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raccoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 09:27 AM
Original message
Those of you who went to Catholic schools and had nuns for teachers...

...were any of them nice? :hide: I've only heard stories about how mean they were.


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HappyMe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 09:30 AM
Response to Original message
1. All the nuns that taught me were nice.
That said, they definitely don't take any crap from anybody.
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PRETZEL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 09:34 AM
Response to Original message
2. My ex and I sent our kids to Catholic school
since she was Catholic and I wasn't.

Anyway, I've always found this story somewhat amusing about my son's second grade teacher, Sister Peter (yes, Sister Peter).

Anyway, First Communion time and since everyone had parties we were invited to his best friends after ours was finished. We called to make sure the party was still going strong.

We get there and as soon as my son walks into the kitchen his jaw drops.

There at the table, Sister Peter without her habit, beer in hand laughing and telling jokes. Poor son had no idea nor had any idea what to say let alone think.

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SCantiGOP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 02:43 PM
Response to Reply #2
23. re Sister Peter...
I had a nun named Sister John the Baptist.
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Kingofalldems Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 09:53 AM
Response to Original message
3. I liked all of them, strict but dedicated and excellent teachers.
Edited on Tue Nov-22-11 09:54 AM by Kingofalldems
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hedgehog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 09:54 AM
Response to Original message
4. It's like everything else- a mixed bag. I'm still dealing with the
damage from my first grade teacher, but others were some of the nicest women I've ever known. I went to a Catholic school when classrooms had about 40 kids, so discipline was very tight. Then I went to a less crowded school, and was shocked at how relaxed things were. My kids all went to a Catholic grade school that was like an extended family. The diocese closed it because of falling enrollment, and my youngest moved on to the public school. There, there were so many kids that discipline again had to be tighter. It wasn't bad, but when the kids move from one classroom to another, it's everyone in a straight line, no talking. It's like standing in a rail yard watching the trains go by!

My kids went to public school for junior high and high school. They had good teachers and bad, there, too.
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begin_within Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 10:03 AM
Response to Original message
5. Strict but nice. Only the principal was feared.
The principal was a storm trooper named Sister Dolores who was known for whacking kids. Being sent to her office was traumatic and life-scarring and most kids behaved just out of fear of being sent there. In a "public" setting like addressing an assembly of the whole school, she tried to portray herself as a humorious, lighthearted leader, but the gossip among the kids was that she was a Holy Terror in her office. The rest of the nuns were younger, idealistic and generally sweet and nice as long as everything went smoothly, though they didn't let anything slide if something happened out of line.
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MiddleFingerMom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 10:15 AM
Response to Original message
6. Most were just folks. Two who were sadistic, heavy-gold-ring-wedding-band headthumping assholes...
.
.
.
... and two who were REALLY nice.
.
.
.
Third or fourth grade, The Beatles were BIG and we all wanted "long"
hair (although we couldn't go THAT long -- dresscodes prohibited it).
MiddleFingerMomDad took me to his buddy's barbershop and MADE
me get what was called a Princeton, outdated even then.
.

.
.
.
My cut was even worse -- the hair everywhere on my head was almost
down to the skin (like the sides of Marine's heads) and these little blondish
bangs were waxed up in front. I was branded a Goober and laughed at by
all the other kids.
.
.
.
This was back when wearing your baseball cap indoors was unheard of
and just not allowed. I got to school and refused to take mine off in class.
My teacher (a nun) ordered me to take it off several times and finally took
me on the dreaded journey to the principal's office. The principal, an older
nun, listened to my teacher's version and told her she could go back to the
classroom to the other children.
.
She just sat there and looked at me for awhile and asked me to take my
hat off... promising that she wouldn't laugh at me. I did... and she just
sat there quietly for awhile. She finally stood, came around her desk, put
my hat back on my head, patted my hand and told me I could wear my
hat inside "until you feel it looks good again".
.
.
.
What a SWEETHEART!!!
.
.
.
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Richardo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 10:26 AM
Response to Original message
7. Yeah, stories about caring professionals and excellent teachers aren't as fun to listen to...
But that was my experience in the 1960s. Did they belive in class discipline? Absolutely 'Yes', but not via corporal punishment.
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TuxedoKat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 10:49 AM
Response to Original message
8. I only ever had one
for first grade. She never hit anyone but she was very cruel to me one time and a boy in my class. The incident scarred me for years. I never knew it but my dad went to the school the same day and pointed out to the nun, in a classy, gentlemanly way, how ridiculously she had acted, and she agreed. The next day she was really nice to me and I didn't know why because I had been dreading to go back to school. Unfortunately, my parents never told me that they had stood up for me until I was an adult, it would have made a big difference to me at the time.
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zanana1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 11:16 AM
Response to Original message
9. I had French-Canadian nuns in the 50's....
I still carry the emotional scars. I understand that nuns got nicer as time went by. Those of you who had nuns in the 60's and 70's had an easier time of it, but the nuns I had were monsters. I think they actually enjoyed scaring the shit out of little kids. My best friends' knuckle was displaced by a nun (with a heavy stick). Her hand ballooned up to twice it's size and she was not allowed to go home. I don't know how many times we were told we were all going to hell. (And they described hell to us in detail).

