Student Blogs

Desolation Row

December 16th, 2013 apcook15

Season’s Greetings, readers! Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, Festivus… whichever is your celebrated holiday of choice, I wish you the happiest! I feel the need to apologize for my lack of posting in a while. The time since my last blog on the Sox championship has been in turns too slow and too hectic for writing anything on the site here, but I sit here now in the first few days of Winter Break after finals season and the excuses have run out. Speaking of finals: this title’s reference is neither to Bob Dylan’s eleven minute folk epic nor to Peter Jackson’s stunning, fire-breathing dragon with the voice of a consulting detective. No no, the desolation in question here belongs exclusively to Holy Cross’ finals season, and those are just what I’m here to tell you about.

I realize before getting into finals, I’ve passed over commemorating quite possibly my favorite day of the year – Thanksgiving! This year’s customary turkey and potato gorging were as excellent as ever and not too much happened worth mentioning out of the ordinary, with two exceptions. First, my cousin Benjamin, a freshman at the Cross this year and the firstborn of two alums, brought his friend Will Peters from Wheeler Dorm. to family dinner, since Will couldn’t make the cross-country flight to his hometown in California and was looking for some home cooking. Will’s an upcoming student blogger himself, and you can check out some of his excellent posts here: Second, beyond my usual gratitude for my family, friends, school, and life in general that Thanksgiving seems to bring out, everyone at the dinner table was especially thankful to have my aunt Anne Blake (nee Nicholson) be in attendance after conquering her second bought with leukemia this past year. She’s another alum of the Cross and a pretty special lady all around who’s kicked cancer’s [family blog] twice now, and we’re super thankful that she can continue to inspire us all with her strength.

Current or alum, short or tall, Members of Sader Nation, all!

Current or alum, short or tall,
Members of Sader Nation, all!

My one complaint about any Thanksgiving break is this, however: it’s a brutal tease. After an extended weekend at home relaxing and eating more food than I have the decency to admit, it was a rude return back to the mountain of work awaiting me on campus. I don’t mean to alarm any prospective students reading this – and even though the same will almost definitely hold true at whichever college you end up calling home – but finals season is nothing but torture. There was one particular 48-hour period where I existed on one meal and a combined five hours of sleep, with almost no human interaction to speak of, but at the end of the day I had 20+ pages written. I pride myself on thriving at the eleventh hour, but seriously, to all my readership… for the sake of your sanity and well-being…  eleventh hour and fifty-ninth minute heroics are really not something I’d suggest trying. They stress you (and your concerned/exasperated mother) out more than is called for and make for some down-to-the-wire scenarios that’d make even MacGyver shake his head “No.”
At the end of the day, however, even such 24 hour stands can have their benefits. Stretching my legs and clearing my head after an all-nighter in Dinand Library and before heading into my Shakespeare final, I took a walk up behind the Hart Center to catch my first-ever sunrise.  As anyone who knows me is aware of, I’m more than a little fond of my shut-eye, and many’s the day where the sun’s come up and has already started coming back down again before I first see it. Last week though, over practice fields freshly covered with a layer of snow, the sun came up to a dumbstruck audience of one. I’ll admit my disappointment over the lack of “Lion King” chanting to usher in the new day, but the views more than fairly compensated for it.



sunrise3                                                                                                    No words necessary.

No words
So that’s about it for now! Finals are done, I’ll be spending the next few days sleeping them off (hey, I’ve seen my sunrise, ok?) and enjoying life at home. There’ll be a Christmas post coming before the day itself, and another one or two after that about the 1/2 marathon I’ll be running in Disney World (!!!) in the New Year, but until then, a restful, peaceful Winter Break to you all, and a very Merry Christmas!!!


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