December 17, 2008

Salvete, omnes!

SNOW! FINALLY! Last night there was a lovely snowfall that
blanketed campus with a pretty covering of the fluffy white stuff. As I
(almost) officially finished exams yesterday with Montserrat, which was
definitely manageable although required a lot of writing, snow was the cherry
on top of my feeling of utmost relief at the end of exams. I managed to
convince Simone to come outside with me around 1 in the morning so that we
could play a bit in the freshly fallen snow—that’s when it’s best, after all!
We threw a few snowballs around, tried to hit Jill’s window multiple times, and
created “crop circles,” as we dubbed them, in the untouched snow in the street.
If I had had my way, I would have gone sledding, but Simone dragged me back inside.

Exams overall went very well for me. I had a lot of time on
my hands during the study period (much more than I actually needed), so I had
time to relax and to continue to get better after my awful bug, or whatever it
was I had last week. On Sunday night was the community mass for Christmas, the
last mass of the semester, which went beautifully. All of my friends came to
see me sing in the choir (perhaps to avoid studying…), and afterwards Jill and
I went to the traditional Midnight Breakfast at Kimball, served by faculty
members during finals week. It was a blast. The place was packed and Jill and I
were thankful for the opportunity to do our two favorite things on earth: not
study and eat.

Tomorrow I head home to my dear Philadelphia until Jan. 14th, the first day of classes next semester. Speaking of
Philadelphia, today I pinned a Kimball captain as being from the City of
Brotherly Love just by his accent — he said “wooder” instead of “water”, a
blatant trademark of my hometown. I trained myself to pronounce the word
correctly so I would not be made fun of up here, but back home I always slip
back into my native tongue. Anyway, tangents aside, I am so sad to leave this
first semester of college behind. It went much, much too quickly. In the past
three months, I have confirmed my love for Classics, made some of the sweetest
friends on the planet, challenged myself physically (remember Monadnock? I sure
do!) and mentally, and enjoyed life in so many ways. I love climbing Mt. St.
James day after day, adore the towering turrets of Fenwick, and the grand
columns of Dinand. I love Holy Cross, and could not envision myself at any
other school. I am so excited to see what next semester brings!

Congratulations to all Early Decision candidates who are
just now finding out about their acceptances! This was a supremely exciting
time for me, and I wish all of you the very best of luck.

I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas, a safe break,
and enjoys the extra time with family and friends. Valete until the New Year!

December 10, 2008


Well, I’ve had a rough couple of days. When I went home for
Thanksgiving break, my entire family was very sick with some form of the flu. I
thought I had gotten away clean, but that was evidently not the case. Monday
night, as I was writing my final Philosophy paper (woo!), I felt very cold and
thought it was just because the study room in Mulledy’s basement was a bit
chilly. However, my chills got progressively worse until I ended up with a 102
degree fever and was seriously out of commission for a few days. I missed my
last day of classes, which I was sad about, but the good news is that I didn’t
have to miss any more classes because right now is the finals study period.
It’s a very useful three days before finals begin in which we can get ourselves
together and start studying before finals actually start. Mine do not start
until Monday, which is a real blessing, for I have to work at Kimball a ton
this weekend. All workers have to work three shifts during finals week, which
is a bit hard to juggle with studying, but I’ll get my studying done in between

I only have two actual finals, Greek and Montserrat — both for
Professor Joseph. They’re on consecutive days at the same time, 2:30 in the
afternoon, which is kind of funny. I’m glad I’ll get to sleep in a little
before them, and do some last-minute review. I have a ton to memorize for my
2-hour Greek exam, so I think I’m going to get started on that tonight.
Montserrat will be a ton of writing, but that’s alright, because the class has
been graded based on writing throughout the semester, anyway. My assessment in
Latin is interesting. Instead of a final, we’re reviewing our papers and the
papers of those in our class for part of the session, and then for an hour
we’re doing a translation of a part of an ode we’ve never seen before (with a
dictionary, of course!). It should be a fun challenge.

Unfortunately, I missed the Christmas tree lighting ceremony
on O’Kane porch because I was practically delirious from my fever. However, I
still got my share of holiday cheer yesterday, because my hall went all-out for
the hall decorating contest. There are lights everywhere, a painted fireplace,
Dear Santa letters (one of which I composed myself, wishing, as always, to be
in Rome), stockings, and snowflakes. My friends and I all did a Secret Santa
gift exchange today, and baked holiday cookies (well, Amy baked holiday
cookies). So despite the stress of looming finals, there is always the promise
of home and Christmas to brighten the mood!