I think most of the nuns I had were psychologically ill.
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raccoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 12:42 PM
Response to Reply #9
16. I had two men teachers in elementary school who were like that, enjoyed scaring

the shit out of little kids. And they were both pedophiles.


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zanana1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 12:47 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. You win! nt
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UTUSN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 11:38 AM
Response to Original message
10. Theirs was a prep school for taking over the Faux Propaganda Network & other yak shows
I've long wanted to build a Wikipedia type thread about how Irish Catholics over-populate the yak shows: O'LOOFAH, Tweety, DONAHUE, HANNITY, Pat & Bayh BUCHANAN, BARNICLE, and really many many more. Actually going back to Father COUGHLIN.

There's a negative-positive about it all: The negative is the Wingnut vociferousness.

The positive is the tribute to the indoctrination/teaching skill involved: The Catholic machine is the remant of Classical education:: Rhetoric, analysis, debate, rote/memorization of things to bring instantly to the battle of wits, thinking on the feet.

When you hear O'LOOFAH and HANNITY fulminating, it was the same thing that launched Crusades.
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SCantiGOP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 11:38 AM
Response to Original message
11. I am eternally grateful for the nuns
I gave up religion when I was about 18, but I went to Catholic school through the 7th grade in South Carolina in the late 50s early 60s. To prepare for the inevitable desegregation of the schools, they transferred nuns, so all of the nuns at my school were northern liberals. I really think that had a lot to do with me repudiating the racism all of us grew up with and having a world view of looking out for your brother. Some of them were a bit nasty, but at least they preached peace, love and harmony.
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LibDemAlways Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 12:10 PM
Response to Original message
12. I think my husband had a couple of decent ones. However, the
Edited on Tue Nov-22-11 12:17 PM by LibDemAlways
one he talks about the most often was a mean, sadistic woman who took aim at kids' heads with tennis balls when they failed to come up with a correct answer.

I lasted all of one day in Catholic school in 1st grade. The nun kept calling me "blondie" and berated me for not staying within the lines when I wrote my name. I complained and my dad got me out of there over my mother's protests. She had had better luck with nuns back when she was a kid. However, those 50s nuns were a different story.
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barb162 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 08:53 PM
Response to Reply #12
32. That reminds me of something I hadn't thought of in years.
First or second grade I guess. We had a farm animal in a field to color. I added a sun to brighten the picture and got several ruler slaps to my hands. I wasn't supposed to go "outside of the lines" of the drawing. Better not show any creativity of ANY sort. I also remember the stuff about going outside the lines when printing or writing. Some kid was always getting slapped or punished somehow for the most minor BS.
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LibDemAlways Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 10:37 PM
Response to Reply #32
37. That kind of bs still sometimes goes on. In 9th grade my daughter had
points deducted from a map assignment when she added the name of a country the teacher hadn't specifically asked for.

I'm a teacher and have utmost respect for the profession, but petty is petty.
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rurallib Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 12:18 PM
Response to Original message
13. the ones I had were nice, no-nonsense strict classroom discipline
Edited on Tue Nov-22-11 12:22 PM by rurallib
people.
One was older and a little goofy. She would rap the knuckles with a wooden ruler. But that was the extent of any corporal punishment.
Each and every one was very caring, and concerned about each student. But the schools were small, so getting to know each student was not too hard.
Sister Mary Patricia Ann - she was a quite young principal who seemed to have more energy and insight than 4 people put together.
We shared some time in her office discussing why I just had to act the way I did.

