What did you do last year? Move to Belgium to learn about your faith and meeting people from all over the world? You probably didn’t do that, but Jesuit’s newest Theology teacher Mr. Erickson did. This week, The Roundup reached out to Mr. Erickson to gain insight on his experiences before returning to Jesuit.
Kolb: You said before this, you were living in Belgium. So how was your time in Belgium and how do you think it differs from
Erickson: Great question. So, I’ll just preface that by saying my response by saying that obviously the last year and a half has been locked down there. Which they took seriously. So that kind of end-to-end things, overall, was good. It was neat to live in a different place with different perspectives. And one of the neat things was that the other students in my class, my program were from all over the place. Really cool to be in class with someone from Nigeria and someone from Carola and someone from hungry and someone from Slovenia and someone, you know, all different places. So that was cool.
Kolb: So, would you say there were things that you liked in Belgium?
Erickson: Some of the things I liked were, uh, just the great public transportation. Um, I really loved all the old architecture, so it was neat being able to take a walk and see, you know, these buildings that were all made of brick. Um, they were old, these cool little canals and whatnot, little moments like that. Um, and I really liked all these old churches that are just like magnificent. Yeah.
Kolb: And you said you taught here at Jesuit before you went to Belgium?
Erickson: I did the ASC program here. And at that point, ASC members taught two sections. So, I taught two sections of world history to sophomores.
Kolb: You also attended here, right?
Erickson: Yes. I went here as a student. The first thing that struck me was that Jesuits, um, are a bit bigger now. So, I think when I went here, there were roughly a thousand boys now it’s I think like 1150 or so. So, it’s grown. Another obvious change is the new, uh, additions to the buildings. Um, it’s nice here. Yeah.
Kolb: Why did you choose to go live in Belgium?
Erickson: I knew I wanted to take some and really study theology on a deeper level. I also knew that I wanted to get a very different perspective on theology, but also life in general. And I figured that if I went to a very international place in the sense that Belgium is kind of known for having lots and lots of people there from lots and lots of different places, I figured I could get a lot of different perspectives.
Kolb: You said that it was like on lockdown, so are there, does Belgium have different protocols?
Erickson: For a while, um, there were two points when we went into, I guess what I would call a hard lockdown where only grocery stores and hardware, stair stores were open and everything else was closed. Um, and you, you could go out, you know, the exercise, but that was it. Um, so that was a pretty, strict lockdown,
Kolb: What are your favorite, like things to do while not teaching or working like any hobbies?
Erickson: I’m one of those guys who I have a bad habit of acquiring books getting like 50 pages into them, And then like getting interested in the next one.
Kolb: Lastly were you always planning on coming back and teaching at Jesuit?
Erickson: I didn’t have any major plans to do that. Um, it was always, I think something in the back of my head, and I thought, well, yeah, that could be, that could be something I could do. Um, but it was kind of, um, I think a gradual process. And then, you know, this past year a position opened, and I was ready for a new job.
Whether it’s visiting places in Belgium, Reading, or returning back to our school after studying overseas, Mr. Erickson Has always been one to find new ways to express his faith and learn about our world. If you have the honor, you should be very excited to have this great teacher this 2021-2022 school year at Jesuit.