GRASS!!! It might only be a small patch, but I spotted grass today on Trinity’s campus. Do you know what that means? Spring is on its way! Storm, after storm, after storm, after storm. This could be the coldest and snowiest winter that I’ve seen at Trinity! Students at Trinity have taken this brutal winter in strides. A few students even turned the quad into their own little Sochi Olympics, building ski jumps on the quad hill, and sledding has become an everyday event. Other students have used the winter as an opportunity to hunker down in the grand reading room in the library where a fireplace is lit, creating the perfect ambiance for some reading and studying. All that said, we are ready for spring! with spring break just around the corner, students are gearing up for the warm weather to start rolling in. After all, there is truly nothing better than Trinity College in the spring, when the Magnolia trees are bursting with perfect pink blooms, the quad is filled with students and teachers, and anticipation for our big spring weekend builds! Everyone reading this, please keep your fingers crossed that the snowy months are coming to a close end.
This is my first time being a TA (teachers assistant), and I’m already loving it. This semester is TA’ing two classes: Contemporary Art and Art History 101. Here at Trinity we like to keep our class sizes small and the relationships between students and teachers very close. Therefore, a TA never ever teaches a class, which is often the case at larger colleges or universities. It is the job of a TA to help out the professor with more administrative tasks, like creating and distributing documents for the students, monitoring exams or tests, or keeping a class website updated. Other aspects of the TA’s job are more interactive and fun.
As the TA for Art History 101, which is a class mostly filled with first year students, it is a wonderful task to help newer students adjust to college level work and help them see why I love the subject of Art History so much, and why they should too. Many of my tasks include helping students outside of class with material they are a bit confused by, giving their papers a good edit, or just talking to students over a coffee about pieces of art that we are passionate about. Because many of these students are early in their college career, and have not picked a major yet, It is a pleasure for me to explain to them why I love my major and help them determine if it is a good fit for them as well.
For all you perspective students out there, let me be the first to say: whether it’s a TA or just an older student in one of our classes- your peers want to help you, and love to talk about their studies and passions with people. Trinity students love to share their wisdoms, and they are a resource that should not go to waste!
This semester I made the move from one of Trinity’s dorms on Vernon Street to the brand new Crescent Street Townhouses. Let me rephrase… This semester I moved to the Ritz Carlton. At least that’s how it feels. Trinity’s completion of Phase Two of their Crescent Street building project has opened up a whole new batch of townhouses that are absolutely stunning. The 8 or 9 bedroom townhouses are complete with full size beds, HUGE closets, washing machines, dishwashers, a full kitchen, and gorgeously designed floor plans. Not that I have anything to complain about with my dormitories previous to this move, but this is a whole new level of amazing.
I don’t know if I’ve ever shared this with you (you being the blogosphere), but I am quite the cooking aficionado, and one of the reasons why I decided to move to the townhouse was so I could cook all my meals. Already, in the two days that I’ve been living in the townhouses, I’ve cooked a roast chicken, lentil soup, quiche, homemade ravioli, and more! What an incredible opportunity Trinity has provided for their students. I could not be happier.
Another major benefit of these new buildings is that they are incredibly environmentally friendly and energy efficient. All the buildings have solar panel lined roofs, and the buildings meet LEED Gold standards. It’s nice to know that I’m apart of the community that is forward thinking with all of its new projects.
All in all, the Crescent Street Townhouses are a fabulous addition to the bustling Trinity community, and I urge students who are considering Trinity to check out these new gorgeous buildings.
In celebration of the wonderful holiday season and spirit, I’d like to tell you about the absolutely breath taking experience I had the pleasure of taking part in this month. Every year, Trinity holds something known as the “Christmas Lessons and Carols.” On a chilly Sunday night, hundreds of members of the Trinity Community packed themselves into the candlelit chapel, adorned with wreaths and garland and Christmas décor. Soon, the old walls of Trinity’s famous chapel would be filled by the choral arrangements of Trinity’s Chapel Singers.
