Tag Archive | Boston University

Retreat! Good for the Soul

Throughout college, I was active in the Catholic community we have at Boston University. I maintain that it was the best part of my collegiate experience. I learned how to pray, reflect intently on my life, and live with true joy. More than anything else, the BUCC shaped me into the guy I have become. And out of all the offered programming there, the semesterly retreats had the biggest impact on me. 

In the Catholic world, a retreat is a time of reflection, prayer, and contemplation. It’s a time when you leave home, get away from your life, and follow the Spirit to see where God is calling you in a much different setting than normal. While in college, there was one retreat each semester. I went on all eight undergrad retreats I was eligible for. They all meant something to me and affected me in some way. My freshman retreats sparked my faith to life. Sophomore year’s Autumn confirmed I was on the right path and the spring let me work on a retreat, so I saw the behind the scenes stuff. Junior year comforted and consoled me through some difficult times. And senior year closed out college with a bang. 

I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to do anymore retreats like those after college. They’re special experiences and only happen so often. I stayed around BU this year. I still have friends in undergrad at BU and I got more into the graduate student and young professional group that’s just getting its footing within the community again. We had talked about doing retreats for our segment of the CC, but I wasn’t sure that it would happen. I went to SEEK in San Antonio in January and figured that would be my retreat. I loved it! I was content that God had given me the needed lessons and retreat experience that I hadn’t had in almost a year. Thank God I was wrong about that.

At the end of January, a friend in the BU Grad Group told me about the retreat being discussed and asked if I wanted to help make it happen. Without thinking about the timing of it or considering too much, I said yes. It seemed like I shouldn’t pass on the opportunity to do it and I’m so happy I did. By fortunate timing, the retreat fell on the weekend between the NCAA Regional tournaments in Manchester and Providence, both of which I covered, and the Frozen Four in Chicago, where I will be starting on Tuesday. I didn’t think about that scheduling when I said yes but thank God He did. 

We got to discussing the theme, title, structure, schedule, and we went to work. We didn’t have an existing framework for prior Grad Group retreats, so we took a beat from the undergrad retreats we were familiar with and crafted our own formula. It took months of planning, promotion, praying, and processing to make it all happen. And when the weekend arrived with the snow, sleet, rain, and everything else that happens in winter and not on April 1st, we were ready to go. 

We went to Acton Mass and went Into the Desert for the weekend. It was awesome. The priest who gave the talks was perfect, the witnesses were phenomenal, the meditations worked well(so I was told after leading the first one and experienced the second), and the time in adoration and confession was nothing short of amazing. I barely slept over the weekend, in part because we slept in sleeping bags on the floors of a classroom in the basement of the church and because my sleep spot was right next to the door, but that didn’t matter much. The weekend was just such an awesome time that I didn’t care exactly when stuff happened or how rested I was. I ran on the Holy Spirit for energy all weekend. I completely crashed when I got home, but oh well. It was needed. 

I can add this to the expanding memory bank of incredible moments made possible through the BUCC community. The retreat to St. Elizabeth of Hungary parish was lovely. The snow made things annoying at times and cold, but that was alright. The simple yet deep programming worked better than we hoped it would. And the healthy parish community at St. Elizabeth’s made things better. The working infrastructure at the church made our event possible and reminded us that there is life after college. 

Many of us come from parishes that are older and low in people our age. St. Elizabeth’s has plenty of families with young parents, teenagers, active high schoolers, and adorable children in addition to the older crowd. It’s good to know that churches like this one exist and that they can be formed in today’s world. 

It’s also good to be reminded that God guides us through our deserts and makes good from them. We spent the retreat focusing on spiritual dryness and anything that resembles a desert in the spiritual life. I haven’t processed everything that God showed me yet and I will continue working through my time in the talks, witnesses, discussions, meditations, Masses, and everything else that happened. What I have processed is a reminder of God’s love for me, a purpose for my spiritual battles in recent years, and reassurance that I’m in the right career. 

