Ringing in a New Decade 

Many say that your twenties are the best years of your life. I guess it’s time to find out what’s so great about them. As we enter the last weeks of the spring semester, we have begun to think about what’s next. For some of us, we’re just getting started on our college journey. For others, we are soaking in the very last seconds on the Hill. For me? Well, I’m at a weird point in my college career. When you get to sophomore year you too will understand. There is not as much of a rush of newness as there was freshman year. You are figuring out your interests and friends that make you happy. While this is all and well, it’s the perfect time to learn about yourself. 

For some of us, we will be bringing Holy Cross away by participating in DC and international programs. I’m part of the latter group: I’ll be studying in Athens, Greece next semester. It’s a big jump, but I am confident that Holy Cross has prepared me well beyond my expectations. For many others, the Hill will continue to nourish their studies and relationships. 

So, I just turned 20 yesterday. And, attending my classes yesterday, Metaphysics and Latin, reminded me why I’m at Holy Cross in the first place. I am on the Hill to make mistakes (And, if I weren’t here for that reason, I would not be in college.). I am here to learn. I am here to love what I’m learning and to enrich my soul with these studies. Like the inscription in our beloved Dinand Library says: haec studia adulescentiam alunt, senectutem oblectant. Coincidentally it’s my favorite Latin author, Cicero and translates to: “These studies nourish the youth, they delight old age.”

While I have my thoughts of Holy Cross as a Liberal Arts Institution, I personally keep these values as grounding my identity as a Holy Cross student and woman for our community and our world. Sometimes we forget why we’re here, both in our world and our campus. But, learning things that make us happy, regardless of a direct outcome, is our purpose.

Holy Cross allows us to enrich our souls by studying a wide range of disciplines insofar as we consider this an advantage to our future. Of course, we are working towards a productive future in our professional lives, but like Holy Cross, I am a firm believer in allowing our studies to shape our person so that we can be the best version of ourselves in whatever workplace we deem fit. I have a good feeling that my twenties are going to be rewarding as long as I continue to flourish where I’m meant to be. 


For the Kids: Community Based Learning Courses

At the core of our Jesuit identity is service. At its most basic level, service is the practice of helping others. This can take so many different forms in different places and circumstances. From my experience, however, service is a duty we must fulfill given that we have gifts, skills, and passions to help others. As a Holy Cross student, I feel privileged to have been given the opportunity to study. When I figure out what I am meant to do in this world I will consider three things: What do I love? What am I good at? What does the world need me to do? 

That last question grounds my identity as a woman for others. Whatever we put out in this world, whether we see explicit effects or not, is affecting our world. And so, why should we not make the world a better place from it? Even if it is a small deed, it still has a meaningful impact, even if it does not have a massive change. This blog post goes out to the skeptics who claim that smaller deeds of service, like the ones I will describe here, are meaningless. Here goes nothing. 

For the most part, the Holy Cross community practices what it preaches. They take this value so seriously, some courses have a required Community Based Learning (CBL) component alongside course material. At a quick glance, this CBL component is not seen to be merely a requirement for the course, but it should enhance the course’s material aims and goals.

I have taken two CBL courses: Kings & Caliphs: Art of Luxury and Introduction to Greek 1 and 2. I already wrote about my experience in the first course, so be sure to check that out! Right now, I’ll give you the rundown on a more hands on CBL experience with my Introduction to Greek classes.

In the fall semester, we had a CBL section of the class which focused on creating a project for the Worcester Art Museum to work on. My group created an interactive pyxis, a jewelry-type box out of materials we had at school. We were able to create a fun and enriching experience for anyone who would use our pyxis, both younger students and older ones. 

In the spring semester, we completed an exciting project which included going to Worcester East Middle School and teaching a lesson on the Ancient Athenian Legal System. After weeks of planning and outlining our lesson plans, our groups split up into pairs and we had the opportunity to teach our lesson to 7th grade students. Overall, the students seemed like they were engaged and learned something new about Ancient Athens and American Democracy. I would love to go into specifics, so feel free to reach out!

From a service learning perspective, this one day of teaching did not transform the kids. But, what is important to get out of this experience is that we showed up for them. Service, regardless of its size, is something that I will defend until the end of time. Let’s make sure we show up and understand what the world needs us to do today.