This is a guest blog post from a talented educator, Mr. Brendan D. Towell. I hope you enjoy his insights and perspectives as much as I did. We are lucky to have him on our faculty.
By: Brendan D. Towell (Theology Department)
At the end of each academic year, the student body of St. Augustine Prep has an opportunity to anonymously review their teachers. I am not so sure if the Administration ever gets reviewed by the students… but that’s a question for another day! Regardless, our reviews can be quite illuminating. I will spare you the minutia of how the process works, yet I will say that the comment section is by far the most revealing and helpful for me as an educator. I have found that affording a teenaged boy the opportunity to anonymously comment on one of his teachers results in a brutal form of honesty more helpful than any peer evaluation. Through this unfiltered honesty, I have come to find that one recurring point was how genuinely surprised the boys were to find that Theology class could actually be relevant in their lives today. Continue reading Chronological Snobbery: A reminder of the importance of a Liberal Arts Education
It’s Tuesday night around 9:30 as I settle into my seat on the PATCO train out of Philadelphia and into NJ. It is a historic night. Not because I have had a night out with friends, a rarity, but because on this night, for the first time, a woman will become the presidential candidate of a major party ticket. Don’t misunderstand . . . this is not an endorsement of either candidate, but the occasion makes me happy. I see it as a long overdue recognition of the hard work of my mother, who has yearned for equality during her professional career, and a heartening bellwether for the boundless future of my ten month-old daughter.
As the doors close on the train, I hear someone stumble in the aisle just over my shoulder. It is an older, African-American gentleman with a cane, likely in his mid-70’s. He apologizes to me for his slight stumble. Continue reading No Offense to You
What if every element surrounding the problem was off-base? What then?
At first this question seemed daunting, too daunting. I was spiraling, but I let this thought sink into my mind. Naturally, that led to other ideas and worries, but I forced myself to return to this thought again and again. What if this issue existed because every element surrounding the problem was wrong? A shaky foundation yields shaky results. Continue reading The Productive Struggle (post 2 of 3)
I recently found myself in the midst of a major struggle. I will share the phases of this struggle in my next three posts over the next three days, starting with this one.
As a problem-solving, advice-giving, “It’s all in your perspective. Just reframe!” guy, this is hard for me to admit to myself and harder still to admit in a blog post. Continue reading The Productive Struggle (post 1 of 3)
I love to eat, but regrettably I am not a great cook. Many of my favorite childhood memories start with the smell of my aunt’s cooking at our shore house. My Aunt Eileen is one of my favorite cooks. She makes the best meals and, in particular, the best sandwiches. I often try to replicate them but always fall short. I never know exactly where I went wrong, but what I do know is that something is off. Perhaps I am rushing. Perhaps I am not using the right ingredients in the right amounts. Or perhaps something is missing. Much like my futile attempts to replicate my aunt’s sandwiches, a young man’s future success will not be fully satisfying when something is missing. Continue reading “Faith It ’til You Make It”