The Right Decision

Salvete, all!

Hope you had a wonderful holiday! I slept for more hours than I thought humanly possible and generally lazed around the house, which was much needed after the most stressful finals week of my life. I’m so excited to get started on my second semester of sophomore year! Classes start tomorrow and I have Greek and Statistics, which should be interesting because I haven’t taken math since senior year Calculus. I’m at a point where simple mental math eludes me now and I rely on my phone calculator to make the easiest of calculations…so I’m interested to see how I handle jumping back in again. I sure hope I’m not diving right into the deep end (probably not because it’s a non-major course, score!)…

I must say, it is absolutely amazing to be back on the hill for what is potentially my last semester here for a year, if I do indeed get accepted into the study abroad program I want. My interview is next week and I’m hoping that all goes well. This semester is going to be yet another whirlwind…I have so much planned and not enough time to accomplish it all (but I’ll sure try!). I’m editing the Blogs section of Holy Cross’ online newspaper, The Advocate, working at Kimball, tutoring, singing in choir, and through it all attempting to enjoy this fleeting semester with my friends through trips to Boston, NYC, and Providence. We’ll see how everything plays out!

For now, I must return to work for the second time today to help feed the masses. I just wanted to say hello, welcome back, and Happy 2010! Valete!

Salvete, all!

So sorry for the lack of posts lately. I just ended the most stressful finals week of my life. I thought it would be a good idea to schedule two breakfast shifts at Kimball in between my finals, but all that did was to make me exhausted when trying to study for my two finals Thursday and one Friday. I got through it, though, and am now writing this post from my cozy basement in a blizzard-ridden Philadelphia. I find it ironic that the second I drove into my county early this morning (we decided to take a midnight run” home so we could avoid the storm), we drove smack into the middle of a snowstorm and temps in the 20s. I thought I had just left New England!

Besides finishing the up the semester, I am also just about through with the Study Abroad application process. When I come back from Christmas break, I have an interview and then my fate will be sealed. More updates on that when I have more information! My friend Mike is leaving for Australia in February for a year, and it’s making me realize just how strange the end of next semester is going to be for me. This may be my last semester at Holy Cross for a year. Simultaneously a bummer and super exciting.

Reflecting on the past semester, I must admit that it has been a whirlwind. I have accomplished so many things that I had set out to do in my time at Holy Cross…apply to go abroad (that was quite the battle), join the College Honors program, survive and thrive as a Kimball captain, and have fun. I think I have struck an even better balance than last year at managing schoolwork and friends. And best of all, I have met some of the nicest and most genuine people I have ever encountered, and am so thankful to have gotten to know them! Cheers to the Kimball captains and everyone else who has made this semester a wonderful one.

Look for lots of exciting posts in the New Year! Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and see you in 2010! Xairete!

Xairete, everyone!

Hope everyone is doing well! I’m quite excited for Thanksgiving this week, especially since I get to go home on Tuesday. My dad and sister are driving up early and I should be home around late afternoon. I’m going to try to make this break a bit less stressful than Columbus Day break, when I ran around like a crazy person trying to see everyone and get things done. I really just have some homework to do and a paper to write, so I’m going to take the time to relax before the final push of the semester.

Yesterday was a really fun day. Cat and I worked our normal Saturday mid-day shift, had our evaluations (we’re doing fine!), and then ran from the end of the shift to catch the shuttle to Boston. We walked around the North End and ended up in a little café for canoles. It was the perfect release after a long shift and week for the both of us!

Enrollment went very well for me, thank goodness. Some people don’t trust the internet connection in the dorms and get up insanely early to grab a computer in the 24-hour O’Kane lab, but I’ve never done that and enrollment has always gone just fine. I registered for Vergil’s Georgics and Eclogues, the second half of Intermediate Greek, my Honors seminar Religion and Violence, and a topics math course in Statistics. I’m actually looking forward to having a non-humanities course in the mix, even if it is (gasp!) math. Interestingly, my Greek and Latin professors from this semester, Professor Ebbott and Professor Smith (respectively), are going to be switching roles(Professor Ebbott will be doing Vergil and Professor Smith Greek), which will be a lot of fun. This is probably going to be my last semester in a year for which I will have to legitimately register for classes at Holy Cross, since I’m becoming more and more certain that I’m going to end up in England for a year. I had a meeting with Professor Brit Smith, the coordinator for Oxford, and all looks to be going according to plan. Just an interview and some essay tweaking to deal with!

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving! Safe travels and enjoy the time with your families. I’m off to Philly in less than 24 hours! Valete!

Salvete, all!

