LiAnn Butterfield ’16

Hi again guys!  This seemed like a good time to catch you up on what I did all summer, since summer is almost over, and I didn’t have work today.

I kicked off my summer applying to as many jobs as I could find.  I had applied to a few internships (specifically for publishing/writing), but a lot of the ones I applied to were geared more towards rising seniors as opposed to rising juniors.  So maybe I’ll have more luck next summer.  In high school, you spend your time and energy building up your resume for college.  Once you reach college, it’s time to start that process again, but for potential employers.  Employers especially look for (or so they tell me) past experience, so having even a part-time job that maybe isn’t what you want to be doing for the rest of your life is still a good idea.  I spent about half a week worrying that I wasn’t going to be able to find a job and that I’d have nothing at all to do all summer (and no money) and frantically sending out resumes to as many places as I could think up.  Then I was called by human resources, and after that spent 25 hours per week at AAA New York.  I answered the phone, welcomed members, gave out maps and books, and filled out ticket forms.  All of the people were very friendly, and I enjoyed my time, even if it wasn’t at all writing-based.

I did mean to write over the summer.  I keep telling myself that I will make up for it by writing thousands of words in the three day gap I have between finishing work and leaving for the Hill.  But that’s about three days, and I have to pack (which just might take all three), and I’m most definitely one of those people who brings way too much and thinks it’s totally justified.  I’m pretty sure that after graduation I’m going to need a moving truck, or all three family cars, because there’s already too much to fit in one.  Anyways, I kept getting distracted, or tired.  One thing I found I struggle with is if my schedule is too routine and repetitive.  I find myself looking for checkpoints of non-routine events (a vacation or a friend visiting, for example), and then willing away the time until that checkpoint, instead of enjoying and using that time thoroughly.  Hopefully, my classes next semester will motivate me to do just that, and use the spare time (four days a week of it, thanks to my fantastic/unfortunate schedule) to be productive in things I enjoy, like writing.  I think it will help that I’m taking so many English classes, including creative writing.  Maybe the necessity of writing and reading required by the classes in combination with the free time will be just the right push.

DSC03255In place of writing, I did take a few fun trips.  Before I had found my job, a group of college friends and a few of my home friends and I went camping in the Adirondacks, on Indian Lake.  We had to canoe all of our supplies out to a tiny island offshoot in the middle of the lake.  It was sort of an adventure.  There were mishaps and some rain (or a lot of rain), DSC03284which only added to the feeling of satisfaction coming home.  It was also kind of fun seeing school friends out of school environment.  It’s different with my home friends, because in high school you have the opportunity to see people both in and out of school.  But when you’re at college, you live with them.  And while they may be different between class and weekend downtime, I know I personally feel and act differently (even just marginally) between all time spent at college, and time I spend at home, on breaks and over the summer.

(On the left is my friend Maura, myself, and Kelsey; on the right are college friends Abe, Matt, Angelo, and Jeff).

I later took a brief trip down to Long Beach Island, NJ, where Matt’s family rents a house annually.  I’d never been to that part of the Jersey shore, and it was beautiful.  Throughout the summer, I also made a few trips up to school, to visit my friends that were partaking in the Mellon Summer Research.  They got to live in senior housing, which was fun to get a glimpse of.  Campus was very empty, almost surprisingly so, and because the Mellon students are equipped with kitchens, the dining hall is not frequented, and so I didn’t encounter all the people I normally would have.  It made me view Hogan and Kimball a little differently.  I hadn’t realized how much of a community center part they played.  Of course, I was only up to school on weekends, so weekdays may have been different.

DSC03841Lastly, I went to Martha’s Vineyard, with my Mom, Matt, and my friend Maura (from the picture above of camping).  I used to go every summer when I was a child, but we stopped when my grandma got older.  I decided it was time to resurrect that tradition, or at least revisit the memories.  It was cool to see how much (or how little) I remembered, and see familiar sights that I couldn’t tell if I recognized from memory or photos.

