When’s the last time you stopped to think about paying attention? Go ahead, try it right now. If you really wanted to, how long could you hold your focus on one thing - a task, an object, a person - without giving in to the temptation to move on to something else? How long could you keep yourself from checking this email or responding to that text? If you stop to read this paragraph again, slowly and word-for-word, can you resist that pull to jump to the next line? Attention is a defining aspect of our humanity; it is our capacity [...]
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So far Ivy Schmalzried has created 108 blog entries.
It’s the week of Thanksgiving, and for many of us, this week entails a lot of hustle: planning dinner, writing grocery lists, waiting in check-out lines, cleaning guest rooms, washing tablecloths, fighting traffic, prepping, cooking - and then, finally, the day arrives. The table is set, the food is laid out, the family is gathered, and we can enjoy the feast. For Christians, the rhythm of this week is a microcosm of our lives. It’s not by accident that heaven is often described as a feast. And our lives of labor here on earth ought to be preparing us for that [...]
“To be the light of Christ in our work, play, and prayer. That’s the St. Benedict Way!” Over my time here it has become quite evident that this truly is the motto of St. Benedict Classical Academy, for our students and our teachers. This year, as a parent of a student here, I have become even more aware of how this motto is ingrained into our actions each and every day. Just a few weeks into the start of school, I was driving home with my daughter who recently began her SBCA tenure in the preschool and heard her in the [...]
Every month at St. Benedict Classical Academy, the school picks a different virtue to focus on throughout our academic and enrichment classes. We teachers are to take this virtue and teach the students what it means and how we can act out this virtue in our daily lives. Every year in November we focus on the virtue of Gratitude, and every year I like to write this blog post. I always spend time talking about the virtue of Gratitude and then ask my students to write down and share what they are grateful for. For the last five years I [...]
In two short days, hundreds of little saints will fill Saint Benedict Classical Academy’s classrooms and hallways. If this year is anything like years past, there will be no shortage of Saint Michaels wielding swords or Saint Lucys bearing crowns of candles. November 1st is always one of my favorite days of the year. I love watching the younger students proudly parade by the older ones, smiling from ear to ear. I watch from the sidelines as a five-year-old Saint George tightly grips a stuffed dragon under his arm. I smile as a little Saint Gianna Beretta Molla carefully holds a [...]
After he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put into Deep Water and Lower Your Nets for a catch.” Simon said in reply, “Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing, but at your command, I will lower the nets.” When they had done this, they caught a great number of fish and their nets were tearing. Luke 5:1-11 It was the first day of my second year of teaching, and I was kneeling in the pew before morning mass reflecting on the Gospel passage above. As I knelt there feelings of discouragement were hitting me [...]
“Repeat after me: ‘nunc coepi’” “NOONK CHEPPY!” “Now, I begin.” “NOW I BEGIN!” “You can always, always begin again. We will always help you figure out how to begin again. God wants you to begin again when something goes wrong (and so do your teachers!)” My office is located in our St. Placid building, which is home to our early learning program. One of my duties is to serve and coordinate support for our early learning faculty members. Even with these, our youngest students, Faith and the traditions and teachings of the Catholic Church illuminate every part of our day. We [...]
Each year during the first week of school, everyone in my class chooses a patron saint to intercede for them throughout the year as they grow as scholars and future saints. Every week a different student has the opportunity to teach the class about their saint as they lead our morning meeting and prayer. Learning from the lives of the saints and praying for their intercessions has always been a beautiful and concrete way to see that heaven isn’t just for extraordinary, perfect men and women entirely unlike us but is full of real people who lived real human lives. My [...]
October is Respect Life Month and I have always been passionate about the pro-life cause. In fact, I studied public health in graduate school so that I could help moms and babies. However I quickly discovered that many individuals in my field had their understanding of life all mixed up. They were under the false pretense of society that life is only worth living if it is easy, and free from disability or hardship. They inappropriately believe that life is something we can and should control. Being a mom of three (and one in heaven) has taught me that the beauty [...]
When children are asked what their favorite story is, they often say Cinderella, or a similar “knight in shining armor” tale. Why are children so drawn to these kinds of stories? The reason, I propose, is that sometimes a good work of fiction can feel more real than anything you might read on a popular news site. These tales have a sense of order and truth to them. Justice is served to the wicked. The princess’ heart is won by a virtuous man. Good triumphs over evil. Fairy tales offer a retreat into a world that can tell us more about [...]