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Eight Days A Week: Students Do It All

By Rosalind S. Helderman, CRIMSON STAFF WRITER

They are seen only occasionally, usually hurrying across the Yard and almost always running to reach their next activity. Or they may be scarfing food in the Dining Hall, one foot out of the door, already reading for their next section over a hastily thrown together PB&J.

Harvard thrives due to over-committed and over-worked students. Yet even in this jet-setting world, there are some students who are uniquely occupied. Everyone knows at least one: the over-achieving, a bit over-zealous, student leader, researcher or intellectual.

The short of it is, these six students are really busy people.

A Real Education

Many Harvard students moan and groan about their course load. Getting readings and papers done for four courses can be a stretch and those who take five classes often vent about the increased pressure.

But few students deserve to groan as loudly as Carla S. Nappi '99. The Mather House resident is currently taking six classes for credit and is auditing an additional six.

Included among Nappi's classes are Biology 17: "Evolution and Biology," Biology 139: "Evolution of the Vertebrates," along with two cores, four philosophy courses, Music 1b, a religion course and a special concentration tutorial.

A concentrator in Paleo-Biology, Nappi says she completes reading and papers for all of her classes and also manages to attend sections for 10 of her classes each week.

"I read a lot anyway," Nappi says. "So I just read for my classes."

Nappi spends 40 hours a week simply attending classes and sections. At this rate, the super-active undergrad estimates that she will write more than 20 papers by year's end.

In addition to her weighty courseload, Nappi finds time to work 10 to 15 hours a week researching pre- Cambrian microfossil core samples with Professorof Biology Andrew H. Knoll.

In her spare time--what little there is--Nappisays she is "learning to play guitar." Nappiclaims she also spends time relaxing with friends,as well as her fiance, to whom she became engagedtwo days before Valentine's Day.

"I try to use my time efficiently," says Nappi."I don't spend a lot of time sitting around,looking at the ceiling."

But Nappi says she wouldn't endure such a busyschedule if she didn't feel passionately about allof her courses.

"It's really wonderful. I feel like I'm gettingso much out of Harvard," she says.

Putting on the Show

If the Dunster House Opera, "Don Giovanni,"didn't go on, Thomas O. Schoenwaelder '99-'00would have been personally responsible.

The Lowell House resident, who directs theannual event, says the project "wallowed me up.There were nights when I didn't sleep at all."

In the months leading up to the production,Schoenwaelder says he spent upwards of 85 hours aweek coordinating rehearsals, prop collection,lighting and other aspects of the show. Althoughthe process itself went smoothly, as with manystudent-run projects small details proved thegreatest challenge along the way.

"My biggest project [in prop collection] wasfinding fake ivy," Schoenwaelder says. "I finallyfound it in a shop specializing in fake plants. Ittook two days."

"Figuring out how to budget time for operarehearsals and schoolwork, however, was tricky,especially since Schoenwaelder prioritizes friendsand family.

"I stopped attending classes five days beforethe show," Schoenwaelder admits. "My priorities atHarvard go: my girlfriend, my extra-curriculars,my classes."

Schoenwaelder, who is also helping to plan theHarvard World Model United Nations set to takeplace in Brussels this March, says the opera'sperformance run was well worth the time heinvested in it.

"I really have a passion for theater," he says."I think what I'm going to end up taking out ofHarvard is my social life and myextracurriculars."

Head of the Class

Almost all students at the College eventuallyfind themselves griping about how they wish theirTeaching Fellows had more time. If the TF happensto be Bridget J. Frey '99, however, she couldn'tagree with you more.

Frey, a Quincy House resident, manages to livea double life as both student and teacher. Whilejuggling a challenging course-load as a ComputerScience concentrator, Frey is also a TF forCS-161: "Operating Systems."

"I'm really fascinated by education," saysFrey. "[But] we do a lot of grading. That's myleast favorite part of the job."

In addition, Frey works as the executive editorof The Independent, a job she reports takes about20 to 30 hours a week. Like many students, Freyalso finds a need to branch out in choosingextracurriculars. Not every CS concentrator canboast membership in Toscinini Chamber Orchestra oreven occasional readings as a lector at St.Paul's Church.

"I'm not adverse to pulling all-nighters when Ihave to," says Frey of her ability to maintainbalance between grading and practice sessions.

Frey, who was recently awarded a full-yearscholarship from the Microsoft Corporation for hercommitment to computer science, reports that herbusy schedule enriches her life.

"I feel like I'm getting so much out of it,that I couldn't imagine giving it up," Frey says,echoing Nappi's commentary on the benefits ofmaintaining a packed schedule.

Plus, just as Nappi tears herself away from thebooks long enough to play a little guitar, Freysays she's careful not to spend all of her timeworking.

