Hello World. Hope all is well in your corner of the world. Here the sun is shining bright, a nice breeze blowing, and everything is quiet. Watching the tube, Law and Order is on, yea the article is about nuns and I am watching law and order, go figure.
I was born and raised Catholic, as were my parents and their parents. For me it’s a way of life. I attended public schools my whole life, so I had to get my religious education from Cathecism. I was fine with that. My parents did the same thing. Nowadays Cathecism is taught by volunteer parents or other members of the church, but forty years ago, it was taught by the nuns of the local parish. Each Cathecism class had two nuns and two yard sticks. Remember this was 40 some odd years ago, so corporal punishment was still allowed, even by members of the Catholic church. And I must mention the yardsticks weren’t the wooden yardsticks of today, those yardsticks were about 1/4 inch thick. Believe me, those nuns sure knew how to swing those yardsticks too…….of course, I knew this from personal experience.
My Cathecism was on Monday nights, about 6pm after dinner. Each student had a workbook and was instructed to bring a pencil, which the female parent always made sure that I always had in my possession.
I really, really did try to behave in the class, but somehow, someway, I always managed to be the one to get into trouble. I mentioned above that Cathecism was after dinner, well, I was always tired, remember I had been at school all day, and the religion class was um, God forgive me, BORING! Eventually I would drift off to sleep, no matter how much I tried fighting the sleep. Sure enough, my forehead would no sooner hit the desk, a nun would come by the desk, and slam her yard stick down. Nothing like that noise ringing in my head to keep me wide awake for the rest of that class.
Of course, I was returned to Cathecism the following week. I sat at the back of the class, determined not to fall asleep so I didn’t have that ruler banged on the desk again. I mean, I didn’t really care what the rest of the children thought, but if the female parent found out that I fell asleep, I would also feel her wrath.
Well, the lessons were discussed. Us students were suppose to be writing down the answers in our workbook. I was having a hard enough time staying awake, much less to write down the answers. The older nun happened towards the back of the class and saw I wasn’t writing the lessons. My hands happened to be on the desk, and she swung that ruler. This time the desk wasn’t her victim, my knuckles were. I cried that hurt like nothing I had ever felt before. Thankfully the female parent never found out. During the week between the Mondays, I had her help me with that lesson, so the workbook was current the following week when I returned to Cathecism.
The following week, I went to Cathecism with gum in my mouth, I figured I was quiet, listening, AWAKE, and doing my work. I mean, I saw no reason for the nuns to become hostile towards me. WRONG! That same older nun came by and asked “what are you doing?”
I answered her, with pride in my voice that “I am doing my lessons Sister!” She questioned me “what’s in your mouth?”
I said “gum”! Wap, I got smacked again. I swear I couldn’t win for losing with this lady. I mean, she was a Godly figure and a member of the church, but geez, I couldn’t get a break at all. So the following week, I thought I was going to outsmart the nuns. I had the female parent help me do the following week’s lesson, like that the work was done, no reason to be smacked. I know the nuns had God on their side, but eventually things had to change in this situation.
The following week, I walked into class with confidence, knowing that I was not going to get disciplinary actions this week. The lesson was done correctly, I was going to stay awake, no need for me to feel that yardstick across my knuckles. I was wrong again.
Nuns were giving a lecture, they asked me a question, I didn’t know the answer, see I didn’t study the answers, nor was I following along in the book since I had all my answers already. I didn’t know the answer, so again, the older nun came to the back of the class. Saw that I had all the lesson in my workbook done. I was proud of myself at this moment in time, til the nun asked “how was my lesson done, if I don’t know the answers to some of the easiest questions out of the book?”
“I don’t know” was so the wrong answer. Again, I got the yardstick to the knuckles. I don’t know how none of my knuckles broke under the impact of that yardstick. Instead of being a nun, she should had gone play professional baseball because she sure had a swing to her.
That night, upon being picked up, the nun walked me out to the car, dragging me to the car as though I was some sort of a heathen and told the female parent that I was being disobedient during class. I tried making female parent understand that I was not being disobedient or disrespectful during the class, I was just trying to stay out of trouble. Yep, I felt the wrath of female parent several times that night for what I had supposedly done.
Another chapter in the life of me. Not all that exciting I know, but it gives insight to how I tried to stay out of trouble, yet always was in trouble.
PS In no way am I speaking ill of nuns or the Catholic church, just sharing another way, I was always able to find trouble without even trying. Yea, even then, I couldn’t win for losing so to speak.