Brandi Ramos ’12

Hello all!


As most of you may know, yesterday was accepted students day here on the Hill. Since my SPUD was canceled for the day due to unforeseen circumstances, I made use of the time pretending to be a prospective student with my friends Clara and Cynthia.


It didn’t work.


We tried going on a tour of Hanselman, but one of the tour guides happened to have a class with Clara, so eventually we meandered off towards Stein. We ran into another tour guide (whose name I still don’t know), and I asked her a question. She recognized me (and I’ve seen her around campus as well). Clara and I then wandered up towards the “Last Stop Information Center” and were immediately picked up by an admissions counselor, Tran Kim-Senior (despite foiling our plans, she’s still really nice).


We sat in on Father McFarland’s closing speech and I was, quite frankly, a little surprised to realize that everything he had been saying was true. I’m used to taking in admissions speeches with a grain (more like a handful) of salt, mainly because I understand that these colleges want you to go to their schools. But hearing Fr. McFarland speak, it was weird seeing how it was all true. I mean, at any other school, I can’t help but feel that my friends and I could have gotten away with pretending to be prospective students. But because Holy Cross is such a tight knit community, that epically failed.


I think it’s a good thing that it failed.


It’s nice knowing that you’re not going to a school completely filled with strangers. It’s just a pity that we can’t step in on your tours at this point.

Clouds of steam whirled around the head of one young, sweet, kind, hardworking (bet you can’t guess who I’m describing), pink-hatted girl as she took dishes out of the dishwasher, waiting for the clock to strike six so that she could go on yet another adventure.


The captains were kind (on a side note, fellow blogger Colleen was subbing for one of my normal captains, and we had a moment of blogger bonding when we discovered how sheltered we were compared to the guys on my shift during our break) and as soon as six o’clock rolled around, they let the girl and her coworkers go. The coworkers, headed for places unknown, went one way, while our young pink-hatted adventurer dashed back to her dorm, put on non-gross clothing, and ventured to Asia.


Well, that’s almost true. Technically, I only went to Hogan Ballroom. Last night ASIA, the (as seems obvious) Asian group on campus (Advocating Student Interest in Asia) put on their annual performance—ExplorASIAn. The performance includes dinner, and features dances from various Asian countries as well as several short video clips from the hosts, “testimonials” from some members, and  plenty of humor. And no, you do not need to be Asian to attend or be a part of ASIA. I am not a member of the group, but several of my friends are. I went to see them perform, and in my personal, completely biased opinion, the dances they were in were my favorites.


In short, the show was awesome. My future roommate Cynthia did a Vietnamese Candle and Fan dance, which was absolutely gorgeous to watch. My friend Abhi did an Indian hip hop sort of dance with his sister which was surprisingly fantastic (he never struck me as the dancing type). And then my friend Jenny did a Filipino dance called Tinikling, which involves having moving sticks on the ground and jumping around them. It looked cool, but I don’t think I’d ever be able to do it. My lack of grace and balance mixed with moving sticks could never lead to any good outcome. 


This weekend is also Visions Weekend for minority admitted students to come visit the school. I’ve met a few, and I can’t wait to run into more of you (no, I am not sketchy) during admitted students day!

Yesterday, I finally got to make use of the Consortium Shuttle for reasons other than exploratory trips to the Worcester Public Library—I went to visit my friend Jim at WPI! We’ve been trying to get together all year long, but because there is so much time in transit (the Consortium Shuttle is a one hour round trip) and my schedule is so spread out, there was no efficient way of getting there. However, because a class of mine was canceled, an entire window of time opened for me to go visit Jim.

It started off in a rush. Advising forms were due yesterday, and by the time I had gotten a signature, the time was 1:37 on my cell phone (which is always a minute off, for some reason). I dashed up to Hogan, and hurriedly pressed the elevator button in the hopes that the 1:36 bus had not already left. There were two very nice ladies in the elevator at the time, and when I breathlessly told them that I was headed towards WPI, they offered me a lift, as they both worked there. It was lovely of them to offer, but I declined, saying I’d wait until the next bus.

But lo and behold! The bus stop was packed with people with luggage waiting for the Consortium Shuttle to take them to Union Station. I hadn’t missed the bus after all. Collapsing on the steps, I had a brief chat with one of the WPI ladies, who happened to be a biotech professor, before the shuttle rolled in and I waved her a quick goodbye. Oh the adrenaline rush! After all the people who were going home were seated, there was exactly one seat left open for me.