"I think one way to keep my sanity is that Imake sure I go out a couple of times a week," shesays.

Hit the Ground Running

Many first-years take some time to adjust toharried and high-pressure Harvard life beforebecoming as intimately involved withextra-curricular activities as most over-committedupper-class students.

Lindiwe Dovey '01 isn't the average first year.

"I'm from Australia--I got out of school inNovember [and] I had nine months out in the world,working," Dovey says of her need to get involvedupon arrival, "I felt like I was getting out oftouch with academic life. By the time I got here Iwas filled with excitement to do things I reallyenjoy."

Dovey, who split her childhood years betweenSouth Africa and Australia, spends about eighthours a week rehearsing with the Crimson DanceTeam, and then goes on to perform with the troupeevery Friday and Saturday night. She's also acirculation manager for The Advocate and serves onthe literary magazine's fiction board.

Dovey is currently cultivating an interest infilm and the performing arts by assistantdirecting an independent film. Produced throughthe Harvard-Radcliffe Media Network and written byfellow undergrad Santiago C. Tapia '98, Doveydescribes the film, set to be shot over springbreak, as "a psycho-analysis of a weird student atHarvard."

Despite her many commitments and 10-hour-a-weekjob with Dorm Crew, Dovey insists that, as opposedto the subject of her film, she still manages tokeep things in perspective and have fun.

"I'm adamant that I have a social life whileI'm here," Dovey says.

A Global Player

Few students have pursued their visions asrapidly as Leverett House resident William W.Burke-White '98. As the closing speaker at theState of the World Conference in 1996, Burke-Whitefirst met Mikhail Gorbechev, a fellow speaker.Impressed by the speech, the world leader thenapproached Burke-White and the two began talking.

Thus was born The Harvard Global Peace Project,Inc., a project that aims to bring 300 youngleaders from 45 war-torn countries around theworld to a Moscow conference in July 1999.According to Burke-White, the project is "myinitiative, with some of [Gorbechev's] visionsthrown in."

Burke-White is currently president of theorganization, where he spends upwards of 30 hoursa week directing a staff of 25 and running a $1million fundraising drive.

His monthly travels include trips to Russia andadditional weekend jaunts to pitch the project tocorporate sponsors--including Coca-Cola andHewlett Packard. The Truman Scholar also spendstime in consultation with the project's directors,who include the Dalai Lama, Jimmy Carter, formerIsraeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres and formerIrish President Mary Robinson.

And, to top it all off, the History andLiterature concentrator just turned in his seniorthesis this morning.

Burke-White says the thesis, an examination ofGorbechev's foreign policy in 1986, "is breakingsome new ground."

"Because of my relation to the GorbechevFoundation, I was able to get access to materialsno one's been able to use before," he says.

Once a varsity squash player, Burke-White'sinvolvement in the sport waned as thesis researchintensifies this year.

"It takes a rigorous discipline and intensity,"Burke-White says of his time commitments. "WhenI'm working, I work intensively, and when I'mhaving fun, I have fun intensively."

Burke-White will be working as a consultant tothe State Department in Russian policy next year,and plans attend law school the following year.

Get a Job

For many seniors, finding their future place ofemployment (aka j-o-b) is a full-time job in andA-3STUDENT

In her spare time--what little there is--Nappisays she is "learning to play guitar." Nappiclaims she also spends time relaxing with friends,as well as her fiance, to whom she became engagedtwo days before Valentine's Day.

"I try to use my time efficiently," says Nappi."I don't spend a lot of time sitting around,looking at the ceiling."

But Nappi says she wouldn't endure such a busyschedule if she didn't feel passionately about allof her courses.

"It's really wonderful. I feel like I'm gettingso much out of Harvard," she says.

Putting on the Show

If the Dunster House Opera, "Don Giovanni,"didn't go on, Thomas O. Schoenwaelder '99-'00would have been personally responsible.

The Lowell House resident, who directs theannual event, says the project "wallowed me up.There were nights when I didn't sleep at all."

In the months leading up to the production,Schoenwaelder says he spent upwards of 85 hours aweek coordinating rehearsals, prop collection,lighting and other aspects of the show. Althoughthe process itself went smoothly, as with manystudent-run projects small details proved thegreatest challenge along the way.

"My biggest project [in prop collection] wasfinding fake ivy," Schoenwaelder says. "I finallyfound it in a shop specializing in fake plants. Ittook two days."

"Figuring out how to budget time for operarehearsals and schoolwork, however, was tricky,especially since Schoenwaelder prioritizes friendsand family.

"I stopped attending classes five days beforethe show," Schoenwaelder admits. "My priorities atHarvard go: my girlfriend, my extra-curriculars,my classes."

Schoenwaelder, who is also helping to plan theHarvard World Model United Nations set to takeplace in Brussels this March, says the opera'sperformance run was well worth the time heinvested in it.

