Monday, January 09, 2006

Becoming Mr. Koczera.

My first week at St. Ignatius College Prep was a bit overwhelming, with a lot of new names and faces to remember and a lot of new information to absorb. Each day I've gotten to know the school a bit better and gotten a better sense of what I'm doing there. That's not to say there aren't some challenges - getting used to being "Mr. Koczera" instead of "Joe" is one. This is my first time working in a high school, and being regarded as an authority figure is still a very new experience for me. Even so, I think I'm getting the hang of it. I'm also making slow but steady progress in getting to know some of the students, who have impressed me as a bright and talented group. The faculty and staff here have also been very friendly and welcoming, helping a new colleague who is a novice in more senses than one to get his bearings. Though SICP is still very new to me, I think I'm settling in fairly well.

A highlight of my first week was Friday's "Jesuit Cup" varsity boys' basketball game between St. Ignatius College Prep and Loyola Academy. A spirited rivalry exists between Chicago's two traditional Jesuit high schools, and the annual Jesuit Cup game - a tradition of at least three decades' standing - holds an important place on the athletic calendars of both schools. This matchup between the SICP Wolfpack and the Loyola Ramblers draws such a large crowd that for the past couple years the Jesuit Cup game has been held at the Gentile Center at Loyola University Chicago. As anticipated, Friday night's game was played before a packed gymnasium. Students and alumni from both schools came out in force and cheered their favored teams on with admirable zeal. After an exciting, high-energy game, the Wolfpack lost to the Ramblers 47-43. Historically, I haven't been much of a basketball fan - my years at Georgetown notwithstanding - but I had such a great time Friday that I hope to attend the rest of this year's Wolfpack basketball games. This experience reminded me how glad I am to be here, and hopefully the great time I had at the Jesuit Cup game is a sign of even greater things to come. AMDG.


At January 10, 2006 6:44 PM, Blogger Lisa said...

Basketball is such a great connector of people and a super way to show young people that you're interested in their lives outside the classroom. I'm sure your presence will mean a lot to them.

At January 14, 2006 5:53 PM, Blogger LilBucner said...

but is becoming Mr. Koczera as entertaining as Makkonen Kikkonen's tome, "Becoming Indonesia"?


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