Friday, September 04, 2009
A clever bit of satire in an op-ed column appearing in Friday's Philadelphia Inquirer, entitled "When horror became a habit." Anyone with a drop of Catholic blood and of sufficient age will at least get a chuckle out of it. If the prisoners at Gitmo think they have it tough, they just haven't been smacked upside the head by a nun with a ruler.
Hilarious. My boot camp was with the Christian Brothers at a small high school in New York in the 1960's. Lot's of examples, but the stand out was "The Rule"...you either did your homework or you were paraded in front of the class and slapped across the side of the head hard enough to make a sound that echoed.
The results of such "enhanced interrogatries"?
28 kids in the class, college attendance 100%, 18 Regents scholars, 6 Merit scholars, 6 physicians, 5 lawyers, 12 engineers and all the survivors are running their own businesses.
At reunions we laugh about it and THANK our teachers for turning us into responsible adults who understand the meaning of consequences.
Maybe we should send the Gitmo darlings to Catholic School!!!
I had nuns in grammar school. Some were psychotic. One nun had it out for a boy in my class. After riding him all year, she accused him of forging a parent's signature on a test and slapped him. He lost it ... knocked her to the ground and started choking her. Think Jack Nicholson's Randall P McMurphy in One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest. We were slow in stopping him.
I had Jesuits at an all scholarship high school. If you screwed up, or your grades fell, they kicked you out -- 20% of my class. Some of the school's best successes were kicked out, go figure.
Please, I got tape over my mouth (no surprise to anyone) erasers jammed in my head and earlobes pulled so much you'd think I had worn anvils on my ears and rulers on my knuckles. That was the late 50's and early 60's catholic school in New Jersey.
My daughter went to catholic school in the 90's and it was like they had a lobotomy. Nice, almost benign. Still great educators, but way nicer.
Never underestimate the power of raw fear in determining the behaviour of adolescents. Vicki is correct...the hard liners have all been retired (or prosecuted!).
Somehow, I think we are worse off for the lack of "enhanced" discipline in secondary schools.
I went to Saint Margaret Mary's Grammar School in the Bronx. In the seventh grade, I had Sister Mary Robert who was the largest nun in the known world. Apparently, when she took her vows, someone failed to tell her that she was now a Sister of Mercy. Her preferred accoutrement was a strip of Neo-Lite, a synthetic material that was more properly used to re-sole worn shoes. Size-wise, it was about 4x16 inches. Her usual procedure was to have the miscreant, often myself, come to the front of the class, (to insure the largest amount of personal embarrassment), extend his non-writing hand (no couldn't do my homework nonsense), and receive one to three blows. The receiving appendage would experience the warmth and growth (swelling?) that were so important to Sister Mary Robert. Better than Ritalin. Oh yeah, and Bronx boys better not cry.