Desolation – Consolation

Working at a school can be a bit like riding a roller coaster. You have good days and bad days, good periods and bad periods, and amazing interactions mixed with frustrating ones. At Cristo Rey, as part of a weekly faculty meeting, staff members participate in a bit of a “highs and lows” activity called Isolation-Consolation. During this time, we talk about the desolations (low points) and consolations (high points) of the week.

So, in an effort to tell you more about what I’ve been doing these past few weeks, I thought I would talk about both the good and the bad that I’ve experienced.

Consolation: I went home for Thanksgiving where I got to see my family and some extended family, hosted Mrs. O’s 5th Annual Meatball Extravaganza with some close friends, and went to my 5 year (4.5 year, really) high school reunion. Overall, it was a great extended weekend full of good friends, good food, and my wonderful family. I’m so lucky to have the opportunity to go home for holidays to people who care for me and love me.

Desolation: We painted a few rooms in the house last week. While the painting itself wasn’t so bad, it just points to the larger issue: the house. It continues to be a pain in our collective necks with multiple issues (the ugly walls being one of them).

Consolation: I went on retreat with half of the Sophomore class in November and became a little closer with some of my students.

Consolation: When we went to Philly this past weekend for the JVC Christmas Party (Phillies Navidad), Amanda stayed home and surprised us by decorating the house with things people from work had given her. It was a great way to get into the Christmas spirit!

Desolation: Some of the students at Cristo Rey are struggling with their work in the Second Quarter. Teachers know that students have a lot on their plates every day, but they are all sharp kids who have the ability do well and exceed expectations. Hopefully, they’ll pick it up!

Consolation: Food. We continue to eat well at Arrupe House, but in the past month, we’ve also been treated to some other meals as well. Due to saved money on our food stipends, we treated ourselves to a community Christmas dinner at Rocket to Venus; Kelly and I went to the Cristo Rey Holiday Party; Angela, a Villanova graduate I had met at a Villanova Alumni event, made the house a HUGE lasagna dish; and we went to the Baltimore Jesuit residence for a Christmas Dinner, where we celebrated an Advent Mass, exchanged gifts, and decorated their Christmas tree. It’s been a great month of food, but also a great time to share memories and thanks, too!

Desolation: I missed the last few weeks of Ultimate Frisbee with the Former JV’s.

Consolation: I’m playing broomball with the FJV’s starting in January.

Consolation: I joined a few other Villanova grads and made the trip up to Washington to see Villanova beat Maryland in basketball.

Desolation: I stayed home sick from school on Tuesday. I hated missing class and school in the past, and that hasn’t changed!

Consolation: I’m headed home for the holidays on Friday!


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