By Eric Villanueva ’11
co-editor in chief
“God, I Have Issues: 50 ways to pray no matter how you feel” has become my nightly companion as my days as a Brophy student dwindle.
I first picked up the prayer book earlier this school year on my Kairos retreat at Brophy’s retreat center, Manresa.
I smiled when I first read the book’s ironic yet spot-on title, and I reflected upon the book’s suggested scripture passages and quotes fittingly called “words to take with you.”
A week after Kairos, I was gifted my own copy, which gathered dust on my shelf at home until recently when it resurfaced while I was cleaning my room.
Actually, I found it while frantically searching for a box of instructions and unused computer parts I had kept from Tablet orientation freshman year.
A nasty virus had ransacked my computer, which is a Brophy student’s life blood, while I was searching online for college scholarships of all things.
Luckily, K13 and company were able to fix it and I now cannot be a bigger advocate for backing up school files and protecting one’s computer.
But that hair-tearing, fist-pounding, explicative-screaming experience ironically ranks in my top five favorite moments of senior year.
After my initial moments of heart-pounding anxiety, rage, frustration and despair, I rediscovered a box that walked me down memory lane. In the box was my red Tablet carrying case, which quickly fell out of style after my freshman year, the schedule for freshman Tablet pickup in alphabetical order—some of the names I didn’t recognize—and the instructions for setting up my Tablet, which I remember vividly pouring over and following to the letter.
The box had become a time capsule, enclosing the long-forgotten anxiousness, rush of excitement, pride and low self-esteem of my freshman self. We were all freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors once and we all shared these feelings from experiences good and bad.
But, with the rat race of our lives, some of our most favorite memories can become lost in our cluttered brains. Four years in this special place come and go before you know it. Our busy lives only expedite its passing.
That’s why it’s important to capture every emotion you have during the rest of your time at Brophy and to not get lost in academics or extracurricular activities.
Reflect upon and learn from all your experiences, good and bad.
When you feel upset, stressed or frustrated, remember the innocent happiness and excitement of freshman year; the spirit of change and adventure you felt transitioning from middle school to high school.
When I found “God, I Have Issues: 50 ways to pray no matter how you feel” on my shelf, I felt the happiness, peace and excitement I had felt freshman year and rediscovered on Kairos.
From this book, full of guided prayers and impactful quotes, there is one quote I would like to share: “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
By Michael Mandeville ’11
Though it’s not traditionally a part of the Managing Editor’s position to address the Brophy community this way—generally, this editor position has not necessarily been a traditional part of The Roundup hierarchy—I’m really not surprised I’m writing this.
Throughout the beginning of my Eller 331 tenure, beginning with photo class sophomore year, I vividly recall the heaps of articles from the journalism classes soaked in red ink surrounding Mr. Mica Mulloy’s ’99 desk, the back tables and computer spaces.
And as this image saturated within me, I realized this was something I could be a part of, a way to take the administrative suggestion that was becoming seemingly redundant: get involved in the community.
So I approached Mr. Mulloy in class, and after his explanation of contributing to The Roundup, I proposed an idea of my own. Now thinking back to the article itself, I might cringe at the quality, but I can’t help to remember that, for the first time, I realized something about Brophy.
This is an establishment focused on individualizing its students, but if students never make the effort to find their niches in the school, they’ll possibly assume the opposite.
See, I wasn’t told what to write that day, I was supported to write what I wanted to write, to express myself in front of the entire community without any sort of hesitation from Mr. Mulloy or The Roundup staff.
This realization continued to manifest throughout the rest of my Brophy residency, and still does to this day. Students do have the resources and support to exercise their interests and hobbies, and what I’ve learned as a result is that the school wants you, the students, to really find yourself and your identity.
Why are we offered retreats and immersion trips, opportunities to start clubs or become involved in the array preexisting ones, a comprehensive fine arts program, and sports ranging from crew to lacrosse? This school wants its students to realize that they do have a place, and the only way to defy that is if they don’t take the initiative to find themselves here.
So take this as my senior “words of wisdom.” Seriously, I’ve experienced this myself: You can do way more than you think at Brophy.
Freshman year I felt oppressed by the sports and stereotypical “bro” culture that I thought was Brophy, but as I learned, this place completely transcends that.
Over the past four years, I’ve done quite a bit to feed my interests, from performing with bands that any other school would’ve turned down, starting a club (Mr. John Damaso ’97 seriously put up with a lot, so if you are reading this, thank you), opening a new wing of entertainment at the annual Fine Arts Extravaganza and writing my own blog for The Roundup, to name a few.
Now I know for a fact I’m not an exception. In fact, I’m almost certain all students could enjoy similar success and support with the capacity, the will and the initiative.
Next year I will continue my education at Reed College, and if it wasn’t for Brophy’s role in and out of the classroom, I’d feel pretty intimidated.
But luckily, Brophy, and all the ways it’s surprised me, taught me something that hopefully everyone discovers here (if not already). Learn through experience, embrace yourself as an individual and do what you love.
This, I am positive, will continue to travel with me through college and the rest of my life, as I continue what math teacher Mr. Tom Reithmann famously dubbed “the quest for knowledge,” as well as the pursuit for further personal discovery.