A cool little interview for you πŸ˜Š

Hi all! Someone shared this interview with me, and I immediately thought of you guys. It’s an interview with Matt Maher about how he played for the Pope in Rio at World Youth Day last year. The song he’s talking about is “Lord, I Need You,” and I know that’s a favorite for some of y’all (and for me).

Plus here is the song by itself (so you can hear the whole thing!):

Love you guys! One more little happy for you because this one just makes me smile–listen to it before testing tomorrow.


😊 Good luck on the PSAT tomorrow. You’re going to rock it!



2016-17 Week 3 β€” August 29

Happy Sunday, all!

If you didn’t see my post yesterday about those prayers for people fighting cancer, check it out. It turns out that the Holy Spirit was hard at work yesterday. I found out that a good friend has just been diagnosed with breast cancer–we have to find a cure for this disease, y’all. In the meantime, let’s pray.

This week I want to encourage all of you to keep reading. I’m quite excited about how the independent reading is going–let’s keep it up. Several of you have already finished one book (or more!) and are moving on to another. That’s fabulous! For those of you in American Lit II, don’t forget that you should still be reading Impossible Knife of Memory. You should be up to page 260 by this Friday. Keep reading!

Let’s take a look at this week:

English 11–American Lit II for Week of August 29

  • Monday, August 29
    • In class essay
  • Tuesday, August 30
    • Lit Circle videos based on Dialogue booklet questions
    • ReadTheory baseline
    • Begin discussing Memoirs
  • Wednesday, August 31
    • Ezra Pound poem
    • Memoir writing
  • Thursday, September 1
    • Discuss Imagists, Ezra Pound, and William Carlos Williams
  • Friday, September 2
    • your Article of the Week is due
    • work through Dialogue with a Text questions for 2nd 2/3s of Impossible Knife of Memory
    • Pep Rally!
    • Game Day! Make sure that you come out and support our Football team and our Band and Color Guard as we battle against St. James. Let’s rock their house and shut them out!

AP Language & Composition for Week of August 29

  • Monday, August 29
    • In class essay
  • Tuesday, August 30
    • ReadTheory baseline
    • Ethos, Pathos, and Logos discussion pgs. 7-10 Language of Composition book
  • Wednesday, August 31
    • Students turn in their top 3 Lit Circle choices
    • Logos p. 11-12 in Lang. of Comp. book
  • Thursday, September 1
    • Pathos p. 13-16
    • Homework–find an example of an appeal (ethos, logos, pathos) in an ad (video or text) and bring it in for Friday
  • Friday, September 2
    • your Article of the Week is due
    • Discuss homework
    • Pep Rally!
    • Game Day! Make sure that you come out and support our Football team and our Band and Color Guard as we battle against St. James. Let’s rock their house and shut them out!

It’s going to be a great week!!

Special prayers for those fighting cancer

Hello friends. As we have prayed this week in my classroom, I’ve heard a lot of people mentioning intentions for those fighting cancer. I thought it might be helpful to give you a few specific prayers for this intention.

For my non-Catholic students and families, when Catholics say prayers asking for the Saints intercessions, we are not asking the saints to work the miracles themselves. The saints in heaven have been shown to be dear and special to God, so when we ask them to intercede for us, it’s like asking them to join their prayers with ours–to put in a good word with God for us. When the need is great, Β I like to have as many prayers as possible storming Heaven’s Gates. 😊

The patron saint for those finding cancer is St. Peregrine. There are some prayers for healing and also some prayers for peace during the struggle. Also, there is a specific Saint for those battling breast cancer – St. Agatha. Here are those prayers:

A Prayer to St. Peregrine for One Suffering from Cancer

Dear St. Peregrine, I need your help. I feel so uncertain of my life right now.
This serious illness makes me long for a sign of God’s love.
Help me to imitate your enduring faith when you faced the ugliness of cancer and surgery.
Allow me to trust the Lord the way you did in this moment of distress.

I want to be cured, but right now I ask God for the strength to bear the cross in my life.
I seek the power to proclaim God’s presence in my life despite the hardship,
anguish and fear I now experience.

O Glorious St. Peregrine, be an inspiration to me and petitioner of those needed
graces from our loving Father. Amen.