ETA - I had a great aunt who was a BVM and taught for forty+ years in Chicago (if you remember the Our Lady of Angels fire of 1958 in Chicago, that was her school. She had just gone to the convent when it started).
- first time I met her, she came to visit one summer. After all the hellos etc., she downed about three ice-cold beers rather quickly.
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GoCubsGo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 11:28 PM
Response to Reply #13
40. The nuns used to pull my brother out of class to do things in the convent.
He was the tallest kid in the school, and he could reach up to places where none of them could. He said, one day, when nobody was looking, he took a peek in the refrigerator. It was full of beer. Most of the Catholics in Chicago during the 50s and 60s into the 70s were Irish, Polish, German, and Italian. No taboos against beer and other alcohol in that lot.
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Bunny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 12:24 PM
Response to Original message
14. Sister Marian in first grade was okay.
Sister Huberta in second grade and Sister Conrad in third grade were both earthly manifestations of Satan himself. Especially Sister Huberta - there was just no excuse to be that nasty to a bunch of little kids. Awful. :thumbsdown:

My kids went to a Catholic grade school and the teachers were mostly nice, but none of them were nuns.

I've heard of Catholic school being referred to as a Catholic POW Camp, and a Trail of Tears, and I find that darkly humorous.
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Maccagirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 06:12 PM
Response to Reply #14
30. I had a Sr. Huberta too, in 6th grade
and she must have been your Sr, Huberta's evil twin. She used to love to call us "dirty little communists" (12 year old commies???). She was old as the hills and really had no business being around a bunch of smart-ass pre-teens in 1968. Bunny, you didn't go to school in Columbus, Ohio did you?
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Bunny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 09:51 PM
Response to Reply #30
35. Ha! No, I was in PA, but I was in school during the 60s, too.
That was before nuns started wearing regular skirts and playing the guitar and stuff. :D
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La Lioness Priyanka Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 12:33 PM
Response to Original message
15. mine were pretty nice
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zanana1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 12:49 PM
Response to Reply #15
18. I have a theory....
I think that most kids who had sadistic nuns grow up with a smartass sense of humor. Kinda dark, y'know?
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DebJ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 01:07 PM
Response to Original message
19. I went to Catholic school from 1st to 8th grade, and had all
Edited on Tue Nov-22-11 01:10 PM by DebJ
nuns except for 3 'lay' teachers. I went in the 1960s.

None of them were mean.

All of them did an outstanding job of teaching, and we had ZERO discipline problems in all of that time...
of course, that has a lot to do with the fact that the parents who sent their children there placed a high
value on education, and anyone who might have been a problem would simply have been thrown out.

I had the Sisters of Notre Dame. Since they were nuns, our education WAS their life. We never had multiple-guess
tests, except one time in 7th grade as a 'treat'. Everything was essay or short answer, and by the time you were
in the upper grades, spelling and punctuation counted for as much as content. For the holidays, the nuns were excited
because they had the opportunity to give us home projects that would fill up our ten days or so off. And they would
grade those projects, as all else they graded, quite vigorously, with little red pen marks every where; nothing was
overlooked. And then you had to re-write what was incorrect, until it was correct, and thus, you learned how to do
it correctly, and the little red marks began to disappear. No concern over Littly Betty crying over red pen marks,
but rather, the celebration of Little Betty becoming an excellent writer.

I am and will forever be deeply greatful for the Sisters of Notre Dame. They loved us, and spared not one iota
of energy in making us the best that we could be, in terms of education, personal characteristics, and a moral system in which the good of the many superceded the good of the one, even if that one was you. We were
taught self-discipline, and patience, and respect for others. Standing in long lines, even in heat or cold, for
a very long time, while retaining silence and your place in line taught us that yes, you can control your impulses,
even if it is difficult, and that makes life easier for everyone. We learned to look at life long-term, to value long-term things, rather than having fun every instant of every day.

Compare that to the two students I overheard saying that the reason that they hated a certain class and were not doing well was because the teacher wasn't entertaining enough. Puke.

