Christmas on the Commons

Since returning to campus last week after Thanksgiving break, Christmas decorations have been popping up all over campus! I am so excited 😀 The dining hall is decorated with garland, snow, Christmas trees, and ornaments.  Everywhere I turn, there is a new Christmas tree!  I have seen them in residence halls, in the fitness center and in the Long center, in the DeNaples Center, in academic buildings, and, most importantly, on the Dionne Green!!!

On Sunday, we had the annual Christmas Mass followed by the Tree Lighting Ceremony and Christmas on the Commons.

At mass, everyone received a candle and lit it near the end of the ceremony.  We held our candles and then processed outside with them (still lit!) to the tree on the Dionne Green. Then, the tree was lit and we sang Christmas carols.

Here’s a picture of the beautiful tree from University of Scranton’s Facebook Page:

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and here are two pictures of me and my friends!

Christmas1 Christmas2

Left picture: MK, Mariah, Holly, Alex, Me, Summer, Shannon

Right picture: (top row) Me, Shannon, Summer, Holly; (bottom row) Alex, Mariah, MK

Afterwards, we went to Christmas on the Commons, a USPB event where there were Christmas activities galore! There was a photo booth; stuff-a-bear; make-your-own ornament, picture frame, and/or stocking; contests – gingerbread house and human Christmas tree; and, of course, food!

Here are my photos from the photobooth with Shannon!

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Because I am on USPB, I worked part of the event, which was fun! I worked the craft table for an hour, and it was really nice to see people having fun with their friends 😀  Some of the stockings, ornaments, and picture frames people made were astonishingly beautiful!! Shannon even stayed with me for part of the time I worked, which was so adorable and nice, since I was just fine on my own but having her there made it so much more fun!!

Oh… and I cannot forget… guess who was at Christmas on the Commons? SANTA!! Santa is a busy guy, especially during this time of year, so it was so nice of him to take time to hang out at our event and spread Christmas cheer 🙂  Here’s a silly video of Santa wishing everyone a Merry Christmas.

And guess what?! Santa CAME BACK today! Except, Santa looked a little different today… more like a girl 😆 She was on third floor DeNaples taking pictures with students! So, my friends Summer, Natalie, Shannon, and I took a “family photo” with Santa and A DOG!!! (I’m not sure whose dog it was but it did not even matter… I was happy there was a dog!)

Finals officially started today 😥 …however, I did not have any. I start tomorrow! 😥 😥 😥 Wish me luck! The weather tonight is supposed to be pretty bad… so tomorrow’s finals might be postponed.  I really, really hope they are not! That would stress me out even more and mess up my entire schedule! Plus, as much as I love being at Scranton, I cannot wait to get home and hang out with my dog, watch Christmas movies, and bake Christmas cookies!!

Next time I check in, I’ll be done finals… woohoo! Talk to you then 😀

Tori

Last Week of Classes?!?

Hello everyone!

Well… we’ve almost made it! I cannot believe I’m in my last week of classes for the fall semester.  The feeling is bittersweet for sure.  Bitter – because I love being at Scranton with all of my friends, I have had really great professors this semester… and I might not have them again 😥 , because exams are coming up 😆 , and because my time at Scranton is flying by! Sweet – because I am looking forward to spending time at home with my family, I’ll have 16 more credits under my belt, and because I’M GOING TO ITALY FOR INTERSESSION!

I just realized I never wrote about that in past entries – so here is my official announcement! I am traveling to Florence to study at Lorenzo de Medici! I will attend class for three hours every day Monday through Friday.  I am SO excited about everything: the class is called History of the Italian Mafia (!!!), this will be my first time in Italy, one of my best friends is going (Holly), and I’ll be spending New Years in ROME!! (Taylor Swift plays in the background: “I don’t know how it gets better than this…”) I am really looking forward to it! Holly and I will fly into Rome on December 29th, stay there for a few days, then take the train to Florence in time to move in and attend orientation. I cannot wait to share pictures and stories!  Stay tuned 🙂

Back to the last week of classes – wow!! It’s here! The most exciting part of this week is, hands down, presentations in Trivium.  All semester has been building up to this week – I mean it! This week is what Trivium is known for. What ever could I be talking about? Well, toga circles, of course!!

…Huh??

For three class periods, every student as well as the professor (!) dresses in a homemade toga and delivers either a 5-minute speech or a one-to-two-sentence summary of a section of Phaedrus by Plato.  Monday was the first day of the toga circles.  Before Thanksgiving break, each student was assigned a particular section of the book – I was responsible for the second half of the introduction.  We deliver summaries in order of our sections.  So, on Monday, Dr. Whittaker (who had the first half of the introduction) entered the center of the circle and delivered a 5-minute speech; when he finished, I promptly stepped into the center of the circle and gave my 5-minute summary.  This continued for six more students (eight people total), and then, still in order, the other members of the class summarized their section in a few sentences.  Today (Wednesday), the eight people that went Monday will summarize their section in a couple sentences, then the next eight people will give their 5 minute speech, and finally the last seven will give a short couple-sentence summary.  Finally, on Friday, the first sixteen people deliver a short summary, and the last seven give their long speech.  I am glad I was the first student to deliver my long speech, for now I can actually listen to my classmates’ speeches without worrying about mine!

Everyone did so well on Monday, and I am so excited for today and Friday.  Every time someone mentions “togas” in reference to Trivium, people in the surrounding vicinity immediately react with a look of shock and horror.  But, having experienced it firsthand, I think this is completely silly! Certainly, it is nerve-wracking – we deliver our speeches in the middle of the DeNaples student center – where people eating lunch or passing by are free to stop and listen, or even try to distract us.  But it is SO MUCH FUN, everything else is just forgotten (at least in my eyes), because the fun outweighs the scariness!  And, perhaps the best part, our class is so close, we are making fools of ourselves with our best friends. What is more fun than that??

Here’s photo evidence of the madness!!

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Trivvers, Toga Circles, Day 1 of 3.

 

Have a great week! Next time I check in, I’ll be DONE with classes for the fall semester – ahh! And heading towards finals…… 😀

Tori