Mobile Devices and Kids

In today's day and age, the information technology boom has all of us parents, attempting to find the balance between the type of availability and access to grant our children.  Do we designate time for engagement on mobile apps and devices? Do we let them engage at all?  

This article in the LA Times was an interesting read, shedding light on a new study about how mobile devices are affecting kids' sleep and productivity.  Sleep is one of the most important things for all of us, but especially for a young person.  It got me thinking - perhaps, parameters aren't so bad?

Link to the article:
http://lat.ms/2gQTnhB

Mr. Utley

Light in the Darkness - Ceasar Arreola '17

Soccer has always been a big part of my life and as I’ve grown older, it has become a passion.  During my freshman and sophomore years, I made the Junior Varsity team, and I thought the path was clear for me to continue to play during my four years. As a Junior, I tried out for the Varsity soccer team and subsequently got cut.  This was one of the most devastating moments of my life. On top of that, my grandmother, who was another very influential figure in my life passed away.   These two events created darkness in my life and I was desperate for help, and needed it immediately.

 

It was during this time that Fr. Barber, SJ, Director of the Cura Personalis program came into my life. He quickly became not only a mentor and advisor, but someone I can call my best friend. Loyola High School is known to be a prestigious school with rigorous academic and co-curricular programs; therefore, it can create obstacles that may be difficult for one person to take on alone.  The Cura Personalis Program provides an escape through the troubling times that one may go through in their lives.

 

During my Junior year Fr. Barber, SJ was the light that was necessary for me to find my path through the darkness. I went into his office and I broke down in tears sharing my story. He immediately hugged me, and at that instance, our relationship became unbreakable. He offered some reassuring words that helped me feel like I was the best. He even told me that he, himself read my application that I submitted when I was in eighth grade, because he saw me as a Loyola Cub, saying “I knew that Loyola needed a student like yourself, and I knew that you would be able to succeed.”

 

A year later as a senior, Fr. Barber, SJ is much more than the Director of the Cura Personalis Program, more than simply a mentor, more than a staff member, more than a priest, he is my best friend.  This is Loyola – they want to support you, they want to encourage you.  At Loyola you are never alone.

My Baja Build Experience - Noah Morales '17

Loyola has presented me with so many opportunities throughout the past 3 years but one thing that I will always thank Loyola for is the opportunity to make a difference in the world.  Loyola is the kind of place that will empower you to make a difference and to totally change someone’s life for the better. One example of this is the Baja Build, which is a service opportunity that takes place over Christmas break wherein thirty Loyola Cubs and dads go down to Mexico for  2 days to build someone a new home.  We show up with nothing but a slab of cement and all the raw materials to work with and it’s truly amazing to witness and be a part of this amazing project.  During our time, we also get to meet the family whose house we’re building and we get to interact with the people living in the area.  The whole time I was there I couldn't help but realize how fortunate I am and how blessed I am to have the life that I have. 

One moment that I will remember forever was the last time I went on this trip.  Once the house is done and we’re getting ready to leave, Loyola's President Father Goethels, SJ blesses the house and we present the family with the set of keys to their new home.  The family had a son who was about four years old and when we gave the family their new keys he ran and unlocked the door and started running around pointing to different spots in the house saying, “this is where I’ll keep my toys!  This is where I’ll sleep!  This is where we’ll eat as a family!”  Seeing that really impacted me and made me realize what I had just done -- I had completely changed this boy’s life and his family’s lives.  I never would have had the opportunity to do this if I hadn’t come to Loyola.  Loyola is the kind of place that will allow you to change lives. 

Here at Loyola I’m put in a position where I can go out and leave a positive mark on the world.

The Jesuits and Schools

For nearly 500 years, the Jesuits have been at the forefront of education and adolescent development and Loyola High School is very proud to be a part of this great network.  As a product of Jesuit education myself, I know first hand that the genuine care and concern of the individual student is what makes our schools unique.   During my time at Brophy College Prep in Arizona, I couldn't have had a more meaningful experience.  I was challenged, I was encouraged and I was valued for who I was and what I could be.  

The creator of it all was a man named St. Ignatius of Loyola.  As you continue to learn more about us, I felt it important to share some context and this article found on our school website provides just that.

If I or anyone else in my office can be of assistance to you, please don't hesitate to be in touch.  I'm just a phone call or an e-mail away.

