Monthly Archives: October 2013

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Megan Alexander-Short: Plans for the Future

Megan Alexander-Short, 12-14, De La Salle North Catholic, Portland, OR

Megan Alexander-Short, 12-14, De La Salle North Catholic, Portland, OR

Growing up with my grandfather, many of our conversations were sprinkled with one of his many, many, many sayings. One that has stuck with me is the following:

“Not knowing I cannot say, but having the deepest regard to the truth I hesitate in making any positive assertions.”  -Anthony Thomas Alexander Jr.

After reciting this, he would get a twinkle in his eye and just starting laughing. At the time, I had no idea what he was saying. It took me countless visits during the summer months to master the wording and years to fully understand what my grandpa was saying. This phrase is a complex and confusing way to say something quite simple…“I have no idea the answer to the question you are asking, and I will not be able to give you an answer at this time.” I have only used this a few times in conversations, and it has a similar confusing effect on others that I felt when my grandpa would say it to me.

I have been thinking of this quote from my grandpa quite a lot lately. I am about 20% complete with my second year as an LV. The future is looming in front of me like a carrot hanging from a string. I feel similarly to my last years in high school and college. Many people have asked what my plans are for when I complete my second year as an LV. My response right now is that I am living in the moment, and I am not thinking about it until Christmas.

This past year and a half I have learned and grown so much. I feel as if all my experiences in school have prepared me for what I am doing now. Through my experiences as an LV, I have found my path. I may not know what’s next, but I know that if I continue down this path I have started I will be content and doing what I am called to be doing.

Next time someone asks what my plans are for the future I will say, “Not knowing I cannot say, but having the deepest regard to the truth I hesitate in making any positive assertions.”

 

Megan Alexander-Short, 12-14, De La Salle North Catholic, Portland, OR

By |October 28th, 2013|Categories: blog, news + events|2 Comments

Liana is Ready to Run

liana“While I don’t necessarily enjoy running before and during my workout, I love the feeling of accomplishment when I am finished. Last year, I barely trained for the LVs run and made every excuse in the world why I couldn’t work out: not enough time, more important things to do, I’ll miss the new episode of The Office, I’m not a morning person, I’m not a night person, you name it. This year, I am not letting any of those things get in my way so I signed up to run the 15K because this program means a lot to me. I don’t allow my students to be lazy and slack off so I need to practice what I preach and challenge myself by running for this amazing cause.

Naturally, many people questioned why I would want to join the Lasallian Volunteers because as a recent college grad, the most obvious path is to find a job to make money to pay off the debt I incurred. As cheesy as it sounds, I have never felt more rich in my life not only because of the impact I am making on my students, but also because of the impact they are having on me. De Marillac Academy is a miracle in the heart of the Tenderloin District in San Francisco, California, and I am blessed and humbled on a daily basis to be a part of such a beautiful mission.

LVsRun_Chicago2013-logo-300pxThis program is the perfect step after graduation because I am growing as a professional by using my degree in Education, but I am also fulfilling my longing to serve and grow spiritually. I could not do that without the help of my community in San Francisco, and the larger Lasallian family that I am now a part of. Is everything always perfect? No. But I have over 200 years of teaching experience under my roof and these lovely gentlemen are able to help me through whatever comes my way because they have seen and dealt with it all. I am truly blessed to be an LV.”

Liana Vantrease, LV 12-14

By |October 21st, 2013|Categories: news + events|Comments Off on Liana is Ready to Run

Pat Blythe: Continuation

Pat Blythe, 12-14, La Salle School, Albany, NY

Pat Blythe, 12-14, La Salle School, Albany, NY

It’s been an exciting year in Albany, NY. Some might say that’s the unlikeliest of places for excitement, but believe me on this. Working with our demographic at La Salle, anything is possible.

The beginning of this second service year hardly felt like a beginning at all. I think the word ‘continuation’ might be a better fit because that’s exactly what this term feels like. The apprehensive feelings from 12 months ago are no longer inside. Every activity we run is done with confidence. When we set up and wait for kids, the other staff members can sense us saying, “I’ve got this no problem.”

I believe this experience is all about a transition from unsettling inhibition to enthusiastic determination. This is where the healing takes place. In order to help others, I had to first help myself. Being able to stand firm and lead  the lives of our boys in a positive direction is something that indeed takes time. Now that I’ve paid my dues, I feel as though this tremendous responsibility of helping these young men that has been placed on me is all in a day’s work.

Change is inevitable; everyone knows this. The people that dole out that advice sometimes neglect to tell you that change can be difficult, almost life threatening. But believe me, it’s the ones who realize that this change will better them that benefit the most. You can only change if you are willing to accept the help of others. And I believe that the volunteers, Brothers, and the kids I have served have helped me achieve that. Now I am fully confident that I can help others change; I just hope they let me!

