The past three weeks have been such a blur!
Week 1: This week was basically focused around Orientation for the new students at Bishop Loughlin, and me too! My theater degree definitely came in handy when telling the students about where to go in school, and saying it with confidence. Its not to say that I lied to the students, but more, if I was unsure, it sounded better if I said it with confidence, and then told them who to ask next if I was wrong! . Also during this week, I was introduced to my family, inside my particular house.Our school is set-up like Hogwarts from Harry Potter. We have 8 separate houses that represent 8 important people in the history of the high school or Lasallian world. My particular house is Cordero, named after San Miguel Cordero, the saint whom the San Miguel schools are named after! I have a group of 24 students who I meet with every Wednesday morning for a half-hour, doing different activities that revolve around of theme for the year – building a community of leaders! At the end of the weekend, it was Sept. 11, it was a very different (in a way) feeling being in NYC for the 10th Anniversary. As part of the community, we watched the beautifully done name reading and dedication of the memorial and then went about our day. To think I am living so close to where the attacks happened truly put it into perspective and made me do a little extra reflecting that day.
Week 2: FIRST WEEK OF SCHOOL!! As any student is on their first day of classes, I got the same feeling. I awoke with plenty of time to shower, pick out the shirt and tie I would look spiffy in, and then headed downstairs for morning prayer, breakfast with the roomies, and packing of lunches before having to be out the door by 6:20-25 am. The students and faculty were so warm and inviting that I couldn’t help but love going into work every day and doing the ministry that I do! As if the first week wasn’t exhausting enough, I spent the weekend on retreat with a group of 15 student leaders from our Campus Ministry/Lasallian Youth Group, planning out the different events they wanted to do for the year! Though definitely exhausting, it was a great opportunity to get to know my students, and they got to know me. I felt much more confident going into school the next week, knowing many more students names, and saying “hi” to them in the hallway.
Week 3: As was the anticipation for the first day/week of school, it quickly wore off, and I slipped into waking up with just enough time to shower and get dressed before rushing downstairs in time for prayer, rushing the lunch, and grabbing breakfast for the walk to the train! Its amazing how much can change in just a week! This morning-rush aside, it was yet another successful week at school, building and developing relationships with the students! No matter how tired I may be from the train ride or not enough sleep the night before, I find energy from the group of students who are waiting outside my office every morning. To already have a group of students who are “regulars” is awesome! Lunch time is definitely my favorite time of the day (and its not just because I get to eat my awesome lunch), but like myself in high school, the students come into our office, and eat and gossip all period long! Its amazing how much you can learn about the latest happenings of BLMHS during the short lunch period with a group of Juniors of Seniors.
One particular story that stuck out to me this week, happened after school, when a group of students were working on their homework in our office and the motivation and energy was flowing, I didn’t want to kill it, though I was ready to go home! For these students to not have to bring home homework is the best thing ever! One girl asked me if I liked math, telling her it depended on the subject, and she informed me it was geometry. My response was, “To be honest, I hate it, but I would love to sit down with you, and we can try to work on it together!” Her face lit up, like no one had ever said something like that to her before. So we began to work on the homework, and it was more basic algebra than geometry, and that I was good at. The first few problems I was speaking out most of the steps, and she would just write them down, but she slowly became comfortable with the procedure and wanted to work them out on her own. Following the examples I had written, she began to understand, and I could see her face begin to lighten up! After completing the assignment, and getting all of the answers right (from what I could tell), she informed me she had a quiz the next day, and with that I made her do a few more problems to make sure she really understood it. Getting those equations right as well, she proceeded to give me a huge hug, and tell me she thinks she might actually pass her first math test or quiz since being in high school. I encouraged her she would get more than just the 65% she was expecting, and land among the 90-100% range. To see the excitement in her face was indescribable! I wait in anticipation to see the grade she got on her quiz!!