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 fifth 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.
In 2004, Cathy Carroll, who works in the main office at St. John's and is in her 10th year at the Prep, was attending a St. John's Prep football game at Peabody High School watching her son play for the Prep football team. While watching the game, and I imagine this is common in Cathy's life as I have rarely seen her without her knitting needles, she was knitting a sweater. Also watching the game and standing next to her was a Xaverian brother named Phil White who had made the trip from the Xaverian brother's house on the St. John's Prep campus to support the team. Brother Phil noticed Cathy's knitting, leaned toward her and said, "I'm a size large." From this small moment Cathy began what is now called the Advent Angel. Each year at the beginning of December Cathy sets up a tree inside the Benjamin Hall Main Office which is decorated with small cards that each have a gift which a brother living in Xaverian House at the Prep has asked for this Christmas. The goal is for each brother (24 in all) to be remembered and thought of during the Christmas season. And thanks to Cathy, thought of they are! In support of the brothers and Advent Angel, Ms. Malone, a teacher in the Fine Arts department at the Prep, and her students designed and signed the cards shown below which will be given to the brothers with their gifts.
In addition to the individual gifts asked for on the tree, each brother will receive a campus gift made by Cathy, Joan Webb and Maureen Ward of the Principal's office. The gathering to give the brothers their gifts is Thursday December 19th in the brother's house on Spring Street where their will be music provided by the Travel Choir and LUNA as well as cookies and other snacks. This is a great tradition to give to the brothers who have spent most of their lives giving of themselves. For most of the brothers, they grew up in other states and have families and friends that are too far away to see during the holidays so this does a lot to lift their spirits. As Cathy said while I was walking out of her office yesterday, "If you were a Xaverian Brother who lived in Kentucky all your life and now you are living in this faraway town of Danvers, Massachusetts, who is going to buy you a present on Christmas?" Well, I think Cathy has done a pretty amazing job of making sure the brothers at Xaverian House are remembered. They are an integral part of what goes on here at St. John's and this tradition to remember them is an important one.
The freshman retreat happened last Friday. Six churches throughout the North Shore hosted groups of freshman students, sophomore group leaders and a few faculty members for the day. I still remember my own freshman retreat and as a teacher have gone on the retreat every year. The goal is for the freshman to reflect on how the first quarter of the year has gone and to make some new friends in the freshman class. Mr. Lovett, a Religious Studies teacher and coach here at the Prep, was the leader of the retreat group I was with and did a great job making sure all went smoothly. Here are some pictures!
Some of the guys saying hello.
The other half giving a wave.
Getting to know each other.
Quite a crew.
Why so serious?! I believe Griffin (right) was trying to fill out that worksheet but couldn't keep up with Mike (left) filling in the blanks.
Scavenger hunt. Trying to find people who match the categories on the sheet.
Wrapping up the day and having a good time.
Yesterday the Entrepreneur Club was lucky enough to have two distinguished guests come and speak. Elliot Katzman and Mike Shanahan, both venture capitalists and members of the Board of Trustees at St. John's, came and imparted some wisdom onto the future entrepreneurs of the world. They touched on many interesting points. One of which was the importance of a good idea combined with an impressive person behind it. They discussed how as venture capitalists they look at over 2,000 business ideas a year and choose one or two to invest their time and money in. They emphasized that a lot of what makes a business plan or idea stand out is not just the idea itself but what traits, characteristics and personality the person who has come up with the idea has. Another interesting point they discussed was what the first step an entrepreneur should take once they have an idea they want to go forward with. Their advice was awesome! Just do something! Do not do nothing! Get out there and get in touch with people who could help you, find an expert, do research on the market, anything to become more informed and more proactive. Loved it. I think at one point Mr. Katzman even said, "Well, if you do nothing, you know nothing is going to happen." Right up my alley. Here are some photos of the day.
Elliot Katzman (left) and Mike Shanahan (right) answer questions from the club.
So perhaps I have gotten a bit too slow and taken too much of my own advice. So many things have happened since the last time I talked to you that I owe you a solid post on at least a few of them. The major events have been the student activities fair and the first Prep dance. Both happened last week so I am a week behind schedule but hey, like I said last time, slowing down is a good thing. What's that proverb? Be not afraid of moving slowly, be only afraid of standing still. That's my mantra. I think pictures are the best way to show you what really happens at these events so take a look. I think I depicted things pretty accurately.
Reid Levick looking very proud representing the Robotics Team.
Reid seconds later fending off intruders who are trying to get some free publicity. That looks to be the Philosphy Club. I will have to discuss this with Mr. Roche. This does not seem very philosophical.
The Engineering Club is going to build a boat (rumors). Here are the possible plans.
