Lasallian Volunteers 2005-2006

Lord, The Work is Yours...

Monday, October 31, 2005


Happy Halloween Everyone! I don't know about ya'll but I'm about all Halloweened-out and it's just now Halloween. The rec center put on 3 Halloween parties over 3 days (pictures to come soon), then their was the Brothers' party at Bishop Loughlin, and now today our community is going to go to the NYC Halloween parade. It's been a lot of fun, but I'm about ready for Thanksgiving now. I've decided to post a few pictures from the Brothers' Halloween party. They went all out on decorations, but I unfortunately didn't get any pictures of them.

The Bedford Park community showing these Halloween spirit. From left to right: Me (a beach bum), Clare (a biker chick), Elisa (a fortune teller), Brother Bill (a big scary monster), and Jonathan (a medieval something or other).

The NY volunteers (minus the Albany ones).

Elisa (Loretto Volunteer), Brother Bill, and Jonathan decide to have a little fun with some tarot cards.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

why not (part II)

If its not too late and you don't have a costume. Thought it would at least get a laugh. (hope we don't get any copyright infringement problems here guys)

Attention College Guys!

Ok so I'll explain. Last nite Bridget and I took our middle schoolers on a field trip to Saint Mary's College for Trick-or-Treating and a Halloween Party. It was hilarious. The entire trip totally reminded me of the change middle school girls go through. No longer do boys have coodies, especially not college guys. So many of the girls who I was with were really shy when trick-or-treating through the guys dorms. But not Diaja. No fear. Every guy she met, she greeted very enthusiastically, "Hi College Guy(s)!" or "What up College Guy(s)!" Everyone was laughing, including me and the guides. But the funniest part was when her friend reminded her that she had no chance with these guys because "they are like 8 years older than you." Diaja was like, "So, I can still say hi!" Oh girls.

Also, it was really amazing to see that some of the kids had never left Oakland before. We picked up some kids from the Elizabeth House, a battered women's shelter, and one of the middle schoolers who came, had never been outside of Oakland. On the bus ride up there, she was looking at the hills asking one of the volunteers how they built those houses on the hill. Then she was like, "How do they get their food up there?!" The idea of a winding road up the hill was completely foreign. Just amazing. Well take care! Hope everyone has a Happy Happy Halloween!


Thursday, October 27, 2005

why not?

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Jennifer (far L) with the entire staff at the Recreation Center at Highbridge Community Life Center. I forget all of their names, the ones I know are Nanny(middle...Director of Center); Kim (far right, Dominican Volunteer); Monique (back wearing Red from the Youth Center); and Iran (front and center, Associate Director of the Center)

The Center is a good size, but not a lot of meeting space. They have a computer room and a large lobby where students do homework. The actual gym is a good size. The girl that Jennifer is working with is a serious student. She does not leave unless her homework is complete!

Highbridge Community Life Center, Bronx, NY (LV Visit)

Highbridge Community Life Center has a new Recreation center on the other side of "Highbridge," the neighborhood where the Center focuses all of their efforts. The main Center is at the far end of Highbridge (near Yankees Stadium) and the Recreation Center is on the other end of the neighborhood. The Recreation Center is brand new, so Jennifer and the staff are trying to stir up business. Jennifer helps organize the afterschool program. Kids come to work on homework and take part in planned activities. There is a long waiting list because they have limited space. They are hoping to open up more space soon. Jennifer also organizes programs for Seniors during the day. Jennifer started a new "Walking Club" where Seniors can track their steps using a pedometer. The challenge of the Center is how to advertise and how to create new programs that the people need. As I was leaving, Jennifer was organizing a Highbridge Halloween Party...hope you have a good turn-out.

Resurrection School, Harlem, NY (LV Visit)

On the left are students that showed up for the After School ttoring. At his point of the day, a lot of "Why" and "So" questions were flying around. Julia did a great job with fielding all the questions.

Left: Julia with Br. Vincent, school counselor.

