Busted Halo
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Nora Bradbury-Haehl :
20 article(s)

Nora Bradbury-Haehl is a contributing editor at BustedHalo. She writes from Rochester, NY.
May 21st, 2013
Authors of The Freshman Survival Guide offer advice on how to prep for college this summer, and the chance to win a free copy of their book

You’ll be amazed at how quickly the time passes between graduation day and packing the car to leave for college. Make the most of the short weeks before you go with our seven steps below — pulled from our book, The Freshman Survival Guide — and enter to win a free copy for the high school grad in your life (see details below).

Take Care of Your Relationships… — You and all your friends are facing big changes and with big changes come big feelings. It’s easy to hurt the people you care about without meaning to. It’s a good time to be really forgiving and super patient with each other. Avoid burning bridges and schedule time early in the summer with the people you want to see before you go.

February 27th, 2013
Download and distribute our free Survival PDF to share with the high school grads you know

The next few months are anxiety-filled times not only for students but for parents and high school educators as well, as they begin finding out about college acceptances, financial aid packages, and everything else surrounding the move from high school to college. As the authors of a book about how to make a smooth transition to college life, we have become intimately aware of how stressful and exciting (and all the emotions in between) these next few months can be.
When The Freshman Survival Guide was first published in April 2011, we were confident that — after years of research and feedback from the online versions we’d posted on Busted Halo — the information, insights, advice and real-world…

August 17th, 2009
Catholic, Protestant, Jewish and Muslim leaders discuss the spiritual and religious challenges students face in college

One of the guiding principles behind Busted Halo… has always been that the journey in search of deeper meaning—that countless young adults are already on—is an inherently spiritual one. The transition to college life can be particularly difficult; for many it is the first time living away from home and the lack of structure can shake some students down to their foundation. But it is also a great time for students to ask the “big questions” about their lives and beliefs. Fortunately, most campuses are well equipped with people who can help with this sort of seeking.
We found spiritual leaders representing four different faith traditions from campuses across the country—from Columbus, Ohio and New Orleans,

August 17th, 2008
Protecting Your Reputation and Your Future Job Prospects

Jim’s new internship could have been a great opportunity, but instead it turned out to be a big setback requiring embarrassing explanations to his parents. He lost his internship when his new employer found online pictures of him stumbling-drunk—pictures he’d posted himself. Susan was a bit smarter. She ‘scrubbed’ her online presence when she was hired for a high-security job, taking down all but the most basic information.
Of course everyone understands the internet is a great way to stay connected. For the majority of college freshmen, next to their cell phones, it will be their most important communication tool and the best way to stay in touch with family and friends. Unfortunately, in a few short…

August 17th, 2008
A college prof is a completely different animal from what you had in high school.

No matter how well (or how poorly) you did in your classes back home, or how pleased your high school teachers were with you and your work, one significant difference you’ll find on campus is that the college professor is a whole different animal. Behavior, expectations, communication and attitude vary widely between the two species. Understanding the distinction between your high school teachers from senior year and your college professors this fall can mean the difference between making it your first semester or not.
Deceptively Simple…
Is it hard to make a professor happy? How do you know what they’re looking for? While it may seem mystifying at first, focusing on the basics is a good place to start. Thomas

August 14th, 2007
Trying to find normal again

As students from all over the country begin returning to their campuses, moving into their dorms and catching up with old friends, the students at Virginia Tech have a different set of tasks. They too will be returning to their campus, but they will also be dealing with the aftermath of April 16 and struggling to find “normal” again.
For senior Bryan Schamus, a communication major with a minor in music, finding normalcy again was essential after the upheaval caused by the violence and loss of life in the final weeks of the spring semester.
Andy Sowell, an agricultural economics major will be a junior at Virginia Tech. In spite of everything they’ve been through, or maybe because of it, Andy says…

April 9th, 2007
Why Mary Magdalene was ready to see

When he had risen, early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons.
On the first day of the week, in that space that stretches dewy and glistening between night and morning, dark and light, like sunrise on a spider’s web, she came through the dwindling night. She came laden with spices and oils, to offer one final act of care for him. She came laden with her grief, bruised with mourning for the man who had been first her healer, then her teacher, then her friend. Her friend. She was on her way to prepare his dead body for proper burial, as was the custom. But it was not to be.
Why Are You Weeping?
It has always fascinated me that in every Gospel account when Jesus…