Retreats have always served as a time for me to reset and refresh. This weekend didn’t physically do either of those; I went home physically exhausted. I fell asleep at 4, woke up at 7, then fell back asleep until 5am. I was rested after that night’s sleep though! Spiritually though, I feel more alive than I have in a while. I reconnected with people I hadn’t seen in a while, met new people, and was reminded of God’s presence throughout my life. It was exactly what I needed. I can say that about every single retreat I’ve been on. I’ve got more to learn from what happened this weekend, but I know I got plenty out of it for now. 

I’m thankful I had the best crew possible to work with on this weekend. The Desert isn’t as bad a place as people make it out to be. 

Thanks Coach

I have a job with WTBU as the beat writer for the BU Men’s basketball team. (By the way you can read my articles here.) That means I get to go to every game, every press conference, and every event that reporters are allowed to be at. It’s a great job. And truthfully, one of my favorite parts of it is getting to cover, talk to, and listen to Coach Joe Jones, the Head Coach of BU.

In many respects, he is exactly what I want to be. He’s passionate, confident, loves his job, like able guy, funny, is well dressed and has a great deal of fun with what he does. I admire Coach for how much he loves his job and how much he wants his team to succeed. He understands what his job is, to maximize the ability and potential of his team. I also appreciate how much easier he makes my job by being a great interview and giving answers that write my stories for me.

It is unfortunate that this year’s team, with a record of 9-13, is not performing up to their potential. It is also unfortunate that the attendance numbers are not good. Agganis Arena was so quiet in their last game, a 62-59 victory over Navy, that you could hear Coach Jones lighting into his team in time outs. I feel bad for Coach and the players. They deserve bigger audiences and for more students to come and cheer for them. The next game is on the road against Lafayette, and then there are two games at home, one on Wednesday against conference leading Colgate, and one on Saturday against Loyola of Maryland. BU is in the middle of the conference standings and can make a run at it this year. More fans to support them on Wednesday and then again on Saturday would be the best way for us to say “Thanks Coach. Thanks for your hard work to get success out of your team and we acknowledge it all. Thank you.”

What a Game!!!

I just had the craziest sports night in my brief time working games. Last night was the first night of the Beanpot, an annual college hockey tournament between the four major colleges in the area, Boston University, Boston College, Harvard, and Northeastern University.

As I’ve written about here before, I do broadcasting work for WTBU Sports, the sports branch of our student radio station, WTBU, which you can listen to here. wtburadio.org.

Due to schedule shifts, I filled in for color commentary on the broadcast for the BU Harvard game to open the Beanpot. Just setting up our equipment was a tale unto itself! We brought our equipment. We had everything we needed except for one little thing: The power source for our console, which was a plug that connected to the wall. Of all things to lose! Well we looked around and tried to see what we could to to get the right equipment. We asked the in house guy at the Garden, other BU people, even a tech guy from NESN kicked in to help us a little. Eventually, we gave up looking for a power source and really stretches our request to see if we could find another console to use. I went and talked to the main tech guy at the Boston Garden about it. I followed him into the back, and he told me “Well we don’t have much but we do have this one if you want to use it.” He was holding a 6 mic sound console. I took it immediately, saying “Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!” I ran back to our booth and we started getting the board set up with not much time to go. We then had a hard time setting everything up, and we had to get some outside help. Naturally, we got the tech man from NESN we had talked to earlier in to help us out. We finally got everything working and 3 minutes into the game, we were underway.

And then the game itself was unbelievable!! A double overtime game between two of the best teams in the country, 63 saves by Harvard’s goalie, Steve Michalek, intense moments, bone crushing hits, and the great resolve to win. With the score tied at 3 early in the second overtime, BU forced a turnover, and Evan Rodrigues passed it to Danny O’Regan who drilled a shot to give BU a 4-3 victory that felt like 4 games rolled into one. It was a fantastic game, and I’m so thrilled that I got to call it. And it’s also nice that I got to meet people from NESN like Tom Caron and Andy Brickly and I got to talk hockey with both of them.

