I’m not a professional painter, but I enjoy the challenge of painting a room. Recently I painted two classrooms. (Full disclosure: Someone came behind me with the tricky trimming around light switches and smart boards.) Dip the roller, raise it high, smooth the paint and keep it even. Repeat. There’s something contemplative about the repetitive movement. Last year our congregation had a general conference in Tanzania. An important topic was the characteristics of our Notre Dame culture. Having begun religious life in 1970, I’ve imbibed these characteristics but was rather surprised to see striving for excellence among the 21 traits. Of course, I always saw striving for excellence in my SND teachers, and our formators required excellence of us, and I myself have driven myself to excellence. But I guess I never put striving for excellence into so many words to describe our international culture beginning in the 1800’s. Yet that may be why I enjoy painting. It’s relaxing and contemplative, and perhaps I can step back to see a job well done—proof of our ND culture.