With just a week to go in the school year, all the homes are cleaning out their refrigerators. At this point in the year, homes even start trading groceries with one another in an effort to use up as much as they can. Wisdom Circle, in front of the Benedictine Homes (1st-5th grades) is a lovely grassy spot in center of St. Joseph’s Indian School’s campus, shaded by majestic cottonwood trees.
With picnic tables out for the nicer weather, the setting was perfect for a couple of picnic meals. Friday evening houseparents Leonard and Aleece organized a meal for all the t-ball participants. That included all of the 1st-3rd graders on campus and the fare was your basic hot dogs and hamburgers, with fruits and vegetables. Today after church, the houseparents all pitched in different specialties for a brunch.
I kicked a soccer ball around for a while with a few students, then got involved in a football game. Kids love to play, but they also need to learn how to play fairly. I noticed that they were spending more time arguing about the rules or if they were actually touched with two hands than the time they spent actually playing. I became the quarterback (and referee) for both teams, and enhanced the speed of play considerably. I remember what it was like to be one of the last ones picked, so I made sure to throw the ball to everyone, and give each child a chance to participate. When one boy started yelling at a teammate for dropping a ball, I stopped the action and told him it was important to encourage teammates to try hard, but not belittle them. When another boy gave a shove after the play was finished, I got his attention by calling an “Unsportsmanlike Conduct” penalty.
“This isn’t real football” he objected.
“But you need to play by real rules, especially the rule of being a good sport,” I told him. Competition is okay, but cooperation is better.
Today was High School Graduation. Fifty young adults from Chamberlain and the surrounding area received their diplomas in the packed ceremony held at the Armory. Four of the 50 were St. Joseph’s students. Attached to their hats were eagle feathers their families had provided to honor their accomplishment. Watching each of the students walk forward brought back so many memories of the years that I’ve known them and saw them grow up before my eyes.
Blessings and best wishes in the future, and congratulations graduates!