My Ode to Ray

My Ode to Ray

Posted by: on May 3, 2016   |Comments (2)|Writing Center

MarlaGagneGUEST BLOGGER: MARLA GAGNE, ‘ 18
Hi everyone! My name is Marla Gagne, and I’m from West Haven, Connecticut. I’m a sophomore English major and am currently living the suite-life on campus (pun intended). I am a news co-editor on The Cowl and love writing stories about what’s going on around PC. I’ve also volunteered with campus ministry and love getting involved on campus. College life can be crazy, but chicken nugget Thursdays, Friday night hockey games, and PC friends make it all worth it!

 

After another crazy year at Providence College, I am exited to be going home for a relaxing summer. I can’t wait to be reunited with my dog, my queen size bed, and, most importantly, my Mom’s delicious cooking. But before we all wrap up another semester, we need to pay homage to the thing we all love to hate—Ray.

As much as Ray tries, Mom’s lasagna with homemade sauce or her special fudge brownies will always take first place in our hearts. But as we eat our final meals of the year at Ray, there are special things I will definitely miss over the summer.

1. Breakfast

On the weekends, no one really wants to get up and move. It’s been a long week filled with exams, presentations, laundry, and roommates. I would rather stay in bed than walk to Ray. But this walk is made a little easier knowing that I will get a special breakfast. I love the French toast sticks, Belgium waffles, home fries, and, my favorite, hash. You can have eggs, sausage, bacon, bagels, fruit, omelets, etc. Breakfast at Ray is a bonus on the weekends.

2. Everyday Music

An average day at Ray will consist of country music on repeat. Love it or hate it, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, and Keith Urban are coming your way.

3. Weekend Playlist

On Sunday mornings, the cowboy boots are put away and the club music enters the scene. All the songs you played the night before will be on in the background as you eat your waffles and eggs. Who doesn’t want to be like Kanye all morning long?

4. Familiar Faces

When you walk into Ray, you immediately get a smile from Fran or Dott or Barbara. These ladies of Ray, along with many others, are part of the PC experience. All around, from the salad bar to the classics section, you’ll see familiar faces. You might not even know all the workers’ names, but they are part of your everyday routine and are friendly faces on campus.

5. Holiday Spirit

For every holiday, Ray goes all out. Whether its singing Feliz Navidad behind the classics counter or wearing a costume for Halloween, they decorate the dining hall, make special foods, and put some spirit into a special day.

6. Thursdays

Despite anything that went wrong during the week, I can always count on a delicious meal of chicken nuggets and curly fries on Thursday. Who could ask for more?

7. The Dessert Table

This one is pretty self-explanatory. M&M cookies, chocolate cake, and ice cream—dreams really do come true.

8. The Center of the Day

Some days, especially at the end of the year, are super busy. I’m stuck in the library studying for hours or can be found running around campus for club meetings and office hours. It’ll be 6:30 and I haven’t even been back to my suite all day. But then I get the text to meet at Ray for dinner. My roommates, all seven of us, grab our usual table in the back and have dinner. For the next hour, we can vent about terrible days, rant about assignments that just seem cruel, plan our weekends, and just catch up.

GUEST BLOGGER: MARLA GAGNE, ‘ 18 Hi everyone! My name is Marla Gagne, and I’m from West Haven, Connecticut. I’m... MORE

Role Reversal: From Tutee to Tutor

Posted by: on April 5, 2016   |Comments (0)|Writing Center

MarlaGagneGUEST BLOGGER: MARLA GAGNE, ‘ 18
Hi everyone! My name is Marla Gagne, and I’m from West Haven, Connecticut. I’m a sophomore English major and am currently living the suite-life on campus (pun intended). I am a news co-editor on The Cowl and love writing stories about what’s going on around PC. I’ve also volunteered with campus ministry and love getting involved on campus. College life can be crazy, but chicken nugget Thursdays, Friday night hockey games, and PC friends make it all worth it!