Resurrection, Harlem, NY (LV Visit)

Julia is the jack of all trades at Resurrection. She coordinates all the efforts in the Library, including testing and accelerated Reader. She also began an after school program for students who want the extra quiet and time to do their homework. Also, teachers do send their classes into the Library periodically. Usually, Julia reads a story to them (of course with tons of questions) and then allows them to choose a book of their liking. Of course, this is always the most interesting time in the Library! I am convinced that Julia has eyes in the back of her head.

Julia's Library is right across from Chistine's 2nd grade classroom.

Resurrection School Visit - Harlem, NY

It happened to be "Picture Day" during my visit. No rabbit ears on this one!
Christine's students were so funny as the photographer was trying to organize them...I almost has to leave the room in laughter! They are not only cute, but hilarious. The best part of the day was when the students began to sing their "group" yes and no's and other responses. They would not stop...they were in a singing mood. By the way, we are going to have a "Children's Song Sign-Off" between Christine and Jonathan at Midyear. I just can't decide which one has better songs...Christine's Moose Song is you know that one Jonathan?

All lined up and ready to go home...not much patience left at this point in the day!
Relaxing during Language Arts Class.
As you can see, a lot of student involvement.
It was an interesting beginning during Computer Class. It was if all 10 of them needed everything for the 1st minute of class. Let's just say that they were anxious to learn!

Hello? Anybody out there?

Ok I know you all are looking at the blog thinking, 'Why isn't anyone posting? I know there has to be interesting things going on!' Well I was. I hope everyone one is doing well. Its raining today, and I LOVE IT! Also if anyone wants to say a really cool dinner prayer in their community I suggest singing 'Bless us O' Lord' to the theme song of Gilligan's Island. It rocks. I Did it last nite at dinner. At mid-year if anyone wants me to teach it to them I'd be glad to! Well I hope that brightened everyone's day! Take care and God Bless!

Saturday, October 22, 2005


Thought you guys might like a picture of a bunch of nutcrackers.

Divine Intervention

There's times at school that I truly cannot explain how something I did happened. Example: I had kids in detention for lunch and they were being rambunctious. I told them that the next person to talk would be copying words out of a dictionary (which would hopefully teach them a few GOOD words to use). Well, soon enough, three were copying and I had run out of dictionaries. I told one of the kids to start copying from the letter "I" and after the first word he told me he wanted to work on the "B" section. "Sure," I said. I walked to his desk and without even picking up the dictionary, I automatically flipped EXACTLY to where the B section the kids' and my own amazement! The kid was stunned and several of them asked how I did that. I told them "God did it; not I." I think that's a good defintiion of Divine Intervention. Thanks for helping me out there, G-O-D!

Friday, October 21, 2005

Callin' you out!

This week, a new science teacher started in my grade level. Well, on day three, the students were doing what students do to all new teachers, testing her.

She was appeared to be getting slightly frustrated with them and she said, "Listen, I've been to high school and graduated, I've been to college and graduated, I am qualified to teach this class."

One student, Dominica, ever so politely raised her hand.

Teacher: "Yes Dominica?"
Dominica: (as flatly and calmly as you could imagine) Well, just because you graduated from a high school and a college DOES NOT mean you are qualified to teach us."

I was horrified. It took all I had not to get up and take this girl out of the room. The new teacher stood there for a moment, took a deep breath, and said, "You know what Dominica, you're right! What you don't know, is that science was my major, I am pre-med, and this is the area that is my specialty. So I'm going to need you to trust me on this, I'm qualified."

Damn. She handled that well. That's all I could think. Dominica had nothing else to say for the entire remainder of class.