(On left: Acquinnah Cliffs and Gay Head Lighthouse, on Martha’s Vineyard)

I probably won’t post again until I arrive at school (it’s only a week after all) so enjoy the rest of your summers, and I’ll check back in soon!  Wish me luck with the miles of unpacking.

Always,

L

Hi again everyone!  I hope all your summers have been going well. It’s almost time to check back into Holy Cross.

 

Summer went by really fast. I can’t believe we go back in just a few weeks.  I will be going back a few days early for cheer, to have a mini “pre-season” of sorts.  We’ll try to whip back into shape to perform our best at all the fall games, which will be coming up fast once school starts.  That means lots of practice, and of course bonding.  One of the nice things about moving in early for cheer is that it means we don’t have to compete with 50 other people trying to lug car loads of clothes, rugs, tvs, and books, onto the dorm floor. And we have a few extra days to settle in (and procrastinate at unpacking).

I will also be continuing with the Equestrian Team.  Admittedly, I didn’t ride over the summer, so those first few lessons are going to be rough, but I’ll be glad to be back in the saddle.

 

I’m looking forward to classes. I somehow managed to put myself in a really odd scheduling situation.  I will only have class on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.  At first glance that seems like an overload, but then I remember that I took three classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays last semester too, and it wasn’t so bad, and now I have just one on Wednesdays instead of two on Mondays and Wednesdays and one on Fridays (which was my schedule then.) I have one of my favorite professors again this semester which I’m pretty excited about. And of course I’m excited to meet and learn from more of the English department, that I hadn’t yet.

One last thing to mention.  Matt, along with another student Cindy, started a club on campus, called Holy Cross Food Nation. I’m not sure if I mentioned it already, but as a refresher, it’s a group to promote dialogue about the social issues surrounding food, and encourage conversation, since often times people don’t pause to think about what they’re eating.  Matt is interested in why certain cultures eat certain ways, and the history behind it, for one example. I personally am a vegetarian and interested in the aesthetics of food more so.  Matt and Cindy also worked over the summer as a part of the Mellon research program towards establishing an on campus community garden.  Matt’s blog (www.eatingcompanion.com) tracks their progress and findings, so if you have a minute, why not check it out?

 

Maybe I’ll be seeing some of you on campus soon? To everyone just beginning to explore colleges and Holy Cross among their options, welcome and good luck!

 

Always,

L

Hey everyone, happy almost-Easter!  I’m home on break, finally.  We’re spoiled with breaks at Holy Cross, and the stretch from Spring break to Easter break is the longest period we stay at school during the year, so the work builds a bit, and it’s a relief to finally have a break.

It was warm, almost hot, for a few days.  Everyone was outside.  Some people were lying out on blankets and towels in the sun, a lot of other people were throwing around balls or frisbees.  Last weekend was also accepted students weekend (I hope some of you made it to campus for the weekend!) so there were quite a few incomers, especially recruits for sports.  For cheer, three of our girls hosted four girls who will be coming to Holy Cross in the fall, and are considering joining cheer (we’re hoping so at least!)  They were all really nice and we had a good time as a team getting to know them and introduce them to us.

A few weekends ago, I went to Boston with Matt, and our friends Jeff and Abe.  (Jeff is a TA/research assistant in the bio labs [but also a student, in case that's confusing] and Abe is the organ scholar).  We went to Cafe Vittoria, and I got chocolate mousse cake, which was delicious.  The cafe was tiny and packed and really cute, and everything looked so good.  After that we went to the Commons and met up with one of Matt’s high school friends to play frisbee and walk around.  We walked along the river and found a tiny really awesome playground (it has a rope zipline).  Then we grabbed burritos at a small place and took the T out to Cambridge and went to an improv comedy show, at Improv Boston, which was really funny and entertaining.  I’d never been to an improv show before.

I’ve been sick for a little while, so hopefully this break will help that.  I caught up on Game of Thrones last night, so now I just have to finish the books (I’m in the middle of the red one) and watch Frozen.

Summer is on its way!

Always,
L

Hey everyone!

