So truth is I started writing this blog on June 3. It was the last day of training and I was going to write a blog about Totus Tuus and how training went.
Then I went home and fell asleep. And after I woke up, I was in Totus Tuus mode and haven’t had any time to relax and write since then.
But, it’s been amazing.
For more information about what Totus Tuus is, see my previous blog post.
It’s now at least 16 days later and I’m still not sure about a few things: 1. Where I’m actually going with this post, 2. When I’m actually going to finish this post, 3. If I’ll ever get more than five hours of sleep ever again.
The thing they tell us each year at training is that this summer will be the hardest, most rewarding summer of your life. And that statement is easily the truest way to explain my summers of teaching Totus Tuus.
The grade school kids see us in the daytime for six hours, for five days, and the high school kids see us for two hours, for five days, which means we see kids for eight hours a day, spread across six days. We have two hours off between the grade school kids and host family suppers and this is our time to either lesson plan, make phone calls, nap, or apparently write two sentences of a blog. And we have a total of about 24 hours off on the weekend, but about 18 of those hours are spent catching up on sleep. There’s not a lot of free time this summer.
My first week of Totus Tuus I was able to go to my home parish in St. Paul and it was amazing to see all the kids I’ve watched grow up in my church, to see how they’ve matured, and how they have changed from just last year.
Being in St. Paul two weeks ago, and Spalding (another great place with amazing people I will never forget) last week, I’ve noticed a few lessons I am going to learn this summer:
Faith. I obviously learn more about my faith and grow in my faith because I spend all my time with people who have much more inspiring faiths than me, and I spend all my time talking about the faith and being a witness to the faith.
- Patience. I’m learning how to be with people. All the time. I learn how to act polite and hospitable in all situations, even when I’m tired and crabby. Because I don’t get a lot of time on my own to relax and de-stress, I’m learning how to have more patience with all the people I come in contact with. With kids I’ve never had an issue with having patience, but I am learning how to have patience with the adults I come in contact with.
- Empathy. I learn how to have empathy for other people. There are three other people on my team who come from completely different lifestyles than me and I am learning how to manage conflict with them and learning how to teach kids with them as a cohesive team.
- Perspectives. I’m learning to interact with a variety of people. This year’s team is a completely different make-up than last year’s team and I’m learning how each of them are different and how to handle different situations with them. I also come in contact with many different people at each parish we go to and I’m learning to make sure I really know where these people could be coming from before I start judging them.
- Flexibility. I am learning how to go with the flow and not be super worked up if
everything doesn’t go the way I think it needs to. I am rem
inded that my idea is not always the best option. I’m also learning that sticking to a schedule is still important, but it’s not the most important part of the day. I’ve even learned how to teach a class and keep the attention of the class while the building next door was being torn down.
All five of these things, among others are some of the lessons I’m learning that will stick with me for the rest of my life. Totus Tuus is an amazing experience and it’s an experience that I wouldn’t trade for anything. It takes a lot of energy, I have to keep up a good attitude (or at least appear to have one) at all times, but it’s also one of the most fun summers I’ve ever spent.
So there you have it; 16 days later and I’ve finally finished a post. I’m hoping it all makes sense, but after two weeks of Totus Tuus, you never know where my mind is going next. Just remember, God is good; all the time.