LiAnn Butterfield ’16

Hey everyone! Year two is in full swing, and it’s been even better than last year. Hopefully, some of you that were reading last year are now on campus with me.

My classes this semester are Ballet 1-2, Intro to Sociology, Masterpieces of British Literature, and Intro to Creative Writing: Narrative. Predictably, I like my English classes best (still haven’t declared the major, but that’s just because I’m being lazy about it). I’m really excited to finally have a course that applies directly into what I want to do, which is creative writing. The topic of my British Lit class is “Unreal places”, which has been pretty interesting (so far we’ve read Utopia, by Thomas More, and As You Like It, by Shakespeare). Ballet is so different from all of my classes, obviously. We dance once a week and study ballet history on the other class day. It gives me a different way to concentrate and train myself to be precise and structured, in all of my work. I’d never learned anything about sociology before, so finally getting to know a little bit about it has also been interesting.

I’m still horseback riding, and plan on showing later in the year (once football season is over!) I trained three times a week over the summer, and I’m excited to see how that will show in my riding on the team and in shows this season. For Cheerleading, we got a few new girls, new uniforms, and new cheers. Our captains are really enthusiastic and have a lot of ideas for this year.

I will admit, moving in took me about two and a half days (I moved in early for cheer, so I had the dorm almost all to myself). I couldn’t leave anything home! My room is really comfortable this year (it’s a little bigger than last year), and I’m near most of my friends, since I’m now on Easy street, instead of in Wheeler (although that was nice in it’s own way, too.)

I’ll keep you guys updated, and hope you have a good kick-off to the year, too!


I was talking to my adviser today, planning for next semester’s courses and my major, balancing with extracurricular activities, etc . and she asked me what it’s been like being a freshmen, what I would tell high school students to expect that I didn’t.  There’s so much that would be impossible to sum up in a few words, but here are some things, tricks and secrets, that I didn’t know were coming.

  1. They always try to get you to study in high school by saying, “You know, when you get to college, your professors aren’t going to care whether you do your homework or not, they’re just going to give you a grade.”  This makes college professors sound so impersonal, and I’ve found them to be anything but.  They’re more than willing to spend extra time with you, reviewing material or going over a test, or even just chatting.  They really do want to get to know you, and they know who you are in class!  Perhaps this is an exaggerated feature at Holy Cross, but it’s really such a genuine support system.  They do care, and they want you to do well, and learn, not just to spit back answers on a test, but to take with you into the world and use.
  2. The boundaries between grade levels seem much more vague in college than they did in High School.  Because classes are much less year based, and circle more around scheduling and interests, you find yourself with people wanting to learn the same things you do.  There are always people in your class with more experience, or less, in the topics you’re learning.  Besides that, the people in your classes have most likely taken and are currently taking classes that you haven’t, and so they can fill you in on what other courses are like, which teachers are preferred, etc.
  3. Orientation isn’t like the rest of college.  While it’s a great way to meet people and get accustomed to your new surroundings, it’s much more structured than the rest of your time will be.  They shuffle you around through activities that you look back on fondly, but once those few days are over, you’re really on your own to schedule everything, from when to wake up and go to bed to where to eat and spend your time.  There’s a chance you won’t see half of your orientation group again for months except in passing.  There are so many new people to meet!
  4. There will always be something to do.  We receive 10 e-mails per hour for a reason-there’s so many activities going on!  And chances are, a few things out of the hundreds that pass through the e-mail filter will interest you!  Maybe it’s a concert, or a game, or a new club.  Maybe it’s a discount at the bookstore and a survey.
  5. Secret time: I’ve only had to do my laundry twice all year.  With so many breaks, spaced so nicely, I’ve been able to portion my clothing well enough that I just bring my laundry home.  And I don’t know about you, but my parents are just so happy to have me home for a visit, that my heaps of laundry are a welcome sight to them.  Note, this isn’t to say that the laundry system is in any way difficult.  In fact it’s exceptionally convenient and easy to use.

I’ve found the overall attitude at college different than in High School.  Maybe that is because of the people I’m surrounded by, all of whom chose to come to Holy Cross for a reason, and all interested in learning.  As far as I’ve found from my months on campus, if you’re here, you want to be here.  And that contributes so much to the atmosphere.

I hope all is well (and warm) for you!



