Alec Torigian: Education, Shepherded.
Think. Pair. Share. Podcast Transcript
0:00:09.7 Audrey Scott: Welcome to this modern education podcast that explores learning from the everyday exchange of thoughts and ideas to the theories and practices behind entire systems. You think education is cool? So do we. So we paired two conversations: Learn about our guests, then learn from our guests. Share your takeaways and come back for more. You're listening to Think.Pair.Share with me, Audrey Scott. Alec Torigian is the National Coordinator for the Alliance for Catholic Educations, Pursuing Achievement Through Higher Education, or PATH Initiative. He oversees the growth and improvement of PATH's mission to provide radical accompaniment, opportunity and formation on scholars' journeys from sixth grade through college graduation. He also works as a member of ACE Teaching Fellows Pastoral team, assisting with the recruitment, placement, training and supporting of teachers across the country, whether playing ultimate frisbee, running a marathon, or doing a headstand on the edge of a mountain, Alec lives life to the fullest, and it's my pleasure to welcome him to Think.Pair.Share. Hello, Alec. Welcome.
0:01:17.6 Alec Torigian: Hey, thanks so much, Audrey. Great to be with you. How are you?
0:01:21.3 AS: I'm well. How are you?
0:01:22.5 AT: I'm doing well. I haven't worn headphones like this in decades, probably.
0:01:27.2 AS: We're taking it retro today.
0:01:28.5 AT: This is like 1990s, early 2000s.
0:01:31.5 AS: But that's right in my wheelhouse, of course. So I should know it.
0:01:36.2 AS: But... Okay. Whenever I think of Alec Torigian, I always smile. You're a wonderful personality, doing so much great work, and I look forward to learning more about it today and a little bit more about you, some fun sections too. So thank you for being here.
0:01:49.6 AT: Well, thank you very much. Fan of fun. Sounds good.
0:01:52.7 AS: Fan of fun. I have done a tiny bit of investigation on you, and I do think you are a fan of fun, and I... [chuckle]
0:01:58.8 AT: This is the horrifying part.
0:02:00.6 AS: No. I look forward to maybe prompting a story or two. When I first got here, you were one of the first people I met because the Wills...
0:02:10.5 AT: The Will part? Yes.
0:02:11.6 AS: Yes. Had us over at their lovely family home. And it was nice just to see those smiling faces and know I was a part of a wonderful group of people and organization and mission-driven place. So an early thank you to you, Alec.
0:02:23.5 AT: Oh my gosh. The feeling is mutual. Grateful. Grateful. Yeah. I'm excited for the conversation. And that's great work that you do, sharing all these great stories, so thank you.
0:02:31.6 AS: Well, I think you might be kind of excited and also a little terrified, right? [chuckle]
0:02:35.8 AT: Yeah, probably flip the amounts there. And you got it right. Exactly.
0:02:39.4 AS: Especially as we head into the fun section.
0:02:42.6 AT: Fun in air quotes. I think that's appropriate. Yes.
0:02:45.1 AS: Oh, okay. Well thank you for being open to this as well. But we... I know we'll have lots to talk about, so I'm gonna jump right in so we can kind of get started on a bunch of stuff. But as you may or may not know if you've been listening this season, we are doing Notre Dame trivia as opposed to grab bag or just random questions I ask people based on seasons. And so I hope they are not too tricky, but, it's just a fun quiz one way or the other.
0:03:11.5 AT: I feel good about it. I didn't study so...
0:03:15.0 AS: I think you know the first one, but I did give it a multiple choice just in case. Who founded the congregation of Holy Cross? Sorry, go ahead.
0:03:24.1 AT: No, no, no. I forgot about the multiple choice. Go for it. Might as well guarantee it.
0:03:27.6 AS: Okay, are you sure?
0:03:29.1 AT: Yes.
0:03:29.5 AS: Hey, maybe bonus points if you just tell me outright.
0:03:32.9 AT: I don't wanna be that kid in class. No, no, no.
0:03:36.2 AS: Pick me. Pick me. Okay. Blessed Basil Moreau, Father Edward Sorin or Father Steven Baton.
0:03:42.7 AT: We're gonna go with A, Moreau.
0:03:44.6 AS: Yay.
0:03:45.0 AT: Let's go.
0:03:46.0 AS: Something tells me that's what you were gonna say anyway.
0:03:50.3 AT: Good comment.
0:03:52.1 AS: I don't like to start out with the hardest ones, so...
0:03:53.9 AT: Let's get the confidence building.
0:03:56.1 AS: Okay. True or false. The historic photograph of Father Ted Hesburgh hand in hand with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Was taken at Soldier Field in Chicago.
0:04:04.8 AT: I was thinking Chicago, so I'll go True.
0:04:07.1 AS: Yay.
0:04:07.9 AT: All right.
0:04:09.6 AS: Good job. And I know you later spent a good section of time in Chicago and I used to live in Chicago for many years, so I thought that was a nice one to add in and I'm glad that that's a lovely landmark for that photo.
0:04:21.8 AT: Absolutely. It's good to have that shared home and good to have that special moment there.
0:04:26.7 AS: Absolutely. Absolutely. Okay, this is multiple choice 'cause I think maybe a little harder. How tall is the statue of the Virgin Mary atop the golden dome? Do you want the multiple choice questions?
0:04:36.3 AT: Absolutely.
0:04:37.2 AS: 'Cause I'm like, I don't know, do you know this one too? Okay. I'll say, so A, five feet, B, 17 feet, or C, 30 feet.
0:04:48.7 AT: It's not A. You know what, there's the beautiful story about never let anyone say we dreamed too small so let's go 30.
0:04:55.6 AS: Or...
0:04:56.6 AT: Or 17. I think 17 would be appropriately large...
0:05:00.6 AS: Seven is...
0:05:00.7 AT: For the story. Yes.
0:05:02.7 AS: Seven is so specific. I thought, well maybe just the randomness of that number would grab you but...
0:05:10.3 AT: It almost did. And then I did the double thought of no, she wanted me to think that and it was...
0:05:14.7 AS: You know what, it's half points. I say half points.
0:05:16.3 AT: I accept.
0:05:17.2 AS: Because... Okay. [chuckle]
0:05:18.6 AT: That's perfect.
0:05:19.7 AS: I believe that you thought of it and I believe I tricked you. So that's no good, half points it is. Plus you got bonus points. You really got like A plus, plus plus 'cause I know you knew Moreau before I even gave you the choices. So... I don't know, some people...
