VOL. I, NO. 1
hesterton Academy held its first annual Benefit Gala on April 23, 2010. Over 300 guests crowded into the elegant University Club Downtown Clubhouse in St. Paul to hear our honored guest speaker, Rev. Fabian Bruskewitz, Bishop of Lincoln, Nebraska. Our guests were surprised and delighted by an addition to the evening program, the inaugural student speech delivered by Chesterton Academy sophomore, Hannah Korman. We are pleased to feature Hannah’s inspiring remarks in this, our first issue of Common Sense.
Choosing Love and the Culture of Life — BY HANNAH KORMAN — Class of 2012
ello, my name is Hannah Korman and I am one of the Chesterton Academy sophomores. If someone two years ago had asked me to speak to you I would have laughed, because then I only spoke to my family. But, this evening I am honored to tell you about my experience at Chesterton Academy and will begin with this quote from Chesterton’s Orthodoxy: The point is not that the world is too sad to love or too glad not to love; the point is that when you do love a thing, its gladness is a reason for loving it, and its sadness a reason for loving it more.
My experience with the Chesterton Academy seems a lot like this quote. This school, in a way, has become my own little world: the world in which I live and breathe. Though there are those days from time to time when things get dreary there are also the times that are lively and fun. But it wasn’t always this way. I well remember the first day of school. It was raining, I didn’t know anyone, and it seemed as if each student had enclosed himself in an impermeable bubble. And I remember thinking to myself: “How am I going to love this place?!!” It took a while to figure out the answer. It has often been said that if you want to start an argument with someone you need to find common ground, otherwise the argument goes nowhere. I venture to say the same thing about a friendship: you need common ground. Since each of us was getting a fresh start at a new school we soon realized that we shared common ground. It was then that the school days became fun. We learned to laugh. And we started to become a family. We learned how to enjoy our teachers and that there is a time to protect the family and to stand in the gap for one another. We even learned there is a time to argue with each other. This year that family has grown with fifteen new “siblings” added. Over the past few months I have grown to be rather fond of them all and wouldn’t trade a one of them for the world. There is one essential to the human family and that is love. Love is not an emotion but a choice. Each of the students has had to open up in order to join the family. After you have been around a person for a long time you learn to love their good traits as well as their imperfections. And with that love is also joy. If this school had a dime for every time we shared a genuine laugh, we could all go to Rome tomorrow. The reason I love this school is because of that great joy which we share on a daily basis. But as the end of the quote goes, “the world’s sadness is a reason for loving it more.” Not only have the students shared great joy and fun but we have also experienced some sadness and hardship for it. The Culture of Life is so persecuted in our modern day. The very existence of this school has caused people to sneer and make comments such as: ‘Why would you send your kids to a school without sports? ‘ ‘Why do you teach them Latin?’ And, of course, a favorite, ‘That whole teaching through a “Catholic lens “thing is a bit crazy if you ask me.’’ Well...we didn’t ask you. The founders, faculty, and families of this school took action,
Love is not an emotion but a choice.
Vol. I â€˘
unlike the rest of the world which is so absorbed in the idea that we should love nothing but self. Yet we are the ones who have to stand firm and keep going even when it is difficult. God only knows what lies ahead for us. But I encourage you; keep doing His Will, no matter what, so that we can build up a Culture of Life, not only here at the Chesterton Academy, but also throughout the world.