Catholic School Days

Meryl Streep is nominated for best actress in Doubt, which she plays the head nun of a school and thinks a boy is being abused by the pastor. As always she did an awesome acting job. Throughout the movie I kept thinking back to the days when I attended Our Lady of Mount Carmel School in the small town of Boonton, NJ. I had to tell myself to concentrate on the movie and not on Meryl’s character which kept reminding me of Sister Georgita, the meanest nun in the school. Her presence alone and the way she made her entrance into the classroom would have won her the Oscar for strictest nun in the convent! She only taught us Math and Science but when she walked into the room I would literally get sick to my stomach, she was so intimidating which is of course what she wanted. I do remember her pulling ears of students (usually the boys) and the way she would hold a ruler was pure torture. If I had to say one good thing about her I would say that I did ace Algebra in High School and it was all because of her.

Catholic School does have its pros and cons. My fondest school memories are of grade school more so then high school which was public. I liked the small class of 32 kids that I had from 1st through 8th which stayed with mostly the same kids. I didn’t mind the uniform much either, I knew exactly what I was going to wear each day giving me more time to sleep in. I never liked having to line up for everything…changing classes, going to the bathroom, going to and coming back from lunch, going to the auditorium…LINES, LINES, LINES!!! And every time someone came into the room we would have to all say in unison “good morning Sister Adrienne”…ugh. Talking was only allowed at lunch time, there was no talking allowed while walking in all those damn lines. I also remember practicing singing a lot in church…maybe that is what gave me the confidence to karoke.

You can imagine the culture shock I had when going to a public high school where you were allowed to wear halter tops, talk in the halls, pick your classes and even smoke on covered walk…WOW. I felt like Dorothy opening that door from black and white to the colorful oz.

I would love to hear anyone’s Catholic school memories.


An Important Job

I started an art class yesterday, I honestly don’t know if I have any talent, which is what I am trying to find out. What I do know is that I have to get over the fear of being criticized. One of my projects I drew a house and was totally embarrassed how it looked…like a 5 year old did it which I admitted to my art teacher. She then asked me when the last time I painted and it was, when I was a little kid. So why then would I paint a house like an adult would…it did kind of make sense. I thought back to my grade school art teacher (which I think I had all 8 years at my catholic school)…she was so mean, so demanding and did not let you create your way…it had to be her way. Now I wonder if I would be able to draw better and have more confidence if I had a different teacher. I have always said that teachers are a HUGE factor in our lives and I don’t think you should become one unless you are damn serious about being great at it. Just last week my sister and I were saying how little we know about U.S History…come to find out we had the same boring teacher in High School (I had him for 2 years)…talk about monotone.  The one reason I am good at math is that I had a nun that when she walked in the room I swear I got diarrhea but fear is not the way to teach either. I did have some good ones and I thank them for all their hard work and kindness.

Mrs. Malayter…thank you for understanding how much I disliked PE Class! Anyone else have a teacher they want to thank?

Back to School

OLMC in 1882

OLMC in 1882

If you are mall shopper like me, you can see the hustle and bustle going on for back to school shopping. From grades 1st through 8th I only the pleasure of buying supplies since I went to Our Lady of Mount Carmel and was given a uniform. I was always ready to go back to school…did that make me a geek? Whenever I ask kids now they look at me like “are you crazy, I don’t want the summer to end”. After surveying many teens, of course my curiosity got the best of me. I was told by a 12 year old that it is a “generation thing”. I wasn’t sure if I agreed with that so I called my sister (who is my generation) and she thought school is so much harder today than it was years ago back in the dinosaur days that we went. I guess I do have to agree with that, it does appear that there is more homework given and kids with all their sports/activities are having a hard time getting to the unimportant studies. I think today kids are given too much to put on their plates by both parents and teachers. There are more stressed kids today then ever…sad. So in conclusion…I guess I wasn’t a geek, I was just fortunate enough to grow up when school/life was easier. I don’t think I even knew what stress meant until much later in life…whew!