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

Top Four Activities from Winter Break

Hi everyone! I hope that the start of 2018 has been amazing for you all! I just got back to campus today, and I cannot believe that classes for my second semester start on Tuesday!! I really enjoyed my winter break; here are some of the things I did during my weeks at home since Christmas:

  • Hanging out with friends: One of my favorite parts about being home is seeing my friends who go to different schools. I celebrated New Year’s Eve at one of my friend’s houses, and I participated in a Yankee swap with friends later that week. Both were a lot of fun, and I’m glad I got the chance to catch up with my friends from home.   
Celebrating New Year’s Eve with my friend Maria!!
  • Going out to eat: I made sure to visit plenty of restaurants before heading back to school. My family got Chinese food last night from a restaurant called Mr. Chef’s, and I also went to Panera Bread, IHOP, and the Chateau with family and friends.

    Blueberry pancakes from IHOP!!
  • Going to the movies: On New Year’s Day, my dad took my siblings and I to see Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which was a great way to spend time with them before my siblings went back to school! I also saw Pitch Perfect 3 with two of my friends last week; the trailer for Pitch Perfect 3 is linked below:
  • Spending time with my dogs: I miss my two dogs, Izzy and Roxie, whenever I am at school. My mom sends me pictures of them often, but I loved having the chance to play with them while I was home!

    My dogs, Roxie and Izzy!!

While I had an amazing break, I am so excited for the spring semester!!

Thanks for reading!!

Rebecca McSweeney



Christmas With Family and Friends!

Hi everyone!

I am sorry I have not posted in a while; I have spent the past few weeks celebrating Christmas with family and friends! I enjoyed being home for my family’s holiday traditions!

After Mass on Christmas Eve, my family went over a family friend’s house for dinner- a tradition we’ve had since I was little. We had ribs, pizza, salad and cookies, all of which were delicious!! At home, everyone in my family opened one of their presents, and my siblings and I received new pajamas, like we have every year since I was in elementary school.

Our Christmas 2017 pajamas!!

The next morning, my family opened the presents we gave each other, and had cinnamon rolls for breakfast. My grandmother, aunt, and godfather came over later for Christmas dinner. My family always orders Chinese food on Christmas, so we ate and then exchanged more gifts.

A picture I took in front of the tree after Christmas dinner!!

I hung out with some friends the next day to exchange gifts for our Secret Santa. It was great to hang out with them; my friend Caroline got my Bath and Body Works products, and my friend Brittany enjoyed the gift I picked out for her. Later that night, I went over another friend’s house and got to see friends from my high school drama club!!

My family’s decorated Christmas tree!! My family saved some ornaments so that I could help decorate the tree once I got home from college!!

Overall, I had an amazing Christmas!! I feel so grateful that I was able to celebrate at home with loved ones! Christmas made it feel like I had never left for school, since we still kept all of my favorite traditions!!

Thanks for reading!!

Rebecca McSweeney

Finals and My Last Few Weeks on Campus

Hi everyone!

I cannot believe my first semester of college is over!! I finished my final exams yesterday, so I am officially on break for the semester!! Even though finals were stressful, I still enjoyed the past few weeks on campus!!

A photo I took when it snowed last week!

Last week was finals week at Holy Cross, which was stressful since students had a lot of work to do before they could go home and enjoy their break. I had exams for Chemistry, Biology and Psychology, so I tried to balance my study time for each. My Chemistry and Biology professors also had review sessions, where students could come and ask questions, so I also took advantage of those.

Other than studying for finals (which I think went well), I spent time attending events like the Christmas Tree Lighting and the Festival of Lessons and Carols. At both of these events, I got to hear Christmas songs and hymns performed by the different music ensembles at Holy Cross. Everyone did an amazing job; I now look forward to attending these events next year!

The Nativity scene on campus!

The performances for the Directing class’ one-act plays were during my last weekend on campus, and both of the pieces I was in went really well! Four of the one-acts were performed each day, and I thought all of them were amazing. I also got to support some of my friends, who were acting in or directing other pieces.

The program for the One-Act Festival!

My first semester at Holy Cross was amazing! While I am excited to relax over winter break, I am looking forward to the rest of my Holy Cross career!

Thanks for reading!

Rebecca McSweeney

Thanksgiving Break and School Since Then

Hi everyone!
I’m sorry I have not blogged recently; the past few weeks have been incredibly busy. I cannot believe my first semester is almost over! Here is just a quick update on 3 parts of my life in the past few weeks as I begin preparing for final exams/papers/projects:

  • Going home for Thanksgiving: Having a few days off for Thanksgiving was really nice; I was happy to spend time with my family and eat some delicious food! I also got together with some of my friends for a “Friendsgiving”, where we all made a dish and had dinner together!! It was a lot of fun to hang out with them, as I haven’t been able to see them often since moving to Holy Cross!!
A photo from “Friendsgiving”!!
  • Major assignments: I have spent a lot of time studying/ working on schoolwork, as I have had a paper or exam for pretty much every class. I have papers due in Psychology and my Biology lab next week, and I handed in a paper for my Montserrat class today. I’m definitely going to be working hard until the end of the semester!
The painting “Musicalité des Nymphéas, Les Deux Saules” by Gabrielle Thierry, which I am writing my final Psychology paper on!
  • One-act play rehearsals: As I mentioned in my last post, I am in two one act plays directed by Holy Cross students! “Pullman Car Hiawatha” by Thornton Wilder is directed by my friend Emily, and “The People” by Susan Glaspell is directed by my friend Ros. Both of the directors- and many of my fellow cast members- were involved in the production of Fuenteovejuna, and it has been so fun to continue working with them!