There has been a ridiculous amount of snow this year considering we didn’t even make it to first place on the list of snowiest places in the country this year (we did last year).  The weather is very temperamental.  It will be warm for a day or two, and then suddenly snow the next day.  It seems Spring is trying very hard to take a year off.

The horse show was a lot of fun.  I continue to be lucky in my horse draws (they randomly pick who will ride what horse) and had two great ponies, Eddie for my jumping class, and Kat for my sixth and fourth (green and white, very appropriately colored for St. Patrick’s day weekend).  We brought my favorite pony, Lacey, from Frank’s barn (Woodgate) so I got to help get her all ready, and then ready to go home, which was nice.  There were a lot of really good riders, and everyone seemed to be in a good mood, and liked all of the horses.

This past weekend (yesterday, Saturday, actually) was Holy Cross Cares Day.  On HC Cares Day, students sign up in groups to do some form of community service for a few hours.  The groups are often sports teams, and dorm floors/hallways.  I was on a team with all the cheerleaders.  We went to a local high school to help with their clothing pantry.  It’s called “Andy’s Attic” (https://www.facebook.com/AndysAtticOrganization).  It was founded by a woman who lost her son, Andy, in a car crash.  In his honor, she started collecting clothing and then putting together bags and opening a clothing pantry for families in need.  It grew over time and eventually was moved to the high school.  They now have quite a lot of clothing, in all sizes and colors and styles.  They take orders from families who then come and pick up a large bag that includes pants, shirts, underwear, socks, jackets, etc.  We were helping to organize, unload new donations, and fold things (there was an especially huge amount of onesies for infants.)

With cheer, we’re out of season, which means no more games, but we still have a lot of practice.  We’ve been spending more time just exercising, doing things that will help with cheering and stunting come Fall.  It’s a lot of push ups and squats and practicing jumps.  But everyone’s been really enthusiastic about wanting to learn new things and keep improving for next season, which has made it a lot of fun.  We’ve gained a bunch of new girls, who (from volunteering with them yesterday and the few practice’s we’ve had so far) seem really nice, and happy to be part of the team.  Just doing little things to prepare for the fall, like fixing motions (positions where your arms go) and working in flexibility should really add up over the next few months.

Riding was a little bit more difficult for the last few weeks because I got my hand caught in a closing door and bruised a few fingers pretty badly.  I was riding with about one and a half hands for a few lessons, but the main-problem-finger is a lot better now.  Not perfect, but I can at least take it out of the splint I made and kept it in for the last two weeks.

School has felt really busy lately.  It’s probably because this is the longest stretch we go without a break.  It’s time to start picking classes for next semester already.  I don’t know if I’m going to be here or abroad, and I probably won’t know until late May, because it depends on my grades this semester, and I don’t know 100% if I want to spent a whole year away.

College results come out soon, right?  Or around this time?  Good luck to everyone waiting on admission, and congrats to everyone who’s already heard back from some schools!

 

Always,

L

Sorry, sorry!  I know I’m bad at posting at regular intervals, I’ll set ten reminders on my phone for two weeks from now.

romeoIt’s our first week back from Winter break (which was pretty good.  I went to a Demi Lovato concert!)  Some people had all of their mid-terms before break, but mine were all saved (or pushed back) until after.  I had two today (Renaissance and Buddhism).  I was pretty anxious about them beforehand but I think they went fairly well, better than I had expected, so that was nice.  I have another tomorrow in Medieval readings, which will be similar format to the Renaissance one and which I’m not really worried about.  I’ve enjoyed the texts we’ve been reading for Medieval most of all my classes right now, and I tend to retain things better when I like them.  It is strange having tests in an English class (I think the last time I had an English test was sophomore year of high school), but it’s a requirement for the Readings courses, and the readings courses are required for the English major.