0:05:31.2 AT: I'll take what I can get.
0:05:33.4 AS: Some people are competitive.
0:05:35.5 AT: I appreciate it.
0:05:37.6 AS: Okay. And this is tied to the question before. So starting the day after graduation this year, Notre Dame is doing something integral but infrequent to the administration building or as it might better be known, the golden dome. What are they going to do?
0:05:53.4 AT: They're going to re-gild, I believe is the term for re-goldenizing it.
0:05:58.1 AS: Yes. Yes. Re-goldenizing it.
0:05:58.3 AT: I think that's a scientific term, I was a middle school science teacher.
0:06:01.7 AS: Technical term. So true. The little tidbit, of course lots more can be shared, but this will be the 12th time the dome and the 17 foot tall statue of the Virgin Mary have under undergone this process since they were added to the main building in 1883.
0:06:20.9 AT: Cool.
0:06:21.8 AS: And I'm gonna have to triple check all my facts on this, but we always kind of heard little stories. My grandfather came here through Ellis Island from Holland and it's my understanding that at that time Notre Dame sort of sought out craftsmen from probably around the world, but they would bring them here to work. And so he helped with many, many, many things over the years. And I'm not certain exactly what my grandfather's role was. He helped gild the Golden Dome back in the day. I probably put that in cause I...
0:06:51.5 AT: That's amazing.
0:06:52.5 AS: I have to... We've been looking recently. We're like, we better verify this. But my dad remembers his dad showing him some of that gold leaf, that really soft, rich gold, he would describe it. So, so, so thin that if you put your hands together and rub them together it would disappear.
0:07:10.7 AT: Wow.
0:07:11.7 AS: Why it necessarily has to be that thin, I think. But, yeah. I guess if you held it up to the light it looked very dark green to him because it was so super thin as the light came through it. But it was a really neat experience for my dad and a really great memory. But... So I think somehow he did have some kind of a role in that because my dad would never have seen these things and have those memories himself, although he was a young child. But... Anyway, I have a special attachment to re-gilding. [chuckle]
0:07:42.4 AT: Yeah, that's great.
0:07:43.5 AS: Or re-goldening.
0:07:45.4 AT: Yeah. There's something symbolic and beautiful about that too. That's great.
0:07:48.8 AS: Yes. I'm glad to say I'll look forward to kind of watching the process. All right. Lots of extra stuff. [chuckle] And the fifth question is hopefully one that's maybe a little bit more fun, but a very important question to ask. Is there a Notre Dame ultimate frisbee club, and if not, when can we start one?
0:08:09.1 AT: Yeah. The hard hitting ones here. There is one. Last I knew, there's a men's and a women's club team and I was more familiar with the men's team that we used to play against in college. The first time I ever came to Notre Dame was for an ultimate frisbee tournament called White Smoke because all things ultimate frisbee and Notre Dame are Catholic puns, so I believe they were people rage or something. It was their team name. But anyway... That is to say, yes, they're a very good team last I knew.
0:08:36.3 AS: I am learning something new. You said it was the first time you ever came to Notre Dame. I know that that was just one touchpoint and you have many others later. But I'd love to kind of hear about that and I also think PATH Notre Dame very applicable today as you lead PATH so nicely. It's lots of big questions. So let's start with your path to Notre Dame.
0:08:57.8 AT: Sure, yeah. Yeah. And I should note too, I would like to think every trip after that first one went a little more smoothly because the first one none of us on our team realized that Notre Dame was in the Eastern time zone and arrived an hour late for our game. So...
0:09:11.2 AS: No. [chuckle]
0:09:11.8 AT: You learn through experience.
0:09:13.2 AS: Yes, yes.
0:09:16.3 AT: But, yeah. So I went to a wonderful... For undergrad, I went to the College of Saint Benedict's and Saint John's University. One Will Newkirk, who was on an earlier episode, also did.
0:09:28.3 AS: Absolutely.
0:09:28.9 AT: And, yeah, had a great experience. And when I was there, I was thinking about teaching but wasn't sure, wasn't fully set on. I was trying to figure that all out and went to one of those great, what are you gonna do with your life fairs, and met a guy who was talking about this program where there's these three pillars, teaching, spirituality and community. In short, it was called the Alliance for Catholic Education or ACE. I had not heard of it. And I remember going home that night... And at the time back then, there was not really a smooth route for someone who had studied education in undergrad to teach with ACE.
0:10:07.7 AT: And I called my folks that night and I said, "Hey, I found out that this program exists and I think it's the dream. And sorry, I think I'm gonna drop my education major and put all my eggs in this basket. And if it's not meant to be it's not meant to be." And, yeah. The three pillars just described me and who I wanted to be better than I could describe myself at the time. And I really wanted to teach in an area that really needed a great teacher and be formed and supported to be a great teacher. And it just checked all those boxes and the notion that I would earn a cost-free degree from Notre Dame, a master's was just outrageous to me and... So that was the dream. And I ended up not doing that after my senior year but I did it a year later. So... Yeah.
0:10:52.6 AS: That's the dream. But I didn't do that. I did... I know you...
0:10:56.6 AT: There's a wild story behind that. So yeah.
0:10:57.8 AS: So tell us...
0:10:58.8 AT: Sure. Yeah. It was kind of funny. So teaching with ACE was the dream and it starts in the summer. Of course we... If folks don't know, you get trained for two months at Notre Dame, you're doing graduate coursework and getting ready to teach. And I had an opportunity to do a third and final summer of a teaching internship working with middle schoolers in the Twin Cities in Minnesota. And believe it or not, I had another opportunity to teach abroad after college. And so when I was talking to friends they were like, ooh, tricky. Like, dream job or a chance to go abroad, dream program. What's your choice? I was like, actually, it's dream program or this internship I've done twice before. But I just felt really called to finish what I had started with our middle schoolers in St. Paul and had a chance to do so.
0:11:42.6 AT: And so I couldn't do both. That was a summer program. And so I turned down the dream so that I could teach for six more weeks in St. Paul with these kiddos I'd grown close with and trusted that, again, if it was meant to be, it would be. So that was through a great program called The Breakthrough Collaborative, which is one of the many things we've modeled actually, PATH, which we'll talk about later after. Which is all to say I taught one more summer with my kiddos and then I taught abroad teaching math and physics and living with monks in Tanzania for a year before lucky enough to get into ACE a year later.
