Kelly Gallagher ‘22
Too Salty to Study
Most Holy Cross students have been plunged into an endless whirl of midterms, with no Fall Break to provide a brief respite. However, despite the grueling schedules of most students, The Eggplant found one student eager to share her enthusiasm for the College’s decision to skip Fall Break this year.
Anita Break was generous enough to take time out of her busy calendar to Zoom with an Eggplant reporter. Her eyes were wide with enthusiasm and her fourth Red Bull of the morning – or rather, her sixth or seventh Red Bull of the night, as she joked when disclosing she hadn’t slept the previous night.
When the Eggplant reporter asked her whether she wouldn’t prefer to postpone the interview so she could nap before her next class, she vigorously shook her head, insisting that “I wouldn’t turn down the opportunity to share my appreciation of the College’s decision with the campus community!”
The interview commenced with a question regarding Anita’s general response to the College’s decision to skip Fall Break this semester, to which she responded, “I’m just so grateful to the College for valuing a consistent semester. You know, everything feels so out of control and uncertain during the pandemic. When Holy Cross switched the Fall semester to an online format, it was just an extra blow. But that blow was softened by their decision to keep the original semester schedule planned for the on-campus scenario and forgo Fall Break.”
She described how skipping Fall Break has benefited her academic experience. “Usually, over Fall Break, I’m catching up on sleep or spending time with my family, and I always put off any assigned work until I’m already back on campus! It’s such a disruption to my schedule. Without Break, though, I’m able to stay in this really great grind. It’s grueling, but there’s a rhythm to it. I feel like I don’t even have to sleep anymore, and my desk chair is totally molded to the shape of my body. There’s no more comfortable seat in the house! It really helps, too, to not have a break from Zoom. The loving, warm glow of my computer has replaced the pesky need of human interaction, and my eyes feel weird now when I look at anything 3D.”
But Anita Break also shared with The Eggplant that her faith in the College is not complete. She confided, “Honestly, I wish they would cancel Thanksgiving Break, too. I’m actually really worried about it. I haven’t come out of my room in so long I think my family has forgotten I’m even here, and it might give them a real scare if I were to emerge.”
She began to cry, but dismissed the Eggplant reporter’s concerns of her exhaustion and explained, “I’m just so grateful for the College’s decision, it just makes me so emotional to think about it. I feel like they’re really looking out for us, and they understand what it’s like to be a student during the coronavirus pandemic. I really couldn’t have asked for a better response from them. The Holy Cross approach is a holistic one, where they value your experience outside of academics and nurture the health of your mind, body, and soul. You know, cura personalis and all that. They recognize that their academics are rigorous and challenging, but they give us the support we need to succeed. I’m really glad the College has stuck to that identity during these tough times.”
It’s clear that the administration should give themselves a well-deserved pat on the back for making such an empathetic decision. It’s quite fortunate that their decision is so popular, but the most important thing isn’t popularity. The most important thing is that Holy Cross continues to make decisions that demonstrate how much they care for their students, faculty, and staff.