May 13, 2009

Salvete all!

Well, the end is here! Actually, it has been here since my last shift and epic ride home on Saturday, but I got my wisdom teeth out Monday (which explains the delay in posts). Only my left cheek is swollen, which is a good look for me, I think. I cannot fathom the fact that I will be home for the next 4 months—it seems unimaginable after eight months of constant back-and-forth, five hours down and five back up—Columbus Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Spring Break, Easter…where did the time go?

The last question on my last exam, Astronomy (bright and early on Friday morning), was one that caused me to reflect on this all-too-quick passage of time. It asked something to the effect of, “What was your favorite or the most interesting thing you have learned this year?” I know my professor meant “in Astronomy,” so after I answered about a concept we learned this year in class, I took the question to a broader scope. I have learned so much about myself this year, had so many wonderful experiences, and as I dotted my last “i” and crossed my last “t” on my exam all of the fantastic memories I have made this year came flooding back to me. I vividly recall making it to the top of Mt. Monadnock and looking around in shock at the fact that I had survived a mountain climb without getting seriously injured. I still remember my first trip to Boston, the beautiful city to which my friends and I already have plans to go back. I can still smell the change in the air when the leaves started to turn colors so bright that I could not help but stop and stare. I recall being so sick during study period first semester that I could not help decorate the hallway for Christmas, but walking out after all was finished and soaking up the season. A blur of memories involve classes themselves—rocking back and forth in my comfy chair in Montserrat, discussing some ancient piece of art which tied in brilliantly with our reading, or re-living my trip to Rome with Doc Bender, listening to him lecture once again on sites that I saw first-hand with him. Most of all, I’ll remember walking to Kimball at 6:45 in the morning, bundled up against the torrential rain or wind or whatever other crazy weather Mt. St. James was throwing at us that day, and loving every second of it. Fenwick at sunrise is a sight that you just have to see to understand.

The bad news is, you’ve got about four months until you hear from me again. The good news is that I’ll be blogging next year about my new adventures! I can guarantee that my sophomore year will be just as chock-full of shenanigans as this year has been. I have enjoyed writing this blog so much and I sincerely thank everyone who has taken the time to read my ramblings. So, until next year! Valete (in the true sense of the word—be well!)!

April 28, 2009


Just a quick update today, on this my last day of classes. I cannot believe that the academic year has come to a close! Montserrat ended Friday, Greek and Astronomy ended yesterday, and today I’ll have my final Archaeology class at 2. It also happens to be Doctor Bender’s last class here at Holy Cross, as he is a visiting professor this year. How perfect that my year should end with a Classics class, and with the professor here with whom I am the closest. Study period starts tomorrow, which will entail me finishing up my Montserrat final paper (in lieu of an exam…a fair trade) and re-memorizing 30 chapters’ worth of Greek grammar and vocab. However, as much as I look forward to being home, I just can’t imagine being away from Holy Cross for almost four months. The minute I set down my pen after completing my last exam, I’m sure these mixed emotions will take full precedence. For now, I’m just trying not to die from the oppressive heat plaguing Mt. St. James!

In more important news, yesterday the Classics dept. held a party for Professor Nagy, my advisor and the patriarch of our department. He was recently recognized by the College and given the Distinguished Teaching Award, a highly coveted honor. In order to celebrate, we all plotted an epic surprise party for him in our Eta Sigma Phi room. Doctor Bender got him to come to Holy Cross yesterday afternoon through some trickery and, clad in flip-flops and a baseball cap, Professor Nagy walked in to see all of us (including almost all of the Classics professors) waiting to congratulate him. Between the delicious food, cake, and lovely conversations, I think we mananged to bestow proper “kleos”—or glory—upon him for his amazing accomplishment. So, congratulations again, Professor Nagy! You have a whole post devoted to you now! (FYI everyone else: Professor Nagy is always asking me when his next appearance in the blog will occur…it never fails to make me laugh.)

Well, I’m going to try to keep working on this paper. The Spring Concert is tonight, and I don’t want to have to worry about writing afterwards. Valete!

April 26, 2008

Salvete, omnes!

