Greetings! I chose to open my blog post with this song from Jónsi, entitled “Go Do”.
I heard this song a few weeks before I spent a semester abroad in Ireland, and its message has stayed with me two years later. The song inspired me to “go do” as I lived my life abroad. You can say I adopted it as an effective way to get the most out of my life. I think that to go and do—to go out on a limb, to take a risk, to not second guess a decision, to follow our hearts—is not always easy work. But it’s sometimes what we need to become fulfilled.
When I think of my first month in Minneapolis, I reflect on the fulfillment I have felt thus far in my work as well as the challenges I have faced. I am excited to see how I will grow from them and what God, like the potter, will mold me to be. I started to work at Cristo Rey Jesuit High School-Twin Cities in Minneapolis on August 1st and just finished the first month of school. I became acclimated to its positive environment and was inspired by the staff whose passion for education and for their students permeates the entire school building.
At Freshman Orientation, I appreciated the opportunity to meet incoming students, who, like me, are new to Cristo Rey. I am excited to work with many of them throughout the year in their English classes and in the Writing Lab.
I also realized that some students will be more challenging to work with than others. I realized that I will have to work twice as hard to reach them, but the reward of seeing their success will be far greater. Some of the best advice I received before I departed for Orientation at Lewis University came from my internship supervisor, who served for two years as a Vincentian Volunteer. He said, “You are going to fail. You will. The sooner you realize that, the sooner you’ll be able to make the impact your students need.” I recognize that my flaws, like my impatience, will be tested and that I need to improve in this virtue in order to be there for my students.
“Go Do.”The LV’s live this statement. We go. We go to new cities. New communities. New service sites. We go. We leave our lives at home behind for a year or two. We go with energy and apprehension. We meet new co-workers and community members, fulfilling our desire to live in community with Volunteers and Brothers, men who have devoted their lives to educating the poor in the ways of St. John Baptist de La Salle. We go to work with students, to “touch their hearts and minds,” to be the person who believes in them when they think no one does.
We do. We serve our students and those who need us most. We do the work we need to, even when it’s challenging. We do the best we can and as much as we can to live out the Lasallian charism of faith, service, and community.
I often tell my sister, a high school junior, that “high school is a marathon, not a sprint.” It’s another philosophy I have applied to college and to this year, in particular. Marathons are challenging things. I know this because I am training for the LV’s Run in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In addition to the mental and spiritual challenges I have begun to face in glimpses over the past month and will face this year, I wanted to challenge myself physically by running the marathon. I believe it’s the perfect metaphor for what it means to be a Lasallian Volunteer. There will be moments of euphoria and moments of pain, praise for the gift of life, running, and all we’ve been given, as well as cries of despair and breaths of prayer to get through it in one piece.
We go. We do. We live life in the spirit of St. John Baptist de La Salle. We do not fear change, for we change—both ourselves and others.
Julia Walsh, 12-13, Cristo Rey Jesuit High School, Minneapolis, MN