As you may have noticed, I haven't really updated lately (other than my Jaiku feed, which are sort of idea-bytes posted from my cell phone.)
I came in to the office to get some work done, and I did, so as long as I was on a word style roll I'd keep it going with a blog post.
First things first: The reason I haven't Skyped some of you is NOT because I don't want to talk to you. It is because the Jesuit community I'm living in doesn't have it's own internet drop. So in order to use the net at all, I have to cross the street to the school and use my work computer. Needless to say, the network at work is locked down and restricted and Skype is not on the menu. That's the bad news. The good news is that the IT guys are coming to install a network in the house and that it HAS to be done by World Youth Day in early July, and with me pestering them, it keeps moving up their 'to-do' list of priorities.
Secondly, what to say? Let's see, I picked up 4 Religious Ed classes, grades 8, 10, 11 and 12. All of which roughly correspond to their American counter parts. The major shift in the teaching (other than the fact that I haven't been in the classroom in quite some time) is that here, while we are all teaching from the same syllabus (not too unusual for me), we will all give the same exam and I need to stay relatively close to where everyone else is. For me, of course, I was used to teaching what I wanted, when I wanted and then writing and grading my own exam, none of which is done here. So that's a shift in mindset.
Thirdly, it's great to be back in Australia. The last week has been pretty tough in some ways, with a friend of mine being killed in Afghanistan, and another Army guy I know getting busted for sexual assualt/solicitation/generally being a bad person with a minor over the internet. That one really threw me for a loop since I wouldn't have suspected that: A) He would act in such a fashion and B) With the state of these sorts of things always being reported about, that he was DUMB enough to do this. But there you go. In light of that, I'm really glad to be back here. I've had a good talk with some friends in New Zealand, and I'm moving slowly back in that direction, but I'll have some time to do here in Australia before we make that leap. Part of the consoling movement of the Spirit in all of this is functioning like a priest again. I do daily Masses at a community of Loretto sisters who have a girl's school near by, Jesuit community and school Masses, etc. That's REALLY nice for me. Also, the greeting I have received upon returning has been pretty overwhelming. Jesuits, friends and retreatants have let me know how glad they are that I'm back here, and that's really nice.
So school is keeping me busy (basically 6 days a week, with Saturday Sport [note the lack of 's' that we would append in the US]; ALL sporting events happen on Saturday, so going from volleyball to tae kwon do to soccer to rugby to tennis pretty much devours an entire day). I'm feeling pretty good about things and I've started running again, feebly for right now, but I am hopeful that I'll be able to do the City2Surf again in August.
I miss many of you in the Northern Hemisphere, and think and pray for you often, but I'm glad I'm here. No, gladder than that. I'm REALLY glad I'm here.
More soon, and watch my Jaiku feed for (trivial) daily updates.