No more pencils, no more books, no more teachers’ dirty looks

A few hours ago, I submitted my final assignment paper for my last course at Franciscan University. For the first time in 25 years, I will have no more assignments to do. Although I still have a Comprehensive Exam to take in a little more than eight weeks, I am done with the college coursework I first embarked on in September of 1993. Excepting breaks of close to two years after completion of both my Associates and Bachelors degrees, I have more or less constantly been “in school” since enrolling in Mass Bay Community College in 1993. At any rate, I have...

Taking Stock

I went out to fetch some Chinese take-out this evening, and found myself driving past Saint Patrick’s just a few minutes before classes were to start for the beginning of the new CCD year. I sped up just a little. This is the first year in almost a decade that I will not be teaching a class of teenagers. It is a strange feeling, and I already miss the camaraderie of the classroom. I’ve really loved my charges over the years, and they’ve been a great source of joy and satisfaction for me. There’s no good reason to expound upon why I wouldn’t go back this ...

Some Concluding, Year-End Musings on 2012

Logos: Logos Bible Research scored huge in my estimation this year. I had struggled to be productive with earlier versions of their software, but version 4, released just about 3 years ago, represented a dramatic improvement in usability and performance, and I started drifting toward it then – especially since they were also beginning to release quality Catholic resources (e.g. works by Aquinas). Then, this Spring, they put together a series of terrific Catholic base packages, all of which included an outstanding edition of the Catechism of the Catholic ...

On the Satisfaction of Devotion

A friendly hand fell lightly upon my shoulder one January morning several years ago, as I was spending a few extra minutes before the tabernacle, after finishing Morning Prayer. I was running behind schedule that day, but since at least the beginning of the new school year, my old friend had apparently also been coming to the church quite a bit later than she used to, because it seemed to have been the better part of a year since we’d seen each other. I’d wondered about her now and again over the previous few months – wondering if her h...

Chuck Colson: 1931-2012

We lost a good man today. Read a few parting words from his co-workers on his recent project, The Manhattan Declaration, here – and sign the declaration if you haven’t yet, and if you care about marriage and human civilization (pardon the redundancy). Dostoyevsky said “The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.” I would add that you can judge the degree of civilization in a man’s soul by observing how he treats prisoners. With all that Colson did for his God and for his neighbors over the...

Good Riddance, 2011

This year sucked. It began with my little sister’s funeral, and ended with a malaise lingering on from my mother’s funeral. For my sister, Mary, death came quickly, and then it came slowly. She was very busy living a vibrant life, when she was suddenly smitten with a terminal cancer. Then she spent a year and a half dying. She tried to keep up the appearances of optimism, but everyone around her knew how the dance was going to end; we just didn’t know quite when. When it came, death came slowly, bleeding her life away as her ministeri...

Some Kind of Start

I’ve been in an intellectual vapor lock since my mom passed away, on October 3rd. I almost called it an intellectual constipation, but, regardless of how apropos it may be, I didn’t think that would reflect very well on my typical output. Nonetheless, it’s been very difficult for me to get anything done. No surprise, I suppose, that I’d become depressed in my grief. But even when I’m feeling relatively well, I’m having a hard time pulling the trigger on anything. I’m barely keeping my head above water staying prepared for teaching an 8th-grade CCD class ...

Who has time to listen?

Rummaging through some old journals this week while taking a measure of introspection, I came across the following in an entry from March 29th, 1990. I’ve cleaned it up a bit for publication, but it remains essentially the thought of my 29 year-old self. Reading old journals is a fascinating exercise in self-awareness, but I’m throwing them out, anyway… Who has time to listen? Running around in hectic disarray, death edges closer to each of us by the minute, yet who has time to stop to listen? What would we hear if we did? Common wisdom has it that we le...

Peeking Into the Past

Having reached the end of my second Franciscan University course a couple weeks ago following a mad rush of activity, I’ve found myself wandering a bit aimlessly, contemplating my next move. Over the weekend, I ended up rummaging through a series of old journal entries from the mid-90’s, and came across a handful of comments I’d like to save from the dustbin: I was able to drive more sanely today. I have many such improvements in mind. 3/5/96 It’s important to make your life worth living; it’s important to live for something worth dying for. ...

EPT (Eastern Pretend Time)

So begins what is perhaps the toughest week of the year for me. The annual screwing up of the clocks began yesterday, and if history is any teacher, it will take me a week or so to regain my equilibrium. Until then, I pay the price. And I’m not the only one: my early-morning-bird daughter Rebecca did not get out of bed until 9:00 (pretend time) this morning, having become obviously discombobulated over the weekend (and not being able to get to sleep until after 10:00 PM last night). In either a stroke of good luck or of insightful planning, her school ha...

Tempus Fugit

MaybeToday.org turned two years old last Monday (March 1st). The occasion passed with little notice. Considering how much I had planned to write and post last month, and how much I actually produced (oops), I suppose I’m not surprised. I spent the evening out with my wife, celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary. Having been married on Feb 29th, we usually get our choice of dates on which to celebrate the remembrance, but we very rarely wait until the 1st. I guess I launched the site the day after our anniversary in 2008 – I don’t recall being cognizant...

More Hope, Less Stress: Better Living

Today was Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement. I’ve been fittingly pensive and reflective lately, almost to the point of feeling haunted. This is a time of year that used to fill me with energy, but these days seems more likely to leave me thinking about lost opportunities. I became starkly aware last night, while driving downtown to teach my CCD class, of how short a fuse I was on, and how much stress I was feeling. That’s not a good thing for me, and I quickly had to coax myself back off the ledge. Thinking about how to go about lowering my stress ...