I just stopped by Career Counseling for the fist time, and it was really helpful and relaxed.  Honestly, I’d just assumed last year that my GPA wasn’t high enough for them to be able to help me much, or want to.  But I did a lot better last semester, and aside from that, the counselor I met with was extremely friendly and encouraging.  She looked over my resume and made a few edits that I’ll type up later, and showed me the Holy Cross search database for internships/jobs, as well as an inter-college one.  It’ll be really helpful, having that resource, over the next few weeks while I try to find something to occupy my summer!  I’m hoping to intern in publishing, but there’s a lot of possibilities that stem from an English major that I’m only just figuring out.

This weekend is Saint Patrick’s Day Weekend, and it is the Holy Cross weekend.  There are a lot of events planned, some fun green food, and tons of excitement.  Supposedly, we have a pretty sizable Irish population on campus (which I personally am rather oblivious to), so it’s sort of like the Holy Cross Holiday.  This is also the weekend of our home horse show, where our team hosts (along with Clark and Assumption, I believe).  This means we run everything, from which horses go to what the courses are to who rides when.  I’m riding for novice over fences, and novice on the flat.  I’ll also be helping out all day.  It’s a pretty busy, long day (or at least it was last year, though it was freezing then, too) and I’m hoping for good weather.  The pony pictured above is named Romeo.  He’s tiny tiny tiny!  I rode him at my lesson on Tuesday (Matt took some pictures and videos so I could critique myself and see what I need to fix in my position).  The smaller the horse, the faster they tend to feel, in general to me anyway, because they have such short strides they go twice as fast to cover the same distance.  It feels really fast, even though watching the video it doesn’t even look a little bit speedy.

Cheer season is over, though we’ll be having Friday practices, starting with try-outs next week (anyone who wants to try out should!)  I recently joined the Figure Skating Club (we have one of those), which means I can skate at certain times during the week with a few other people and maybe learn a few things and then practice what I learn.  I lot of the girls in the club were competitive skaters so they’re willing to teach us a few things, which is pretty cool.

 

Time to go study for midterm number 3, wish me luck!

 

Always,

L

 

li with dolphin

Hi everyone, sorry it’s been a while!

Florida was great!  It wasn’t quite as warm as I was hoping, but still warmer than I’ll get here for at least another month, probably two or three.  I went to Discovery Cove (dolphin on the left is Latoya!) on my first day.  Then we went to Universal and I finally saw the Harry Potter exhibit, as well as the Marvel section, and the Dr. Seuss section (those three were my favorites, anyway).  On day three I went to Magic Kingdom with Matt (my mom happily went off to a garden).  I got to see a lot of the Disney Princesses, as

li at disney 2

well as Winnie the Pooh, Stitch, Minnie and Mickey (Minnie liked my ears), and the White Rabbit!  (Alice

in Wonderland is my favorite book).  Finally on day five we went on an air-boat tour, and saw a few alligators, goats, zebras, and birds.  The air boat was kind of fascinating, because there’s nothing on the bottom to steer or power the boat, allowing it to

go over reeds (and birds, without hurting them, don’t worry!).  It felt a little like floating, because it was never bumpy.

li at disneyNow that school is back in swing, it’s time to settle down.  Classes this semester are definitely more difficult than last, but not exactly as difficult as I expected.  French has been going surprisingly well-I can understand 98% of the things my teacher says, or what she’s trying to communicate.  It’s trying to form cohesive answers that I’m slower to act on.  My readings classes, as well as Buddhism, all assign a lot of reading.  The Buddhism readings might be the most so far, actually.  They’ve been interesting for the most part, but a little confusing.  Readings courses offer a lot of room for independent thought, so you really have to read thoroughly and carefully.

 

It’s hard to believe that Spring break is at the end of the month.  It doesn’t feel anywhere close to Spring yet, considering how much snow is piled up outside.  I’m not sure if I’m going to try to do anything exciting or just sleep the whole week, but I guess I’ll figure that out as the month plays out.

 

Study abroad results have been beginning to come out.  I applied to study in Ireland (University of Cork) as my first choice, and Australia (University of Melbourne) as my second.  I think I’d like to go to Ireland (it’s my favorite country);  I’m not as sure about Australia, but I’ll only have to consider that if I get in, of course.

 

I hope your month’s been well!

 

Always,

L

Hey guys!