Thursday, October 20, 2005


There's a meeting of about 5 brothers in my community this weekend, so I thought I would do my community a favor and pick up a brother from the airport since it was near dinner time and I wan't certified to cook yet (really, I don't cook much here). I set out with a newly-arrived brother from DC and arrived at the airport in good time. All on schedule, as expected. The brother's plane had just landed when we called and he had not yet claimed his baggage, so we thought we would circle around again. It turns out I made a wrong turn off the airport property and ended up WAY out away from the airport...WAY BACK at U-Penn, which is South Street in Philly (20 minutes away from the airport). Oops...In my defense: It really becomes a one-way road when you miss a turn, though! SO we get back to the airport JUST as the brother calls back to say he's ready to be picked up...Everything appears back on track and according to schedule. Phew...almost! I make ANOTHER wrong turn and before I know it I'm on 95 South heading to DC. I turn off the highway to turn around and we see a ginormous bonfire blazing in the middle of a baseball field with kids running around like it was a podunk town..we all felt like we had crossed over into the twilight zone. Well, the brothers had a GREAT sense of humor, ESPECIALLY when I told them I was an aviation major from one of their own schools. We ended back up at my community in enough time to sit down and eat a leisurely meal (pizza...and I thought I was ruining a home-cooked meal) and enjoy laughing at me for my comedy of errors to and back from the airport.
AND If you want to know why I didn't ask for directions, just click this link for a HILARIOUS video:


So..I was in Technology Class today discussing with the 3rd Graders how technology affects their daily lives. I gave them a definition of 'technology' that they could remember easily and I told them it was a broad definition. I realized that the word "broad" may not be one they use often, so I thought I would ask for help in defining it before proceeding with the lesson. A little blonde 3rd grader raised her hand and said "It's a kind of old lady that is not very nice," to which another student promptly replied..."Nuh uh! It's a street in Philadelphia!" At this point I thought I had lost the class forever. I was cracking up inside as images of their definitions swirled in my mind's eye. I actually smiled a little too big just before I composed myself and responded, "Well, those are two ways that word is used, but it isn't how I would like to use it in this lesson." I proceeded with the lesson, but later when I thought about it, I started cracking up in a room all by myself (I think the staff passing by prolly thought I had finally cracked from the pressure). The sad fact is that these kids are living a tough reality (one that really does include "broad" in at least one of our definitions), and I guarantee God has a humorous way of revealing that to me.

After a few brews

David and Bro Richard

D & B

S and the clown


It seems as though we're always attending some sort of festival here in Tulsa. Brother Richard is in charge of taking us out to the town to see what it has to offer. The last month we have been to the Shalom festival, Greek festival, Tulsa State Fair, Greater Tuna (Play), and now Oktoberfest. Wonderful. Enjoy the pictures. By the way, i'll be the first to admit that the white balance might not be the best in these shots. Sorry clare and bad.



You know it's flattering, don't you love when kids pretend to hate you in front of their friends? It's just so cute! The other day Ryan, a sweet, loveable, and talkative freshmen who is in my tutoring center every single day (and sometimes finds the need to imitate a dance club while other students are working) was talking to his friend at their lockers after school was dismissed. I overhear him say, "She's evil! Just evil!" Since I of course know he's talking about me I called his name and he turns around. I smile and say, "Ryan who's evil so I can make sure I avoid her?" He looks at me and says "You can't avoid her... She's you!!"

Hahaha. (allegedly evil laugh)


Hey everyone,

Does anyone know of any LV's that for sure aren't onto the blog? Please let me know, I'll need their e-mail addresses too...

Many smiles,

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

More walk pics

I've been meaning to post these pics for the past couple days, but I kept running out of time. During Bedford Park's 14 mile walk through Manhatten (during which we took over 31,000 steps), our community saw the George Washington Bridge. While we were admiring it, Brother Bill pointed out the Little Red Lighthouse underneath it. He told us how the city was about to tear the lighthouse down when a children's book called The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Grey Bridge came out. The book built up so much public sympathy that the lighthouse was spared and eventually declared a historical landmark. Anyway, when we got further into Manhatten we passed a children's book store, so Brother Ed went in and bought the book. Later that night we all crashed in the t.v. room and had story time with Bill. Let's just say Bill is a GREAT storyteller. At one point in the story Bill was reading about when the bridge was being the lighthouse said "what the fuck is going on." I think he improvised some, but that's just me. It was a nice ending to a good day. So I thought I would share some more pics of it. And Saul don't complain about the quality of the pictures.

Some inspiration


Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Does anything I say matter?