0:12:13.5 AS: As one would do, living in Tanzania with monks. [chuckle]
0:12:17.3 AT: Like you do. Yeah. I always say I never wanted to leave Minnesota. I thought going to college an hour away from home was too far so naturally Tanzania was the next move. They are pretty much the same thing. They both have mosquitoes.
0:12:26.6 AS: Pretty close. I've heard that comparison before.
0:12:31.3 AT: Exactly.
0:12:31.9 AS: Oh, my gosh. Okay. I want to keep on this track, but I can't let it go without asking a bit about Tanzania. How was that experience? And I know it's led to things you still keep in your heart to this day. So tell me a little bit about that, please.
0:12:46.7 AT: Really. Yeah, I mean, I think in a word it was just deeply formative. I can't think about that time just without thinking about the, just the adventures in and out of the classroom for sure. I'm so grateful for all that I learned from the kids and the monks and the community and the village I was living in. Also though the opportunity to be a small part of impacting the kids' educational experience. And yeah, again, having gone to school an hour from home for undergrad I had spent a lot... Those three summers working with middle schoolers, I had spent talking to kids about the fact that we grow when we're out of our comfort zone and we're often called to do what scares us. And it was kind of the first big, put your money where your mouth is opportunity to say, yeah, that's probably then true for me too. And it stretched me in ways I had never been stretched before, in many ways it was the hardest thing I had done. But it was a really beautiful experience and it got to the point where the only thing I applied to from there was ACE and I had no other plan if I didn't get in, which I knew was very viable. I had no plan other than to keep living and teaching in Hanga village. So yeah, just near and dear to my heart still, for sure.
0:13:54.4 AS: That's awesome. I love that. Just to clarify, was that part of the three summers?
0:14:00.4 AT: Good question. Totally unrelated. Sorry. There's a program called the Benedict and Volunteer Corps, or BVC through St. Vincent and St. John's. It's a Benedict in connection with my undergrad.
0:14:09.5 AS: Great. Wonderful. Okay. Thanks for that clarification. So I thought maybe having been accepted to ACE that you could maybe defer it. Is that not the case, you had to sort of reapply?
0:14:19.5 AT: Yeah, good question. You can't necessarily defer because one of the beautiful things about ACE Teaching Fellows is it's a need-based placement process. So you're accepted and placed very intentionally for a specific need at a specific school at that time. And the school that was going to potentially have me teach, they couldn't wait a year for me to start and they were gonna fill that and keep it filled. And so I think that's one of the things that actually makes it a really special process. And I was really grateful for team members who explained that well. The other really providential part is it led to a more perfect placement than I could have ever imagined, even though it's not the one I would've chosen for myself. But just trusting the team and knowing me well enough and knowing the schools well enough, it was just a great gift, again, of probably providence I suppose, and of the team's wisdom and insight. But so I don't know if that made sense of why you can't directly defer, but unlike another grad school where they just say, yeah, we'll throw you in classes a year from now, that school needs a teacher then, and they theoretically hopefully won't need a teacher a year from now, so...
0:15:16.5 AS: Yes. Thank you very much for that clarification.
0:15:18.6 AT: And I should say too, the recruiting and placement team at ACE have done a good job of finding creative ways where if someone has a situation like mine, they're able to better set them up for success on a future timeline and find ways, especially now that we have early timelines that aren't as connected with placement. So again, another thing that's changed in the decade plus since I was applying to ACE.
0:15:40.9 AS: Okay, great. Well, that's good. That's nice that they've kind of maybe seen that as an area of adjustment that they can try to make.
0:15:47.4 AT: Yeah. They do an amazing job with that, so...
0:15:49.2 AS: Yeah. Okay. So when you did come back, you applied, you obviously got in, where did they place you? And tell me a little bit about that.
0:15:55.9 AT: Yeah, I got in against the odds and was placed at a wonderful school called Most Pure Heart of Mary in Mobile, Alabama, teaching middle school math and science and religion, and eventually taking on other fun roles like athletic director.
0:16:09.6 AS: Wonderful. They were blessed to have you in that regard, obviously, but wait, just really quickly, where had you wanted to go or did you know where you... You said not somewhere you would've necessarily picked or?
0:16:19.6 AT: Oh, yeah, yeah. So I think when I was applying, probably because of all the teacher movies that exist in the world, I saw myself in a big city, teaching high school. Like high school math, teaching whatever. And when I saw Mobile, Alabama, middle school math and science, I was just like, okay, it's not high school. It's not a big city to my knowledge. Science is not really my jam. What the heck? And actually I forwarded the email 'cause at that time it was an email and I was in Tanzania to my folks and I was just like, hey, like I got it. And I had been saying like, I would do anything, I'll teach anywhere anything.
0:16:56.7 AT: And I sent it kind of like honored and humbled to have gotten in and like, this is none of the things I thought I wanted. And my dad, who was a man of few words, he responded and he said this, or well, we got on a phone call and he said, "This makes perfect sense." And I was just like, "I'm not following you here." And he said, "Most Pure Heart of Mary, your mom Mary, is about to have heart surgery," which praise God ended up going well. And that's not usually like his thing to be like seeing signs and all that kind of stuff. But all that is to say it was a beautiful moment of just, of trust and, again, the spirit and then the ACE team and I cannot overstate the fact that Mobile and Most Pure Heart of Mary became a home to me. And just such a providential special thing that I got to spend time there.
0:17:45.2 AS: That's really cool. It does feel like a little sign at the very least. And as you say, providential. Well, I'm glad you're there and I think you're right, you're exactly where you were supposed to be. So it was not what you were expecting. A lot of people that might listen to this are maybe people who are interested in the program. Tell me about some of those thoughts. Tell me when it changed. Tell me when you thought, "Yep, this is right."?
0:18:08.9 AT: Yeah, it's a great question. I discussed that with a lot of accepted applicants and have over the years, especially when I had even more of a role with ACE teaching fellows. And I think the big thing that I come back to is something I guess I referenced a little bit before. Part of it is just trust, right? There was no way for me to know Mobile without being there. And I think I also had the gift of the Tanzania experience where it was totally unknown. It was honestly isolating at first because I didn't know the language right away. And so I think I had already been blessed to have learned a bit of that lesson of we come to know and love places by patiently practicing presence there. And so part of it was trusting that experience would map onto this one. And part of it was trusting the team, knowing that I really did believe that they came to know me and had the school's best interest in mind and mine as well. And also I think part of it was just reflecting and saying, hey, if I truly am open to serving the greatest need the best that I can, and there's people who've been doing it for at that point, almost 20 now over 30 years, let's... Game on. Come holy spirit and let's let it rip.