Break is in full swing, and my friends still can’t believe how long our break is compared to other schools.  I can’t really either, actually, but at the same time I feel like it’s almost over, mostly because of how it was broken up.  There was a little over one week until Christmas, which just felt like waiting for that, and then visiting friends about one week later, which made that week fly by.  Now I’m home again, and taking off for Florida in one week.  By the time I get back, there will only be one day in between landing and loading the car for Spring Semester.

logan puppyChristmas was pretty quiet for my family, which is normal for us, so it was nice.  We went to one of my oldest friends’ houses for Christmas dinner (oldest meaning I’ve known her the longest, not age oldest) with her family and a few other friends.  It was very warm and happy and nice.   A few days later, my even-further-back-oldest friend, Maura, came to visit, with her sister Katie.  (I actually “met” Maura at the orphanage we were both adopted from in China, fun fact.  Our parents became friends and sort of traveled together and we’ve kept in touch and been close since).  We went ice skating (I got new skates for Christmas that I’m trying to break in) and then more people came over for dinner.

The next day I drove from Long Island to Poughkeepsie (in the rain) to visit my boyfriend, Matt.  I stayed for almost a whole week (the blizzard kind of caught me there a bit).  We went ice skating and saw American Hustle and made bagels, and I met a bunch of his friends, including for New Years Eve, which was kind of exciting for me since I don’t usually do much for New Years Eve.  I got to hug a lot of people I don’t know and play with some sparklers which was pretty exciting.  It was overall just a really, really nice week (his mom is a really good cook) and he has a corgi, which everyone who knows the internet loves.

Then next Saturday I’m flying to Orlando with my mom to visit Disney, Universal, Discovery Cove (I’m finally swimming with dolphins) etc, and Matt is flying in on Sunday to join us.  I’m really excited to be in 80 degree weather, instead of the seven degree weather here, and the negative three degree weather in Poughkeepsie/Worcester currently happening.  We return on the 18th, and arrive back at Holy Cross on the 20th (which happens to be my birthday, in case you want to send me delivery, which would be pretty cool, but I’m mostly kidding.)

On a more academic note, I ordered my textbooks today, some from the bookstore and some from other textbook sellers/re-sellers for lesser prices (it’s always good to price compare.)  Pro tip: as an English major, I can tell you that my English classes require the least number of books and their total sums are lowest of all my classes.  Oddly enough.

I’ll try to remember to check in from Florida and maybe smirk a little about the fabulous weather (and the dolphins, definitely the dolphins).

Enjoy the snow! (Or the blankets and hot chocolate and fire, which might be preferable.)

Always,

L

Hi everyone!  The semester is officially over, and it went out with quite a bit of snow.  I was lucky finals-wise, and only had one actual test (Sociology).  Other than that, I had a project for ballet (I did it on Tchaikovsky, and made a mini booklet of info on him.  There was a write-up to go with it.)  Then I had two essays for my English classes.  For British Lit I wrote about 1984 (George Orwell) and relationships in the book, or rather the fact that there are none (that was my claim anyway).  For Creative Writing, we just had to edit one of our drafts from the two papers/stories we worked on over the semester period.  I actually combined the two I wrote over the semester (which I’m not sure how well it worked out, because one was fiction and one was creative non-fiction.  I’m not sure where that leaves it).

 

I’ve been especially enjoying equestrian team lately.  We had a holiday gathering with just a few of us and played a card game.  My trainer has been letting me ride Lacey, for the most part, although two weeks ago he had me ride Daisey.  She’s a horse (a “small” one, which is still kind of big when you only ride ponies all the time) and very pretty.  She’s a little newer at jumping, though, so sometimes she gets excited and likes to go fast, which is the opposite of what I typically prefer.  But she was really comfortable and I managed not to fall off or anything.

 

We’re now on holiday break.  Our break is really, really long.  I got home on Friday (the 13th), and won’t have to be back until January 20th (which happens to be my birthday, just to let you all know).  Some of my friends at different colleges are jealous (and confused.  We get a lot of breaks at Holy Cross.)