The horse show went really well! Though it was quite cold all day, the horses were willing and the riders enthusiastic as ever. I even won a 3rd place ribbon in my jumping class, and a 2nd place in my flat class! I helped with tacking, grooming, and holding horses. There were corgis running around everywhere, which made my day.

A few weeks ago, my Montserrat professor had our class over to dinner at his house. Being one of the only two van certified drivers in the class, I drove half of my fellow students, following our professor’s car, a twenty minute or so drive. His two grandsons and daughter were there, also with his wife, and they were all very welcoming and warm. One grandson is recently born, as our class got updates on the birth and naming process, and he was precious. The other grandson, Sebastian, is older and insisted on playing hide and go seek with one of my classmates for quite a while. He was absolutely adorable. The meal was very much appreciated, as is any break from repetitive Kimball food.

Tomorrow we go home on Easter break. I can’t believe how time flies, freshmen year can’t possibly be coming to a close already! High school seems a far away blur, and I’m ready to take on the next adventure.

Hope all is well, happy holidays!


It’s finally getting warmer, even though there are still mounds of snow on campus. I can go outside in only one coat!

Tonight we won the women’s basketball game, against Colgate, which means the team will be traveling this weekend to Annapolis, and we (the cheerleaders) might get to go with them!

At the same time, the equestrian team is hosting our show, in coordination with Assumption, on Saturday. It means we run the show, design the jump courses, hand out the ribbons, etc. It’s going to be a lot of fun, and I think I’m competing too, so wish me luck!

We had Spring Break last week and it was just long enough to catch my breath and get ready for the completion of the semester! (With Easter of course)

Classes have gone on normally. I’ve found second semester easier than first so far. I think first semester is an adjustment period, so by spring you’ve really settled in. Coming to campus has become returning somewhere comfortable.

Hope all is well elsewhere!


Sorry it’s been a while since I’ve written! Things have been crazy, getting back into the swing of things and then bring hit by the blizzard! I had all classes cancelled last Friday, so I got to sleep in and watch the snow pile up (and keep piling and piling and piling…)  Some people had sleds and went sliding down the hill next to Wheeler! It was crazy to see.

Classes have been really great.  I love all of my selections for this semester.  I’ve been curious about psychology for a while now, and on the first day of class, I learned about different areas of psychology, such as social psychology, that I had never heard of or considered before.  My teacher is so enthusiastic and engaging.  Environmental biology is…well a lot more environmental than I was expecting, which probably sounds silly, but I’m enjoying it nonetheless.  We talk about how the environment is being effected, what some of the problems are, and how the ecosystem works as a whole.  Part of the class requires me to keep more up to date with current environmental issues and events, and it’s making me much more aware of everything going on around me and in the world to which I was ignorant before.

I’m enjoying my fundamentals of music class a lot because here’s a secret: I’ve been playing piano since I was four. Because of that, I do things like reading music or playing scales automatically.  The class forces me to slow down and think about the process of what I’m doing. It’s also fascinating for me to see others learning things that it feels like I’ve known all my life.  My teacher has been very accommodating. In piano practice sessions, he’ll help me with music on my level, so that I’m constantly making progress and learning just like the rest of the class and people with no experience. I value the perspective I’m taking from that class a lot.

Cheerleading has been busy, what with being part of basketball season and all, but it’s been fun all the way through. I really love everyone on the team. We have such diverse interests and hopes for the future, it’s never boring.  Unfortunately with equestrian team, I’ve been busy during the van certification classes and so can’t drive out to the barn yet, but I don’t mind, considering I was adjusting to the new semester.

A friend from UMass Amherst is coming to visit next weekend.  Then before we know it, we’ll be going home for Spring break! I can’t wait to see my family and cats, and the few other friends that will be home.

Hope you’ve gotten the chance to frolic and enjoy the snow!



It’s really great to be home for a month, and rest up for the Spring Semester!  I’ve been sleeping a lot, making up for lost rest from finals week.  Christmas was wonderful!  My best friend, who lives in New Jersey, and her mom and sister, came to stay with my family for a few days.  She and I were adopted from the same orphanage in Shanghai, China, so I’ve known her all my life, and they’re like family.  She goes to the College of New Jersey.

