Saturday, May 30, 2009

"I worked too hard"--Mr. Hurley's Last Class

The first class that Joe Hurley taught at CM was in September 1972, thirty-seven years ago.

His last class was Thursday afternoon.

Even in his final classes this week, one could see what Mr. Hurley had come to consider a “teaching philosophy” over the course of his career. It included being soft-spoken and patient with students, treating each student’s individual needs, setting students up for success, and above all, having a sense of humor.

“Alright, get those tests out, I’m coming around,” Mr. Hurley told his English 9 students the day before his last day of classes.

With the alacrity of the younger teachers who share a classroom with him, Mr. Hurley ventured into the aisles and checked that tests were signed and corrected. “Alright, write this down somewhere,” he then said. “I didn’t put Of Mice and Men on your final exam, because if I did, you just wouldn’t have time to finish.”

Mr. Hurley then went over some grammar exercises with his students that he’d given them on a final exam study guide. With all the same diligence he’d showed over thousands and thousands of classes through four decades, he guided the students through the review.

“In line 1, you have to have a period after 'Sumatra.' When I say have to, there’s just no other way you’re gonna do it.”

“I’m presuming you guys aren’t raising your hands because you guys know why you got something wrong.”

Students casually tested the teacher as though he were in his first year and not his 37th. "I don’t understand," one said, and another, "How’d you grade this?"

Mr. Hurley would likely scoff at anyone searching for meaning in some of his final words to his students:

“Be careful: sometimes you need to follow more than one rule at a time.”

“There were a thousand and fifty points this quarter. I worked too hard.”

One student—let’s call him Phil—joked about Mr. Hurley’s age under his breath. After teasing him right back, Hurley continued with the lesson.

Therefore is just like however. It doesn’t introduce subordinate clauses—remember that. I’m not saying that it’s going to be on the final...and remember, you don’t have to write the rules on the final. You won’t have time.”

Acting as though he had plenty of time left with them, Mr. Hurley launched into a few stories of his youth—about playing basketball in college, a fictitious war story, and about how he got the horrible scar on his arm.

How did he get the scar on his arm? After thirty-seven years on the job, he left his students guessing.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

CM Life in Photos: Korean BBQ

CM's BERSI South Korea students journeyed to Korean King Barbecue in Canton on May 26 ahead of their June 12 trip to South Korea. The group will be the first ever delegation of CM students to visit Asia.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Athletic Awards Night Honorees

The following were honored at Athletic Awards Night on May 14th:

Outstanding Senior Athlete: Josh Boyd '09
John J. Dailey Award: Nahed Lakkis '09
James R. O'Connor "Poise and Class" Award: Jeffrey Tagger '09
Edward J. McElaney "Commitment to Excellence" Award: Matthew Campo '09 and Brennan Williams '09
Leo "Flash" Hurley Award: Francis Tierney '09
Doug Foster "Good Guy" Award: Delroy McDonald '09
Special Recognition Awards: William Hanson, Ronald J. Nasif, M.D. '70m Thomas Beatty '68, and Robert Tegan
Student/Athlete Scholarships: Gregory Sabina '09, Nolan Nee '09, and Michael Travis '09

Individual Team Awards: Football
MVP: Delroy McDonald
Peter Reilly Outstanding Junior Award: Lorenzo Warren
Patrick "Packy" Hughes Hustle, Desire and Dedication Award: Andrew DiBartolo
Peter Green Unsung Hero Award: Brian Daley and Mike Minton
Most Improved: Matt Campo
Br. Heeran Sportsmanship Award: Dave Marshall
Outstanding Linesman Award: Brennan Williams
"Knights" Gridiron Award: Josh Boyd

Individual Team Awards: Soccer
MVP: Will Donovan
Most Improved: Kyle Tildsley
Coaches' Award: Kurtis Buczynski

Individual Team Awards: Basketball
MVP: Allen Harris
Coaches' Award: Mike Ennis and Jeff Tagger

Individual Team Awards: Wrestling
MVP: Josh Boyd
Rookie of the Year: PJ Ishige
Most Improved: Josh Rosario
Keith Durham "Heart and Soul" Award: Rich Broderick
Coaches' Award: Matt Campo and Manny Calderon

Individual Team Awards: Hockey
MVP: Garrett Noonan
Unsung Hero: Dan Cornell
Most Improved: Frank Tierney
Dick Bavis Award: Billy Carey and Chris O'Sullivan
Coaches' Award: Jeff Clifford and Phil Rossi

Individual Team Awards: Swimming
MVP: Sean Farrell
Coaches' Award: James Myers
Breakout Swimmer Award: Ryan Clifford
Postseason Performance Award: John Mackie

Individual Team Awards: Golf
MVP: Joe Harney
Rookie of the Year: James O'Rourke

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Renaissance Man: Matthew Connolly '09 earns top honor at Arts Awards Night

Matthew Connolly '09 is quick to tell you what being a great artist and the U.S. Marine Corps have in common.

"Intensity," says Connolly, who plans to pursue a career path in the Marines in the future. "They both require mental intensity, although one is certainly more physical."

Intensity is what made Matthew Connolly, in the eyes of the Catholic Memorial Arts Department, this year's Renaissance Artist Award recipient. The top arts honor bestowed at the annual Arts Award Night, the Renaissance Artist award is given in honor of a student who devotes himself wholeheartedly to the arts in his years at CM.

