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September 13, 2007

September 13th, 2007 admin

In light of Holy Cross recently announcing that beginning in 2008 all freshmen will participate in Montserrat (a new College program), I wanted to take some time to explain what it’s been like for me in the First Year Program, or FYP.  For me, FYP was an option.  Next year, Montserrat will expand elements of FYP so all first year students will have this experience.

FYP is all about connecting students through a series of common readings while at the same time of analyzing Tolstoy’s question, “How, then, shall we live?” It really is a unique experience because I’m connected with one hundred and eighty other students who have completely different interests, yet we’re all reading some of the same works.

Another unique aspect of the FYP is that the classes aren’t all based on analyzing the book with the same mentalities. Every class approaches the common works differently. For instance, my class, Freedom and Nature with Professor Kee, analyzes the common readings from a more literary point of view. My friend, Haley, is in Made in America/Society with Professor Hummon, and her class approaches all of the common works from a sociological and anthropological point of view. When we all converge for our seminars on our most recent common reading, the result is simply stunning. For an hour and a half, there are six experts in their various fields all analyzing the reading from six different points of view; their different interpretations help all of us further analyze the book for ourselves.

In addition to the common readings, each class has specific works assigned that further extend Tolstoy’s question. In Freedom and Nature, for example, Professor Kee has supplemented the common readings with Theogeny, Nicomachean Ethics, Confessions, and The Divine Comedy.

To all prospective students – embrace Montserrat.  It promises to bring the best of FYP to all first-year students.  I’ve only been here a couple of weeks, and I definitely believe that FYP will be one of the apogees of my experience here at Holy Cross.

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