It’s been a good day. I took a Sociology exam this morning, went to Greek, and then passed out for three hours. I was so out of it that at one point, about an hour into my nap, I shot out of bed in a frenzy thinking that I had missed my Latin class at 2 (it was 3 at the time). When I calmed down a minute later and realized that I don’t even have Latin on Wednesdays, I put down the books I was starting to pack and collapsed back onto bed for an epic snooze. Just goes to show how tightly wound I’ve been lately.

Wonderful news! I was accepted to the College Honors program, which means that next semester I will be taking an Honors seminar on Religion and Violence with the program director. I’m especially excited about College Honors because it means that in my senior year I will have the opportunity to write a senior thesis in Classics, something I wanted to do even if I didn’t get into Honors. The application process was demanding and required a very intense interview, so I’m glad that everything is set in place and I can move on to my next endeavor: study abroad.

I feel like every post I write now has a study abroad component, but that’s because it’s always on my and many other sophomores’ minds. I can’t even count the number of study abroad-themed conversations I’ve had with my friends…including late-night Cool Beans runs where we all just need to vent. My application is sitting next to me, ready to be handed in by Friday. All I need to do is make two copies of my passport and my fate will be sealed. Whether I’m off to England or to Rome will be in the hands of Study Abroad and the respective programs to which I’m applying. My deadline is a week earlier than everyone else’s (of course, because that’s just how my life works), and my notification will be early as well. The thought of living in England for a year is still daunting to me…leaving Holy Cross, my second home, and leaving my family and friends presents a scary reality that I don’t think I’m ready to face just yet.

I had my advising appointment for next semester with Professor Hamilton, and have pretty much decided to go with Georgics & Eclogues, Vergil’s other, pastorally-themed poems, for my Latin seminar, I’m continuing Intermediate Greek, and am (this might come as a shock) probably going to take a Statistics course. I haven’t taken math in a year and a half, so that should be interesting. Added to my Honors seminar, all of these classes will make for quite the demanding second semester of my sophomore year. The time is simply flying by, even more than last year. I can remember this time of year as a freshman when everything was still so new and exciting. As I sit here now, I feel so comfortable with life at Holy Cross that I cannot help but marvel at just how much I love being here. Sure, it’s stressful, and I’ve had more work this year than probably ever before, but I still glean so much satisfaction from my studies, activities, and friends that I could not imagine being anywhere else.

My 8 a.m. was cancelled for tomorrow and I’ve finally finished all of my midterms and tests, so I’m going to take a well-deserved break tonight and watch the Phillies. LET’S GO PHILS! Valete!

Xairete!

Hope everyone is doing well and, if you’re a college student in the middle of midterms, that you’re keeping your sanity a little better than I am! Sophomore year started out busy, and just seems to keep getting more and more so. Over Columbus Day weekend, I should have spent my time home relaxing and catching up on some reading. Instead, I ran around like a crazy person visiting my friends, shopping, chauffeuring my younger sisters around, and going out to dinner. Amidst all of the craziness, though, I did have a blast. I drove to see my best friend from high school, Rachel, at her school in New Jersey, had dinner with Doctor Bender and attended one of his classes at St. Joe’s University, took my younger sister to my high school’s open house (quite the strange experience! She’s growing up too quickly!), shopped like a madwoman, and watched the Phillies move on in our second bid at the World Series in two years. All in all, a successful weekend.

However, I came back to a heaping pile of work which I really didn’t even realize I had until I checked out all of my syllabi and saw that I had a presentation due Thursday, a Greek exam Friday, a Sociology paper for Monday, a Government paper for Tuesday, and a Gov exam Thursday. I’m slowly but surely working my way through all of this and somehow living to tell the tale!

Besides these wonderful assignments and exams, I also have to get to work on my Study Abroad application. I’ve been mulling over the essay for quite some time and think that I am finally ready to put my thoughts down in a coherent form, but when I am going to find the time to do so I really have no idea. What I am most excited about is formulating my tutorials which I want to propose for Oxford. The school operates on a tutorial system in which one takes a primary and secondary tutorial for eight weeks at a time, meeting once a week and once every other week respectively. I’ve come up with a few exciting ideas for what I would like to study there, meshing my love for Classics and involving the British culture as well.

Unfortunately, I only got about 3 ½ hours of sleep last night, so I’m off to lunch, Greek, then taking a much-needed nap. Valete for now!

Salvete, all!

