With the help of the other Novices, I compiled the top ten reasons we got yelled at in the first part of Novitiate. No one really yelled, but since I've heard many of these admonitions from my mother when I was a kid, the experience is easily paralleled.
Enjoy, and remember that 21 guys living together in community is a recipe for
10. Be careful! Since we've been here, we've managed to break a lot of stuff. The tractor's been broke about 4 times, doors fall apart, tiles come off the floor, toilets stop working, and that's just the top of the list. Mysteriously, no one knows how anything got broke!
9. Clean up the bathroom. With 21 guys, you'd think the bathroom situation wouldn't require much attention. Yet there is a beautiful absurdity when you go into the restroom and see an empty roll of toilet paper on the roll but an economy size bundle of toilet paper sitting on the floor just under it.
8. Act civilized at the dinner table. Remember that scene from Doubt where the silent meal of the sisters is contrasted with the loud, crude, and boistrous meal the priests are having? Sometimes we are as loud as those priests...sans the drinks and smoking at the dinner table!
7. Finish everything off. Capuchins have a wonderful charism of leaving 2 drops of milk in a container and putting it back into the fridge
for another friar to find. But that charism also extends to leftovers (something we always have with so many mouths to feed). However while the leftovers are eaten, no one down-sizes the container. Sometimes we have a serving of chicken sitting in a large container made for an entire turkey.
6. Check the disposal. The description of this one is better than anything I could make up: "If the garbage disposal is making a really loud noise, turn off the disposal. Then, check to make sure that nothing that shouldn't be in there isn't."
5. Put stuff back where it belongs. We have a cook that makes the meals during the week. Because she knows where everything belongs (more than we ever will) she can get frustrated when we put stuff back in the wrong place. We've been told to just leave things out if we don't know where they go, but in our attempt to be helpful, we sometimes put things back in the wrong spot.
4. Make sure you Music Folder is in order. Before any concert or solemnity, Fr. Gerard tells the schola (repeately) to put their folders in order so there isn't a bunch of page-turning during Mass/Prayer. Inevitably, someone "forgets" to do this and they spend half the time searching for the next song they're supposed to sing.
3. Hang up your habits. Again, the description from the Formator is better than anything I can ever write: "I don't know what's happening; perhaps some novices are just spontaneously combusting. But whenever I go into the Rec Room, I see a habit sitting on the couch. And all I can think is: 'What happened to the novice that was sitting inside it? Surely he would have hung it up if he took it off.'" Sarcasm is quite abundant here in Allison Park.
2. Don't bug the librarian. We have a library under the house, and one of the Novices works as the librarian for books checked out. However with new books coming in, and in an attempt to switch from the Duey Decimal system to the New System, a librarian comes in sometimes to help with that conversion. It seems like a simple request, but when you're stuck in one place and have to see the same 20 faces everyday/all day, new fpeople can become swamped by questions.
1. Take down the lights.Trying to leave the lights up until later in the year, we tried to rename the "Christmas lights" as "Ordinary Time lights." While we thought this to be a great idea, the Formators weren't interested.
175 days to go! (even though I said I wasn't counting)