I considered myself rather lucky.

A half an hour later, I called my friend, only to hear him answer his phone right behind me. It was a joyful reunion, and not only did I get a tour of their relatively flat campus, but I also got to try their dining hall cuisine (which is much like Holy Cross’) and watch bug-eyed at how good they are at math/science. It was insane, and made me feel rather good that I had chosen a liberal arts school. I feel that I would have missed the humanities far too much if I had gone to a place like WPI. Jim is in his element though, and I’m so happy that he found a pleasant niche at his school to be in.

It all had to end too soon, unfortunately, as 6 o’ clock came by and the last bus to leave WPI for Holy Cross came by. Jim and I watched it from the bus stop. It came up the driveway (we assume it took note of the numerous yellow school buses in its normal spot—there was a band function of some sort going on), backed up, and turned around, leaving two confused freshmen still standing at the bus stop.

Jim and I stood there for a moment before realizing it wasn’t coming back. We chased it down the drive, but alas, it got away. Luckily for me, my parents were coming up that night to pick me up for Easter break anyways, so I called them and asked if they could pick me up at WPI instead. I got an extra two hours to hang out with Jim, which were awesome. I even finally got around to learning Rummy!

At around 8 o’clock, my parents came to pick me up, and my heart racing adventure at WPI had come to a close.

I should totally visit again.

Advising is a lot like going to the doctor’s office—terrifying to think about, but pretty painless (and thankfully, unlike the doctor’s office, there is no chance of getting a shot). For awhile now, I’ve been schedule crazy, spending obscene amounts of time searching courses that don’t conflict with labs. I’ve been finding backup classes and backups for my backups. has now become one of my favorite websites ever, and when it fails to find the professor I’m searching for, it does indeed make me weep a little on the inside.

Only a little.

For next year, I’ll hopefully be taking Genetics, Organic Chemistry (part two), Creative Writing: Nonfiction (at the urging of my Montserrat professor, and who knows, maybe it’ll teach me to write even better entries than the ones you must already love), and last, but not least, Introduction to Latin. My advisor nearly gave me a heart attack when he told me I had no free slots to take classes that I wanted to take for the sake of taking…but then we recounted and it turns out that I have seven free classes. And, because I am taking a second English class for the fun of it, I’m essentially taking the same courses as a bio pre-med student here. This means that for all of you looking into that means of study, yes, you will have slots open to take classes you want to take for fun.

In other news, I did not receive the position of Kimball Captain, but upon further thought, I’ve decided it’s quite alright, and I’m so happy for all the people that got promoted!  I’ll probably stick around Kimball next year, so perhaps I could even meet some of you lovely readers. And, if I’m lucky, you all won’t be bitter towards me for taking advantage of this blog to ramble about the daily occurrences of geeks (me) on campus.

I also finally met my fellow blogger, Melissa, for the first time last night! We were standing in line at Kimball together, and a mutual friend of ours said hello to me, which made Melissa realize who I was (alas, I am horrible with things like this, and would never have caught on that she was the Melissa). She was incredibly nice and we spent a few minutes in front of the silverware having a blogger-bonding moment. It was lovely.

Lastly, congratulations to everyone who got accepted to Holy Cross! As the applicant pool seems to grow every year, it was a tough decision for admissions to make, and you should all be proud of yourselves for getting this far. As I’ve mentioned before, definitely try and get a visit in (to all the places you’ve been accepted to) and see if you can imagine yourself there. Since you’ll be living the greater part of the year on campus, you might as well enjoy where you’re staying.

And please, don’t let the numerous Holy Cross stairs daunt you—they’re good for you!

That is, in my completely biased opinion…

Hello everybody!

Why is it that I always feel I have taken forever to update? This seems to be a common theme here, although when I look back, updates weren’t all too far apart…maybe I just have a bad sense of time. That must be it, for it seems as if the days and weeks fly by here at school. It’s no wonder people say that college time is too short; I can’t believe I’m almost a sophomore. Or, even weirder, that I won’t be a freshman anymore. I suppose there will no longer be any excuse for me to get dazed and confused on campus anymore after this.

It’s a little depressing to think about.

On the bright side, becoming a sophomore has some perks to it. For one thing, we actually get to pick our housing for next year. Housing appointments for rising sophomores were yesterday, and unfortunately, I got a late time—8:40 p.m. By that time, the housing people had already run out of rooms, so everyone after 8:20 p.m. ended up on the waitlist. It’s not as bad as it sounds though. The reason that they don’t have enough rooms at the moment is because the juniors going abroad next year still don’t have confirmation that they can leave yet, so they have to pick housing before they go. Once they get the green light to go, all of their rooms will open up…which is good for us waitlisted people, because we get top priority on getting their (better) rooms.

