Katrina Black '18

Hopefully you were so curious about that title that you’ve continued reading this blog post. If so, hello! This blog post will be about Holy Cross’ only co-ed a cappella group, Fools on the Hill. There we (most of us) are below!

 

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Fools Fam! 

Last week Friday, we had our biggest campus event Foolsapalooza. It’s our end of the year a cappella show, where Fools and other Holy Cross and off-campus a cappella groups perform as well! This year’s turnout was incredible and the energy in the room was just fantastic!

We advertised with some foolish facts about each member on our Facebook page! Might regret adding this photo later, but here is a little snippet of it!

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Some of the songs we sang were All These Things I’ve Done by the Killers, Water Under the Bridge by Adele, Sweater Weather  by the Neighbourhood, I See Fire by Ed Sheeran, and a really fun Queen Medley. As you can see, there’s no real common thread or certain genre — it’s just the love of all kinds of music that makes a cappella groups so fun.

Usual Holy Cross a cappella performances happen right in front of the Hogan cafe, Cool Beans, on different days during the week. However, this event was held in the Hogan Ballroom so that friends and family could attend as well.

Speaking of family, Foolsapalooza (coincidentally on April Fools Day) was my sister’s birthday, so she too attended the show and I got to sing my solo to her! Here we are after the show below:

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Yay, family.

If you love music and everything about it, you can join one of these groups! Many of the groups have YouTube channels, so I’ll post the names of the groups below so you can check out any videos. If a cappella isn’t an interest of yours, there are also many choir groups you can join as well! OR, you can do both!

A cappella groups:

Sons of Pitches

The Delilahs

Off the Record

Sound of St. James

And of course, Fools on the Hill.

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So much thanks to Colleen Paddock '16 for taking such lovely photos!

Thanks to Colleen Paddock ’16 for taking such lovely photos!

So, the blog take-away is: If I’m having a rough week at Holy Cross (which won’t necessarily be a normal occurrence), I can always go grab a coffee and head to any of the a cappella performances that week. AND if I love music, then I can join one of the many different music-based groups on campus! How exciting. 

HI!

I’ve written many posts about the glorious time that is the week before break, but I’m back at it again with a more positive outlook. Sure, this week (this semester, really) has been intense with work and activities, but as I always emphasize, the love shown on this campus continues to make it all worthwhile. Plus, it’s the day before break–Mama, we made it!

Last Friday was one of the school’s biggest and best events — the Black Student Union Fashion Show. The event is held at Mechanics Hall, which is absolutely beautiful in itself. Students participate as hair and makeup designers, clothing designers, models, and performers. It’s not just Holy Cross that shows up either, but rather what seems to be everyone in Worcester. Needless to say, it’s a big deal.

This year’s theme was Television and each segment of modeling portrayed a different channel (Safari, Weather, etc). There was also a performance from Worcester’s Boys & Girls’ Club, Holy Cross’ Fusion Hip Hop team, and a touching tribute to the many black lives lost to police brutality and other injustices. Here are some pictures of the wonderful event below:

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Mechanics Hall — ain’t she a beauty?

Along the lines of beautiful things, last week was RA Appreciation Day and there was such outpour of love that I know did not go unnoticed. Being an RA can be quite overwhelming at times, so I believe we were all grateful for a day when our deeds were acknowledged. My admiration and appreciation goes out to all the RAs out there who continue to walk around with a smile on their face or who are always lending a helping hand. You all rock!

Enjoy some pictures (and some instas) from that glorious day:

 

 

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Had to post for my Wheeler fam. 

 

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Appreciation for all those in the Residence Life Department too! They put up all our names so that we could write positive notes for everyone! 

So, the blog take-away is: What the world needs now…is love, sweet love. Holy Cross has lots of that love and when I show up as a first-year student, not only will I be welcomed and accepted, but I’ll be wholly loved as well. 

Hellooo from the INSIDE … of the dorm because it’s freezing outside. 

I know, so totally done with the “Hello” parodies, but I couldn’t resist.

Whenever I look at my posts from last year, I always laugh. Almost all of my posts had some phrase about how cold it was outside (and some posts were solely dedicated to this fact). The truth is, it gets cold. 

It’s cold, yes it is, but it’s also beautiful! If you are one of those people who hates the cold, but loves the scenery (me), then you’ll love this school! It already looks like Hogwarts, so when it snows and it’s gorgeous, you’ll fall even more in love with it.

Also, as I said last year, there’s a certain bond here at Holy Cross. Just like you bond with your sibling when you both dislike going to that one specific aunt’s house or how you and your friend became close from having mixed feelings about that one class, you too will bond with your Holy Cross classmates over how cold it is.

You and that student walking to the library share an unsaid, but understood sentiment and it’s honestly something that makes you a Holy Cross crusader.

