Friday Message 11/14

Greetings from school on this Friday the 13th! I am not a superstitious person - never have been. But this year, I found myself thinking about it. Hoping the "luck of the Irish" pulls all of us through!  
I want to congratulate the cast and crew of this year's Fall play, "The Monologue Show from ..." It was a hilarious comedy of a high school theater performance gone awry and the perfect choice for this crazy year. We're hoping and praying to have another big show in the Spring!  
Many thanks to all our families who donated toiletry items to our recent drive. We had hoped for an average of at least one per student and received well over three times that! Thank you!
Winter sports are upon us. As we were forced to do with football, we will necessarily need to greatly limit attendance in basketball/wrestling - even moreso. For basketball, we are moving our JV games to the Varallo gym. And we are limiting our varsity game attendance in Phifer Gym to boosters, participants, parents of participants, a small number of students and a small allotment for the other team.   
    Parents of participants will receive two tickets (from their students) and pay for them at the door. Our students will need their ID for entry after using Sign-Up Genius to reserve a spot, doing so game-by-game. We'll be emailing them a link Monday after school for Tuesday's games here at NDHS. 
I sometimes forget we didn't have exams last Spring so it's been a while. Please note the following expectations (with slight variations for afternoon exams):
  >> masks will be required at all times while on campus
  >> student uniforms are required during exams unless a student purchased a No-Shave November wristband.
  >> if a student does not have an exam, he/she is not required to be on campus. 
  >> if a student finishes an exam early, we do not dismiss students before that exam slot ends (too many disruptions); he/she should always bring a book to read or materials to study for the next exam
  >> if a student needs to be on campus, he/she must socially distance in the cafeteria/main hallway/Phifer Gym
  >> the normal Library After-Care option is not available during exams; students may stay in the cafeteria until they get picked up
  >> the cafeteria service will not operate during exams; snack/drink machines will be available
  >> Security will be on campus until 7:00 p.m.
Here's one last copy of that upcoming exam schedule. The afternoon times you see are for our At-Home Learners to come to campus. (Details regarding exams for any quarantined students are being worked out now.)
     Thu, 11/19 ... 1st/2nd period exams  (8:20 - 11:35) and(12:00 - 3:15)
     Fri, 11/20 ... 3rd/4th period exams (8:20 - 11:35) and(12:00 - 3:15)
     Mon, 11/23 ... 5th/6th period exams (8:20 - 11:35) and(12:00 - 3:15)
     Tue, 11/24 ... 7th/8th period exams (8:20 - 11:35) and(12:00 - 3:15)
In the Catholic Churches across the Diocese, the upcoming weekend is the second opportunity for church-goers to make a second-collection contribution to our Catholic Schools. In case you missed it last week, we've provided a video message from two of our students in that regard and a direct link to make a gift if you can. Regardless of faith or what church you'll be attending (or possibly watching online), we thank you for your kindness and generosity!
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Christmas before Thanksgiving? Yes, I'm one of those people. 
Every year for the last I don't know how many, I've given myself permission to listen to Christmas music beginning November 1st. A little bit of a guilty pleasure I suppose but I love it, not much more to it than that. 
Not a fan at first, Nancy's finally gotten okay with it (I think she secretly likes it) but she always makes us hold off decorating the house until after Turkey Day. 
Except this year ... we're apparently diving in this weekend. 
That's what 2020 and this pandemic has done to us ... I may be wrong, but I don't think we're the only ones throwing out some of the homemade rules we've all made for ourselves and lived by through the years. 
I'm reading much of the same stuff you are - many believe that 'routine' and 'normalcy' help provide calm and reduce anxiety when things have gone awry. More often than not, you'll find me in that category. 
But if a tree, some lights and a little music bring smiles and a sense of whatever we think we've been missing, then I say go for it!
Lord knows this is not the year to forget Thanksgiving. I know our family needs to re-focus on the good that has happened in our lives - and there is plenty we should recall. Nor should anyone skip past Advent, there's a benefit and virtue in preparing well and waiting patiently ... especially when you know the Lord of Lords awaits at journey's end.
So whether the holidays unfold at your house in an orderly fashion or explode all over the place all at once - we pray a moment of peace and a feeling of joy are the wrappings that tie it all together. Have a great weekend! And please stay safe!
George Valadie