Thursday, October 30, 2008

I Wish: Wii Read

Watch out Guitar Hero and Rock Band. There is a new best selling game on the market. Maybe now my students will learn to start reading their textbook and how much useful information is in it.

Just think of it:

You can turn the page with just a flick of the wrist. You can follow along with the pointing finger. The book is turned into a flickering image. What isn't to like? Come on Nintendo! Get with it! What is taking you so long?!?!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

F-Word Project Draft One

[Thanks for all the input and suggestions. This is what I came up with for the students that drop F-Bombs. The prefect of discipline approved it so it is good to go. Of course they would be hand writing this entire piece. I hope you enjoy. Also, feel free to modify and use as you need.]

I am here after school with Mr. Catalanotto because I have a small and very limited vocabulary that is not repetitive of the education I am and have been receiving at Jesuit High School. Because I have expressed such a limited vocabulary in the ear-shot of Mr. Catalanotto, it has been deemed by him that I have been wasting the $6450 my parents or guardians spend on my yearly tuition so that my vocabulary won’t be limited; in other words, I have been stealing from my parents by not developing my verbal skills to their maximum capacity and taking full advantage of my educational time here at Jesuit. Since I have been wasting time here at Jesuit as well as my parents’ or guardians’ money, I have in turn developed a vocabulary that is insufficient and non-compatible with being Intellectually Competent as stated in the Profile of a Graduate at Time of Graduation.

Furthermore, I used a word which goes by any number of pseudonyms, but for the sake of brevity the word which hinders my vocabulary and keeps it in atrophy is the ‘f-word.’ The use of this particular word makes me sound ignorant. No, it makes me sound dumb. No, worse, the use of this four letter word makes me sound stupid. Nay, yet, this foul, venomous, tasteless, tactless, uncouth word that is the phlegm of acuity makes me sound as if I am gutter trash; the lowest dredges of a society who care not to better themselves or the world about them but care only for their selfish selves which makes them incapable with being a Man-for-Others as expressed in the Jesuit High School Mission Statement and school Honor Code.

The reason it hinders my vocabulary is due to the word’s unspecific and over use in our society. Too often my friends and I do not know what we mean when we use this word, as it has become so common place in the dialect of teenage boys today that its original meaning is not even considered when uttered. It is today most often used as an insult and expletive, and like all expletives and insults, it should be left unsaid and purged from my vocabulary. In the mean time, as the process of cleaning one’s mouth takes time, I will help others better understand this word and how it is used. Below are examples of how the word is used as a noun, adverb, adjective, transitive verb, and intransitive verb as well as what I mean by using the ‘f-word’ in that particular part of speech.
The ‘f-word’ can be used as a noun:
(Write a sentence where the f-word is used as a noun)
In this sentence, when used as a noun, the f-word means: (write what it means)

The ‘f-word’ can be used as an adverb:
(Write a sentence where the f-word is used as an adverb)
In this sentence, when used as an adverb, the f-word means: (write what it means)

The ‘f-word’ can be used as an adjective:
(Write a sentence where the f-word is used as an adjective)
In this sentence, when used as an adjective, the f-word means: (write what it means)

The ‘f-word’ can be used as a transitive verb:
(Write a sentence where the f-word is used as a transitive verb)
In this sentence, when used as a transitive verb, the f-word means: (write what it means)
The ‘f-word’ can be use as an intransitive verb:
(Write a sentence where the f-word is used as an intransitive verb)
In this sentence, when used as an intransitive verb, the f-word means: (write what it means)
Moreover, since the ‘f-word’ is too general a word and hinders my verbal development and limits my ability to communicate effectively with others around me, here is a list of 20 other words, their definitions and sentences used with each word that help explain the word’s definition in the context of the sentence that I can use in place of the foul four letter ‘f’ word.


I understand that if I use this word again in the presence of Mr. Catalanotto I will be receiving a three-day teacher detention to be served with him after school.

Student Signature: Date:

Teacher Signature: Date:

Parent Signature: Date:

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

F-Word Project

Friends, Readers, and Fellow Bloggers

There are a number of students I teach and interact with during the school hours at the all boys high school where I currently work. The problem is that some of these boys like to use the F-word: a word of which I am not fond. I am also making the assumption that your readers too are not fond of this word. I'm in the process of developing a list of alternative words for my students to use in place of the F-word and an assignment in conjunction with this list as 'punish work' for using the F-Word on campus.

