I am going to miss this place

On July 5, 2014, in Uncategorized, by Sam Martin

When I applied to the program, part of my motivation was selfish. I graduated five years ago with a laundry list of regrets. I did not connect with all of the teachers I wanted to, I should have taken more art classes, joined the choir, been in more clubs, even studied a little harder. As a result, I did not get the closure I needed to close the door on high school and leap forward into college. That is not to say that I did not enjoy my time in college, nor exploit the opportunities afforded me during my undergraduate program — I had learned that lesson from high school. However, the metronomic, emphatic pleas of my Brophy Big Brother, Bob Ryan, my parents, and counselors — warning me that my time at Brophy will slip by without notice if I do not take it upon myself to create my own memories — fell on my stubborn, deaf teenaged ears.

This year of service was a chance to connect with some of those teachers, get involved on campus, and work a little harder in hopes of giving back to a school that provided me with more than I can scarcely conceptualize. I hope I did give back enough. I did have great experiences as a teacher, retreat leader, and mentor. I have learned the value of true patience, the gift of empathy, and just how important the details are in life — all the moments we experience are the sum of our life. As the year comes to a close, I reflect on what I have accomplished and what is being left on the table and I am happy to say my table is virtually empty. And more importantly, this time I am five years older, five years wiser, five years more capable of dealing with this institutional break up in a healthy way. Right?

Wrong. In the final weeks of school I clung to every interaction I had with students, especially the seniors. I wasted no opportunity to encourage them to make good, healthy choices in college and avoid the temptations thrown at them. The days are so numbered that time spent sitting in my office working feels like time wasted. I am going to miss my colleagues; especially those who reached out to me and helped to make up part of my formation this year.

Now that it is summer school, things are…different. No more class of 2014, no more daily announcements, no more teaching health, no more of a lot of things. There are still students on campus, but they are seldom in my vicinity and moving through their day on a different schedule than my own. I work with the little kids now in Summer Loyola Project. I love those little guys to death, but to them I am just another adult. I am merely the authority figure and bus driver. It is not the same as the unique relationship I built with high school students during the year.

During the school year, walking through campus at 5:00 pm was like walking through campus at Break; students are everywhere, doing everything, spending several hours on campus beyond the compulsory seven we ask for every day. Now, walking through campus at 5:00 pm is like wandering through a ghost town, which leads me to the bittersweet part of my break up here.

From August to May, an empty Brophy campus is hard to come by, it really only happens in the middle of the night (yes, I have come to campus at 10:00 pm, just to have it to myself) and it is sacred. When it is empty, it feels as if the buildings and sculptures are inviting you to have your own, quiet Examen. That familiar Ignatian prayer always leads back to reflections on my relationships with students and teachers, both as a student and as a teacher. I play out the scenes in my head as I survey that dark campus: jokes from Danforth that showed me that teachers are human too, the stench of dissections and the intrigue that made me pursue medicine, the homilies from Dutch during daily Mass, the chants of “Let’s go home!” for no apparent reason other than Bob Ryan was in ear shot, my own pleas for order in my seventh period class, all of the inside jokes, all of the memories, all of the happiness, brotherhood, joy, and grace. Even in the dead of night, God will not let me have campus to myself. He forces me to recall the entirety of my life as a Brophy Bronco during those quiet moments.

Campus is never really dead and that fills my heart with joy.
Campus is never really dead and that fills my heart with sadness.

In the quiet of night, amidst the memories, it is impossible to ignore the fact that the campus is still well. This campus does not need me. I am nothing but a single teacher and alumnus that taught for a single year, teaching a single class. Next year will happen, and I will scarcely be referenced, seldom remembered, and my lasting footprint will be minimal. It does not cause me despair though, because that means that the school I love so much will be unaffected by changing times, shifting secular values, or the sin of apathy. This school will be here for my future sons, and hopefully theirs’; waiting to immerse them into the same holy community that enveloped me eight years ago.

In a single year:
I have gotten into my top choice medical school
I have grown to truly appreciate the art of teaching
I have learned that I love working with young people
I have learned what it is like to have a “real” job
I have found patience
I have found grace
I have found love
I have found God.

I would do it again in a heartbeat.

