Novak (novak) wrote,

Personal/Theological Notebook: Family in Peak Week; Students and the Feast of Francis

Been drowning in a flurry of grading and getting the next exam ready, on top of lesson planning and job applications for next year. All this while getting really excited about the upcoming Fall Break. Like Marquette's Fall Break, Loyola's is only two days off – Monday and Tuesday, starting a week from tomorrow – making a four day weekend. After over a decade, I still find myself missing Notre Dame's full week off, which was always during Peak Week in South Bend, and was a wonderful time for a grad student to catch up on the mountain of work, while walking around the gorgeousness of Saint Joseph's and Saint Mary's Lakes. This Fall Break will find me taking advantage of my family just happening to all get together that weekend, so I'll be able to see my nephew and all my nieces in one glorious swarm of shrieking and chaos. I realized that the visit will also put me back into the Midwest around that Peak Week time (as I have no idea whether I'll see such a phenomenon in whatever passes for autumn in New Orleans), and so it could be fun to see all the colours with the kids.

And while I'm getting really jazzed for that, I have to say that I'm still having more and more fun with these students. Some of my class conversations have been out of this world, although there was definitely some real dragging among the students on Wednesday and Friday this week. I think the Break is really needed, even though it also can seem like we just arrived at the University a few days ago. As coincidence would have it, my Jesus class just happened to hit the Francis of Assisi chapter in Jaroslav Pelikan's Jesus Through The Centuries right on the Feast of Francis. I find I'm always a bit melancholy on that day, missing the celebrating of the Feast that Mark, Erik and I always used to mark with a dinner and a jam session with each other and with occasional guests, and so it was kind of cool to hit that day having an opportunity to talk with students about Francis and his experience of Christ. You have your less-interested students, of course, only present for requirements and grades, but there are more than enough who really jump into the materiel to make it exciting for me day after day.
Tags: class-jesus christ, family, francis of assisi, friends-notre dame era, loyola, new orleans, notre dame, personal, teaching, theological notebook

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