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30 April 2007

Hi everyone!

This past weekend, I enjoyed my last Spring Weekend at Holy Cross.  The Campus Activities Board at the College always manages to pack the weekend with a variety of events, both new and traditional.  Friday kicked off with the comedian in Hogan, followed by the Street Fair, campus-wide BBQ, and Carnival on Saturday.  While the weather was not what we had entirely hoped for, I still enjoyed my weekend with friends on Caro Street and around campus, celebrating our last weekend of fun before the grind of study week and finals.  Tomorrow night, O.A.R. will be performing for the annual Spring Concert and a (rescheduled) fireworks show will finish Spring Weekend festivities on May 5th.

Also, this past weekend marked the College Academic Conference.  Over 300 students presented capstones, research projects, final research methods proposals, and theses over the four-day event.  On Friday and Saturday, I had the opportunity to present my College Honors thesis for the Women’s and Gender Studies Department and College Honors Program.  I was a bit nervous at first, but I surprised myself with how easy it was to talk about my project for twenty-five minutes and field questions from my professors and peers in the audience.  I guess you don’t realize just how much knowledge you have accumulated on a specific subject after devoting an entire academic year to a research project!  Congratulations to all my friends who also presented this weekend; it is good to know the long nights in Dinand paid off.

Graduation buzz is beginning to pick up around campus as well.  Unfortunately, today, seniors received emails regarding cap and gown distribution!  For me, graduations seems so far off—I still have a thesis, final papers, Cape Week, and Senior Week to get through—but in reality, classes end tomorrow!  This has been the fastest semester I can ever remember….

Happy May!

Kara

17 April 2007

Welcome back!  Easter break has come and passed.  The countdown to the last day of classes is in full effect!

Between my three final seminar papers and my Honors thesis project, I have become a regular in Dinand Library.  In a strange way, it has been comforting to see familiar faces in the stacks and main reading room; we are all in the same boat!  With classes soon ending, the library has been busy with students working on final papers, research projects, and more.

No worries. I have still managed to fit in some fun as well.  Last Friday, my friends participated in SHAPE’s (acronym for Sexual Health Awareness Peer Educators) annual dodgeball tournament in the Fieldhouse.  Hallmates, teammates, friends, and professors all pledged ($30 per team) to play in the tournament that benefited cancer research.  Sporting some crazy uniforms, teams played one another for the ultimate title of 2007 championship.  My friends, dressed in hot pink shirts and polka dot bandanas gave their best effort; sadly, they were ousted first round.  Win or lose, every team had a fun night.

I have also been busy rehearsing with the Delilahs, my a cappella group, for our annual Spring Concert.  The Spring Concert is our biggest event of the year; an opportunity to show off seven months of hard work to friends and family in attendance.  The concert is also significant for me and the three additional senior girls in the group—all four of us auditioned and joined the Delilahs during our second semester of freshmen year!  Delilahs will be a tough goodbye.

I am looking forward to my concert this weekend, in addition to the Student Government Association’s annual Leadership Banquet this Thursday!  Every year, students, administrators, and faculty gather together to honor student leaders who contribute to campus organizations and the greater Worcester community.  Look for updates on this event and more next week!

Until next time,
Kara

02 April 2007

Hi again!

Another full week at HC has passed …

Tuesday night was Senior Night at the Pub.  The 10Spot featured talent from the Class of 2007 and the Pub staff sold “PUB RAT” T-shirts inside.  It was great to catch up with other seniors outside of lectures and the library while supporting our class at the same time.  Also, on Friday, the Class Gift Committee sponsored food and music at the Pub, collecting donations for our class gift.

On Wednesday, I spent an hour back in the Admissions Office.  I worked for Admissions this past fall as a Senior Interviewer, spending four hours per week interviewing Class of 2011 applicants.  With acceptance letters now sent, the Admissions Office is hard at work again, preparing to learn which applicants will form the incoming first-year class.  Every year I have volunteered (as a tour guide and panelist) at the spring Open House for admitted applicants, a great opportunity for students and their families to interact with students, faculty, and administration and learn about every aspect of the College.

Wednesday was also a “tough” day for seniors…graduation invitations were delivered to our campus mailboxes.  Another frightening reality!

With Easter Break officially beginning on this coming Wednesday, I am anxious to take a break from classes for a few days, reconnect with friends from home, and spend time with my family.  Even though home is just an hour and a half away, I typically only head back during academic breaks; there is always too much going on here on the Hill.

I hope everyone has a relaxing Easter break!

Kara

20 March 2007

Happy Spring!

This past weekend was an exciting one for me!  My weekend truly began on Thursday at 6 p.m. when three friends and I packed up our red SUV and hit the Mass Pike.  Destination: Columbus, Ohio. NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, First Round. Holy Cross versus Southern Illinois!  After stopping in Buffalo, New York on Thursday night, we spent Friday morning and early afternoon driving across the Pennsylvania border, by Lake Erie, and, finally, into Cleveland and then Columbus!  The game was an awesome experience.  Whether students arrived by car, bus, or plane, we were all out in full force.  Alumni, students, professors, families, friends, and other adopted HC fans swarmed Section 116 of the Nationwide Arena; the sea of purple was quite a sight.  Standing and chanting “Holy Cross” and “God’s on our side” through the entire game, we impressed other fans and even Columbus locals out for the tournament.  The Men’s team made us all proud and the trip will be remembered as one of the highlights of my four years here!

