It is hard to believe that fall semester has already come and gone. It has been a whirlwind of semester: from First Step and Tinker Day, to the fall play and the Ten Minute Play Festival, as well as classes and finally the stressful yet rewarded finals week. Fall semester showed me how wonderful Hollins can be.
First Step was a beautiful yet sad day, as I watched several of my close friends take their first step onto front quad and officially become the senior class. It was great to watch them triumphantly celebrate by spraying the grass and each other with their sparkling cider or champagne in their creatively decorated robes. Though the celebration was tremendous, there was a tinge of sadness that hung in the air beside the laughter and smiles as I realized that the seniors who last year filled Hollins with their great spirits and wisdom had now moved on and all too soon my friends would be following them at the end of this year. It is a sad thought that they will be moving on, leaving Hollins behind, but exciting all the same to see what they will accomplish. I know that these are great women with stupendous potential and that wherever they go they will carry with them the Hollins spirit and do great things.
I have had fun growing closer to these friends and others this past semester. Hollins is certainly a place that brings people together and can create friendships that I know will last a lifetime. The proof is in the pudding, as they say, and at Hollins our pudding is Tinker Day. Tinker Day is a celebration of each other, the spirit of Hollins, and the great mountain Goddess of years passed. I was thrilled to climb the mountain for the second year in a row although I had forgotten how steep and long of a climb it actually is. But the difficult climb is definitely worth the reward at the top! As each class sang to each other, and then we continued upward to be served fried chicken and Tinker Cake by the amazing seniors, I was reminded of the sisterhood that Hollins really stands for. The traditions and the overall atmosphere at Hollins promotes the sisterhood that is a huge part of the Hollins experience. I am lucky to have a great support net here, built up of great, intelligent, hilarious, and strong women: my wonderful Hollins Sisters. Another instance of the sisterhood happened when I was quarantined this semester with the flu, not only was I well taken care of my Hollins Sisters, but I was included. I was unfortunate enough to be sick over another one of Hollins’ great traditions: Ring Night. I was especially disappointed because I was in line to be a helper for some of my close senior and junior friends. However, my friends were there to make sure I felt included, and some of the seniors made a demand for their junior sisters to perform a 5-minute musical version of Dead Man’s Cell Phone outside my window. It was wonderful, and I am so grateful that I was somehow able to be involved.
Aside from the fun traditions, fall semester was a busy one in and out of class. Out of class I was involved in the fall production of Dead Man’s Cell Phone, which was the play the first year students read over the summer. It was exciting bringing life to this off-beat comedy, as well as working with my fellow classmates and Professor Ernest Zulia, who is a fabulous director. I am looking forward to working with him again this spring semester for the musical, Violet, where I will be working as an assistant stage manager. I was also fortunate enough to act in the Ten Minute Play Festival, which was sponsored by APO (the theater honor society) and was the first time in several years that a show was put on completely by the students. Along with balancing theater I was also happy to be involved in STAND (the anti-genocide group on campus), Senate, and the start of the JSA (Jewish Students Alliance). It was a great semester and it promises to be and even better spring semester, with the spring musical and the growth and projects hosted by the other clubs I am involved in.
Most importantly perhaps was how wonderful this past semester was academically. I have not officially declared my majors yet, but I am looking at English with a concentration in Creative Writing and History. Much of my fall semester was spent working on my term paper for my Antebellum U.S. class. It was about how slaves were affected by the introduction of agricultural innovations, but before I could tackle that subject I had to prove that agricultural innovations were being used on the plantation at all. This was a hefty topic, and I had so much fun finding and using my primary and secondary resources. I was also lucky to have at my disposal copies of Debow’s Review in the Hollins archives. The archives at Hollins are full of so much information and there is so much at our disposal whether you are researching Hollins traditions and history or agricultural practices in the antebellum period. It was an exciting semester for me and I am thrilled with how everything turned out as well as looking forward to next semester.
Fall semester flew by, just as winter break did, and I am sure J-Term will. This J-term I am a part of the Berlin class. I am very excited to be traveling to Berlin for January, though nervous as well as I have never been out of the country before. However, I am sure it will be a great trip, and I am very eager to go and immerse myself in the German culture and learn more about Berlin.
Anyway, here are some photos from this semester. Enjoy!
Here are some photos from the HOP (Hollins Outdoor Program) day hike to Mount Pleasant! This was a ton of fun and I love that Hollins has so many opportunities for its students to explore the Virginia wilderness.
Here are a few photos from getting ready to go to Fall Formal:
And finally, I will leave you with a few photos from the Sandusky’s Bake Off. Sandusky is the community service house I live in; residents put in ten hours of community service and host events every semester such as this bake-off. For this event, students baked goods for a competition, the judges were some local fire fighters as well as one professor and the manager of our dining hall. The food not eaten was given to the local fire department as a token of appreciation. This was a ton of fun, and we might try to host another one either next semester or next year.