Recently Xaverian Brothers High School held an awareness day, when the school gathers to closely examine and discuss social issues;we have several throughout the year.
Each class attends a different lecture on the topic of diversity. I chose to attend the religious diversity lecture with the senior class. Alex a Jewish senior at Xaverian introduced his Rabbi who spoke about the differences and similarities of Catholicism and Judaism and what it means to be a Jew in 21st century America. Rabbi David Paskin was a dynamic and powerful speaker who captivated the audience, myself included.
Later in the day Alex stopped by my office to get my thoughts on the talk and asked if he could write a blog about it. Equipped with his ever-present Macbook I closed my office door and told Alex he could not leave until he gave me a 500 word reflection on Rabbi David Paskin’s talk. 20 minutes later Alex delivered this blog.
We walked across the hall took a photo and posted it less than an hour after Alex first walked into my office and a few short hours after the Rabbi’s lecture.
Consider the power of these 500 words from a current student, especially if you are not Catholic and considering a Catholic school like Xaverian:
- We do in fact have non-catholics (a common misperception is that you have to be Catholic to attend a Catholic school.)
- We celebrate diversity including religious diversity
- Students helped to plan and organize our awareness day
- Students were urged to challenge their faith
- At least one student reflected on the experience (I assume more than one student reflected but I only have proof of Alex.)
474 people read the post; It is one thing to hear about this from me, a paid employee, it is entirely different to hear from a current, Jewish student. Alex’s post was in real-time, provided a unique perspective, and revealed a great deal about Xaverian Brothers High School, and took 25 minutes to write, photograph, and post.
If you feel you don’t have time to blog I would respond that you don’t have time NOT to blog. I get it, you are over worked and had a full-time job before blogging became necessary. Here are four ways to make it simple:
1) Try Posterous – they have simplified blogging, their tagline is “the easiest publishing platform around. If you can email, you can manage a website and share it with small groups or the world.” I use posterous for my personal blog and love it.
2) Photo blogs – take a picture a day, a slice of life at your school and publish it as a photo blog on Friday (see Chuck Will’s Chuck’s corner for the best example.)
3) From the Archives – dig up old photos, every school has hundreds of old yearbooks and pictures lying around. Dig them up, scan them and post them in a blog. This is a great way to engage alums. This was the idea of a co-worker Kevin Loftus, and is by far our most popular blog.
4) Community blog; many schools including Xaverian refer to their blogs as a community blog. This allows you to use anyone from your community as a writer. Teachers, students, alums, administrators, and coaches can all chip in; “many hands make light work.” This will provide a great platform to bring all of those groups together in one place.
Blogging helps with search engine marketing, brand building, relational marketing, and direct communications, and is low-cost, but the real power of blogging is giving your school a personality, making it real, tangible, three-dimensional, and alive. Alex’s post did all these things.
His blog only received one comment, but it was a powerful one;
“…all the reasons given for soul searching were the reasons I chose nursing as a profession; to live a life of service, to learn intellectually and socially all it has to offer and challenge in the most positive way, the status quo, helps one grow in ways one can only imagine. Enjoy the journey…”
How often do you get feedback like that?
image provided by ASH MEHTA