Signing out for the last time,

Sam Martin ‘09

 

Man on Fire

On May 16, 2014, in Uncategorized, by AJ Arvizu

Where has all the time gone? A cliché question that has many answers, at least in regards to this Alumni Service Corps Year. The hours were spent in Brophy’s Bus 5, when nearly every morning and afternoon I drove to 74th and Scottsdale to pick up students for the school day. Bus 5 and St. Vincent de Paul were also mobile site homes for my main responsibility, Freshmen Breakaway. St. Agnes, a local Catholic school, was my site for Loyola Project in which I supervised Brophy Sophomores during their service project. There are many more examples of where the hours have gone but the time was spent well and every single minute was formative in shaping a newer version of myself.

Where have I found God? Of course I am supposed to say that I have found God in everything because of my Jesuit education but I really have found God in everything. I have found God in faculty lunch barbecue days and the occasional reprieve of driving in the early hours of the morning. All kidding aside, I have found God through the immersion experiences of the LA Urban Plunge, DC trip, KBI, and my freshmen breakaways experiences every week. I was able to channel my passion of service through theses outlets and really felt that I was continuing to be a man for and with others.

I am truly going to miss the Loyola scholars, especially my 7th grade Religion class. I had a lot of fun getting to know my class and really look forward to seeing how they continue being a man for and with others at Brophy in the coming years. As for next year, I am continuing my own personal immersion experiences and path towards a lifes work of peace and reconciliation by living and working at Corrymeela, a human rights center in Northern Ireland for a year. At my graduation in 2009, we were told to go out and set the world on fire; well I am a man on fire and can’t wait to see what the future holds.

Man on Fire- Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros

 

Revelation by Sweatshirts

On May 14, 2014, in Uncategorized, by Roger Bond Choquette

This past Friday I led the year’s final (and my final) Kino Border Initiative trip to Nogales. This trip has pushed and pulled me in many ways by both the difficulty of the immigrant experience and, more practically, the difficulty of getting a group of teenage boys to and from Mexico in the same day. For that reason, it has offered me so many stories, experiences and images that are saturated with significance. There is not much like seeing a wall cut a town in half as though it were Berlin or hearing a nun explain to immigrants just what human rights are…and that they have them.

Still, the image that I will carry with me past this year is much simpler. When we arrived at the soup kitchen, I looked up at a migrant and saw him wearing a sweatshirt. It honestly shocked me.

To explain, Brophy had been collecting clothing donations for KBI for some weeks and it was incredibly successful. It was so successful in part because of donations from the community, but of more importance was the Lost and Found. I stripped it bare; bagging sweatshirts pants and shoes, moving them across campus, washing them one load at a time over the course of  weeks, folding them and finally moving them back. It really wasn’t all that difficult, and I am not now complaining, but it struck me while I was folding a sweatshirt one day: what is this even for? Why bother folding and caring of these donations? It can’t be that these donations make much of a difference. It’s just a sweatshirt and all my hours could be spent better elsewhere.

But when I looked at the immigrant, about a month after those weeks of washing, I saw him wearing a Northwestern sweatshirt that I had found, washed, folded and delivered to KBI. I remembered that sweatshirt distinctly, so it was disorienting to see it in such a different context. Moreover, it gave me a tangible, ostensible consequence of those hours. In just a moment, the hours were suddenly justified.

The difficulty of service is that the benefits are often indirect and the ideals one is working towards become impossible to see. It often seems like it isn’t worthwhile because our perspective by nature precludes a complete view. But the work is worthwhile and I know that because of the simple things, like sweatshirts. Justice, compassion, service, et al. are visible, discernible things, we just need the proper lens.

 

 

A New Perspective

On February 12, 2014, in Uncategorized, by Sam Martin

We have just wrapped up our sixth month working at Brophy and a lot has changed in that time. When classes first began I was not entirely sure how teaching would play out. I was not concerned with the material and how to convey it as much as I was concerned about how to build a positive and role-appropriate relationship with students. Being only 22 years old and teaching high school is like being the awkwardly young uncle that acts more like an older brother or cousin. I am only eight years older than my students which is a blessing and a curse.

On one hand, there is a tendency from both ends for the relationship to be more friendly than with other, older faculty members. Sometimes this causes lines to blur for students about what is appropriate behavior since sometimes they forget that I am a faculty member and possess the authority to hand out detentions and obligation to encourage good behavior and attitudes. However, the relatively small age gap creates opportunities and augments my ability to influence my students beyond the clockwise punctuation of class periods.