I suppose I’ll start to study Greek now—I have a horrendous
amount of verb principle parts to re-memorize! Valete omnes!

Dovember 5, 2008

Salvete, omnes!

As the semester winds down, I cannot help but think of all
the impressions I had about college life before I got here and experienced it
myself. I was nervous this summer about so many things—living in a dorm, living
with someone I didn’t know, making friends, passing my classes, doing my
homework and still finding time for hanging out…the list went on and on. All of
my worries seemed to dissipate, though, the moment I got here and just jumped
right in to life on the Hill. I’m going to dedicate this blog to those seniors
(and even juniors) who are wondering just how the heck one goes to college and
lives to tell the tale.

Dorm life

I’ve found living Mulledy a generally pleasant experience.
My roommate and I get along very well, and respect each other’s time, stuff,
and space. It wasn’t hard to grasp the dynamic of living with someone
completely new. When one of us wants to study and the other would like to
sleep, the bookworm just goes down to a study room in Mulledy (which I’ve
recently discovered, thanks to my friend Jill) or to the library. All it takes
is a little compromise. Noise level in Mulledy is the only thing I have ever
had a problem with — sometimes a girl just wants to sleep, and for others in the
hall this is the last thing on their minds. Quiet times go into effect at 10
p.m. on weekdays and midnight on weekends, but one can always just go out and
nicely ask the noisy ones to quiet down. The best part about living in a dorm
is having your friends around all the time (which can put a damper on
productivity, but I’ve gotten into the habit of not doing my work in my room,
as to cut down on distractions). My friends and I spontaneously watch movies,
make nachos (or “chips and cheese,” as Amy insists) like it’s our job, and
order out sometimes. It’s quite fun! As far as sharing showers/bathrooms are
concerned, that’s just something you get used to with time.

Making friends

Now, honestly, I don’t know how I could have been nervous
about making friends here at Holy Cross. Everyone is so nice and most people,
like me, will talk to anyone. There are so many opportunities to create lasting
friendships here from the get-go, such as orientation groups, hall shenanigans,
classes, and clubs. My friends are a lovely, crazy group of girls whom I know I
can turn to for anything. We’ve had so much fun in the past couple months, and
I can’t imagine my Holy Cross experience without them!


 This is the one thing
I was especially nervous about when coming to Holy Cross. I had this impression
that every class was ridiculously impossible, and that the professors would be
inaccessible or difficult to follow. How unlike reality my worry was! At Holy
Cross, most classes are very small (my largest is in the 20s), and the
professors, though absolute geniuses, have an uncanny knack for making their
material accessible. My favorite part about going to class here is the level of
enthusiasm both the professors and students have for teaching and learning,
respectively. Within my own major and even in my group of friends, I am surrounded
by passionate individuals who have drive and conviction. The homework is
manageable, and usually very pertinent to the course material. If you stay on
top of things and make sure to resist slacking off most nights, you’ll be in
top shape. Since we only take four classes here (trust me, they’ll keep you
quite occupied), a lot of free time is devoted to getting caught up, as well as
to activities. All in all, although things get a bit hectic at times (right now
is one of those for me!), one always gets through the work and usually enjoys
herself in the end.

Well, speaking of getting work done, I must finish a paper
due at midnight tonight for Latin. Only a page to go!

Xairete (in honor of my
last Greek quiz of the semester, which I took today)!

December 3, 2008

Salvete, amici!

I hope everyone had a very nice Thanksgiving and break. I
had a blast back at home — I hung out with family and friends, shopped, and had
what was one of the best Turkey dinners I have ever had, lifetime (compliments
of my mother — thanks mom!). I even managed to get work done while I was home,
despite all the distractions and running here and there. I finished my
Montserrat paper due next Monday, and got started on a killer 10-page Latin
paper due this Friday. I’ll be working on that all day today.

Finals are just over a week away. How incredibly scary that
thought is! My last class of the semester is next Tuesday (philosophy), and
then study period begins on Wednesday. So far, I have a Greek and a Montserrat
final, which is completely manageable. However, the “X” factor will be whether
or not we have a Latin final or not. We’re not supposed to, but I have the
distinct feeling that Professor Hamilton just may give us one…that would be
hard to swallow after this huge paper.

Just wanted to give a quick update. I must run to Greek!