However, everything I sit down to make a list of words for this project/task, my mind goes blank. This might be due to my dropping the word from my vocabulary. Part of the problem is that the students use the F-Word in so many different parts of speech: noun, verb, adverb, adjective, direct objects and indirect objects. About the only part of speech it isn't used as is a preposition, but I'm sure if I looked hard enough I would find a kid making entire sentences out of the f-word.

I am hoping you can help me compile a list of alternative words to use in place of the F-Word.

Feel free to leave a suggestion in the annotation box below.

Adventure in Catechesis #?

Click image for a larger view.

At least I know where to start.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

More Sacramental Mind/Concept Maps

About to cross into the realm of Baptism after quarter exams are done. In the mean time: here are some more maps I will be using in class to help the visual learners.

Original Man in Paradise

The Threefold Lust

Sunday, October 12, 2008

A Liturgical Parable: Ritual

[responding to my students who think that the liturgy is just mere ritual and that ritual is not necessary] [Also, I need to go back and fix the tense shifts, mea culpa till I have another free min. later tonight.]

A while back, I spent time with a native people. Having spent just a few weeks with them, I became familiar with a few of their customs and rituals. One of those rituals was of particular interest to me, which I will try to recount in the following words.

It began (as did many of the native rituals did) by a number of people gathering at a previously agreed upon location and time (often in the evening). Once assembled, from the midst of the people, one person was selected, given a special chair, a special place at table, and given a crown to wear. I assume this person was a kind of King for the evening or a King of the assembly, as latter in the ritual he is presented with a number of tokens of varying sort from those present. Some of the tokens encouraged somber feelings, excitement, and laughter from not just the King but also those assembled.

However, before the Kingis presented with these tokens, a number of small torches are lit and stuck midway into a sweet, spongy food that is then placed before the King of the assembly. Once the food and torch combination has been presented to the King, everyone present stopps what they were doing, gathered about the King in a circular fashion (a circle to represent the never ending loyalty of the assembly), the lights were lessened, and a song of wishing was sung to and for the King. On occasion, one or two people (they must have been the choral directors) added an extra verse or two to the song of wishing. It was clear that these added verses were not part of the original song, as from gathering to gathering the extra verses varied in content. Those present at the assembly usually had no issues with the additional verses to the song being added to the song of wishing. The extra verses showed that the native people I was visiting have a natural ability for improvisation.

Upon completion of the song of wishing, the King, after being presented with the food and torches, extinguishes the torches. The manner often chosen to accomplish this was through a brief, strong, and carefully aimed exhalation from the King across the torches. This apparently meant that though the flame of life will one day extinguish, the King will leave behind a ‘sweet’ legacy for others.

Once all the torches have been extinguished, the lights are returned to their normal luminosity and the King is then presented with a cutting device, which he uses to carefully make the first cut into the sweet, spongy food before passing the food cutting duties to someone else in the assembly. In addition to the sweet, spongy food, a round serving – just smaller than a baseball – of a sweet, frozen, milky product is served to the assembly. All present usually partake of the food in some capacity.

At roughly this time, often just after the consumption of food but sometimes during it, the King is presented with the above mentioned tokens. Soon after all the tokens have been presented, the gathering often disbands. Each person going their own way until the next assembly is called together.

[If you have not figured it out, the above ritual is that of a birthday party. Something that most people wouldn't call a ritual; yet, strangely enough a birthday party resembles a ritual upon closer analysis.]

In brief rituals are need to:
  1. Give form and shape to an event.
  2. Help in providing a foundation for the event (related to #1)
  3. Help in avoiding confusion and minimizing unexpected surprises.
  4. allow a person to be comfortable with what is going on so that they may move freely in the ritual. (So that people are no longer thinking about doing the ritual because the ritual has become a part of who they are).

Not Said By Jesus Sunday

Friday, October 10, 2008


If you're gonna be relative, you might as well go all the way. After all, what's right for you isn't right for others.

Thursday, October 09, 2008


[Recently I've been teaching my sophomores about time and eternity. If you ever want to see a group of teens talk about something that is fascinating and confusing just start talking about God's existence outside of time. I promise, it will lead to a good class discussion. WE had just finished reading an essay by Peter Kreeft on time -- of which they had many questions. At the end of the essay he suggests that we stop wasting time and go 'cold-turkey' from the things in our life that cause us to waste our time, namely TV and other technological devices that eat our free time. Thinking on my feet, I gave them the beginning of an assignment. Go 'cold-turkey' on some time wasting device or activity for 31 days. Well the following is what they are going to be getting at the start of the second quarter Feel free to borrow or edit or do whatever with it. I'm still in the process of developing the assignment.]

