Reflections on Fall ’22 – Alison Maloney ’23

As my fall semester of senior year comes to a close, I feel grateful to look back on so many special memories made possible by community involvement. Each year, my activities both on and off campus have enabled me to grow immensely, and this fall was no exception. As a senior, I stepped into new leadership opportunities and helped direct exciting events. I joined new clubs, reconnected with peers and faculty, and made new friends and connections. Out of all these wonderful experiences, my involvement in the CBL Intern Program once again stands as a highlight to my fall semester, allowing me to learn, connect with others, and grow personally.

Having joined the CBL Intern Program last year, I was so excited to continue my involvement as a returning intern. The CBL intern community has provided me with wonderful friends as well as chances to learn and get out of my comfort zone. I loved visiting my community partner, actively promoting community-based learning, and discussing all that we had learned in our intern meetings. I also had the chance to direct reflections and write for the J.D. Power Center Newsletter. All of these opportunities centered around community pushed me to think deeper about society, its structures, and our role within them. After nearly a year of remote learning and feeling all too comfortable with what was “known” to me, I was very thankful for the new experiences the CBL Intern Program gave me.

One of my favorite aspects of this program is that each intern is given a specific leadership role. This year, I have been serving as one of the meeting coordinators. Meeting coordinators work together to plan and co-facilitate intern meetings with the director and assistant director of the Donelan Office. So far, I have really enjoyed stepping into this new role. It’s been such a pleasure working with my fellow meeting coordinator, Fernanda, as well as Mattie and Isabelle to create relevant activities for our interns. Our activities are most often team-bonding and reflection based, but I really appreciate the flexibility that can go into this aspect of our meetings. With the next semester approaching, I’m really looking forward to seeing what new activities Fernanda and I can bring to our future meetings.

Finally, this semester I also had the opportunity to engage with a new community partner. Every Thursday morning, I visited Whitcomb Middle School in Marlborough to assist students in the Latin language program. Through crafts, games, and discussion, I worked with my group of students to learn more about Greek mythology and the ancient world. Our activities were centered on the stories of Hercules and the twelve labors—each week we learned about a couple of the tasks this hero was assigned, whether it was fighting monsters, capturing animals, or stealing treasured items from gods. Visiting this CBL placement site was always very exciting to me. Over the summer, I had worked with Prof. Machado of the Classics department to develop parts of this program. Seeing activities I had helped design come to life was really rewarding. Further, as a Classics major, I loved teaching something I was passionate about to other students. It was a wonderful learning experience getting to hear the students’ unique opinions on these ancient myths, many of which helped to guide my thoughts on ancient notions of a hero. Finally, I really enjoyed getting to know my group of students better. Whether it was providing each other with updates from our week, discussing Hercules’ very poor decision making, or designing our final board game, these simple moments in my group made each visit truly meaningful to me.

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