Tuesday, January 31, 2006

This is Catholic Schools Week
Remember a Sister in your prayers.

I was roaming outside the cave over at the Digitial Hairshirt (see link to the left) and was reminded this is Catholic Schools Week. As mentioned in my introductory post, I had the privilege of 12 years of Catholic schooling (well, actually 13 if you count kindergarten); 8 years with religious Sisters and 4 years with Brothers.

God bless all my teachers. I wouldn’t be the person, man, or Catholic, I am today without them. So whether they have gone to home heaven or still part of the Church Militant, whether they remain in their religious vocation or were laicized in the confusion, misdirection, and chaos after Vatican II (gag). (Yes, I purposely left out the Church Suffering, as I am sure they served their purgatory time dealing with all us kids. Thank you, every one.)

Nowadays, one of the constant demands of the teachers’ unions is smaller class size. That’s they only way they can give the kids the attention they need, say the unions. Of course, smaller classes also mean more jobs for teachers, who will pay more jobs, creating the need for more administrators, ad infinitum.

I don’t know what the ratio is in Catholic schools these days (mostly with lay teachers), but pre-Vat II, in my grade school, there was one Sister in a classroom of 60 kids. And yes, they did maintain order. One icy look was usually all it took. Or worse, the threat (yes, just the threat) of being sent to the principal’s office. See, those were the days when parents didn’t come to school and threaten to sue the teachers, the principal, and the school board, because Johnny got detention or had his self-esteem damaged with a failing grade, like too many schools nowadays. Back then, the parents supported the Sisters. If you got reprimanded at school, you didn’t even want your siblings mentioning it at home, ‘cuz you’d get worse from your folks.

Two things that have always pissed me off: stories of Catholic schools laying a guilt trip on you and getting beat by the Sisters. One thing a good Catholic education will teach you is right from wrong. If you do something wrong, you should feel guilty. I never had a Sister or Brother waste time laying “a trip” on me. I heard it said that guilt is one of the most powerful emotions, right up there with love and hate, because it is the one emotion we work so hard to deny, ignore, or bury. So if you learned right from wrong and now want to deny some justified guilt you’ve earned, don’t blame the Sisters for the guilt part of it. That’s on you, bro.

I was never struck, hit, slapped, or physically punished by any Sister or Brother. Oh yeah, once I got scratched on the arm – by accident – when a Sister grabbed me to get me in the room. We all heard about old Sister Mary Norbert using a ruler across the back of a kid’s knuckles, but it was probably just an urban myth she kept alive to help maintain order. Once, I saw a little Brother throw a big football player against the wall in the course of breaking up a fight. That was it. (Maybe someday I’ll post something about the fun times of attending an all-boys high school.)

So, if you ever attended Catholic school, say a prayer of thanksgiving for your teachers, AND your parents. If your kids are in Catholic school (bless you for your sacrifice), support the school and the teachers – it takes more than just paying tuition.


Blogger Argent said...

Well, our brilliant local school board decided to redistrict so that all schools in the county would be 61% minority. Like I said, brilliant. The waiting list for our local Catholic school has mushroomed. It'll be interesting to see how early all the non-Catholics start camping out next month for a slot.

12:59 PM  
Blogger Dymphna said...

God bless two of the greatest ladies I've ever known, Sr. Immaculate Heart and Sr. Jeanne Marie. Both of these nuns were brilliant. They could've done anything they wanted to do but they chose to spend their lives with kids. They were both deeply devout, tough as nails and when you left their classes you KNEW your subject. Gosh, we need more sisters like them. Neither one was ashamed to wear her habit either.

8:57 PM  
Blogger tom said...

not to play 'one-up', but my 7th grade class had 70...70! kids in one room, with one nun, Sr. Rose,Precious Blood order....she was so sweet, that even the @@sholes of the gang respected her. Big dif in those days...most kids had two parents in the home who gave you worse if you screwed up in school.
Like you, I also did the all-boys high school, run by Jesuits....an experience I now see was life-forming..too bad I couldn't afford it for my own two sons, although they are turning into fine young men.

9:17 PM  
Anonymous Former Altar Boy said...

One-up anytime, Tom. Tell that Sister isn't a saint by now. You must have had the Jesuits before the bulk of them went over the liberal ledge. Congrats on the impact you've obviously had on your boys.

9:37 PM  

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