Today was a day of staff meetings and student interventions, and financial aid problems and phone calls from Freshmen Parents. A couple kept telling me "we're not a helicopter parents". I spoke with one kid about finding a place to live, another one blushed when I told him how fortunate he was to have a girl friend who cared for him. One of my daughters ran up to me out of the blue gave me a hug and told me how happy she was. The Renew Core team all showed up for training and really demonstrated that they care about helping their peers grow in their faith. The Social Justice introductions meeting was packed 65 students (WOW) Even with my afternoon nap I was tired but around 8:00 PM I decided to see how things were going with my kids in Spellman.
When I drove up (yes I drove over instead of walking) I came upon a group of boys who were talking about girls, What else? They were a little intimidated by me but I broke down the barriers by bantering with them and pushing them around. They are all from Miami and somehow after only two days they found each other. They were happy and playful and just seemed comfortable.
When I went in Spellman I rode the elevator to the top floor and walked my way down. The girls were studying and talking and hanging up pictures. The boys were running around their floor in packs pushing each other. There wasn't a whole lot of studying going on the second and forth floors. When I arrived on the 3rd floor one of my girls ran out of her room and yelled holy crap.... I told her I had been called worse and she blushed. On the second floor I got invited into a quad. they were sitting there eating their wings and chillin as they say. They were happy to recount their day to me and their adventures at the local supermarket. As I left they yelled out "Fr. Bob our door is always open to you."
Its the same every year. The faces change but the behaviorsand the excitement and the struggles and the joys stay the same.
One kid, he called himself a Prep Boy (I'm assuming St. Joe's Prep) was sitting at a table reading Plato's Republic. When I entered the room he looked up.. "I'm so happy to see that you are doing your work Pal", I said. He said in reply I've got to do well, I've got to get this in my head" I'm sure he will, wanting to do well is over half the battle.
As I walked home Adam Gagliardi called.... a blast from the past so to speak... He's engaged and I saw him and his beautiful fiancee in the parking lot last week. He told me that he and his wife to be would like me to witness their wedding. Another gift on a long day to be sure.
What get's better then this? Just to be a part of their lives, just to enjoy their confidence is a privilege indeed.
If anyone knows how the bulletin board just happened to fall off the wall on Spellman 4 let me know and I will bring my tool box over and put it back up with them.