If I was in love with Holy Cross before this weekend, now I’m pretty sure that I would like to marry it. After the seemingly endless weeks and months of wind, rain, and cold, Worcester has finally shown us its good side. It’s currently 80 degrees out and sunny, which is exactly what this entire weekend has been like. And to top it all off, this weekend is also Spring Weekend, which is (in my limited first-year opinion) one of the best times I have ever had on campus. Spring Weekend is a celebration of the school year coming to an end, and boy can Holy Cross celebrate. Saturday morning, there was a fair on Easy Street with all sorts of games, fake-tattooing, cotton candy, and sunshine galore. In the afternoon was an insane soap-box derby right outside of Mulledy, for which a huge crowd settled themselves on the lawns of Easy Street and had a blast booing and cheering on the contestants.

Later on that day was a free barbeque and carnival on the Hart lawn, which I actually had to work for my last Kimball shift. Even though it was really hot and I just wanted to be at the carnival climbing fake rock walls and doing human bowling, I was glad to help Kimball put on this fun event. I even got a bit of extra Captain-training when I helped to unload a couple trucks in Kimball’s storeroom—invaluable experience I’ll definitely hold on to and use when I become a Captain next year. After the barbeque and carnival was an awesome fireworks show on Hart lawn. I watched it with my Classics buddies and upperclassmen friends (two of whom are graduating, oh no!) and had a blast ooing and aahing at the show. It was the perfect end to a lovely day of celebration.

However, the fun and games are (pretty much) over and I have a ten-page paper to write for my final in Montserrat by Friday. The outline is complete and I already went to talk to him about it, and my idea is workable—I just need to muster up the willpower to write the darn thing. Unfortunately, we had our last Montserrat class on Friday, and everyone was genuinely disappointed that this class had to end. I would venture a guess that our Montserrat class is one of the only ones in any cluster that was honestly disappointed at a class being cancelled, or that actually enjoyed being in class every day. It was one of the most interesting experiences of my life, and without even realizing it my ability to analyze literature and art carefully and purposefully has drastically improved. I just don’t look at a book the same way anymore, and I think that is exactly what Professor Joseph intended.

Finals are just around the corner and a bunch of interesting events are coming up, so expect updates soon! Enjoy the day, everyone! Valete et carpe diem!

P.S. A little lesson in Latin for you—Carpe diem is a term from the poet Horace in his 11th ode. “Carpe” is a verb that actually means “to pluck”—it’s not as harsh as “seizing” the day (that would be “cape diem”). So go out there and pluck the day!

April 20th, 2009

Salvete, omnes!

Hope everyone is doing well! The sun is shining here (well, earlier it was raining) and the temperature is comfortably in the 50s. How much of a stark contrast walking around campus is now as opposed to in January or February, when I could barely keep my eyes open against the piercing wind and negative wind chills! As spring takes hold of Worcester, I find myself taking the long way to class, or ducking along Easy Street to see the trees blooming. Anything to be outside as long as possible before the heat of summer kicks in!

This weekend was a blast in many different respects. On Friday was the induction ceremony for Eta Sigma Phi, the Classics Honor Society. I am officially a part of this crazy club, also known as the “glorified pizza party,” or “secret sorority,” as my friends like to call it—the name does sound like some frat or sorority (but we don’t even have Greek life here on campus, because we’re a Jesuit college). Friday night Simone, Lauren and I dressed up for Mulledy Prom, which the RAs put on for our building. I, thankfully, fit into my dress from senior prom and rocked that for the night. Our hall turned into a quasi-pageant or catwalk of some sort, because we all just ended up showing off our dresses (Simone’s in particular worked very well for this). Saturday night turned into a Disney movie marathon with Ashley and my fellow blogger and Kimball captain Colleen—we snuggled in her RA room in Wheeler and had a fantastic time. Some of our other friends and Ashley’s residents slowly added to our little group, and before we knew it, we were packed into her common room and screaming “Be Our Guest” at the top of our lungs. What a great release after a long week!

Sunday, yesterday, was another crazy day for me. I’m thinking of becoming a vegetarian, so my RA MK and I had a long talk about what it’s like to be one, since she has been veg for years. We sat outside of Hogan and watched all of the accepted students wandering around campus, which made me reminisce fondly of the days last spring when I relished the thought of coming to Holy Cross. Of course, I had already known I was coming here in November, but seeing the excitement on the members of the Class of 2013’s faces was priceless. I also helped answer questions at the Classics information session, which emphasized just how much of a family this department is. Professors Nagy and Perry both stated many times that this department has something special about it—it’s top ranked, but even more important than this, it affords us students the opportunity to make lasting bonds with each other and with our professors. The information session proved to me that I wouldn’t want to study Classics anywhere else.