I get approached with questions about girls, life issues, other teachers that I had as a student, Brophy traditions, my future plans beyond Brophy, and questions about my interests and hobbies. When students find out that I am going to medical school they will pick my brain about how to do it and what things they need to do in college to go to medical school themselves, giving me the chance to act as an impromptu college counselor to our outgoing seniors. One of my most memorable moments on campus this year was at the very end of the Hoopcoming dance when one of my freshmen students rushed up to me to inform me that he, as of mere moments prior, solidified his first high school girlfriend. It is not uncommon for students to lament assignments from other teachers, hoping that I will agree and join in the bashing; but moments like this allow me the opportunity to share my pint-sized wisdom and perspective of the value certain Brophy courses and teachers added to my college success, giving them a new perspective on what they think is “pointless” work.

On the other hand, this unique relationship with students allows for even more teaching moments to be had, especially outside the classroom. Until our ASC retreat with Principal Bob Ryan and Mr. Ted Skowron, last month, moments like this passed nearly unheeded. I knew that my relationship with the student body was unique, but it was not until Mr. Skowron said, “those boys think you are heroic,” that I finally began to realize just how important my job is outside of the classroom (and the tangents and stories I share in the classroom). I would not admit to being anyone’s hero, but after sitting with that idea for a few weeks, I think he is right. I think back to my time at Brophy and all of the people I admired and aspired to be like. The younger, Jesuit Volunteers were..heroic. Even if they weren’t the most sauve of men, on campus they were demigods. They were always funny, nice, relaxed, and had stories to which any 16 year old boy growing up in the new millennium could relate.

With this new perspective on my role this year in the community I have begun to change the way I interact with students. I am more relaxed this semester, more able to be a friend than I was in September. I still am obligated to hand out the occasional detention and “be the bad guy” from time to time, but I would like to think I am much more approachable. In the five of us, students see Brophy in action; they see how the opportunities afforded them by attending this school lead to promising futures and great experiences like the one I share with my fellow ASC members.

I have, at times, certainly been more of a friend when I should be more of a teacher, and at others been more of a teacher when I am needed more as a friend. This year is as much about teaching my students something as it is about them teaching me, and I am very excited to see what the rest of the semester has in store for me and the ASC.

 

Back In the Ring

On February 11, 2014, in Uncategorized, by James Quinn

It is hard to believe that my time as an ASC member is coming to a close.  I still cannot believe that I am more than halfway through my journey.  I am sad to see that only a few months are left in this experience but I am excited for the experiences I will have.

 We started this semester off strong with a retreat to Manresa with Mr. Ryan and Mr. Skowron.  In Manresa, we grew closer together as a community as we shared our thoughts and reflections about our experiences so far.  This retreat was perfect in that it made me excited to get back to the Brophy community and begin the new semester.

 Barely two months in, I have already had some very memorable experiences with only more to come.  The most memorable would be coaching the Loyola Scholars to 2nd place in basketball.  The amount of resilience and determination the Scholars showed in the playoffs was unbelievable and I was so honored to be part of this experience with them.  Having already helped coach them to a 3rd place finish in football, it was amazing to also have this experience and share this moment with the other coaches and the scholars.

 There are only a few months left in this journey and I hope to make the most of them.  Until next time

 

 Signing off,

 

 James “Da Coach” Quinn

 

Where has all the time gone this year? I could answer this question in a romanticized way describing life lessons and such but that would be a misguided response. I know where all my time has gone, it has been dispatched in driving buses every day, teaching 7th graders, freshmen breakaways, Loyola Project, immersion trips, and sometimes a good night’s rest. “Work is work” is the saying that has been said at every job that has ever been worked. I am in a privileged position to say that I do good work. The days might be long and sometimes a nap is all one wants in life but what drives me is the work I and the OFJ do for not only the students here at Brophy but for the community at large. In many ways, the community has given me and taught me more than I can give back to them.

