Roxana Ruiz’s Saturday: Participating in Family Weekend

This is my last post so I am glad to show you how the campus turns alive!

Friday to Sunday is Family Weekend. This means that there are several activities to enjoy oneself and dive into the Holy Cross community.

Before joining the Family Weekend festivities, my roommate and I went to Price Rite, a fifteen minute walk, to stock up on groceries. They have more vegetable options to choose from than Walmart (not sponsored). With a full fridge, I am ready for the rest of the week.

Fruit, potatoes french toast, and eggs with a side of orange juice

Immediately coming back,  I headed to an ALANA (African, Latino, Asian, and Native American) brunch hosted in the Hogan ballroom. The buffet had tasty breakfast options which included fruit, eggs, french toast, sausage and bacon to name a few. With coffee to finish off my brunch meal, I was ready for the day.


From 12:00 to 4:00 p.m., activities filled the Hoval ground. There were games, a food truck, a table setup with apple cider and boxes of pie, a decorative coaster painting setup, a pumpkin painting contest, and a photo corner area. I enjoyed pumpkin painting, picture taking, and hot apple cider tasting.

People paint pumpkins for the contest.
My roommates and I (far left)







As soon as I finished my painting, I rushed to my first football game. We won thirty-one to ten. Woohoo!

Celebration after a touchdown

At 4:30 p.m., St. Joseph’s Chapel became jam packed for Mass. Father Boroughs, S.J. delivered a thought-provoking homily, the choir sang heartfully, and the cellist played beautifully.


Family Weekend Mass

Right after mass, I went to Don Juan’s, a Salvadoran-Mexican restaurant, for dinner and in early celebration of my birthday. My brother arrived on campus in time to join my friends and I.

After tomorrow, I hope we can all returned refreshed to what awaits us.





Roxana Ruiz’s Friday: Unwinding

Thank God Its Friday!

Today, my one class was cancelled! This meant I took the opportunity to go to Mass. After Mass, I headed to Notre Dame Academy for my observation.

Notre Dame Academy

I finished my two hour observation on “World Religions” with having learned about Hinduism. Students connected Hindu rituals to the ones from their own religion, and compared the similarities and differences. After that, they had dismissal and headed to a pep rally on the field which included music, bonding activities, and friendly competition.

Heading back to Holy Cross at 3:00 p.m., I had a big lunch at Crossroads. I ate grilled veggies with quinoa and sauce accompanied with a grilled cheese sandwich and an apple as dessert. I plan to enjoy myself tomorrow with all the food they will have for family weekend.

I also did  small “grocery shopping” in the lobby shop upstairs since my brother is coming by tomorrow for family weekend and my birthday celebration. (This week I am turning twenty-two!

The Holy Cross College Choir performs in St. Joseph’s Chapel

I ended my evening with going to the Holy Cross choir concert held in St. Joseph’s Chapel. The theme was “Voices of Black Women.” They sang beautifully and one female particularly performed with soul.

Tomorrow I look forward to the festivities, but also, of course, hope to do much homework. We will see how that goes.





Roxana Ruiz’s Thursday: Busy Bee


                  I did not post yesterday, because of the lack of time. So, today you will hear from me twice!

                This quote has been on my mind since when my hometown friend sent me a link to a motivational video on YouTube: “Pain is temporary, regret is forever.” Even though I am not drowning in stress, a push always helps. 

               I can always count on Thursdays being crazy busy. I turned in three essays and much of my day was devoted to completing them. One welcomed surprise— I received more time tidying my essays— was that my observation at Notre Dame Academy was cancelled. Teachers had a professional development day, so classes were not held.

             Over the next few weeks at Notre Dame Academy, I will observe the classes “World Religions,” “Scripture,”and “Morality.” From these I will decide which grade level and content area I will teach in the upcoming spring as part of student-teaching. 

           The most exciting event of my day was participating, in my “Methods of Teaching” course, in a Mursion simulation in which my classmates and I taught to student avatars in a live program. In the brief teaching session— ten minutes per classmate— we practiced on handling classroom behavior and delivery of content. I always get a slight rush of adrenaline while teaching, even if just in front of a virtual classroom.

           As much as I would have liked— not really, but feel compelled to—spend every hour of the day immersed in work, I have to remind myself that self-care is necessary or my body will naturally take care of the job. I slept in until nine a.m. and in the evening I took a two hour nap after dinner. After that boost, I went back to work.

           I promise the next post will be much more exciting. Good luck to everyone!

