Friday, July 15, 2011

Collegium 2011: Day Two

After all of the traveling the previous day the second day was actually a fairly light work day, for mentors. We all met for the first of many working breakfast meetings. We got to know each others working styles and the expectations of the week. There was a nice blend of new mentors and experienced mentors. We would be facilitating discussions in our small groups. The discussions would be in response to our readings and to lectures.

The meeting was extended. We reviewed the week’s schedule of events, special concerns or needs and resources. I am always impressed with the organizational skills Tom and Joyce bring to the table. They always make us look good.

After the meeting we had free time. Now it was not free time for Joyce or for the school. Participants were beginning to arrive., However, the mentors had the afternoon off. I would have liked to go into the city. Worcester is the second largest city in New England. It has 10 colleges, many museums, great restaurants. I was interested in seeing hte museum of armor, I like knights. This museum is the best collection of knights armor in North America. It is a center of New England architecture. The buildings are beautiful. It was here that the Declaration of Independence was s first read aloud to the public. However, I was tired and decided to just walk around campus and get the lay of the land.

The campus is hilly and at times steep. That also means the vistas are breathtaking. I kept looking down at downtown Worcester.

Downtown Worcester from the hills of the College of Holy Cross

As I walked around campus I noticed a lot of activity at the bottom of the hill. I went down to an area just outside of the campus. In this valley were tents, a stage, banners and lots of activity. It turned out this was the weekend for Worcester’s Relay for Life. I spoke to a young woman who spoke of her commitment to her family and how this event helped her deal with a family history of cancer. I decided I would have to visit the Relay for Life in the evening when it was active.

Collegium 2011: Relay for Life Preparation

I was also getting excited. I walked into the ballroom before it was set up for the evening’s his was where we would meet the new participants and where we would have our opening banquet. From here you could look out eh window toward the city and see part of the campus. This was going to be a great setting to explore Catholic intellectual identity and to make new friends.

The College of the Holy Cross from the Ballroom Window II

That evening we had our first social hour. It was great to identify the members of my small group. They were full of energy and I knew I was blessed with a great group The banquet was wonderful. The food, wine and camaraderie made for a great opening night.

When I finally got back to the dorms I remembered I had planned on checking out the Relay for life. I could see the valley from my window. It was illuminated by lights and the sound of music permeated the evening air. So I walked down the hill o see how Worcester put on a Relay. Well, they do it with gusto!

The place was loud and crowded. People were happy even though they were all united in dealing with a serious issue. I arrived to see a bunch of young men dressed in drag. This was the “Miss Relay for Life Competition.’ The guy who got the most money ‘donated” to his/her waist band would be declared “Miss Relay for Life 2010. It was just campy fun and a way to raise money for cancer research. These guys in drag looked very different fro the guys I met during my sabbatical!

Collegium 2011: Miss Relay for Life

So I had a full day. We planned. I explored. We greeted the participants and I got to enjoy some of the Relay for Life. It was a good beginning.

Collegium 2011: Miss Relay for Life Competition

It was also good to see the folks from the city just letting their hair down and being silly for a good cause.

Collegium 2011: Miss Relay for Life Awaits a Winner

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