End of Year One: Quick Update

Hello again, readers! Due to the chaos of finals week, I was not able to spend time writing a post about Spring Weekend, nor about my final exams themselves. That said, I will take some time today and tomorrow to compile a list: My Top Ten Freshman Year Moments at Holy Cross. Be sure to check back for this post tomorrow evening, as it will be my last official post for the 2018-2019 school year.

I do have some exciting news to share, however. I have been asked to return as a blogger for my sophomore year as well! I have tremendously enjoyed the opportunity to share my thoughts and experiences online, and I am looking forward to being able to do so in the future. In the meantime, please feel free to reach out in the comments (or via personal correspondence) to let me know what you’d like to see for next year. I’d love to hear your ideas, and I’m interested in knowing what posts are the most/least interesting.

Obviously, I am already looking forward to my sophomore year. In addition to blogging, I have been accepted into the C.O.P.E. organization, which I am extremely excited to be involved in. I have also been offered a leadership role within the Admissions Office’s “Outreach” program. I am still waiting to hear back regarding other opportunities I’ll have on campus in the fall.

For now, though, I am back in Rochester, and will be continuing my work as an accountant and receptionist in our local amusement park. I’m looking forward to traveling for concerts and short vacations this summer, and being able to truly reconnect with some of my friends from home. I’ll also be spending much time playing basketball, working out, studying music, and improving my German. Overall, I think it’s going to be a great summer.

That’s all for now! Again, please be sure to check back tomorrow evening for my last post of the 2018-2019 year, My Top Ten Freshman Year Moments at Holy Cross. Until then, peace!

 

The End is Near: A Look Forward at May 2019

Hello, readers! Apologies for being a bit late in posting to my blog. Following the publication of my “vlog” installment (see previous post), I had two extremely busy weeks, including, most notably, enrolling in four courses for Fall 2019. Following several hours of thought, I decided that, in addition to pursuing a psychology major, I will attempt to complete a sociology major, as well as a German minor. I actually spent quite a bit of time mapping out my future courses and how I can meet the requirements of each major/minor. Although pursuing three separate tracks of study will certainly be challenging, I find these fields quite fascinating, and definitely believe that I am capable of managing the coursework necessary in each of these courses of study.

In addition to this development, it is worth mentioning the awesome Easter break I had! Following my last class on Wednesday, my dad (having driven to campus) and I took off for TD Garden in Boston, MA once again. This time, we watched our beloved Celtics in Game 2 of their first-round sweep of the Indiana Pacers. This marked our first time attending an NBA playoff game, and the atmosphere was electric. I’ve already promised myself that I will save up enough money this summer to catch some weekend games next season.

Easter back home in Rochester, NY was relaxing, as expected. My nineteenth birthday was actually on Holy Thursday, and although I had to spend much of the day traveling, the time I spent with family and friends back home made it more than worth it. As I drove out of Rochester on Monday, I simply could not believe that it was the last time I would be leaving my hometown for college during my freshman year. I have mentioned this in previous blog posts, but freshman year has absolutely flown by. To think that I will be home for good in just nineteen days seems absolutely crazy. That said, there is still business to be taken care of! Here is my list (in no particular order) of the top five things I still have to look forward to in the next three weeks:

1.  My 5v5 intramural basketball team, the Kimballers, has its first playoff game  tomorrow night! We are 2-1 on the season, but Thursday night’s matchup promises to be a very challenging contest, seeing as we will be facing off against a number of Club Basketball players. I have served as the captain of this team, and I must say that I am proud of how the team has played over the past few weeks. Now let’s get this win!

2. The housing selection process for next year is coming up in a couple of weeks. I’ve already registered with my roommate for next year, so now we are just waiting to be able to select our room for next year! My new roommate lives in Rochester as well, so that should make buying things for next year even easier. Naturally, however, all of my friends and I are maneuvering to try to live near each other next year, so fingers crossed!

3. For my Fundamentals of Music course, I am currently completing a song analysis of “Rainbow Connection” from The Muppet Movie (1979). This project, which is part of my final exam, has offered me a unique opportunity to apply everything I have learned all semester in this course to a song of my own choice. The project includes analysis of melody, harmony, rhythm, meter, lyrics, chord progression, key changes, etc. I’ve found my work on this song to be a difficult, yet rewarding experience. I will admit, however, that I am becoming increasingly tired of this particular song, seeing as I have now listened to it in its entirety dozens of times.