0:19:16.0 AS: Game on. I love it. I don't know. I suppose we all kind of think, oh, I'm in control of things and I know what I want or need, and to sort of let that go. But that is part of that process and probably part of these people who are just kind of graduating and looking at that next section of their lives. Having been...
0:19:30.3 AT: You gotta do what scares you sometimes. Yeah. Which is easier said than done. And it's easier when you're not the person signing up for two years of doing it. But there's just so many stories of it being beautiful and... Yeah, yeah. So two amazing, challenging formative years in Mobile and then I was blessed to join their pastoral team for ACE Teaching Fellows. So essentially helping recruit, train and support our teachers and be a connection point for our diocesan and school partners across the country. So I did that for three years living and working in South Bend, and then returned to the classroom teaching for two years middle school math and science at a wonderful school called the Academy of St. Benedict The African in Chicago, which has become another home to me. Yeah. And then in 2018 officially came back to join the ACE team, partly to help with teaching fellows some more, but also to to help launch and grow a beautiful program called the Pursuing Achievement Through Higher education or PATH which is the main thing I'm blessed to get to do with my days these days.
0:20:31.9 AS: That's wonderful. Thank you. So yeah, so we'll refer to it as PATH. It's a really great name. I love that. Especially that you're leading these folks... Middle school.
0:20:37.7 AT: Middle school through. Yeah. So we commit from sixth grade through college graduation, about 11 year commitment to walking with them on their journey.
0:20:44.8 AS: No time like the present. Tell us about this program.
0:20:47.3 AT: Yeah, yeah. So, I mean, on a huge level the goal is to help be a part of the church's effort to close the opportunity gap in our country as experienced by folks who are historically marginalized or underrepresented, specifically in the college graduation pool. So in short, we often refer to it by simply saying, we offer, we provide radical accompaniment, opportunity and formation on kids' journeys to and through college and to heaven are our goal and the college always has an intentional asterisk. People often ask, is not college therefore a failure, what if college isn't for everybody or they don't want it? And our thing is, our real goal is that every one of the kiddos entrusted to our care is empowered and enabled to have their fullest flourishing in life. And we know that the way that our system and society operates, education is a huge part of making that possible. And we want each kid and their family to be the ones who make the decisions about that, not society, not circumstances or structures. And so if a kid says, my dream is to go to the University of Arizona and be in the honors program, we wanna make sure that it's their call whether or not they do that, not an unfortunate barrier. And if they say, my dream is to go right into the military or a trade, and I have discerned that and it's what I feel called to do, then we are gonna celebrate that and support the heck out of them.
0:22:05.5 AS: Okay, great. Thanks for that clarification. I know you used the words radical accompaniment, I think that's very intentional. Can you elaborate on why that's so important?
0:22:18.5 AT: Yeah, it's an intentional word choice and we had a good team discussion about it too, saying, are the families and schools we're partnering with, is that gonna be obvious to them? It's just not a commonly used term. And part of our point was actually, maybe it's not a bad thing if it's not obvious, 'cause it can start the conversation of what do we mean? And we've stolen it from many others. We didn't invent it, that's for sure. But in part it's, we think it's part of our Catholic call to serve kids as Jesus did in a radical way. And that means walking with them in the ups and the downs, and not just in the, how's your math grade doing and how's your attendance, but how are you as a human? And how connected do you feel to your community? How meaningful is church for you right now? Never with any judgment. Always with accountability and love and support. And so that radical could look like not being bound by just certain spaces and times, showing up for them in spaces and times where they need and want it. And again, it can hopefully look like just the intensity with which we love and support them regardless of those ups and downs, if that makes sense.
0:23:14.8 AS: Oh, it absolutely makes sense. I assumed it was a intentional choice since they're very specific words. It's a visual description almost to me, of how much care you all put into this process. And if you don't mind, a couple other questions.
0:23:26.5 AT: Please.
0:23:27.7 AS: Can you help me understand, from the beginning, tell me how you're in one school. Tell us kind of really what we're looking at physically, what are you guys doing down there?
0:23:36.5 AT: Yeah, yeah. So our pilot site has been in Tucson, Arizona. And so we're running into our sixth summer of programming, which is wild to think about. And we partner with two schools, two Catholic schools on the south side of Tucson with whom ACE has partnered for a long time with teaching fellows many other programs. They were for a good while Notre Dame ACE Academies in kind of a pivotal stage in their time. And they're just really special school communities, St. John Evangelist in Santa Cruz, and any child who is in sixth grade at either of those two schools or spends time in the middle school years, sixth, seventh or eighth grade, we're gonna walk with them until they ask us not to, and/or until they've achieved that higher education goal of theirs. And so we can get into what that looks like. But they go on to about 12 different high schools at this point across Tucson. And we're about to find out how many different colleges and we just keep walking with them wherever they go.
0:24:34.6 AS: Okay. That's great. I'm curious, so I'm thinking some of our listeners will be curious too, when these children are in these schools, the school makes it known that this is part of a process that begins with all the students at sixth grade. Is that how it works?
0:24:47.8 AT: Yeah, yeah, exactly. So I think in the most common form, whether it's a new student coming in or a student who's just matriculating into sixth grade there's kind of a conversation saying, hey, we've partnered with this program, these crazy folks at Notre Dame and ACE asked if they could do a little bit more with us. And again, they've been such good, wonderful partners for us and with us. And so yeah, basically that in a tangible sense, the kids are then prepared to know that just like they'll go to music or PE or art class, they'll go to a PATH persistence class once a week which is their first touchpoint. It's this course on some of the hard and soft skills that are gonna be valuable on that journey in education and beyond. So everything from social emotional skills like practicing empathy, executive functioning skills like organization and note taking. And also really practical educational transition skills. Like how do you figure out what high school is right for you and how do you get ready to have a good application for that school. So all those pieces are touched on weekly for those three years, sixth, seventh and eighth grade in the school day.
0:25:50.0 AS: That's great. Thank you so much. That actually really helps clarify what that tangible element is, what it looks like in the school for them. And so it becomes something that's just a natural part of their education really. Those are just, even the ones that you mentioned are wonderful elements that are so critical.
