I was educated in the Catholic school system of the 1950’s and 60’s, first grade through high school. I don’t think of it that often, but now that I do, they taught me readin,’ writin,’ and ‘rithmetic pretty damn ‘good’. When it came time for college, I didn’t have any foreign language requirement because I had four years at St. Catherine’s. I tested into first year college calculus, and my English skills allowed me to start wherever I wanted.
My point here is not that I was such a smarty pants. I was quite the opposite. I was a wiseass who was already getting drunk regularly. I took school only half-seriously, but still, somehow, those nuns pounded some knowledge into me.
And, yes, it’s true, school today is nothing like it was back then. Most of us feared the nuns’ wrath - at least, until high school. Even though we did our share of horsing around, it was more civil back then. A dreaded meeting with the principal, or, even worse, the monsignor, was enough to keep most of us in check.
All of this comes to mind why? I haven’t the faintest idea. I rarely think about my Catholic education, and when I do, it’s usually in the negative. In AA, November is gratitude month. I guess I just wanted to give thanks for all the good things I learned during that time. It still sticks with me. I still hunger for knowledge. I ♥ school. If someone would pay, I’d go for a PhD. Then I’d want to teach in a school.
So, thanks, sisters, and occasional fathers, for the basic tools that you gave me. I’ve taken them for granted for decades, but they’ve served remarkably well.
Now, if only you had not included all that “other” stuff, but that’s another blog…