Saturday, January 3, 2009

Tagged and Passing it along

Lately there is a meme tag going around and Jen Wagner tagged me for "7 things you did not know about me." I have seen people tagged for different ones in the past and I thought it would be fun to be tagged but now I am not so sure. I have read several other people's 7 things and now I am trying to think what to come up with or what I might consider to be important. Oh well with that in mind:

1. I have always wanted to be a psychologist, but maybe for the wrong reasons. As an 8th grader one of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart where I went to school asked each of us what we wanted to be when we grew up and my response was a "Psychologist." The response of the class to my response was to laugh. I still remember what that felt like. That was back in 1968. My desire was to help people then and it still is today.

2. One of the most influential people in my life was a nun by the name of Miriam. She is a wonderful Sister of St. Mary of Namur nun who is still around today and I still see and visit with on rare occasions. We would talk about many things while I was still a student. The fascinating thing about her is she was a relative of one of the members of the band "The Monkeys." Well that wasn't the only fascinating thing about here as there were many. She however took the time to talk, listen, question me as well as make me feel that I was important and had a purpose for living. Because of her time and energy I left for college and came back to teach and coach at the very school I graduated from and have been there for 32 years. She was my department head when I first came back to teach at Dunne. I think she also had a lot of influence on my being a deacon but more on that later.

3. I took steroids in high school. Sorry to say that and I wished I hadn't but I did, all for the love and the desirous glory of Texas Football. I liked the way I grew, I liked the muscles that I built, but then I learned to absolutely hate football and a lot of the things I enjoyed around me. I still feel as though I have some of the after effects of the steroids but I doubt I would have come to my next point in life had I not taken them.

4. As a senior in high school I spent many months considering suicide. The phrase I have heard lately is a "convergence of circumstances" or "the perfect storm" related to my senior year. I held several offices in the school, I was probably more popular than I thought, but everything about myself and my life I questioned. I felt so out of place, I felt as if I was at a totally different level than so many of the people I was in class with and as a result the only out at that time for me was the one out I work to make sure no other student ever feels. I often refer to it as a long term solution to short term problems. High school should not be that way for anyone and my hope has always been to help people see the good in the whole situation.

5. I gave serious consideration to becoming a priest while I was in college. I quit dating totally (what was I thinking?), I actually drove to different places in the US and visited seminaries since my parents told me that did not want me to go to the one in Dallas (how interesting that is looking back on things now) but I could go to any seminary in the US. I finally decided that I truly liked women and that the two conflicted so I stayed single for a good while after that but of course I did date often however.

6. I hate accolades of any sort. Most of the recognition I have received are things associated with my job. My feeling is that I am paid to do my job and therefore I don't need to be recognized for doing my job the right way. I do however like to be told thank you on occasion. That is more than enough for me. I think a large part of the not liking the accolades is the fact that I hate crowds and having to schmooze. I guess due to shyness but a lot of people say they would never know it.

7. In a continuing pursuit of trying to help people I entered the formation program for the Diocese of Dallas to become a permanent deacon. The program is a long and hard journey of 5.5 years. My wife had to be there for the first 2 so that she would know what we were getting into and then she stayed through the other 3.5 years with me the whole way. I am very fortunate that she accepted my desire to enter the program and even more grateful she has stood by my side all these years, before and after the formation program. It is a tough program but I feel it is worth it. What time I had that I thought was my own now no longer is. I am assigned to Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Duncanville, TX where I can baptize , marry, bury, distribute Communion but can not consecrate, I can't say Mass but I am allowed to assist, I can't hear confessions but I talk with a lot of folks that need to be heard, and on occasion I get to preach. Miriam had a lot to do with forming me in the early part of my life and enabling me to get here.

Seven things you probably don't need to know about me but now you do. Jen, I thank you for tagging me I think. So let's see if we can get a few more folks in on this and if you have already been tagged feel free to pass it along. I tag:

1. Miguel Guhlin
2. Scott Floyd
3. Kyle Stevens
4. Carolyn Foote
5. Clif Mims
6. Randy Rodgers
7. Alan Lutz


JLWagner said...

Thanks for sharing even more about you. I did not know the DEACON process was so thorough. :)

Talk soon!
I wish you the best in 2009.

Colette Cassinelli said...

It's great to meet other Catholic educators online. I am attending NCEA in Anaheim for the first time this year - any chance you are attending? I'm also heading to NECC 2009 - we should meet. I'd love to hear about Bishop Dunne HS. I am a computer teacher at small Catholic MS/HS in Beaverton, OR.

Scott S. Floyd said...

You want ME to follow that? Not sure I can, my friend. I'll have to think on it for a bit.

Miguel said...

Paul, fascinating story!

Here are my 7 things, though a bit more shallow than your's...


Randy Rodgers said...

Alright, Paul, I'll play. If Miguel thinks his isn't very deep, mine barely has a toe in the shallow end!

Clif Mims said...

I enjoyed reading these and learning more about you, Paul. You shared some fascinating information and I appreciate your honesty and openness. I have finally posted my reply to your "tag" at

All the best,