All in all, 22 hours of driving for a 2 1/2 hour HC basketball game: totally worth it!

Also, the Women’s basketball team challenged Duke on Sunday evening in the first round of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament.  While Raleigh, North Carolina was a bit longer trek, the team was still well supported with the help of alumni, the WCHC radio station, and other fans!  For both games, students were able to watch the CBS and ESPN broadcasts in the Pub and Hogan Ballroom.  Again, the team’s efforts could not have made students more excited over HC basketball!

While my bracket may now be a bit off (true fan: I had HC going all the way), I was really impressed by the spirit on the Hill this weekend.  From the events of St. Patrick’s Day to the enthusiasm for our athletics programs, HC students were full of energy and HC pride!

Kara

13 March 2007

Hi everyone,

Welcome back from Spring Break!  The week before Spring Break was a hectic one for students here on the Hill—studying for midterms, finalizing travel plans, preparing for presentations, and fitting in farewells before heading off for home or on vacation. 

While two of my friends and I traveled to a warmer climate (Bahamas!), many of my friends led and/or participated in the Appalachia Service Program.  Every year, close to two hundred Holy Cross students opt for an “alternative” Spring Break, volunteering in communities in rural Virginia, Kentucky, and, most recently, the Gulf Coast region.  Sponsored through the Chaplain’s Office, the program offers students the opportunity to become fully immersed in a rural community for a week, assisting with construction tasks, clean-up, and maintenance of churches, homes, and community centers.  The trip is also an amazing time to pause, reflect on your service to others, and speak with residents on their life experiences.  I have loved hearing stories from my senior friends that led the trips and others that participated for their first, second, third, or even fourth time!

I also have been busy studying for the PRAXIS exam for Teach for America.  In order to teach social studies at the secondary level next year through TFA, I must pass a social studies general content PRAXIS exam.  It has a been a bit of a struggle to concentrate on U.S. History and Geography again, but I know it will pay off when I finally get through the exam and can begin to get ready for my next two years in the classroom.

In other news, the entire campus is excited for our men’s and women’s basketball teams!  Both teams claimed the Patriot League titles this past week and are headed to the NCAA tournament!  My friends and I are even planning a road trip out to Columbus, Ohio for the men’s game versus Southern Illinois this Friday!  Other students have signed up for a seat on a bus sponsored by the Athletic Department; with a generous donation from an alumni of the College, ticket prices for the trip have been reduced and lots of excited fans are psyched for the 11-hour drive out West!

With more than half of this semester completed (the 100 day benchmark to Commencement has come and gone), the weather warming up, and the clocks moved ahead, graduation is becoming more and more of a reality for the Class of ‘07.  I am looking forward to enjoying the fun that March supplies—St. Patrick’s Day, HUGE games for our men’s and women’s teams, lunches on the Quad (hopefully soon, if this weather keeps up!)—and forgetting about the chaos that April and May will bring.  Lastly, exciting graduation news!  Our commencement speaker and honorary degree recipients were announced and Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts tops the list.  Time to kick off the last two months until the big day!

All the best!
Kara

13 February 2007

Hello again!

Life is very busy at HC!  My schedule has been packed with long afternoons in the library working on my thesis research and nights in and out of meetings and rehearsals.  At the 7 p.m. mass this past Sunday, I was shocked to learn that we have almost reached the half way point in this semester!

This week alone is an exciting one!  Tonight, the all-female a cappella group that I belong to, The Delilahs, is performing at the 10 Spot Valentines A cappella Pub Night.  I have been a member of the Delilahs since my freshman year and every year I look forward to our various 10 Spot performances.  The 10 Spot, sponsored by CAB (Campus Activities Board), takes place every Tuesday night at 10 p.m. in Crossroads and provides bands, singers, and musical groups on campus with a weekly platform to debut their talents.  Tonight, we will be performing love songs alongside Fools on the Hill and Off the Record!  In addition, the Delilahs are also sponsoring a new fundraiser today and tomorrow in honor of Valentines Day.  The Ladies in Black will be delivering singing valentines across campus to professors, friends, and coaches.  Don’t be surprised if we pop into your practicum or stop by your dorm room, someone has paid to have a song delivered to you!

Also, this Friday night, the Purple Key Society is hosting the 100 Days Ball at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in downtown Worcester.  An exclusively senior event, 100 Days marks (you guessed it!) 100 days until graduation!  Last semester, our class celebrated at Senior Ball and I can only hope this event will be just as fun!  It is always great to get dressed up and spend a night out with all of your ’07 classmates.

