Friday, May 29, 2015

What I do all day

I've been back in the States for 6 months now, assigned to the publishing house's digital department. We're (as you might guess) the new kid on the Pauline block, and given our area it is really tricky to nail down just what we do. Like the digital world itself, our work just keeps shifting, changing and embedding itself in more and more places.

Right now I am working on about five projects in alternation: a new website (for our downloadable content, whether books, apps, music or movies); an app; our autumn fundraising "webathon"; a new portal for artwork by Sister Laura (she of the garden; some of her artwork would make incredible ordination gifts); and I am scrutinizing the audio files for our forthcoming audio book (sponsored by you!) of The Prodigal You Love. "Scrutinizing" means making sure that the audio follows the published text accurately (not only the words themselves, but the correct pronunciation of odd names and Latin titles); I am also taking note of any popping "p" and sibilant "s" sounds that might be distracting in an audio book. Happily for me, this is work that can be done outside, under a tree, with a tall iced coffee!

Interspersed between the publishing house work are the community sign-ups. These include cleaning duties in the various parts of this immense complex and filling in slots at the switchboard or in the kitchen when the regular staff takes a personal day or calls in sick. On Memorial Day, I had signed up
Pizza, cut Chicago-style. It works better this way, trust me.
 Picture from a foodie site.
to handle the community's supper. Signing up for kitchen can be like volunteering for an episode of the Food Network hit "Chopped," with the chefs preparing a coherent meal from random veggies and proteins. Sunday evening, in chapel, I was asking Jesus just what to prepare. Later I went to the community reading room where Sister Susan James was relaxing after a Sunday parish book fair. "The parish was selling pizzas for one of the organizations; they gave us the five they had left. Do you want to use them for supper tomorrow?" Recognizing an answer to a prayer when I hear one, I thanked Sister Susan and ran down to the walk-in refrigerator to earmark the pizzas: MONDAY SUPPER.

God bless Sister Susan, on Monday afternoon she came in to help me prepare things for supper. We dolled up the plain pizzas, two with chopped chicken, cooked onions from the salad bar, creme fraiche (donated months ago and untouched) and tarragon; two others got topped with sautéed spinach and garlic (and dabs of creme fraiche); one (for the less adventurous members of the community) got only a sprinkling of oregano. The industrial oven has a pizza setting, and those babies came out perfect. I cut them Chicago-style, causing no small amount of comments among the elder sisters who had never (ever) seen square pizza slices. But there were no leftovers. (My next kitchen sign-up is for Saturday breakfast, the most challenging meal of all. I'm thinking bread pudding, since I can get that started tonight.)

The Eliot School, built in 1696 and just two miles from here.
And then there are the unexpected errands. Today, after praying my rosary (outside!) and watering that famous garden, I headed up the slope from the garage to the house. Silently, I prayed, "Jesus, I'm too sleepy to go to chapel right now, but should I try anyway?" When I got to the back porch, there was Sister Mary Joseph, looking a little concerned. "Are you free, like, now?" She needed a ride to her art class nearby. It's actually within walking distance, but she was weighed down with supplies. And so I discovered something new in the neighborhood: an actual colonial-era schoolhouse (endowed 1690) that is still being used as a school, albeit not a grammar school, but a school of "Fine Arts and Crafts."

Being in the neighborhood, I zipped over to the local library branch to get my Minuteman Library System card accepted into the Boston system (I'm thinking ahead to abundant e-books and audio books for my vacation). Before returning home I swung by the coffee shop for something to see me through the hour in chapel and the friendly Jewish man behind me in line treated me to it!

Next week I head to Atlanta for a long weekend: first I will help our Charleston sisters staff a book display table at the Atlanta Archdiocesan Eucharistic Congress; the next day is the Catholic New Media Conference, where I will commune with bloggers, podcasters and other social media evangelizers. The airline miles I gained from my trip to England came in quite handy for this!

Speaking of England, our sisters are getting ready to launch their new website. I am excited for the opportunity at long last to share this with you! In the meantime, I have to figure out a coding issue on our own page...


Victor S E Moubarak said...

I really did not know that Jesus loves pizza! Chicago style!

Look forward to your UK website.

Thank you for all your good works.

God bless.

Pat said...

I am excited that I will get to see you again at the Atlanta Eucharistic Conference and at the CNMC. Catholic Grandparents and Geeks is still in its infancy. The past almost 2 years has been so busy and next week will be filled with babysitting a granddaughter and getting ready to travel, but I am so looking forward to seeing old friends!

Unknown said...

Actually sister, that pizza is cut St Louis-style. Good luck in hour new position.

Sr Anne Flanagan said...

No kidding! I lived in St Louis for three years and never encountered it... but that was long ago, and we didn't get much pizza.