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common good

This week we’re going to talk about Fontbonne’s mission statement!  In case you’re not familiar with it, or if it’s been awhile since you saw it, here it is straight from Fontbonne’s website — “Fontbonne University, a Catholic institution sponsored by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, is committed to the common good through the daily pursuit of transformative education, inspiring students to become global citizens who think critically, act ethically, and serve responsibly.”

Since last semester was my first one here, I was required to take INT 105, Culture and the Common Good, which introduced me specifically to Fontbonne’s mission statement, vision, values, statement of Catholic identity, and what they want from me as a student during my four years here…and how I take what I learn into the world.  I didn’t know what to expect in this class, but I can honestly say it was one of the best experiences of the semester.  I was blessed to have the sweetest teacher ever; a very intimate, small class of students with a wide variety of majors; and a large amount of personal growth and development.  Over four months, we had conversations about everything from religion and Fontbonne’s academic convocation to transportation and vocations.  The thread holding all those topics together was the common good, which is clearly stated in the mission statement.  I really enjoyed digging deep into what it means and how it affects practically every aspect of our lives — healthcare, transportation, religion, education, relationships, careers, etc.  The discussions we had were respectful, diverse, and educational.  It was so inspiring to see and be a part of young adults maturely engaging in conversations about sometimes-controversial topics!

I emerged from this class with a much broader view of the world and the people around me — a global citizen.  I now understood and could explain what Fontbonne’s values and mission meant, and I had been encouraged to form my own opinions and thoughts — think critically — while also respecting the people who I did not agree with — act ethically. Ultimately, I found myself embodying Fontbonne’s mission statement in my everyday life, whether I was studying, going to class, eating lunch, working, spending time with family and friends, or interacting with the cashier in a store.  It enshrouded me completely, not just while I was on campus, but everywhere.

I sincerely hope the same thing happened or is happening for you.  You don’t have to agree with everyone 100% of the time. You don’t have to spend 24 hours a day volunteering.  You don’t have to analyze every world event that happens.  But you can certainly aspire and work to be a respectful listener, volunteer, and global citizen.  Let’s all try to do that a bit more in the coming months.

Until next week,

~Anna

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Anna

We are Griffin Nation

by Anna on October 21, 2016

in College Life

I know the “We Are Griffin Nation” movement kicked off a little while ago, but honestly, it slipped by me because of all the homework and studying surrounding midterms.  I just got a chance to check out some of the wonderful statements other Fontbonne students have come up with.  It’s clear that “Griffin Nation” is full of young adults who want to make a difference!  I loved the variety of responses, from future occupations and achieving goals to finding out who you are and what matters to you.   This campus that so many of us call home is dedicated to educating, inspiring, equipping, and encouraging tomorrow’s leaders.  I know this gets said a lot, but it’s really true:  you (and your education) matter at Fontbonne. 

It was really hard for me to choose just one option and a few sentences about what Fontbonne means.  I finally settled for “Fontbonne inspires me to…”  It inspires me to learn more and be more, obviously. But what exactly does that mean?  For me, it means that I am changing in a good way.  Even in the past two months, I know I have been transforming.  I’ve grown to be more confident.  I can think critically, prioritize my time, and make wise decisions.  Each day I gain a greater awareness of the world around me — and that’s not just St. Louis, Missouri, or even the United States.  I’ve learned to have an opinion that matters, but also respect others who have different views.  My professors, fellow students, and the whole campus atmosphere inspires me to be the best I can be not only in academics, but in life in general.  How can I contribute to the common good?!

It’s been a really interesting first semester.  It’s been both similar and different from what I expected (not unusual, haha!), but ultimately I wouldn’t trade it for anything.  I cannot wait for the years to come and look back fondly on the great memories I’m already making.  I’m sure the changes that I’ve undergone already are nothing compared to how I will emerge in four years — prepared for the next step in my career, ready to influence the world, and inspired to never stop learning more and being more.

Blessings,

~Anna

 

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Lauren

We Are the Revolution

by Lauren on September 23, 2014

in Our Causes

These were the words uttered by a woman at the People’s Climate March, held on Sunday at Kiener Plaza.

I thought that this would be appropriate topic to talk about. Firstly, because it is always an appropriate time to talk about climate change and its continuing impact on our environment, on our world. Secondly, because St. Louis plays a big part!

I attended the March with my sister on Sunday. I didn’t know what to expect, since I had never been to an event like this before. We walked a few blocks and then we stumbled upon it, Kiener Plaza overflowing with people. Environmental issues, at least in my mind, always seem to be overlooked. I suppose I expected a few dozen people. What I didn’t realize is that the People Climate March is a big deal. It serves to bring about awareness and demands change–namely, renewable energy. Renewable energy comes in all shapes and forms, such as solar, wind, even steam.

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But perhaps the biggest connection I made while at the March was with a class I took at Fontbonne last year as a freshman. Culture and the Common Good opened my eyes to a lot of issues and reminded me to look outside of my own little box. So many people fear that they, as individual, cannot make a difference. Phrases I heard on Sunday were ones such as “quality of life” and “free will”, phrases that I also heard in class. It was amazing to experience like this and apply the knowledge that was instilled in my from Fontbonne!

At the end of the day, I had a smile on my face. I was a bit tired from marching, but ridiculously happy. It is amazing what we can do when we come together. We can improve our quality of life for ourselves and for others, in fact, it is our duty as citizens and advocates of the Earth. All we need is the will to do so.

And, what a brilliant thing to participate in something so close to home!

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Images courtesy of Caitlin Zera

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Students writing for Real Life at Fontbonne are paid a small fee for each post by the university.