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A new beginning

 

v.   grad·u·at·ed, grad·u·at·ing, grad·u·ate

  1. To be granted an academic degree or diploma
    1. To change gradually or by degrees.
    2. To advance to a new level of skill, achievement, or activity: After a summer of diving instruction, they had all graduated to back flips.

I honestly have no idea how the past four years went by that fast. It seems like only yesterday I was taking my first tour of the campus, interviewing after the long walk through the “hall of presidents” in Fenwick, then finally arriving at Holy Cross, only to have the car be swarmed by fellow Crusaders, professors and even my class dean. It seems mere weeks ago I was standing on Hart lawn while my parents put their hands on my shoulders and blessed me before returning home after the Mass of the Holy Spirit. Two nights later was my only bout of homesickness, lasting all of three  minutes before my new friends invited me to watch a movie in their room. It can’t have been more than a month since I boarded a plane for Luxembourg or gave my last hugs to friends traveling abroad. Senior Ball, trips to Dunkin Donuts Friday mornings, Cranium nights and Baccalaureate Mass…weren’t those all last week?

If you haven’t been able to tell, I have been walkingaround in a perpetual state of disbelief for the past few weeks since my graduation. I don’t think it will really hit me until next September when I am not unpacking in Worcester, maybe then the tears will come. Until then I have the very fond memories of graduation to look back on as well as a very exciting future ahead of me. Graduation day started at 5AM when 100 or so teary eyed Seniors sat out on Hart lawn watching the sunrise over Worcester. After one last trip to Dunkin Donuts with Amy I packed up a few things before changing into my robes, fumbling over tassels, pins and capes as I went. I could not believe the organizational skills involved in planning our line up for graduation; Row 8 Seat 2, stay in your assigned seat don’t shift if the person in front of you isn’t there, stay standing until after the blessing and SMILE! The long march down was a time of reflection for me; I looked around and saw dear friends, casual acquaintences and (at this so called “small school”) plenty of people I swear I had never seen before. I thought of my family, who I knew were sweltering in the bleachers after arriving nearly an hour early, I thought of the professors I saw lining the way, shaking our hands and cheering us on, and I thought most of all about my friends, people who I had no idea existed four years ago yet who had had such a strong impact on my life I couldn’t imagine being without them. As I rounded the corner on to the field, I could finally hear the music and saw the huge crowd of families as well as about a third of my class already seated. That was the moment I almost lost it (I didn’t though, much to the dismay of my sister who promised me I would be bawling at some point that day-sorry to let you down Katherine, you know it takes A LOT to make me cry). Receiving my diploma, proof of four years hard work and listening to speeches from distinguished guests, administrators and my good friend and name twin Elizabeth Mary Anne Morse, all helped me realize what an experience my past four years at Holy Cross have been.

Afterwards there were many hugs, some packing and one of the most meaningful “Hi’s” I have ever had. Obviously many pictures were taken throughout the ceremony which I have posted for all to see. Driving home was surreal as was the rest of the evening, though that may have had to do with the fact that I slept for less than two hours the previous night. Slowly I have been getting back into the swing of things but like I said before, I will probably have some sort of melt down later, when I realize I am no longer a Holy Cross student.

Luckily I have quite an adventure ahead of me, one which seems very good so far! I am currently sitting at my desk at Providence college after completing my first homework assignment as a Grad student. I moved in and began the PACT program last Wednesday and so far it has been wonderful. The sense of community and acceptance I feel here is at the same level as Holy Cross with the added bonus of the fact that everyone here wants to be a teacher. That shared passion has been inspiring, plus it helps me feel at ease when other people spout Shakespeare in the middle of a wiffleball game, discuss math lesson plans over dinner or have “reading nights” while baking chocolate chip cookies, all activities that have gotten me strange looks in the past. We have been on retreat the past few days and classes start tomorrow; I also have a trip to Cape Cod to look forward to on Wednesday, meeting with the principal of Pope John Paul II high school where I will be teaching next fall.

So here I am, ready for a new beginning but not quiet over the past. It is an odd place to be but one that is strangely comforting at the same time. I am so excited for the future and the past is still with me as clear as it will ever be. Holy Cross has been the journey, blessing and joy of a lifetime and my four years there made me a better person. I will bring that thought with me into my classroom; I want every student who walks into my classroom to be a  better person when they leave it…I have Holy Cross to thank for that.

 

Thanks for reading and God bless,

Elizabeth

 

5AM graduation morning

Getting my diploma!
Getting my diploma!

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