 

As my friends and I walked into Friar Ball, decked out in brand new dresses and painful yet beautiful heels, we were excited. All the upperclassmen we had talked to said the night was going to be one of best nights of our whole college career—no pressure there. Peterson was filled with hundreds of students, many of whom I had come to know in class or meeting through a club or even just saying ‘hi’ in the hallway. And while the night was a great night to spend time with my friends before they went home for the summer or traveled abroad, it also reminded me that in five weeks I was going to be halfway done with my college career.

It seems like only yesterday that I was struggling to read the RIPTA schedule, freaked out to walk around campus by myself, and always forgetting that Ray closes at 6:30 on the weekends and then being forced to walk to Alumni. In two years, I have become friends with people from all over the country (well, mostly the East Coast), joined different clubs, and explored a new city. As I got a little nostalgic and thought about my short journey at PC, I couldn’t help think of my experience at the Writing Center. Before I was a tutor helping with thesis statements and comma abuses, I was the one being tutored.

As a freshman I was intimidated by my professors and scared to write my first paper—what if these professors wanted something completely different than what I wrote in high school? Within the first month of school, I made an appointment for the Writing Center to get some help.

Going into a tutoring session can be nerve-wracking. What if my essay was terrible? What if I had a mean tutor? What if I couldn’t even find the Writing Center? I was already psyching myself out before the session started. Ali, then a junior writing tutor, ended up looking over my paper. I sat quietly as she looked everything over, not sure what to do in that awkward waiting time and internally cringing every time she made a mark. When she put her pen down, I was expecting the worst.

But the worst never came. Ali first pointed out what was great about my essay—my strong thesis and detailed examples. But we also talked about what could be improved. I needed to add a little more to my conclusion so it wasn’t just repeating my thesis. Yes, I was nervous throughout the whole session and probably didn’t take a calming breath until I left the library doors. But later I reflected on everything that happened and realized that it was really not a bad experience and was actually really helpful. I used the Writing Center for the rest of semester and had good, unique experiences with many different tutors.

Getting any critique can be difficult, especially by people you go to class with or see around campus. But lots of the tutors, like myself, were in your same exact spot. And before we were tutors, we were students. We have all been critiqued by professors or have struggled with a class or assignment. Coming into the Writing Center can be intimidating, scary, or just simply something new. But always remember that as tutors we are on your side and here to help you put the pieces together. And who knows—in time you might find your role has been reversed.

GUEST BLOGGER: MARLA GAGNE, ‘ 18 Hi everyone! My name is Marla Gagne, and I’m from West Haven, Connecticut. I’m... MORE

The Cowl: News, Tradition, and Uniquely PC

Posted by: on March 8, 2016   |Comments (0)|Writing Center

MarlaGagneGUEST BLOGGER: MARLA GAGNE, ‘ 18
Hi everyone! My name is Marla Gagne, and I’m from West Haven, Connecticut. I’m a sophomore English major and am currently living the suite-life on campus (pun intended). I am a news co-editor on The Cowl and love writing stories about what’s going on around PC. I’ve also volunteered with campus ministry and love getting involved on campus. College life can be crazy, but chicken nugget Thursdays, Friday night hockey games, and PC friends make it all worth it!

 

What do you think of when you see the word the “cowl”?  You have probably heard it before but, just like Adele’s last name, you don’t know exactly what it is. A cowl is actually the hood of a Dominican Friars’ robe. It also happens to be the name for our very own student-run school newspaper, The Cowl.

I applied to The Cowl after attending my first club fair as a freshman. I had done a little writing in high school and thought, “why not continue?” I was lucky enough to be chosen for the news section and immediately sent on my first assignment. Almost two years later, I am still writing and am now News co-Cowl2editor of my section.

For me, The Cowl is a hidden gem. In an age of great technology, we are always looking for news on our phones—the Internet and social media are right at our tips. But The Cowl is something special for the College. It’s written for PC students by PC students and looks at the ins and outs of our very own world.