Tonight, one of my Holy Cross friends is taking a train to come stay with me.  She flew in from North Carolina last Saturday and stayed with other friends in NYC, and then she’ll be here for a few days before flying back home.  I was nervous, before coming to college, about how easy it would be to make friends.  I was the only person out of a 502 person High School class to choose Holy Cross, so I knew exactly 0 people.  But I got really lucky and found a group pretty fast, and we’ve stuck together quite well ever since.  We all just have the same sort of humor, even though our majors and interests are totally different.

I’ve started thinking about summer jobs and internships.  I know it seems really early, considering New Years just passed, but companies and employers take these things pretty seriously, and jobs go especially fast in this economy.  By the time I get back in May, it may be too late to get the type of internship or job I want, if any jobs at all!  So I’m starting to look now.  What I’d really love to do is intern with a publishing agency, preferably in NYC.  I’ve always wanted to go into some profession dealing with literature or writing of some kind, and I’m hoping an English major will help me explore those options and interests more.  I’m not really interested in education, though.  I’d like to be an editor, perhaps, or maybe a publishing agent.  And of course, I want to continue to write on the side and eventually be published myself.

I hope you’ve had a good start to the new year!  May 2013 be a good one!



Finals week has arrived, oh me oh my!  And oh my goodness is it crazy!  Dinand is packed with students working as hard as they can to fill their brains with last minute knowledge.  I was pretty lucky this semester, and I only have two finals, and one final essay.  The finals are even spaced out pretty nicely, so I’ll have plenty of time to switch my brain over from French mode to Philosophy mode.  The only downside is that my last final is Friday, so I don’t get to go home until then, but I’ll probably need all of the time this week to study, so it’s not all that bad.

I can’t believe how fast first semester has flown by.  It’s weird to think that I won’t be taking the same classes when I come back in January, that I’m entirely done with the classes I just took.  It’s so different from in High School, when you take the same classes every day of the week for a year, and often you carry on with the same subject and even the same teacher sometimes the year following.  As much as I liked all of my teachers this semester, I have no idea if I’ll have any of them in the future, though I’d certainly hope so!  I’m really looking forward to next semester though!  It’s a completely different set of classes.  I’m still working on completing my general requirements, obviously, and all of my classes next semester help with that, but I’m also really interested in them.  That’s one of the things I like so much about college, and Holy Cross in particular.  You have plenty of class choices, so getting your requirements done isn’t a chore.  There’s really something for everyone, in every area.

I’m torn between which class I’m most excited about for next semester.  I think it’s between my Fundamentals of Music class and my non-major Biology.  I’ve played piano since I was four, but it’s been a few years since I’ve taken lessons.  In high school, I was in marching band all four years, and choir for two.  I really miss that style of music and learning about it, so I’m looking forward to Music class a lot.  It’s also been quite a while since I’ve taken a class on music, as opposed to performance music, so I’m excited about that too.  Biology is something like the opposite.  I took Honors biology in 9th grade, and AP/IB biology in 11th grade.  It’s actually never been my best subject, and amusingly I promise myself I’ll never take biology again every time I finish it, but I’ve been really inspired by college and the teaching/learning style, and I’m determined to conquer biology!  I like the subject a lot, it just doesn’t seem to stick too well in my head.  Maybe third time will be the charm?

I have to get back to my essay writing and textbook studying, so wish me luck, and happy holidays!



The last few weeks have flown by!  College seems to go so fast, I can’t believe we’ve already picked classes for our second semester.  The registration process is often compared to the Hunger Games, which is extremely amusing, and slightly accurate.  You have to be ready to hit the enroll button the minute the clock strikes the time.  Everyone wants their choice classes!  It’s the only time I’ve seen so many people up at 6am!  (Not that I’m ever up at 6am to see people…)  I’ve been lucky, or maybe the internet is on my side, and both enrollment periods I’ve gotten all of the classes I wanted.  Next semester, I’ll be taking biology (the non-major class, designed for students who aren’t planning on majoring in bio or the pre-med track, but who need a science requirement, or maybe just want to take one course in the subject), as well as Fundamentals of Music, Intro to Psychology, and my Montserrat, section two.  It will be such a different set of coursework than it has been this semester, but I’m looking forward to it immensely.

