14 September 2007

One big mega post

The past couple of days have been a bit busy and tiring. If you will (you don't actually have a choice in the matter), let me post several items in one post:

1. Fr. Tony in Texas is brilliant! This I realized - I may have forgotten it - after talking with him last night. It was Fr. Tony who gave me this sage bit of advice while we were in the seminary: "Don't put all your hands in a chicken." Think about it; it makes sense. (He meant to say, "Don't put all your eggs in one basket.") He's been given a new assignment, one that I don't envy, and could use a prayer or three.

2. I've been battling what is either a cold or possibly a bronchial infection for the past several days and I've cancelled two Masses at the nursing home this week because of it. I seem to have caught whatever it is from one of the soccer players or one of my students. Something's apparently going around.

Last winter I was sick for eight out of ten weeks and I hope this isn't the beginning of a repeat of that. I offer you this advice: don't get old because arthritis weakens your immune system and makes it difficult to ward off even the common cold. Drugs can be helpful, but they also knock you out for a bit (or send you loopy) and don't do a great deal of good without a lot of rest (which I'm not likely to get anytime soon).

3. I'm currently in Springfield where tomorrow I will be teaching a class on the Creed for our Lay Ministry program from 9:00 - 4:00 (or whenever my voice gives out from the cold). This will be my first time doing this and I really don't know what to expect, other than 18 students. My task is simply to teach the Creed at an introductory level. To do so I will be relying on the Catechism and we'll see where we go. I do hope they're a talkative lot; I don't really care to listen to myself for six hours! Your prayers for this will be greatly appreciated.

4. Whenever I assign work for my students it always seems like a good idea, but then when they turn in the work it no longer seems like such a good idea. After grading a bunch of reflection papers and other assignments this morning, I set to grading tests.

I would prefer giving them an essay test each time because I prefer essay tests over objective tests, but I also know that not everybody does well with essays so with my students I take a bit of a middle road. The trouble is they often outwit me. Take, for example, this question: Why was Matthias chosen as an Apostle? The answer I'm looking has something to do with the fact that he was a disciple from the beginning of Jesus' public ministry and saw the Risen Lord. But a student answers this way, "Because Judas killed himself," I can't really mark that wrong. Part of life's little humiliations is being outsmarted by your students :)

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