Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Classes Resume

I had two classes yesterday: my "Intro to the Irish Tin Whistle" and a course on St. Augustine. I was thrilled with the number of students who attended the whistle class - over forty - and I have high hopes for this semester. My philosophy course was very good, too, and I'm excited to be taking this class.

Drew and I will be video taping two new segments for my course. I hope to have them edited and posted by this evening. At heart, this series is intended for anyone who is interested in learning to play the tin whistle and I'm trying to gear the videos to be as simple and straight forward as possible. If you're interested, please enroll in the YouTube group (following the link above) and let me know if I can be of help.

I've been thinking a lot about how quickly this last year has gone by. Just one year ago, I baptized my first baby. A year later, her family still grieves the loss and I study philosophy. There's a cruelty in that: I was, each night, able to leave the hospital and I've now moved on from that experience, although I continue to 'live out' of that ministry of chaplaincy. Yet for so many families and persons I met over those five months, they continue to live the experience of pain and loss - and, to be sure, triumph and grace - in a way that I cannot comprehend.

Part of the difficulty of being in studies is that it is an inherently ascetical period of time with long hours being spent studying and researching and writing. I think that, were it not for being able to teach and perform music, I would be most miserable - I joined the Society of Jesus to help people! I'm finding that coupling my passion for music and teaching helps to sustain my own academic work while giving me a chance to socialize and bring my love of Irish music to 40+ students.

So that's that for today. I have to procure my crimson red cape and a Fulton Sheen-esque biretta and a cool chalkboard for my next video. I might even make a mission appeal for the Pagan Babies and then, following the lesson on how to play a simple polka, I will deliver a long harangue addressing the evils of communism and making outlandish accusations about Rock Hudson and Audrey Hepburn being members of the Red Party.

Too much time on my hands!


Kiwi Nomad 2006 said...

I just read your post from last year about the baptism of the baby.
I would like to thank you for mentioning your struggles with faith in that post. I struggle with faith. I found your words encouraging, perhaps just knowing you would understand where I am at if we met. (We won't: we are in totally different parts of the world!)

Joe said...


While you haven't (yet?) been called upon to undergo trials and suffering like the family of that baby* you have been called to witness the trials and sufferings of others, in itself a great challenge.

Just like a pebble that sinks in a pond can never know what shores the ripples will reach as it hits bottom, we don't know -- fully, anyway -- to what purpose God places people and events in our lives.

Perhaps you were placed there that you might compose the words of encouragement and faith that you have, that these words carry God's message of comfort and touch a heart sealed from Him by the wounds wrought by a life overexposed to this world.