Midnight Breakfast, Finals Results and Christmas Break!

Hi everyone! Hope you all survived finals (if you had them) and enjoyed a relaxing holiday with loved ones. Last time I talked about preparing for finals, and now I can discuss taking them and receiving final grades, as well as finding something to do with myself for the next 3 weeks.

I had three finals this semester: English, Music Theory, and Calculus I, which all happened to be on consecutive days. That’s not how it will always work, because they assign finals times based on when your class meets, but it was convenient this time around. After the finals period, the professors have time to grade profusely and then grades are released online (this year it was Dec. 19). One thing that makes college different from high school is that you just get a letter grade for each class–you don’t know what you got on the final itself, or what comments your professors have, just a final letter grade. It’s not as scary as it sounds, but it was definitely a change.

But finals week isn’t all books and stress! On the  Sunday night at the beginning of finals week, Kimball hosts a “midnight breakfast” (actually 9PM breakfast) served by some of the Jesuits to nourish us as we begin studying. For each following night in finals week, Crossroads serves midnight breakfast; although not quite as charming as being served bacon by your Montserrat professor, it achieves the same idea. Additionally, Dinand Library serves free coffee after 10PM each night of finals, because if you’re in the library after 10PM, you definitely need a pick-me-up.

Of course, the best part about finals is finishing and journeying home for Christmas! Holy Cross gave each student a Christmas present in the form of a fun video about the 12 Days of Christmas (link below). I’ve watched it at least 10 times.

Video: 12 Days of a Holy Cross Christmas

Be sure to check back in a couple weeks as I prepare to move back on the Hill for second semester!


Concert Band, Lessons and Carols, and FINALS!

Hi everyone! I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving and are enjoying this season of Advent. Here on the Hill we’ve had two weeks of class and we’re now in finals period. But I also want to talk about the Concert Band concert, Lessons and Carols and the snow!

First up is the Concert Band concert, which we had on Dec. 3. It was a great first concert and I’m excited for second semester (highlights from next semester’s program include Give Us This Day by David Maslanka). Even Fr. Boroughs came!

The reason I delayed my usual alternating-Wednesdays blogging schedule is because I wanted to talk about Lessons and Carols, which took place this past Thursday. It is a tradition dating back to King’s College in the UK in 1918, and one Holy Cross adopted in 1978. There are nine Biblical readings and each is followed by a responsory song or anthem. As part of the Chamber Orchestra, I was able to participate musically, working with the Concert Choir and both student organists on campus. It was really neat to play in (full!) St. Joseph’s Chapel, where the acoustics are amazing. To make the evening extra special, Kimball Dining Hall had its annual Christmas dinner the same night! If you missed Lessons and Carols–don’t worry! The event was livestreamed and  published on YouTube.

This is a picture my mom took of St. Joseph’s Chapel decorated for Lessons and Carols.

Click for a video of “O Come All Ye Faithful” my mom took at Lessons and Carols!

After a SUPER busy two weeks of classes (my busiest so far, which is saying a lot), Holy Cross is now officially in “finals mode.” Final exams take a week, and as soon as you are done you get to go home for Christmas break. Monday is a study day, where professors hold review sessions and Dinand Library is sure to be packed; the exams themselves take place between Tuesday and Saturday. In college, depending on the class, final exams can be a fairly big portion of your overall grade for a class, so students will do everything they can to make sure they do well! I only have three exams, since my Montserrat final was a paper followed by a presentation and defense in class, but I still have a lot of studying to do!

Also, if you thought Holy Cross was enthusiastic in general, you should see us at Christmas! Each dorm is decorated to the nines (my hyper-festive roommate wrapped our door in early November) and we just had our first snow last night. Friends are exchanging gifts, Elf is being streamed constantly during study breaks, the bookstore had its annual 20% off sale last week, and the Office of Student Involvement offered free gift wrapping for students–Christmas is definitely here!

Wheeler Hall during the snow (taken by my friend Emma!)

Check back in soon to see if I survive final exams and prepare for Christmas! Happy studying!