Also, the class schedule is now up on STAR (our management system here at HC) so I’ve been briefing through it, looking at potential classes to take. So far, I know I want to take genetics and organic chemistry 2 next year…and the rest is finally up to me to decide!

And as I talk about moving up in class grades, I suppose I ought to put a light on you guys, the HC prospectives. Responses from the college are coming out really soon (I’m not saying when, because then it would spoil the surprise in the mailbox) but once more, I wish you all the best of luck. My biggest piece of advice for the moment (obviously I have more advice; isn’t it obvious I like to ramble?) is to take the time to visit each college you’re interested in. One of the biggest factors in me picking Holy Cross over another (_____ College, another Jesuit school in the area that I didn’t particularly like) was the atmosphere of the place. Think about the type of people you run into. If you can, try and get an overnight visit. See what each college is all about, and then…go for it.

I shall have to elaborate at some other time, because the Invertebrate biology lab is calling my name…

Hey everyone! After spending my spring break vegetating (all I did was go on Facebook, watch the animated Redwall and Martin the Warrior series on YouTube, and work a tiny bit on my poetry essay), I’m ready to dive back into the action and pick up where I left off.

For starters, I have vowed upon my honor as a nerd/geek that I will do better in Invertebrate Zoology than I did in Botany. I want to do well in that class, and this time around I will! Albeit, I could never remember my phyla in botany, but I’ll get it down for invertebrates. Professor Ober seems like an awesome professor. She introduced our class to the Tree of Life yesterday and got really excited when she hit showed us some beetles. She seems like such a funny lady; I’m sure we’ll get along great.

Speaking of developing my inner nerd, I received an email from Professor Herrick inviting all of us Clavius Scholars (it’s a scholarship thing that Professor Herrick runs) to a poetry reading on Friday. It’s a poem about hemoglobin. I am not ashamed to say that I giggled in delight upon receiving said email and poor Kristy could only give me a look, which seemed to say “Why am I roommates with such a geek?”. However, I am a loveable nerd, so it’s all good…I think.

I had my Kimball Captain interview today as well. I was terrified. Apparently there was an unprecedented amount of applicants this year (which I suppose is not surprising, as my class was the year of unprecedented appliers to Holy Cross). It wasn’t as bad as it could have been though. Inigo (the Kimball Student Organizer, or KSO) was very nice about the whole thing. I guess I’ll just have to wait and see what happens! Whatever the case, I had a great year working at Kimball and I just hope I get a spot!

And for all you seniors who applied to come here, I wish you the best of luck. Responses should be coming back, or have already come (I can’t remember the date they’re supposed to let you know). No matter where you go, I hope you pick the college that’s right for you!!

It’s really cliché to say this, but the wind is simply howling outside. I just got back from the outside coming in from O’Neil with my botany abstraction in hand, when the wind shoved me backwards. I held onto my assignment for dear life and trudged up the steps, hoping against hope that I’d survive to take my laundry out of the washer before someone else did.

Obviously, I did, otherwise I would not be writing this to you.

Saturday night was Hogwarts at Holy Cross, the main Science Ambassadors event of the year. I was doing the Iron Cereal experiment, which is moving the iron within cereal around with a magnet. Not going to lie, but a few days beforehand, I spent a good two hours in my room trying to figure out how to make it work (which is a little depressing in hindsight, but oh so entertaining). I finally figured out that if you placed the whole flakes in water, you could make the cereal move more visibly than if you just left them on a napkin. Also, I got to whip out the super strong neodymium magnets, which are a lot of fun. It was kind of cool watching some kids’ eyes bug out when they realized that the nasty grey iron fillings I showed them were mixed into their cereal.

And there was so much enthusiasm! Our Ron and Ginny Weasley, as well as the rest of the characters, did a great job running around and entertaining the little kids. I can’t wait to see how next year will turn out. My friend Tom suggested we try and get Venus Fly Traps for next time…

Montserrat has taken over my brain. I hate to say it, but it’s true. Almost every time I walk around campus, I keep wondering how I can apply what I see to that class. It’s so weird. My Montserrat seminar is called ‘Truth and Abstraction’ and this semester is basically talking about self portraits and what it really means to capture yourself in a photograph, or in a painting, or what have you. I’m finding it a bit frustrating because it’s not really straightforward. It requires a lot of introspection, and quite frankly, I don’t always have the time to ‘journal creatively’ everyday. On the other hand, because I am so keen on scenery, I have now walked around most of campus, and have seen some pretty cool sights.

