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Four Years at the Mount - Senior Year

Senior Year

24 Hours at the Mount - Evening

Julia Mulqueen

(2/2012) I just feasted upon Mount food at a table full of my fellow seniors, and now it’s time for my crazy night to begin. I have to stop by the library for a few hours before I allow myself to head back to my dorm room. I can feel the weight of my textbooks digging into my back. My neck aches; my eyes are tired from the long day. Gingerly, I walk up the steps to our library, open the door and step inside. I climb the stairs to the upper level, and move toward the windows. Ah, my spot awaits! For four years, I have nestled into the same chair at the same desk to do my homework. I know the curve of the chair in which I sit. I know the number of bugs stuck to the outside of the window: 3. I know the initials carved into the desk: AMS+AMM forever.

So I force myself to sit down in "my" chair. I pull out my laptop and my Gathered for the Journey book. This year it has been especially difficult for me to concentrate on my schoolwork. I know that a job awaits me after I saunter across the stage at graduation, and I am ready for the changes that await me. Fortunately, I also know that I must graduate in order to keep that job, so I force myself to open up the book. I gently crease page 58, and I settle in.

After I finish this reading assignment for class tomorrow, I have to finish up a book by Hans van Balthasar for my senior seminar class. As a senior, I am required to take a seminar course in each of my majors. Last semester, I took German senior seminar. This semester, I am in Theology senior seminar. The course meets once a week. We read large articles or even entire books and then discuss them in class. I love it! I live for seminar classes in which all actively participate in the discussion. Having completed the Mount’s core curriculum, too, I am able to connect our theological readings to more than just the Church. It is a great feeling to know that all of those hours spent in my core classes have truly helped me in other aspects of my studies.

I finish up my first reading assignment, and then I move on the van Balthasar book. Van Balthasar was a Swiss theologian, and his book Razing the Bastions is an intricate look at how the Church is to relate to the modern world. I am a geek, and I absolutely love reading van Balthasar. As a senior, I have perfected my reading style. I read quickly, but maintain my focus on the work. As I read, I underline and star sections and sentences which stick out to me. I scribble comments in the margins.

Pretty soon, I am finished reading van Balthasar, too. Next, I need to start reading a book for my honors project, but with my laptop in front of me I am easily distracted. I look at pictures of funny animals. I google current events. I watch pop videos from the eighties. After 15 minutes or so, I am ready to return to my studies.

So I pick up this next book for my honors project. For the next hour, I am beautifully focused. I am the model student. I look out the window minimally, and I do not allow myself to surf the internet. As the clock approaches nine, however, I find myself in need of a pick-me-up. I slowly peek my head out from the desk at which I am sitting. My roommate Dasha is sitting opposite me; we are divided by shelves on the desks. As I peak my head out, she starts to peak her head out, too; she gives me the look. The look is something that has been part of our friendship since our freshman year. The look signals that we need a break from studying. This break always includes a trip to the Mount Café for some sugary, caffeinated treat. So together we walk across the street to the café and order some snacks. Naturally, chocolate makes an appearance.

Once we have eaten our food, we trudge back to the library to do some more studying. Again, I am able to focus for an hour or so, and then my eyelids start to fall and my hands seem incapable of holding my book any longer. I realize it is time for me to head back to my dorm room. I start to pack up my books, and Dasha follows suit. We walk giggling back to our suite.

Upon reaching the room, I ground my backpack and flip on the TV. After waking up so early in the morning to work out, sitting through hours of classes, and then forcing myself to put some small dent in my homework, I am ready to relax for the night. Unfortunately, it is getting quite late as it is already approaching 11pm. I tear myself away from the TV and set two alarms for tomorrow morning. Then I get ready for bed and slide under my covers ready to fall fast asleep.

At 5:30am I hear the distinct beeping of my alarm. I jump out of bed into the chill and smack my alarm clock until it shuts off. As I brush my teeth, I think about yesterday. Sure, my night was none too glamorous or exciting, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Soon my trips to the café with Dasha will just be a memory and my spot at the library will have a new occupant. I only ask that future Mount students get as much out of their time here as I have.

Read other articles by Julia Mulqueen