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24 June, 2005

Work has been going well. Tuesday night and last Thursday night, were the first two Gateways Summer Orientation dates. I worked late on those nights to help out with the language placement exams in the MRC (Multimedia Resource Center). During the first session, I ran into Erin, who had stayed with Colleen and me last semester. Watching all of the incoming freshmen line up for their exams and mingle awkwardly with other incoming students brought me right back to my own Gateways orientation. I remember the butterflies in my stomach all weekend. I had no idea what to expect. Filled with innumerable firsts and introductions, orientation was almost stressful because everyone was trying to make friends, find their way around campus and wonder whether or not they made the right decision—all at the same time! Choosing what college to attend is a huge decision. I had it in my mind that orientation would portray exactly what Holy Cross was about for me, and that I would know whether or not I had made the right choice during orientation.

Well, it didn’t quite work out that way for me. I found orientation to be rather overwhelming—all the seminars, the handshakes and polite introductions, awkward conversations and intimidating speeches. However, that’s life—nothing is easy and not everything can be just as we expect it to be. Orientation didn’t exactly calm my fears about college; however, I went along with all the events anyway.

When the fall came around, that orientation was slightly different. I realize now how fortunate we were to have a fall orientation—without which the hallmates probably wouldn’t have opened up to each other quite as quickly. Fall orientation kept all of us busy and kept our minds off of home and our high school friends, focusing us on our new “homes” and friends.

Actually, after the Mass of the Holy Spirit—which took place the day we moved in—I said goodbye to my parents and was whisked away by orientation leaders. Honestly, the next time I thought about home wasn’t until I went to bed at night—there simply wasn’t time! Everything seemed to fall right into place after that first day. I was no longer sad about leaving home to attend college. Instead, I loved it.

In a matter of time, the girls on my hall and I had become friends and we were finally opening up to each other. Late nights led to conversations in which we shared our initial fears of college. It seemed as if we had all cried during the days leading up to the move-in, and experienced similar emotions.

College is a big transition, for everyone. Yet, the fact that everyone is going through the same transition together makes the experience much easier. At Holy Cross, the upperclassmen, your fellow students, and all the faculty and staff are looking to make this a memorable time of your life.

I can honestly say that I could not have chosen a better college for me—Holy Cross was a perfect match. Of course, there were ups and downs, but through it all, the bonds we’ve made have held strong. By Christmastime, moving home for a few weeks proved a sad time, but for a different reason than the sadness we may have experienced when we moved in. Rather than being worried about classes and meeting people, we hated leaving the new family we had become.

By springtime, this place, with all those beautiful brick buildings that we once found daunting, had become more than a school to us. We now recognized the buildings as homes to our good and bad memories. Rooms in Haberlin were home to some pretty difficult chem tests, while dorm rooms in Mulledy and tables in Kimball remind us of good laughs and great stories. Throughout the year, I feel that I changed and grew along with the friends I made. We experienced some difficult times, but also made wonderful memories. Situations caused me to learn more about myself as well as the people around me. My confidence in myself has increased greatly, and I’ve learned more about who I am and the type of person I want to be. I think we all experienced some of these changes, which is what made our year so great.

I can only hope that my next three years here are half as good as the past one!

20 June, 2005

Saturday night, Ali, Colleen and I met for dinner at O’Connor's Restaurant. It was great to see Ali again (and Colleen, of course—but we see each other every day at work anyways!). After a nice dinner highlighted by conversations on our summer plans and last year’s memories, we departed with promises to see each other again some time soon. Hopefully, we’ll either be able to plan a trip down to N.J. to see the “Jersey Girls” or maybe everyone could make a trip to Six Flags. Whatever the location, we’ll try to meet up at least one more time this summer.

