Spring Break Immersion 2019: Wheeling, WV

Hi everyone!!

Spring break for Holy Cross has already been over for two weeks, but I want to take some time to reflect on my first experience with Holy Cross’s Spring Break Immersion Program. As someone who has done service trips in high school- mostly serving my local community- I saw Spring Break Immersion as an opportunity to branch out in terms of what I had always done for service.

One of our two vans we travelled in throughout the week!!

I spent my spring break this year in Wheeling, West Virginia, where me and a group of other Holy Cross students volunteered at a soup kitchen. Some of our responsibilities included serving meals, baking cupcakes for their weekly children’s program, and eating breakfast and lunch with the patrons of the soup kitchen. These experiences reminded me how powerful it is when we share our stories with one another.  

The cathedral in Wheeling where we celebrated Mass!!

While volunteering at the soup kitchen was an important aspect of our week, we also still had time to explore Wheeling!! We went to Mass and Ash Wednesday services at the local cathedral, and ate dinner and spent time with Becky, the Director of the Soup Kitchen, and her family. They took us to a hockey game, as well as to other sites around Wheeling, so we could more fully immerse ourselves in the community.

Group photo from Pittsburgh on our way home!!

The organizers of Spring Break Immersion attempt to place participants in groups with people they do not know as well, which initially made me feel nervous about the trip. However, over the course of the week, both through our work and the other activities we did, we became closer, making this program even more of a positive experience!!

Thanks for reading!!

Rebecca McSweeney

A Busy Start to the Semester!!

Hi everyone!!

I just wanted to give a quick update on what has happened so far this semester!! I moved back in to Holy Cross a week early from winter break for rehearsals for “Little Women: The Musical,” and it was so fun to just be able to focus on rehearsals, and spend time with others in the cast throughout the week!!

A photo of the cast of “Little Women”!!

Our performances for “Little Women” were these past two weekends, and I cannot believe the show is over!! It was very exciting to be able to perform this show for the Holy Cross community, which we auditioned for in September!! My family also got to come see the show, which was exciting!! They got to come to the Pit Party after the show, where the department has food and desserts for the cast and their family and friends!!

A photo of me and my friend Emily at the Pit Party!!

While I am not in a Theatre Department production this semester, I have started doing research on campus!! I am working in Professor Findlay’s lab, which studies genes involved in fertility in male fruit flies. While I have really only started setting up experiments the past few weeks, I am excited about doing more research!! This has been an extremely busy semester so far, but I look forward to pursuing more opportunities on campus!!

Thanks for reading!!

Rebecca McSweeney

Home for the Holidays!!

Hi everyone!!

Happy New Year!! The end of the fall semester (and 2018!) went by so quickly!! I cannot believe that classes for the spring semester begin three weeks from today!!

Finals for this past semester went well, even though I had exams for three of my classes in addition to final papers, and a final performance for my Basic Acting class. I was able to finish the semester strong, and now I am at home spending time with family and friends!!

My siblings and I after Mass on Christmas Eve!!

I went shopping a few times in the week before Christmas to get presents for my family. On Christmas Eve, my family went to Mass, and then had dinner at my friend’s house, which has been a tradition since we were younger!! My family spent Christmas morning opening presents, and then my grandmother, aunt, and godfather came over for Chinese food, which we have every year!!

My friend Caroline and I celebrating New Year’s!!

I ended up going over a friend’s house to celebrate New Year’s Eve!! It was fun to see some of my friends from home as we celebrated the New Year!! While I enjoy relaxing at home and spending the holidays with my family and friends, I am also excited to start next semester!!

Thanks for reading!!

Rebecca McSweeney

Fall Break, First Rehearsals, Family Weekend, and a Fiftieth Birthday Party!

Hi everyone!!

I cannot believe that October is almost over!! I went home for all of Fall Break, which was really relaxing, and I also spent some time getting ahead on work!! Here are some highlights of my life since my last post:

Going home for all of fall break was so relaxing, and since I had all of my midterm exams the week before, I was able to spend more time getting ahead of the reading. My friend Kristen also got to come home for the first weekend, so we were able to hang out and get food!! It was great to get the chance to hangout with her for the first time since we left for the year!!

A photo I took of Kristen while waiting for our food!!

The week I got back to campus, I was called for my first rehearsals for the Theatre Department production of “Little Women: the Musical”! I am excited to be in the Ensemble for this show, which goes up around the beginning of February, and is the first Theatre Department musical at Holy Cross!!