Pat Blythe, 12-14, La Salle School, Albany, NY

By |October 21st, 2013|Categories: blog, news + events|1 Comment

Anna Holt: Beginning Chapters in My LV Life

Anna Holt, 13-14, De La Salle Blessed Sacrament, Memphis, TN

Anna Holt, 13-14, De La Salle Blessed Sacrament, Memphis, TN

I have come to find out that one thing October is known for is National Book Month. I see it quite fitting as I am serving as a librarian at De La Salle Elementary Blessed Sacrament. Serving as the librarian is one of my many jobs I carry out here in Memphis, TN as a Lasallian Volunteer. In addition to the task of managing the Upper Library, I am the K-8 grade art teacher, 3rd and 4th grade computer teacher, and an after school care assistant.

One of the most challenging parts of being a librarian has been “finding a good book” for the students. Many of the students pick a book based on its cover or its title. Because it is important for the students to enjoy reading, I often take time with them to find a book both at their reading level and to their interest. As I slowly learn what books this 3rd – 8th grade library does have, I am able to make better suggestions for the students. Unfortunately, there are a few students who waste their 5-7 minutes in the library and must leave empty-handed. On the other hand, I am impressed by the vivacious readers here. There are a few students who are certainly bookworms. I hope to some day catch up to the speed of reading that those few students have. I aspire to “find a good book” for myself.

The realm of teaching has been a learning opportunity for me. I know art terms, art projects, and historical figures in art, but this knowledge did not fully prepare me to manage and instruct nine different grades about the joy that I experience as an artist. One of my hopes for this year of service is to spark some inspiration for the love of art in the minds and hands of these students. I am truly blessed to have many resource books being offered to me to help me begin to ignite the fire. I pray that the few projects we have completed thus far have become a good foundation for the rest of the year.

I am finding faith is one of the more important aspects among the three Lasallian Volunteer core values of faith, service, and community. On the first day of school I was overflowing with joy to learn that the teachers share in prayer in a circle in front of the students before every single day. I know that these prayers help to center and focus me for the day. I am always refreshed after community prayer has been said too. The beauty of reflection during prayer is great. There are many flustering days in which I am simply thankful to have a community who prays together.

While my Lasallian Volunteer story has just begun, I look forward with hope to the next months of teaching, inspiring, and reading. May this chapter of my life continue to be one of the exciting ones!

 

St. John Baptist de La Salle, Pray for Us!

Live Jesus in Our Hearts, Forever!

Anna Holt, 13-14, De La Salle Elementary Blessed Sacrament in Memphis, TN.

By |October 14th, 2013|Categories: blog, news + events|Comments Off on Anna Holt: Beginning Chapters in My LV Life

Kathleen O’Malley: What are you Celebrating Today?

Kathleen O'Malley, 13-14, La Salle High School, Yakima, WA

Kathleen O’Malley, 13-14, La Salle High School, Yakima, WA

Today I am celebrating making it through my first month of teaching!

Did you know there is something to celebrate every day? Be it big or small, a holiday or a good day at school, there is something that you should be grateful for every day. A few times a week I ask my class, “What are you Celebrating Today?” I want them to find something in their life that they are thankful for. I want them to think outside the box, celebrate something that is specific or personal to them. The rules to celebrating are, one: it must be positive, two: it can be about you or someone else, and three: you must show respect for everyone celebrating. This idea of celebrating has been a great way to build a community in my classroom.

celebrateeverything

When I celebrate with the freshman they find it hard to come up with something to celebrate. They do not understand why you would want to look at the little things, they only see the big picture, such as an approaching holiday. But after much coaxing they have celebrated things such as making it through football practice without being killed and successfully opening their locker on the first try! By doing this with this class I have opened up another line of communication – a line that enables us to talk about something that isn’t math or class related. Through celebrating they are able to get to know their classmates, the people they will share the next four years with.

I also teach seniors, a class of six girls, they are basically the complete opposite of freshman. They know each other and are willing to talk about anything and everything. After introducing the concept of “celebrating” they were hesitant at first. They didn’t believe that the small things they did were worth talking about or even celebrating. After their first celebration they caught onto the idea. Now they come into class saying, “I have something to celebrate!” and usually will not allow me to start the class until they have celebrated. They celebrate everything from a remembering to pack lunch for that day to getting into college. I think the best part of doing this now is that now they encourage each other to think of something worth celebrating.

So now I leave you with this question: What are you celebrating today?

Kathleen O’Malley, 13-14, La Salle High School, Yakima, WA

By |October 7th, 2013|Categories: blog, news + events|Comments Off on Kathleen O’Malley: What are you Celebrating Today?