The News Section has the investigators, who cover events and research issues on campus. Opinion expresses its own thoughts on everything from combating discrimination on campus to ranting about pre-season decorating. Arts and Entertainment gives us the latest on movies, plays, celebrities, TV shows, and hot food spots in the city. Portfolio is a creative writing section, Sports keeps us up to date with every team and its players, and photography captures everything happening on campus—it could even be what you are doing.

This past year was an exciting time for The Cowl, as we celebrated our 80th anniversary.

In honor of our big year, I looked back at one of the first issues of The Cowl. The front-page talked about the success of the football team, now non-existent, and the creation of a club hockey team, which would later become national champions. Other issues talked about Aquinas being turned into a girl’s dormitory when the College went co-ed, the celebration of another Oktoberfest in the fall, and the first females being part of the ROTC program.Cowl1

The Cowl is part of the tradition, history, and culture of a changing college that has allowed me to meet great people on staff, get involved in what’s happening around campus, and give students a voice.

In my two years here, I have tried many activities from ballroom dance to teaching English to Spanish speaking Ray workers. Some stuck with me and others did not work in my schedule or were not for me.  But the important thing is that I found things in the end that really made me part of the PC community. So as you look at the last few months of the school year, examine yourself. What have I tried? What have I wished that I had done? Try to go out and find something that fits you and become part of PC’s ongoing story.

 The Cowl is always looking for new writers and interested students can apply at thecowl.com. Stay in tune with what is happening around campus by going on thecowl.com, following our twitter @TheCowl, or picking up an issue every Thursday night!

GUEST BLOGGER: MARLA GAGNE, ‘ 18 Hi everyone! My name is Marla Gagne, and I’m from West Haven, Connecticut. I’m... MORE

The Suite Life For Seven

Posted by: on January 29, 2016   |Comments (0)|Writing Center

MarlaGagneGUEST BLOGGER: MARLA GAGNE, ‘ 18
Hi everyone! My name is Marla Gagne, and I’m from West Haven, Connecticut. I’m a sophomore English major and am currently living the suite-life on campus (pun intended). I am a news co-editor on The Cowl and love writing stories about what’s going on around PC. I’ve also volunteered with campus ministry and love getting involved on campus. College life can be crazy, but chicken nugget Thursdays, Friday night hockey games, and PC friends make it all worth it!

 

 

 

When I tell people I live in a seven-person suite, with six other girls, they usually look a little shocked. They question, “seven girls? In one room? How does that work?” And while I try to explain that its organized chaos, they usually look a little unconvinced (and probably thankful that they have fewer roommates).

Living with seven girls in a suite is an experience: it has its ups and downs, great moments and struggles, and lots of fun in between. Here are seven things I learned from living the “Suite” life with seven girls.

1. There is seven of everything (and maybe more)

If you look at our bathroom vanity you will find seven hair straighteners…and seven curlers…and seven of pretty much everything. Move in day, the Hunger Games of rooms, was chaotic. Boxes were everywhere, everything was piled high, and the amount of stuff we owned seemed endless—it was surprising we even fit it into our cars. A semester later and the stuff has only multiplied. And while it can easily turn messy, it also means we have everything covered. We of course have necessities (mainly food), but we also have everything you never dreamed you needed (and probably still don’t). But you never know when you need a pizza cutter, mini hand weights, Santa Clause sticky notes, a mini-tree, or a soda-making machine.

2.  A person for everything

No matter how much you enjoy College or school in general, you are bound to have a tough day. It gets stressful, confusing, and just plain difficult. During the good and bad times, you need someone to celebrate or cry with. Luckily with seven girls, you have the perfect people to help. One roommate you vent to and let out your anger, while another you just ignore reality and instead watch Netflix. There’s always a person to go on an adventure with, to stay home with and watch a movie, or to make an impromptu trip to Dunkin.

3.  There is hair everywhere…

I guess it’s assumed that seven girls equal a lot of hair. Forewarning: it doesn’t matter how much you vacuum, it will always be there. Just embrace it.