0:26:07.0 AT: Exactly. Yeah. And I think they're not necessarily automatic developmentally in terms of being a middle schooler. And depending on just other influences in your life and experiences of school through no fault of anyone's other than, again, maybe societies and systems at times, sometimes we just need a little bit more attention to growing those skills and those dispositions. And we've been gifted with a small but mighty wonderful team who has been doing that. So we have ACE PATH team members who are in the schools each day. And that's just the first touchpoint, the first kind of piece of our supports is that PATH persistence class. I often joke that the elevator pitch still requires kind of a tall building.
0:26:44.8 AS: There's a taller building. Can you tell me what you mean by that?
0:26:47.5 AT: Absolutely, yeah. So that PATH persistence course is the first piece, sixth, seventh and eighth grade. There's also an optional opportunity for our kiddos in their middle school years called the PATH Rising Summer program. Mainly optional is because a lot of the kiddos not having explicitly opted in, right? Just going to sixth grade at these schools. They have many other things going on in summer sometimes. So the kids who participate get to do kind of a half summer camp, half summer school with the goal being certainly keeping them fresh on math and reading and writing and science, but also really helping to just kind of further solidify healthy mindsets in terms of just their ability to be a learner and be successful and confident in school and curious and ask questions and delve into their faith and community. And a big piece of that is that our teachers in that program are current college undergrads.
0:27:33.7 AT: So there's a second, a dual kind of mission there where we're also forming potential future educators especially with a focus on recruiting and retaining more teachers of color and teachers from the communities that we serve. And that's been a really cool thing. And a big part of that summer program is one of the things that's been modeled after actually that breakthrough collaborative experience I was talking about before. So, not a coincidence that the thing that helped convince me I wanted to try out teaching when I was in Twin Cities is being a bit mimicked. And they've been great kind of thought partners as we did these early years of piloting, but that's the summer. Yeah. And then two more quick big pieces. One, the third summer culminates with about a five day trip to Notre Dame, actually, for the Rising ninth graders.
0:28:16.2 AS: Great.
0:28:16.6 AT: We call it the Notre Dame Scholar Immersion Program, or NDSIP, so they get just a little taste of college in Notre Dame.
0:28:25.9 AS: I like it.
0:28:28.7 AT: Which is really fun. And then when they're in high school, and then eventually when they're in college, we shift to what we call GPS or Graduate Persistence Support which is just at least secondary, if not primary kind of college counseling and social-emotional counseling as they go through those journeys, depending on what their needs are, what their school supports are, etcetera. 'Cause we're always teaming with parents as a primary educator and families and schools. But just trying to add on and fill some potential gaps and kind of give other opportunities. So in a nutshell, that gets us toward the top of the building, I'd say.
0:28:58.9 AS: So well thought out it feels like, and I love that you have these thought partners from other areas that have worked in the past. They're proven elements, they're proven for you and many others. How are you feeling about things? I know it's the sixth year, I believe you said. Are things kind of growing the way you would like them to? Are you seeing those successes that you'd like to see?
0:29:18.7 AT: Yeah, it's an important question and it's always one that we try to think about in as many ways as possible because obviously the end goal of fullest flourishing and potential college degrees is far down the line from a sixth grader. And so we need some kind of progress point indicators and checkpoints. So yeah, I think in short we're really excited about the progress and the growth. I think a couple of indicators include, one, we've just seen a pretty sizable increase in our middle schoolers attending Catholic high schools, which is not meant to be a normative claim that Catholic high schools are explicitly or implicitly better. But we have found that for many of our kiddos, they are often the best fit. And there's a couple of different ones that can really meet a lot of needs of a lot of our kids really well and help them grow. And so we've just seen that that has been good news for a lot of our kids. Another big thing is just there's really fun anecdotes and stories of the kids doing well at their schools, both academically and socially and engaging in sports and things. And I think two other kind of exciting points.
0:30:21.4 AT: One is we have sort of an unofficial adopted member of, we kind of call her cohort zero. She was a year older than the group we started with, but she's been just super engaged in anything we kinda let her be engaged in and has volunteered and participated. And she was actually a kindergarten student of Yvonne Chavez, who was our first ever team member down in Tucson. And she's now a 12th grader and has accepted an offer to come to the University of Notre Dame next fall, which is just a fun, we know that that was a village effort. We just kind of got to be along for that ride. But it's been fun to watch that and think about whether it's Notre Dame or, again, a more local place or anything else, just watching a kid be able to say, this is my number one choice, and then be able to say, and I'm gonna go do it, is a special and hopeful thing. Yeah. So it's growing leaps and bounds and we're hiring our third and final team member to round out our supports to have someone to support them in their college years, starting to entertain conversations about expansion to future cities when it feels right. And so, growth is an appropriate word, I'd say right now.
0:31:27.0 AS: Well, that's wonderful. I was gonna say, are you thinking of it in a scalable way? It sounds like such a wonderful program that I think everyone should have an opportunity to have it in their schools but... [laughter]
0:31:37.4 AT: Yeah, that's the vision. Yeah. We certainly... We're intentional about never trying to rush and grow too big, too fast, 'cause the important thing to us is doing it right and serving the kids in our care well, that being said, we've done, especially the middle school years of support enough times over and been able to make enough tweaks and even have our eye on other tweaks that we're excited to implement that we're certainly, again, we're at an exciting stage of entertaining conversations with diocese and archdiocese about potential fit for expansion and timelines. And again, we'll continue not to rush, we wanna serve as many kids as well as we can without ever sacrificing the radical accompaniment that we seek to offer.
0:32:18.6 AS: Yeah, absolutely. I like that very much. Intentionally scaling when it's appropriate and feels right. I know a little bit, I walked a little bit with you guys in PATH summer, it looks like just a ton of fun.
0:32:29.9 AT: Yeah. Yeah. I think in a lot of ways it's kind of become a bit of our flagship piece of the supports and opportunity. It's a magical time. It's one of those, it's annoying to hear this on a podcast, I'm sure, but you're gonna have to be there to fully taste and experience the magic. But I think it's just, there's so many powerful pieces of it from watching a college sophomore figure out how to be more engaging with a math lesson, to watching high school volunteers who are former middle schoolers of ours take over in programming for an entire afternoon, supporting 80 middle school kids. And just totally stepping up to the plate, to a sixth grader standing up in front of scores of their peers in a chapel and saying, I wanna shout out my classmate because I saw God in her or him in this way today. And just moments like that are just, they're the norm.
0:33:24.1 AS: That's great.