Finally, in honor of V-Day, I have to give a HUGE round of applause to all of the young women and men that organized and performed in the Vagina Monologues last night!  Women’s Forum sponsors the Vagina Monologues on campus to raise awareness of sexual assault and global violence against women, donating 100% of the show’s proceeds to local and international organizations (this year, the local organization is AIDS Project Worcester).  Since freshman year, I have attended the Monologues and every year I am more impressed by the performances! Congratulations to Women’s Forum for a job well done!

Have a happy Valentines Day!

Kara

30 January 2007

Classes are in full swing up on the Hill! 

This semester I am enrolled in three seminars while I continue to work on my Honors thesis.  At Holy Cross, seminar courses typically meet once per week for two hours at a time.  While the coursework can be more demanding than a class that meets two or three times a week, I enjoy seminars because of the small class size (usually no more than fifteen students) and deeper class discussions.

Outside of the classroom, I have also been busy trying to take in senior year (for example, attending the Senior Class’ 80s pub night) alongside my responsibilities for the Student Government Association, Residence Life, etc.  I always feel unorganized at the start of a new semester—new courses, meeting times, rehearsals, lunch breaks.  With February right around the corner, I am happy to say that my day to day schedule is in place and I have fallen right back into routine.

One of the highlights of last week was the Holy Cross Men’s Basketball game against Lehigh University on Friday (Purple Pride Day).  Every year, the Purple Key Society (a service organization on campus) designates one day as Purple Pride Day.  Students wear purple to class. Purple streamers and balloons cover the stairwells in the Hogan Campus Center.  Purple cookies are served in the hallways of academic buildings.  This year, Purple Pride Day ended with the Men’s Basketball game which was broadcasted on ESPNU. 

Dressed in purple from head to toe, Holy Cross students were out in full force at the Hart Center.  What an incredible night of basketball as well!  Not only did the Crusaders win, but they also continued their winning streak at the Hart Center and maintained status as the #1 (undefeated!!!) team in the Patriot League.  In addition, senior captain Torey Thomas scored his 1,000th point and became the 43rd 1,000-point scorer in the history of the Holy Cross men's basketball program!

All around campus, a great start to second semester!

Until next time,
Kara

22 January 2007

Upon return to Mt. St. James for the second semester of classes, the senior class is invited to attend Senior Convocation.  Sponsored through the Lilly Vocation Discernment Initiative, Senior Convocation is held the day before the semester officially begins, encouraging seniors to take an hour to pause before the rush of classes.  As the Convocation program details: “Senior Convocation, another cornerstone in the Lilly Initiative, invites seniors to reflect on their first three and half years of college and to consider how they will use their remaining time to shape their lives and their life’s work.”

Last Tuesday, I, along with a large portion of the Class of ‘07, attended our own Convocation in St. Joseph Chapel.  The program featured reflections from Dean Freeman, the Dean of the Class of ‘07, and Father McFarland, as well as musical performances and words from our Class President and selected members of the class.  From Moira Brady and Tracy Espiritu’s performance of “When You Believe” to Lauren LaRusso’s original poem to Father McFarland’s advice on the essential tools to carry into life, every presentation was outstanding and followed by great rounds of applause from the seniors, faculty, and administrators in attendance. 

I was particularly moved by my classmate Andrew Jaico’s reflections on his past three and a half years on the Hill.  Andrew told the story of one of his most significant memories as an elementary school student.  In a second grade grammar lesson, Andrew learned how to use a comma as a pause before the end of a sentence.  Andrew explained to the audience that Convocation was very much like a comma.  As a class, we recognize the end of the sentence is near and so, in response, we pause.  Take a moment to reflect. Take a second to slow down. Take time to ready ourselves for the period at the end of the sentence.

I believe Andrew’s words, along with the other seniors’ reflections and performances, were testament to the talent found within the Class of ‘07.  In addition, I believe that the attendance and applause at Convocation was a demonstration of the support and spirit my class has for not only one another, but also in the faculty and administration who have guided us thus far.  Overall, I will remember Convocation as one of the highlights of my senior year and a relaxing moment before the rush of classes!

Until next time!

15 January 2007

Hi everyone!  Welcome back to campus. 

It's my second semester of senior year at Holy Cross, and I'm looking forward to an exciting semester of basketball games, Kimball meals, upper-level senior seminar discussions, and Spring Weekend events. 

This past semester was both hectic and exhilarating for me.  From my last homecoming weekend as a student to my thesis research and seventh stressful round of final exams, I left for winter break exhausted, yet thankful for such a memorable fall.  The fall definitely brought the Class of 2007 closer—through senior Career Planning workshops, Tuesday pub nights, Senior Apartments programs, and, one of the highlights of the year, Senior Ball.  With graduation (the dreaded "g" word) looming in the near future, it seems as if my entire class is focused on enjoying Holy Cross together.

With over three years of unforgettable memories behind me, I have never felt luckier to be a Holy Cross senior, or more eager to make the most of the weeks ahead.  Through this blog, I plan to introduce you to the people—professors, administrators, and students (especially the awesome members of the Class of '07)—that make HC an incredible learning and living environment.

Class of 2007 - get excited to celebrate your last hurrah!

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