4. Speaking of music, the Holy Cross Spring Concert is fast approaching! This year’s concert, sponsored by Campus Activities Board (CAB), will be headlined by Loud Luxury, as well as Jay Sean. Although I am not particularly familiar with either artist, I still think that the concert will be an awesome time, especially seeing as it will be the last “true” weekend of the year. I’ve already purchased my ticket, so now all I can do is wait!

5. Lastly, these last three weeks will simply be a great opportunity to spend time with the friends I have made this year. It seems impossible that most of us will have to go over three months without seeing each other. Such is college, however, seeing as students come from all over the U.S., or even beyond. That said, these last few weeks are going to be a blast, and I’ll definitely savor every moment.

Hopefully this post wasn’t too lengthy! I definitely had a lot to share, and was glad I finally found a bit of spare time to be able to do so. To all students, best of luck during these last few weeks of classes! Stay tuned for updates on how the aforementioned events unfold, as well as some concluding remarks on my amazing freshman year at Holy Cross. Peace!

A Day in the Life: Aidan Ruppert ’22

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hello, all! I decided to try something a bit different for this week’s installment to my blog: a vlog. Follow me around as I work my way through a very busy day at Holy Cross!

Heating Up: Spring Has (Seemingly) Sprung!

 

Fenwick Hall, as seen from nearby building Stein Hall
A view of Fenwick Hall on a beautiful afternoon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hello again, readers! Seeing as it is the first official day of Spring 2019, I figured today was an appropriate day to blog about my experiences over break, as well as my more recent undertakings here on Mount Saint James.

Over spring break, I went home to Rochester to visit my family and friends. Upon returning to campus, I learned that several of my friends chose to travel with immersion programs to various states to take part in service projects. Although I did not have such an opportunity this year, I heard wonderful things about the programs, and would very much like to attend one of these trips in the future.

Nevertheless, my time in Rochester was far from wasted. On my third day home, I visited my high school and delivered a speech entitled “Masculinity and Sexual Scripts: Discussing Consent and Injustice” as part of the school’s week-long series of discussions on masculinity. It was a great opportunity to discuss an important issue, as well as a chance to apply knowledge I garnered from my Social Psychology course last semester.

Additionally, I spent the rest of the week catching up on my German, attending the play The Humans at my local theatre, and taking a quick day trip to Buffalo, NY.  It was certainly a much needed break, seeing as schoolwork has certainly had the tendency to pile up as of late.

Still, it was great being back on campus for Saint Patrick’s Day weekend! As it turns out, the entire Holy Cross student body is quite enthusiastic for this particular holiday, and I could not think of better people with whom to spend it, although having to take two midterm exams on Monday certainly put a bit of a damper on things.

This week, I’ve been putting in many hours of work in the library. This isn’t always easy, particularly given how much nicer (albeit windier) the weather has become. Course offerings for Fall 2019 were released today, so I’ll be spending time planning which classes to take next semester. Still, I’ve certainly made time for extracurriculars as well, especially my late-night basketball sessions at the Hart Center.

Overall, things have been going very well on the Hill. I look forward to the challenges and rewards that the next several weeks will have to offer. As always, please feel free to comment any questions you may have about the Holy Cross student experience, particularly those who are considering attending Holy Cross. Until next time!

Spring Break is Here: A Look Back at Weeks 1-6

Hello, all! I am currently typing this post while sitting in my room in a very empty Clark Hall. The reason why? Spring break is here! Almost all residents have already moved out, but I’ll be on my way home tomorrow morning. It seems crazy how quiet it is here at the moment—usually the residence halls are bustling with people and activity at this hour. Still, the peace and quiet isn’t entirely unpleasant; I used the opportunity to tidy up my room after my roommates left, and my plans for tonight consist exclusively of watching some NBA basketball on our TV.

Six weeks have passed since the beginning of my second semester, and only six weeks remain at Holy Cross before our Easter break. After that, we only have a few weeks before final exams begin. It’s absolutely crazy to think how quickly time is passing. I feel like I just began a new schedule, yet much of the semester has already come to pass.