0:33:26.3 AT: It's a special feeling. And I think it's also, it's unsurprising to see that our kiddos who've been engaged in the summer program have remained generally most actively engaged in our supports in high school and beyond, which is not to say anything about those who haven't dove into the summer programming, but it's such a deep dive into community building in addition to growing academically and growing spiritually and growing in those skills we talked about. So that's a long rambling way to say it's just... It's my favorite. It's exhausting. And by the time we hit August, you can see the team kind of flattened on the floor between the desert heat and the full days. But it's just an absolute blast and a joy and it's pretty surreal that we get to call it work technically, you know?
0:34:12.3 AS: Well, no, I'm laughing 'cause it does look like an all-in experience, but it does look like it's just so fulfilling in so many ways. How important is that community building element to sort of the entire process? Maybe it's tied to the social-emotional learning and things like that. Can we talk a little bit about that?
0:34:29.8 AT: Yeah, it's deeply important. I think that's one of the many reasons why it makes sense for the Alliance for Catholic Education specifically to be doing this because it aligns with those three pillars that we talked about at the beginning. They're all integrated and just deeply and inherently interconnected. And so community I think is so foundational to what we hope to do. For a couple reasons. I think one is we believe that that is part of the call of our faith, again, that we exist in our relationships and we are made for each other to be better together, to steal a lot of lines that a lot of our colleagues use all at once there.
0:35:06.4 AS: They're all good.
0:35:08.1 AT: I can't pick just one. But I think also there's a lot of great research and experience that has shown that it is in fact explicitly impactful in positive outcomes in schooling. And so the more that we can, if this is gonna be an 11-year journey and we're gonna have an intentionally small but mighty team, part of the idea is we're actually hoping to help foster deep connections in communities so that our kiddos are helping each other along the journey too. That's actually so much more important and helpful in some ways. And the other thing too is very specifically our kids come from two middle schools and then go on to, like I said, upwards of a dozen different high schools. And so to be able to know that you're never alone, again, quite literally and say, hey, we maybe didn't go to the same school before. That's actually... That's an area that we think has been beautiful and we also want to deepen and figure out how to improve on. Again, things like that Notre Dame trip are a deep dive kind of community build. But how to bring everyone into the fold, I think is, it's gonna make a huge difference in the college years even more so I think.
0:36:11.4 AS: Yeah. I think I agree. I'm sure of it and I look forward to hearing about some of those successes going forward too. This is maybe an aside, but I've heard some stories. Actually, tell me if you don't want me to ask this is what I'm saying. I would love to hear sort of a story from some of the kids, I think when they came here. Are you okay with sharing something like that if I asked you?
0:36:35.8 AT: Yeah, happy to. Happy to.
0:36:37.5 AS: All right, thanks. I don't wanna make you...
0:36:38.0 AT: No, you're great.
0:36:41.4 AS: Feel like you have... Whatever, don't have permission, but you don't have to say names or whatever. I know that I've been able to see firsthand some of the young folks come here for that visit in the summer to Notre Dame, and I've just heard some wonderful stories from them themselves. I know you have even more, is there one or two you might share about their feelings about the program?
0:37:02.0 AT: Yeah, I think I can go chronologically super early, super late. So I think the third day, maybe second day ever of our summer programming, way back in the summer of 2018, we had a kiddo getting on the bus at the end of the day and they said, you know, before we were Santa Cruz kids and St. John kids and now we're all these PATH kids. So to your point of community, I mean, it's just, it was just so genuine, right? From a sixth grader. And that's really part of the goal, right? And so that was special for sure. And I think to your point about especially the meaningfulness of these trips up to Notre Dame, for example, short though they may be in their span of 11 years, I will never, ever forget we were headed back late night to the dorms. But late night was actually a pretty perfect time for the kiddos to call their folks with the time zone change.
0:37:56.0 AS: Yeah, that's funny.
0:37:57.4 AT: And so one student was on the phone with her mother and I just kind of happened to overhear and she started by naming this really cool connection she was making between things that folks had talked about at different parts of the day. And it was just cool as a teacher to hear the actualization of learning there. But then she goes, "Mom, it's just so pretty here, and the people are so kind. I can't wait for you to visit me when I'm a student here." And again, like to go on, like, be clear, our goal is not that every kid in PATH goes to Notre Dame, they should go where they want to go. But that type of thought was just such a beautiful one. And goodness knows, I love Notre Dame. There's great things happening here. It would become a even better place if the student came here. She's amazing. But for her to have that moment and for her to mom to say like, "Yeah, sign me up. I can't wait."
0:38:41.3 AS: Let's do it.
0:38:42.5 AT: Those are special things. And so much of it is building community, helping plant and water big dreams, and then joining those schools and families that do the good work and just kind of magnifying the magic that they already have.
0:38:56.1 AS: Man, I love this. This is wonderful. Thank you so much, Alec...
0:39:00.4 AT: Yeah. My gosh.
0:39:00.5 AS: For telling us about it, but for all you, the work that you do and that you can tell you have your heart and soul in it. And if anyone can spot someone who isn't working with their true heart and soul, it's a sixth grader or middle schoolers. So...
0:39:10.7 AT: Preach. Preach that. And again, and we've been blessed with such amazing team members who actually do the direct work. So our team down in Tucson, Yvonne and Jessica, and Serena, who's about to join us, and certainly the Rising teachers, our interns in the summer who just dive in so deeply for seven weeks in the summer. It really does just make it all the easier to dive in fully when you're surrounded by people who are doing the same.
0:39:33.3 AS: I agree 100%. It's so wonderful to be a part of such a unified, giving, loving team. So look forward to all the good work going on with PATH. And one other thing that I actually heard about you, as I mentioned in that sort of first dinner at the Wills, that you guys have... And allow me to get it right, the Larry Bird and the Intentionality Brothers...
0:39:54.6 AS: If you don't mind me asking about it. I think it's a spreadsheet that kind of unifies and helps keep people focused maybe. Can you tell me a little bit about that, why that's so important? The reason I bring it up is because I think that probably works its way into a lot of what you do and the work and the heart that you put into things. It's not just this spreadsheet and these things that might be on the spreadsheet. It's everything including PATH and ACE.
0:40:18.3 AT: Yeah, 100%. Yeah. Yeah. I suppose if there was like a TV commercial, we'd say something like, "It's so much more than just a spreadsheet."
