A Senior CBL Intern’s Reflections

A few weeks ago, I had my first true realization that my time at Holy Cross is quickly coming to an end. For me, this is my last semester of classes at Holy Cross, since I will be spending the upcoming Spring semester student teaching at Burncoat Middle School. So as I was writing down everything I had to do before the last day of classes, it hit me: this is the last time I’ll have to write papers, complete projects, and study for exams until I go to grad school. As many (if not all) Holy Cross students know, this time of the year is filled with long stints in Dinand, to-do lists as long as that 5-page paper I have to write, and an increase in coffee intake in order to make up for the decrease in sleep. These things can be undoubtedly overwhelming, as this crunch time is filled with things we have to do in order to get that good grade we are striving for. However, as I was looking through that long, daunting list of papers, homework assignments, and meetings, one thing on my list that I technically have to do is also something that I look forward to doing every week, something that brings me so much joy and fulfills me with a great sense of purpose: CBL.

During my time at Holy Cross, I have taken more CBL classes than I can count (I think about 1/4th of the classes I have taken here have had a CBL component). I have had the opportunities to tutor middle school students, observe fantastic teachers in their classrooms, and work with African refugees on Saturday mornings. These experiences have not only helped me with the work I had for my CBL classes – and believe me, these were experiences that were incredibly meaningful in relation to the content that I was studying at the time. However, I didn’t expect that CBL was going to become the thing I most wanted to do at Holy Cross. From my first experience in the Worcester community Freshman year, I have thrived off of participating in the Worcester community; I often felt lost and out of place when I did not have a CBL to go to, or when I was home on break and didn’t have to go into the schools to help tutor. In this sense, CBL truly became a part of me – CBL became something that I couldn’t live without, something I looked forward to, something that kept me going during the toughest of weeks. In essence, CBL has truly been my saving grace: it has been my light at the end of the tunnel, my opportunity to break away from the stressful Holy Cross atmosphere and immerse myself in the Worcester community.

So as I come to the end of my time at Holy Cross, I can’t help but to be so incredibly thankful for my CBL experiences at Holy Cross. I have many people to thank for my fantastic experiences in the Worcester community: to my professors who saw the potential that CBL had to give students an indescribably meaningful experience; to Isabelle Jenkins and Michelle Sterk Barrett, the two women who work tirelessly to make sure every student is having a great CBL experience and always manage to have smiles on their faces and kind words of encouragement when I need it the most; to my fellow CBL Interns, past and present, who put up with my antics and support me in any way they can; to my community partners, who have accepted me into their buildings and communities with open arms; and finally, to Holy Cross, for providing me with the experience of a lifetime. I know I want to continue working in the Worcester community after I graduate, and I have these people, places, and things to thank for that.

Thank you, CBL, for turning my education into an experience.
-Lauren Suprenant ’16

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