Some pics of the beauty below:

HOGWARTS

HOGWARTS

 

So. Much. Snow.

So. Much. Snow.

 

That snowy pathway, though.

That snowy pathway, though.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, the blog take-away is: Let it snow, man. Yes, it’ll be incredibly cold. Yes, I will probably have some mixed feelings about going to class when the temperature is below average, but hey, it’s okay. Everyone is enduring the knee-high snow and the seemingly super-strong wind. In fact, it’ll bring us closer. Body heat hugs, anyone? 

 

 

Oh, I’m awake alright. Hi, again!

The radio silence is now over. I spent all of my Winter Break at home with family, so I did my best not to check or use my electronics and the sort. I guess I was a little too good at doing that, since I did not blog at all. However, I’m back on the Hill and ready to let you in on all the happenings!

Well, for one thing, our good ‘ole friend work visited us all on the first day of classes (hence “spring awakening”). Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a unified reaction to the first day back from break. Everyone was walking around in a sort of daze, because though we all know Holy Cross is rigorous, we figured we’d at least have the first day back clear of any assignments. I myself found out that was wrong when my roommate told me she was emailed work the week before we got back to campus.

What am I saying? I’m saying get ready to work, ’cause Holy Cross is no joke.

BUT, that doesn’t mean all joking around is banned. Where Holy Cross is super strict about its academics, it’s even more hands-on about student involvement and development. Every time I return to campus after break, my heart gets a whole lot happier and my joy even greater. Every first day back feels like a huge welcome-back-surprise-birthday party.

I’ve been asked by more faculty and staff members than students how I feel about returning, how my day is going, how my break was, and honestly how I myself am. There have been so many programs in first-year and upperclassmen buildings, welcoming students back with open arms. Whenever I start to feel a little overwhelmed with work, I’ll text a friend to grab a bite to eat or I’ll reflect on that unexpected, but completely relatable anecdote my professor told in class.

Again, you might be thinking, what.is.she.saying?

I’m saying get ready to be work, ’cause Holy Cross is no joke AND I’m saying get ready to be welcomed, ’cause Holy Cross is super stoked…(to have you).

Last but not least, I want to mention some aspects of my job as an RA this year. The RAs returned a bit earlier than most students, to get the buildings ready and to review policies and the sort. I’m telling you, it was like a massive celebration seeing everyone again. It was like 6th grade class parties all over again, minus the debacle of deciding what two-piece to wear and the petty drama.

Anyway, we changed the themes in our hallway and I decided to go with a Disney theme for reasons that need no explanation. It’s Disney.

Here are some pictures below:

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My bulletin board was basically the introduction to “Disney Channel Original Movies,” explaining that my floor’s first year at Holy Cross was like their own “Holy Cross Original Movie.”

 

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                      Some cartoon characters!!

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I wrote little blurbs about some older Disney Channel Original Movies, but made them relevant to this second semester.

 

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90s Hilary Duff, anyone?

 

So, the blog take-away is: As Katrina has often written before, Holy Cross academics are serious stuff, but with the support of faculty, friends, and sometimes FOOD, I will be able to get through it. Sometimes balancing outside activities, the workload, and you know, being a human may seem impossible, but as the great Walt Disney once said, “It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.” 

Hello and HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

As you can see (or rather read), the holiday time is very special to me. It is true that during the holidays, everyone just develops this really sweet and rich holiday spirit, especially here at Holy Cross.

This week alone, there have been over five holiday events. Kimball dining hall is looking beautiful with decorations as are residence halls. It’s the most wonderful time of the year.

Kimball Dining Hall

Kimball Dining Hall

3rd floor residents were really excited to decorate the hall after our floor meeting.

They covered their doors in wrapping paper and put up decorations everywhere.

My apologies that pictures do not do it justice.

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Okane Hall

 

 

One of my favorite Holy Cross holiday events is the annual tree lighting in front of Okane Hall. People from the Worcester community, as well as faculty and students gather in front of the hall to sing carols, drink hot cider and cocoa, and watch numerous holiday performances. My a cappella group is singing again this year and I am incredibly excited.

 

 

 

 

Our Wheeler RA Staff also decided to make a Christmas card! Though I can’t show the final product, here are some fun before pictures!

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Fellow 3rd floor RA Michelle on the right and 5th floor RA Meghan in the 2nd left-square picture.

 

Also, living on the Hill means you get to really show your Winter fashion (AKA, my favorite fashion).

Also, living on the Hill means you get to really show your Winter fashion (AKA, my favorite fashion).

So, the blog take-away is: Holy Cross does the holidays RIGHT — they’ll be numerous events and people to rally that great holiday spirit. Holy Cross will become my second home and everyone knows there’s no place like home for the holidays.