Ok so lately I've been having a problem with the kids not listening to me. Ahhh its so frustrating. I warn them if they continue to talk they will have to leave my room. So they continue and then I kick them out. Today, I had a girl talk the entire night. Finally I said you need to pack up your things and leave the room. What did she do?! Her and her friend sat and argued with me that I was singling them out and other kids in the room were talking too! I reminded them that they are not to argue with me and I will deal with the others accordingly. Did she move to the other room? NO! I know I'm not supposed to give in, but it was like 20 more minutes and LEO closed. I figured it would be best to not fight it tonite and tomorrow when she comes into study in my room, tell her that she will not be allowed to for the rest of the week. Its so frustrating that I can't even help a student for 5 minutes before some of the kids begin talking. They don't goof off for the brothers, but they do for me. Just so frustrating.

"Food Glorious Food, Wonderful Food..."

here some of our 5th graders who were rewarded with a hike in Purgatory Chasm in Massachusetts after behaving well one week...aren't they cute now? can you imagine them as the little ruffians in Oliver, the musical? if anyone wants to come to providence, our 5th and 6th graders are the chorus of said ruffians in LaSalle Academy's production of Oliver. What a joy to see Hmong, Dominican, Puerto Rican, African American, Guatamalan, etc., boys pretending they are little British young'uns and singing "Food, Glorious Food!" and what not. Only at a Miguel School...

Monday, October 17, 2005

is that a machete in your pants, or...

No, that's not a cheesy pick-up line!! Perverts!

Well, I'll try my best, but when I tell this story out loud I crack up laughing - not because it's funny, but because it's so bizaaaaaare:

Regular Sunday night at the Catholic Worker: doors open at 4, guests arrive, dinner starts at 6. People are in motion, guests chill on the porch. I had scored an evening off and was attempting to nap upstairs in my room. Eventually, I couldn't continue with my nap because there was all sorts of loud screaming and arguing downstairs... so I mosy on down to see what's happening and learn that there's a man with a big german shepherd who has come up onto the porch. Apparently, in a neighborhood not too far from here, a few weeks ago this very dog bit one of the women who visits our house, and she was petrified of this big mean dog. Well the argument is ugly, and eventually Bro. Louis had the guy go to the back of the house, where he had chained his dog and was waiting for a plate of food (or something to this effect). By the time I got to the porch, he had made his way back to the front, and had attached this HUGE chain to his dog and was coming too close to the porch again, thus re-igniting the fight. Several of our "tougher" guests were trying to act as hard as they could and make sure the guy knew who was in control.

He takes the dog to his car, which was parked in a lot across the street, and another guy who was with him went over to meet him at the car. They open the trunk, and lo and behold, while they're screaming across the street and fighting with the people on the porch, the one guy pulls a MACHETE out of the trunk and starts waving it around while screaming at the people in the front of the house. They put it back in its sheath (Derek has started calling the police at this point...did they hurry? Of course not.) and the second guy tucks it into his pants and begins walking back across the street, where I meet him before he gets onto our property. I calmly "explained" to him that clearly he wouldn't be allowed to come in for supper (he was trying to tell me all he wanted was something to eat) because I saw him place the machete in his pants... The first guy, knife in pocket and something else tucked into his pants too, also tried to come back across the street to "eat supper" and couldn't believe we wouldn't let him back in to eat, calling us hypocrites for claiming to do "God's work". (I'm pretty sure we have a no-machete policy here!)

Long story short, they left, the police came a bit afterwards, and the rest is history...

Things I have since learned about the back-asswards state of Missouri:
- Concealed weapons are completely LEGAL.
- Corporal punishment (hitting children) is still pretty legal and a practice in many parts of rural MO.
- Police here don't really consider sticking a machete in your pants and approaching a crowd of people after waving it at them during an argument a "threat". Apparently you have to be within 21 feet of the person before it can be considered so. (What I want to know is, who established this 21-foot rule, and HOW?)


That's what I said to a Freshmen today. But let me explain: I know that I shouldn't have, and I was wrong! As soon as it came out of my mouth, I wished that I could have taking it back. But hear my story before you'll yell at me.

