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Sara Parrott


The city within
holds a boulevard of hope.
Every street knows you.

I grew up on the south side of Syracuse, and as I grew older, like a lot of people, I moved away. For over 20 years, I lived in the New York City area.

When I saw this image, it reminded me not only of New York, but also of the time I spent as a child, being able to ride my bike in the streets. The street was like an extension of your house. You felt like you owned the street. And there was always a newness to it -- the promise of some kind of activity, either taking place or about to take place. The image spoke to that memory --the city outside. But as you mature, there's also the city within -- meaning the comfort that I contain within me, as an extension of the love that I have for God.

Community builds
bridges of thought between us,
hope for the future.

When I saw the image of the bridge, I thought, thatís exactly what an academic institution does: bridges minds. For me, OCC also served as a bridge to other institutions. I decided to study there for the first two years of college, then I transferred to SUNY New Paltz, where I earned a Bachelorís degree in creative writing, and then went on to get a Masterís degree in English at SUNY Binghamton.

I liked that OCC was part of the community. It was comfortable for me. I was still living with my parents, and it was affordable. I liked the size of my classes. I had some very good professors, some of whom I knew from my family, so it truly was a community college.

The basilica
reaches toward the heart of God,
the moon and stars sing

An unexpected architectural wonder, Sacred Heart Basilica canít help but be noticed in the residential neighborhood of the west side. Its spires shoot heavenward, reminding me of Renaissance master craftsmen whose works were extensions of devotion to God. Their faith was strong. Their work still stands. Reflecting on this fills me with awe over the wonder of God and all He gives us.


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