Through my time as a Brophy faculty member I and other close friends can see a real change between the ASU AJ and the ASC AJ. I have definitely grown up during this amazing opportunity and I am a better person because of it. Through my work in the OFJ I have been able to learn more about what I want to do with my life and more importantly why I want to do it. Working with the marginalized in the world and sharing life experiences with people from all different backgrounds and life stories is something I want to do my entire life and I am happy with that. I am young, but I have been told that I have an old soul. I have been graced with an almost always positive attitude that attracts the right kinds of people and brings smiles to those who are going through the unfortunate events that life has in store for all of us. The ability to always find a silver lining or lesson in everything I have done the past 7 months is my own support system when the days get long and energy and interest begin to wane. Becoming visibly uninterested and tired can pose a conflict not just on me but the students as well. When I look like I don’t want to be somewhere, it in turn affects them and they began to see good work as just another assignment. When freshman breakaway days just feel like they never end, I remember what we are doing in partnership with SVDP and the life skills and personal revelations the Brophy students I take with me are discovering within themselves. Loyola Project which consists of me taking sophomores to St. Agnes during the week can be seen as just another chore. Once we see the smiles and signals of the elementary school kids understanding a concept they have been struggling with, it is well worth it. I absolutely love my job, which is a true gift that I have been blessed with because I have seen what happens to those who are not as fortunate as I when it comes to a genuine love for what they do.

AMDG,

AJ Arvizu

Freshman Breakaway 2/4/2014

 

Staying Involved

On February 4, 2014, in Uncategorized, by Chris McKenna

This year thus far has been one filled with building relationships, driving buses, and long days. It is easy to get distracted by the work and just call it a day when the final bell rings, but I have quickly found out that many of the good aspects of the ASC program come after the end of the school day.

Looking back on my days here at Brophy, I realized I had the most fun when I was getting involved with extracurricular activities, whether that be going to sporting events or participating in clubs, so I figured I may as well replicate that experience. This semester I have made a concerted effort to get involved with activities outside of the normal school day. I started coaching 7th and 8th grade basketball at the end of the first semester and loved how I was able to form a relationship with those kids that you can’t get in the classroom. Basketball has been awesome and it clear how much these kids have grown in the last couple months, resulting in us playing in the playoff semifinals tonight.

It has been things like this basketball season that have reminded me what is so great about Brophy. The students are first class. My fellow faculty is one of a kind. And everyone loves to be here. You can bet that once our basketball season ends I will be looking for the next extracurricular activity to get involved in.

 

Managing Everything

On January 31, 2014, in Uncategorized, by Roger Bond Choquette

Life at Brophy is hectic.

Retreats, the examen and mass impose some sort of order but there is just too much to do. Teachers, students and ASC members alike have so many responsibilities that it is often difficult to fulfill each of them adequately. Moreover, those responsibilities are all over campus, which is what really induces chaos. After three years of academia, this year is teaching me how to practically apply knowledge (and just how difficult that can be). Honestly, this year has been full of mistakes–and that’s okay.

Now, that doesn’t mean that its okay when things go wrong. Trips need to go, exams need to be graded, kids need to be driven. Things need to get done. But as an ASC member I forgot what I learned as a Brophy student: I’m going to make mistakes no matter how hard I try. I can only control my intentions and my actions, but that does not ensure success.

The idea of magis” necessarily presumes we have an opportunity for growth. It presumes that there is more to do and more to be. Once, as a student, I told Fr. Olivier that I was concerned about not living up to the ideals of Kairos and Brophy. In fact, I felt terrible about it–what sort of Brophy student was I if I could not even be a decent guy? He told me that I should always strive to be more just and kind, but the fact that justice and kindness are ideals necessarily means that I will not be able to always act that way.

I suppose this struggle has come to define much of my time back and Brophy. As a college student, it was very easy to isolate myself and focus on my personal success. Sure, not every paper or exam went perfectly, but my shortcomings were just that: mine, my own. But this year I’ve been able to slowly understand my role in a large community and that fact that many times I’ll let people down. But that’s because every day I’m given the opportunity to participate in the lives of so many other people.

All I can do is intend for the best, work for the best and hope for the best. And I am really the only person that can accurately say if I am doing that.

This year has certainly taught me the practical measures to avoid becoming overwhelmed. I live and die by iCal and paper clips. But its also given me the spiritual understanding avoid them, understand them and, finally, move beyond them.

Cheers,
Roger

 

 

Becoming a teacher at Brophy is something that many young men contemplate when they are at Brophy. To come back to this unique community and provide experiences for these young men is an opportunity unlike any other and that is why I find myself back at Brophy.

The Alumni Service Corps has allowed me to give back to a community that offered me such a life-changing and once in a lifetime experience. Last year at this time in college I never thought once that I would be back at Brophy educating young men. To have this opportunity to provide a year of service has been amazing so far and I am only 3 months into my journey here.

