Hockey, Company & A Spotlight on Montserrat

Hello Holy Cross community! I hope everyone has had a great week! This week was filled with lots of new adventures and exciting experiences as always, namely attending the Holy Cross Department of Theatre & Dance production of Company, which was held at the new Prior Performing Arts Center, as well as the two Holy Cross Men’s Hockey games against Niagara University at the Hart Center at the Luth Athletic Complex.

If I haven’t mentioned this before, I am a HUGE fan of theatre- I participated in theatre all throughout high school and found the most loving and supportive community there, and am a firm believer in the fact that the magic of live theatre is simply irreplaceable. So I was thrilled, to say the least, to see Company last weekend at Holy Cross, especially when I had two friends in the ensemble, one friend in the main cast and even one friend in the band! They all did a FANTASTIC job, to no one’s surprise, and being able to see Holy Cross’ rendition of a Sondheim classic was such a joyous event for all involved. Congratulations to the cast & crew for two wildly successful weekends of shows!

Additionally, this week I checked off another Holy Cross bucket list item and attended my first hockey game on campus! The men’s team played Niagara University on both Thursday (the Cousy Cup game) and Friday, and my dad, who is a Niagara alum, came up to Worcester on Thursday to see them play! Similarly to my experience with football last semester, I knew close to nothing about hockey coming into the game (other than the basic objectives), but I still had such a blast cheering on the Crusaders, so much so that I went back the next night to see them play (and win!) again with friends! Will “Hockey Marie” be the new title for this semester? It’s hard to say, but as of now I can happily say that my excitement towards the game is far from being extinguished.

Finally, I’d like to do something a little different in this post and cast a spotlight on one of the most memorable aspects of my freshman year thus far- my Montserrat seminar. Every first-year student at Holy Cross is required to participate in a Montserrat seminar, which is one of the earliest community building blocks for first-years. Each Montserrat course falls under one of the six ‘clusters’ – Self, Contemporary Challenges, Global Society (my cluster), Natural World, Divine and Core Human Questions, and the people that live in the same hall as you are almost always in your same cluster. The class runs for a full year, allowing students to form longstanding connections with both the students and the professor in the class, with each semester’s course focusing on a different idea under a larger thematic umbrella. For example, last semester my Montserrat was called “Love, Text & Performance” while this semester it’s called “War and the Quest for Identity” under the overarching title of “Love & War.” In my class, we’ve developed our public speaking skills, written and performed monologues (and cheered our classmates on, of course), read numerous plays, poems and novels (currently we are in the midst of tackling Don Quixote), gave presentations, and had countless discussions on all of the above- and more. All Montserrat seminars are different, so there is a lot of variety in terms of content and class structure, aside from a collaborative and supportive first-year environment. On top of attending class every day, Montserrat students are also required to attend 2-4 events within their cluster per semester as a way to form connections with students in their cluster that might not be in their exact seminar. Last semester, for example, we went to the stART on the Street Art Festival in Worcester, among other events, and this semester we were fortunate enough to spend an evening at the stunning Joyce Contemplative Center (located about 20 minutes off-campus) for some Ignatian spirituality, yoga and dinner. I am looking forward to more Montserrat events later this semester, as I’ve really grown to cherish the community formed within my Montserrat and it has been a staple of the first-year experience for sure.

New Semester, New Me?!?

Greetings Holy Cross community!!! I apologize for the slight delay in posting- I’ve been busy with schoolwork, extracurriculars and other commitments (the semester definitely picks up quickly but it’s nothing we can’t handle!), and haven’t found the time to update you all on my recent life adventures. However, I do have some very exciting news to share: I officially declared an English major (with a Creative Writing Concentration) last week!

Holy Cross invites its students to take full advantage of the liberal arts education and explore subjects they wouldn’t have otherwise, so that’s why first-year students come into Holy Cross undeclared and cannot declare any academic programs (major, minor, or concentration) until February 1st. Many students are still trying to figure out what they’d like to pursue- which is okay!! -and have until second semester of their sophomore year to do so, but for me personally, I knew I wanted to study English for as long as I can remember. I’ve always loved reading and writing- it’s always been a subject I’ve shone in at school, and after taking Poetry & Poetics (the first step of the English major) last semester at Holy Cross, I knew for sure this was what I wanted to do. This semester, I am enrolled in two English classes- Touchstones 1: Early British Literature (the second step after P&P) and Intro to Creative Writing: Poetry (in order to get started with the Creative Writing concentration), and both of those have also been a blast. So far, I’ve learned the oddities and complexities of Middle English as we read The Canterbury Tales, and I’ve studied what makes up a poem, including writing one of my own! (And of course, if you have any further questions about the English major, etc. at Holy Cross, I’m open to questions- there should be a space to leave comments at the bottom of the page! The English department itself is also an incredibly skilled group of professors that would love to hear your questions.)

Additionally, this semester I’ve dedicated more time to getting exercise, whether it be through free pilates classes offered at the Jo, ‘casual yoga turned impromptu ballet lessons’ with friends (I’m just as confused as you are on this one), and, as the weather gets nicer, running outside, most notably on the scenic trails at the Blackstone Gateway Park just minutes away from campus. Obviously, last weekend’s record-breaking temperatures prevented anyone from getting any exercise outdoors, but being able to bundle up in my warmest boots and comfiest sweaters with some hot chocolate wasn’t too bad either 🙂

Finally, this spring I’ll be embarking on a totally new experience, thanks to the Holy Cross Chaplain’s Office’s Spring Break Immersion Program! During the week of spring break, students involved with SBIP travel to various sites around the country and carry out a service trip that invites them to form connections with others and deepen their faith. The program places an emphasis on the “with others” portion of the Jesuit motto of “being people for and with others,” and is a beloved aspect of the Holy Cross experience that I am eager to participate in myself. This year, I have the pleasure of traveling to a L’Arche site, which is where adults with and without intellectual disabilities live together in community, and I even got a sneak peek of what this joyful and loving environment looks like through a fantastic L’Arche dinner earlier this week. Though SBIP won’t officially begin for another month, I am so grateful to all who made this trip possible, and for all of the blessings that are to come.

Thanks again for reading- until next week!