In addition to my Montserrat and German classes, I decided to use this semester to complete a couple additional common requirements—as mentioned in a previous post, I am enrolled in Philosophical Inquiries and Fundamentals of Music. After having completed six weeks of these courses, here are some of my thoughts and comments on each class I am taking:

 

  • Conflict (Montserrat): As mentioned, my Montserrat seminar spent the first half of the year discussing sport psychology and athletic careers. We spent the first few weeks of this semester discussing and examining literature addressing athletic career transition, as well as coaching. We have now begun the second component of the course: military psychology and and careers. This past week, we read the entirety of Jon Krakauer’s biography of Pat Tillman, Where Men Win Glory. Tillman was an outstanding football player for the Arizona Cardinals, but passed up an enormous contract in order to enlist in the U.S. Army following 9/11. Tillman was killed in Afghanistan in an incident of fratricide, but the U.S. Army formulated an elaborate cover-up story to maintain public support for the war. Our classroom discussions have focused on such injustices committed within military circles, and even at governmental levels. Such discussions have certainly improved my ability to think critically in matters of public relations, and evaluate aspects of the U.S. military that I had never even considered.
  • Intermediate German: Not much has changed since the first semester in German. We are currently studying the city of Salzburg, Austria, and have recently learned some very useful grammatical skills, such as relative pronouns and coordinating and subordinating conjunctions. We have also spent our time in Practicum reading through an interesting play, Der Besuch der alten Dame. We continue to write papers in German every other week, and our most recent paper pertained to our personal experiences with art and music in our lives. I am definitely enjoying our discussions on German culture, in addition to learning the language.
  • Philosophical Inquiries: This class has been a bit challenging at times for a variety of reasons. The texts with which we engage are often difficult, but the course is quite heavily based on classroom discussion of such texts, so things are often much easier to understand after having these discussions. This past week, we submitted our first paper for the course, which was an interesting challenge. Writing a philosophy paper, as it turns out, as rather different from writing an English paper. My professor, however, was quite helpful in the process. Visiting her office hours certainly helped quite a bit. Currently, we have transitioned from Platonic texts and Aristotelian ethics into discussing more contemporary commentaries on the distribution of wealth.
  • Fundamentals of Music: Originally having enrolled in this course to fulfill my arts requirement, I knew it would be a bit of a wild card. I had some background in music, but nothing very extensive at all.  Thus, I was worried that I may fall behind in a subject in which I had little knowledge. The class, however, has proven to be extremely enjoyable. Our professor is not only an extremely talented pianist, but also a very effective educator. Admittedly, the course has moved at a frenetic pace, but this is perhaps necessary in order to cover all basic components of music in a single semester. The homework for this class is more extensive than I initially expected, but I actually find myself enjoying the assignments quite a bit. Learning music is almost like learning a new language, yet it seems to make so much sense to me now. I’m definitely excited for this class moving forward.

Again, these six weeks have absolutely flown by, but I feel that I have learned so much in such a short period of time. I’m definitely happy to have enrolled in the courses that I did, and I hope for continued success in each one. Spring break is much needed, however, and I cannot wait to be home in just eighteen hours! Be sure to check back soon for an update on my break! Until next time!

“The Show Must Go On”: An Anecdote

Hello, readers! Three weeks down, three weeks to go until our first break of the new semester! It has been an extremely busy stretch for me academically, but I have managed thus far to remain afloat in all of my classes.

As mentioned in the profile page for my blog, I am a member of WCHC 88.1 Sports. More specifically, I am a color commentator for radio broadcasts of men’s and women’s basketball games. I actually found out about the program primarily through one of its co-president, seeing as he as a fellow alumnus of my high school. WCHC is extremely easy for anyone to join, however, and I would encourage any person with an interest in broadcasting (sports or music) to consider the organization.

Anyway, I have now been on the air for two women’s basketball games, as well as for one men’s game. Even though I’m a color commentator, rather than the play-by-play broadcaster, I put a fair amount of time into preparing for each game. I do brief research into the tendencies, backgrounds, and statistics of the opposing team’s key players. This preparation allows for a more smooth, fluid broadcast, as was the case during the women’s games I’ve called over the past two weeks.

Last Wednesday, my job was to provide color commentary for the men’s game against Army West Point. Unfortunately, however, one of our current play-by-play broadcasters was unavailable for the first half of the game. I figured that we would be unable to broadcast that night, seeing as it isn’t very easy to offer a comprehensive radio broadcast with only one commentator. I then realized, however, that I may not have the opportunity to offer play-by-play commentary again for quite some time. I decided that, as the adage goes, the show must go on! In my very first men’s basketball broadcast, I served as the play-by-play commentator for the first half of a 56-42 victory over Army. I did so without even having a color commentator alongside me. Although this was certainly a challenge, being a dedicated fan and follower of our basketball team certainly paid dividends. The broadcast, though quite far from perfect, went fairly smoothly. Although I much prefer offering color commentary for broadcasts, the experience was valuable for its spontaneity and difficulty nevertheless.