Have a good holiday, see you all next semester!

Always,
L

 

Hey everyone, happy beginning-of-the-holidays!  You can just feel them setting in, it’s fantastic.

It’s been a few weeks since I wrote.  (Sorry!  Things got a little busy!)  I arrived home for Thanksgiving break about an hour ago, and I’m glad for the break (mostly because I wanted to see my cats [I have 5]) but I’m also glad it’s only 5 days because the semester is coming to a close and I feel sort of like I’m on a roll.  I want to get back to campus to finish up strong, and then kick back into the Christmas season.

Football season is now over.  Although we didn’t get to do much celebrating at home games, our team performed pretty well this year, so we’re hopeful about next year.  Basketball has gone excellently so far.  We traveled to TD Garden in Boston for a men’s game against Harvard.  Although we didn’t win, it was really fun to be there and to get to travel with the Cheer team.  Back home, the women have won both games that we cheered at, and the men one game at 122-118, in triple overtime.  I think I’m finally catching on to how sports work (it’s about time.)  In horseback riding lessons, my trainer has been letting me ride my favorite pony every week again.  That might not be the best for when I get put on horses at horse shows (Lacey is pretty small) but I feel like I’m improving confidence-wise on her and that’s always been one of my bigger issues with riding, so I’m hoping it will be good overall.

We had course selection, and things went pretty well.  I got 3/4 of the classes that I went for, and the fourth only had one seat left when I went into enrollment (which, amusingly, my friend, who was enrolling in the same room, got).  I’ll be taking French 301 (pray for me), Medieval Readings, Renaissance Readings, and Theological Perspectives on Medical Ethics.  This will cover my language requirement, my religion requirement, and both my readings requirement and my pre-18th-century requirement for my English major.  I’m looking forward to the English, as always, a little nervous for French (a lot of studying will have to be done over Winter break), and intrigued by Medical Ethics.

Time to start thinking about Christmas presents.  Enjoy the turkey (or if you’re a vegetarian like me, find some pie)!

Always,

L

halloween 1313 halloween 131313Hi again, everyone!

Happy (slightly delayed) Halloween!  When you’re in college, Halloween tends to stretch for a minimum of two days, usually four.  Since it was a Thursday this year, Halloween began on Wednesday, and ended sometime in the early morning on Sunday.  That’s a lot of pressure to come up with good costumes, four days in a row.  This year there were a lot of cats and bunnies, quite a few Miley Cyrus impressions, and a weirdly large number of Despicable Me Minions.  (The photo on the left was Thursday night, the photo on the right was Saturday night.)

 

I didn’t do much celebrating on Friday because I had a horse show on Saturday.  I was a little nervous since I’d only ridden once in a month, due to break and too many assignments.  But, for the third time in a row, I got lucky and drew really good horses for my two classes.  The only “problem” was that they were huge!  The horses I rode were 16.1 and 16.2 hands, and I’m used to riding ponies in lessons that are at most 14.2 hands.  (For non-horse people, that’s a difference of about 8 inches in height).  I hadn’t ridden an actual horse since the last show I went to, months ago!  Because of that, I was a little thrown off by how big their strides were, which made me a little confused about jumping.  Still, I was more worried about making sure I treated the horse as best as possible despite my confusion, and was happy that I placed at all (I got 5th in Novice Over Fences, and 3rd in Novice on the Flat).  The weather was really nice and the property was beautiful.  Overall, it was a really good day.

 

Enrollment for next semester is approaching fast.  I think I have my courses worked out as far as what I want to take and what I need to take.  I’ll meet with my Academic Advisor later today to double check and make sure my plan is alright.  I finally printed out the forms and got them signed, so now I am officially an English Major/Creative Writing Concentration.  This should help me get into some of the English classes I’m looking into, especially the higher level ones, which tend to have seats reserved for majors.

 

I can’t believe how fast Thanksgiving, and then Christmas, is approaching.  This year continues to fly by.  I hope you’ve all been well and enjoy the last few weeks before the holiday rush!

 

Always,

L