I never really realized how pretty campus was until recently, when I was walking around and seeing how all the buildings popped out of the scenery.

In other news, we’re having a burst of warm weather! It’s so weird, considering that it’s the middle of February, but yesterday I walked outside without a coat on! Admittedly, it was only fifty degrees at most. Still, in comparison to the usual winter days here on the Hill, yesterday and today have been quite balmy.

Oh, well, until next time…Happy Early Valentine’s Day!

p.s.- Why yes, I did sketchily stand in front of buildings to take pictures for possible self portrait backgrounds…

HC scenery1
HC Scenery2
HC scenery4
HC scenery5

Egads! It’s been so long since my last update. I apologize for the sheer agony you all must have suffered while waiting for my next update. How horrible! There are many excuses I could give you for my late entry, including keeping up with work, attending various campus events, going off campus, and sleeping. However, I shall cut to the chase and tell you the most recent exciting things going on right now.

You may thank me later for saving you from the rambles of the past two weeks.

At any rate, I went to the Kimball Student Office today to pick up my Kimball Captain application. I have been looking forward to the application opening for the past few weeks (much to my friends’ annoyance) and was horrified when I realized on Friday that I had forgotten to get one! So today before lunch I ran down there to get one. I’m so excited about filling it out, and really hope I get a position. It may be rather surprising to some of you, but I had a lot of fun working both last semester and this semester, and I’d like the chance to do it again, from a Captain’s point of view. Wish me luck!

On Saturday, Gordon, Linh, and I went to Providence Place Mall. It was my first time down there, and it was amazing. The mall was gigantic. There were five floors, the first two devoted to parking, Old Navy, and Borders, and the top three floors devoted to other stores, an IMAX theater and a Dave and Buster’s. Linh and I were on a mission to get clothes that somewhat resembled Hogwarts uniforms. Since Hogwarts on the Hill is coming up (it’s the Science Ambassadors’ biggest event of the year), we both wanted to dress up like Hogwarts characters. Since J.C Penney was conveniently having a sale, we both got ties for our respective houses. Linh got a Slytherin tie, and I got one for Hufflepuff. Gordon made an attempt at teaching me how to tie a tie, but unfortunately, I’ll have to ask him for further lessons.

Since the deadline for applications was January 15th, I wish you all the best of luck. I remember how irritating it was checking the mailbox every day and seeing no responses from schools, but don’t worry. The mail will come eventually…

Welcome back everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful winter break and, for you
seniors, that you’ll all enjoy one last semester of high school!

Over here, classes started today. My schedule for this semester is AWESOME. This is mainly because it does not involve getting up at 8 a.m. every morning (except Tuesday) and getting out in the late afternoon/early evening. My first class today was a 10 a.m. and it was organic chemistry. As sad as it may sound, I’m actually really excited for it. Even though there are horror stories told about that class and my grades last semester weren’t quite as pretty as I’d like them to be, I want the challenge. We were in the new science building, Smith Labs, and it was a nice place. Admittedly, the classroom looked a lot smaller than the lecture room in Haberlin, but the architecture of the building is nice. For one thing, the outer wall of the atrium is all glass, so it’s very light. Also, Smith Labs (I do rather wish they had named the labs something else, because I’m afraid of confusing the new building with Smith, the building connected to O’Kane and Fenwick) connects the original science complex with Beaven, which means that I never have to walk outside to get from class to class

Not freezing my face off to get to class is just plain lovely.

Speaking of the new building (I’ll skip talking about botany, because nothing of real interest happened in it today), I went exploring the new five building complex on Monday, with the intent of finding my CRAW poetry class in Beaven. As my poetry classroom is actually right next to the entrance to Beaven, I found that adventure boring, so I went to look around the upper levels of Beaven. I was walking in the second floor corridor when I passed a professor pacing in his office. He looked up, saw me peeking in, and said hello. Obviously I said hello back, and somehow we ended up having a nice little chat in his doorway for a good half an hour or so. He’s not one of my professors, nor will I be likely to have him as a professor, but I walked away from that conversation feeling pretty cool that I could pull off a random conversation with random people.

As I’ve now hit the four hundred word mark with this incredibly long blog entry, I’ll leave you all here. Until next time, bye!