12 June, 2005

Reunion 2 drew a different crowd - well, I suppose this shouldn't be surprising, since it is for the reunion years of 1975 and earlier. The earliest class represented was 1930. Once you've been an alum for 50 years, you become a "Purple Knight." This means that you can come and celebrate your reunion every year if you'd like (I don't know much more than that, since I was primarily concerned with the first reunion!). These alums were also chatty and extremely nice. Many more men attended this reunion since it has been less than 50 years since women attended the College. Friday afternoon, I was able to see Michaela before she left. We plan to get together sometime over the summer. For the rest of the weekend, I am working with Dave and Erin, who make up the "Reunion 2 Team."

Saturday ran much like last week. We moved from Hart, to Fitton, to Hogan. Once again, it was a scorcher outside, and we all got a little burnt. This time, I remembered to put on sun screen. Fr. McFarland, who attends both reunion weekends, kept us in mind this week and brought some extra sunscreen in the event that someone needed it! Again, reunion went well; I even ran into a priest, Fr, O'Malley, who used to serve at my parish. Also, a few alumni we met gave us their business cards and told us if we ever needed anything, to give them a call. It's a great feeling to see the impressive alumni network of Holy Cross in action!

I loved working with Joy, Kristyn, Elaine and Denise, and all the students that worked on the reunion. We had a great time together and complemented each other quite well. Maybe next year we'll do it again!

10 June, 2005

I finally finished my Web site today! It's not amazing, but I plan to work on it and improve it. Throughout the course of the week, Prof. Morrisard-Larkin taught us how to insert pictures, work off a template, resize images, and all sorts of other handy techniques. Prof. Nelson focused on aiding the "Mac users" and introduced us all to Photoshop. In one lesson, she taught us how to make a Web photo gallery. Since I didn't have much to write about, the majority of my site is photos (which I think is ok since it's not a Web site open to the world - which I was psyched to learn!).

This morning, before our lovely lunch from the Billy Goat Beanery, each one of us presented the Web site we've worked on all week. I really am amazed by all the techniques I've learned thus far in publishing a site - I never thought I'd be able to make anything close to what I did. It's ironic how we put hours and hours into working on our Web sites, and it seems that there's not an awful lot to show for it! But it still made me proud to see my finished product usable and on-line.

The workshop ended today, so I spent the rest of the afternoon scanning slides onto the computer. Once we leave today, I'm headed up to the Hart Center to help out with Reunion 2, which is taking place this weekend. I'll let you know how it goes.

7 June, 2005

Yesterday, I started my new job in Ed-Tech (Educational Technology). I’ll be working with another student, Kevin, who is much more tech-savvy at this point, but, hopefully, I'll catch up soon! This week, there is a workshop for about 20 professors, which teaches them how to create and maintain a Website. Kevin and I are also participating in the workshop and making our own sites. There’s not an awful lot of information for me to include on my site, but I have already learned lots about formatting and setting up. We'll see how it goes.

6 June, 2005

Reunion for the classes of 1980 (who celebrated their silver jubilee), 1985, 1990, 1995, 2000, and 2004 (who only attended the alumni picnic held on Saturday) was held this past weekend. Festivities began on Friday, so Michaela, Kristen and I worked the "new registration" booth, which was located in the first concession stand in Hart. Alumni arrived right up until 10 p.m., keeping us busy from 5 o’clock on. The reunion office treated us to lunch and dinner on this rather long day - Michaela, Kristen and I (in addition to Joy, Kristyn Dyer and a number of other people) worked from 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. However, the day was fun. I enjoyed meeting the alumni and chatting with them while we completed their registration. We ran into all sorts of people, including the valedictorian from the class of 1980.

Saturday was a shorter day, but the weather was much warmer! We registered people in the Hart Center until just before noon, and then we relocated down to the picnic, which was held on Fitton Field. While we waited for people to arrive, we checked out the view of the new baseball field, which was having the finishing touches put on it. Opening Day was today (Monday); they finished just in time! After working in the sun all afternoon, we returned to Hogan for our final few hours of registration. We were all marked by "farmer tan"-type sunburns, resulting from our nifty blue polo shirts! Registering Saturday night was especially fun because all the alums were dressed up for their class dinners.

Overall, my first reunion weekend was a great experience. We met great alums, and had lots of laughs!