O glorious St Agatha, who remained faithful to Our Lord even unto death, intercede for me as thou dost rejoice in the reward of thy virtues. Cast a glance of pity on (me /mention the person afflicted with cancer or other serious breast ailment) and grant my petition, if such be the will of God. Make my/her troubles into thine own. Plead for the grace yearned for ardently, and for a blessing that may strengthen me/her during life, so to assist me/her to lead a faithful life, so that, one day, I/she may join you in eternity to behold the Source of Eternal Joy.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be


Know that all of your prayer intentions are included Β and my prayers each day, as well as general prayers and I think now. I hope this is helpful to anyone who is struggling. Have a great weekend!

Words to Remember as you Prepare for Finals

As you prepare for Finals week, please remember that you are not the results of these tests or even the results of your performance in mine or any other class this year.

It is my fervent hope that you approach Finals Week feeling nervous but prepared to demonstrate what you’ve learned this year and that, when those exams start next week, you’ll take a deep breath and do just that. Some of you have worked hard this year, and I hope that you’re able to demonstrate what you’ve learned next week. Some of you have made other choices this year, and I hope that you’re seeing the error of those choices and resolving to make changes moving forward.

Either way–good grades or bad grades, flying through the exam or sweating through every question–you are more than the final number that goes into PowerSchool. I’ve seen you all grow and mature and learn and change. I’ve laughed with you and cried with you–luckily more laughing than crying. I’ve been proud of you, I’ve been frustrated by you, I’ve been scared for you, and I’ve prayed for you–oh, how I’ve prayed.

Regardless of what the final number says about you and regardless of whether you see the full truth of this statement at this moment, you are a beautiful child of God and you were beautifully and wonderfully made. You will do great things some day–some in big huge public ways and some in quiet understated private ways. You all have the capacity, the capability, the opportunity to do wonderful things, and I’m so proud of you and so excited to be with you for another year of adventures in Room 12.

I love you, Sophomore class. Thank you for a wonderful year. ❀️

Feeling Overwhelmed?

I’ll be back later this evening with my usual weekly update, but I wanted to share this first.

As we move closer to Finals, it seems that things are getting busier and deadlines are coming up. It will be easier than ever to get overwhelmed and then paralyzed. Watch this quick video from Fr. Mike Schmitz and Ascension Presents–you might find it helpful in times of stress.

I love y’all. Tell your moms that you love them and give them a hug. They love you more than you can imagine. ❀️


Seating and a Prayer

It’s been rattling around my brain that I might like to experiment with some flexible seating next year to see how that would work. If anyone has seating that is looking for a new home, would you let me know? I know some teenagers who might enjoy a comfy spot during their school day. 😊😊

Oh! A friend shared this image with me the other day, and I wanted to share with you guys, too, as we move closer to Finals.


It’s Wednesday! We’re halfway through the week! 😊

Something to Chew On

It’s late. I should be asleep already since 5am comes early, but my brain is working through many of the conversations I’ve heard and had this week (because my brain is like that πŸ˜‰). It’s funny that those conversations were already in my thoughts because when I also ran into the blog post that I’m about to share with you, I knew right off that the Holy Spirit had been busy in my life (yet again). He’s always busy, though–we just don’t always recognize His work.

So–I’ve got something for you to read and chew on–to think about–for a little bit. There’s no judgement in this; don’t assume that I have any one person or couple in mind when I share this–don’t assume I’m suggesting anything at all other than what the article states.

Your value is precious and beyond measure. You were beautifully and wonderfully made, and God has great plans for you. I know that, in my own life, I sometimes get impatient (me, right? When am *I* impatient? Ha! ALL the time, my friends, all the time.). Sometimes I want to know RIGHT now what’s coming up and what next thing God has in store for me. That’s not how God works, though, as Fr. Mike Schmitz said the the video clip that you guys saw today to start the Colors session. Sometimes we have to wait or move forward until God reveals His plan.

While you wait, take 2 min and read this little blog post. Maybe it applies to you. Like the author writes, many–the majority, probably–of the conversations I hear or I have have to do with how you value yourselves. And here’s the thing–most of you are low-balling it…by a long shot. That’s fairly typical, though, and a symptom of being human. What if it wasn’t, though? What if we took God at His word? What if we trusted and believed and were patient? What if, indeed?

