As homecoming week continues, we’ll hear from CDA 2014 graduate Grace McClure. Grace is in her junior year as a McDermott Scholar at the University of Texas at Dallas where she studies Cognitive Science with a focus on education methods and curriculum design. She is currently studying abroad at University Nord in Levanger, Norway.
Thanks for your time Grace!
What life lessons has CDA and your fellow classmates taught you since graduating from CDA? St. Francis famously prayed that the Lord would let him "seek not so much to be understood as to understand." I learned this lesson during my time at CDA but its importance has been reinforced by my classmates, teachers, and other alumni since then. Before I graduated, my experiences and thoughts were very similar to those of my friends. We were inseparable, and loved each other dearly (don't worry, we still do!) It was a beautiful thing, to have brothers and sisters with whom I could share the uniquely challenging CDA experience.
We spent a lot of time learning how to organize our thoughts, speak clearly, and communicate effectively, and I have seen the immeasurable benefits of that time and again in my post-CDA life. But now, when I see old friends, our experiences are different. God has taken us down vastly different paths, and I am blessed to have the opportunity to hear about adventures and viewpoints and lives I couldn't have begun to image. Hearing this diversity of experience has deepened my relationship with my classmates and has made me an awed spectator to the wonderful things the Lord is doing in their lives. It has reminded me of the vast, vibrant glory of His Kingdom, outside of what I can see in my little corner of the world.
What type of feelings did you experience when you returned to see your family and classmates at CDA homecoming? Returning for homecoming is always an exciting time. I love seeing old friends, but every time I come back there are more new faces than I can count! I have so many good memories from my time at CDA, and I'm glad that so many new people have the opportunity to make their own memories in a place close to my heart. I feel a lot of nostalgia, but I feel a lot of hope for the future of our school and our community as well. I look forward every year to renewing childhood friendships, making new ones, and cheering on the Lions to victory!
What do you think is special about CDA's homecoming and how has it shaped your sense of community? CDA Homecoming is more like a family reunion than an alumni event. You get to have fun with people you've known your whole life, there are tons of kids running around just like you did when you were their age, parents and extended family get a chance to catch up, and you might even glimpse everybody's favorite uncle making the rounds of conversation in his signature Hawaiian shirts! I know that no matter how many new faces there are each year, this is always a place I will be welcome.
Even more though, this is a place that it is important for me to give back to. As a proud graduate of Coram Deo Academy, I have a vested interest in making sure that future graduates represent the name of Christ and of our school well, and I relish these opportunities to invest in the lives of alumni-in-the-making.