As an unrepentant paronomasiac, I’m always looking for cleverer ways to say things than is strictly necessary. So, when my relationship with my first official girlfriend ended (over the phone and against my wishes), I told my friends that “she mutually decided to break up with me.” And when my second real girlfriend (now wife) and I actually realized the earning potential of my Religious Studies degree, I told our friends that we had become “involuntary Franciscans.” We quit talking about wanting to embrace Lady Poverty like Saint Francis, once “Lady” Poverty (that sphinx) embraced us.
I say all that so that when I tell you that the high school I used to work for also “mutually decided to break up with me” you’ll know what I mean. I loved that other high school very much–I still do–it is my alma mater and many of the best things that ever happened to me happened there. I will always be grateful for the good and holy men who inspired me to live my life for the greater glory of God and introduced me to some of my favorite authors and saints. Nevertheless, after having been employed there, I feel that the school I went to and the school I worked at were two very different places. (So much so that I used to joke that when I worked there the Virgin Mary appeared to me one afternoon and asked for a Catholic school to be built on that site.) But what do I know? Maybe the school I went to was exactly the same as the one I worked at and the only difference was which side of the faculty room door I was on. I certainly have a much different understanding of how schools are run now that I’ve served as an administrator at one.
I have no hard feelings toward this other institution, but it is most definitely not The Greatest High School in the Universe. That honor belongs to Saint Mary’s Catholic High School in Phoenix, Arizona. Incidentally, Saint Mary’s happens also to be the ancient rival of my alma mater, and, for most of my life, I considered it the most repugnant institution on the face of God’s red earth.
Now, I promised in my previous post that I would tell of my arranged marriage to Saint Mary’s, but that was a tease. I’ll tell all that tomorrow (after I obediently go to sleep). For tonight, I’ll conclude with this: the last great gift I received from my previous employer was them letting me go. Next to my wife and children (and pressure cooker–thanks, Paolo!) this was the greatest gift I’ve ever received. More tomorrow.