In the meantime, give this post a read and see what you think. 😊 I love y’all, and now I’m going to (try to πŸ˜‰) sleep. See you in a few hours!

PS–I told you that I’d post the info for Fr. Mike Schmitz. Here you go:

Fr. Mike Schmitz Bulldog Catholic Blog

Fr. Mike Schmitz/Ascension Presents YouTube channel

Check out his links. His videos are usually short and easy to connect to and I always come away with something to think about. 😊

Harnessing Stress and Making It Work for You

Good morning! I know that many of you are on the way to take the ACT. I’m praying that you are able to relax and show what you know. Good luck!

An article came across my newsfeed this morning and I thought that it was perfect for today and for this time of the year. The main focus of the article centers around the idea that you can harness stress and make it work for you to help you grow. Stress is unavoidable, so it’s important to learn how to manage it. Rather than letting it take over and paralyze you, this article gives ideas about how to use your stress reactions to grow and learn and challenge yourself.

One of the things that the article suggests is that students who practice acts of kindness and compassion are better able to handle and manage the stress in their lives. I love that!

This is my favorite quote, though: “When we are anxious, stop interpreting it as a sign that we are inadequate and start seeing it as a way that we can rise to the challenge.” I love that! Stress is inevitable in our lives–ask your parents–but it doesn’t have to paralyze or weaken us. We can use it to move forward and reach new goals.

You can read the full article here:

How Harnessing the Positive Side of Stress Can Change Student Mindsets

Before I let you go, I want to ask you all to be in prayer for McKenzie Farricker, for her family, and for the ACA community. I know that they are our rivals on the field and court, but they are also our brothers and sisters in Christ, and we lift them up in this time of tragedy.  ❀️

Being a Seeker

I’ll be back with my usual Sunday Weekly Update shortly, but first I wanted to share some thoughts and reflections with you guys. πŸ™‚

I had an interesting conversation with a student this week. This particular student recognizes that she has some weaknesses in her knowledge, and she’s got big goals. To that end, she asked for my help with expanding her vocabulary. She said that sometimes she’s frustrated to see her classmates sitting idly and not taking advantage of the opportunities around them. She is what I’d call a seeker–she’s just hungry for knowledge and for growth, and she’s willing to work hard to grow. It’s pretty awesome, and I’ll tell you that I–and the rest of her teachers–will do what we can to help her grow. Any time you see someone working hard to grow and improve, how can you not help that person??

At any rate, this reminded me of a conversation that I had during the March for Life trip, and I was reminded of it again this morning at mass. One of the people on the trip asked why it had been so easy at the Mass for Life (in the Verizon Center with 10,000+ people) to feel connected to the Holy Spirit and sometimes so hard to feel the same connectedness at our own school masses. Another student had the best response: Β “If you want to feel that closeness again, you just have to keep looking for it. You have to go and seek it out. Keep going to events like this, to youth group, to retreats. Don’t go to mass waiting to be filled–seek Him out. That’s how you’ll find the connection. That’s how you’ll feel close.”

Indeed. I’m not sure I could have said that better. And this little nugget of wisdom came from one of you–from one of your classmates. She’s a seeker, too.

Today at mass, Father Driscoll talked about God and the fact that he’s always there for us, but that we have to ask for His help. He’s not going to force himself on us. When we go to mass looking to be filled up, sure, we might get a little inspiration here and there, but the best way to connect is to relax into the rhythms and familiarity of mass (or whatever worship service you participate in) and let it draw you deeper. It’s not until we ask–until we seek for ourselves–that the Holy Spirit can engulf our hearts like it did the Burning Bush in the time of Moses.

This, honestly, is no different than what I’m always telling you. Look for the connections. As you move through your life, look for the connections. Look for connections in what your teachers are telling you and try to connect with things you already know and have experienced. Look for connections in your faith journey. Look for connections in the news and use that to help you make more informed choices. Look for connections.

Be a seeker. It is in seeking that we’ll all grow and if we’re not growing then we’re dying. Let’s all work on being a seeker. πŸ™‚