
  • Winter Minestrone Soup
  • Rainbow Chopped Salad
  • Wilted Kale and Roasted Sweet Potato Salad
  • Hazelnut Coffee Brownies

The wilted kale and sweet potato salad seemed the favorite of the evening; it was requested the recipe be posted on the HERAA website. It is now available on our recipes page for everyone’s enjoyment!

HERAA would particularly like to thank this semester’s House Steward, Diane Tang (CAS 2015) for coordinating the cook night, and Hilary Kehoe (ENG 2013), who served as cook’s assistant for the evening.

Alumnae interested in participating as cooks or just as diners are more than welcome to join next time – hopefully in the Spring semester! We’ll be sure to take pictures of all the food and merriment next time!

Celebrating Family

Despite the various ways one can celebrate, for many, the meaning of Thanksgiving walks hand-in-hand with the meaning of family. For me, this holiday has always meant family, fun and food! (And an academic break, of course.) Even if you took away the delicious buffet, I would be more than happy to just be with my family. Google Dictionary defines “family” as:

fam·i·ly/?fam(?)l?/: A group consisting of parents and children living together in a household.

Though I frequently see Google as my best friend, I think it’s wrong this time. Family is more than just a household of children and parents. Family is love, a support system, a place to call home, a place to be yourself and is completely and utterly, yours. Whether it’s the typical American family, a mother and daughter, two partners or a group of friends, it is still a family.

Although most HER residents left Boston to share the holiday with family and/or friends and although we were all sad to leave a taste of this happiness, we still knew we were going home. Every time I’m in Boston, I call New York, “home,” and every time I’m in New York, I call Boston, “home.” Others may see that as a mistaken identity or geographical issue, but I know just what I mean. Home is where the heart is and as long as you’re around people you love, you’re home and with family.

The HER House family is a special kind of family. Where young women from all different backgrounds, beliefs, majors, passions, likes and dislikes can live under one roof and find common ground based on cooperative spirit. There’s not a day I am not thankful to enter through those black gates on Bay State Road and be greeted by the piano playing, conversations in the kitchen, studying in the dining room and the “hello”s and hugs all throughout the House. This is more than a household with 24 women, this is a family, and every day I’m with my family, I know I’m home, and I know it’s Thanksgiving. On behalf of everyone at the House and despite it’s belatedness, Happy Thanksgiving!

“No matter what we are, we are a family.”
– “Family” by Dreamgirls

– Renée Gaillard, CAS 2014

Open Mic Night

On November 19, 2012, the HER House hosted an open mic event. Yes, an Open Mic! It was nothing less than amazing. The ladies did a great job organizing the event and welcoming the guests who arrived to perform.

All proceeds from the Open Mic supported Girl Up. Girl Up is an innovative campaign of the United Nations Foundation. It gives American girls the opportunity to become global leaders and channel their energy and compassion to raise awareness and funds for those United Nations programs that help some of the world’s hardest-to-reach adolescent girls. A Girl Up staff member, Dory Gannes, was present to give a formal overview of the organization and facilitate discussion on prevalent issue facing girls around the world.

The House was filled with a wealth of talent from many schools and colleges  in the Boston area, including Berklee College of Music. At the Open Mic, the artists, including a few HER House residents, really dived into their music, comedy and poetry and performed as if they were on stage at a major arena. The artists had a passion for what they did and you could tell as they played their guitar or held that microphone ever so tightly. The guests were greeted with delicious brownies and popcorn. The show lasted from 7pm-10:30PM and the talent never stopped! I was amazed and thankful by the number of performers and audience members. After this experience, it’s clear the ladies of the HER house will definitely have another Open Mic!

– Lili Wondwossen, SAR 2014