Modest Grace

“I love tulips better than any other spring flower; they are the embodiment of alert cheerfulness and tidy grace…Their faint, delicate scent is refinement itself; and is there anything in the world more charming than the sprightly way they hold up their little faces to the sun. I have heard them called bold and flaunting, but to me they seem modest grace itself, only always on the alert to enjoy life as much as they can…” ― Elizabeth von Arnim

Something happens to my heart when I am here — especially when the tulips are blooming!

Something happens to my heart when I am here — especially when the tulips are blooming!

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“Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world.” - John Milton

Vines - St. Joan of Arc Chapel

Tonight, I am grateful for this weekend’s unseasonably warm weather, for some very successful bargain hunting, for precious time with family, for the squeaky clean, snoozy pup on my lap, and for continued inspiration.

MU vs. UW

(342/365) "Ring Out Ahoya with an MU Rah Rah...!” 💙 🏀 💛


A Place in My Heart


SJA back b+w

“When you leave a beautiful place, you carry it with you wherever you go.” - Alexandra Stoddard

SJA Bench

You MUST Go Home Again!

September 1, 2018 (244/365) • Marquette Alumni Regatta

They say, "You can't go home again," yet, I've always felt that home is a feeling more than a place. Ann Mah, states it perfectly in The Lost Vintage: “I had spent enough time in France to know that the words chez moi meant something a thousand times more profound than one's current home. Chez moi was the place your parents came from, or maybe even the region of your parents' parents. The food you ate at Christmas, your favorite kind of cheese, your best childhood memories of summer vacation -- all of these derived from chez moi. And even if you had never lived there, chez moi was knitted into your identity; it colored the way you viewed the world and the way the world viewed you.” (Mah, The Lost Vintage). I feel this way about Sturgeon Bay, about Paris, and about Marquette -- especially the Marquette University Sailing Team (MUST). Today's Alumni Regatta was almost rained out, but we got there in time to see the new fleet sail home. 

Ivy League Aspirations

 June 9, 2018 (160/365)

"None of us got where we are solely by pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps. We got here because somebody - a parent, a teacher, an Ivy League crony, or a few nuns - bent down and helped us pick up our boots."

- Thurgood Marshall

The Difference

May 9, 2018 (129/365)

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week! Today I salute the wonderful educators who made a difference in my own life. Too many of them are gone, but their legacies live on in the hearts and minds of thousands of students, like me, who were transformed by their teaching. 

Thank you | Merci:

  • to Carol Pluta who first taught me to count, to sing songs, and to say simple phrases en français. She fostered a love of French and travel that changed my life both personally and professionally.

  • to Sisters Nivard, Rosemarie, Theresa, Odilla, Prosper, Frances, and Berna. They were strict but always kind. They taught me to respect and trust God, authority, my peers, and myself.

  • to Mrs. Lippert who impressed me with her love of literature as she read aloud in her lilting Scottish brogue. This passion for reading that she inspired would eventually lead me to a double major and a twenty-year career as a French and English teacher.

  • to Mrs. G, my high school yearbook adviser, who cultivated my creativity. She taught me to take and develop interesting photographs and to design attractive layouts. She encouraged me to continue writing and to carefully edit my work. (I do need to be more diligent about this!)

  • aux Professeurs Brigitte Coste, Steven Taylor, Jean-Pierre LaFouge, Béatrice Ness, and Jeannette Kraemer qui m'ont enseignée à communiquer en français et à aimer la littérature française du Moyen Âge au XXe siècle. They encouraged me to travel and immerse myself in the French language and culture. They inspired me to go to graduate school to become a teacher.

  • to Father John Naus who personified Marquette's motto, "Be the Difference!" Father Naus taught me that we rarely succeed at anything unless we have fun doing it, to see written on the forehead of everyone you meet "make me feel important," that laughter is one of God's greatest gifts, to lip-sync "watermelon" if you can't remember the words to a song, that miniature carnations will brighten your room for a week, and that the Godspell soundtrack will stick in your head like an endless, looping prayer. He inspired me to teach with passion and to show my own students and the teachers whom I coach how much I truly care about them and their work. Some of the lovely inserts included in over 25 years of Father Naus' Christmas cards still hang in my office reminding me to value wonder, to have faith, to be kind, and to enjoy life.

These amazing teachers changed my life and I am humbled and blessed to walk in their footsteps. I am also grateful and honored to work side-by-side with equally dedicated educators who teach, who inspire, who challenge, who encourage, who care, who make a difference. 

National Marquette Day

February 3, 2018 (034/365)

"Wherever you go and whatever ends you pursue, you must always fulfill the trust reposed in you by your nation, your parents and your alma mater." - Samar Mubarakmand

[In other words, "Be the Difference!" Happy Marquette Day!]

Be the Difference

October 23, 2017 (296/365)

“Go forth and set the world on fire.” - St. Ignatius of Loyola

The Butterfly Effect

October 9, 2017 (282/365)

“You have been created in order that you might make a difference. You have within you the power to change the world.” - The Butterfly Effect: How Your Life Matters. 

The butterfly effect is a scientific theory that a single occurrence, no matter how small, can change the course of the universe forever. At Marquette, we were taught to "Be the Difference," to trust that the smallest acts of kindness, wisdom, and innovation have the power to transform the future. What a wonderful philosophy for educators! It is an awesome task that can leave one feeling a bit battered like that butterfly in this picture. But what could possibly be more important?