Category Archives: Leigh Ann P.

Five Dollars

Author: Leigh Ann P.

Alumni Weekend registration has been open for over a month!  What are you waiting for?  If you register by the end of today, Monday, April 16, the last day of “early bird” pricing, you can get in for $5 less than if you wait until tomorrow!

What does $5 mean at Penn?  If you’re struggling to come up with what it would mean to have an extra $5 suddenly appear in your wallet for no reason, allow me and my personal paintbrush avatar to break it down for you.

You could buy four delicious cookies from Insomnia in Houston Hall.

Instead of hitting up the free Keurig at Sweeten, you could spring for that fancy Starbucks coffee at the Penn Bookstore!

You could contribute to a Penn squirrel’s campus housing!

Register now!  Visit the Alumni Weekend site!


1 Comment

Filed under Alumni Weekend, Leigh Ann P.

Continuing Education for Alumni: Tiesto…?

Author: Leigh Ann P.

On most days when I arrive at Sweeten Alumni House in the early morning hours, it is serenely quiet and peaceful on campus.  I can spend some time appreciating the fact that I work on this beautiful college campus in the middle of a major urban city.  The merry squirrels dart dangerously close around my feet, having grown accustomed to a life of hand-feeding by kind, unsuspecting humans.  Sometimes all I can hear at that hour are my own footsteps on Locust Walk.  That is, when I wear my super-loud boots. 

But most mornings are not Spring Fling ticket-distribution day.

My colleagues and I have seen signs, banners and sidewalk chalk for a few weeks advertising “Tiesto,” and by our powers combined, we deduced that he/she/they/it was/were for Spring Fling.  I like to think that working at a college keeps me young and hip, but this is a dirty lie.  (Do the kids still say “spaz?”)  I have no clue who or what Tiesto is.  It makes me feel even older knowning that a couple of years ago when Snoop Dogg was the Spring Fling headliner, it was the students who didn’t know who he was.  After all, the incoming students of the Class of 2016 were born after “What’s My Name?” was released. 

So thanks to the sleuthing of one N. Elizabeth Pinnie, we have learned that Tiesto is a Dutch trance DJ, and Penn students are willing to camp out on a weeknight for the chance to see him perform live, even sleep on the steps of Sweeten as my fellow Sweeteners are forced to step on their blankets and bags of Doritos just to make it through the front door.

Unfortunately for the students, they’ll have to wait until April 13th for their Tiesto dreams to become reality. You, on the other hand, can enjoy his jams right now!

Leave a comment

Filed under Campus Life, Leigh Ann P., Locust Walk Talk, Squirrels, The Sweeten Life, Traditions, Uncategorized, View from Sweeten

Celebrating Spring: A Multimedia Extravaganza

Author: Leigh Ann P.

Spring has sprung, and after three years here, I have learned that I can count on Penn students to come up with garden activities that are far from garden-variety.

Here’s how I imagine these things come into being:

“Dude, I’m so sick of badminton, hackey sack, paddle ball, croquet, bocce, hula hooping, cornhole, tag, hide and seek, red light-green light, jump roping, tree climbing and lawn yoga.”


So here’s a picture of a student walking on a tightrope on College Green outside Sweeten.

Then what happens when you grow bored of tightrope walking?

You play Muggle Quidditch on Hill Field!

If you don’t know what Muggle Quidditch is, just picture Harry Potter-version Quidditch on flying broomsticks, minus the flying.

I attempted a self-portrait of me doing a Spring-themed cartwheel on College Green, but what came out was a realistic version of what would happen if I were to actually attempt a cartwheel.

Leave a comment

Filed under Campus Life, Leigh Ann P., Photos, View from Sweeten

Super Bowl Ad Highlights: 1937 Class Yearbook

Author: Leigh Ann P.

Every year, people go bonkers for Super Bowl ads.  Which one was your favorite from last night?  I have a few favorite ads of my own – but they are from the sponsors of the 1937 Penn yearbook.  They just don’t make ’em like they used to.

I really love the sharp, Don Draper character in this one.  One thing to note about advertising in this period of history is the extraneous use of quotation marks.

Check out the prices on class rings from 75 years ago.  For the price of a 1937 silver ring, in 2012 you can get a basic lunch at Bobby’s Burger Palace on Walnut St.

Dude, your hair is falling.  You should check out the Pennsylvania Barber Shop.

I don’t know what these clowns are selling, but whatever it is, I’m buying it.

This one is my favorite.  As it turns out, in 1937, whiskey was not only honest, but also good for your judgment.

We look forward to welcoming the Class of 1937 back to Penn this spring for their 75th reunion!

Leave a comment

Filed under Alumni Weekend, Leigh Ann P., Memories of Penn, Reunions, Yearbook Fun

Pretty Things Junkie

Author: Leigh Ann P.

