Sunday, July 22, 2012

One Last Top 9 for the Road

Back in October when I first learned that I was accepted as a mentor for ND Vision, I - and most of my friends - couldn't help but laugh. Sarah Cahalan is going to be a counselor at Jesus camp? You've got to be kidding me. But I took the job, and some nine months later, I can say confidently that it's one of the best decisions I have ever made. I spent the last 5-7 weeks with 65 of the strangest, beautiful-est, wonderful-est people Notre Dame has to offer, helping kids and singing songs all the time. Today, we start to head our separate ways, and I have for you all the only proper parting gift I could ever offer: the Top 9 Things About Vision 2012. (It should be noted that I'm leaving break week entirely out of this list, because it is obviously in a league of its own. Woostah fo lyfe.) 

9) The ridiculous kids I had in my small groups over the course of the summer. There was Week 2, when one small group member wrote in his affirmation letter to me, "I liked your mentor talk thing. I didn't even fall asleep during yours! (Don't tell [our other mentor])." Clearly, this was the undisputed winner of the "best affirmation I got this summer or will ever get" award. There was Week 4, when we had a Canadian shockingly tolerant of our incessant questions about hockey, maple syrup, and Celine Dion. And, of course, there were my Week 3 kids, who insisted that I was the next Tina Fey and who BOUGHT ME A JAR OF NUTELLA. My ego and my taste buds have voted this group the best small group of all of Vision 2012. 

8) The fact that I got to stand on stage once a week with my life-size Justin Bieber cardboard cutout. I got paid for this, people. 

7) The musicals. For those of you who may not know, part of the job that the music mentors did was putting on three musicals per week telling the stories of various parables. I could easily do an entire Top 9 for each musical, so I'll just share some highlights here. 
            7A) Every moment of the song "Late" in The Good Samaritan
            7B) Bobby Prodigal's line, "That's not fair, I'm very attractive!" 
            7C) The facial expressions of Sven the Svord-Svallowing Svede during "Angel" 
            7D) The "lemon" tree in The Talents, YOU ALL KNOW WHY 
            7E) The pig choreography for "Pro Bono" in Prodigal Son
            7F) Sally the Cow's line, "#%@3(*&#%$ STAR TREK" 

6) Watching our Vision Theology professor watch the musicals. 

5) Standing, dancing, and screaming in the aisle during ValLimar's talk. The best part of this besides the obvious is that I was always directly behind our music director and never bothered to avoid the complete destruction of my voice. Also, two of my favorite moments of the entire summer came from ValLimar, when she said the following: (in week 3), "Pretend you're singing this like a lullaby, to your little brother or sister, or to a little person" and (in week 4), "Turn to your neighbor and say 'Black is beautiful'. And red, and yellow, and green, and white.." Nice save, ValLimar. Nice save. 

4) The moment during the Week 1 reconciliation service when I looked down from the loft and saw two guys, dressed head-to-toe in bro gear, with their arms around each other, one crying, the other comforting him. More than any other this summer, that was the moment when I realized why we were here. 

3) Vision Prom, aka the longest time I've spent continuously on a dance floor ever, aka the night that our resident HoCro transfer got into Keough!!!!!! That is my date, people! Be jealous! 

2) "We Are Called" as sung at our impromptu closing mass last night, the a capella chorus of "Canticle of the Turning" as sung yesterday at morning prayer, and "Perfect Praise" as sung at the end of wrap-up after Week 2. To those three moments, I have only one thing to say: #cant. 

1) Each and every one of the mentors. I went into the summer knowing the Folk Choir kids and a small handful of others, and counting only two or so mentors among my closest friends. I'm leaving with 65 new BFFs. I actually went in this morning to rearrange my "close friends" list on Facebook so I could creep on you all more efficiently and decided I had to leave you all off because otherwise, I would have ended up with a close friends list of about 100 people, which would sort of defeat the purpose of giving them a separate news feed. To paraphrase the words of our old friend Jessica, "I love my master mentors! I love my small group mentors! I love my BOSC!! *clap* This whole Vision is great! We can do anything good! Yeah, yeah. Yeah, yeah." 

Now go, listen to "Some Nights," and we'll call it a summer. 

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