The weekend after Fall Break, I actually went home again for my aunt’s fiftieth birthday party!! We had it at a local restaurant, so we had a lot of delicious food, and I got to see a lot of my extended family, which was really nice!!

The cake from my aunt’s 50th Birthday Party!!

This weekend was Family Weekend at Holy Cross, and my roommate’s mother came up and took us both out to dinner!! We went to Via Italian Table here in Worcester, and I ordered the chicken parmesan and chocolate torta, which were both delicious!! October was pretty successful overall!!

My roommate Anna and I before dinner on Saturday!!

Thanks for reading!!

Rebecca McSweeney

A Great Start to Sophomore Year!!

Hi everyone!!

I haven’t posted in so long because the first half of the semester has flown by!! I cannot believe I am already home on Fall Break!!

The Fall Orientation Leaders at the end of our week-long training!!

This semester has gone by so quickly so far!! I moved back to Holy Cross early since I served as a Fall Orientation Leader at the beginning of this year!! While I did not know what to expect at first, I am really glad that I took the opportunity to help welcome the Class of 2022!! I got to work with an amazing group of fellow orientation leaders, and made so many new friends during this process!!

I am taking courses in a variety of subjects, including Basic Acting, Genetics, Statistics, and Anthropology. Even though they are all challenging, I am enjoying them all so far!! I had midterms in every class except Basic Acting last week, so I had to study a lot for those!!

Me and one of my friends who returned to Holy Cross for Homecoming!!

Even though my classes have been a lot of work, I have still found time to spend with friends!! Last Saturday, I went to the tailgate before the Homecoming Game, and I was able to see a lot of my friends there, including a few who graduated from Holy Cross last year!! It was great to see them, and to take a break from homework for a few hours!!

My roommate Anna and I after breakfast at Birchtree Bread Company!!

I also went out to breakfast with my roommate before classes a few weeks ago, which was really nice!! The first half of the semester was busy, but I am excited for the rest of sophomore year, and to be home for the week!!

Thanks for reading!!

Rebecca McSweeney

Summer Vacation!!

Hi everyone!!

I hope you all have been enjoying your summer!! Since I have not posted in a while, here are some of the highlights of my summer so far:

I went to Texas in June for my cousin’s wedding, which was probably the best part of my summer so far!! I got to spend time with family that I have not seen in years, and we visited Austin and enjoyed some amazing food!! From spending a day on a lake, to eating delicious food, to visiting Austin, this was the perfect family vacation!!

A picture of me with my cousin and her husband at their wedding!!

I have also been spending time with my friends from home!! I went to my friend’s annual cookout on the Fourth of July, and I’ve gone to the movies with one of my other friends!! Even if it has just been something like getting ice cream, I try to hang out with my friends before we all leave for school!!

Me and my friend Haley on July 4!!

This summer, I started working as a camp counselor at a camp near my house. It has been a  challenge to plan activities for my campers, but I have enjoyed working with the other staff members. A few weeks ago, I supervised a day trip for some of the older campers, and we saw a deer with her two fawns, which was a cool moment!!

I cannot believe that I will be back at Holy Cross in a month!! I am really excited to be a part of the Orientation Team for Fall Gateways, so I will be back early for training!!

I’ll end this post with a photo of me at the Baylor Street Art Wall in Austin!!

Thanks for reading!!

Rebecca McSweeney

Finishing My First Year of College!!

Hi everyone!

I am sorry I have not written in so long; the end of the semester was extremely busy!! I have been home for two weeks now, and I still cannot believe that I will be home until August!!

The last few weeks of the semester consisted of exams and events like Spring Weekend, when there were fun events-including a concert and a fair- each day for students. Our spring concert featured DNCE and Kranium, and I had so much fun going with my friends!! Spring Concert also happened to be on my birthday, and it was a perfect way to celebrate with friends!!

Me and my friend Liza at Spring Concert!!

I only had final exams for my biology and chemistry classes, so I spent my last week on campus studying for those. My other two classes had final projects or  reflections, which was nice since I had less to worry about during Finals Week!!   After my biology final, I moved out of my room; it felt like just yesterday I was moving in!!

A photo of my door from when I moved out!!

