March 28, 2009

Salvete, all!

The weather has finally taken a turn for the better, and the fact that I’m currently wearing flip-flops is a reassuring sign that the bitter cold of New England is slowly but surely lifting its grips on poor Mt. St. James. As I remember, right around this time of year last spring, all of my friends were frantically checking their mailboxes for those pesky college acceptance letters. However, since I had gotten into Holy Cross right before Thanksgiving of that year, I essentially was just trying to fight senioritis tooth and nail at this point (I’m thinking the senioritis won that battle). Besides my ramblings about my less-than-productive second semester senior year, I want to congratulate the newest accepted students to Holy Cross! In choosing Holy Cross, you’ll gain an enthusiastic, loving, encouraging student body to call your friends, engaged and insanely intelligent professors who actually want to get to know you, and one of the most beautiful campuses in the country. No competition, in my eyes!

As I’ve said time and time again, there are so many reasons why I chose to come to Holy Cross—mainly, the ones I listed above. The friends I have made here are a blast to be with, and most importantly, have passion and drive yet at the same time know when to just relax and lounge on Mulledy beach on a sunny Saturday. The main reason why I came to Holy Cross was for the amazing academics. As a classics major, I have access to leaders in the fields of classical archaeology, history, and ancient languages, and I make sure to pick the brains of each and every professor with whom I come into contact. And you know how I feel about the campus itself—every time I walk from Mulledy to Kimball for my shift at 7 a.m., I purposely take a route which allows me to see Fenwick with the sunrise playing around the golden crosses atop its towers.

I think that time really took on a sand-like quality this year. It feels as if the months have slipped silently through my fingers without me having noticed anything! I keep thinking that I was sitting at the Mass of the Holy Spirit on Move-In Day only a few weeks ago, or that I just took finals for fall semester. When I return from Easter Break, there are barely two weeks of classes left! I don’t want it to end!

Well, I finished a Montserrat essay early and choir is cancelled, so tonight I’ll have a nice, relaxing break after one of the busiest days I have ever had here. Great news is that tomorrow is CLASSICS DAY! Hundreds of students will be coming to compete in trivia (dubbed ‘certamen’), a costume contest, and even a chariot race. I will definitely be updating about that soon! Xairete!

March 23, 2009

Salvete, everyone!

Hope everyone is doing well! I’m a bit tired because I just returned from a fantastic weekend at home—I went for my cousin’s baby shower. As I explained before, my cousin Kevin married his wife Amanda a couple of years ago, when my family and I came up to Worcester for the wedding oblivious to the fact that Holy Cross was ten minutes away. My aunt threw a lovely shower for them in our hometown, and I spent a relaxing two and a half hours talking to my aunts and cousins. The weather was unbelievable—sunny and so warm I didn’t need a jacket. It was, as usual, a shock to step out of the car on the Hill to bitter winds and evidence of very light snow on the ground. However, I still cannot get over my habit of completely lighting up at the sight from the highway of Holy Cross aglow atop Mt. St. James. No matter how cold it may be outside, this campus never fails to give me a “warm fuzzy” feeling!

I’m quite sad, because besides classes winding down and Easter break fast approaching, another indication that the school year is drawing to a close is the end of the housing selection process for next year! Housing placement works on a lottery system, and the group one chooses to go in with receives a housing appointment at which time the group members pick where they want to live for the following school year. Jill, Amy, Katherine and I all went in as a group and received a very decent lottery time, 5:40 p.m. (appointments started at 3 and didn’t end until 11 or so!). I’ll be rooming with Jill, right next to Katherine and Amy, on the second floor of Clark. This year was a tad strange, because with our time we should have been able to snag a place in Lehy, a dorm still on Easy Street but closer to Hogan (the campus center).  However, we’re still appreciative that we even had a choice in the matter—lots of people will be living in Mulledy for a second year, and some people won’t actually know about their housing until the summer!

Wednesday my Montserrat cluster, the Self, will be hosting a roundtable discussion about our common reading, Ann Patchett’s Truth and Beauty. The book is a memoir written about Lucy Grealy, a very talented writer and Patchett’s best friend, detailing her struggle for self-acceptance and self-definition. In conjunction with our reading of Truth and Beauty, every class within the Self visited the Worcester Art Museum, or WAM (as Professor Joseph could not help repeating emphatically every chance he could get). We had a student-lead tour during our class time and saw four paintings and one bust, which we related to Patchett’s memoir in terms of theme and composition. Our guide, interestingly enough, was a Classics major, and gave a very interesting spin to the works we discussed (since our class is grounded in an ancient mindset, anyway). I always love to discuss art in relation to historical and literary context, so I had a blast.

Off to bed! I have work at Kimball bright and early. Valete, omnes!