4.  The art of love and hate

Living with six of your best friends is great—you have great dance parties at midnight, laugh all the time, and you pretty much get to know them better than you know yourself. But that certainly does not mean it’s easy. No matter how much you love your friends, sometimes you need a break from each other. I quickly discovered you have to let the little things go—there are more important things to worry about. You also have to address the big issues—no one enjoys passive aggressive attitudes or an unhappy living space. They’re your roomies for better or for worse.

5.  Built-in squad

Forget Taylor Swift and her super model friends—you’ve got the real gems by your side. Everywhere you go you have six friends to accompany you. A cheering squad at basketball games, a full table of friends at dinner, and a mini-party wherever you are.

6.  Birthdays are awesome

Your birthday is your special to just celebrate you. With six girls that all know different sides of you, they’ll know exactly how to make that day special. We’ve celebrated three birthdays so far (including mine), and they’ve been some of our best memories of the semester (Shout out to my girls for the delicious chocolate, our trip to the Cheesecake Factory, and all the surprises).

7.  Embrace the little moments

Everyone is so busy during the week: class, meetings, work, homework, sleep, etc. We barely see each other and when we do, we are exhausted and ready to sleep. But the little parts of living together, staying up late to wish someone a happy birthday at exactly midnight, catching up at dinner, or just watching Scandal Thursday nights, are great. Sadly, we only have so many years that we get to spend together. So in between running in and out of your dorm, try to take a few moments to talk to your roommates. They’ll make you happy and one day, even if not right now, you’ll definitely miss them.

GUEST BLOGGER: MARLA GAGNE, ‘ 18 Hi everyone! My name is Marla Gagne, and I’m from West Haven, Connecticut. I’m... MORE

Wait..You’re an English Major?

Posted by: on December 4, 2015   |Comments (0)|Writing Center

MarlaGagneGUEST BLOGGER: MARLA GAGNE, ‘ 18
Hi everyone! My name is Marla Gagne, and I’m from West Haven, Connecticut. I’m a sophomore English major and am currently living the suite-life on campus (pun intended). I am a news co-editor on The Cowl and love writing stories about what’s going on around PC. I’ve also volunteered with campus ministry and love getting involved on campus. College life can be crazy, but chicken nugget Thursdays, Friday night hockey games, and PC friends make it all worth it!

 

 

When you’re in college, you always get asked, “What is your major?” My answer is English. The person usually follows up with “Oh, you want to be an English teacher?” When I answer no, I am not currently thinking about teaching, I get a confused look, a stare, and the inevitable question: What do you want to be then?

If I had a dollar for every time someone asked if I wanted to be an English teacher, I would be able to pay cash for my tuition this year. Being an English major, like any Humanities major, is outside of the box; usually business or biology are the go-to majors. And, for anyone who does not have the normal major or is undeclared, talking about a major can be stressful. You usually are having a chaotic day, filled with pop quizzes, hours of homework, and endless club meetings, when you suddenly have a freak-out—what am I going to do with my life? While everyone else seems to have a direction or career plan, you seem lost in the shuffle.  You ask yourself, what will I do after college? What will this degree do for me? Where is my life going? The already stressful day can quickly go further downhill.

But, after spending three semesters as an English major, I can honestly say I do not regret my decision. So far I have had great professors that care about their students and are passionate about the literature. The classes are filled with a mix of students, English and non-English majors, and we have great discussions and classes. Even something like an essay, which can be daunting to write, has allowed me to really express my own ideas and helped me improve as a student. I may be a little bias, but I think PC has an awesome English Department.

So you may be thinking, but what is her plan for the future? Well, that part I’m still trying to figure out. But for now, I’m happy to explore my options and stick to something I really love. I still have those “where is my life going” days, but they eventually pass and a good grade on a paper or great day in English class assures me that I’m in the right place. So, if you are ever stressed out about not having the perfect major or life-plan, don’t worry—you are certainly not alone.

On an unrelated note, good luck with finals! It can be tough to stay focused and get through the last minute work. Remember, there is an end in sight and we all feel your pain.

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GUEST BLOGGER: MARLA GAGNE, ‘ 18 Hi everyone! My name is Marla Gagne, and I’m from West Haven, Connecticut. I’m... MORE