31 May, 2005

Yesterday was Lucy's birthday! She's finally joined the rest of us 19 year olds. We all hope she had a great day.

Today, "team 1" (Michaela, Elaine and I) moved from the "Bud Ryan Room" to the concession stands, where we will be working from now until reunion. We're relocating here because on reunion weekend, the alumni will be coming to the Hart Center to register, and the most convenient place for us to be is in the concession stands. Physical Plant and ITS came to help with the move and set up the computers. Quarters are tight down here, but there are only a few of us, and we won't be here for long. We checked all of the packets today - every alum who pre-registered will receive a packet including a map, schedule, room code (if he/she registered for a room), tickets and a few other pieces of information to get them through the weekend! Most alumni also paid the registration fee, which means they'll receive T-shirts. Kristyn designed nice gray T-shirts with a small purple box on the front, reading "HC" and "1843" underneath it. The same emblem is on the back in a larger size. Nicole and Kristyn spent all day folding thousands of these shirts! In terms of work, we're all caught up, and ready for reunion weekend!

27 May, 2005

Today marks the completion of two weeks working in the reunion office. It hasn't been too busy yet, but I hear that the reservation forms arrive in larger amounts and we have more tasks to accomplish in the remaining week. Yesterday, due to some very rainy weather, the Baccalaureate Mass was held inside. Fortunately for all of us working on the reunion, our makeshift office in the "Bud Ryan Room" gave us a front row/elevated view of the procession and ceremony. It was breathtaking to see the faculty and administration process in wearing the colors of their schools, followed by the graduates.

Today, the weather brightened up enough so that Commencement could be held outside on Fitton Field. Because of all the traffic - and since we were all caught up with our work - Joy allowed us to take the day off. However, she still needed someone to come in and answer the phones. Since Erin and I live close and had no other plans, we volunteered to come in and spent today answering calls. Earlier in the week, Colleen got a job on campus working in the study abroad office, so we've been eating lunch with her and a few of Michaela's friends, who are doing research on campus. I'm going to miss our lunches when I switch to my new job in a few weeks!

18 May, 2005

The past few days, I've been working diligently on trying to fix my schedule. I've been in contact with a number of professors from the Spanish department, but it doesn't look like I'll be able to get into the Spanish class I need. I'll have to keep checking on STAR to see if anyone drops the class. However, we've made some progress in physics! I've been e-mailing with Professor Yang (the head of the physics department) and it turns out that they've opened up a new section which fits perfectly into my schedule. Today, I was able to enroll in that course on STAR and most of the labs were open, so I was able to get into one of those as well. This means that if I want to go abroad and delay med. school for a year, I can still do that since I will have already taken physics. I feel relieved already!

Work is going well. Things have been a little slow, but we're getting lots of responses for the reunion. Today, during my lunch break, I headed down to O'Kane where I met with Professor Larkin (of the Educational Technology Department) and two of her colleagues. I am going to work there once I'm done with the reunion. The hours remain the same, but the job will be quite different. We'll be mainly located in the library doing all sorts of "technological tasks." I'm looking forward to this job - I think it will be a great opportunity to expand my computer knowledge, and if all goes well, there's a chance that I could have a job in this department in the fall.

17 May, 2005

I started my new job working on the Reunion, yesterday. There are five students including myself, two "team leaders" and Joy - who leads us all! Michaela and I work together on Team 1. Basically, we input the information on the reunion registration forms into the computer, after our team leaders take care of all the money that came with the forms. We get an hour break for lunch (yesterday we went over to the Billy Goat Beanery in Quinsigamond Village about five minutes from campus, but we'll probably bring our own lunches the rest of the time), and the hours are 8:30 to 4:30. It's actually a fun job - the people we work with are great and everyone seems to get along. Plus, Michaela and I have a great view of the city from our desks!

When I get home though, I have to do some more unpacking. I'd much rather be working on the reunion than unpacking everything I brought home. It is unbelievable that I could have possibly fit this much stuff into my dorm room!

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