I grew up a Notre Dame football fan. My Uncle Bill was an usher on fall Saturdays at the stadium. As a family we used to drive to go to the games in South Bend. My son and I have continued to go to at least one game a year for the past four years. To me, there’s no better way to spend a Saturday afternoon in the fall than at a college football game south of the border, especially when they are putting together a great season like this year. So when I see somebody with an Irish shirt on, I will usually talk to them.
A couple of years ago the younger brother of one of our grade 2 students (at that time) walked by my office as I was on my way into a Finance Committee meeting. He had a polo shirt on with an ND logo. I said to him something like, “Nice shirt.” He stopped, looked up at me, and said quite confidently for a four year old, “Do you like Notre Dame?” We then spent the next five minutes talking about the team. He quizzed me on my favourite players, etc. Sadly, I missed the first five minutes of our Finance meeting and likely missed a discussion on something like “leading Indicator”, “long-run average total cost”, or “tactical asset allocation.”
I was so impressed with this young boy, that I emailed his father about my encounter. Since then, all of our conversations, whether with the Dad or his son begin with our most recent observations on the football team. Last year my son and I met up with this KCS family at the Air Force game in South Bend.
And here’s where the story gets even better. Usually at the start of every school day, when Mme Giguère arrives at KCS and opens the French classroom across the hall from my office, she pops her head in and we talk about sports: football, hockey, soccer, golf, etc. (I will miss not only her talents in our primary French classes as she goes on maternity leave in February, but I will miss out on these conversations). At some point during these informal meetings over the past couple of years, we discussed Notre Dame and the story above. She has a cousin whose husband, Brad, played for the Irish at the turn of this century (no, not the 1900s!). Mme Giguère let Brad know about our student. He took the time to write an inspirational letter to him, which I understand is now proudly posted on the young boy’s bedroom wall. And in return, his Dad was able to find a number of tapes he had recorded of games in late 1990s, made a copy of them on a DVD, and sent it back to Brad. For the first time, he was able to sit down with his four children and have them watch him play in games at Notre Dame. Small gestures, kindly done, lasting memories for many people. Really, it doesn’t take much to make a difference in the lives of others. I’m proud to be surrounded by people who do this daily in our community.
Head of School