20th Tuesday in Ordinary Time, 12th Tuesday after Pentecost
Within the octave of the Dormition of Blessed Mary, Ever Virgin, Theotokos
Memorial of Pope St. Pius X (Roman Catholic calendar)
St. Thaddeus of the 70, Martyr Bassa & her Children (Eastern Orthodox calendar)
It’s been raining for the past few days. Finally there’s been water to give my car a free car wash (i.e. leave it outside in the rain) and the water has at least flowed into our dams here in SE QLD to give us an extra four days of drinking water (maybe another one given the rain today). The rain is scheduled to continue up until Friday.
I’m hoping it won’t be too bad on Friday night given that I’m planning on staying in the city after work to join with my young Roman Catholic brothers and sisters for a prayer vigil at St. Stephen’s Cathedral that night. The WYD Cross & Icon will be at St. Stephen’s this coming Friday night for an All-Night Vigil as part of the Brisbane Archdiocese’s preparations for next year’s World Youth Day.
Now I don’t think that I’ll be there for all 8 hours of the vigil (Fri 6:30pm – Sat 4:30am), but I’m planning on being there for the first hour or two before heading home around 8:30-ish. In other words, it’ll be one helluva long day but it should be worth it. It’s been something that I’ve been planning to attend since the tentative dates were released earlier on this year on when the RC Archdiocese of Brisbane would be hosting the WYD Cross & Icon.
Out of curiosity tonight, I decided to take a look at the website for my old high school (one affiliated with the Anglican Diocese of Brisbane). It brings back memories, not all of them happy (my sense of detachment from the world, social interaction and loneliness were formed there), but I still have a sense of pride at completing my high school studies there.
I know my parents sacrificed a heck of a lot to put me through school there (about A$2.8k a year for the five years of schooling I had there, so roughly A$14k over the five years I was there). Bloody thankful to them for doing so (the “rent” I’m paying them now is peanuts compared to how much they’ve spent on raising me).
So I decided to take a look there to see how much I’d need to save up if I have a family and decide to send my kid there for high school. I was rather shocked to see school fees totalling A$5,116 a year between years 8 to 11 and then A$5,068 for year 12. In total, A$25,532 for five years of high school if I wish to send one kid there. Almost double the cost 7 years after I finished there. Even with sibling discounts, I’d be shelling out about A$50k to send two kids there for their high schooling. And that’s not even taking into account school uniforms (which would probably be at least another A$1k-A$2k over five years per kid) and other miscellaneous fees and payments (like for sports and music programs). In short: Ouch.
Taking a look at the staff directory reveals that I can only recognize about 10 teachers currently teaching there who were there when I was a student and that the list of titles for the teachers there make the joint sound more like a corporation rather than a school. No wonder the cadet who is now working where I am (and who was a Year 8 student assigned to my “Good Shepherd Program” group when I was a prefect in Year 12) told me a year or so ago that the school had lost its “familial” feeling and was becoming more of a business. After seeing the website, annual report and other planning documents on there, I have to say I agree with her. Though at least, my high school alma mater isn’t as bad as some others within this city by a long shot. At least it still has a decent shot at this alumnus sending his kids (if they happen) there if the state school system here goes down the tubes big time.
+ bf 2230hrs