Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam

25 April 2008

One more week

I've just finished my second to last week here at "The High". At the risk of sounding cliche, time has just flown by. As is common in novice experiments, now that I feel comfortable at this ministry it's getting time to move on. Thankfully I still have next week.

Matthew the disciplinarian has had to assert himself a bit more as the weather has grown nicer. Student behavior is inversely proportionate to favorable atmospheric conditions. The longer I'm here the more unpleasant I find taking disciplinary action. Teaching is fun; classroom management is exhausting. Unfortunately without firm measures nothing would be accomplished in a high school, such is the cost of adolescent angst.

This weekend my parents are visiting. Tonight we're going to see Hilary Hahn play the Tchaikovsky Violin Concert with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra; it should be excellent.

16 April 2008

The Pope at Catholic University

The Holy Father will be visiting my alma mater tomorrow to deliver an address on Catholic higher education. Hopefully my little brother, who is a freshman at CUA, will get to see him.

15 April 2008

Viva Il Papa!

Unless you've been living under a rock, you know the Pope is now visiting the United States. Let us pray that his visit may enliven the Church in faith and unity.

07 April 2008

An excellent week

Last week was an excellent week in the life of Matt. Now most of my weeks are good: I lead a happy life, I'm pleased to say. But last week was a cut above.

Firstly, classes last week went better than I had hoped. Particularly philosophy class, last week's topic was the ethics of J.S. Mill and Virtue ethics. It was a lot to cover in a ridiculously short amount of time, but I think they got a few of the essentials. What is more encouraging is the number of students who came up to me outside of class to talk philosophy.

The eighth graders took a Latin exam last week which also surpassed my expectations. Many of the kids got over 100%. I think they have successfully conquered the present active in all four conjugations. Now onto the passive voice.

Last Wednesday University of Detroit Mercy hosted a lecture by Dr. Robert Bellah, a prominent sociologist who studies secularization particularly. He lectured on the conditions of belief in the modern West. How does one believe today in a Society that increasingly guards itself against the transcendent. He reflected particularly on Charles Taylor's A Secular Age, which I might add is just superb. It is well worth the 800 page commitment.

Friday early evening I attended a discussion of the 35 General Congregation of the Society of Jesus which ended last month. A general congregation is the highest governing body of the Society. The presenters who had been members of the congregation were all convinced that the work of the spirit had been accomplished. The highlighted particularly our new Father General Nicolas and a reaffirmation of our strong communion with the Pope. I left the meeting reinvigorated in my Jesuit identity and pleased with the direction the Society is heading.

Friday night was the premiere of Battlestar Galactica season four. Cylons, and Raiders, and Starbuck O My. The little dork inside me was delighted.

Saturday I finished my application to Loyola University Chicago where my provincial has mission me for next year. Jesuits missioned to a Jesuit university for First Studies typically don't have any issues getting in but we're still required to go through the application process.

Saturday night I was off to the Detroit Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Leonard Slatkin. The program was Italian themed including Berlioz's Roman Carnival, Mendelssohn's "Italian" Symphony 4, and John Corigliano's Symphony 3, "Circus Maximus". This last work is a new composition and a challenging one. It attempts to parallel the collapse of Roman civilization with what the composer perceives is the collapse of our own. I'm not ready to pass judgment on it yet; I can say it's kept me thinking.

Sunday I took some time to enjoy the nice weather and catch up on some letter writing.

All together an excellent week.


01 April 2008

April Fool's Day

This makes me immensely happy. More at the Shrine of the Holy Whapping.