Roxana Ruiz’s Wednesday: Meaningful Pauses

                 Senior Portraits! I cannot believe three years have gone by already. In this academic year, I have finally seen how much I have grown academically, mentally and spiritually. Compared to the writing during senior in high school, my articulation has improved substantially in college. My perseverance and self-awareness enhanced. I am more informed of Catholicism,  and the beauty of living and sharing the faith. 


Light setup for senior portraits

                  Taking my senior portrait this morning provided a moment of gratifying contemplation on my time here on  “The Hill. ” Such reflection also gives me insight into the community I had been apart of— which I will visualize with the 2020 yearbook— and will join as an alumna. I am thankful for the friendships, shared events, resources of Holy Cross and even the rigor of professors. 


Father Monning giving a talk on “Evangelization and the Three Spiritual Keys”

The topic of recognizing friendship at Holy Cross also came up in today’s talk in a recognized student organization I am part of called Society of Saints Peter and Paul. One spiritual key in “Evangelization and the Three Spiritual Keys” is evangelizing through friendship.  Friendships, especially the divine ones, help one navigate through life and come to encounter God through the fruits of care, concern, patience and love shared between the persons.These types of friendships especially have added to my Holy Cross experience and holistic growth as a Christian woman. 
            Reflections (meaningful pauses) like these need to be savored because, generally, they can help oneself truly realize what the college journey entails and motivate one to persevere in order to deliver the best work and self. I hope and suggest that my fellow classmates stop to see the little and big moments as they also navigate through this week and midterms. 


Roxana Ruiz’s Monday: Post Plans and a Busy Day

I enjoy a cup of coffee and look into the sunny Hoval as I write emails.

              It’s the first day back from October break and the rhythm of academic days are in full swing. I do not have classes on Mondays, but it always surprises me how, if I do not pause for a minute of reflection, time becomes a blur. I usually spend the second day of the week, besides writing essays and doing reading assignments, in meetings and doing other miscellaneous duties that I cannot do on other days due to classes. 

              Today, Holy Cross hosted a graduate service fair day, which meant that I spent a large amount of time reflecting upon my plans and thinking about what I hope to do after graduation this upcoming spring. For an hour or so in the morning, I gathered questions that I planned to ask to the ambassadors of programs or admission counselors so that I can better compose my applications and discern the programs that would be an ideal fit for me.

After asking an hour of questions, the time comes to pack up the graduate service fair.

Later on in the afternoon before the service fair, I met individually with one of the ambassadors of a teaching fellowship program I am looking into and confirmed the program as a priority of attention. I have newfound motivation for making the most of my class observations this fall so that I may know if I want to teach middle or high school for the next two years. After the service fair, I was reminded of the blessings of education and opportunities that Holy Cross has granted me. 

              The great pause in my day and constant keeper of my demeanor despite the hectic two weeks of midterms I have ahead of me is the Holy Mass. In these sacred thirty to forty minutes, I recognize that above all, I can handle anything in Christ, especially in midterm week(s). Moreover, I realize that I am called to serve selflessly and fully integrated in what I do, as a student and future religion teacher. As a student or any busy person, it is always good to step back and ask oneself, “what keeps me going and what’s my goal?”

Hiram’s Saturday: The Secret!

Hello everyone! Hope your Saturday is going well! For my last post I wanted to give you all, the people, my very own ultimate secret to succeed in life.

My Saturday’s are my days to relax, not touch a single homework assignment, and simply focus on self-care and organizing myself for the upcoming week.

As a teacher observer/student teacher, full-time student, work-study student, and a part-time employee, it can be difficult to balance everything. This is why I pride myself on my organizational skills and why it is critical that Saturday’s are my planning days.

My secret to manage all I do and  get good grades is planning, journaling, tracking goals, and throwing in some positive encouragement to myself. You might be asking, how do you do all that on top of what you already do? The answer is, my panda planner!

The panda planner essentially is divided into sections for planning, journaling, goals and affirmations. Every morning I open my panda planner I fill in each section and it helps me stay on task and ensure I have a successful day!

If you would be interested in checking out a panda planner, you can find them on Amazon! My gift to you is the promo code: pandafam to get 20% off your purchase if you decide to get one! They are worth it, enjoy!                                     

Surprise! Hiram’s Thursday: Class Tech!

Well hello again! Today is double blog Thursday for me, since it was not possible for me to rant to the people yesterday.

