Archive for May, 2008

May 26, 2008

May 26th, 2008 by emhest09

Amsterdam was fantastic! We left Luxembourg on Friday and arrived, after a 5 hour train ride, in Amsterdam. Friday night we decided to go to the Van Gogh museum which was very interesting. I gained a new respect for him to be sure especially seeing the progress of his work from rural scenes to the more experimental art he attempted in his later years. We made the fatal mistake of not eating dinner before hand though so we were all famished by the end of the museum trip. We got our first taste of European fast food that night…a little bit on the gross side I must admit.

The next day we woke up early to go to the Anne Frank House before the line got too long. I never read the book (it is on my mile long summer reading list, lucky for me I work in a library!) but it was still a powerful experience. We had been discussing the Holocaust in class the week before and seeing the house where she was hidden away and seeing the video of her father discussing his daughter was very powerful. Amsterdam itself was very pretty, it reminded me a lot of Bruges with the same architecture and canals. We took another canal tour and went out towards the North Sea, it was such a gorgeous day!

Amsterdam was a pleasant surprise, I had known very little about it before the trip but was very impressed with how beautiful it was. My one complaint: The bicycles! It was absolutely insane walking around the city because you had to watch out for trams, cars and ESPECIALLY bikes. The people riding the bikes would ring the bells when they were about 2 feet away and you had to literally jump out of the way because they did not slow down. I think I will have nightmares about that sound for weeks!

Another great weekend but I have to admit, the weekend I am looking forward to the most is next…PARIS!!!





May 19, 2008

May 19th, 2008 by emhest09

We have had a lot of down time this week so I actually get to use one of the two computers here! I re read the past few entries and have discovered that they were definitely lacking in the quality aspect. It is difficult to blog and write emails to friends and family all within a half hour block of time. I would therefore like to apologize for a few things..

  1. I am staying in a town called Mondorf les Bains, not Mordorf, though both sound very cool
  2. I am still having problems finding the apostrophe key so bear with me
  3. I received an email from my mom today expressing dismay over my use of the word amazing. She so kindly sent me at least a dozen synonyms for it so I plan on using those accordingly

Poor grammar aside, the sun is finally shining here in Luxembourg! This week is our most academically challenging according to Professor Green who teaches my history class and I would have to agree. Learning WWII in 5 days is certainly a difficult task, tomorrow should be great though, we are learning about Fascism and how it appealed to the German people before WWII then we are going to Trier, Germany! Before my trip, when I told people I was going to Luxembourg I usually got two questions: Are you going to Bruges (check that one off the list) and are you going to Trier…I can’t wait! The weather is supposed to be nice throughout the week and weekend which is good because I plan on doing a lot of walking around in both Trier and Amsterdam.

I am attaching a few pictures that my friend Lexie took on our trip to Bruges and Brussels. She is studying at Oxford for the year and was able to meet up with us! Most are of Bruges but there is one of the Brussels skyline and of the garden in Mondorf that is absolutely gorgeous.








It is odd to think that we have only been here about a week, yet I still can’t believe how fast time is moving!




May 19, 2008

May 19th, 2008 by emhest09

I am having an amazing time in Europe! My class has been amazing so far especially because we get to see everything we are learning about. For example, we learned about the Battle of Verdun on Wednesday, then actually got to go there to see the remains of the fortifications, the museum and the rows of crosses. Studying in Europe is a unique experience to say the least!

This past weekend a group of about 17 Holy Cross students went to Belgium. We started in Bruges which I absolutley fell in love with, it was so medieval and cute. We took a canal tour (in the rain) and spent a lot of time walking through the main square and exploring the side streets. I am happy to report I ate 2 waffles while I was there — true Belgian waffles! After Bruges we went to Brussels which was very different from the small towns we were used to. Brussels is a big city with interesting contrasts, there are gothic cathedrals with apartment complexes next door. We wandered around the main square then made our way to the outskirts of town to see the Palace of Justice and get a panoramic view of the city.

