Monthly Archives: November 2014

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Anthony Carbone: Counting my Blessings

IMG_1393This is the time of year where we all take the time to look back and appreciate all the good things we have in our lives. This year, I am overwhelmed by the number of experiences and people I have in my life to be grateful for, and in this post I’ll highlight a few of those things.

In general, I am grateful for my experience as an LV. I have learned so much and grown so much in such a short time that I have a hard time really believing it. Each day, I learn about what works in the classroom and what doesn’t, and I am able to use my mistakes and challenges as opportunities for growth. I am learning how to be creative and innovative in a way that I never imagined I could. It has felt incredible developing my professional self and learning how to best serve my students. I’m grateful to be able to say that the “real world” is not as scary as I thought it would be!

I am so blessed to have so much support in this adventure, at De La Salle Academy and for myself. There is so much unity and cohesion between the faculty, the Brothers, the students and their families, and that simple communication is what has set the Academy on the road to success. I have received a ton of support on this journey, and I would not have made it this far without it. Phone calls home to family and friends, community dinners lasting for hours, staff meetings that last far too long because we spend half the time sharing stories about our days: these are the things that have made my time in California so wonderful thus far. I truly feel as though I have been welcomed with open arms, and I am so lucky to have so many kind and caring people in my corner.

I am grateful for my students. I learn more from them each day than I could ever hope to teach them. They have shown me what it means to be compassionate and hard-working while keeping a positive attitude and a sense of humor. They’ve also tried to teach me a few dances and how to do my hair, but those did not go over as well. I am so proud of how far they have come in a few short months, and I am extremely excited to see the amazing places they will go. I have all the confidence in them, and I’m blessed to have worked with them.

Finally, I am grateful for the challenges. I worry that this blog post could be misread as me saying, “Look how perfect everything is!” Don’t get me wrong, we face plenty of challenges at the Academy. Some students argue with us and with one another, some call out, some refuse to listen, and some simply don’t know what in the world I am talking about. But I see all of these issues and challenges as a way for me to adapt and grow to better help the school. I have changed a lot of my own strategies because I have seen clearly what does and does not work. These challenges keep me on my toes and help me to avoid getting stale or boring, because that won’t serve anybody.

The long days and tough classes remind me that there is always work to be done and improvements to be made. I am so glad that I have the opportunity to keep working and to keep getting better. These opportunities have allowed me to become a better teacher and a more conscientious person, and I cannot say how much that means. Needless to say, I am blessed.

Anthony Carbone, 14-15, De La Salle Academy, Concord, CA

Anthony Carbone is a 1st year LV serving at De La Salle Academy in Concord, CA. Anthony is a 2014 graduate of La Salle University in Philadelphia, PA.

 

By |November 20th, 2014|Categories: blog, news + events|1 Comment

Gabi Michel: Seeing it Differently

Gabi Michel, 14-15, Brother David Darst Center, Chicago, IL

Gabi Michel, 14-15, Brother David Darst Center, Chicago, IL

One of the hardest transitions I have made within the last couple of months during my postgraduate career was being separated from an intensive seminar-style learning environment and placed into a more professional one. I was apprehensive, but nevertheless excited about the possibilities that lie ahead once I fully committed myself to the LV program.

Before I left for Chicago, I had a mixed bag of reactions from the closet people in my life. My family was in a state of angst, my friends were excited to have a new pen pal, and I had absolutely no idea what to expect except an adventure, one life-altering, challenging adventure. Everyone, including my two lifelong best friends (my sisters), were excited, to some extent, about visiting and exploring the Midwest for the first time ever. But there was one condition: the weather had to be tolerable by “California standards” in order for them to visit.  When the day came for me to go to Chicago, being the nervous, anxious aero-phobic that I was, I was not prepared to see my dad cry while he was dropping me off at 5:30 in the morning before my direct flight to the Midwest.

During my first couple of months in Chicago, feelings of nostalgia and homesickness crept in strongly. Since I’ve arrived, I have recognized more of myself as a person, and I’m gaining a better understanding as to who I am and what I ought to be. Being in an environment with like-minded, social-justice inclined people, I am recognizing what I want to do with my life

Part of my job as a retreat facilitator at the Br. David Darst Center is to challenge high school students, college students, and adults regarding what they know about issues that we, as a society, hardly talk about, such as incarceration, gang violence, food deserts, and homelessness. But simply educating people about these issues is not enough for me. I am grateful that I have been given an opportunity to do what I am doing now because I know that being more than 2,000 miles away from home has proven to be a testimony to not only to myself, but to my family, my parents, who are in every way advocates and public servants to their respective communities. Without them, I wouldn’t be here trying to find my own path, and without them, I wouldn’t have made the commitment to go to a Lasallian high school, to go to a Lasallian college, or to become an LV.

Gabriela Michel is a 1st year LV serving at the Brother David Darst Center and a 2014 graduate of Saint Mary’s College.

By |November 5th, 2014|Categories: blog, news + events|Comments Off on Gabi Michel: Seeing it Differently