GUEST BLOGGER: CISCO OLLER, ’16
My name is Francisco Oller, I am a Senior Management Major and I was born with a rare genetic disease called Pelizaeus Merzbacher. My disability has made me into a determined and courageous person. I was born in Puerto Rico and I have lived there until I came to Providence College. My goal in life is to be successful in all that I may pursue and never let my physical limitations deter me from enjoying life.
GUEST BLOGGER: CISCO OLLER, ’16 My name is Francisco Oller, I am a Senior Management Major and I was born with... MORE
GUEST BLOGGER: CHRISTINA PERRI
Hello Friartown! My name is Christina Perri, and I am a junior from Long Island, New York. I am a biology and psychology double major with a minor in neuroscience, and a member of the Liberal Arts Honors Program. I work in the OAS Tutoring Center primarily as a CIV tutor, and I dabble in other subjects as needed. When I’m not in class, lab, or OAS, I can be found singing with Schola Cantorum, playing the flute with Symphonic Winds, arguing with the Debate Society or writing articles for the psychology newsletter, Analyze This. Check in with me at PC Smartypants for tips and tricks for college success!
Forever a Friar. Friar Family. Veritas. These words permeate campus, whether through signs and flyers hanging in residence halls or from the mouths of friars and professors. But what does it mean for our school to be a family?
The answer we often hear is one that links us back to our Catholic and Dominican identity, and I absolutely believe that it plays a role. To be “catholic” is to be universal and wide-reaching, and that is exactly what the Friar Family is meant to be: an all-inclusive, all-embracing unit that encompasses each and every one of us at Providence College. But I think there has to be something more grounded than that. Where is the Friar Family in our everyday lives? Particularly, as students, where is the Friar Family in the classroom?
To be a member of the Friar Family is to recognize our common experiences. We may have different career aspirations—to be doctors, or lawyers, or professors, or accountants, or writers—but we are all here at PC for the same reason. We are all seeking knowledge. None of us know everything in our chosen fields, but we all pick up some sliver of information. And this is where the Friar Family comes in.
To be a member of the Friar Family is to work cooperatively, not competitively. In my experience at PC, my fellow students have worked to build me up, not tear me down. We exchange knowledge reciprocally, clarifying concepts for one another. Last semester I spent many a night with friends in an apartment in Mal Brown, studying biochemistry over tea and cheesy biscuits. None of us had the complete picture of metabolism on our own, but when we put our minds together we were able to create a cohesive whole. We bettered each other. As a tutor, I seek to do the same thing: to build my tutees up to a clearer understanding of the material, and to learn things along the way. I can safely say that I have begun to look at DWC in ways I never did before after helping students organize outlines for their papers. They see connections I never would have dreamt of as a freshman, and sometimes I give voice to ideas they are struggling to put into words. As I explain concepts in chemistry and biology appointments, I find myself understanding them better. When we, tutor and tutee, put our heads together, we both come out better. There is reciprocity in the tutor–tutee relationship.
Understanding, cooperativeness, and reciprocity are what characterize the Friar Family. And in the classroom, the Friar Family is what leads us to veritas.
GUEST BLOGGER: CHRISTINA PERRI Hello Friartown! My name is Christina Perri, and I am a junior from Long Island, New... MORE
GUEST BLOGGER: SISTER CAROLYN SULLIVAN, O.P.
Sister Carolyn Sullivan, O.P. is a member of the Dominican Sisters of Amityville, New York. She’s been an elementary teacher and principal for 27 years, has worked on the missions in the Dominican Republic for the Diocese of Rockville Centre, NY and has been at Providence College for 21 years. She loves language and the deeper meaning of words, plays lots of games of Words with Friends, enjoys historical novels especially about World War II, and knitting for grandnieces and nephews.
There’s a lot of Latin in the environs of our January chilly campus. You’ll catch these words as you walk by facades or in the hallways of our academic buildings. You may see a Dominican shield surrounded by three words – Laudare, Benedicere, Praedicare – three words associated with the Dominican Order of which I have been a member for almost 54 years. I’m Sister Carolyn Sullivan, an Associate Director in the Office of Academic Services in charge of our Peer Tutor program and our PC tutoring services.