 

This week has been rough.

Hello, everyone! Please excuse my greeting-less first sentence, but I thought I should preface this blog so that you now what’s ahead. With everything’s that happened in the media these past weeks, I find it appropriate to make this blog post about finding and restoring faith on campus.

I myself was having a very hard time dealing with what was happening in the media. I felt upset and confused and hurt and uneasy. But I forgot something about the Holy Cross community:

It is so incredibly supportive.

I’ll tell you why:

1) Friends – these are the people to lean on.

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My a cappella group “Fools on the Hill.” Our Co-Founders’ 10th year anniversary happened to land on our Thursday 10pm Cool Beans performance. We serenaded them with “Shut up and Dance” and “Valerie.”

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My resident’s friends decorated her door for her birthday

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2) Faith – there are so many places on campus to restore or explore your faith. This Wednesday, there was an Inter-faith Prayer Vigil held in the Mary Chapel. We prayed about recent world events, lit candles, and passed peace to one another.

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A sign from the Retreat Center a Protestant Retreat was held at.

My friends taking pictures at the beautiful Retreat Center.

My friends taking pictures at the beautiful Retreat Center.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3) Food – grab a bite with friends at Crossroads, head up to Cool Beans, or simply find a table at Kimball.

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It’s nearly impossible to sit at Kimball without the table fully filling up. Here’s a prime example.

4) Fun – make time for yourself. Take breaks, meet up with friends, go for a walk, knit a scarf — do whatever it takes to calm yourself!

Flyers I made for my hall's "Clueless" program!

Flyers I made for my hall’s “Clueless” program!

RA Lucca and I on Halloween Duty. We were Team Rocket from Pokemon.

RA Lucca and I on Halloween Duty. We were Team Rocket from Pokemon.

One of Holy Cross' female a cappella groups "Off the Record."

One of Holy Cross’ female a cappella groups “Off the Record.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, the blog take-away is: Holy Cross = friends, faith, food, fun. Holy Cross will support you. Holy Cross will surprise you. Holy Cross will serve you as a place of comfort. You will love it. 

Hello, all!

My apologies for not blogging for a full month. Turns out October was pretty busy.

However, I am back and ready to share. The topic for this post? Stress.

We all know it. We all have endured it. So the question is, how do we deal with it? My answer is…that I don’t have the answer. I don’t think anyone does, really. What I do know is that stress can be overwhelming, but with the right friends and the right strategies, it can be reduced.

As we know, I am involved in a lot here on the Hill. That becomes very stressful. There are many events I’m required to attend, many people I’m supposed to know, and multiple things I’m required to do (like homework)! Most of the time, I’m on the go and most of the time that works for me. The operative phrase here being “most of the time.

Those times when being on a constant shuffle doesn’t work for me are times when strategies come in handy. For example, these past months I have felt kind of shaken. I had a whole new schedule and all new responsibilities and suddenly I had no idea what to do. I felt like I didn’t have enough for work or I didn’t spend enough time with my residents; it felt like everything was just piling up.

But Holy Cross is an amazing place. An amazing place means amazing people. Amazing people means amazing understanding and guidance. In other words, it’s going to be okay.

Holy Cross is rigorous — like, way rigorous. It is challenging and demanding, but guess what? Professors, advisers, and faculty members know this. So when searching for help or guidance or understanding, just head straight to your professor at the end of class or ask to meet with someone in the counselor’s department. There are so many people here on the Hill to help out.

Holy Cross offers a lot — like, a lot a lot. So perhaps too many things fall onto the plate at once. Remember what I said about amazing people? Yes, half of them are the faculty, but the other half are friends. I’ve found that the people here on campus are some of the best people I’ve ever met. People I’m not even that close to are still concerned for my well-being or my classes or my activities. Don’t believe me? Just come to an admissions tour or in the later future, Accepted Students Day. You’ll see!

Holy Cross is an amazing place. This has already been said, but it never hurts to say the truth twice. Though stress is unavoidable, I always know that it will pass when I have such a great support system here on campus. So yes, I’m stressed, but I’ve been blessed with some of the best.

So, the blog take-away is: Holy Cross will keep me busy and on my toes, but that won’t be a problem when I realize how many wonderful people surround me. In the words of High School Musical (which are very important words), we’re all in this together. 

Hello from the Hill!

Homework has increased once again and for some reason that usually means extracurricular activities increase simultaneously. My a cappella group, my Praise and Worship service team, and my RA Staff have all had events this past week. As a result, I did not blog last week.

I know — so not cool. However, I am back and excited to share last week with you.

