Today I rose early for a trip to Erie, PA for another certification test. This one for School Building Leader credentials. I studied the preparation materials and committed some information to memory as best I could using some of the techniques I learned while reading, “Moonwalking with Einstein,” by Joshua Foer. I climbed in the RAV4 while it was still dark and drove the 100 plus miles to Erie. As I drove I thought of the Magnificat.
My soul doth magnify the Lord.
And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
Because he hath regarded the humility of his handmaid;
for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
Because he that is mighty,
hath done great things to me;
and holy is his name. — Magnificat
I thought of Our Lady and the devotion I have for her. I thought of how often she has protected me and guided me with the gentle touch of a mother. Today, I prayed the Magnificat often as I made my way to Erie in the pre-dawn. I believe I did well on the examination today and I have renewed faith in myself and respect for the test creators and for the testing industry in general. Today was a transformational day for me. I’m grateful for tests as they have helped me to learn even though my frustration with the process had reached a fever pitch last week. Thank you to all who may have prayed for me and for an answer to my own prayers. When I finished the examination and made my way to Barnes & Noble near Millcreek Mall for a well deserved cup of coffee and a cookie I thought of the Latin version of the Magnificat and I recited it too in thanksgiving for my good fortune today.
Magnificat: anima mea Dominum.
Et exultavit spiritus meus: in Deo salutari meo.
I got out one of my old white hats as I prepare to return to the Great Lakes, IL area tomorrow. It still fits and it’s in very good shape. I thought I’d bring the hat with me so that my nephews could see it. I had been looking for my old neckerchief that I wore with dress blues. I was going to give it to my nephew as a gift from an old sailor to a new one. Alas, I can’t find the neckerchief. I’ve got my dress blues, dress whites and a couple of white hats, but no neck gear. My Dad gave me his neckerchief from World War II after I got out of Boot Camp and I wore it on some occasions. I wanted my nephew Tom who passes in review on Friday to have a keepsake too.
Tom passes in review on the Feast of the Assumption. It’s a day that has meaning for Tom. He brought it up in a letter he sent me a few weeks back. There is something Marian about the Navy and Great Lakes. I’ve loved the color blue all my life and Friday I’ll be in one of the bluest places on earth. I’m going to get Tom a gift certificate to Starbucks. He said the chaplain said that God’s love is like a double chocolate chip frappucino and I think the chaplain might be right on the money. God bless Tom, his shipmates and the United States Navy.
Yesterday I received a letter from my nephew who is in boot camp at Great Lakes, IL. It was touching letter and I my voice broke as I read it. I never got to spend as much time with Tom as I would have liked because distance always separated us. Yet, now in my life I find us being knit together from the common experience of the United States Navy. His letter was also interesting because he mentioned that he is scheduled to graduate from recruit training on the Feast of the Assumption. I hadn’t made that connection until his letter. In one of my letters to him I mentioned stopping at a number of Starbucks on our way to and from North Carolina a few weeks ago. Tom said that their chaplain told them that one of the ways you can know that God loves you is by consuming a double chocolate chip frappucino at Starbucks. I think I’m going to get Tom a gift certificate to Starbucks. That’ll be a good completion for the Chaplain’s metaphor. It’ll be good for Tom and good for Starbucks.