Wednesday, May 30, 2012

My 9 year old self vs. the Nun

So, by now, you all know my opinions about the Catholic church.  I'm recovering.

There are reasons I have issues with the church...and they started a very long time ago.

I walk in the building when I have to for some other obligation, but mostly avoid it otherwise. And no, it doesn't burst into flames when I walk in. 

I was talking to a friend who knows me pretty well yesterday, and she made a comment about how much Ally is like me.  How I must have been a handful as a kid.

Even still, she was surprised to learn what a rotten child I was.

I got kicked out of Catholic school.

In fourth grade.

Here's the thing.  Back then, and maybe even now, the Catholic schools were run by nuns.  The non-clergy teachers had credentials and were qualified to teach, but the nuns weren't.  They were just nuns.

No college necessary, no credentials required, no experience needed.

Many of them didn't even like children, let alone have any business teaching them.

I spent a lot of time in the principal's office.  And in the hall outside the principal's office.  And in the breezeway outside the classroom.

I was snarky even as a child.

On the day that finally pushed Sister Mary Jane over the edge, she'd been "teaching" a math lesson.  And doing it wrong.

I, being the smart ass that I am, pointed out that her solutions were incorrect.

I can remember what followed next as vividly as any other crystal clear memory.

She waved her long spindly finger at me, and said, Well, then fine.  If you think I'm doing it wrong, then you can come do it yourself.

And I did.

Walked up to the front of the classroom, took the eraser and chalk in my hand, erased the board and taught my classmates how to do it right.

She made a noise that I'd never want to hear reproduced, and left the classroom.  She didn't come back.  Ever.

I am fairly certain she never taught again.

I got hauled into the principal's office yet again that day, my parents got another phone call.  This time, they had to come into the office and have a sit down.  I would not be welcomed back anymore.

I got the boot.

The principal didn't care that I was right, though my argument was that she was teaching everyone wrong.  I had challenged authority one too many times, and that was all they could tolerate.  Never mind the fact that I exposed the limited capability of the teaching staff.  I was a child, and children are not to question authority. Children are especially not to question the authority of a nun.  Period.

I left, and after the word spread about what happened, more than a few of my classmates did too.

Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.  
~Albert Einstein


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. oh man. My dad went to school with the nuns and has terrible stories. They didn't raise us catholic because of the trauma. I know not all of them are, but it seems common. Now, you snarky as a child? I don't believe it. I call it spunk and intellegence. Carried on in your kids, I am sure, thank gods. How dare you do long division correctly.


Some of My Most Popular Posts