1) Chateau de Wheeler. This event is a Wheeler (the oldest first-year dorm) tradition. All the residents venture out onto “Wheeler Beach” and enjoy an evening of fresh tunes, festivities, fun, and food. Who knows why it’s French (and why pasta is usually served)? Not I. All I know is that Chateau Round Two was even better than the first time. Below is the beautiful Wheeler staff and an overly excited Katrina.

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2) Michelle and My First Hall Event – Hall events or programs are little dorm events, which are just opportunities for residents to spend more time together to relax or discuss relevant issues. Michelle and I decided to have some Fondue Fun and allow our residents to learn more about themselves and each other by taking a little “color” personality quiz.

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3) Friends – It’s always important to make time for your friends. Living in Wheeler as a sophomore (or junior/senior) can be a bit difficult, because most of your friends live across campus. However, meeting up at Hogan Center or Kimball is essential because friends keep you grounded, no? My roommate and I met up with one of our “far-away friends” for off-campus dinner and henna.

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4) Campus Life – After a while, all the work might get to you. So make sure you take breaks to eat, relax, and have fun. Good thing Holy Cross gives one the means to do all of those things.

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It was a pretty day + I liked my romper = asking my roommate to take a picture.

Me asking my roommate to take a picture as well = this.

Me asking my roommate to take a picture as well = this.

My roommate + fellow RA Lucca = impromptu photoshoot?

My roommate + fellow RA Lucca = impromptu photoshoot?

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Glasses + a week of work = pretending to be Harry Potter while folding laundry?

 

So, the blog take-away is: Holy Cross has got it going on. Work may be constant and the temperature may drop to 47 degrees on the 4th week of school (literally, this morning, 47 degrees), but nothing will be able to compare to the great friends and company I’ll have here on the Hill. 

Hello, everyone! Summer is over and school has begun. Also, my title is a pun.

Please excuse my rhyming, but I’m just that excited to be back on the Hill. My title is a pun because I actually returned two weeks earlier than most sophomores for RA Training. Also, my roommate from last year, Madeleine, and I are ready for round two in Wheeler! Madeleine is actually running around right now (that’s how excited she is). Here she is below.

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Also, living in Wheeler again–wheels go round, round two, bam. Okay, no more puns. Let’s talk about sophomore year.

Sophomore year has already proven to be quite hard. It seems that classes are more difficult and professors have higher expectations and the whole atmosphere just feels different.

However, that does not mean I am not looking forward to this year. In fact, challenge accepted. I feel that once you live here at Holy Cross, once you become so immersed in the culture and the organizations here, you honestly feel like you can do mostly anything — and I really believe you can.

Here on the Hill there is so much support. For example, RA Training. Training was, without a doubt, one of the most exciting (and nerve-wracking) experiences of my life. We had extremely busy days, but they were filled with so much fun and friendliness that it rarely felt draining. Here’s the lovely, fantastic Wheeler staff below.

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The whole theme was Harry Potter — it was interesting for me. I know nothing about that whole series, so it was really cool to see how into it people were. Robes were worn and spells were cast — that’s all I’ll say about that (there’s Wheeler staff below with wands). Furthermore, the importance of our jobs were really emphasized, something I really appreciated.

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Though it is a job, we are really supposed to serve as resources for the students overall. I honestly love getting to know others and helping them, so I am super enthusiastic for this year.

That’s all for right now. I actually have to do rounds for duty with one of our senior RAs Derek — he says hi.

So, the blog-take away is: All years on the Hill are great years on the Hill. You can go ’round anywhere, and you’ll always love it. 

Hi, guys.

This blog post will definitely have a different feel from my others. As many know, hundreds of thousands of people have reacted to the death of Freddie Gray in numerous ways. For Baltimore, many (but not all) reacted with violence, rioting, and looting.

Situations were so intense that the National Guard had to step in and a curfew was declared in the city. However, the pleas that “Black Lives Matter” still rightly-so resounded across the world, across the Holy Cross campus.

This afternoon, a prayer was held by the campus ministry leaders and chaplains outside of Hogan. It was a simple program, one that got directly to the point. We stood there, students and faculty, praying and hoping for justice. We wanted justice not only in Baltimore, but everywhere.

Here is a section from the Invitation to Pledge we all read aloud:

“WE pledge to examine our own biases and positions of privilege through self-reflection, and earnestly work to resolve them.

WE pledge to live by compassion and be consciously inclusive of all individuals.

WE pledge to affirm the value of diversity.

WE pledge to promote understanding, inclusion, and mutual respect, and thus build community within all races, ethnicities, and cultures.

WE pledge to transform our institutions into authentically anti-racist and anti-oppressive communities of action.

WE pledge to advocate for justice, demand equal opportunity for all and so help create a beloved community for everyone to share.”

I have the program and pictures attached below. The photos do not accurately display how many people were gathered today. 

 

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