Going Cold -Turkey

Assignment: For 31 days (one month) you will keep a daily journal about your experience of giving up one time wasting device or activity (TV, Games of any sort, internet, Ipod, too much time on cell phone, etc, etc, etc . . .). Consider what you are going to give up and what productive activity you are going to put in its place. Giving up something is only half the story. This assignment will count for one test grade and will begin on the first day of the second quarter. Upon completion of the exercise, you are to turn in a 500 word reflection paper on your experience with “going cold-turkey” with a time-wasting device or activity with your completed 31 day journal. More information on the essay will be given when the due date approaches.

The Daily Journal:
Each day you are to spend a few minutes writing briefly about your experience of the day in the context of what you have given up and what you have replaced that activity with. Before you begin writing, pray the following prayer:
“Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding and my entire will – all that I have and call my own. You have given it all to me. To You, Lord, I return it. Everything is yours; do with it what you will. Give me only your love and your grace. That is enough for me.”
You are to use the following prompt at the start of each day’s journal reflection:
“Today, in context of the time wasting device or activity that I have given up, the use of my time went . . . and I felt . . . about not using this device or activity today.”
You are then to elaborate on the specifics of why your day went as you have stated for a few sentences. End your journal with the following sentence:
"Instead of wasting my time (time wasting activiy that you gave up), . . . I did . . . in its place."
Day 1 - October 20, 2008
Today, in context of the time wasting device or activity that I have given up, the use of my time went well, and I felt fine about not using this device or activity today. Personally, I think this assignment has not been a challenging event and activity thus far. Though it has only been one day into the assignment, it remains to be determined whether or not this will be a struggle in any way. I don’t see the point in this assignment. Instead of wasting my time watching 4 back to back episode of Law and Order on TV, I went for a run, read part of a novel, played my guitar, and discovered the meaning of life in its place. (This cannot be used in your journal)

Day 10 – October 30, 2008
Today, in context of the time wasting device or activity that I have given up, the use of my time went poorly, and I felt anxious about not using this device or activity today. It has been 10 days now since I have given up wasting my time watching TV. Today I really wanted to watch TV. But I guess it is best that I didn’t because I would have just spent 3.5 hours in front of the TV mindlessly flipping the channels. Though the temptation was great, I did not give into the temptation to waste time. Instead of wasting my time infront of the TV for I do not know how long, I learned a new song on my guitar and worked on my dribbling technique for soccer in its place.
*Note. The goal of this assignment is for us to learn to use our time more efficiently and productively. With that being said, if you do give up something like TV or the internet and you need either of these things for school or work it is permissible to use them for work, school, or recreational purposes. Translation: it might be a good use of time to watch LSU or the Saints play on TV, but it might not be a good use of time to let the TV eat up your free time when you can be using it to better yourself. Time is a non-renewable resource.

Catholic Publishing House

[Catholic author Andrew McNabb sent this to the email bag. It sounds promising. I for one am tired of bad Christian literature. Perhaps this might aid in the revival of good Catholic and Christian fiction writing.]

He Writes:

Attention Writers & Readers!

Leoness Books is a newly formed small press specializing in Literary Catholic Writing. Leoness has been created due to the dearth of publishing opportunities for Catholic writers whose work can be described as "Literary, yet artfully overt." Leoness is seeking book-length fiction (both novels and story collections) and narrative non-fiction submissions for their Leoness Book Award, and short stories for their Best Catholic Short Stories, 2010 edition.

Leoness Books is also seeking dedicated readers who are tired of the syrupy genre fiction that Christian publishers attempt to pass off as "real life," who are put off by the poorly written Apocalyptic novels that misrepresent Bible teaching, and disheartened by the plethora of literary options for nearly every subset of humanity, except for devout Catholics seeking quality literature inspired by faith. There are several ways to become involved and ensure Leoness Books’ success. Please visit for more information.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Consept Map for Sacrament

I thought this might be helpful to some people. It is a concept/spider/cluster map on the definition of a sacrament. I'm going to start doing things like this with my students. As always, feel free to use or edit as needed. Click on the image for a larger image.

Here is one for those people who like correct spelling and more than two colors.

Not Said By Jesus Sunday

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