I’d like to take a few lines here to share some thoughts on the beautiful word “benedicere.” Benedicere comes from two Latin words – dicere meaning to say or speak, and bene meaning good. Thus you can see why it is the Latin word for blessing. I believe it is meant to be both a noun and a verb. As a verb, it is an action word, something that is said or wished. There is a final blessing signaling the end of a religious ceremony. We say a blessing before or after meals, if not daily, at least on important holidays or family occasions. It is a word I like to use as a closing to my emails and notes on cards I may be sending. When I write it, I am sending a prayer that the reader’s life at that moment is blessed with good things. It is my own way of always bring folks I care about into God’s grace.
More importantly it is a noun. Along with the other Dominicans here, I hope all students pick up the challenge to BE a blessing to others. How does one BE a blessing? Be actively present to someone who is speaking, be engaged with others, be encouraging, be able to find the good in a person or a situation, be someone whose favorite word might be joy, whose favorite sound might be laughter, whose favorite response might be “I can.” When you live your life conscious of being a blessing, making good memories for others, they will learn from you and blessings and goodness will multiply in your world and all the worlds that intersect with yours. We are very responsible for the memories we make with people.
GUEST BLOGGER: SISTER CAROLYN SULLIVAN, O.P. Sister Carolyn Sullivan, O.P. is a member of the Dominican Sisters of Amityville, New... MORE
Our friend Cisco Oller ’16 will be speaking on campus next week. Please be sure to check it out! For... MORE
GUEST BLOGGER: CISCO OLLER, ’16
My name is Francisco Oller, I am a Junior Management Major and I was born with a rare genetic disease called Pelizaeus Merzbacher. My disability has made me into a determined and courageous person. I was born in Puerto Rico and I have lived there until I came to Providence College. My goal in life is to be successful in all that I may pursue and never let my physical limitations deter me from enjoying life.
What If I were to tell you that the confident and loud PC student that you see every day rolling around campus was not always like this? When I entered Providence College I was very shy and mostly kept to myself because the transition from high school to college was overwhelming. I came from a small private school in Puerto Rico of about 250 students and my life was changing academically, socially and culturally. In addition, I was leaving everything I had known my entire life, including my mom’s rice and beans.
At first I asked myself, what was I doing here? Why did I decide to leave the place home? I came from a very small school of about 250 students. I experienced a huge shock my first day on campus when I saw that I had 991 classmates. Like many of you, I felt alone. I wondered every day, would people accept me for who I am and look beyond my handicap?
Initially, I felt that people were apprehensive asking me about my medical condition. At the time, I was afraid to share. My life forever changed when I delivered my motivational speech to a crowd in McPhails and since that day I have not looked back. I realized that not everyone has the courage to stand in front of a crowd of hundreds, but you can do this by just saying hi. I have met some of my best friends because I was doing laps in Ray and decided to go up to a table and introduce myself. Don’t be afraid to do introduce yourself to unknown fellow classmates because you never know how positively you might impact that person or how that person might impact you.
Since arriving at Providence College, people have shaped me into who I am and have helped me realize that I am not alone in this journey. My experiences inside and outside of the classroom have transformed me into a confident, adaptable and resilient individual and this is why I encourage you to get involved. The camaraderie at Providence College has made me overlook my disability. I love that people see me for who I am and not just because I have the coolest wheels on campus. My goals, interests and hobbies are similar to many other college students. My problems and concerns are just like yours: study for exams, write papers, read and prepare for class (well most of the time). I look forward to graduation, landing a career, and overcoming any curve balls life may throw at me!
My friends and professors have told me that I inspire them by just being me. This is why I believe that God gives each person specific talents and abilities, not only for their benefit of themselves, but for the benefit of others. I have faced many challenges but I’m living life as though I have no limits. I am proud to call myself a Providence College student and you should be too. The best advice I can tell you is take your own transition day by day and just be you!
GUEST BLOGGER: CISCO OLLER, ’16 My name is Francisco Oller, I am a Junior Management Major and I was... MORE