When I tell people what some of my responsibilities are at Brophy, driving a bus is always the first thing they think is the coolest aspect of my job. To be honest, it really is fun to do, despite how early I get up every morning to do it. The only reason this experience has been fun is because of the actual people I drive on the bus; the Loyola scholars.

I work primarily at the Loyola Academy and I am the athletic director there which means I coach all their sports and P.E. classes. Working at the Loyola Academy can best be described as “unique.” Getting to know these scholars over the past month has been a very unique experience because none of these scholars are like anybody I have ever met before. All of them have their own unique stories and their own different outlooks on life. None of these scholars are followers, they are all leaders. The stories from these scholars from the past 3 months are innumerable and they are ones I will never forget. To be a role model for these young scholars is unlike any position I have ever held in life. Everyday I get to lead these young men and teach them something new, whether it is P.E. related or life related. The scholars are at a very formative age and I know that every positive influence they have is a good one. These formative years are critical in their development here at Brophy and the fact that I get to be there for all of that is an amazing opportunity for me.

The Alumni Service Corps has challenged me to become a role model and mentor for the Brophy community and the opportunity to do this has been nothing but an amazing opportunity and truly a blessing.

Talk to you soon,

James Quinn

 

Super-Senior Year at Brophy

On October 13, 2013, in Uncategorized, by Chris McKenna

The first quarter of the school year has already ended, yet it seems like we just started yesterday. It feels like we just got back from Manresa after meeting the sixth grade Loyola Academy Scholars, but that could not be any further from the truth.

In these two short months I have formed relationships with the Scholars and my chemistry students, that I hope aids in their overall education. As Alumni Service Corps members we are asked to straddle a difficult line in which we are educators, but also a relatable connection to the faculty. This dichotomy forces us to make sacrifices on the relationship end, for the betterment of these students’ educations.

The bulk of my time is spent at the Loyola Academy monitoring independent reading and math time, helping with the sports teams, and the always enjoyable transportation to and from school in rush hour traffic. Throughout this interaction I have seen these Scholars grow into young men who will certainly flourish at Brophy.

My other responsibility as part of ASC has been to teach chemistry, a subject I have become all too familiar with due to my pre-med education. Not only have the students learned a lot about chemistry this year, but I have learned the best ways to educate these young men. There is no one right way to educate, and I am quickly learning this. (Sidebar – not only have I had the opportunity to school my students in the classroom, but I have taught them a thing or two on the basketball court as well.)

Even with the long days, and litany of responsibilities, the Alumni Service Corps opportunity is greater than I thought it could be. I am playing a large role in the development of these young men’s lives, all while they are helping me mature into a contributing member of society.

 

“How does it feel to be back?”

On October 8, 2013, in Uncategorized, by Sam Martin

That is the most common question I get from fellow faculty. So far this entire experience has been a great one. It is surreal in many ways: I am now on the other side of the academic relationship between teacher and students, I am addressed as “Mr. Martin,” and I am now colleagues with my own former teachers, and I am still not entirely comfortable calling some of them by first name.

What makes this experience great though is how much I am learning. My work in the Office of Faith and Justice is a great opportunity for professional growth, developing necessary skills for later in life, all while doing something I love – planning liturgies. I am also learning how to teach high school students. In college, working as a TA was didactic and straightforward. There was a body of knowledge to present and it was up to the students to learn it. Teaching freshmen has allowed me to break down the material and use it to interact with my students in creative ways; something the structure of college could not accommodate.

The best part of my job is teaching. I teach the freshmen Health class and could not be luckier. Unlike some classes, whose relevance is delayed until later in life, my class’s content can be taken home that very same day and applied to their lives. Not only is my subject important to healthy choices made about dinner and exercise habits, but it is also all new to them. Every day that I walk into class, I get to show them something they might not have ever heard of or considered before, like how many calories are in a gram of sugar, or how the anatomy of their brain might affect decisions they make. It is incredibly rewarding, having a real affect on students and it has made me appreciate the great teachers in my education even more.

There is no way around the fact that this year is a lot of work, most days running at least 12 hours long, but I would not change anything about it. I get to do something rewarding at a place I love, alongside people I enjoy. I could not ask for much more.