I have to apologize in advance, I don’t think I will be able to upload an photos for the trip because we don’t have access to laptps but the minute I get home I will post a TON of pictures!

I am VERY tired, but it is a good tired — it means I am enjoying Europe to the fullest!

May 12, 2008

May 12th, 2008 by emhest09

I have arrived! The flight over to Luxembourg was long and bumpy —  not good for someone who hates flying like me. Luckily I had friends to keep me distracted and was able to sleep most of the way. We arrived in Germany at about 10:30 a. m. (European time) then took a three hour bus ride to the place we are staying in Mordorf le Bains, Luxembourg. It is absolutely gorgeous here, rolling hills, fields of beautiful yellow flowers, and it helps that it is 80 degrees and sunny!

There is a festival going on in town tonight so we plan on going there tonight and enjoying our first dinner together,. I promise to write more once I have a handle on this crazy European keyboard and send along pictures too. It seems like this is going to be an amazing experience and I can’t wait for everything to start!

Can you tell I am a bit jetlagged?

May 7, 2008

May 7th, 2008 by emhest09

I will keep this entry short and sweet because there is not much to report other then the fact that I leave for Luxembourg in less than four days! Packing was as much of a hassle as I thought it would be and the bags sitting in my living room right now will have to be sorted through to pick out all I need for Europe. I know I will forget the most essential things, but I am working on lists so hopefully I won’t forget too much!

The past few days have been spent finishing up my final paper for my Irish Catholicism course which I am writing on the novel Dracula and its connections to the religious and social fears of England and Ireland in the 19th century. I swear there is some cosmic connection between that paper and my life; I have never seen so many books concerning vampires be returned to the library at one time! I turned on the TV this evening to take a study break and there just happened to be Francis Ford Coppola’s version of Dracula. I have to admit, I am getting VERY sick of vampires!

My next blog entry will be from Luxembourg, I can’t believe it! Hopefully the jet lag won’t be too bad, you will probably be able to tell from the next entry so I apologize in advance for anything I may write next time…chalk it up to the time difference!

May 5, 2008

May 5th, 2008 by emhest09

“Time flies when you are having fun”…or studying for exams. The days following the concert flew by and now I can’t believe I am going home TOMORROW. It will be great to go home for a bit, work some hours at the library and focus on packing because I leave for Luxembourg next Sunday! I have to admit, I hate packing and having to do it three times in a row (packing up my room, unpacking, and packing for the trip) is going to be a hassle. The fact that I am going to spend a month in Europe certainly makes up for it though! A few of my friends who are currently studying abroad are thinking of visiting me while I am there and accompanying us on our weekend trips to Amsterdam, Belgium and Paris, it will be great to see them!

The past few days have definitely been full of “end of the year” events. The annual CAB banquet was great; Jimmy, Alexandra and I put together a pretty impressive slide show if I do say so myself and everyone seemed to enjoy their time together. I attached a picture of the new and old CAB board, as well as a picture of the outgoing Executive Board. CAB is losing six seniors and I honestly can’t believe it. My friend who is graduating told me that it is probably harder for those left behind and I would have to agree. It is difficult to imagine a Holy Cross campus without my senior friends and even more difficult to believe that I am going to be leaving after next year! I was also invited to the Forbes Library children’s room BBQ to send off the Smith College work study students who work on the opposite schedule that I do. My boss Jude invited us all to her house and I had a great time, I can’t wait to start working at the library again! My roommate found me on the other day pouring over lists of new Children’s literature to get ready for the summer reference questions; needless to say she was a bit confused as to why I was looking up If You Give a Mouse a Cookie instead of researching the impact of Dracula on Irish culture…it’s all part of the job! My job in the Religious Studies department is also ending for the year, I couldn’t ask for a better department to work in and I can’t wait to return next year. My boss Cathi will keep me posted on all the Red Sox updates I need while I am in Luxembourg I am sure!