Long time, no post! So much has been going on in these last couple days before I go home for a little break over Columbus Day long weekend. So much to update you on!
Last Wednesday was one of the most interesting and inspiring moments of my Holy Cross career so far. Greg Mortenson, author of Three Cups of Tea, came to speak to the Holy Cross community for our 2YO program (Second Year Opportunities). I actually had the privilege of meeting Mr. Mortenson at the dinner held in his honor, which a few members of the Class of 2012 were invited to attend. I spoke with him briefly and was struck by the fact that he did not seem like a “larger than life” celebrity. On the contrary, he was a very down-to-earth, shy, and kind man who has done some extraordinary work with education in Afghanistan and Pakistan. His lecture was wonderful, and he was (almost surprisingly) a fantastic speaker. I will cherish this memory of my sophomore year as one of the most amazing experiences I have had at Holy Cross.

In study abroad news, the debate between Rome and Oxford is still raging. I am applying to both, but what I actually end up choosing is still a huge mystery even to me. Every day I feel like I wake up and favor one or the other. I have decided that in order to make this decision I am going to give my mind a break from thinking about the possibilities and options so much. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the technicalities of going abroad—cost, courses, credits, etc. etc.—and to miss the main point here (which Professor Joseph pointed out to me in our meeting last week): anything I choose is going to be an amazing experience. I just have to discern which will fit me best.

This week is hectic beyond belief—I spent another 11 or so hours at Kimball last weekend, and have a presentation in Latin tomorrow and one in Greek on Friday. But after that, I’m free until next Wednesday, both from Kimball and schoolwork. My parents are planning on driving up late Friday to get me…yes, I will most likely get back to Philadelphia at around 3 in the morning, but I just need a break from work and homework and applications! My friends are all feeling the same way, but we did manage to go to Panera last night just to get away and have some non-Kimball food.

Valete everyone! Have a wonderful weekend. I’m sure I’ll have some interesting stories from my time home!

Salvete, all!

Today has been such a strange day so far that I figured I might as well share it with you. This morning, Jill’s alarm went off at around 6:45, and since I didn’t have to get up until 8, I just rolled back over and kept sleeping. Well, apparently my alarm didn’t go off, and hers never went off again either, so that at 8:50 I woke up disoriented and realized in a panic that I had ten minutes to get to my 9 a.m. Sociology class…clear-cut across campus. Jill scrambled out of bed as well, late for work. To top it all off, I walked in late to class only to find that they were in the middle of a pop quiz about this weekend’s readings. Needless to say, I walked out of there needing an iced tea and a hug. But just for good measure, when I came back and ran to get a shower so that I could work on my Greek translation, I broke my little mirror with which I do my makeup. By the time 11 rolled around, I was ready to call it a day.

However, this beautifully sunny Monday has taken a turn for the better after a bit of a rough start. My Latin class for tomorrow was just cancelled, which gives me time to study for our exam Thursday and to catch up on some other reading. We also got our first Greek quiz back and, thankfully, it went just fine despite my nerves. Also, I’m excited about a few new activities that I’m going to be involved in over the semester, including a Constitution drafting committee for Eta Sigma Phi, the Classics Honor Society. We’re trying to become a recognized student organization, but need to draft a Constitution before we can be an official RSO. I’m looking forward to being a part of this mostly because it is my class and the classes to come who will enjoy the privileges gained by an RSO status, such as fund-raising.

A shout out to fellow blogger, Kimball captain, future Oxford student, and dear friend, Colleen Curran! This weekend, Colleen came to Holy Cross for the last time in a year to say goodbye to all of her friends and Holy Cross professors. We took the shuttle to Providence on Friday night (on a whim!) and had dinner at the Cheesecake Factory, where we stayed and talked for a good three hours. I’ll miss her very much and obviously wish her all the best at Oxford! She’ll be blogging while she’s over there, so definitely check out what she’s up to in jolly old England.

I have a mound of reading to accomplish…sorry for the novel! Take care and Xairete!

Xairete!

When I say that this week has been insane, I truly mean it. Last weekend, I worked a grand total of approximately 13 hours at Kimball. I practically lived there from Friday-Sunday. Despite this, however, Friday was my friend Katie’s birthday, and my friends Allie and Jen made a special dinner for her in Clark kitchen, which included delicious pasta and salad, along with the traditional Funfetti cake. We all completely overtook the kitchen space and had a great time eating together. Even though the weather outside was dreary, we were cozy enough in Clark to barely notice it!

Also taking place this week was the first of the Study Abroad meetings. It’s hard to fathom the fact that in a year, I could be living in a completely new country and not actually attending Holy Cross! I still have a lot to figure out about which program I want to do, where I want to go, etc., but I do have my choices narrowed down to either a semester in Rome, or a year in England. The next few months will entail much deliberation on my part, applications, and heart-to-hearts with some professors to figure out what I really want the rest of my Holy Cross experience to be like. I’ve spoken with upperclassmen friends who have done both programs I am considering and I am seeing that the process of figuring out where I want to go isn’t going to be as easy as I had hoped it would be. I’ll just have to keep my options open!