This week is the last full week of classes, and I’m trying not to think about that. I absolutely do not want my freshman year of college to end! I’ll pretty much be living at Kimball for the week, because I have both my regular shifts and a couple training sessions thrown in there as well. All in the name of becoming a good captain! Well, I must get back to my Montserrat final essay outline—I have office hours at 2 and I want to have my ideas in order. Xairete!

April 15, 2009

Salvete, omnes!
I’m currently sitting in my room when I should be in Montserrat class (no, I didn’t skip!). Today we were supposed to have class in the Mulledy seminar room, which we did once in November. When we do this, since our class time is prime lunch time, we usually have lunch together for the first part of class and then get down to business. However, our lunch order did not go through, and Professor Joseph was so disappointed that he dismissed us so that we could go eat. I’ve never seen so many students actually unhappy that a class was cancelled—we were all looking forward to our class today, in which we were going to discuss Tacitus’ Agricola, a work with which Professor Joseph has spent a lot of time on in his research. Ah, well, Friday’s class will hopefully make up for today!
Easter break was last Thursday-Monday, and despite a long and traffic-ridden ride down to Philadelphia with my dad, the break was much appreciated (especially because the weather in Philadelphia was divine). However, I was a bit anxious to get back up here because I have a long laundry-list of things I need to accomplish before the year is out. The ride back up here was a lot of fun, because my uncle came with us to see my cousin Kevin and his wife Amanda, who are expecting a baby in May. My dad, my Uncle Mike and I all hung out at their house Monday afternoon, ordered pizza, and relaxed before we all had to jump back into another work week.
Speaking of work week, I’m excited to report that I was recently named a Kimball captain! Last night I had my first official training session in Lower Kimball, where I have actually never worked…so that was quite the experience. My shift tomorrow actually has four CITs, or Captains in Training, so I’m pretty sure that my good friend and captain of two semesters, Colleen Curran, along with our other shift captain Will, are going to just leave all of the ‘captain-stuff’ to us. That’s fine with me, because I have to get all of these captain duties down before I jump into the leadership role by myself next year!
I’ve noticed so many perspective and accepted students visiting Holy Cross within the last couple weeks, and yesterday I actually had the opportunity to show a family around the Cross from my area. Doctor Bender, my archaeology professor, asked me to speak with and show around the youngest member of this family, a really sweet freshman named Kate—but I ended up giving their entire family, including two junior boys, a tour of campus. I had an absolute blast wandering around campus with them and answering all of their questions; I’m thinking that senior year I may actually want to become a tour guide myself. I always feel as if I am doing my duty to getting Holy Cross’ name out through this blog, but anything extra I can do is always a plus!
Off to office hours with Professor Joseph for my final Montserrat paper (in lieu of a final). The walk over should be enjoyable—the weather for the past couple days has been sunny and in the 50s. Spring fever is in the air! Valete!

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!

February 24, 2009

Salvete, everyone!

Well, Spring Break is around the corner and I am very much looking forward to it. Although, when I come back, I will be staring a whole heap of assessments in the face. But it will be worth it to go home and see the family, visit friends who go to school in the area, and go visit my crazy all-girls high school. This week, however, I only have my standard Greek quiz on Friday and an Archaeology test on Thursday. My parents are leaving early Saturday morning to come pick me up, and then I’m home-free and homeward-bound!

For some reason, the last week and a half or so has been very slow with schoolwork. Don’t get me wrong — this has been really nice, but has left me a tad antsy and looking around for things to do. My friend sent me a Web site on which you can test yourself on all of the countries of the world (you are given a map and you have fifteen minutes to type all 195 countries in), and I’ve been working on that while everyone is slaving away at papers and for midterms. As my friends said, of course I wouldn’t spend the time watching TV or lounging around.

Saturday, after my friends overtook my room for the entire day and did homework, I took a fun adventure to Boston with my friend Tom to meet his sister and go out to dinner. I forgot how much I love to go to Boston. The city is so picturesque and the night was just warm enough where I could enjoy looking around and just being outside. As stunning as the Holy Cross campus is, there’s still something in me that yearns to see a city every once and a while. That probably stems from my usual habit of heading down to Philly every so often. Seeing the Boston skyline made me super excited to see Philadelphia’s once again!

I’m off to work on my heaping pile of laundry. Probably should not have let it get almost as big as Mt. St. James itself.

Happy Monday! Valete!