The workload for my 5 courses, especially at the end of the year, has been intense. Luckily my exams have been going fairly well and my Irish Catholicism seminar paper on Dracula is the last thing due before my trip; it’ll be nice to be have the sense of accomplishment when I turn everything in. I also got some good news this past week that certainly helped alleviate the stress of finals…I am going to be a Senior Interviewer next year! That means I get to interview potential members of the class of 2013 and work with admissions in a capacity different from being a tour guide. I can’t wait and was honored to have been given the opportunity.

I hope to update once more before leaving for Luxembourg but until then I will echo my friend Amy’s blog by saying congratulations to the Holy Cross Class of 2012, I know most people made their decisions a few days ago. Get ready for the best four years of your life!



May 1, 2008

May 1st, 2008 by emhest09

I think when I look back at my years at Holy Cross I will immediately remember every Spring Weekend. My freshman year I was shadowing, learning the ropes so that I could run it, which I did with Alexie my sophomore year. Now this year I was one step removed, but still got to help with every event and be a cheerleader for Alexandra and Mary who put together an amazing weekend!

Thursday started the weekend off with a bang at the Spring Weekend Kick-Off in Kimball. I spent most of the afternoon blowing up balloons and driving t-shirts and supplies from Hogan to the event. This was interrupted in a great way by my Luxembourg meeting where we received our plane tickets and overseas cell phones – less then 2 weeks, I can’t believe it! I finally made my way down to Hogan and had a great time watching Limbo contests, musical chairs and the most intense arm wrestling match I have ever seen…it was a great night!

Friday was another beautiful day. It has been nice to have a couple of classes outside with the nice weather and it is great to give tours in something other then rain! My fellow tour guides and I have charted it and it rained or snowed literally every Friday we had to give a tour. Our rainboots certainly got a workout! Friday night was the comedian Christian Finnegan and I just happened to be stationed outside his lounge area so I got to schmooze with the comedians and watch the show from the balcony in a comfy chair.

The chair was pivotal because the next day we had the Spring Weekend Carnival, Fireworks and GrooveBoston dance party. Jimmy and I tried to figure it out and we think we both worked for 14 or so hours, 1:00PM to 3:00AM and we probably stood up for about 13 of those hours…it’s all part of the joy of CAB I guess! The carnival was amazing, very well organized and it is always fun to go on the rides you loved as a kid including the “Tubs of Fun”, bounce house and Mega slide, not to mention eating ridiculous amounts of fried dough. The Fireworks were a blast (literally and figuratively) and the GrooveBoston dance party, a new event this year, was a hit with approximately 500 people coming throughout the night.

This past Tuesday was the last big event for Spring Weekend, the Spring Weekend Concert featuring Jason Mraz and Everclear. I’ll try to give an insider’s perspective on things because it takes A LOT of work to pull off a concert. The day started at 6:30 AM when most people arrived at the Hart center to load in all the equipment for building the stage, hanging the lights and working the sound. The rule for concert day is that anytime you are not in class, you are at the Hart center working so before, after and in between my Education class and Shakespeare class, I was doing some heavy lifting at the Hart center. As you can see from the pictures, it is amazing to walk in at 7:00AM and see a green tarp on the floor and then to leave around noon and see an entire stage built, it certainly gives you a sense of achievement! At 6:00 there was the security meeting where we got our stations for the night. I was in the ticket booth which was a lot of fun because whenever a good song came on we could take shifts and run out to the concert and stand next to the barricade front row to watch it. We did get a little stir crazy though, as you can see from the attached pictures. The entire show was amazing, especially Jason Mraz who obviously enjoyed himself because he did THREE encores, much to the chagrin of us workers because it meant we could not start taking down the stage until midnight. The process of breaking down the stage and rolling everything into trucks took about three hours and at 3:00AM a group of about 30 faithful volunteers trudged back to their dorms. It was a long, but very fun, night.

So there is my Spring Weekend update, hopefully it gave a bit of insight into what CAB goes through to plan and execute most of the events you see on campus. It’s a lot of work but I enjoy every minute. Study period started Wednesday so I get to catch up on a bit of sleep before the onslaught of due dates then it is off to Luxembourg!


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