Mr. Broderick's Blog
You found my blog! Now you can truly be at peace and begin your journey to enlightenment. My name is Tim Broderick and I graduated from St. John's in 2005. I went to Boston College and then came back to the Prep immediately. It's like I never left high school. This is my 4th year teaching history and computer science. I also coach sports that begin with letter S - soccer, skiing and sailing. I hope you enjoy the blog, but I know you already feel better just from my intro. Enlightenment is within reach. See you around campus and go make it a great day.
BIG week for seniors. A lot going on and a lot to wrap up before Graduation this Sunday. Mr. Marinelli just reminded me that I have to go and pick up my Graduation robe. Robe? Gown? I don't know. Either way, there is a lot going on for the seniors this week. All of the excitement started last Thursday with the Senior Awards Night and went right into the weekend with Senior Prom on Friday. There are a bunch of festivities this week for the seniors but the big ones are the Baccalaureate (hardest word I have had to spell in the history of this blog) Liturgy on Saturday and of course Graduation on Friday. I have posted some pictures below with the help of Chris Lynch and Susan Bavaro. Thanks! Seniors, enjoy this week. It goes by way too fast.
Class Pres Joe Flynn doing a little practicing on stage before welcoming the parents and students to the Senior Awards Ceremony.
Matt Brady won the award for Best Student-Athlete and I was able to snag him from the thronging masses for a quick photo before he left.
Friday was the senior's last day of classes. This is a bit sad for me because these seniors were freshman during my first year of teaching at the Prep. It's mostly sad because I am four years older. Yikes. I will miss these guys. I remember my last day as a senior at St. John's and though a lot has changed since then, there are some traditions that remain. The most notable being the ringing of the Spire bell. In the picture above you can see the green steeple atop Xavier Hall and that steeple, which we call the Spire, has a bell in it that is rung on special occasions. Below you can see Mr. DiFabio taking all the fun for himself and not letting any of the seniors actually get a chance to ring it. He did eventually. See how happy he looks? Give a man a bell. You can also see the opening in the ceiling which was redone when Xavier was renovated. I wanted to show you that picture because prior to renovation there were two ways the seniors could ring the bell. The first was in the basement! Yes, that rope Mr. DiFabio is holding ran through the walls of the building from the bell in the Spire all the way to an opening in the basement with a locked door that the Administration would open on the last day of classes. The second way was much more interesting though because you got to actually go up into the top two floors of Xavier (in probably the exact same spot where Mr. DiFabio is) which had been condemned for use since the time when it was a boarding school. Both were cool. Either way, the seniors are gone! Have fun guys and see you at graduation.
Playing some frisbee on the lawn.
Come on Mr. DiFabio, give the kids a chance.
Up to the Spire!
So this blog post is going to be record breaking because it has the most pictures I have ever crammed into one post. I didn't know how else to go about showing you Grundy.
The building on the left is the Harman Memorial Baptist Church Center and is where we stay while we are down in Grundy. The building actually used to be a shower house for coal miners who were working in the nearby mines. However, when they renovated the building they did not leave one shower in the place. The land the building is on actually used to be a mine until the coal ran out.
This is one of the first worksites our group was on. It is the house of Allen and Barbara Fields. We were fixing a leaky roof, some siding and some other odds and ends like a mailbox and a storm door.
Same worksite as above just looking the other direction. Allen, the man who owned the house and his grandson Dylan, love to fix and renovate old cars. That red one right there is a 1968 Chevrolet Chevelle SuperSport. You should Google a picture of what one of those looks like when it is all fixed up. They don't make them like that anymore.
For some reason there is this misconception that when I go down to Grundy I don't get my hands dirty. But there I am helping Matt Homa (right) lay shingles! Proof for all the doubters.
Driving into downtown Grundy. The town actually has a real flood threat. Every 30 years almost like clockwork the Levisa River which is down an embankment to the right of this picture floods and takes most of the downtown with it. Because of this much of the original downtown has been moved to higher ground.
This is the only Wal-Mart in the country that sits atop a two story garage. Wal-Mart would only agree to build in Grundy if the town found buildable land above the flood plane. Just in case, Wal-Mart concluded they would give their store some added protection by putting two floors of concrete garage below the actual store just in case the Levisa River rose again. The mountain you see to the right had to be carved back in order to make space for the huge new building.
This is Kudzu vine. It is a vine native to Japan and was brought here to help with erosion and runoff. However, in the south, some folks call it "Mile a Minute" because of the rapid speed which it grows. Two years ago this hill was green and covered in full grown trees. Kudzu wrapped all of them up and killed them.
There is some great signage displayed outside many of the churches in the south. This is one I particularly liked.
Each year the Grundy Volunteer Fire Department hosts us for dinner. They make THE BEST beans in the world. Honestly, I look forward to this meal each visit because of their Cowboy Beans. Secret recipe. Don't even know what's in them but holy smokes they are good.
The firefighters usually take the boys through the town of Grundy on the firetrucks. This year I heard there was a need for speed.
Saying goodbye on the morning we left Grundy. Always sad to leave the friends we have made there.
