Mr. Nolan just finished regency as a teacher and college counselor at Yap Catholic High School. In the fall, he returns to the U.S. to begin theological studies.
What makes me happy to be a religious today?
Coconut palms and hibiscus flowers welcome students as they walk down our driveway to the administration building. Before reaching one of their classroom verandas, they pass by two offices: one for the principal and another with college pennants in the window. At a school with no PA system and no hall passes -- or halls -- I have to find creative ways to catch up with students as their college counselor. When the students walk by, I slide open my office window with a big hello, and ask if they could come inside to pick up an acceptance letter or check their email. Soon thereafter, the seniors would just hand in forms through the window -- a drive-thru college counseling practice!
What makes me happy as a regent at Yap Catholic High School are the variety of ways that I get to know and to serve our 65 students. At one point this year I was teaching every one of them in addition to coaching them in drama and basketball and helping them with the college process.
On Friday afternoons, I usually need to hand back essay edits, so I simply stick my head out the window and wait while every student passes on the way to the bus. They say, "Goodbye" or "Make good decisions this weekend, Mr. Nolan," with a laugh, since that is our hope for them. I'm reminded that because of my "good decision" to enter the Jesuits and the abundant grace I've received from the Lord since making it, I am able to teach these wonderful students on this beautiful Pacific island.