In academic news, I just took my first Greek quiz this afternoon (hope it went well!). As I’m taking two translating classes, my workload has become absolutely insane. Both Latin and Greek are taking over my life—as if I would have it any other way! With the support of my family, friends, and professors, I’m getting through the work and figuring out why it is that I want to study this field. Especially now, after having gone over almost 200 lines of Greek for a day and a half, I can see that the satisfaction I get from studying Classics is so worth all of the late nights in Dinand. (But seriously, I live there.)

Valete, all! Have a wonderful weekend!

Xairete!
Hope everyone is having a great beginning of the week! I had my first Principles of American Government class this morning at 8, and I can already see that although the class is going to be very interesting, I’m not going to be happy about trekking down to Smith on cold November mornings. For now, however, the weather is beautiful and is supposed to stay in the 60s-70s range for the rest of the week. Only the mornings are betraying any indication of the cold fall and winter days that will soon be upon us here in Worcester!

Classes are in full swing this week, and I am a little surprised at just how intense the workload is already. My time is basically only being spent in class, in the library, or at an activity. My classes are especially difficult because I have two translating classes; i.e., in both Latin and Greek I have to do prep work for translations. Although I already feel like I’m in the routine of knocking out a translation so much more quickly than I ever did last year or in high school, the work is still a little daunting. However, these classes are offset by my Intro to Sociology and Government classes, which are more focused on readings. I’m staying sane, somehow!

The big news from this weekend is the fact that I survived my first shifts as a true Kimball captain (with workers and everything!). Saturday mid-day (2-5) was quite the trial by fire. My friend Cat and I are on the shift together and hadn’t realized that that was smack in the middle of the first home football game, so we spent the three hours running around like chickens without a head trying to figure everything out. To make matters even better, our shift fell at a time in between manager’s shifts, so we had to look to the full-time workers to help us get the pulper started, unclog the vacuum, find electrical outlets, put kitchen supplies away, and all sorts of other Kimball things. We were quite proud of ourselves after this, and treated ourselves with heaps of ice cream to celebrate.

Off to Latin! Valete!

Salvete, omnes!
Welcome to another school year at the Cross! I’m beyond excited to be here and I cannot believe that I’m a sophomore. Driving onto campus last Tuesday was a surreal experience: I had forgotten just how beautiful Holy Cross is. I had a steamy hot day for move-in, unfortunately, but since I arrived almost a week earlier than everyone else to train as a Kimball captain, I just took it slowly and unpacked over a couple days. My new home is Clark hall, which is right next to Mulledy. I literally just jumped one over, and I can see my old dorm from my new room. I do miss Mulledy and its awesome facilities, but Clark, as an all-sophomore dorm, is proving fun as well. My roommate Jill (you may recognize her name from last year’s posts) came Saturday, and with her came an explosion of color in our room. It’s very homey!
So from Wednesday to yesterday I spent my days practically living at Kimball, training and working. Becoming a Kimball captain was such a great honor and I must say that it is the most fun I have ever had here at Holy Cross, despite the smell in the back where the food gets dumped (the infamous “pulper”). I was a little disappointed at first because when we went to pick shifts for the semester, which is done by a lottery system, I went almost last and had practically no pick of any shifts (all the ones I wanted were long gone). However, it turns out that I’ll be working on Saturday afternoons and Sunday nights, which gives me the whole week free to do my schoolwork without the pressure of going to work. All’s well that ends well. I’m very excited to meet my workers, and on both of my shifts I am working with very good friends (shout outs to Cat and Katie!). Another year great year at Kimball awaits!
I just returned from my first class, Intro to Sociology, and later on today I have my first Intermediate Greek class. I’m a little nervous to start Greek up again, but also excited because my class is pretty much the same as last year, and we always have a blast together. Tomorrow I start Latin, another class in which lots of my classics friends will be, and I actually had my Principles of American Government class cancelled because my professor is at a conference. Since that’s at 8 a.m., I can’t help but be a little excited about getting to sleep in!
Off to Dinand to get a jump start on my assignments (yes, I already have homework…this is college, people). I’m so excited to be back at HC, and even more excited for all of the great memories yet to me made in my second year at the Cross. As my friend Ashley said so well, “It’s like we just went to sleep and woke up and everything is right back the way it was.” Valete!