April 3rd, 2007
What does the life, death and resurrection of Jesus have to do with me? Young adult experiences of the Paschal Mystery

Beth didn’t get the job. She’d known it was competitive but she’d nailed the interview and was almost sure she’d get hired. It would mean rather than her own apartment and a life of her own after graduation, she’d be returning to her dysfunctional parents’ house in the small town where she was raised. She’d gone to school in a big city on purpose and she’d had every intention of getting away from her past for good. She felt like after four years of working like hell, if she was going to land right back where she started, where she didn’t want to be, it had all been for nothing.
Jason had known for a long time that his girlfriend was looking for something different.…

December 19th, 2006
Five gifts that will always be remembered, never be returned and won't cost you a dime

What’s the best gift you’ve ever received? Classic big-ticket items like cars, jewelry, or expensive electronics might be hard to top but I’d be willing to wager that most of us can vividly recall a seemingly insignificant gift or small gesture from someone that touched us much more deeply. When I moved to a new house, my sisters each gave me perennials from their gardens to put in the bare patch of ground in front of my new digs. It didn’t cost them anything but every spring when the hardy geraniums come up I think of Jeanne and in the summer when the deep pink bee balm blooms I smile when I think of Karen uprooting them from her garden to transfer to mine. If there’s a key to gift giving, maybe…

December 13th, 2006
Ten Tips for finally Making the Holidays Happy

The catalogs and television commercials are full of smiling families greeting each other with holiday joy- gleeful reunions full of peace and goodwill. What they don’t show is the screaming match that took place in the kitchen just before the guests arrived or the eye rolling during dinner when dad launches into his favorite diatribe. They don’t have any pictures of your drunken uncle passed out on the couch or your backbiting sister-in-law picking fights. If your family is more “Dealing with Difficult People” than “It’s a Wonderful Life” read on. Here are ten tips for keeping your own sanity this holiday season, even if you’re surrounded by nuts.


May 14th, 2006
And an unexpected grace

Two years after my husband Greg and I were married, word came from his Aunt and Uncle in Florida that there was a problem with his grandmother. In one of those awful flukes, Kodak, the company she had worked for all her life, had made an error in her pension. They had been underpaying her for years. This might seem like good news but now that she’d be getting more money, she was no longer eligible to receive the aid that kept her in the private nursing home in Florida she had lived in since a stroke nearly ten years before had left her paralyzed on her right side, unable to walk, speak, wash or dress herself. She would be moved to a state-run facility. No one in the family wanted this to happen but there seemed to be no other…

March 22nd, 2006
Surviving my husband's heart attack

At 11pm on February 9th my husband started with pain in his chest. At midnight he woke me up and said, “I don’t think I’m ok.” We drove to the emergency room. The guy at the desk took one look at Greg’s pale sweaty face and said, “Come right back to Room 1.” After that, things went the way they go when you’re a kid and you realize the sledding hill is too steep but you’ve already pushed off. Everything starts whizzing by in a blur and you’re thinking to yourself, “If I can (Unh!) just hang onto the (Ow!) sled, I might live through this.” I’m 38 years old, and the thought of becoming a widow just now is definitely NOT part of the plan.
As one…

May 27th, 2005
The most important commencement speech you'll never hear

It is with a great sense of joy and pride that I stand before you, Class of 2005 of INSERT INSTITUTION NAME HERE. Today is the day, Commencement, a beginning. In this joyous moment, I’d love to tell you that your plans for success are well laid and that the future looks bright. I’d like to say today that your hard work over these past few years is about to pay off, you’ll land your dream job and have challenging yet satisfying work to do. That your integrity and inner beauty will shine through, that you will find the love of your life, and have as many perfect children as you desire. What I am compelled to share with you however is the terrible truth. The truth is that today marks the beginning of heartbreak,…