"I really have a passion for theater," he says."I think what I'm going to end up taking out ofHarvard is my social life and myextracurriculars."

Head of the Class

Almost all students at the College eventuallyfind themselves griping about how they wish theirTeaching Fellows had more time. If the TF happensto be Bridget J. Frey '99, however, she couldn'tagree with you more.

Frey, a Quincy House resident, manages to livea double life as both student and teacher. Whilejuggling a challenging course-load as a ComputerScience concentrator, Frey is also a TF forCS-161: "Operating Systems."

"I'm really fascinated by education," saysFrey. "[But] we do a lot of grading. That's myleast favorite part of the job."

In addition, Frey works as the executive editorof The Independent, a job she reports takes about20 to 30 hours a week. Like many students, Freyalso finds a need to branch out in choosingextracurriculars. Not every CS concentrator canboast membership in Toscinini Chamber Orchestra oreven occasional readings as a lector at St.Paul's Church.

"I'm not adverse to pulling all-nighters when Ihave to," says Frey of her ability to maintainbalance between grading and practice sessions.

Frey, who was recently awarded a full-yearscholarship from the Microsoft Corporation for hercommitment to computer science, reports that herbusy schedule enriches her life.

"I feel like I'm getting so much out of it,that I couldn't imagine giving it up," Frey says,echoing Nappi's commentary on the benefits ofmaintaining a packed schedule.

Plus, just as Nappi tears herself away from thebooks long enough to play a little guitar, Freysays she's careful not to spend all of her timeworking.

"I think one way to keep my sanity is that Imake sure I go out a couple of times a week," shesays.

Hit the Ground Running

Many first-years take some time to adjust toharried and high-pressure Harvard life beforebecoming as intimately involved withextra-curricular activities as most over-committedupper-class students.

Lindiwe Dovey '01 isn't the average first year.

"I'm from Australia--I got out of school inNovember [and] I had nine months out in the world,working," Dovey says of her need to get involvedupon arrival, "I felt like I was getting out oftouch with academic life. By the time I got here Iwas filled with excitement to do things I reallyenjoy."

Dovey, who split her childhood years betweenSouth Africa and Australia, spends about eighthours a week rehearsing with the Crimson DanceTeam, and then goes on to perform with the troupeevery Friday and Saturday night. She's also acirculation manager for The Advocate and serves onthe literary magazine's fiction board.

Dovey is currently cultivating an interest infilm and the performing arts by assistantdirecting an independent film. Produced throughthe Harvard-Radcliffe Media Network and written byfellow undergrad Santiago C. Tapia '98, Doveydescribes the film, set to be shot over springbreak, as "a psycho-analysis of a weird student atHarvard."

Despite her many commitments and 10-hour-a-weekjob with Dorm Crew, Dovey insists that, as opposedto the subject of her film, she still manages tokeep things in perspective and have fun.

"I'm adamant that I have a social life whileI'm here," Dovey says.

A Global Player

Few students have pursued their visions asrapidly as Leverett House resident William W.Burke-White '98. As the closing speaker at theState of the World Conference in 1996, Burke-Whitefirst met Mikhail Gorbechev, a fellow speaker.Impressed by the speech, the world leader thenapproached Burke-White and the two began talking.

Thus was born The Harvard Global Peace Project,Inc., a project that aims to bring 300 youngleaders from 45 war-torn countries around theworld to a Moscow conference in July 1999.According to Burke-White, the project is "myinitiative, with some of [Gorbechev's] visionsthrown in."

Burke-White is currently president of theorganization, where he spends upwards of 30 hoursa week directing a staff of 25 and running a $1million fundraising drive.

His monthly travels include trips to Russia andadditional weekend jaunts to pitch the project tocorporate sponsors--including Coca-Cola andHewlett Packard. The Truman Scholar also spendstime in consultation with the project's directors,who include the Dalai Lama, Jimmy Carter, formerIsraeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres and formerIrish President Mary Robinson.

And, to top it all off, the History andLiterature concentrator just turned in his seniorthesis this morning.

Burke-White says the thesis, an examination ofGorbechev's foreign policy in 1986, "is breakingsome new ground."

"Because of my relation to the GorbechevFoundation, I was able to get access to materialsno one's been able to use before," he says.

Once a varsity squash player, Burke-White'sinvolvement in the sport waned as thesis researchintensifies this year.

"It takes a rigorous discipline and intensity,"Burke-White says of his time commitments. "WhenI'm working, I work intensively, and when I'mhaving fun, I have fun intensively."

Burke-White will be working as a consultant tothe State Department in Russian policy next year,and plans attend law school the following year.

Get a Job

For many seniors, finding their future place ofemployment (aka j-o-b) is a full-time job in andA-3STUDENT

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