Novak (novak) wrote,

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Personal: Talking Headmastership; Dan and Amy; Julie at Villa Terrace; Ben at Jazz in the Park

Friday featured my interview with Peter Giersch of Cathedral Consulting Group on the prospect of taking the Headmaster position at a local private Catholic academy. I had told him up front that there was something like less than a one percent chance that I was really interested in the position, but that I would be interested in talking with him for a variety of reasons nevertheless. I'm no administrator, and as a high school teacher my years were marked by a turnover of principals and an organizational structure that tended to keep them away from me, anyway, so I never developed what I felt was a great insight into such educational administration. Still, I have a strong academic interest in Catholic Education as a whole, and the desire as an educator to understand those parts of the educational process that are even beyond my purview, so as to strengthen the effectiveness of my teaching in those oblique ways, too.

It was a friendly conversation, with other talk about recording music (he was an amateur musician, too) and Theology (a Master's grad from Marquette), all as part of getting a feel for one another. We sat out in the sun up outside the Potbelly Sandwiches at Bayshore Mall, where I skipped the sandwich for a large bowl of yummy corn chowder. He told me about the prospects of the specific position, and the ten-year development plan he was aiding the school system in constructing. I shared my observations about teaching Theology at the secondary level, and the primary academic and structural problems I'd seen in my experience, particularly with an eye toward recruiting and maintaining a gifted and stable body of instructors. While we both felt that the specific Headmaster position was not going to be something I would find fulfilling, he was interested in bringing me on for some further conversations with the principle architects of the plan. Consulting in that low-key, volunteer way was something that I said I would be more than happy to do in contributing to the structures beginning to emerge.

I spent the latter part of Friday in the company of Dan and Amy, after a last-minute invitation over to their place. They had just returned from their first vacation since they got married – two babies, one house, and half a doctorate ago. They were positively radiant from their time in Myrtle Beach with Dan's family, and so they were that much more pleasant to be with. It was one of our low-key nights: lots of talk, particularly after Anna and Owen were down, and a final "veg" while watching an episode of Arrested Development. (I'd never seen the series before they started showing it to me, and now we often watch a single episode as an old-fashioned serial or "short" before a film....)

Thursday was Julietime. She grabbed me in the afternoon and giggled to herself about the surprise she had waiting for me. Unfortunately, her surprise ended up being some double-foiled. She was taking me to Collector's Edge South, thinking she'd discovered this huge comic shop I knew nothing about: I had actually been going there for about half a year after I started reading these stories again, until I swtiched to the East branch because it was a direct and shorter bus trip from my place; and it turned out that South was closed at that time, not opening until later in the afternoon. A bit disappointed about the less-than-ideal results of her plan, we went up to the East Side instead, let her change at her apartment while I looked around at it in its now tidier-than-moving-in state, and looked at a few tokens from her recent trip to Croatia. Then we walked down Lafayette over to Villa Terrace, to which she had never been.

We nosed around the current display, A Worthy Model: Works by Édouard-Marcel Sandoz, a set of animal figures in a variety of materials but all for household decoration or use, as vases, salt-and-pepper shakers, and the like. We then looked at some of the permanent displays and wandered out onto the terrace itself. Julie had caught me up on her news and vented some to me during the drive and I returned the favour as we strolled around the garden, pausing here and there to debate the identity and signficance of various goddesses. We then ended up sitting at the end of the waterfall where we launched into a little more theoretical discussion, me coming from the basis of what I know of formal Christian ethics and her bringing in her research-oriented approach to psychology. Time wandered away from us as we talked and when I idly looked at my watch so as to see whether we had an hour or so left, I found that it was 5:20 and that the Museum had closed twenty minutes earlier. Instantly reverting to giggling kids who knew they weren't where we were supposed to be, we climbed up to the house and saw that the gardens were themselves blocked off on the sides of the house by the same large spear-topped fence that surrounded the entire grounds. We went back up onto the terrace and found the door still open, so we crept into the house, looking for someone to apologize to. We found no one, and the front door locked. So we opened that and hoped someone would come that way again to lock it. After we got out the courtyard, we saw that the front gates were open with a few cars still in the drive, so we figured some of the staff were still inside setting up for Saturday's "Gershwin in the Garden" event. Thankful that the gates were not shut and that we wouldn't have to try to climb the sharp iron fence, we set off down the street, laughing at one another's old fence-climbing stories that ended with shredded pants or shorts and much embarrassment.

That evening I spent with Cousin Ben down at the Jazz in the Park performance of Fareed Haque, as I mentioned earlier, I think. Packed as usual, and also filled with so much conversation that it was hard to pay attention to the music, we nevertheless had a good time with it, eating from the vendors on the street and then ending with some dessert when I introduced Ben to the Metro.

Uncomfortable day. Stayed home from the library and working on dissertation here. One year ago I was wandering the streets of Florence after Mass and dinner with Erik, getting ready to leave for Geneva.
Tags: art, education, friends-marquette era, friends-notre dame era, milwaukee, movies/film/tv, musical, personal, restaurants, soup, teaching

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