So yeah, I had a great and crazy night. Thanks Garden, I mean Gahden for treating me so well!

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What a Great Crowd

Since being in college, the absolute best part of being here is the friendships, dealings, and fun that I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying. Today, I got to lector at Mass at the BU Catholic Center, something I enjoy tremendously. After Mass, and a little adoration, members of the BUCC gathered and, as is tradition for us, we went to lunch. It took a while for us to get there, but we did eventually get to our intended destination. We set up a table, I mean took over a table, and enjoyed a nice lunch in some fun company. Stories, puns, jokes, lessons, laughter, and anything else in between flowed like a massive river. It’s exactly what I’ve come to expect from my cohort of friends. While I expect it, I shouldn’t count on it, or else I’m quite sure I will lose them eventually. Well I won’t worry about that quite yet.
Also, later in the day, I got to be a part of a Bible study. It’s led by an awesome dude who the fellas at BU love, and it’s a study where I’ve learned a lot and grown in my faith. I’m happy to have this, and the friendships that go along with it. I’ll be sure to enjoy my friendships now. And I’ll be thankful for every chance I get to enjoy this great community dynamic in the BU Catholic Center.

Back in Beantown, Back in the Booth

Friday afternoon, I got back into Boston, where I go to school, and easily my favorite city in the world. My folks drove me back into the city to my dorm at BU, I moved all my stuff in, and got things unpacked. That was pretty nice. The other big and fun thing that happened for me on Friday was I got to go to work! It happens that work for me is doing broadcasting stuff for WTBU Sports covering BU games. Friday night was the biggest regular season game for BU of the year. Why? Because we played Boston College, the arch rival of all time for the Boston University Terriers. The cover picture for this post is my view from the press box where we did the broadcast from. It was so much fun to do! Except for the fact that BU lost to college evil (BC). Other than that, it was great! I got to dress up in a sweet suit, which is sorta seen here.

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Calling the game, getting some experience in the field was a great time, and I enjoyed the night until the end. Oh well. Let’s have a great semester!

I’m done! I’m done! I’m done!!

My semester is over! I had my oral defense for the Capstone project today. I had to wake up bright and early for it all and I’m happy it was early. It went well, and I got it done.

With the end of Capstone, my time in the College of General Studies has now come to a successful conclusion! I had a bad freshman year and a good sophomore year. There were good parts of the first year, but I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would. I had myself together this year, and I’m happy with how it ended.

And with CGS coming to an end, I’m moving into the College of Arts and Sciences for a major in Political Science and History. I’m excited to move on.

Overall, CGS was good for me. But it’s time for me to be done and move on!

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Yes Mom, I’m still doing all my homework!

Now that I’ve got my sports stuff done, with both UConn basketball teams winning championships and the Red Sox getting their season underway, my focus is back to where it really ought be, on my studies! I didn’t stop doing my work or stop caring about it all. My focus has been waning a bit, admittedly, but with the semester starting to end, I need to get my focus back on my school work so I can end the semester well!

I have two big papers due in the next few weeks, which is where all my focus will be. I had to go into Mugar Library to do some research and found some very good books on both paper topics. One topic is the philosophical developments and applications of vigilantism in American History. The picture for my post tonight is a book for that paper. It’s by Lawrence Friedman, and called Crime and Punishment in American History. It’s a very enjoyable book on it’s own merits as a history, and is a useful book for the paper. I have at least 4 other books to use for this project, and several articles for it. It’s coming along rather nicely!

The other project is my group Capstone on how Boston ought become more bike friendly, and I have been looking at a lot of maps of roads and topography for this project. I love this sort of stuff! Maps are truly interesting to me, and there is much to be learned from them. And I can help our project the best this way.

So I’ve got more to do, but yes Mom(and Dad) I’m still working on my school work! And I’m still getting my projects done!

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