Sunday, May 20, 2012


School visits, the volunteer program and Richard Wagner kept us in motion this past week!

New I-Pads at St. Charles Catholic High School
On Monday, John left at 6:45 AM for the 30+ mile drive upriver to St. Charles Catholic High School in La Place, LA for a Discovery Walk.  It is a small school with leadership that is a real team and a welcoming faculty committed to upping their game.  The quote at the end of this article came from a wonderful English teacher’s classroom—it is hard sometimes to look neutral and not exclaim in delight. 

On Tuesday, Bob left to drive to a conference on volunteering in Camden, NJ—who knew?  On the way he stopped in Elizabeth at our Province Leadership Team’s residence and then visited a potential volunteer and his family.  He went on to the meeting and will be back here on Tuesday of this week, in time for our last hosting of Taize prayer for this Spring.

On Wednesday, John left for another Discovery Walk that entails a 71 mile round trip drive to Pope John Paul II High School in Slidell, LA along the Gulf coast not far from the Mississippi border.  With a new principal and another fine team, it was remarkable that during the last week of class, students were actively engaged, teachers were teaching and one saw purposeful and relevant instruction—no slacking there!  On the way back, John stopped off at Resurrection of Our Lord Parish in New Orleans East where Fr. Michael Joseph Nguyen is pastor and Colleen La Rocca is parish secretary.  Fr. Michael Joseph secured a very large gift for a new van for the volunteer community last August and John filled him in on the volunteers for the coming year.  The van will come in handy!

Wednesday evening, after three days of work at Lantern Light, Charles summoned up the energy to attend a simulcast of a New York Metropolitan Opera broadcast of Wagner’s “Siegfried.”  A brand new production which has been refined by new insights and enhanced by intricate staging, Charles found it entrancing.  He described this at 7 AM on Thursday morning taking John to the airport to fly to Texas. 

John facilitated a faculty workshop at Guadalupe Regional Middle School in Brownsville—on Friday of the next to last week of school, from 1 PM to 4:15 PM! Teachers reflected on the past year and data from visitations and assessments in order to identify with the principal areas for professional development for the coming year.  Despite the date and time the faculty was very engaged.  Amazing the dedication of teachers! After [Despite?] the faculty meeting Brs. Arthur Williams and Tony Quinn took John to dinner at ‘Dirty Al’s at Pelican Station’ in Port Isabel, Texas, across South Bay from South Padre Island.  It is a 30 minute drive generally northeast of Brownsville on US 100, the Texas Tropical Trail.  The company, food and view of the Bay were wonderful.

John arrived home Saturday night at 10:30 PM.  While ‘home alone’ on Saturday, Charles caught the four hour simulcast of Wagner’s “Götterdämmerung,” again from the Met.  A matinee performance, it left time for a bit of rest before having to bring John home from the airport.

During the week, Allison Maraldo celebrated a birthday, Caitlyn De Castro received a Masters Degree in Public Administration from Northeastern [We think we have that right] and Kyle Fischler and Caitlyn met up in DC to attend the wedding of OHH alums Pam and Dan. 

In NOLA, the crape myrtles are blooming; lawns are green, the roses, lantana, plumbago, and jasmines in flower.  It is getting warmer and is humid, evenings are a bit sultry.  We leave you this week with a quote from a teen with a sense of humor, a great turn of phrase and a teacher gifted with appreciation for the same.

The following quote was on a student made poster in a high school classroom. 

“If you were 17 and had to take the test that you just gave, you’d cry too.”

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