Thursday afternoon as I was doing the usual, taking steps for the Aerobic class, a freshmen started calling me Homes! and Ese! At first I didn't care but it got out of hand, and everytime he saw me he would say Homes or Ese! to me at least 20 times within a minute. It was annoying. So I asked him to stop calling me that, That my name was Jorge or Mr. Arana. It was like I was talking to the wall, and the more I asked him to stop the more he did, and he would say "what are you going to do about?" which it only pissed me off even more. So today, I'm in charged or the child care room and a TV has to be there everynite for the kids. Unfortunately for me, he was using it to play X-box, so I told them nicely that I had to take it because we use it everynite. It was a "Bombshell", and to make things worse the tutors were encouraging, but I had no choice. I not going to stop doing my job so a few High school can play X-Box. I was trying to take the tv while a room full of High School and a tutor were trying to stop me. I loss control and I said to the kid that calls me Homes or Ese "Shut UP! Not only did I get lecture by the tutors but I became the asshole who don't let other have fun.


Well, I guess I'm not sure who is more crazy- Clare, for thinking how fun it would be to walk from tip to tip of Manhattan and doing it or me, saying "yeah, sure I'll come with you guys" when she called me on Sunday...

So, I met up with the rather excited group at 125th street in Harlem. I don't think it was until about 72nd street when I really realized how crazy we were. In Manhattan, 20 blocks is basically a mile so that was about mile 3, I still had 5 more to walk! We made it to the tip and it was good, but I don't think I actually felt relieved until we got to the subway and could SIT DOWN!

Anyway, it was a good way to spend a fall Sunday. But I think from now on I'll screen my calls coming from Clare... no offense =0)

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Visit to Little Rock

On friday Matt and I decided to go to Little Rock Arkansas at the crack of dawn. We left at 6:30 AM and go to little rock at about 11:30...we were hungry and somewhat tired. We visited the Clinton Presidential Library, which we learned has not books whatsoever (Just historical artifacts and such). The gentleman at the counter told me I would have to wait 13 years for presidential documents to be open to the public and proceeded to tell me i should make an appointment. I'm not that curious anyways. After the presidential library we went to the riverfront where we saw some cool cars and bought some good food in an indoor market. The mexican food was horrible. After this we went to Historic Little Rock Central High School where desegregation was given its most famous test by Governor Faubus of Arkansas during the 60's. For those of you who might not be familiar with this you can listen to Charles Mingus' song "Fables of Faubus"....good song. After this we went to the old state house (clinton celebrated his victory there in 92). Before leaving we were told by a docent that Arkansas would be a great state to retire because of the low taxes and cheap property. We told him we'd get back to him in 45 years or so.

It seems that ever since we got to Tulsa we've had our lives planned out for us. At least, in the sense that one of the ladies here is expecting us to live here for the rest of our lives. Arkansas was nothing in New in how welcoming the people seemed. :-D We'll see when we go back around those parts. I think our next trip will be to Memphis or Hopefully KC. Its great to be in Tulsa.....4 hours from everywhere. Haha....have a great on everyone!


PS> Since clare posted a picture of a bridge I thought i'd do the same and post one of the Golden Gate. One of my first...enjoY!

manhattan 2.

Naked cowboy in Times Square, the end of the walk in Battery Park (any farther and we'd be swimming), and the three girls exhuasted after a 14 mile, 31, 500 step walk.


Photos: Br. Joe, Jennifer, Clare, Br. Bill, and Elisa in the Bronx before crossing into Manhattan, The George Washington Bridge along the Hudson River, the Time Warner Building at Columbus Circle, A random cow on top of a building, and the promised Memphis belt buckle

all of manhattan

As many of you remember, I once referred to Bedford Park as the community on speed. Today we took it to a new level. As a community we walked all of Manhattan. The island is 13.4 miles long. We started in the Bronx, walked over Broadway Bridge, and walked all the way down to Battery Park and touched the rail by the water. Not every member walked the entire length, but all participated. Pictures coming soon. And Christine walked with us from Harlem down. I don't think I could put it as well as Br. Ed: "whooooohooooooo!"

Pictures coming soon. Who would believe you could find a rhinestone studded belt buckle saying "Memphis" in Harlem. We have proof!

Thursday, October 13, 2005


Happy Birthday Vicki Kline!

From: Anwar

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Pictures that I promised long ago....San Miguel Comer Kids