 

“Why Are You So Tall?” -Everyone

On October 7, 2013, in Uncategorized, by AJ Arvizu

It’s been a little over 2 months and I can honestly say that the work of being an Alumni Service Corps member is what I thought it would be. As a student at Brophy, I was involved in most aspects of the community. I lived in the Office of Peace (and now Faith) and Justice, worked as a student athletic trainer in the sports spectrum, and was an altar server for our masses. I realized that wherever I was involved in Brophy, it was in the service role of that particular program. Whether it was setting the altar for mass or handing out water to the football players, I was always in the service role. I suppose I am just used to serving and the amount of work that I am doing is what I find normal.

Without a doubt, coming back to Brophy is an amazing experience.  Teaching and now coordinating in the Office of Faith and Justice is so much fun and although I am doing a lot, it is good work and that is what allows me to wake up every morning. My main responsibility as an ASC member is coordinating and leading every freshman service project, known as “Freshman Breakaway.” Every Tuesday and some Thursdays I take 13 freshmen to St. Vincent de Paul and I plug them into various service projects throughout the day. On average Brophy freshman help serve over 800 meals at The Phoenix Dining Room, one of 5 SVDP dining rooms. It is truly a gift to see the transformation that these freshmen go through, even if it is during such a short amount of time. Also, parents of the freshmen can thank me for giving back their sons that now know how to dust mop, mop (which is always a struggle for them), and clean up after themselves.  I can say that I am truly blessed to not only meet every single freshman through this service project but also reconnect and sometimes connect for the first time with the other faculty moderator.

When it comes to the “weird” feeling of teaching and leading projects with students at Brophy as a new faculty member, and recent Brophy grad (’09) it is definitely there, but not as prevalent as I thought it would be. I do find myself wanting to jump in some of the student shenanigans such a dodge ball during the Frosh Retreat or the everyday mischief some rabble-rousers cause. I also catch myself putting the faces of the brothers I graduated with onto the students now and that is where most of my nostalgia comes from, whether it be the Knoll Kids or the McCain Colonnade crowd, I sometimes wish that I would walk past those places and see one of my old brothers in a polo and big-pocketed khaki shorts.

 

“Why does that senior have a beard?”

On October 3, 2013, in Uncategorized, by Roger Bond Choquette

ASC members clearly blur the line between student and teacher. 21-year-old ASC members nearly get rid of it altogether–and that is a fantastic thing.

Initially I thought of the ASC program as a “view from the other side.” I knew the life of a Brophy student and I expected see the life of a Brophy teacher. And while that is true to some extent, I think its important to remember how unique this experience is.

I am a teacher, but I’m not a veteran and I won’t try to be. There are so many things that experienced faculty can do that I can’t (and wish I could–how do they grade so quickly?). But youth also has its advantages and has given me a unique relationship with my students that I didn’t quite expect to have.

The teacher/student binary does not fit the ASC program, but that’s okay. Brophy is in no short supply of incredible teachers. The Alumni Service Corps fills a different need. Being an ASC member means being farther along in life than your students, but close enough to give directions.

I do give homework. I do give JUGs. I’m a faculty member and I accept those responsibilities. But I’m also applying to schools, just like the seniors. And I can’t go to a concert with seeing a group of students.

I grew a beard last spring to look less like a student…it hasn’t really helped to do that. But it has helped to remind me of who I am: not a student, not quite a teacher, but an ASC member. A bearded senior.

– Roger

P.S. Attached is a picture of myself with representatives from Student Council on the year’s first Kino Border Initiative trip. Special shout out to the tortilla apprentice, Mr. Burr, for taking a great photo.

KBI with StuCo

 

 

Community

On February 20, 2013, in Uncategorized, by Mica Tacderan

Spring ASC volunteers Ian Bucon ’06, Neil Murphy ’06, Kelly Coffman ’07
Mica Tacderan ’07 and Mr. Ted Skowron…den mother!

 

We were asked to briefly share our comments and thoughts on Community from the ASC perspective: Enjoy!

 

“Though in the past I have shared bedrooms and common spaces with roommates in various capacities, my experience this past year, has been a unique experience in community living. Neil Murphy ‘06, Kelly Coffman ‘07, and Ian Bucon ’06, were all present at Brophy when I also attended high school 6 years ago. Despite this, we all admittedly knew very little of each other. Neil and I were both on the Speech and Debate team, but rarely talked. Kelly and I were in the same class and also did not know each other very well aside from our names. And as for Ian, I did not know who he even was when we were students. And yet, in the span of a semester, we have found we have come to know each other very well.