On Facebook recently, I stumbled upon a friend’s post with a link to a slideshow of the 25 most beautiful college libraries in the world.  I was instantly intrigued because I am a closeted architecture lover.

Many people don’t know this about me, but I have many other interests outside of food, trying to be skinny, photoshopping funny images of my coworkers and drawing pictures with paintbrush during the workday.  Indeed, I love, love, love beautiful buildings.

Luckily for me, Penn is full of them.  Not to my surprise, Penn’s own Fisher Fine Arts Library is included in the slideshow linked above.  I find it so interesting that so many colleges and universities put so much emphasis on making their libraries into aesthetic wonderlands, either in the most strikingly modern or in the most ornate, old-world sense, perhaps in an effort to make students want to go there.  This of course is not a new concept; in the Middle Ages people spent decades perfecting their beautiful town churches to make people want to go there as well.

Leave a comment

Filed under Fine Art, Leigh Ann P., Library

Sweeten Fifteen

Author: Leigh Ann P. and Aimee L.

It’s that time of year again!  That time when you say, “I can’t work out on the elliptical machine today because I ate too many cupcakes.  And I brought some cupcakes home so I’m going to eat more cupcakes.”  Or, “It’s too cold to walk the one block to the gym.  I’m going to drink some eggnog instead.”  Or, “I’m not going to have my usual Houston Hall salad for lunch since there is a giant pile of cookies, cakes and tortilla chips right behind my desk.”

You probably already experienced the Freshman Fifteen in college.  This is what causes the Sweeten Fifteen.

This is the culture of Sweeten during December and it doesn’t change much throughout the year.  There is a constant influx of food infiltrating our 2nd floor counter – an endless barrage of party leftovers and gifts from kind, generous, good-looking alumni – and it ultimately ends up on our collective spare tires (but, so worth it, kind and generous alumni!).  It is a mere three feet away from our desks, and it catches our eyes, destroys any shred of willpower we have, and asks us to stop staring and just give in.  We’re still a couple of months away from our annual exercise competition (which Emily S. and Cecilia R. smoked in 2011), and if you are anything like us – you know, normal(ish) – you are probably experiencing a similar struggle with holiday eating, so we put our heads together and came up with a few exercises you can do in the office during a break to ward off that extra holiday poundage!

*Disclaimer: The illustrations below are a rendering of Leigh Ann P. and Leigh Ann P. only.  Any resemblance to any other person living or dead is merely coincidental.  Unless that person is Kate Middleton, in which case, wow, THANK YOU!

Try sitting on a large exercise ball instead of a regular office chair!  This is fantastic for your core.  Leigh Ann P. tried this at work a few years ago and the ball put her just slightly too low for her desk.  But – if you have an extremely long torso, this may be just the solution for you!

You could simultaneously balance a common office supply, such as a stapler, on your head while walking backwards up and down your office stairs.  Jillian Michaels would be so proud of you for multitasking with your different muscle groups.  What could possibly go wrong?

Marge T. suggested dropping a box of paper clips on the floor and forcing yourself to pick them up one by one.

What do you do to stay in shape during the holidays?  Do you have any other office-related workout suggestions?  Let us know in the comments!


Filed under Aimee L., Food Fiends, Leigh Ann P., The Sweeten Life

The Frankly Pennies

Author: Leigh Ann P.

Surely you all read my previous post about party culture at the Sweeten House.  If not, I’ll wait. 

Finished?  I’m sure you were wildly entertained!  Did you leave a comment?

Last week our fearless Frankly Penn blog founder, Aimee LaBrie, hosted a fabulous soiree (can it be a soiree if it’s at 4 PM?) honoring all of us blog contributors – both of the frequent kind and of the once-in-a-lifetime kind.  Aimee created awards for each and every blogger and presented them at the event along with personalized gifts.  Everyone is so excited about their awards, and a few people around Sweeten have displayed them proudly in their workspaces.

Nicole is so excited about her award, she has it displayed right beneath her office nameplate!


Can you spot Lynn’s award among all of her daughter’s artwork?

Lisa V. doesn’t ever want to spin her chair around and NOT see her Frankly Penny.

Mine is covering up my William + Kate tea towel.  Am I finally tired of them?

Jason’s only regret is that the certificate is too small for the frame he had picked out for it. 

Hoopes’s award is displayed proudly on his credenza, along with his blogger pride pencil!  No wonder he’s proud: who else has an award featuring a cat climbing a ladder?

This is the best award Cecilia has ever received!

Have you ever received an award for anything?  Let us know in the comments!  If you want to be awarded next year with a Frankly Penny, you could be!  All you have to do is contribute to the Frankly Penn blog.  Contact Aimee LaBrie at for more information.

1 Comment

Filed under Aimee L., Awards, Cecilia R., Hoopes W., Jason S., Leigh Ann P., Lisa Marie Patzer, Lisa V., Lynn Carroll, Mari M., Nicole M., Photos, The Sweeten Life

Party Time: Sweeten Alumni House Style

Author: Leigh Ann P.