Since being home, I have started making plans for this summer. I got a job working as a camp counselor, which starts in a few weeks. I also got to spend some time with friends from home; a few of my friends and I went to Faneuil Hall in Boston to get dinner and shop!! It was an awesome way for us to catch up after our years at school!!

Shopping with friends at Faneuil Hall in Boston!!

I cannot believe that my first year of college is already over!! While I am excited to have time off from classes, I miss all of the friends I made this year!!

Thanks for reading!!

Rebecca McSweeney

Exams, Rehearsal and College Events!!

Hi everyone!

It has been a busy past few weeks on the Hill, but now I am home for Easter break! Since spring break a few weeks ago, I have been really busy with studying, rehearsal, and other events on campus!!

I had exams yesterday in my Biology and Chemistry classes, so I have been spending a lot of time studying for those. In addition to office hours and review sessions with professors, Holy Cross offers student tutors for many departments, and I also made an appointment with the STEM+E workshop offered on campus.

A picture of the board from a Biology review session I went to!!

Other than studying, I have been spending a lot of time at rehearsal for the Theatre Department’s production of The Skin of Our Teeth, which opens in two weeks!! We have been rehearsing for five days a week on average, and I am so excited for people to see this show!!

This past weekend has also been full of other events: Women in Science Day on Saturday, and a trip to the Worcester Art Museum on Sunday! I sat in on the Research panel featuring Holy alumnae working in different labs, which was a great opportunity to ask questions about a career in research, which I plan to pursue!

Me and my friend Sam at Women in Science Day!!

This past Sunday, my Montserrat class visited the Worcester Art Museum, to look at and analyze paintings, which was an interesting morning! I hope you all have a wonderful Easter!

The painting “Christ Bearing the Cross” by Alonso Cano, on display at the Worcester Art Museum!!

Thanks for reading!

Rebecca McSweeney

An Update on Academics

Hi everyone!!

Today was the last day of classes before spring break!! This has been a very busy week in classes at Holy Cross; I have had a major assignment in all of my classes over the past few weeks.

In my Montserrat class this semester, we are reading and analyzing Don Quixote. We are currently giving presentations in pairs on secondary sources related to some aspect of the novel. My article is on the relationship between Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, the two protagonists of the novel; the presentation is after break.

Me and my friend Liza, who is my partner for the Montserrat presentation!!

In my biology class, we had an exam on evolution last week, and now we are learning about development. In lab this week, we observed the early stages of sea urchin development, which share similarities to human development. It was cool being able to observe the early stages of development!!

My Organic Chemistry class had an exam this week, so I spent a lot of time studying for that this week. My professor offered a lot of office hours, and sent a lot of problems to help us practice for it!! 

A photo of Fenwick I took last week, when it was nice enough to study outside!!

In my Philosophical Inquiries class, we had a paper due last week on one of The Dialogues of Plato. In that class, we mostly discuss the texts we read; so far we have read works by Plato, Peter Singer, Aristotle, and Boethius. I have never taken philosophy before this class, so it has been a challenge to learn how to analyze the text.

I am really looking forward to relaxing, and getting ahead on some work, over spring break this week!!

Thanks for reading!!

Rebecca McSweeney

Classes and Theatre for Semester Two

Hi everyone!

I cannot believe I have been back on campus for three weeks! It has been really exciting to start back at Holy Cross for my second semester!! Here are some of the things I have been working on now that I am back on the Hill!!

The Holy Cross campus looks beautiful after snow!!

This semester, I am taking the second semester of my Montserrat (War and Coming of Age), Organic Chemistry, Biology 162, and Philosophical Inquiries. In my Montserrat, we are reading Don Quixote, and in my biology class we are learning about genetics, which is really interesting to me! I have never taken a philosophy class before, so my class is challenging me to think in a way I have not had to before!

The program for “Legally Blonde: The Musical”!!

This past weekend, ACT, the student theatre group on campus, had their production of Legally Blonde: The Musical!! I helped with costumes backstage for some of the performances, and I got to watch the show on Sunday!! Everyone involved in the production did an amazing job performing a really fun and upbeat show!! I had never helped backstage for a show before, so it was a great experience for me to help with a show in a different way than I had before!

The set for the opening number of “Legally Blonde”!!

I was also just cast in the Theatre Department’s production of The Skin of Our Teeth! We had the first few rehearsals this week, and I am so excited to work with so many of my friends on this production!!

Thanks for reading!!

Rebecca McSweeney