Here's the link to the article: 

http://bit.ly/2dMOtVD

Mr. Utley

Looking Ahead - Ryan Wallace '17

Last week, the Loyola Student Council led a fundraiser to assist Christo Rey High School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Due to their campus being flooded, Christo Rey cannot hold classes. We collaborated with Loyola's Broadcasting Club to create a challenge video to raise relief money for our Jesuit brothers. We're happy to report that we met our goal of $2,400 and have passed on the challenge to St. Ignatius High School in San Fransisco and St. Joseph's Preparatory School in Philadelphia. 

Today, we held our annual Activities Fair. It was incredible to see all the clubs presenting to students for over an hour. Every Loyola Cub has the opportunity to join a club, possibly have a leadership role in a club, or even start a club. The Broadcast Club that Student Council worked with on the challenge video was started by classmates of mine during my freshman year and has since grown to be a major club on campus and the growth and evolution of this group has been pretty amazing to watch.

The September we had couldn't have started our year off any better. The first football games, the first rally, and the excitement of our return to campus has generated momentum for what's going to be an incredible year.

Time Management

 

One of the things that my kids have learned more from their mom is the importance of making lists. We all have our routines, but she is also great at modeling how a simple list can help you track your progress. All four of our kids have used school planners to do just that. 

With school just a little over a month in progress, it's a good time to check in with your son about how he's managing his time.  This is a crucial life skill that only gets more challenging and rigorous on the high school level.  This article offers some great tips to support you and your son along the way.  While it is a valid concern of parents today that kids have too much on their plate, their involvement outside the classroom doesn’t take away from their academics. Instead, it allows them to use other gifts, make lasting friendships, learn teamwork and discipline and grow in confidence. It’s no accident that the Jesuits have been promoting well-rounded development for 500 years. I’ve seen these benefits first hand with my oldest son who graduated from Loyola last year. He is across the country navigating a challenging curriculum and athletic schedule. Last week he had two days off from football practice and sent me a text about how easy it was to get his school work done. It is a blessing that I have not gone to bed one single night wondering if he could handle it, because of time management learned by friends, fellow classmates, teachers and counselor here at Loyola -- he is ready.

If I or anyone else in my office can be of assistance to you, please don't hesitate to be in touch.  I'm just a phone call or an e-mail away.

Here's the link to the article: 

bit.ly/2dGtjXq

Mr. Utley

Carpooling: a Way of Life at Loyola

Carpooling.  For better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health – it’s a way of life at Loyola.  I know many moms of 7th and 8th graders who really worry about the commute to Loyola and whether they’ll be able to work out a carpool.  As my friends and I have learned, it’s not only possible, but is actually a really special time with our sons and their friends.  Carpooling is truly the “Mom Network” at it’s very best.  I don’t know how the moms of years ago managed their carpools, but I do know that we couldn’t live without group texting and websites like Sign-Up Genius today.  Carpools are a living, breathing, fluid entity – and I wouldn’t trade the experiences I’ve had for anything! I have an 8-passenger SUV – the gold-standard for driving carpool.  My only concern as the other moms and I started planning was how to get one mom, seven teenage boys, seven backpacks and a variety of PE bags, football shoulder pads, lacrosse sticks, water bottles, and lunches into the car – and still be able to see out the back window.    What a sight we were, traveling down the Glendale Freeway and Alvarado Blvd., with a large car-carrier holding the majority of that gear riding on top – especially the days when the boys didn’t secure all the straps tightly!  And, we did look a little like a clown car as the seven boys tumbled out of the car after we pulled in to the parking lot off of Pico, but that all added to the adventure. I’ve had some great discussions with the boys during our morning commutes.  I’ve learned so much about many of the teachers – their sense of humor, pet peeves, the type and amount of homework they give, whether their tests are brutal or easy – the boys talk about it all.  I loved being a fly on the wall as they giddily anticipated the first dance of the year and speculated if there really would be more than 2000 girls in attendance.  I happily listened as they planned their “promposals” for the winter formal and then shared the details of how it went. We have had quiet mornings when everyone just wants to sleep, mornings when there are several individual conversations going on at once, mornings when one of the boys is full of energy and the whole car gets involved in his humor, mornings when the boys take turns playing DJ and sharing their favorite music – the clean versions of course ;) and everything in between.  We love playing along with the contestants on Battle of the Sexes at 7:10 every morning on 104.3 MyFM, seeing who can answer the quickest and laughing at how bad some of the answers are.  We even called in one day and won tickets on the air! It’s been fun watching the group in my rear-view mirror as they have been going through the process of getting their driving permits and driver’s licenses.  Three of them now have that magical symbol of freedom and maturity, with two more hoping to get it next week and the last two before the end of December.  They are all still riding with me some days, but the carpool is definitely changing and I must admit that it’s making me sad.  I know that this special time with my son and the others is coming to an end – far sooner than I ever thought possible, and is like many of the milestones that I have watched come and go over the years – both joyful and bittersweet.                        