Cheerleading has moved into basketball season.  We cheer at both men’s and women’s basketball, so it’s a crazy, busy time, and so much fun.  Two weeks ago, we had games on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday!  Plenty of students and parents came out to support the athletes.  In cheerleading practice, I’m being taught how to fly!  (The flyer is the one that goes up in the air in stunts.)  It’s pretty strange to adjust to at first, being lifted into the air, and knowing all eyes are on you, but it’s such a great feeling being up there.  There’s so much teamwork that goes into cheer stunts, it’s a lot harder and takes much more organization than I realized until I became a part of it.

I also went to my first horse show!  I met the van at Hogan at 6am, and off we went to Rhode Island, where Rhode Island and Brown were hosting the show.  I was pretty nervous at first, never having done this before and riding a horse I was meeting for the first time, but the horse I rode was perfect for the jumping, and the pony I rode for the flat equitation helped me win fourth place!

Once we get back to school, it’s only a few weeks before finals, and then Christmas and Winter break!



Time passes so quickly on the Hill!  Two weeks ago, a friend from Albany came to visit (it was really easy to get to the train station and work everything out, so be sure to invite all your friends up for a weekend when you get here!)  Then last weekend, it was Parent’s Weekend. My parents drove up from New York (with even more unnecessary supplies for me/my room packed) to stay for the weekend and go around campus.  They took me out to eat at Via (an incredible Italian Restaurant right in Worcester, only ten minutes or so from campus.)  I ordered spaghetti with vodka sauce and it was absolutely beyond delicious.  For dessert I got a canola (you should too!)  That night was Casino night, with a Mardi Gras theme.  Hogan Ballroom was decorated with giant masks and beads everywhere!  There were live student performers as well, with whom I was genuinely impressed.  There were receptions, concerts, and other events for the parents.

The week was a little crazy considering Hurricane Sandy!  Holy Cross went into lockdown on Monday starting at 2pm and lasting until Tuesday morning around 10.  Luckily, this was just a precaution, and everyone was fine.  We didn’t even lose power, and I have yet to hear about any flooding.  The wind and rain was crazy outside, though.

Classes resumed on Wednesday (Halloween!) Plenty of people were dressed up and enjoying the holiday.  A lot of people went out in costume that night with their friends.  The dorms and various buildings were decorated.  Kimball even had a Halloween “Spooky” theme.  Before we knew it, it was the weekend.

Today was the last home football game (against Lehigh).  Unfortunately, we lost by one point.  But on the other hand, it was senior day, so everyone was pretty happy and excited.  All of the seniors’ names were read out, and they were given flowers and got to walk on the field with their parents.  For our Cheer seniors, we made scrapbooks in which each team member wrote a letter to the respective captain.  I can’t imagine being in my senior year, seeing everything ending and doing things for the last time. It’s been a really great season.  Now on to basketball!

Hope you all fared well through the storm!



We’re back!  It felt so relieving and comforting to be back on campus.  Being home was nice and all, but I missed my friends more than I imagined I could after having known them for only 5 short weeks.  Everyone came back at different times, whether by

train or plane or car, helping each other carry in massive supplies of food and warm winter gear, and we all reunited for dinner (and to do all of the homework we avoided while home.)  The only thing I’m worried about is how I’m going to bring everything back to New York in May when the semester is over!  I must have brought just as much up this week as I did when I moved in in August.  A girl needs her shoes!

I had my horseback riding lesson already this week.  It felt good to be back in the saddle.  I’ve ridden a cute white pony named Jack a few weeks in a row now, and we’re getting better (or rather I’m relearning everything slowly but surely).  Horseback riding really isn’t like anything else.  There was an instructor who taught her students at the barn I boarded my horse at back home for a while, and she once said, “If you have the horse-bug, you have it.  It’s going to last your whole life.”  As far as I’ve been able to tell so far, she was absolutely right.

Plus, the car ride there is an escape from college work and being constantly surrounded by people.  It’s nice to always have the company (I could come back from class to find five or six friends sitting around in my room), but I don’t mind the twenty minutes with the radio and the lack of crowds.  There’s also the bonus of getting out of Worcester and seeing the surrounding area, even if it’s only a little piece of it.  The leaves are in the middle of changing colors, so the countryside is painted in oranges, reds, yellows, and bright greens.  There’s an old stone church that we pass on the way, right on the edge of the water, with the hills and colors for a backdrop.  It’s beautiful, and every week the scene looks new because of the season.  I can’t wait to see what it might look like in the snow.

Hope you’re all well and dreaming in purple!



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LiAnn Butterfield '16

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