Some thoughts on 2011

As we celebrate the beginning of a new calendar year, it’s fairly traditional to look back on the previous one, to see where you’ve learned and grown, what needs work, and in general what you’ve experienced in the last year.  Every year there are many things to look back on and talk about, and this year is no exception. Some might even say 2011 was an abnormally big year for news.

This short clip from Al Jazeera provides a little evidence for that.

I’m not really writing this to talk about news events, though: I want to look a little closer to home.  From advances in my studies in Chemistry, to a newfound love of photography and graphic arts, to a class on the 1960s that got me to pay attention to politics, my classes have been pretty significant this past semester. Going back further, I really don’t think I would be able to articulate my thoughts on social justice very well if I hadn’t read through some of the writings of Michael Himes and Jon Sobrino for Jesus Christ Liberator last spring, and I certainly wouldn’t have as strong of a grasp on social issues without my JPS class and the readings and discussions outside of class that it sparked.

But what was probably the most influential thing of the past year for me, which will hopefully continue to be for 2012, can only be the Cortina Community.  When I moved onto the floor two Augusts ago, I think I can honestly say I had no idea what I was getting myself into (in a good way), and I still don’t always know what to say about it.  What I do know is that I have grown significantly as a person in the last year and a half, and Cortina has been majorly responsible in that.

It can be hard to think back, but I know I have a better understanding of the world and people around me because of Cortina and the various other things (service trips, becoming an RA, etc) that the program has led me to do.

This isn’t to say, of course, that there isn’t still more to learn and improve upon in my own life.  I just want to acknowledge the positive effects the program has had for me thus far.

It hasn’t stopped, though.  The school year is only halfway through, and in some ways, it’s really only just started.  For some, this is the beginning of their time in Cortina, and for others this semester marks the beginning of a new chapter in their life, both on campus and elsewhere.  New classes will start soon, and with them new ideas and discussions will fill the community.

As I sit here at home, I remember the community that awaits me back in McGloin, and I look forward to returning.  But in the mean time, I’d like to wish you all a happy new year, and urge you to look back and think about what has been important to you in the last year.  I sincerely hope that you find joy in whatever that may be, and I hope that Cortina falls somewhere in that list.

One thought on “Some thoughts on 2011

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