Carpooling.  For better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health – it’s a way of life at Loyola.  I know many moms of 7th and 8th graders who really worry about the commute to Loyola and whether they’ll be able to work out a carpool.  As my friends and I have learned, it’s not only possible, but is actually a really special time with our sons and their friends.  Carpooling is truly the “Mom Network” at it’s very best.  I don’t know how the moms of years ago managed their carpools, but I do know that we couldn’t live without group texting and websites like Sign-Up Genius today.  Carpools are a living, breathing, fluid entity – and I wouldn’t trade the experiences I’ve had for anything!

I have an 8-passenger SUV – the gold-standard for driving carpool.  My only concern as the other moms and I started planning was how to get one mom, seven teenage boys, seven backpacks and a variety of PE bags, football shoulder pads, lacrosse sticks, water bottles, and lunches into the car – and still be able to see out the back window.    What a sight we were, traveling down the Glendale Freeway and Alvarado Blvd., with a large car-carrier holding the majority of that gear riding on top – especially the days when the boys didn’t secure all the straps tightly!  And, we did look a little like a clown car as the seven boys tumbled out of the car after we pulled in to the parking lot off of Pico, but that all added to the adventure.

I’ve had some great discussions with the boys during our morning commutes.  I’ve learned so much about many of the teachers – their sense of humor, pet peeves, the type and amount of homework they give, whether their tests are brutal or easy – the boys talk about it all.  I loved being a fly on the wall as they giddily anticipated the first dance of the year and speculated if there really would be more than 2000 girls in attendance.  I happily listened as they planned their “promposals” for the winter formal and then shared the details of how it went.

We have had quiet mornings when everyone just wants to sleep, mornings when there are several individual conversations going on at once, mornings when one of the boys is full of energy and the whole car gets involved in his humor, mornings when the boys take turns playing DJ and sharing their favorite music – the clean versions of course ;) and everything in between.  We love playing along with the contestants on Battle of the Sexes at 7:10 every morning on 104.3 MyFM, seeing who can answer the quickest and laughing at how bad some of the answers are.  We even called in one day and won tickets on the air!

It’s been fun watching the group in my rear-view mirror as they have been going through the process of getting their driving permits and driver’s licenses.  Three of them now have that magical symbol of freedom and maturity, with two more hoping to get it next week and the last two before the end of December.  They are all still riding with me some days, but the carpool is definitely changing and I must admit that it’s making me sad.  I know that this special time with my son and the others is coming to an end – far sooner than I ever thought possible, and is like many of the milestones that I have watched come and go over the years – both joyful and bittersweet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

College Update - Pablo Muñoz '16

Loyola is what you make of it. The competition can be intense, but most students rise to the challenge. I don’t mean to say it is impossible to succeed or to have fun, but much is expected from everyone on campus. Most students who attend the school realize the challenge they face within the first two weeks. I didn’t learn until almost a month into my freshman year that I would have to shift my ways of thinking to succeed. From freshman to senior year, I changed, as all Loyola students do, and I became a better person as a result of my surroundings. 

Spending almost four years at one school may seem like half an eternity leading up to day one, but over the course of my four years, I found myself on an upward trajectory that caused each year to pass with increasing speed. It is hard not to become involved in multiple groups at Loyola, and even harder not to succumb to what I would call a slippery slope of contributions to the school community. Entering freshman year, I thought I had an idea about the activities with which I wanted to involve myself. Few of the things I joined as a freshman remained on my résumé by the time I became a senior, and by that point I was more involved in the school than ever before. 

I remember the weekends where Loyola was heavily present in my schedule.  Those ones where I had several school events to choose from, college applications to complete and submit, a college interview to prepare for, and newspaper copy to read over and edit in preparation for the upcoming issue during my time as Editor-in-Chief.  I enjoyed interacting on various levels with members of the Loyola community during my days as a student and look forward to my next chapter that I'm beginning as a UCLA freshman.