I think my advanced years are beginning to catch up with me. For some reason, the year 2020 sounds so futuristic, yet here it is.
I remember when the year 2000 conjured up images of flying cars and colonies on distant planets. Of course, this is written by one born not only in the last century, but in the last millennium.
Staff and students enjoyed a nice long Christmas break this year. The last day of school before break was Friday, Dec. 20, and school didn’t resume until Monday, Jan. 6. That was 16 blissful days of vacation.
I did have a moment of panic several days before we were due back at school. I was lying in bed, in that drowsy right-before-you-drift-off state, when suddenly I realized I could not remember the name of one single first-grader. (Keep in mind, there are only five of them this year.) After a few minutes of concentration, I was able to name all five. I’d like to attribute that little incident to my drowsy state, but I have to wonder if the cosmos isn’t trying to tell me it’s time to retire!
Because of the extended break, January itself seems a little short this year. However, though short, it does not lack in events. On Tuesday, Jan. 14, our pastor, Fr. White visited each classroom to give the students an opportunity to ask him questions. He was open to all kinds of questions. One of my students asked him if it was scary being a priest. Frankly I would find visiting all the classes, from kindergarten to eighth grade, and answering their questions a little daunting. Father shared that he had been a teacher himself before entering the priesthood. My little techno-kids wanted to know if he had had a SmartBoard. He told them all he had was a chalkboard and chalk, and confessed he had no idea of how to work our board. Sometimes I’m a little at sea myself when confronting technology.
The school geography bee was held Jan. 15. Students from grades four through eight participated in the contest. Each class had two representatives. The top three winners were Lydia Beisner, Lexie Shoop and Alex Hadden. Lydia will represent our school at the state level. Participants at the state level compete by taking an online test later this year. We wish Lydia the best of luck.
Bishop Binzer will be at St. Mary’s Jan. 17 to celebrate Mass with us. You may remember last year around this time I wrote about Bishop Binzer coming to celebrate Mass with the school. You also might remember how nervous I was since my students were in charge of planning the Liturgy, as well as having special roles at Mass. Well, I am happy to say that I am much calmer this time. I found the bishop to be a very kind man who was wonderful with the children. Really, I had done all that worrying for nothing. Oh, there might be one more minor contributing factor affecting my state of mind… this year the seventh graders are responsible for the Mass.
The fifth- through eighth-graders are busily preparing for the science fair. Their projects will be judged and on display Jan. 24.
Catholic Schools Week begins Jan. 26 and runs through Jan. 31. The opening of Catholic Schools Week will be celebrated at all the weekend Masses. Everyone is invited to visit the school after Mass and join us for refreshments. We have many fun activities planned for the week. Many are perennial favorites like Buddy Bingo and stomping on bubble wrap. (Just an aside, you wouldn’t believe how much the students enjoy popping the bubble wrap, even the big kids.) Parents and grandparents will be invited to eat lunch with the students on Tuesday and Wednesday. One of my favorite activities is on Wednesday, when we join with schools all over the archdiocese and ring the church bells. At St. Mary’s we not only ring the church bells, but the students and staff join in with jingle bells, handbells, and assorted rhythm instruments. Talk about a joyful noise unto the Lord! This year we have a new event, Idiom Day. Staff and students are invited to dress up as their favorite idioms, such as raining cats and dogs or being all ears. It will be a lot of fun trying to guess everyone’s idiom.
As you can see, 2020 at St. Mary’s is off to a rousing start. Here’s hoping that your 2020 will be the best ever.