Trinity Today, our online daily calendar, wrote this about the event: “In this service, the community hears and receives the story of “God with us” through nine passages of scripture along with carols and anthems of Christmas. The Chapel Singers, the Trinity Choir, as well as student instrumentalists, lead the musical portions of the service. Readers are chosen from among the wider College community”
I have always been incredibly moved by music, especially when heard live, and this special event was no exception. At one point, I was able to count on two hands the amount of people surrounding me who were brought to tears by the songs. With stunning arrangements of the famous Ave Maria, Joy to The World, Silent Night, and many others, I was reminded of the sheer talent of Trinity’s musical community. I left the chapel feeling utterly blessed to take part in such a beautiful service.
Many of the attendees of the event, included students, faculty members, parents, President James Jones (who spoke during the event) and members of the Hartford community. For those who could not attend the event in person, there was a live cast edition available online as well. You can watch it too! Just click on the link below.
To say this past weekend was exciting is the understatement of the century. For those of you who aren’t up on campus events, this past weekend was Homecoming, which is a annual weekend where alumni of all ages return to campus to catch up and watch our Trinity men’s football team play on our home turf.
This homecoming, however, was particularly intense and exciting because we were scheduled to play Wesleyan: a team that, up until this weekend, was undefeated. As you may or may not know, Trinity has not lost a home game since 2003, so when we were scheduled to play an undefeated team, it had a few people nervous about defending our title. As early as 9:00am, alumni, Trinity students, and other viewers started filling up our campus, setting up their tailgates and chairs, and reserving seats in the stands.
I’m not going to go through every play, every time out, or every call (believe me I could.), but let me just say: it wasn’t even close. Our incredible Trinity football team defended our home game streak in a 40-10 game, and never for one second let the fans fear failure.
Watching the fans, whether they were first year Trinity students, 80 years old alumni, parent of the players, or just members of our wonderful Hartford community, share in the joy of our football team’s success was one of the most heart-warming and powerful showings of community I’ve had, and it made my senior year homecoming weekend an absolute success. Go bants!
One of my absolute favorite things about Trinity College is the flexibility of our curriculum. As an Student Admissions Associate on campus, it’s something I find myself emphasizing the most in many of my information sessions and conversations with prospective students. So you might ask, what makes Trinity’s curriculum so flexible? Well, at many schools, once you’ve picked your major and/or minor, you’re stuck in that department. This is so far from the case at Trinity. As an art history major, I have been fortunate enough to take countless classes with the best and brightest professionals in the field of Art History, ranging from the history of decorative arts, to 20th Century Avant-Garde art, to Art Conservation. But, beyond just fulfilling the classes I needed for my major, Trinity’s curriculum allows you to take classes in any field you want. It’s the beauty of the liberal arts. If you are interested in it, you can learn it.
For example, this past summer I watched an incredible documentary about the degradation of glaciers as a result of climate change. I was intrigued by the subject matter and wished that I was more academically informed on the changes going on in our planet. So, with the click of a mouse, I was signed up for a class on the Earth’s Climate. It’s an introductory course in environmental science. Now you may be thinking: why would an art history major be allowed to take a class in the environmental science department? Because Trinity firmly believes that you should never have to pick and choose between your interests. You should have the ability to explore every one of your interests at an academic level. Now, when I graduate at the end of this year, I will be able to have an informed and intelligent conversation with people about a plethora of topics.
The other day, my friend from another college close by said, “I wonder why it’s been so rainy and dreary for a couple of day now?” and I responded, “Because there’s an incoming warm front, causing the air to rise and cool adiabatically, thus causing rain.” My friend looked at me and asked, “You’re an art history major. Why do you know that?” I responded, “Because I go to Trinity.”
There’s just something about fall in New England. It’s the perfect American season and everyone is getting prepared to hunker down in their sweaters by a fire. It’s my favorite season by far. Trinity College in autumn is just about the most spectacular sight to behold. The once green leaves turn a golden yellow and then turn a shade of red so bright you can hardly believe they aren’t each individually hand painted by one of the talented Studio Art majors on campus.