0:40:25.4 AT: But it is, it is a spreadsheet, in fact. Yeah, I think, I suppose the somewhat brief way to describe it would be some number of years ago, probably six or seven, I'd know if I look at the tabs right now, but I was having conversations with Tim Will, our dear colleague and friend here at the Alliance, and a good friend, Patrick Sitzer, who taught with ACE Teaching Fellows as well, and actually went to undergrad with will Newkirk and myself. And all that is to say we're just talking about how to be better versions of ourselves. And I had been speaking with another friend from ACE about when I started working for ACE, I wanted to kind of do a reset on being more intentional as a human being. And I kind of identified the seven things that if I try to do them more regularly, I'm a better version of myself for others. And he was great. He just looked at me and said, "That's great. Are you actually keeping track of that?" And I was like, "Well, what do you mean?" He is like, "Well, we don't really like... If you wanna really follow through on a goal, you should know if you're hitting it." And so that made just a little solitary Excel sheet on my computer, which also still lives on. And I was talking about that with Patrick and with Tim kind of separately and they know each other.
0:41:38.9 AT: And we just got really excited. So Patrick and I agreed we wanted to hold each other accountable. We were gonna, the two of us were gonna do a shared Google sheet just to be accountable. He had his seven things, I had mine. And I feel the need to share this backstory to explain the title of our band, so to speak.
0:41:53.8 AS: Sure. [chuckle]
0:41:53.9 AT: And one day, I was at a wedding actually, and sitting next to Tim Will, and we were talking about intentionality, and I told him about this idea that Pat and I had with the spreadsheet thing, and he said, "That sounds amazing. I want in, if that's okay." And I texted Pat kind of on the side, and I was like, "I know we said it was just the two of us. I'm so sorry. But Tim will asked if he could join." And Pat's immediate response was, "Tim Will, he's the Larry Bird of intentionality." And I just showed that to Tim. And Tim at this wedding showed me his sock and his sock had Larry Bird on it at this wedding.
0:42:30.0 AS: Oh my Gosh.
0:42:30.1 AT: And we took that as another sign. We're just people looking signs.
0:42:33.8 AS: I love the signs.
0:42:35.8 AT: Yep. And so that day, the shared Google Sheet, Larry Bird and the Intentionality Brothers was born, again, it's been at least six years, if not more actually. It's definitely been more, that we've been... We just kinda keep track of how many of the seven things we do in a given day. It's not a competition. It's just an accountability opportunity. And it's also just like we share a little snapshot of our day too. And so despite having been in different cities, different years from each other, we can just kind of see what's going on in people's hearts and minds and lives and check in and support. And we have summits every once in a while where we kind of talk about any lessons we've learned or we learn that are making us a little bit more accountable to this intentionality. And again, not surprisingly coming back to that theme before, we are better when we're in community. And going from that solitary spreadsheet where I just check in compared to an ongoing conversation where we lovingly hold each other accountable, it turns out better outcomes. Who knew? So...
0:43:34.4 AS: Who knew? Who knew? Absolutely. I think that's wonderful. Any chance you would tell us what some of those seven things were?
0:43:40.9 AT: Yeah.
0:43:41.7 AS: So yes...
0:43:43.1 AT: Yeah, so again... No, yeah.
0:43:44.7 AS: If it's top secret, I certainly don't... Okay. [chuckle]
0:43:45.3 AT: Not at all. Not at all. And we have some that are shared between the three of us and some that are different. Tim, I think has a hydrate one that I don't have. I have...
0:43:54.4 AS: It is important though. [chuckle]
0:43:56.1 AT: Yeah, absolutely. Hydrate or diedrate the kids say, I believe.
0:44:00.2 AT: I have prayer joynal, which is, at least one sentence of something that brought me joy each day, reading, physical activity, healthy sleep, which is a tough one to get the point for, future work, which is spending some time doing something that's meaningful for how I might grow in work, in any capacity. And what did I not say? That's really bad. Years and years of doing this.
0:44:26.9 AT: But yeah, those are six of the seven. The last one will just have to be like a future trivia question.
0:44:31.7 AT: I'm gonna cheat and look it up, but...
0:44:35.7 AS: Maybe memory, something for memory.
0:44:37.7 AT: Yeah, it should be, that's gonna be the new one, apparently. Good golly. Yeah.
0:44:40.3 AS: I would like to say it gets better, but it only gets worse.
0:44:43.9 AT: I was gonna say, I haven't heard great things about the aging process in that regard. Oh my gosh, that's ironic. Ketchup and/or connect. So, a meaningful conversation with someone. So thanks for earning me a point today, Audrey. You're...
0:44:58.4 AS: Yay. Happy to help.
0:44:58.5 AT: Appreciate it. Good golly. And yeah, I'm gonna add memory as the phantom eighth thing.
0:45:02.9 AS: That's so great. It's so much fun. And it... But all in good things. I mean, really, it was inspirational just to hear about it truthfully. So I appreciate you sharing that story. But is there an element... That's something that's always stood out to me about you, is that, does permeate everything you do, whether you have a specific category or a spreadsheet about it. Do you feel like you live an intentional life?
0:45:27.3 AT: Wow, that's a good question. I feel like I'm trying to, and I'm getting better at it, I think classic line here, but it's, I think it's probably a lifetime journey. But yeah, I think it's kind of a core value of mine to be intentional. And I just am daily reminded of all the room that I have for growth, professionally and personally and spiritually. And again, I've just learned from experience that being intentional and furthermore doing it with accountability and love of community, in fact at least has led to more progress than without those things. So we're trying, that's for sure.
0:46:04.3 AS: Oh, I think you're doing a great job. I'm so glad to hear you say that. I'm guessing that's something that, whether it's specific that you share with the PATH folks or not is sort of an underlying piece. No?
0:46:13.0 AT: Absolutely. Yep. Yep. I think that's exactly right. Sometimes it's underlying and sometimes it's right out front. We did a... I guess one example that I stole from Tim was, there's some great research out of Stanford on this notion called Tiny Habits, Professor BJ Fogg. And Tim introduced that to Pat and I, and it's been meaningful in our building of healthy intentional habits. And we kind of did that as a little team growth development opportunity. And then it was kind of neat then, now I believe that some of our middle schoolers have been made aware of it as well. And again, I think there's really cool applications of that too. So, yeah.
0:46:54.1 AS: Hey, yeah, I like that too. Tiny Habits. I might need a spreadsheet just to kind of keep everything organized.
0:46:58.8 AT: For what it's worth, I feel like when people hear spreadsheet, they say, "Oh my gosh, you're so organized." And my thing is, I have it because I'm not.
0:47:02.6 AS: Exactly. Okay. Wait, where was I? Okay, I'm not sure quite how to work this in, but I saw a photo of you doing a headstand on a mountaintop, perhaps in Oregon. [chuckle] And I thought I could never do a headstand against a wall barely, let alone on the edge of a mountain. You've run marathons. There's just a very dedicated element to you [chuckle] I think.
