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Mrs. Hartnett writes,
On being a parent…
For reasons not entirely clear to me at present, I have spent much time lately thinking about parenting. Not that the idea is ever very far from me, as I have two children of my own as well as 147 sons here at Priory.
Parents are quite a unique group. Having a child translates into eager and selfless sacrifice for that wonderful life placed in your arms and in your care. The decisions that we make as parents, our jobs, where and how we live, our likes and dislikes, our focus and determination, our willingness to do whatever is necessary or to forgo our own wants for the betterment of our children, all of this and so very much more fall into our job description. All of this and so very much more become our definition of happiness. And everything, every single thing, is done with profound love and caring, for these precious ones are everything that we are about.
I have often told my own children that I could never have known that I was capable of the depth of love that I now know if it had not been for them. I would never have thought that I was capable of that almost frightening intensity. And yet, here I am, with two children whose lives, even at their “advanced” ages of 33 and 28, are always swirling in my head. And I cannot fathom it being any other way.
When our daughter Liz left for college in Atlanta in 2004, my husband and I were devastated. For the first time since our son Andrew’s birth 24 years earlier, we had to make do without either of our children’s physical presence. We had to learn how to live from vacation to vacation, from visit to visit, from phone call to phone call. It was supremely difficult, and I have to say that even in these past ten years since Liz’s departure for college life and ultimate permanent relocation to Atlanta, it has not gotten much easier. I miss both of them so much. I miss them being in the house, being nearby, laughing, talking, teasing each other, sharing their thoughts and enriching our lives in the thousand ways that children do.
What has helped me enormously, though, is being here with THESE boys at THIS School. Every day, I am privileged to share the smiles, triumphs, and challenges of 147 amazing young men and their families. Every day, I am allowed to be a direct part of someone’s life, in a way that is hopefully meaningful and helpful to them. What a blessing that is for me.
And so, in this season of gratitude and Thanksgiving, I thank all parents for the gift of your sons, without whom I could never realize the richness of my life here.
OUR FOOD DRIVE
Please do remember our food drive to benefit Catholic Family Services Cardinal Ritter Senior Citizens Program. They are in desperate need of our help! The food drive is on now and will end on Thursday, November 13, at noon. Thank you so very much for your help in this most worthwhile assistance program.
THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY DISMISSAL
Please know that the Thanksgiving holiday break will begin at 3:00 on Tuesday, November 25.
OUR CLOTHING DRIVE
May I remind our readership that in the November 21 issue of the newsletter, I will highlight the details of our clothing drive, which will happen in the two weeks before Christmas. But please do keep us in mind now, as we will gratefully accept the gently used clothing and bedding that you no longer need.
FORM II HIGH SCHOOL ORIENTATION PROGRAM
May I also remind Form II parents that the Priory High School orientation program will be held in the Kevin Kline theatre on Wednesday, December 10, beginning at 7:00 pm. Please note the slightly earlier start time than what appeared in the previous newsletter. I urge all Form II parents to attend this important meeting.
THE WINTER TERM
Parents and students are reminded that modern language classes begin in Form I in the winter term, and therefore French and Spanish materials need to come to School on Monday, November 17. Additionally, science in Form I will not meet in the winter term; therefore, science materials can be taken home until the spring term.
AMC 8 MATHEMATICS CONTEST
On Tuesday, November 18, in the Junior School mathematics classes, the Saint Louis Priory Mathematics Department will administer the American Mathematics Competition 8. This competition is an excellent opportunity to show off a high level of skill! Results of the competition will be available after the first of the year.
TREE PLANTING FOR FORM I
On Tuesday, November 25, during X period, the Form I students will be planting trees on our campus! Boys will be paired with a partner, and each pair will be given a map to find the location of their tree. Holes are pre-dug, and the boys will put in fertilizer first, then place the tree in the hole, fill the hole with soil, and then cover the soil with mulch. It is a quick process, but very exciting for those (like me) who love the outdoors.
Since 2002, the Saint Louis Abbey has planted nearly 600 new trees throughout the campus through the Junior School tree planting program. Currently, approximately 50 acres of the Abbey property are covered by trees. This year, the Class of 2020 will plant a wide variety of trees: burr oak, swamp white oak, shumard oak, flame amur maple, dawn redwood, chestnut, and redbud.
All new trees are sourced from Forest Keeling Nursery in Elsberry, MO, a nursery that specializes in growing and selling plants and trees native to Missouri. Gamma Tree Service will oversee the planting, as well as the care of the trees in the future.
In the Maintenance office, we will keep a book which records who planted each tree, as well as the date and type of tree. It should be fun!
Additionally, those of you who love nature and the outdoors will certainly be intrigued by the attached report HERE, compiled by Spencer Fitzgerald, class of 2007 and son of Priory’s facilities director Martin Fitzgerald. This report will give you a real insider’s look at our campus, and at all of the parts of it which make it such a special place to live and work.
|Sunday, November 9
||Priory Open House
|Monday, November 10
||Study day – no classes
|Tuesday – Thursday
November 11 – 13
||First term exams
|Thursday, November 13
||Food drive ends
|Friday, November 14
||Grading day – no classes
|Monday, November 17
||Winter term begins
|Tuesday, November 18
||AMC 8 math contest
|Friday, November 21
||the next News ‘n’ Notes
|Tuesday, November 25
||Junior School tree planting
|Tuesday, November 25
||Thanksgiving holiday break begins
|Monday, December 1
||the clothing drive begins
|Friday, December 5
||7:30 – 9:30 pm
||JS Rec Night
|Wednesday, December 10
||Form II Parents Priory High School Orientation Program
‘No one can really estimate the depth of family love unless they know why a child on a merry-go-round will wave at his parents every time around – and why his parents will always wave back’ – William D. Tammeus. William D. Tammeus was a reporter and editorial page columnist for The Kansas City Star. He retired in 2006.
Please accept my grateful thanks for all that you do for the boys and for the School. We are all very grateful to you.
Diana B. Hartnett
Director of the Junior School
Saint Louis Priory School