I’m enjoying this fall particularly because the bright natural tones of Trinity’s campus and New England’s landscape are mirroring what I’m learning in one of my classes here at Trinity: Arts of America. I don’t know if it was intentional, but my brilliant professor (Kathleen Curran of the Art History department) arranged our syllabus so we would be discussing the Hudson River School in the peak of autumn bliss.
Every Tuesday and Thursday afternoons I sit in class and learn about the gorgeous paintings of the Hudson River School that depict so magnificently the autumn landscape in New England; then, I step out of the class room and I feel like I’m stuck in a Thomas Cole Painting from the 1830’s! By the way, many of these stunning paintings are apart of Hartford’s very own Wadsworth Athenaeum, and are 100% worth a visit.
All of those who have the insane pleasure of being apart of the Trinity community know what I mean when I write about fall at Trinity. But if you don’t know, and you’re thinking about applying to Trinity College, now is the perfect time to come visit us!
Pride in Trinity College extends far beyond our student body. We see it in our alums, our faculty, and our staff. But this past weekend, we celebrated a particular group of people who, with us, share a strong sense of spirit for our Trinity College community. This group is our parents. This past weekend was Trinity College’s annual Parents Weekend, and by Friday afternoon, our campus was flooded with moms and dads and other family members who came to celebrate their children and our school.
Waking up on Saturday morning, I walked outside of my dorm to grab a cup of coffee and was shocked by the amount of adults walking around with Trinity tee-shirts, hats, sweatshirt, dog leashes for their pets, flags, and so much more. I have a feeling that the merchandise section of our campus bookstore had a very good weekend. Parents of Trinity students exhibit such a strong sense of pride in their children and the school they go to; perhaps more so than the students themselves. Saturday was a big day for sports on our campus, with big games for the women’s field hockey team, the football team, and soccer teams. Alongside the field, our parents were waving their blue and yellow flags, shouting motivational comments at the players, and mingling with other students and parents. It was an amazing sight to behold. For all of the students, it was very heart-warming to spend time with our families in the spirit our Trinity.
Our parent’s support for us and our school goes past the sports fields and the tee-shirts. They help us in so many ways. One way I find particularly astounding is the willingness of Trinity parents to aid in student’s job search in any way they can. I have connected with several parents of Trinity students who have willingly offered advice, guidance, and even opportunities for me in my search for a job. This is one more of the many ways in which parents of Trinity Students are the best parents around.
So on behalf of all of us Bantams, I want to extend a big thank you to all of our families for reminding us how lucky we are to have you and to have our wonderful Trinity College.
Have you ever seen a movie by Federico Fellini? Yes? No? Well guess what. I lived in one. It’s true. I lived in a Federico Fellini movie for one semester last year while studying abroad in Rome. I ate plates upon plates of hot gooey carbonara, I strolled through Piazza del Popolo at 3am, I even went swimming in a fountain while the polizia turned a blind eye. This, ladies and gentlemen, is what it’s like to study abroad in Rome at the Trinity College Rome Campus.
One late afternoon, I found myself sitting in my room, upon the Aventine hill (one of Rome’s seven hills where the Trinity campus is located) with nothing to do. NOTHING TO DO IN ROME? You’re right. It’s absurd. So you know what I did? I got up, walked out of my door and meandered through the small winding streets of my neighborhood, watching as the golden sunlight slowly faded upon the warm terracotta tiles of the rooftops. The smell of early fall pomegranates was in the air. I walked for only about 5 minutes when I decided I’d just peek into one of the two churches on the Aventine hill. As I pull open the massive 5th century wooden door, the most glorious sound of 100 or so monks singing by candle light hit me. A man by the door escorted me to a bench and asked me to sit in Italian. I obliged, mesmerized by the perfectly harmonized chords pouring into my ears. I didn’t leave the church for over four hours. I just listened and listened and listened.
