- "I cannot tell you what a difference your class has made this semester for [my daughter]. She came downstairs the other day and said, 'I'm so sad that Mr. O'Brien's class is over.' This semester I watched some of your classes with [my daughter] because she'd say, 'Mom, you're going to love this! Pull up a chair!' You are an outstanding teacher ... We are so grateful for your impact on my daughter's life,"
- "We love Mr. O'Brien!! Our son is really enjoying his class this semester. Thank you so much!"
- You are so very real and down to earth, so spontaneous. You're not afraid to just be who you are. You are alive and that's what your students love. Of course you can throw in a great sense of humor and intelligence to boot. Thank you for drawing all your friends more deeply into the mysteries of life. We can't help but think about the deeper things, the most important things in life...you lead us there.
- I remember speech classes being very intimidating for the naturally quieter people in class, but my son has not felt intimidated at all. He really likes the class discussions and has had a lot of fun with the creativity of the writing prompts and assignments.
- The teacher, Kevin O'Brien was great!!! A very special thanks to Mr. O'Brien. I hope that he will continue to teach this class so that all rest of my 7 kids may benefit from him. My son thoroughly enjoyed his class. I really like his focus on the philosopher, Socrates as a great philosopher and orator. He made the class very fun by dressing in costume!! What a GREAT teacher!!
- The kids are very engaged, the teacher makes the material interesting and fun, and the kids get to try out their skills during class. The plays chosen are giving a deep and thorough survey of the history of drama even though the kids may not realize that.
- Thank you so much for both your time and devotion. Madalyn really enjoyed the class and having you as a teacher. I found the class to be just the right amount of a challenge for her. This was her first live online class and since it went so well, we will definitely look to Homeschool Connections to see if there is a good fit for next year's schedule.
- I want to think you so much for being such a great teacher. You were my favorite teacher and your class was my favorite class. I can't wait to take another class with you this fall! Thank you so much again you made literature my new favorite subject.
- Thank you sharing your insights into the world of mystery. Our daughter couldn't say enough about your class. It was the topic of many conversations at the dinner table. We really applaud your efforts and stories that were shared. Thank you and God Bless.
- My daughter will definitely miss her drama class. She loved Mr. O'Brien.
- I am so excited to take more classes with you. I am always begging my mom so sign me up for more classes with you because you are by far my favorite teacher. :D
- Thank you so much for this course...it's helped me understand my faith, my life, and my passion so much better. God bless you for everything that you do.
- Kevin O'Brien was definitely Lea's favorite and most trusted teacher who brought out the best in Lea ... and gave her a boost of confidence in her talents and ability to learn...for that I'm forever grateful! What an exceptionally good teacher!
And here are some remarkable comments from the students in my Flannery O'Connor class. They reflect more on Flannery than on me, but you need to read them to realize what a difference a good class can make in a student's life!
Because of these stories, I have more often been contemplating this question: Am I living my faith and taking it as seriously as I should, or am I putting my faith aside and living only a shadow of me, not the best version of myself? I am disturbed by this question, still wrestling with it and the grace that is offered to me.
I can relate to Flannery in many ways and if she was still alive I would want to be friends with her. I understand her stories in a way I don’t know how to describe.
I honestly think that these stories are really good for you. Good for your humanity, and good for your soul.
Her life and work have inspired me in my own life. O’Connor’s daily focus on Mass, theology, and writing is the kind of life that I aspire towards. Because of her essay that we read, I now fully understand how I can make my own stories Catholic without filling them with devout characters and keeping them completely inoffensive. It has lifted the illusion that to be a Catholic writer is to be limited in what you can appropriately portray.
I have found a new favorite writer!
In our first class I was blown away. The things we talked about -- I had read them before and missed all that was now being explained to me.
I think that these stories and our discussions about them have honestly changed the way I see the world
These stories have shown me that God’s Grace isn’t just a gentle clean wind whispering in your ear, but can be a tornado, a dusty, gritty tornado which grabs hold of you, and if you let it, flings you in the right direction. The ride will not always be pleasant, nor will the landing. But where your soul ends up will always be worth it.
This class was not my idea. My mother wanted me to take a summer literature course and branch out in my literature experience. I flat out told her “no” and resisted like a mule every step of the course registration. I did not expect anything exciting from this course, and certainly not the profound insights that Flannery O’Connor had on the Faith and Catholic life. … but these stories and letters of Flannery O’Connor are more profound and faith-filled than I ever thought they would be.