I started working at the Sweeten Alumni House a little over two years ago, and shortly after I started, I remember Marge Tinsley (she of Global Alumni Network fame) telling me: “This isn’t an office, this is a house, and we’re a family.”  I found this so touching and it has really stuck with me!

We are a relatively small group of about 30 people, which combined with the open layout of the heart of our office, makes it really easy to get to know everyone personally – even if you don’t ever get the opportunity to collaborate with them professionally.  But we always get to collaborate when it comes to party time!

You are probably familiar with the office party. Farewells, babies, weddings and holidays allow us to come together on these special occasions and give us an excuse to decorate our conference room and generally pig out.  Of course, our idea of “decorating on a dime” involves taping up photoshopped images of the honoree throughout the building.  Dwight Shrute provides a good example below of how not to decorate for an office party:

It’s always a creative challenge to come up with a theme, but these men and women are committed to imaginative partying.  In the past, we’ve had parties centered around “Glee,” karaoke, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” Island-Meets-Arctic (I guess you had to be there), or most recently, traditional Jewish food!

It will be fun to see what our colleagues come up with for our holiday party next month.  What does your workplace like to do to celebrate special occasions?


Filed under Leigh Ann P., The Sweeten Life

4 Reasons to Come Home for Homecoming: As Illustrated in Paintbrush

Author: Leigh Ann P.

You know the main reasons to come home for Homecoming.  Football.  Tailgating.  Old friends.  Pretty fall colors and the feeling of being back at school for a new semester! 

But I bet you aren’t prepared for many of the other offerings that await you when you come home to Penn.  There is so much programming based on our Arts & Culture theme, this blogger had a difficult time narrowing down the field to just 4 events that might not be as well-known as the football game, and I’d like to highlight them for you below in illustrated form. 

Friday, November 4
4 – 6 PM
Quaker Exchange: Alumni-Student Speed Networking
College Hall, Room 200

Quaker Exchange offers undergraduates a chance to gain valuable career insights and exposes alumni to the bright Penn students of today.  What a useful event for everyone!

Saturday, November 5
10 – 11 AM
First Aid Care for Your Pet (part of the Penn Vet Animal Lovers Lecture Series)
380 South University Avenue

This event is an interactive session for pet owners and provides guidance and instruction for emergency situations.  I might really need to take a break from the registration tent for this one because there is always something wrong with my poor Franco!  Last night it was kitty pink eye.  What will it be tomorrow?  A broken kitty leg?  What ever would I do?

Saturday, November 5
10:30 AM – 2 PM
Penn Alumni Arts Fair
Blanche Levy Park (College Green/Locust Walk)

This is your only chance throughout the year to view and/or purchase the enchanting creations of our very own Penn Alumni artists!  Your talented fellow alumni will be waiting for you to stop by and visit them on Locust Walk!

Sunday, November 6
10:15 AM – 1 PM
Sunday Brunch and Tours at Penn’s Morris Arboretum
Morris Arboretum
100 East Northwestern Avenue

The natural offerings of the Morris Arboretum are sure to provide a valuable respite during a busy weekend in the city!  Plus, breakfast + lunch = brunch = good. 

There is only a week left to register for these great events and many others!  You can do so by clicking this link.  See you at Homecoming!

Leave a comment

Filed under Homecoming Weekend featuring arts and culture, Leigh Ann P.

Ode to the Penn Bookstore Card Section in Paintbrush

Author: Leigh Ann P.

I have been receiving birthday cards for nearly 30 years now, and I have been receiving “Wow, you’re old” birthday cards since I turned 22.  Twenty-two!  You know the ones I’m talking about.  “You’re old. You sag. You forget everything. Getting old equals bad.”  I get it!  Thanks for the card!  Anyone who knows me knows I would hate giving these as much as I hate receiving them, which is why I become so frustrated at a certain drug store whose card selection features only those of the “Jeez, you have gray hair and wrinkles now.  Because it’s your birthday and you’re old.  Amazing.” – variety. 

I have exhausted every lovable cartoon character I can find in order not to offend those close to me, because those cards are generally pretty innocuous and readily available.  Snoopy.  Scooby.  Sleepy, Happy, Dopey.  Mickey.  Buzz Lightyear.  But when you find yourself searching for a card for your mother-in-law’s birthday and you’re stuck between a pink, glittery Princess Jasmine card and one about an overabundance of ear hair, you may be treading on dangerous ground.

This is why I love the Penn Bookstore! (I’m not working for them, even though I keep plugging them!).  Funny, yet inoffensive cards!  Thoughtful, but not gag-inducing!  Glamorous and grown-up!  Thank you, Penn Bookstore, for never letting this Penn employee (or her mother-in-law) down.

A very pretty, very simple birthday card for a Mom in your life.


Filed under Campus Life, Leigh Ann P., Uncategorized