That’s all for this week’s installment! I’ve had a lot of awesome, blog-worthy experiences related to basketball as of late, but I promise I will write about my other experiences very soon. Until next time!

 

First Weekend Back: Hoops Galore!

Hello, all! It is currently the Sunday afternoon before our second week of classes of the new semester. My courses have had a fairly encouraging start, so I am certainly looking forward to seeing how the semester unfolds academically.

Today, however, I am writing about the wonderful, action-packed weekend I’ve had. Though it was only the first weekend of a long semester, I’m certain that I will remember it for quite some time.

Friday night began in a manner similar to other weekends on campus: treating myself to a delicious meal at Crossroads. As most Holy Cross students can attest to, a large number of students love to indulge in the food items Crossroads has to offer, particularly after a long week of classes. After dinner, I spent several hours socializing with other students back in my own dorm. Everybody seemed excited to have returned, and it was enjoyable being able to relax with one another once again.

After a quick breakfast at Kimball on Saturday morning, my dad arrived on campus after having made the drive from Rochester, NY. We then visited the Holy Cross Bookstore before getting lunch off campus at Wings Over Worcester. As a chicken enthusiast myself, I would HIGHLY recommend Wings Over Worcester for their large portions and quick service. Be sure to check them out!

An order of boneless chicken wings and waffle fries from local restaurant Wings Over Worcester
A supersized order of boneless wings provided not only a delicious meal, but also leftovers for later!

After lunch, my dad and I headed back to campus to check out our men’s basketball team in their home matchup with the Navy Midshipmen. The Crusaders emerged victorious in an exciting contest, winning 69-64 after trailing at halftime. The atmosphere at the Hart Center was electric, perhaps in large part due to the number of alumni in attendance as part of Winter Homecoming 2019.

A view from the stands of Holy Cross and Navy basketball players preparing for tipoff.
A view of the Hart Center just seconds before the beginning of an exciting afternoon game against Navy.

Following the Navy game, my dad and I left campus for (arguably) an even more exciting basketball game: Celtics vs. Warriors in Boston, MA. This was our sixth NBA game together (fourth at TD Garden), but no game prior had ever presented the same level of anticipation and excitement. In short, the game tickets were the best Christmas present a Celtics fan like me could ever ask for. After checking into our hotel in Boston, we made the short walk to TD Garden. There, after spending a bit too much money on apparel from the team store, we found our seats. We then witnessed one of the most exciting basketball games either of us had ever seen live, with the Celtics tragically falling 115-111 at the hands of Kevin Durant and the Golden State Warriors. Though the loss certainly stung, I find some solace in knowing that the Celtics should exact revenge on the Warriors in the NBA Finals come June.

Me (Aidan) holding a new Jayson Tatum Celtics jersey with TD Garden's court in the background
Fortunately for Celtics fans, I am now thoroughly equipped to replace star Jayson Tatum if he were to suffer an unfortunate injury.

In conclusion, it was a Saturday filled with great food, extraordinary basketball, and a good time with my dad. It will be difficult to surpass this weekend in terms of enjoyment, but with a long semester to go, anything is possible!

Thank you for checking in and reading this week’s installment of my blog. Until next time!

 

 

One Year Ago: My Holy Cross Application Story

Hello again, all! First things first: I am simply dying to get back on campus for the second semester. I have had an outstanding time in Rochester for the past month, but this Sunday still cannot come soon enough. I am excited to see my friends and roommates, and I’ve gotten enough of a mental break to be refreshed and motivated for the upcoming semester.

It’s hard to believe, but tomorrow (January 15th) is the application deadline for Holy Cross. Again, congratulations to all students who have already submitted their applications. If you are uncertain about submitting an application, however, allow me share a few details regarding my application status on January 14th, 2018—exactly one year ago today:

A photo taken from the stands of a Holy Cross Men's Basketball game against Boston University
“I knew little to nothing about Holy Cross. My dad and I simply stopped by because we wanted to watch a Division I basketball game”

1 ) I knew little to nothing about Holy Cross. My dad and I simply stopped by because we wanted to watch a Division I basketball game.

2 ) I was seriously considering attending a larger, public university in my home state.

3 ) I actually spent the long car ride home from Worcester typing an application to an honor’s program at another college.

