Sunday, March 13, 2011

Early Spring Potpourri

This is Mr. Weber's talk to students on a variety of subjects on March 14, 2011

First and foremost, congratulations to our theater program for another wonderful musical, Bye Bye Birdie. It was a lot of fun to watch and I found myself laughing out loud through out the play. Macy, I thought you were astoundingly good in your first lead role. Andrew, you were terrific, as usual; you are a real natural on stage. Foster, Maria, Samantha, Andrew, Margaret, Taylor—I really risk getting myself in trouble by beginning to name stand-outs—so let me just say I thought the whole cast was excellent and the combined effect of all these outstanding performances was a very entertaining show. Congratulations, too, to the set and costume designers, both of which were outstanding, and to those students who played in the orchestra. Bravos all around!

Two weeks ago, Mr. Weaver and I visited St. Edmund’s in England and St. Mauritz in Muenster Germany. St. Edmund’s is the school we do the Loughlin exchange with that many of you are familiar with. St. Mauritz is the school we have begun a new exchange with this year, and the school that about 15 of you will be visiting this summer. We’ll have about 22 students from that school visiting us the week before and the week of Easter, so I ask that you make them feel welcome. We met them and their families at the school one night; Martin Schultz, our CYE representative, asked me to talk with them and even to quiz them on American politics. I was pretty impressed of their knowledge about us. Their English is quite good—they begin studying English very early on. They had not heard of Tennessee or Nashville, but they had heard of Taylor Swift!

I am very excited about these expanded opportunities for you to travel and hope that you will take advantage of them. Today was going to be the final deadline for the Honduras mission trip with Ms. Donovan in July, but I am asking that we extend it for two more days until Wednesday, as we do not have enough people currently to make it a “go.” It would be a shame to cancel the trip, so I ask you to talk about this with your parents. There are rare moments in our life when we have the opportunity to do something truly life changing, and if you recall Ms. Donovan’s presentation at assembly a few weeks back, I think this is such an opportunity. Think about it again and talk to your parents! Heck, you can even use this trip to get a jump start on your service hours next year!

We received some pretty exciting news last week. Governor Haslam will be coming to JPII to speak on March 29 at 7 p.m. here in this auditorium. You and your families will be invited. He will be our second lecturer in the "John Paul II Distinguished Lecturer" series. Last year, our inaugural speaker was George Weigel, who wrote the definitive biography on JPII called "Witness to Hope." It is a great honor for a school to have a sitting governor come to a school, and we anticipate a crowd, so we will need for people, including you if you'd like to come, to reserve a ticket by going on line to do so. More information on that will be forthcoming shortly.

As you know, Spring Break is next week, a time for all of us to rest and relax a bit. We’re not very good at relaxing, are we? We fill very minute with activity. But I hope you’ll truly slow yourself down some, get lots of sleep, and enjoy your friends. I pray each spring break for your safety; you may recall last year I talked about the 18 year old Notre Dame recruit from Cincinnati who was drinking and fell from a fifth floor of the hotel to his death. Those of you going to the beaches, please be careful. Girls, be wary of predators and keep your wits about you. There is a clever marketing slogan out there—“What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas”— as if location makes a difference in what's right or wrong or how we feel about ourselves once we’ve done something we regret. Don’t be fooled by clever marketing. In my past life in Montgomery, which is only 170 miles from the coast, I knew many young ladies that came back from Spring Break, devastated by what they had done under the influence of alcohol.

Last and not least, in the interest of good faculty-student relationships this week, I ask that you make a special effort to stay in uniform. Socks, ties, etc. Believe me when I say that monitoring the way you dress is the least favorite of the faculty’s duties, but do their jobs they must.

May you all have a good week and an excellent spring break.

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