February 15, 2009

You know you are from New England when you break out the flip-flops the minute it goes above 45 degrees. We have had a stretch of nice weather which has definitely helped in melting all the ice around here and while more snow is predicted for the upcoming days, at least it won’t keep building up! School has been moving right along, I can’t believe there are only 13 days until Spring Break!

Speaking of Spring Break, I am going to be spending my 7 days on an Appalachia service trip for the third time in a row. Holy Cross has numerous immersion programs but there is a special place in my heart for Appalachia. Each year about 250 students spend their break in either the Gulf Coast or Appalachia, living simply and trying to make a difference within a community doing everything from demolishing houses, to painting bathrooms to working with students. This year I am lucky enough to be a group leader and will be headed to Waverly, VA with 13 of my classmates. I can’t wait and obviously many pictures and videos will be taken so you can all see what it is about!

There is still a lot of work to be done in my classes before leaving however and since I just realized I never described what I was taking, I will do that now! I have to say I am a bit proud of myself and my ability to plan ahead. As a double major in History and English I am currently in 2 elective courses in my last semester of college, not too bad for having to take upwards of 20 classes to fulfill both majors! One of my electives is Introduction to the Old Testament with Professor Murphy. I haven’t taken a religion course since freshmen year even though I work in the department and it is great to study a part of the Bible I am not as familiar with. My second elective is education: social & political change with Professor Dobles and by far my favorite part of this class is the CBL (Community Based Learning) that goes along with it. Every Thursday afternoon as part of the class I go over to Heard St. school in Worcester and work with two third graders (Brooklyn and Brittany) in an after school program devoted to preparing for the MCAS tests. I have grown very close with them and I love being around kids and helping them learn.

My other two classes are fundamentals of music and artist’s books. I took the music class to fulfill my art requirement and it is something I have always wanted to take so I can learn to read music again (I played the guitar until 6th grade) and learn to play the piano. Artist’s books is my last English class to fulfill the major though it is something completely different from any other English class I have had. We study books with the viewpoint of an artist and since the course has a studio art portion, we are working on making our own books through printmaking. To give you some idea, the first day of class Professor Sweeney brought in a delicious cake which had “I am a Book” written across it and pages made out of icing. We spent the majority of that class trying to figure out what constituted “a book” in the traditional form. My favorite part of this class so far would have to be the field trip to the American Antiquarian Society in Worcester; it is truly a hidden gem! We toured the stacks of over 2 million newspapers, manuscripts and prints, all made before 1876…it was a librarian’s dream come true!

Next week will be a bit stressful with papers and tests, but I am looking forward to presenting at two information sessions for Admissions! On Tuesday and Friday at 11:15 in Rehm library I will help talk about admissions, the application process and Holy Cross in general in prospective students. Hopefully all goes well!

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