The drive home! This picture does no justice to how bad the weather was. Several emergency alerts on the radio for tornado warnings! We toughed it out. You know. Prep guys.
Just wanted to give all my loyal followers (I know you are out there) a heads up as I will be out of the loop for a bit starting this Thursday as we begin the 18 hour trek to Grundy, Virginia. Don't worry I will be back in 10 days and plan on posting a whole bunch of images from the trip up here at that point. Each year the school runs a service trip to Grundy, in the heart of rural Appalaicha, where 20 or so students try to give what most consider necessities to live (like running water, toilets, roofs, etc.) back to the people there. Here is a picture of the group that went down last year at the Grundy Fire Station.
So in Web Design class the other day I took a bunch of pictures of what the guys were up to. I also took some screenshots of a few of the websites that were a little further along than the others. For the semester, each student must choose a topic they are interested in and design a web site from scratch using Adobe DreamWeaver and the Adobe Creative Suite. Here are some pictures of who was up to no good (and some who were up to some good).
(Collin can't even stop smirking for the camera.)
(Some good. Though that is my blog on the screen. Very good.)
(Screenshot of Matt Howard's website. Looking pretty good!)
(Will Stewart's website)
(Ian Weist's website)
Spring sports have just started up at the Prep. Tryouts are winding down and most seasons are beginning in the next week or so. While most teams head into the gym or onto a parking lot because the fields are still covered in snow, the sailing team heads out to the water, freshly thawed and probably a hint above freezing. I must say that comparitively, coaching the ski team is a much warmer job than coaching during the sailing season. Skiers tend to do everything possible to get out of the wind, all sailors think about is where the next gust is coming from so they can go get in it. And this year, while the snow is still on the ground and the chill is still in the air, it is a double whammy of cold. Even Mr. Mackinson, the head coach of the sailing team, said that in his 25 years of coaching sailing he can't remember being on the water with snow on the ground. Anyway, to document the first couple days on the water, I took a few pictures to share the experience. It actually was not as cold as I thought it was going to be and we ended up having a great first two days on Friday and Saturday.
Rigging the boats and getting ready to go out onto Lake Quannapowitt in Wakefield.
The Quannapowitt Yacht Club with snow still on the beach.
Yes, there is some snow still left in the water. Ok ok it isn't much but it's there!
Out on the water for the first time this season and I must say those sailboats look pretty good don't they?
Look at all that snow on the shore of the lake! Those boats are still looking good on the same tack.
So, all in one weekend, or almost all in one weekend, three rather exciting things took place. Once again snow was dumped on us and left me with about 18 inches of wet heavy snow in my yard. The news said we were going to get 3 to 5. I mean, I was very excited about it because we had no school, but how are they always so wrong? Either way, on the same day we had no school there was the freshman-sophomore semi-formal which I attended that evening. And I forgot my camera! That was upsetting because I needed a picture for this post I had been planning on writing for a week. Dejected but not defeated, I asked Mrs. Olson if she could please use her iPhone to take a few pictures and send them my way. Well! Little did I know she would proceed to belittle my phone which is incapable of such tasks. Either way, courtesy of Mrs. Olson you have the picture below. Thank you Mrs. Olson. Comments and complaints about its quality and pictured subjects can be sent her way. Lastly, when I woke up today I was amazed at how fresh I felt for 8am. Yet I soon realized it was not 8am at all and that I had forgot about daylight savings. So, techinically it is not yet spring (still 10 days away), but I am looking forward to no longer having to drive home in the dark despite losing an hour of sleep I will no doubt be trying to make up all week. Well, that's all folks. See you at school.
So, in class right before February Vacation, I noticed a startling thing in one of my classes (see picture above). All but three students had on the exact same boot. Tan Timberland workboots. It was such an incredible thing to me that I had to take a picture of it. Now, when I was a kid at the Prep, Timberland workboots were popular too. A lot of kids had them. But this!? If we were to expand these statistics out to the entire school, something like 1,000 out of the 1,200 kids at the Prep would have on these shoes! At the same time! I showed this picture to my family and the reactions varied from "You have to be kidding me" to "Well, that's what you get when there is a dress code" to "I have that same boot". So who knows. Again, harkening back to my high school years, the most popular shoe was Dr. Marten's Classics. Everyone had them. Including me. I still wear them to work! I have yet to see a kid in a pair. In fact, a student the other day said, "Hey Mr. Broderick, nice shoes." Maybe it's time for an upgrade. Nah. And besides, now they are cool because no one has them. Trendsetting.
So this past snowstorm was quite something. I took it upon myself to document some of it. I can't say I did the best job but I thought I did well enough to get the point across that A LOT of snow fell in a little over 24 hours. Here are some photos from my experience with Nemo.
Before the storm got going. We have a little Christmas tree on our back porch and it's a pretty decent size. Comes up to about my chin.
The first night of the storm (Friday night). Looks so pretty doesn't it?
Saturday morning! Tree nearly demolished.
Saturday night. Snow still half falling but now the tree looks to be pretty much a clump of snow and light.
The best picture of the whole affair. This is Lily. She is thirteen years old and she is a champ. Sitting outside enjoying the weather. She did not want her picture taken at all if you can not already tell that. Sideways glance.