My Thursdays are not much different from my other days. However, sense I talked about the classroom in my last post, I thought it would be a good idea to continue that conversation and share with you another thing I consider essential for the success of our students! That is, technology in the classroom.

In a world that is technologically advanced, it can be difficult to captivate the attention of your students when they are all tempted to look at the little computers they carry around in the shape of their smartphones.

Can you spot all the tech tools in this image?
– Projectors
– Do you see the DVR? Ancient but useful!


To combat this temptation, the teacher I currently observe uses technology in the classroom.  By using his technology, it enhances his lesson plans in the form of video-driven lessons, up to date videos and latest trends, and Google Classroom assignments. Essentially, using technology can improve a lesson and keep the students invested while learning.





Stay tuned for a special surprise tomorrow from me to you! 










Hiram’s Wednesday: Class Decorum!

Hi all! Hope your Thursday is going well! I did not get an opportunity to tell you all about my day yesterday, given I had to survive two midterms.

Though it’s Thursday I would still like to tell you about my Wednesday. It started off with my early morning classroom observation. I am lucky to say that I currently observe a class where once upon a time I was a student.

After observations, I continued my day with classes and merciless midterm exams and papers. However, it was still a great day because it began by visiting my favorite classroom.

Ever hear that expression, “first impressions count”? As a future teacher, I have learned that first impressions are critical for student success. By this I mean, the way the teacher presents themselves but also how they present their classrooms. Think about it from the perspective of a student, would you have a better time learning inside a classroom that looks like it belongs in one of the cell blocks  from the show prison break (I am guilty of binging this show on Netflix), or a vibrant and colorful room full of life and culture?

These are the decorations in the classroom I observe. Each flag represents a country that past students were from. 

They also represent countries whose native language is Spanish.

In a Spanish classroom this is a great sense of decorum as it shows how all of these countries are connected through the language and it creates a welcoming atmosphere for students of diverse cultures. So teachers, find what works for you and decorate your classrooms! 


Hiram’s Tuesday: Best friends!

Hope everyone had a good Tuesday!

My day began early in the morning, for my first class where we analyze medieval Spanish Literature (this course makes you think of Shakespeare’s works as easy and fun). After that, I continued to have other classes and review sessions for upcoming midterms.

Tuesday’s are among my busiest days, so I like to take some time to relax and perhaps visit some friends.

Everyone, meet a couple of my best friends Sky and Jack.

Sky (on the left) Jack (on the right)

Have you ever heard the excuse, “my dog ate my homework”? Well these two will eat about anything they can reach before anyone can do anything about it. They are both puppies as Jack is the oldest and only 10 months old, and Sky just turned 7 months. Like today, sometimes is easy to get overwhelmed by the hectic schedule as a prospective teacher, and a full-time college student.

I am sure that if you are reading this, you yourself might have a hectic schedule. So it is important to take a break and spend some time with those you love.

For me it was necessary and helpful to take an hour break and visit my best friends back home. Maybe I can get them to eat my medieval Spanish Literature book, haha.

Victoria’s Friday

Happy Friday!

Happy Friday everyone! I am so glad the week is finally over and now I have a day to catch up on sleep and hanging out! It has been great blogging this week and I sad that this will be my last post for now! This Friday has been a busy one! I started out my day by driving back to school this morning. I had Real Analysis again at 9am and we were given our review sheet for our exam next week (yikes).

After that class, I had an hour to do some homework before my next class. On Friday’s the senior TEP students meet with Meg Ober for our pre-practicum class. Today we discussed elements that we are going to be evaluated on while we are student teaching. Also as part of this class we sometimes go out to the Worcester schools to get to know the schools and communities we will be teaching in! It is a great way to get to know what to expect from our student teaching and getting to know where we will be teaching.

After that I got lunch with my friend Grace in the science cafe! We get lunch every Friday to catch up and talk about how are weeks were.

My friend Grace

Today I had to cut lunch short as I went to Burncoat Middle School to meet a teacher with Meg. It was a great meeting and I am excited to now be doing my student teaching at Burncoat Middle!

After the meeting I rushed back to school to get back for my music class at 2. Today my professor brought us all chocolate as a Friday pick-me-up AND let us out early (can you say best friday class ever?)!

Tonight I am going out to dinner with friends and planning on going to bed early to have energy to actually do things this weekend. Also tomorrow my sisters, mom, and I are going bridesmaid dress shopping for my oldest sisters wedding next year! Hopefully all goes well and we find dresses!

That’s all for this Friday post! It has been a great week of blogging and I hope you all enjoyed reading my posts!