That whole thing at Cathedral made me appalled enough that I sent the principal, David Worland, an email. I wasn't real mean about it, just said basically what I said in my post yesterday. I received a very nice and thoughtful reply:
This is not a tradition with which I am sold, either. It was here long before I came, but students TPed the hill a few times each year. We have stopped that and only allow it one time per year, the day before the opening of school as a welcome to the freshman and returning students.
The local news on various channels reported differently – and some were not accurate. The clean-up of the paper low enough to reach will be done by our students, or will be done professionally and billed to the senior class fund.
One positive suggestion that was made that students could meet, ready to TP, divide the paper and one-half goes to the poor. I find this a very likeable suggestion.
Each student here at Cathedral works a minimum of 25 hours per year in service to others. The total for four years is 100 hours, and many of our students surpass this. We have an alternative spring break each year building Habitat for Humanity houses in South Carolina, and each year have a post Christmas trip building (Casas Por Cristo) in Mexico. Our Seniors take part in Habitat for Humanity builds in Indianapolis each year. The bottom line is that our students do much service, mostly do it willingly, and many continue to return to serve long after their service requirement for that year is complete.
I felt much better about the situation after reading that, and thanked him for his reply. Good to know that Cathedral emphasizes community service, and Habitat is a fine organization. I said that I still find it not very environmentally friendly, and hope that he will work towards building new traditions. But I certainly appreciated his taking time to reply. Also, Cathedral's teams are the Fighting Irish, so how can I dislike them?
I talked to my Mom tonight, and she told me about two of my uncles who are in really poor health. It made me sad, because these are a couple of great guys. Uncle Buck, one of my Mom's brothers, was in WWII and the Korean War, and spent I think three years as a prisoner of war in Korea. Uncle Burt was in the Navy during WWII and spent time in the Pacific. Both are members of the Greatest Generation, and it makes me sad to think of losing two more of these special people.
It also made me ponder a bit about life and death. Yikes! But sometimes it's good to ponder. Our time here is short, and I try to make the best of things and be a happy person, happy with life, happy with my situation, what have you. Life always throws you a curveball or two, but we deal with it the best we can, and go from there. (It definitely helps to have someone with you who understands and supports you.) I find so many things in life to be happy about, but then I'm a fairly cheery person, from a fairly cheery family. I can't imagine being so unhappy that it colors your entire life, and to be always grasping for what you think will make you happy, but never getting it because you really don't know what you want or what is important in life. To never make peace with others, or more importantly, yourself. What a sad existence that must be.
I can't imagine that God (or Whomever or Whatever you believe in) wants us to be miserable, but I also doubt that He (or She or It--I'm trying to be politically correct here) spends every moment wondering, "Hmm...how do I make Beth happy today?" I tend to think that we are given the tools necessary to make of our lives what we want. If we choose to wallow in misery, then that's the way we'll be. If we want to be happy, then we'll be that way. It's all about your outlook, how you look at yourself and how you look at the world. It seems pretty simple to me.