January 29th, 2005
Battling the season's harshest element

‘What? Snow???” I exclaimed. “Honey it is November” my husband gently reminded. “But I still have flowers blooming in the garden” I retorted, as if that were proof that it shouldn’t be allowed, this shift from fall to winter. I know it is time to turn my attention away from this season and onto the next, I just don’t feel like it. I want to linger in the garden. I sometimes imagine while I look at my flowers that it’s still summer, even as I pull up my socks and draw my hood tighter around me. I have a love-hate relationship with this bittersweet time of year. The glory of fall-turning-winter in Upstate NY is not to be matched– spiced cider and brisk winds, crystal…

December 23rd, 2004
The difference between faith that is child-like and child- ish

Moving beyond the MangerIsn’t he cute? That chubby little baby, his golden curls enhanced by the glowing disc behind his head. His mother and father gaze on him lovingly, their halos match his. He’s the baby Jesus of the Christmas card. Let’s keep him there. He’s safe. He asks nothing of us but admiration. He demands nothing. We won’t need to change at all. It’s a great idea isn’t it? God on a greeting card – predictable, definable, containable.
What’s wrong with hanging onto the Jesus of our childhood? Well nothing really if you want to remain a child. But Jesus of the Christmas card, the Jesus we grew up with, is only a starting point. We limit ourselves…

November 7th, 2004
A mother and son search for hope on the campaign trail

On the eve of the election, I knew I needed to be in Cleveland. The democratic vote in this key swing state would be lost or found in the urban Ohio district of Cuyahoga County. If the election turned out the way I hoped, there’s no place else I’d rather be and if the worst were to happen then I’d know that I’d done everything I could. As one of my fellow canvassers said “I’ll have bitching rights for the next four years.”
My 12-year-old son Gregory and I decided to make the drive from upstate NY to volunteer with America Coming Together in Cleveland. Gregory home schools and we’d been throwing around the idea of campaigning for weeks. What a great lesson it would make.…

March 14th, 2004
Green Eggs and Ham... a Lenten Reflection

I am Sam
Sam I am
That Sam-I-am!
That Sam-I-am!
I do not like
that Sam-I-am!
Do you like green eggs and ham?
I do not like them, Sam-I-am.
I do not like green eggs and ham.
What do Green Eggs and Ham have to do with Lent? Well besides the fact that Dr Seuss’ birthday falls during Lent this year, and that the story’s antagonist is (accidentally I’m sure) named after God “I AM”, I’d like to propose that this classic children’s story, much like the scripture we’re reading at mass now, shares a sense of overwhelming invitation.
The Gospel readings we hear this Lent are used particularly with those preparing to enter the church at Easter, the candidates and catechumens in…

March 4th, 2004
When Hollywood Plays with Hate and History

Seeing Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ was a profound experience. I left the theater with very mixed feelings.
The film reflects Jesus’ willingness to embrace his own humanity to the degree that he would endure the worst that human cruelty has to offer. It reminded me in a very powerful way of what I already knew: that Jesus lived and loved so radically that the powers of his time had to stop him.
It also left me with a deep unease. There is material in this film for the believer’s reflection, but the hateful portrayal of a group of people who have already borne so much of the world’s hate may render that material polluted at best.
The Passion in the past
It is important to keep in mind that…

February 18th, 2004
or How to Survive a Trip on the Bi-Polar Express *also proven effective for Holiday coping

Many people have a hard time with winter. Up North where I come from the days are short and gloomy. The cold is bitter and winter is long. The holidays, cloaked in joy and celebration can be their own peculiar kind of wolf in sheep’s clothing. There are memories of loves and loved ones lost. There’s the extra stress of everything that needs doing. All that along with the expectation that we should feel happy, Christmas and New Year’s can have a nasty bite. My husband Greg has bi-polar depression and the winter is especially bad for him. If winter gets you down or you’re close to someone who struggles with seasonal depression, let this list be a starting point for you. Make your own list of mood…

January 12th, 2002
A review of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

We waited and we hoped and then we went to the midnight show. We were not disappointed. They got this one just right; the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix… is perhaps the best so far in the series. Like any other devoted Potter-ite, I have a few critiques but on the whole, as in JK Rowling’s book, Harry’s Occlumency lessons with Severus Snape, the training of Dumbledore’s Army, and the Ministry of Magic’s dogged denial of reality add up to a cinematic ride that pulls viewers along as if they were traveling by portkey (you know, that magical object that gives you the sensation of being sucked forward at an alarming speed from somewhere behind your navel).
If you don’t

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