Thanks for reading!
Rebecca McSweeney

Theatre: Fuenteovejuna and What’s Next

Hi everyone!
I hope you’re all doing well! I’m sorry that I have not blogged recently; I have been really busy lately. The performances of Fuenteovejuna ended last Saturday, and I still can’t believe the show is over!!

The first weekend of performances went really well!! My parents came to see the Saturday night performance; it was great to see them and show them my first college theatre production!!

The finale of Fuenteovejuna!

After the show on Saturday night, we had a cast party in the Pit for the cast, crew, and any family members at the performance! They decorated the space with posters from the Spanish Civil War, and the food (tapas and desserts) was delicious!! It was a great way to celebrate the first week of performances!!

Me and my friend Liza at the Pit party!!

Then we were on to the next week of performances. While it felt unusual to not have rehearsal for a few days that week, I used the time to catch up on work/study for the exams I had coming up!

Before I knew it, the final performance had arrived. That morning, some of the cast went to Birchtree Bread Company. It was nice to spend time off campus before our final show together.

A cast photo from after the final performance!

The performances were amazing, and they went by so quickly!! Fuenteovejuna was an amazing experience! While I am sad that the show is over, I still get to act!! The Directing class here on campus has to direct one act plays for their final project, and I am in two of those!! Stay tuned for more information about those!!

A photo of me and my castmate Emily, who is directing one of the one act plays!!

Thanks for reading!!
Rebecca McSweeney

Highlights of the Past Few Weeks

Hi everyone!
I am so sorry that I have not blogged recently; I’ve been really busy the past few weeks! The Theatre Department’s production of Fuenteovejuna opens tonight, and I am so excited to perform this show for everyone! Here are three ways I have been spending my time over the past few weeks:

  1. Rehearsals for Fuenteovejuna: Since the show opens tonight, I have been spending a lot of time at rehearsal. Our first dress rehearsal was this past Monday, and it was so exciting to begin rehearsing in our costumes! Dress rehearsals have been going really well, so hopefully the performances will be even better!

    Me in my costume for “Fuenteovejuna”!
  2. Doing schoolwork: I know I have not really mentioned what academics are like on my blog yet, but I definitely spend quite a bit of time on schoolwork!! We are just beginning the process of writing a paper on Fuenteovejuna in my Montserrat, and I also have been studying for an exam I have in Biology tomorrow!
  3. Spending time with my family: Last weekend was Family Weekend here at Holy Cross, and while scheduling conflicts prevented my whole family from coming up on Saturday, I was really excited that my mom was able to come up so we could go out to lunch! We went to British Beer Company, which was delicious, and it was really nice just to spend time with her!

    The burger I got when out to lunch with my mom!!

I am so excited to spend more time with my family in the next few weeks; my parents are coming on Saturday to see Fuenteovejuna, and then Thanksgiving break is coming up so quickly!

Thanks for reading!

Rebecca McSweeney

Fall Break Part 2: “Fuenteovejuna” Rehearsals!!

Hi everyone!

I hope this week has been going well for you all! My last post was about the weekend I spent at home over Fall Break, so today I’m going to talk about the rest of the week: rehearsals for Fuenteovejuna

Rehearsals started on Tuesday that week; it was refreshing to just focus on the show, without worrying about the other responsibilities I usually have during the week!

The poster for our production!

We spent time working on dances and singing through all of the songs in the show. Faculty from the Spanish department also came and helped people with pronunciation. When I was not in the scene they rehearsed, I typically just worked on homework.

Here’s what our set looked like as of October 13!

Our rehearsals typically went from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and then on Tuesday and Wednesday we watched movies around 7:00 p.m. We watched ¡Ay, Carmela! and Pan’s Labyrinth, since they take place around the same time as the Spanish Civil War- when our show is set.

By the end of the week, we finished blocking the show!! We worked really hard, and I’m glad I got to spend time with other members of the cast. We ate a lot of meals together in Kimball during our breaks for lunch and dinner!

Me and my friend Liza hanging out last Friday!!

On Saturday, a bunch of us went to a coffee shop in Worcester called Birchtree Bread Company; it was nice to get off campus for a bit and to bond more as a cast!

The almond croissant and hot chocolate I got at Birchtree!

I cannot believe we will be performing this show for an audience in two weeks!! I am so excited for people to see it!!

Thanks for reading!!

Rebecca McSweeney

Fall Break Part 1: Stoughton, MA

Hi everyone!

I hope you all had a great week! Fall Break for Holy Cross is almost over, and it will definitely be different returning to having classes again! Since I was so busy over Fall Break, I decided to first let you know about the first half of my break and what I did when I was home.

A photo I took with my mom when we went out for ice cream!!

I was so excited to see my two dogs, Izzy and Roxie, since I missed having them around! I spent plenty of time snuggling with them this past weekend!

A photo I took of my dog, Izzy!

I spent a lot of time this weekend eating; my family got Chinese food on Friday night, and chicken parmesan on Monday night before I went back to school!

Pizza from Town Spa!!

On Saturday night, I went to Town Spa Pizza, a local restaurant in my hometown, with some friends who were also home. It was nice to catch up with them, and the pizza was delicious! I also took my younger brother out to lunch on Sunday; it was nice to spend time with him too!

Saturday, my family went to Mass at my parish back home. On the way home, I spotted a rainbow outside, which is the second rainbow I have seen since I moved to Holy Cross!!

The rainbow I saw at home last Saturday!

My family went shopping a lot this weekend since it rained back home. I bought some more fall/winter clothes to bring back to school. I had a fantastic weekend at home, which made me really excited for having rehearsals the rest of the week, which I will describe in my next post!

Thanks for reading!
Rebecca McSweeney