 

In short, I applied to Holy Cross essentially as an afterthought. I found the thought of attending college hours away from home preposterous, and I honestly had no idea if I was even a qualified applicant for such a prestigious school. How appropriate, then, that exactly one year later, I happen to stumble upon old photos from that afternoon basketball game in Worcester. One year ago, I never would have thought that I would later call Holy Cross my home. One year ago, I had not even begun my frantic, last minute application to the college.

Although it is extremely unlikely that any person shall read this particular post and subsequently submit a last minute application to Holy Cross, there is certainly a message I wish to convey: NEVER sell yourself short. I was a rather late bloomer in terms of having the confidence and ability to make my own college decisions, but had I not decided to try my luck in applying to Holy Cross, I cannot imagine where I might find myself today. In short, what’s the harm in trying?

Thank you for reading this week’s installment in my blog. Next time you hear from me, I will be comfortably settled on Mount Saint James once again. Until then!

 

 

 

(Almost) 2019: Resolutions for the Hill

Hello, readers! First of all, I hope that each and every one of you had a wonderful Christmas with friends and family, and that you all are enjoying your time away from classes as we approach 2019. Coming home for Christmas for the first time as a college student presents, in my opinion, an interesting dynamic. The importance of being surrounded by family member seemingly becomes magnified, seeing as it is mere weeks until the next semester begins, and I will leave my home in Rochester for Worcester, MA once again.

That said, I am already extremely eager to return to campus and resume my studies. More importantly, I am very excited to see my friends once again. Although I enjoyed my first semester as a Holy Cross student tremendously, I have an even better feeling about this upcoming semester. Time need not be spent becoming acclimated to the college climate; I am confident and ready to jump right in and find success.

I’ve never been one to make New Year’s resolutions, but I figured an attempt at such may be fitting for my final blog post of 2018. Thus, here are a few resolutions I have made pertaining specifically to my second semester at Holy Cross:

 

1) I would love to attend breakfast at Kimball more often! I’d say I attend breakfast an average of 3-4 days per week, but I’d love to see this number increase to 5-6 days. It can be hard to wake up early enough, particularly after a late night studying, but the benefits of eating a good breakfast certainly outweigh the costs. Breakfast is my favorite meal at Kimball, and I would do ANYTHING for a Kimball bagel (my personal favorite).

2) I need to learn the new schedules for student fitness centers. Construction of a brand new Recreation and Wellness Center begins next semester. I’ll miss the old Field House, but I’m excited to have an updated facility in the future. The construction will result in altered hours for community use of facilities in the Luth Athletic Complex. I’m a person that needs to work out several times each week, so I’ll definitely keep an eye out for information pertaining to the scheduling of community hours.

3) I definitely wish to keep working hard academically, but I could use some improvement in terms of time management. I’d describe myself as a perfectionist when it comes to my courses. For example, I ended up writing/typing well over 200 pages of notes for my Social Psychology course last semester. Although I did this because the content was particularly interesting to me, it probably took up at least 60% of the time I spent on homework— all for one class. I’m looking for a more equal distribution of my time next semester.

 

2019 will surely be an exciting time for all Holy Cross students. I’d like to congratulate any Early Decision applicants who will be joining the Holy Cross community next Fall. I look forward to meeting some of you, and I wish you the best of luck finishing up your high school careers. Until next time!

End of Semester One: Update from Rochester, NY

Hello again, readers! I hope you all are well, especially as we approach Christmas 2018. I cannot believe I am writing this, but my first semester at Holy Cross is officially over! I finished up exams on Thursday morning, and have been back in Rochester for a few days now. I’m fairly confident that I did well on my exams, but I’ll know for sure on Tuesday when grades are published.

It honestly feels a bit strange to be living at home again. I am definitely used to having roommates and living in the same hallway as my friends. That said, it certainly is exciting to have time at home for family and old friends. Christmas break lasts so much longer than other breaks (over one month!), so I definitely feel less immediate pressure in terms of doing all the things I want to do. One thing I am looking forward to most is going to all my high school’s basketball games to watch my former team in action (I’ve already been to one!)

Of all the things I’ll miss about Holy Cross over the next month, I’m definitely going to miss my friends the most. It feels as though we’ve known each other for much longer than a few months. I never thought I’d have such an easy time developing these friendships. Truly, shoutout to my gents in Clark and ladies in Brooks-Mulledy. If you’re reading this, keep being awesome!

That’s all, folks! Be sure to check in soon for updates on Christmas break, as well as things I’m looking forward to next semester. Until next time!