On edit: No one ever asked if a teacher was 'nice'. That was irrelevant. Teachers deserved respect and gratitude for
all that they did for us. The nuns respected us as well, in line with the faith. Did they effectively teach? THAT was the only question, and the answer was always yes. Throughout my life, in my career, I was able to never concern myself with whether or not a boss or superior or peer was 'nice'. It was irrelevant. That was a good skill to learn, too.
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cynannmarie Donating Member (27 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 12:56 AM
Response to Reply #19
41. so well stated, Deb.
I concur with all you said. You captured my experience as well, through 12 yrs of Catholic school taught by Notre Dame and then Holy Cross nuns. Yes, there were a few that were difficult, but most were caring and wonderfully dedicated teachers-- and the skills and values they fostered have served me very well throughout my life.
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AtomicKitten Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 01:43 PM
Response to Original message
20. They read out loud how much each kid put in the church offering on Sundays.
It embarrassed the hell out of a girl whose family was dirt poor, and I still remember her name all these decades later. I thought then and still think it was gratuitous cruelty. Boooooo. Bad nuns.
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easttexaslefty Donating Member (740 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 10:05 AM
Response to Reply #20
44. Yep. I hated that part. n/t
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amuse bouche Donating Member (153 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 01:48 PM
Response to Original message
21. My parents made me go to an all girls Catholic High School
Now I'm a die-hard Atheist. 'nuff said
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Chan790 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 02:37 PM
Response to Original message
22. The nuns were awesome.
Except Sister Yoda who once growled at me for having the audacity to enter her library.

I don't think she understood the whole concept of library as public space.
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msanthrope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 03:00 PM
Response to Original message
24. I had one who eventually quit and joined the LPGA tour.
No. That is not the start of a joke--it really happened. Sister Barbara. She went from being the really cool science teacher who taught us sex ed without censoring herself, and became a pro-player.
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snacker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 03:07 PM
Response to Original message
25. Generally speaking (from my POV),
some were okay, but describing them as "nice" might be stretching it. I lived in fear and guilt until public high school.
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Callalily Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 03:17 PM
Response to Original message
26. I attended 12 years of Catholic schooling.
Grade school . . . OMG I could tell you some not too nice stories.

But high school . . . I had some awesome nun mentors and some nice brother mentors and some awesome lay mentors. I guess all be told, we take from experience what we can and just move on.
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IcyPeas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 03:48 PM
Response to Original message
27. I had one nice one...
I went to catholic school from 1st through 8th grade (in the late 60s) and only my 8th grade nun was nice and modern. the previous ones were old school, into shaming and humiliating. They were Sisters of Saint Joseph, if that means anything.
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arbusto_baboso Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 04:07 PM
Response to Original message
28. Most of mine were just fine.
Like any other teachers, really. Most nice, a handful really vicious.

