Story and Why
"Your Life is Your Story" Blog Archives
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Sister Super Fan - Loyola's Chaplain and Very Special Jean Dolores
March 25, 2021
are you have heard of her. Sister Jean Dolores, the "Basketball Nun"
and longtime chaplain for the Loyola Ramblers, the college basketball
team making another cinderella run in the NCAA Basketball Tournament.
The Ramblers have already achieved a couple of upsets this year,
including defeating #1 seed and in-state rivals Illinois. Next up
they hope to win and advance to the Elite Eight. They've been here
before. The last time was in 2018. What they have in common with
previous Loyola lineups is the inspiration and dedication of their
longtime spiritual guide. Sister Jean Dolores is a Catholic nun and an
avid basketball fan. She's 101 years old and still going strong,
undoubtably powered by her strong faith and her contagious enthusiasm
for the sport.
More importantly, she is clearly following what she deems her life
calling. Helping others and looking at the world through her eyes. It
is very much worth the read to go to the Loyola Chicago University website and find out for yourself.
Sister Jean has frequently been interviewed and now with the Ramblers
advancing in the "Big Dance" as the tourney is known during the annual
March Madness she is once again in the spotlight. She's delightful
on television and answering questions with good humor and
humility. What a wonderful person and a real super fan - Sister Super
Tandem Running with
Dick and Rick Hoyt
March 18, 2021
was 52 in 2007 when I ran my first marathon. I thought it was a big
deal. After all, most people never do that, run 26.2 miles. Most people
actually think it's a bad idea, maybe even a little looney.
Although my accomplishment was impressive to me it certainly pales in
light of the amazing running of Dick
and Rick Hoyt. Rick was born a paraplegic due to cerebral
palsy. But he always wanted to do things other people did. And his
father, Dick Hoyt, obliged. More than obliged. He and Rick became a
tandem running team like no other. They called themselves Team Hoyt
and over the years they ran 32 Boston marathons, countless other races
and quite a number of triathlons, including Ironman Triathlons, the
pinnacle of distance events.
How did they do it? Rick's father pushed Rick in a wheelchair. His
first ones were not sophisticated, but eventually they got a custom
racing chair. And for bike rides he could tow him in a cart. For the
water events Dick would swim and
pull his son in a rubber dinghy. It's so amazing,
both for the physical determination and ability, and the beautiful
expression of love and dedication to do that for his son.
"I want to do whatever Rick wants to do," said Dick.
Dick Hoyt passed away yesterday at the age of 80. Rick, now 59, told
his father that when they were running he felt like his disability
disapeared. He was free and "flying". That's so awesome.
Over the years they inspired a lot of people. I remember first seeing
this father and son tandem team on a special about the Hawaii Ironman.
I couldn't believe it and it was so incredible. The joy on Rick's face
when they crossed the finish line and the obvious sacrifice Dick made
and his great love for his son was priceless.
The Boston Globe tribute is a worthy
read. Isn't it great when we see people overcome such odds and live
full lives despite the obstacles? What a great life and legacy.
Teacher's One Year Pandemic Marker
March 12, 2021
I am, in addition to a life story enthusiast, a regular journaler. I
feel a constant need to write my thoughts about my life experiences. So
naturally one year ago, right as my school was finishing up our March
Parent-Teacher conferences, was a day that was duly recorded in my
computer journal. Now, one year later, I can and did look back at what
I wrote. This a teacher's one year pandemic marker.
Writing on a searchable and powerful software has been satisfying for
me. I've kept journals for many years, but in 2009 I started using The Journal
and it has done the job quite well. On March 12, 2020 I noted that we
had received word that our schools were closing to in-person teaching.
That made the coronavirus pandemic very real. I had not yet met anyone
who had caught Covid. But now I knew things were spreading rapidly and
so were plans to try to control the spread here in New Mexico.
Suddenly it was like a "big pause". I wasn't going to be heading back
the next Monday to teach the kids I'd been instructing for about eight
months. In fact, everything was suddenly on hold. Spring Break was
still a couple of weeks away. But this was a break too. Not a planned
one. But a necessary one.
Already the district, administration and teachers were scrambling to
create some kind of digital learning, what eventually became our online
remote instruction model. Teachers can think quickly on our feet. It's
really an important ability when you never know what will happen on a
day-to-day basis. We are big on planningb and teachers learn quickly to
have plan B, C, D and E. Pivot is one of our favorite maneuvers.
My thoughts back then were how life suddenly seemed surreal. "An
historic and strange time" - a direct quote from the journal entry. I
was already considering both the health and economic impacts. And what
would it mean for our social and family lives? I also noted the news
coverage of people raiding the store shelves and hoarding things like
Well, a full year later I have the benefit of hindsight. So far I
consider myself one of the lucky ones. I've stayed healthy. My kids and
grandkids are okay. A few other family members have had mild cases of
the virus. I have been able to teach and in the digital manner it's
been quite the learning experience for me and my students! For those
naysayers who think kids aren't learning anything I must strongly
disagree. Some are learning more than others. But learning is
happening. Instruction is taking place. Life lessons are being
imparted. Digital skills are blossoming. And we all should be looking
at life with a little more clarity. Nothing is guaranteed and stuff
does indeed happen. Sometimes it's not a big deal.
Sometimes it is a very big deal.
It has been quite a life experience for me. Another line from my
journal entry that day was, "I am looking at this time to be able to
read more, write more and spend quality time with my wife." Done, done
This is a teacher's one year marker of the pandemic along with
the hope for better days that I see are coming.
Women Medical Pioneers
March 8, 2021
Today on this International
we salute many important women who have helped change the world with
their contributions to medicine. There are so many amazing women who
have contributed in countless ways over the course of history, but
since we've been battling the Covid 19 pandemic this past year I
thought we should shine a light on these women medical pioneers.
The first woman in the United States to be granted an MD degree was
Elizabeth Blackwell. She was motivated to pursue her degree in medicine
after a deathly ill friend insisted she would have received better care
from a female doctor. Blackwell was turned away by over ten medical
schools, but persevered to earn her doctorate.
The first African American woman U.S. doctor was Rebecca Lee Crumpler.
She was the target of plenty of racism and sexism in the years
following the Civil War, but she used the experience to inspire her to
keep helping the suffering patients she treated
Another African-American first was Jocelyn Elders who was appointed
surgeon general in 1993. She followed the path paved by Antonia
Novello, the first woman surgeon general who also was the first
Hispanic appointed to the post.
There are many others and you can read about some of them at the AAMC
website with an article that celebrates 10 women medical pioneers.
March 5, 2021
on to Yesterday -
that was a great song by Ambrosia.
It's also on my mind as I reflect on the past. We all grow up
influenced by the music and culture we are exposed to during our
formative years. That age group is typically anywhere from nine to
maybe our early twenties. Certainly we continue to be influenced before
and after that by various things like family, school and society.
Clearly major events, such as our current coronavirus pandemic now
hitting the one year anniversary, will leave a mark. Nevertheless, the
power of music seems to really cement certain key memories and feelings
during those years of youth.
call it nostalgia when we look back, especially with a bit of longing
for those days. I find that I both wince at painful or embarrassing
recollections, while also feeling wistful as I contemplate the growing
pains I was going through. As a child of the 60's and 70's and someone
who spent over thirty years in radio broadcasting the music of those
times heavily influenced me. While I enjoy and continue to listen to
newer creations, I still recognize the power of the music from my early