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If you want a complete Bryn Mawr experience, you need to meet Claire McLeish! A senior who is finishing up her last semester, she is one of the few still living life and not feeling stressed. An Econ major, she has just landed an amazing dream job in Boston and is about to head out into the real world full steam ahead. Everyone who meets her instantly LOVES her, and it has been theorized that people who meet her like her friends and associates better because of her. Always with a huge smile and contagious laugh, she makes anyone feel better with a great big hug. She is also a master cuddler–a hell family trait. She is my hell sister, and I cannot imagine my own experience being as successful as it has been without this magnanimously fantasmastical person. Here’s a little about her:


If you were a pizza, what kind would you be and why?


Wood-fired, goat cheese pizza. I’m a Vermonter, and that earthy taste of wood-fired pizza embodies my love of the outdoors. I’m not your traditional mozzarella or cheddar topping, but goat cheese is an unexpectedly good-tasting surprise! I also like the idea of a cheese stuffed crust because, even at the end of the day, I’m just a big softie.


What was the last present you gave someone?


Fleecy moose pajama pants.


What actor would play you in a movie about yourself?


Tina Fey. My dad tells me that with my glasses, I look quite a bit like her. Plus, I live a very similar life to Liz Lemon’s (too much work, obsession with food, hair always a little messed, no filter, weird camera faces, loud, can’t even pretend to be cool). Tina wouldn’t have a hard time adjusting to the new role. Just add the family from my Big Fat Greek Wedding and you’ve got a McLeish-inspired blockbuster hit on its way.


What origami masterpiece would you be (crane, dog, an entire installation)?


I think I would be a small origami box, used for jewelry or other trinkets. Something that is practical, with clean lines (to represent my Type A nature), and nothing too flashy.


Would you rather be stuck on an island with wifi but no charger, or no wifi with a charger?


I would choose to be stuck on an island with wifi and without a charger. I’d send out a few messages for help, look up some survival tips, and watch an episode of Downton Abbey. By the end, the battery would be dead, I’d be hungry, and it would be time to start building a camp. Hopefully my rescuers would come soon.


What traffic sign would you be and why?


I think I would be a yield sign. I’m the kind of person that doesn’t charge right into situations but takes a second, slows down (without stopping), and then proceeds forward.


If you could throw any kind of parade anywhere in the world, what would your plan be?


I went to Mardi Gras for the first time this year and loved it. I loved the energy, the colors, the celebration, the excitement, and the free stuff thrown from the parade floats. My own parade would mimic the Mardi Gras, but I would do more to involve the cuteness of small animals.


Where are you off to next?


After graduation, I’m headed off to walk El Camino de Santiago in northern Spain. It will be a good chance to get out of the classroom and office for a bit! I’ll be on the trail for a little over a month walking about 500 miles. After that, I will be starting a job as a data analyst in Boston. The company does energy monitoring, reduction, and reporting for businesses around the world.


What is your favorite Bryn Mawr memory?


One of my favorite Bryn Mawr memories is when Hurricane Sandy hit the college my freshmen year. Luckily, there wasn’t any damage done. However, it did make for a crazy Lantern Night! That night we had to grasp for the light of knowledge while hurricane rain thrashed our faces. Our fear of being hungry during the storm drove my quad to collect 8 full takeout boxes, 11 bananas, and 14 drinks. The dining hall wasn’t closed long enough for us to make even a small dent in our stockpile. One of my favorite moments was when the dorm’s power went out and everyone sat in the hallway to wait out the storm together. I felt safe and surrounded by a wonderful, caring family during that time.


What is your favorite Bryn Mawr tradition (not limited to the 4 big ones)?


My favorite tradition at Bryn Mawr is my light blue owl lantern. My BMC sweatpants will wear out, my mug will chip, and my class notes will collect dust. However, my lantern is the single most important and long-lasting physical thing that I will take from Bryn Mawr. It is a reminder of all my the wonderful memories over the last four years, and it connects me to the many decades of past Bryn Mawr students. I always loved checking out the older lantern styles in Canaday Library. My second favorite is Hell Week. I got to dance to Gangnam Style on the desks in front of the class….when will I be able to do that again in my life?!


What is the funniest moment you’ve experienced in class?


During class one day, my (humanities) professor showed us a video of a dance piece that he participated in during graduate school. It was projected onto all the television screens in the computer lab and left the class shocked and fairly impressed. The dancers wore black turtlenecks and danced with large inflatable globes of the world. He then proceeded to ask if any of us wanted to make a song or dance to advertise our class’s work to the campus…yeah, no.

Or anytime my economics professor mentioned Jack Daniels during class.


What do you have to check off your bucket list here?


“Swim” in Taft Gardens


What would you add to Bryn Mawr?


Two soft serve machines…two is better than one. Plus, I wouldn’t feel so guilty going to Erdman for dinner and Haffner for dessert. Also, an on-campus summer storage option.

So go up to Claire and show her some love!
Artsy. Third Degree Black Belt. Dancer. True New Yorker.
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