I would like to begin by issuing a formal apology to computers everywhere. It seems that after I vented my frustration last month, I had stepped on some cyber-toes. Since then my colleagues and I have suffered the weirdest assortment of computer glitches. My principal cautioned me to watch what I write about computers. I have learned my lesson…no more badmouthing computers. (They can’t read minds yet. Right?)
Our school joined in the national celebration of Catholic Schools Week, beginning the weekend of Jan. 28 and 29 through Feb. 3. The week was opened with students participating in the Sunday Masses as readers and gift bearers. This was the second year that the “Cherub Choir” sang at the 10:30 Mass. The cherubs by the way are kindergarteners, first, second, third, and fourth graders. The entrance processions for the Masses this weekend were rather elaborate. I didn’t find out until five minutes before Mass, that most of my cherubs were in the entrance procession. I found myself directing the first hymn with a choir composed of three kindergartners and one first grader. I told the others to sing loudly as they processed in. Luckily for the rest of the Mass, I had the rest of my choir!
On Monday Fr. White opened the school week with a special prayer, and Mayor Willman came to proclaim Catholic Schools Week in Greenville. The special activities for the day were bubble wrap stomping, (You really haven’t lived until you have experienced a whole school of children stomping on bubbling wrap.), favorite color day and the family lunch. Families whose surnames began with K through Z joined the students for lunch. Tuesday was hat day.
On Wednesday at 10:00 church bells rang out across the archdiocese proclaiming Catholic Schools Week. Our students joined in with the church bells by ringing hand bells and playing other rhythm instruments. It was also “Get Up and Dance Day”, Pajama Day, and the family lunch for the A through L families. On Thursday the kindergarten through fourth grades went to Victoria Theater and saw a performance of Rainbow Fish. In the afternoon the students participated in a schoolwide academic scavenger hunt. The week was closed with Mass in the morning. It was Special Person Day and the students were joined by the special people whom they had invited. After Mass the students and their guests enjoyed doughnuts and beverages.
Later in the morning the students joined their buddies for Buddy Bingo. After lunch the students ended the week by watching Finding Dory.
The preschool through fourth graders celebrated Valentine’s Day with class parties. I know my class enjoyed themselves and I sent home 17 very sugared up children at day’s end. I think I also won the contest, at least in my classroom, for best valentine. My valentines were just printed out on the computer and contained a simple message…”No homework tonight!”
The third through eighth graders participated in the first Religion Bee at St. Mary’s. The winning students were first place, Jacob Dirckson, second place, Luke F. Rammel and third place, Wyatt Rammel.
February 28 is Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday, which is the day before Ash Wednesday. In medieval France it was the custom to use up all the butter and fat the day before Lent, hence the name Fat Tuesday. At St. Mary’s we celebrate Fat Tuesday. The children are treated to King Cake, which is basically an iced yeast cake with a lot of purple, green, and yellow sugar on top. All of the children have Mardi Gras beads to wear during the day and some of the classes also make Mardi Gras masks. My class makes masks for Mardi Gras. The main components of which are glitter, feathers, and glitter, and just to be on the safe side more glitter. After all the fun, we end the day by “burying the Alleluia”, which is an ancient Christian custom. Each class has an Alleluia banner made by the students.
We sing as we process through the school, carrying the banners. We proceed to the church basement. The banners are “buried” in the basement as a symbol of our setting aside our joyfulness to concentrate on the serious business of repentance in Lent. However, before the banners are buried, the children make as much noise as possible for one whole (agonizing) minute. Then the banners are placed in the box and all depart in silence. You would be amazed at how well the children keep silent. The Reverse Raffle is that evening at 7:00. The grand prize is $3000 with an additional six winning tickets worth $250 each. If you are someone whose tickets is never drawn first, then this is the raffle for you. The last ticket drawn wins the grand prize. Tickets are $25 each.
Kathy Ayette is a teacher at St. Mary’s Catholic School. She can be reached at [email protected] Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.