March 16, 2009


Hello, everyone! Hope you all are having a fantastic Monday. I am thoroughly enjoying myself because this week is going to be far, far less stressful than last week was. I endured a very large Astronomy test on Wednesday, and my Montserrat midterm as well as the usual Greek quiz (on a not-so-fun concept) on Friday. My only assessment this week should be my Greek quiz, which I’m pretty much used to at this point. I also have lots to look forward to- in particular, a trip to the Worcester Art Museum for my Montserrat class. We do a lot of work with art in my class (jokingly dubbed the ‘light and sound show’ by Professor Joseph), where we look at ancient portraiture, sculpture, busts, pottery, and all sorts of neat coins. We’re going during class time Wednesday to the WAM to check out a few paintings that go along both with our class and our required reading this semester for the Self cluster- Ann Patchett’s Truth and Beauty. It’s a lovely book about the life of poet Lucy Grealy and Patchett’s long friendship with her.

And now that I have fast-forwarded a bit, let’s back up to last week. Lots of interesting things (besides my heap of schoolwork) happened. Most notably, I went to my first SPUD on Tuesday. SPUD (Student Programs for Urban Development) is a service organization which aids the Worcester community in all sorts of different ways. At my site, Cambridge Street, around seven of us go to tutor young children for two hours. I was a little hesitant at first to go because they children we tutor are living at or below poverty level, and I was nervous to encounter that. But when I got there and played with a little girl named Aja— colored with her, helped her with her ‘counting’ homework—I fell in love with the place.

I cannot wait to go tomorrow!

This weekend was one of the most relaxing of my life, and I managed to have a ton of fun. On Friday the Classics department and honor society, Eta Sigma Phi, held a little Latin and Greek recitation contest lovingly dubbed “Cookies and Kleos”—meaning Cookies and Glory. My senior friend Steph and I baked cookies and brownies for the event and all of the professors showed up to judge. (Speaking of professors, I think I mentioned that my advisor, Professor Nagy, was going to teach my Archaeology class last Tuesday…his lecture was excellent). Later on Friday, the girls and I piled into our friend Madison’s car and went to Blackstone, then Saturday went out to a huge mall in Natick, Mass. The weather was perfect all weekend and I must say, the winter blues are starting to lift up here on Mt. St. James.

Well, I have another hour or so to kill before Astronomy, and then after my friends and I are heading to Moe’s, a Mexican restaurant. “Moe’s Monday” has become sort of a tradition for us…a delicious one! Sorry for the novel, and Xairete!

March 8, 2009

Salvete, Xairete, Hello!

I’m back on campus after what was a glorious week back in Philadelphia. Spring Break absolutely flew by (I mean seriously, it winged right by me), but I think that was because I was constantly on the go and planning little adventures. I managed to go into the city itself to meet my dad for lunch. I proudly braved the train and am now extremely tempted to try to take the train into Boston—it was such a fun experience and not having to worry about parking a car was fantastic. I ate lots of Philadelphia foods (namely, a heap of soft pretzels) and was able to soak up some valuable down time before the end-of-semester push.

Although, my week was not completely without work. I had the unique opportunity to be a guest lecturer in my high school’s AP English class on Friday; I took them through a “close reading” of a few passages in the Odyssey, much in the manner Professor Joseph would have us do in Montserrat. The class had just finished the epic, which was perfect, and I got to show the girls how much I have benefited from college-level literary discussion. Apparently I have a “teaching gene” (according to my English teacher)…but I think it is just that I love to discuss Classics in any way, shape, or form. Seriously, I cannot keep my mouth shut about it. My friends bear the brunt of this obsession.

I left at five in the morning to come up here today, and I couldn’t help but be reminded of Move-In Day, when my family and I packed up the car and left at three in the morning in order to come to Holy Cross. As my dad and I pulled onto 290 E and I saw the stunning towers of O’Kane and Fenwick, I realized just how incredibly lucky I am to have two places on Earth that I love to be: my home in the Mid-Atlantic, and now my other home at Holy Cross. For this place truly is home to me. The weather happens to be gorgeous and as I sit here writing this the sun is shining beautifully into my room and I can’t help but think that there isn’t another place in the world I would rather be right now.

So, this week should be interesting. I have a lot to accomplish, but also some really neat things to look to forward to. On the more difficult side, I have an Astronomy test on Wednesday and a Montserrat midterm on Friday (along with my usual Greek quiz), so I know I’ll be in the library for many, many hours in the coming days. However, on Tuesday Professor Nagy, my advisor, will be lecturing in my Archaeology class because Doctor Bender is in Italy with a tour group right now. Professor Nagy will be speaking about Athens, our next stop on our crazy tour of Greece’s ancient archaeological feats, and I am very excited to hear what he has to say on the matter.

A shower, mass, and the rest of my Greek homework await me. Have a lovely week, everyone! Valete!