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

Friday, September 30, 2016

Mistake Not Worth Making Twice

Pretty busy after school today (though, I have found a surprising few minutes to post), so I thought it would be in my best interest to fix my hair and wear a little make-up before going to school this morning, as I will be on my way (after physical therapy) to a gala for Big Shoulders later this evening.

Let's just say that was a mistake.

Considering I usually wear little or no make-up, the girls decided this was a big deal. These are a few comments I received.

Student A: "Miss F, you look nice today!"
Me (in my head): What do I look like every other day?

Student B: "Miss F, my aunt has one of those bracelets. She says they're really old."
Me (in my head yet again): Gee, thanks.

Student C: "Miss F, I like your purple eyeliner."
Me (in my head): Not sure what you're looking at, but it's black.

Student D: "Miss F, are you engaged?"
Me (in my head): Um, not sure how you jumped straight to that...

The boys were great - no comments, no side conversations, nothing different from normal. (Boys are easier.)

Let's just say I'll think twice before ever doing that again.

Ok, well, it's off to PT and then a quick turn-around at home before off to the gala. Let's get this weekend started!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

No pain no gain

No pain no gain.

That thought just kept running through my mind as I started physical therapy tonight. The deep tissue massage on my right leg - holy cow, ouch! But the PT said it usually gets results, so I bit my lip and resisted the urge to ask her to stop (or the urge to scream).

No pain no gain.

I can't just want something and not be ready to work for it, especially when it comes to healing. I need to put in the work on the exercises she gave me. And I have to show up to my sessions. I have faith that hard work will pay off. She (and my doctor) seemed hopeful that I could start running again soon and even start training for a marathon.

So, my goals are in front of me, and I'm going to work for them. Let's do this.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Lights Up...

Lights up on Washington Heights, up at the break of day 
I wake up and I got this little punk I gotta chase away 
Pop the grate at the crack of dawn, sing 
While I wipe down the awning 
Hey y’all, good morning

Before there was "Hamilton" (the musical, not the person himself), there was "In the Heights." With many overlapping stories of people living in the barrio in New York, the story, at its core, is about love, facing discrimination and inequality, and "paciencia y fe" (in the words of Abuela Claudia).

Confession: I've been listening to the music (LOVE the intentional use of Spanish sprinkled here and there as well as the cultural feel in the score - such high energy!) for over a couple of months now, and it makes SO much more sense when you see the show in person.

The main character, Usnavi (you've probably never heard his name - his parents named him after something they read on a ship...think about it...), immigrated from the Dominican Republic and has been living with the "grandma of the barrio," Abuela Claudia. There are the gossiping women who run the hair salon, the family owners of a car business (and their daughter, Nina, who dropped out of college at Stanford because she was unable to maintain the jobs to pay for books), the piraguero (frozen ice seller), and more. Over the course of the play, the characters bring you into their world and all of a sudden, you're a part of the narrative. Characters with whom you have no personal connection with at the start of the play are the very ones you are crying and laughing beside by the end. It's absolute magic.

The show exceeded my expectations and left me in awe, both of the show's content and of its performers in Chicago. If it ever makes its way to your city, "damn, (you) gotta get on that."

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Love your WHY

In between the football touchdowns that Notre Dame has been trading with Duke, I've been catching up on reading assignments for grad school. After tough days of teaching where kiddos are bouncing off the walls or on days when things actually are executed as planned (and on every day in between), it's easy to get demoralized.

Therefore, it's nice to take the opportunity from time to time to remember what our role as educators in a Catholic school is really all about. One of the articles I read really struck me in this way. Here's one short quote (from the very short article):

"Take your passion, gifts and talents to inspire and to evangelize the next generation. Catholic school educators have a calling toward grace through their work with children. Live like the saints, emulate the lives of those that have gone before and be ready for not only your future, but like Archbishop Oscar Romero prayed, the future not our own. The future is our schools, our children, and our faith. Pray for it. Live it. Enjoy what you do every day. Trust in your knowledge and that you do know how to teach. Above all else, love why you do it. The grace of God's work is truly amazing.

(I added emphasis with the parts in bold.)

I don't believe I am allowed to post the article, but here's the information in case you want to look it up: "Love Your Why" / Beckley, Gary / Publication Title: Momentum / Volume 44 / Issue 1

We are in the "business" of Catholic education. We are building Saints.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Cloudy with a Chance of Smiles and Football

Notre Dame football - it's more than the game itself (win v. lose). It's about the people you plan to visit/catch up with, happily run into, make new friends with, or with whom you travel...

one of my Remick classmates - we parked at her parents' house by campus!

Found my SJV pastor at the Holy Cross tailgate

getting a break from the rain...

our seats...in the senior section...?

mmm...only the best pretzels

view from our seats - we made some new usher friends (because our seats were apparently a little messed up)

lucked out with sitting/standing by the top of the section - something to lean on!

token picture with the field

lovely leprechaun from the ND band

and representing the band Chicago

Heath frozen custard at Ritters

and happy twins with their ice cream

perfect weather for a perfect day

So grateful for the beautiful day and wonderful people. Not sure where I'd be without ACE - definitely not in South Bend for Irish football games.

Cheer, cheer for old Notre Dame...

Happy to call this place home...

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Weekend Fun

One long weekend after two (long) weeks at the start of school = darn good timing

As I have not been running recently (but hopefully getting an update and help for how to get back into that later today!), I have had some extra time on Saturday mornings - walking to and from the gym, stopping for coffee, (literally) stopping to smell the flowers...

A dear friend was in town for Labor Day weekend, so we did the whole tourist thing - after enjoying some delectable empanadas, we headed down to the Field Museum to see the Terracotta Warriors. It was my first time at that museum, and the sheer size of it is pretty impressive.

(The warriors weren't half bad either.)

Later that evening, we continued our excursion to a cocktail bar in Lincoln Square - I decided bourbon wasn't my favorite option, so I chose a lighter, fruitier drink instead. Since they didn't have food, we had to pick another dining option - we went to the cider bar just down the street. I had recently been there for drinks but not food, so it was good to try that aspect of the restaurant (even though it was a little on the expensive side).

After Mass on Sunday we got ice cream. (It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that much about us - it's a necessity.)

And we spent the afternoon enjoying everyone's company, eating, drinking, and singing along to the Hamilton soundtrack. Marisa and I impressed our friends with our ability to spout off most of the lyrics. Fun times.

I was so exhausted from the day that I didn't even turn on the ND game when I got home - I hear we need to work on our defense, but double overtime sounded exciting!

And would you look at that - no pictures from Monday. That's because I was literally in my apartment from when I got back after biking at the gym till now (when I am about to head off to school). I kid you not. Somehow I got piled under my grad school and teaching stuff, doing a standardized assessment analysis, reading, and fixing up some assessments of my own. But I can't complain, especially since I literally did no work the two days prior.

Now it's back to reality. The girls have their first volleyball game of the season tonight, so let's go dolphins!