Episode V — Contemplating, Creativity, and Crossroads

Hi all!

I know the week isn’t over yet, but it’s been pretty jam-packed with activities for me — let’s talk about it!

This Monday, I went on a field trip to the Joyce Contemplative Center with my Montserrat class. It’s a beautiful property about twenty minutes from campus: here’s the super cozy interior:

A modern living room, complete with warm lighting, a cozy fireplace, and wide windows showcasing the beautiful nature outside.
How welcoming is this! The minimalistic designs encourage reflection and relaxation.

Upon arrival, the chaplains instructed us to leave our phones in our jacket pockets so that we could connect with each other and our surroundings better.  We completed a quick reflection packet, which encouraged us to think about our first semester of college and all the work we did to get to this point. After that, we engaged in an Ignatian examen and a yoga session, all leading up to a delicious dinner prepared by the chefs at the JCC.

It was a really great experience, but I did have a bit of trouble acclimating to the environment initially. I didn’t realize how heavily I rely on technology in my day-to-day life — it’s a constant source of entertainment, socialization, and information, so much so that it felt a bit foreign to be in an environment where you’re completely separated from that. I mean, I’m typing on a computer now, you’re reading this on the internet, and I spent the vast majority of my high school experience online, whether it was my classes on Zoom, remote AP exams, or even FaceTiming with my friends.

Nonetheless, my visit to the JCC was most refreshing. I feel like it really got my creative juices flowing — I had my first Creative Writing Club meeting of the semester the day after, and I had so much fun with all the activities the club leaders had planned for us. I’m ashamed to admit that as last semester went on, I made less and less time for the Creative Writing Club until I really wasn’t going at all anymore. Rediscovering personal passions is always thrilling, especially when you know you have a community of people with whom you can discuss and share that passion.

Speaking of rediscovering passions, I forgot how much I enjoyed the chicken caesar salads at Crossroads. They are divine, especially when you get them with crispy chicken instead of grilled chicken. As much as I love to set up shop in Kimball and have multiple-course meals over Montserrat readings or Netflix shows, there’s nothing like grabbing something healthy and tasty when you’re in a rush.

That’s all for now! Thanks for tuning in. I’ll see you shortly!

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