When I left the church, I realized I had never been so moved by anything. In Rome, one day you’ll see, or hear, or taste something so amazing that you swear you’ll never be so marveled again. That is, until tomorrow, when something even more incredible comes along. It’s the most sublime place in the world. Everyday you are hit with something new that literally has the ability to take your breath away. The chanting monks were beautiful in every way. But you know what, the next day I traveled to the pope’s private garden’s with my Art Conservation class and got to see mosaics that were thousands of years old, and once again I was sure I’d never be so amazed again. I kid you not, every single day is like that. Literally.
For me, Rome is the world’s most fascinating place; but anybody who has studied abroad in another country or city will say the same thing. I beg you to go to the Rome Campus, but honestly, anywhere you go, studying abroad is the best decision you will ever make. For this message, you can thank me later.
It took me until my junior year at Trinity College to realize that being a college student did not mean sacrificing being a functional, active, human being. The first two years of college, I felt some kind of unwritten obligation to be a clichéd lazy, always tired (despite sleeping in until 2pm), and homebodied kid. Time inbetween classes was taken up by slumping back into my bed and watching several already watched episodes of Grey’s Anatomy or maybe sitting in my common room with a few friends texting and staring at Instagram. Now that I’m a senior, that way of life could not seem farther away.
I think going abroad gave me the revelation that free time was not a time to rest, but rather a time to explore. Living in Rome for a semester, wasting time was not an option. What other time am I going to have a couple of hours to romp around the Roman Forum or sit at a café with a few friend drinking wine and talking about fallen civilizations? Never. And this idea was exactly the same when I got back to campus for the spring semester. I saw free time in a whole new light, as a time to explore, to try new things, and to be an interesting, curious, and active human being. It turns out, Hartford is the perfect place to do so.
In the past week, I have gone to a state park where I climbed a four mile hiking trail to the top of the mountain. I’ve gone apple picking with a bunch of my friends, and subsequently baked several apple pies using a friend’s kitchen. I visited an alpaca farm (never though I’d do that…), went to the most beautiful cemetery (which really looks more like a garden in Versailles then anything else) to see Katherine Hepburn’s gravestone, ate at four different restaurants in Hartford, two of which were ethnic cuisines that represented Hartford’s rich diversity. All that in one week. Think what you can do in FOUR YEARS.
I suppose it would be easy to write off Hartford. We’re sandwiched between Boston and New York, two cities that are much larger in size. But Hartford and the surrounding areas have an incredible amount to offer. The sheer beauty of the Connecticut landscape is enough to mesmerize you, but then you throw in the amazing cultural opportunities in Hartford, and you have a shockingly vibrant community to do all types of activities and exploring. Open your eyes beyond your dorm room, seek new things. Don’t settle for laziness. You have four years to literally do whatever you want. Sleeping through it simply cannot be an option.
Here are some suggestions for weekend or weekday activities:
Belltown Hill Orchards – An amazing little farm in South Glastonbury for all sorts of pick-your-own produce. I recommend going in mid October when all their orchards are open. Hayrides, apple cider donuts, and pumpkin picking are also very fun activities. Find this spot in South Glastonbury, a short 20-minute drive from campus.
Talcott Mountain State Park – a moderate level hike with some incredible views. This is in Simsbury, CT. It’s a gorgeous drive to get to the mountain and such a great way to get your body moving and sweat off those Bistro sandwiches.
Cedar Hill Cemetery – A stunning and huge cemetery located right at the top of the Berlin Turnpike. Big names such a J. P. Morgan and Katherine Hepburn are buried here. The landscape is beautiful and a wonderful place to explore. It’s only about a mile away from campus.
Wadsworth Athenaeum – If you think the best art in the world is only in Paris, London, L.A., and New York, you’re dead wrong. As an Art History major, I’m astonished by the size and quality of the collections at the Wadsworth Athenaeum in downtown Hartford. Check out their collection of Hudson River School paintings. Prepare for your jaw to drop.