Showing posts from September, 2005

Office Hours

Well, I just arrived at UDM to begin office hours. Since there's a test tomorrow, I expect that at least a few students will stop by to seem me for help; I also have an appointment at 1:00 with a student, so I'm glad that I'll have some social interaction during this period. It gets lonely in this office!

A major SHOUT-OUT to Mother Nancy Loren, SMMSJ [no, not a religious least not yet! SMMSJ = Society of Mothers of Members of the Society of Jesus] for sending us some very delicious cakes this week. We've pretty well worked our way through the Pineapple Not-Upside Down Cake. Most delightful - so moist and, well, DELICIOUS. One caveat, though: I love pineapple and must confess to making a pretty mean pineapple upside down cake of my own, but Nancy's recipe has encouraged me to learn a new recipe to share with others.

Speaking of recipes: I know, I keep threatening to update the recipe site. Well, I really will just as soon as I make something worthy of post…

Another use for cooking

This weekend I've been working on my application for the Clinical Pastoral Education offered through Loyola Medical Center in Chicago. It's a laborious process requiring both a personal history and a spiritual autobiography.

To be honest, I find it terribly difficult to start autobiographical essays. Sure, you could start with "As I look back upon my life" or "I was born in the usual way" or something cliche, but who'd want to do that?

So, I took a totally different and bizzarre approach:

"My life is akin to the recipe for Cajun Jambalaya..."

The entirety of my autobiography is held together by the controlling image of a Jambalaya recipe. It may sound strange, but it actually appears to have worked pretty well: my family as the stock and meat base, Irish music as the spice, twenty-five years of cooking time, and various persons tossed into my life (Enyak, Anne Hall, Abba Gray, Joan Nuth, etc.) like vegetables. So my bio accomplishes two things in…


Well, there's not much to say this morning. It's been a busy week and I'm really tired. A lot of grading, teaching, reading, etc.. Hopefully it'll be a quiet weekend and I'll be able to get some work done.


-if anyone happens to have good "science fair" project suggestions for a 6th grader, please post them in the comments box. Brian English is looking for one and asked if I could help; as the 6th grade is a long way from my mind and as I'm more into science at a smaller scale (cells and tissues rather than whole organisms) I'm pretty useless. So any ideas?

I'm heading now to mass. I just wanted to post in order to give the lunching members of SMMSJ something to talk about!


More News!

I'll be playing the Mid-American Oireachtas this year. I'm very excited to have been asked to play there and am looking forward to getting back to the world of Irish dancing!

So many changes!

Well, as you can see, there's been some more changes here. I grew tired of the old format so I selected a new one. I also procured a new "hit counter" to tell me how many people stop by to visit.

Also, in the links section, you'll see a new link to the blog of my psuedo-cousin Justin Petitt. Take a gander and read of his recent European exploits.

A few quick remarks:

Thanks - belatedly - to KEVIN HANEY who wanted public recognition for delivering my birthday cake last year. I could have sworn that I thanked him on the blog but, since I'm hopeful that he'll drop another one off this year (October 19th, we eat dinner ~5:30!!) I'll thank him again.

That's it. I'm going to review some material for my course in "Health Care Ethics" and then I have class tonight - yeah! We'll be discussing "The Life of Antony" and Ignatius of Antioch's Letter to the Romans. Not that any of you will care about this, per se, but I thought that I…


It's been kinda hard to post this week as I'm now into the full swing of taking/teaching my classes while keeping the day-to-day schedule of Loyola House.

Spiritual Thought for the week:

This week we celebrated two feasts: the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross and the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows. It's interesting that they fell back to back. I'll share with you why in a moment.

When Jesuit theologian Michael Buckley teaches his course on St John of the Cross (known for the phrase "Dark Night of the Soul") he begins the course by reading the "Living Flame of Love." This is notable only insofar that, as St John intended it, the Living Flame of Love would be read only after the reader has worked through "The Dark Night of the Soul" and "The Ascent of Mount Carmel" (Note: This is Carmel - the religious mountain - and not the creamy delicious CARAMEL. If there were a Mount Caramel, I'd certainly live there). The rationale is si…


One thing I forgot to mention:

I signed a contract yesterday for my encyclopedia entry on "The Jesuit Volunteer Corps" to be included in the soon-to-be-printed ENCYCLOPEDIA OF SPIRITUAL DEVELOPMENT IN CHILDHOOD AND ADOLESCENCE. It's not necessarily a big deal (it's one of MANY entries) but it's kind of cool to see your name in print.

New Pictures

Just a quick post to get a few more pictures up on the net. I'm not much for taking photos when I travel, so I'm glad that Adam has a photo-fetish and insists on capturing EVERY minute of our exploits on film.

These pictures are from our trip to Mackinac Island (almost a month ago!). Actually, they're from our trip back to Omena after spending two days on the island.

I'm not above "inside jokes" on this site, so Abba Enyak -- these are the pictures I was talking about!

Not much else going on. I spent the day working on class materials for my two courses (including finding homework sets and making up some quizzes) and going to the gym. I'm now feeling pretty sleepy so I'm going off to bed - only to rise tomorrow by the awful hour of 9:00 to beging the dreaded HOUSE JOBS! If I get up early enough, perhaps I'll run to Einstein's for a cup of delicious coffee...

Have a good weekend!
Four of us in front of the WORLD'S LARGEST CRUCIFIX. If you listened to her complain, you'd think my mother carried the world's biggest cross. Now we know: it's actually located in Northern Michigan.
People wonder if I really do pray. Well, here's photographic evidence that I'm praying very hard. This is St Peregrine...
St. Peregrine is the *LAST* Saint you want to mess with! Actually, he is the patron saint of persons living with cancer.
So, on our way home from Mackinac we decided to stop by the NUN DOLL MUSEUM. Yes, such places do exist.

First Day of Teaching!

As the chalk dust settled at 12:35 yesterday afternoon, I inclined my head and strained my ears: there was no weeping or gnashing of teeth. In fact, it seemed that everything went pretty well. No one got hurt and, it seems to me, the students felt much more comfortable upon leaving the class than they felt when they entered.

I remember *hating* math when I was in grade school and even for the first two years of high school. Luckily, as I said in an earlier post, I had a teacher who taught me how to learn (in all subjects) by encouraging a disciplined and organized approach to studies. So I'm not shocked at all to hear the students' horror stories about crazy math teachers and reasons they are afraid of numbers. With any luck, I'll be able to do for them what one great teacher did for me.

Today I change roles (and clothes!!) and assume the posture of the student rather than the teacher. I'm taking a course in "Health Care Ethics" this semester and, as it's…


I just wanted to thank everyone who emailed/called/commented on my last post. At the risk of feigned humility, I must say that it was not my intention to do any soul-searching the other night. Rather, I wrote what I felt and found that, much to my delight, my own experiences have proved and are proving to be helpful to others.

You'll notice that I've changed the name of my blog. One year after its inception, it seems that there aren't very many letters "TO" Ryan and, although there are a number of posts "from" Ryan, none of them are in letter format. Since my own self-image has changed this last year - captured most aptly as by "Wounded Knower" - I thought I'd change the name of my blog to be in keeping with what I see as my own evolution.

Now don't be afraid. I'll still post snippy remarks about my sister Hagan (Oh, she's not off the hook by ANY means!) and rant about how it took my parents TWENTY YEARS to replace my Paddingt…