The grace of living together in community has been getting to know these amazing individuals on a deeper level.  I can hardly imagine getting to know these guys as well as I have this year, had it not been for the ASC program. The result has been amazing, and I feel like I truly have made friendships that are stronger than some of the ones I made as a student at Brophy.  The best way to describe it is a community of companionship. Companionship in the sense of Ignatius and the early Jesuits who helped founded the society.  We have a shared mission of service to Brophy, a sense of goodwill towards one another, and a common concern for the young men we are blessed to educate. And though they may not share my convictions to the same extent, I know for a fact that we all work Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam.”

– Mica Tacderan ’07

 

“Living in the ASC house with three other young men who all come from different backgrounds and have various interests may seem like a difficult task, but each and every day we learn more about each other and grow closer to one another. Mica loves his computer games and sharing his stories about breakaway. Neil loves indoor rock climbing and eating nothing but peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (That is pretty much all he eats). Ian takes time out of his busy schedule to help coach the Lacrosse team. I assist Chad Unrein with the JV Baseball team. Both Ian and I work with the Loyola Scholars, while both Neil and Mica teach a classroom full of Brophy freshmen. So our experiences are very different, yet when we return to our house at the end of the day, we often share some of the same joys and challenges that we each faced during our time on campus. This is what makes being a member of the ASC community such a great learning experience for each one of us.

P.S. I challenged Mica to a round of golf at a course of his choice. Results will be posted in my next blog.”

-Kelly Coffman ‘07

 

“The ASC community is more than a ping pong table. It is more than a sink full of dirty dishes multiplying at an alarming rate. It’s more than hearing Neil blow his trumpet of a nose in the kitchen at 2am, more than the clatter of Mica’s keyboard at 3am, and more than Kelly’s alarm going off at 5:30 am every morning. The ASC community is more than a fernet cola shared with our Argentine roommate, more than a week-old carton of Uncle Sam’s wings courtesy of Ted Skowron, and more than a ten dollar, five pound package of Italian sausage that we try to make last through the week. It might be more than a having a place to commiserate about the long week of subbing, bus driving, freshman class teaching, and breakout leading over a cold beer.

The ASC might seem like the aggregate of the above to the Brophy faculty and staff, or to any students or alumni who read this blog; but, by living intentionally with each other, we have been able to establish a deep communal fabric that enriches our shared experience in the program. We strive to live out our magis together by recognizing that our disparate backgrounds and pasts can enable each of us connect with the others and to grow as men. We entered the program from very different places and will certainly exit the program following very different paths, but without the whole of our community invested in our shared present, the ASC would not be possible.”

– Ian Bucon ’06

 

“Beyond my experiences as an undergraduate, I did not have much insight as to what it would be like to live in community with three of my peers. As I did not attend university in Arizona and as the majority of my friends had left the state by the time I returned to Brophy 6 years after graduation, I arrived in Phoenix far away from my primary centers of support – my family and friends in the Washington, DC area. While I developed friendships with the other Alumni Service members, I did not realize how lonely I would become in the first few weeks for those back east, and I would call home much more regularly than I did even when I was in college. Perhaps my distance was felt more strongly than the other three in the ASC cohort because they could go to their respective families’ homes on the weekends, but I felt a truly unexpected homesickness in the first month of the program.

However,  this was fortunately overcome after I became closer with the other members upon sharing more time, experiences, and stories with one another. Throughout the day, I am most often with Mica in the Office of Faith and Justice, where our desks face one another and we work for eight or more hours at a time. As he now has begun teaching this semester, we are able to more equally share the many moments of joy and frustration in teaching freshmen. Ian and Kelly hold a unique bond, as they both work in the Loyola Academy, where days start the earliest and end the latest. Both serve as coaches for a spring sport, Kelly for JV baseball and Ian for JV lacrosse, and while these positions extend into the weekend for tournaments and games, I know they are leading the new generation of student-athletes well. While we all serve the Alumni Service Corps in different capacities and we all seem to be continuously moving from one responsibility to the next, the ASC is a unique and enriching experience, and its formative value is truly deepened by living in community with the other members.”

-Neil Murphy ’06

 

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