0:47:32.0 AT: That's generous of you to say.
0:47:34.7 AS: And it's fascinating. I think it's energetic, I guess. Is there... I don't know, do you always do headstands? Was it just the moment to do it? What was that?
0:47:43.4 AT: Yeah, that's a good question. I think, yeah, in the general sense for your comment, I think, yeah, we've been gifted an amazing life and earth to inhabit, and it's been fun to use it as fully as possible. And the headstand thing in particular is a tradition that I guess began for me in college. Typically it's on beaches, but I had a service trip. It was my first time going out of the country, that my best friend convinced me to go on because he predicted that I would actually spend a year abroad before I ever thought that was reasonable. So all that is to say, we were there and one of our trip leaders, she was really wonderful. We were at the beach and she said, "You know what's even better than looking out at the water is looking at it upside down." There's just something special about a new perspective. And she went with the simpler route of just kind of cranking her head down. And sand is a really great place to learn how to do headstands anyway. And so...
0:48:43.5 AS: Gosh.
0:48:43.7 AT: An old high school friend of mine had taught me how to do them. And short story long, from then on, anytime I'm on a beach, I try to, ideally with no one watching...
0:48:51.2 AT: Try to do a headstand and likewise any other kind of just unique for me and beautiful landscapes like to do the same, just for kind of another new perspective on the beauty. And, yes, back on the adventurous ACE bus tour days, which would be its own podcast.
0:49:09.8 AS: I so wish I could have been on that.
0:49:09.9 AT: Oh man. It was something.
0:49:13.7 AS: The stories I could have garnered.
0:49:13.8 AT: Yeah, yeah. The told and the untold. But yeah, so Steve, I was not as sly as I thought I was gonna be with that one. It was a little harder on the rocky mountain top in Portland. But Steve snayed a picture and every few years I hear about it or see it from him. So God bless him.
0:49:32.9 AS: I think it must be inspirational to him too. I looked at it in wonder, because I thought, "Oh my God... "
0:49:37.0 AS: No way. I would be so worried about falling over the side.
0:49:39.0 AT: Oh man. It was fun. It was cool. And I, as much as I like to not be seen in those moments, it was kind of fun that Steve did snap that because I don't have, yeah, a lot of images of me doing it in my own mind.
0:49:51.6 AS: Hard to get those.
0:49:54.7 AT: It turns out. Yeah. Hard selfie moment there.
0:49:58.4 AS: Okay. Wonderful. I've so enjoyed this conversation and I would love to just keep going and keep going, but I always kind of finish up with, are you hopeful about the work? Are you hopeful about how things are going? I'd love to just get your perspective on that.
0:50:12.4 AT: Yeah, deeply hopeful. It's one of my favorite questions too, so I love that you ask that every time. Yeah. If I could, I'm happy to share two thoughts on that and you can take them or leave them. I think one is an abstract, but so much of our work in PATH is about mentorship in another word. And I've been reflecting a lot on one of my dearest mentors from my time in undergrad. And he, his name is Brother Dietrich and he passed away while I was in undergrad. But one of his parting messages, was this deeply, deeply invicted sense that the best is yet to come. And we say that a lot in ACE now, which is humbling and neat that there's that connection for me personally in life.
0:50:54.3 AT: But I just, I believe that so deeply, the team, the PATH team is probably sick of hearing me say that too, but it's just so exciting to see the good work that's already happening and to dream of the magnification of that work to use a reference I made before. So that's my first thought is I just, I find just the future to be inherently hopeful. Thanks in large part to the formation of good folks like Brother Dietrich, and other great monks at St. John's and St. Ben's. And I think the second thing would be, this is maybe recency bias, but so much of this work, all of this work is about the kids, right? But also our work on the ACE team in the office doesn't always get to interface with kids. And so sometimes I get to draw inspiration from my babies who are starting to grow up from when I was teaching.
0:51:56.8 AT: And I was blessed just a few days ago on Mother's Day to be back in Chicago for a couple of my kiddos' high school graduation. I taught them in sixth and seventh grade and my kids in Alabama are now graduating college and getting master's and it's pretty wild too. But to be at this graduation and to watch just the deep joy and pride and to see a physical manifestation of some of the village who have walked with... And this is an all boys school, so, our boys in this case, it's, you can't not be hopeful, if that makes sense. And one of them in particular is just, I've gotten to know his family very, very well and some really challenging things happened while I was teaching him.
0:52:20.3 AT: And the way that they have bonded together even further and overcome and lifted each other up, and honestly lifted me up at times. It's just, it's being able to call yourself teacher, I think is one of the most humbling and literally awesome responsibilities and titles that you can have. And it's hopeful to think about a world where Tim and Jayden and their classmates are gonna be the politicians I'm voting for, and the teachers who are busting their tail to make a more engaging lesson and the nurses who are caring for people in times of great need. And it's just deeply hopeful. There's no better word than the word in your question.
0:53:09.8 AS: That's so beautiful. That's so nice to sort of see that full circle, but also see them flying going forward and as you said, best is yet to come. I already knew you were gonna be hopeful, but both of those are very inspirational. So thank you.
0:53:20.4 AT: Yeah, my Gosh.
0:53:21.2 AS: Thank you so much for your time and everything today, Alec, and everything that you do. I really hope you know how much I appreciate it. And we all do because you're doing fabulous works.
0:53:29.4 AT: My gosh. I appreciate it. Thank you. And I mean, another line that all of us say all the time, we stand on the shoulders of giants, so I'm just grateful to be surrounded by amazing people doing the great work and trying to just keep building on it. So thanks again for all you do.
0:53:40.9 AS: Look forward to this summer and seeing the great work in action.
0:53:43.7 AT: Sounds good. I'm gonna go talk to Father John about making the dome a little taller so my trivia answer is right.
0:53:48.2 AS: Do it.
0:53:50.7 AS: All right. Thanks Alec.
0:53:53.4 AT: Thank you.
0:53:53.5 AS: Have a good one. Bye-bye.
0:53:56.7 AT: You too. Bye.
0:53:56.8 AS: And thank you all for joining us for Think.Pair.Share. If you enjoyed this episode, head on over to Apple Podcasts to subscribe, rate and leave a review. It's very much appreciated. Check out our website at iei.nd.edu/media for this and other goodies. Thanks for listening, and for now, off we go.