Look at all the chess pieces scattered across the board! Ralph, this is not Jenga.
Ah, the Entrepreneur Club. Great kids and look how prepared they are.
The Spanish Club with posters covered in food and empty bottles. What the heck.
This is my favorite picture.
Sports Science Club. That USA Olympic banner is signed by an Olympic medalist, though I forget who.
Model UN. Very serious.
Switching gears to the Prep dance. This is the calm before the storm. So peaceful looking isn't it? Like you almost would not mind being there. Oh how things change.
So, these are the student council members in charge of the dance. I don't know how to feel about this.
Very glad I was on the otuside looking in.
Again, the people in charge.
Mr. Wyrwa having a blast. But the Giants??? Come on we are in Patriots Nation!
A freshman student ran into my classroom yesterday after school. He was out of breath and looking for a jacket and a binder he had left somewhere on campus in one of his classrooms and was trying to figure out where it was. He had practice to be at by 3 o'clock and he still had not gone to his locker to get his books to take home. He was also sharing a locker with another student in the gym because he had lost his combination the previous day and could not remember it so he had to make sure to meet him there or he would not have his practice stuff. I vividly remember being a freshman and having a very similiar experience the first few weeks here. It was a whirlwind where everything seemed to be happening very fast and there was no way to be anything but tired and out of breath. I remember one experience clearly. I was walking across campus between Benjamin and Xavier Hall and it was scorching hot. I had a backpack and my soccer bag slung over my shoulder and books in my hand that would not fit into my stuffed backpack. And I dropped them all on the ground. So I was dripping sweat onto the asphalt as hundreds of kids hurried by me to class while I tried to pick my books up. I got to class late, sweating, out of breath and generally confused. But I survived it and so will the boy who reminded me a lot of my former self. Before he left I stopped him, had him take a few deep breaths and told him to just relax and slow down. Practice isn't going anywhere. I asked him if he was OK. He said yes and then immediately booked it out of the room, backpack bouncing looking like it was going to topple him over. But he had to get to practice on time. I would have done the same thing when I was a freshman. Some things need to be learned on our own. Slowing down is sometimes very hard to do.
The school year has begun! Yesterday was the first day of classes here at the Prep. I feel like it was only a few seconds ago I was writing about the freedom of summer. The wind in your face. The open road. All good things must come to an end. And fortunately all of us here are blessed to have St. John's to come back to. I snapped a few photos yesterday of the opening Freshman Convocation, where the incoming freshman class was welcomed to the school by the faculty and upper classmen. The ceremony starts with a walk from the auditorium to the gym, a walk that is almost the exact reverse of the walk they will take as seniors on the day of their graduation. Here are some pictures!
The freshman class waiting for the day to start in the auditorium.
The walk across campus.
The upper classmen welcoming the freshman as they enter the gym.
Beautiful day. What a great place to be.
I am a big fan of country music. From Willie to Cash and yes often I find myself blaring a little Kenny Chesney or Jake Owen in the car. Perfect summer jams. Whether you are a fan as well or are reading this saying, "I can't believe Mr. Broderick has such bad musical standards," I think we can all agree there is something very special about summer. There is a line from a Trace Adkins song which gets me every time I hear it: "Ain't no freedom like the last day of school." There ain't. I remember the feeling of finishing my last final exam and having this feeling in my gut of absolute freedom. Time for baseball gloves and bikes and pools and slush puppies. As Dr. Hardiman keeps reminding us, there are something like 87 days until class in the fall. Enjoy every one of them, they are important and should be fun. Have a great summer and see you when we get back.
Not that the Aviation Club needs any more publicity because they consistently have one of the largest groups on campus at every meeting, but I was walking out the door to practice the other day and I saw a rather large airplane sitting in the hallway and immediately thought: BLOG. As I walked up to it I saw Reid Levick sitting cross legged in front of the propeller prodding and twisting and siphoning liquid from the engine. When I asked him what he was doing he said he was changing the engine oil. He looked like he was in the zone so I tried not to bother him too much. Upon walking into the classroom behind him, I encountered the rest of the Aviation Club using a flight simulator program on the computers. Brother Tim, the moderator of the club, tried to point me in the direction of some of the club's most loyal followers so below are some pictures of them.
Reid changing the engine oil.
Looks pretty complicated. I hope you know what you are doing, Reid!
Harry Kerker and Dan Dewing with Brother Tim. Brother actually said these two were not the most loyal club members he had ever come across but he smiled with them for a picture anyway.
Flight simulator. Michael Terranova (middle) actually goes with Brother Tim to Beverly Airport and takes flight lessons working toward getting his pilot's license.
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.
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