For Connolly, who was given the honor by CM President Paul Sheff and Arts Department chair Craig Spaner at the April 28 ceremony, arts has become more than a diversion. In addition to being an award-winning Forensics student, a member of the Yearbook and Newspaper clubs, and an artist in his spare time, Connolly has taken to the stage.

Connolly has performed in three CM productions, but cites this year's role as Yeshu in From the Memoirs of Pontius Pilate as the most challenging. "Every aspect of the play was difficult," he said. "But it was so much fun. I wish I could do it again!"

Others honored on April 28 included:

Distinguished Service Award: Brian Murphy '09
Distinguished Service Award: Gregory Sabina '09
Distinguished Service Award: Mark Macchi '09
Distinguished Service Award: John Labelle '09
Distinguished Service Award: Michael Giovanucci '09

Excellence in Yearbook Design: Chris Bradley '09
Excellence in Yearbook Design: Cam Dunbar '09
Excellence in Yearbook Design: Brennan Williams '09

High School Art
Emerging Artist Award: Elliot Simmons-Uvin '11
Computer Graphic Design: Seunjin Hong '11
Studio Art 2 Award: Jake Uminski '11
Studio Art 3 Award: Robert Kane '09
Proficient Artist Award: John Repucci '09

Middle School Art
Outstanding Art Club Member: Brandon Erwin '13
Outstanding Art Club Member: Kyle Swardstrom '13
Outstanding Art Club Member: Pascal Dalusma '13

Editor-in-Chief: T.J. Bryan '10
Lead Columnist: Eric Butts '10
Features Editor: Brandon Pierce '10

Director’s Choice: Matthew Connolly '09
Trouper: Cuinn Hanscom '11
Stage Manager: John Connolly '11
Character and Improvisation Award: David McDonald '09

Broadcast Journalist for Overall Excellence: Edward Horan '09
The Brother Oxx Award: Jay Reardon '09
The Technical and Creative Eye Award: Christopher Masterson '10

The First Chair Award: Sean Steinberg '10
Excellence in Music - Vocal: Samuel McGee '10
Excellence in Music - Instrumental: Michael Murphy '10
Excellence in Music - Instrumental: J. Connor Keehnle '11
Excellence in Musical Theatre: Patrick Simas '10
The Conductor’s Award: James Myers '09
The Conductor’s Award: David Jackson '09
The Berj Zamkochian Award for Overall Excellence in Music: Sung-Eun Park '10

The Knight of the Realm Award: Br. Kirk Phelps, C.F.C.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Patrick Resolved: Junior Patrick Simas's Independent Study

It is a show written by an actor about an actor writing a show.

Patrick Simas '10, actor and writer, performed that show Monday afternoon in the Ronald Perry Gymnasium. The fruits of eight months of an independent study in drama, Abbott Resolves was a new opportunity for Simas, who has performed in countless CM productions before this (aside from soloing in concerts and Masses), to step forward and play many parts.

The play is a simple reflection of an actor in his later years, reflecting on both his theatrical life and his real life. As the hour-long monolouge progressed, Simas stepped into Abbott's celebrated roles and reinvented himself as good actors do.
"So much of me went into what I did that I almost lost myself," Abbott says at one point. It's a fitting line for a teenager who has found what he loves and pursues it. In his performance and his script, Simas gave the audience many such authentic moments in the performance.

CM Art Department Chair and director Craig Spaner guided Simas through the writing process in the independent study. "The hardest thing for Patrick was figuring out what he wanted to do, and keeping it in a reasonable time frame," said Spaner. "He wanted to encompass and keep a coherent story line together and he did--he's matured a lot as a writer."

For Simas, acting came easier than writing. "The hardest thing was establishing a fluid story while having all these stories of Abbott intertwine," he said. "Composing is more difficult, it's hard to come up with things off the top of your head."

Taking Woody Allen and the stories of King Arthur and The Dark Knight as models, Simas worked Abbott's story into a dramatic arc, finishing with a man resolved to deal with delusions of grandeur and achieving as much humility as one can expect from an actor.

"There's always a deep satisfaction that one is discovering who one is," said CM president Paul Sheff '62 after the performance. "I'm especially impressed with Patrick, and I deeply applaud him for this. He is an incredible young man."

CM Robotics makes quarterfinals in Atlanta

The Boston "Nutrons" robotics team, comprised of students from Catholic Memorial School, Boston Latin and Brookline High, traveled to Atlanta, Georgia in April to compete in the FIRST Robotics international competition. Along with coach Josh Miranda and parent chaperone Josephine Antonellis, team captains Brendan Shea '11 and Antonio Rufo '09 traveled with the Nutrons, a group mentored and funded in part by Northeastern University.

Over 1680 teams from the United States and ten teams from Brazil, Canada, Chile, Germany, Israel, Mexico, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Turkey and the United Kingdom competed in this year’s FIRST Robotics Competition.

The Nutrons earned a way to the quarterfinals with wins in several of their seven preliminary matches. The winning alliance of the entire competition was Team 67, “The HOT Team” of Huron Valley Schools from Milford, Michigan; Team 111, “WildStang” of Rolling Meadows High School and Wheeling High School from Schaumburg, IL; and Team 971, “Spartan Robotics” of Mountain View High School in Mountain View, CA.