I have come to fall in love with teaching in Catholic schools. What are YOU in love with?...

"Nothing is more practical than finding God, that is, than falling in love in a quite absolute, final way. What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination, will affect everything. It will decide what will get you out of bed in the morning, what you will do with your evenings, how you will spend your weekends, what you read, who you know, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you with joy and gratitude. Fall in love, stay in love, and it will decide everything." - Pedro Arrupe

Monday, July 25, 2016

Five Lessons from Summer Studies

I learned a lot this summer, only some of which was learned in the actual classroom.

I'll try to keep it short.

#1 - Take a break. Do some work first, but then take a REAL break.
After the first full week of classes for my leadership program, we got a long weekend. I was off to Michigan with my sister to visit my family and some family friends. We enjoyed a beautiful afternoon and evening with my grandpa's best friends at their house on a lake. The sunset was stunning, and the fireworks were brilliant. (And, when I got back to ND, we celebrated with sparklers!)

getting ready for sunset

sunset on the lake


fireworks by boat


#2 - When at Notre Dame, take time to explore and enjoy the campus at all times of day.
One of my professors put it this way - he said he was getting a big head, working at Notre Dame and all. He looked up one day under the gaze of Mary atop the golden dome and realized (and I quote), "Holy sh**! I work here with so many amazing people." He said it was very humbling. I was humbled many times this summer by the phenomenal people who taught and walked alongside me this summer.

ND basilica and golden dome

"touchdown Jesus"

God. Country. Notre Dame.

another view of the dome and basilica across the lake

Holy Cross chapel 

Andre Bessette (first Holy Cross saint) stained glass window

#3 - Surround yourself with good people. They'll help get you where you need to go, especially in those times when you struggle to do it on your own.
An African proverb reads, "If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together." Until this summer, I didn't 100% understand that. But I could NOT have done what I did this summer without relying on my classmates and friends. I'm capable of doing a lot, but it's not enough (and it's not quite as fun on your own) and it's not always the best way, as much as it hurts to admit it. The people are who make the journey worthwhile. Through ACE, I have been blessed with amazing professors, classmates, and friends.

fellow Phoenix ACEr (a few years behind me)

ACE 15 representing it at the Backer

ND football tour

We are ND

me and my summer roommate

time for some ND football

the larger ACE family

ACE RLP 15 - my cohort

fist to five, how was your summer?!? (5, no question)
#4 - Find your Grotto.
There's something unexplainably special about this beautiful spot. It's probably no surprise, then, that it's my favorite spot on campus. So many people pass through, light candles, and pray at any given time: families, athletes, visitors, students, old, and young...Through Mary's intercession, prayers are brought before God, our Father. Incredible...

#5 - Ancora Imparo: Still, I learn.
Michelangelo was a source of inspiration this summer. As one of our professors told his story, he showed how even at the age of 87, after having accomplished so many astounding pieces of art, Michelangelo realized he still had much to learn. And we have much to learn from that. Growth mindset - always learning.

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