The girls are both excited. I'm a little more hesitant, myself. I am going to miss sleeping in late. A lot.
So today was our first day. We got up early; we had a bagel and some milk for breakfast. Afterwards, we prayed matins together, after a brief scuffle and a lecture over who was going to sit in the upholstered chair and who wasn't.
Afterwards, I showed the girls the materials we're going to use for their religious education class this year. One item is the Seth H. Murray book I read this summer, titled Lord, Open My Lips: The Liturgy of the Hours as Daily Prayer. It is such a good book and I think the girls will both enjoy it and benefit from it.
The second book we're using is titled Did Adam and Eve Have Bellybuttons? (And 199 Other Questions from Catholic Teenagers) by Matthew J. Pinto. This, despite the silly title, is a rich, rich apologetics work for young people, designed to help them "give reasons for the hope that is within them" (I Peter 3:15). I want them to be knowledgeable about their Catholic faith, able to seek answers for the things they don't know; able to evangelize other people.
But most of all, able to provide answers to questions like "Do you worship that statue?" (last year from a member of the volleyball team upon seeing a pretty little figurine of the Blessed Mother on the girls' dresser) and "Is it true that nuns put on shrouds at night and sleep in coffins?"
We're going to continue with our Bible reading in the manner of St. Benedict, the ancient practice of lectio divina, which is reading the scriptures slowly, slowly, and waiting for the Holy Spirit to speak to our hearts. This is a skill tha has to be learned, because in our fast-paced society, we're used to gobbling up information in sound bites and top-of-the-hour news briefs. It's hard to be still, but the Bible wasn't necessarily meant to be scanned or skimmed, just for the sake of saying, "Yes, I read it!"
What's the purpose if it's being read so quickly, nothing is being absorbed into the mind or the soul?
We did the four Gospels last year, so now we're moving on to the epistles.
That's all we had time for this morning, because today was the second day of the Hamlet Workshop. We drove over to Indianapolis to Michelle's house and I held a class of twenty students and two parents absolutely enthralled for three and a half hours.
Well, okay. Maybe "enthralled" isn't the right word. But nobody threw rotten fruit (but that could have just been respect for Michelle's carpet) and nobody booed me (at least not that I could hear) and I think it's important to be positive, don't you?
This week I was so nervous that I was one continuous hot flash, so I had to stand in front of the group with a hanky, dabbing my forehead. What a silly idiot I am. But these parents paid a good bit and are driving their kids considerable distances for them to learn about Shakespeare and Hamlet and I want to do a good job. I want the kids to enjoy Shakespeare's plays and I want the parents to feel that they've gotten their money's worth.
I think I slept for about four hours last night. But my nerves kept me full of energy from the first moment to the last, so I don't think it was totally hideous. I sure wish I had the technological ability to put all my nine million handouts into a Power Point presentation, or even on overlays with an old-fashioned overhead projector, beloved friend of my ninth grade algebra teacher.
All in all, an extremely busy first day back.
(I think I may have a sinus infection.)
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