But then, I attended catholic schools after Vatican II, and before the more recent retrenchment of the RC church.
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Old Troop Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 05:57 PM
Response to Original message
29. It's weird. The parochial school I attended was so abusive that my
Edited on Tue Nov-22-11 05:58 PM by Old Troop
mother pulled my brother and me out in the third grade, telling the nuns that they were all going to hell. My wife attended a parochial school about a mile away (by the way, she wasn't my wife then) and absolutely loved it. Has fond memories of the nuns to this day, nearly forty years later. The interesting thing is that I found many of the public school teachers as abusive mentally and, occasionally, physically as the nuns I left behind. One particular instance haunts me to this day; the father of a boy in our class was killed in a car accident. When he returned to school, our 5th grade teacher announced to him in front of the class "Jimmy, your father died because you're always bad in class."
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barb162 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 08:41 PM
Response to Original message
31. None I had were "nice."
One was semi-bearable.
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blueamy66 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 09:04 PM
Response to Original message
33. Oh yeah....
Sister Theresa Marie came to my HS grad party and drank Hamm's with us kids.....cool chick!
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Iggo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 09:25 PM
Response to Original message
34. One was. One wasn't. And I was outa there halfway through 3rd grade. (n/t)
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Generic Brad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 09:56 PM
Response to Original message
36. 99% Nice.
Nuns are just like any other mix of people. Don't let one bad one ruin your view of the rest.
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GoCubsGo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 11:18 PM
Response to Original message
38. The were a mixed bag at my school.
Most of them were nice. In fact, the one everyone claimed was so mean was actually one of the nicest ones at the school. The younger ones were mostly-lefty types.
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GoCubsGo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 11:19 PM
Response to Original message
39. Dupe.
Edited on Tue Nov-22-11 11:19 PM by GoCubsGo
Sorry.
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vidalarosa Donating Member (25 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 01:30 AM
Response to Original message
42. Those of you who went to Catholic schools and had nuns for teachers...
The one I went to nuns were just facilitators or admins along with the priests, we got regular teachers
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easttexaslefty Donating Member (740 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 09:57 AM
Response to Original message
43. My first grade nun ( in Ohio) was kind
Edited on Wed Nov-23-11 10:00 AM by easttexaslefty
After that, 2-5 in a Texas catholic school. Terrible. Mean. Abusive. I was so happy to change to public school in 6th grade.
This was the early 60's, btw. And the Texas nuns were from Ireland.
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WCIL Donating Member (265 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 11:56 AM
Response to Original message
45. My husband attended parochial school in the '60's
The school was staffed by the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ; the only lay teacher taught 5th grade. He routinely had 50 kids in his class, and as another poster said, discipline was tight. My husband is a very bright man, and school never challenged him. He was severely punished (lashed with the ruler multiple times) for reading ahead in his book, looking out the window, asking for extra work - basically anything to relieve the tedium. He was a good kid, but this school was not the right fit for him. It didn't matter though, because back then if you were Catholic in this town you went to parochial school. One of my brother in laws is dyslexic, and when my in-laws decided to send him to public school where he could be in an LD room, the principal and priest expelled the other 4 boys too. Petty petty petty people. Nearly all of my husband's school stories end with "and then sister dragged me into the hallway and beat me with her ruler".

Interestingly, he has nothing but good things to say about the Christian Brothers who staffed his high school, and they have a reputation as hard asses.
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Hell Hath No Fury Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 12:05 PM
Response to Original message
46. Just a correction for you --
those of us who went to Catholic schools were taught by Sisters, not "nuns". Nuns typically lead lives of contemplation and work, and do not participate in much outside their convents.

Most of the Dominican Srs. who taught me were fantastic people who were a great influence on me -- though there were a few throwbacks to the old-school, knuckle hitters who were a huge pain in the ass.
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baldguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 12:38 PM
Response to Original message
47. I never had to go to Catholic school, because of my sister.
Edited on Wed Nov-23-11 12:46 PM by baldguy
I have two older sisters, and my mom put them both in the local Catholic school. One second grade, one in third grade.

One day the second grader came home alone. Mom asked where her sister was, and she said she didn't know. She waited and waited but she didn't see her after school. Mom went to the school, and found that the Sister (the nun Sister, not my sibling) had tied the entire class to their desks with masking tape, and taped their mouths closed. All because one of the little hellions threw a spitball and wouldn't confess to the crazy old bat. Therefore the entire class was going to sit there until he did.

Mom ripped the tape off, and pulled both girls out of that school.
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emilyg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-24-11 12:24 AM
Response to Original message
48. All were nice. Mother
Superior was strict.
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CBHagman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-24-11 12:30 AM
Response to Original message
49. A couple of them were nice.
Edited on Thu Nov-24-11 12:37 AM by CBHagman
When I went to first grade, the nuns were still attired in a long, heavy habit with a starched wimple. It looked painful to wear, and it's hard not to think it made them miserable to the bargain.

My overall impression of the first nuns I knew was that they were constantly on the lookout for some behavior of which they disapproved.

Later on, after the habits/veils had been altered to a shorter, simpler style, and actual hair was visible, I remember some younger nuns coming to our school. Of this group, the teachers assigned to first grade and sixth were quite nice, and the fifth grade teacher was a bit snarky but not a bad person. Sister Principal, though, was snarky and still in Enforcer mode. :scared:
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fadedrose Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-24-11 12:37 AM
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50. I loved all the nuns I had..
from 4th to 8th grade...

Trouble is, I had a problem accepting church doctrine and couldn't stay in the faith and be a hypocrite. I liked "some" of the priests....they were arrogant as hell, and that might be where some of them are...

The nuns were very good teachers, believed what they taught and in what they were doing. A smack on the knuckles with a ruler wasn't so bad - the boys got it on the bum...

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