The halls of St. Mary’s are once again ringing with the sounds of students and teachers. This year I am rolling along with the crowd as opposed to lagging behind. I had my hip replaced this summer and have been impressing everyone with my awesome walking skills. One of my students noted I go a lot faster than I did last year, which isn’t necessarily all that fast. I would like to thank everyone for their kind thoughts and prayers for my recovery.
School began on Aug. 28 and the techno-gremlins were already in full force. For several days when my students tried taking reading tests on the computer, they would go through the preliminaries, but when they hit the “start quiz” button, there was no starting, just that annoying little circle that goes ‘round and ‘round and ‘round … you get the picture. When I returned to my classroom this summer, I found to my surprise that I have a new SmartBoard, although it technically isn’t a SmartBoard, it’s a monitor made by Sharp. It has been a mixed blessing. The ugly projector that used to hang down from the ceiling is gone and the picture is much brighter. However this board is so sensitive that if you breathe heavily against the surface as you write, you suddenly have a myriad of marks.
Last June, Father Boniface, a missionary priest visited our parish. He told about the need for a well in Ulu Village in Kenya. The girls in that village cannot go to school because they spend their days carrying much needed water to their homes. The Knights of Columbus have started a campaign to raise the $20,000 needed to dig the well. Students and staff at St. Mary’s School will be donating to the cause. Our goal is to raise $1,000. If you would like to contribute to this worthy cause, you can send a donation to Knights of Columbus, Council #1796, marking the check “Well Donation.”
On Sept. 11, staff and students observed Patriots’ Day with a prayer service around the flagpole. We prayed for peace and healing for all those affected by that terrible tragedy. I find it so hard to believe that it has been 17 years since the attacks. My students as well as the rest of the students at St. Mary’s weren’t even born.
This year the theme for the Spring Spectacular is a tribute to the armed forces. Throughout the year the students will be learning about the contributions made and still being made by our servicemen and women. The “cherubs” contribution to the musical part of the spectacular will be a program featuring the special songs of each branch of the military and the Star Spangled Banner. We started that one last week. The kids are doing great. It’s just a matter of finding the key in which I can sing it!
A family movie night will be held on Friday, Sept. 14, however by the time you read this it will have already occurred. The evening will begin with a kickball game open to players of all ages. (I have decided not to test my luck with the new hip.) The featured movie will be “The Incredibles.” If last year’s movie night is any kind of an indication, everyone will have a great time.
This coming Wednesday, Sept. 19 is “Talk Like a Pirate” Day. My class of cute, cuddly first and second graders will transform into a ferocious gang of scurvy pirates, causing terror throughout the school. (OK, probably not terror. We might startle a few people as we make our way, seeking the treasure.) The second graders will be decoding a series of clues left by a band of pirates, who oddly enough use second grade math problems for a code. The first graders will be the navigators leading all the scurvy dogs to the treasure. I am pretty sure there are going to be a lot of ordinal numbers and left and right directions. After the treasure is secured the pirates will “sail” back to their homeport to divide the spoils.
This year the office, library and every classroom has a holy water font by the door. Staff and students are welcome to bless themselves as they enter and leave a room. Blessing ourselves with holy water is a reminder of our Baptism and it is really a nice refreshing way to connect with the Lord. However, I looked into my holy water font and it seems that I not only have holy water, but some holy dirt. I guess that’s what you get with 17 little people blessing themselves! Have good rest of the month.