1. Sister St. Christine was my first grade teacher. She was slightly taller than the kids in third grade and she got sick midway through the school year, so we doubled up in mean Sister Joseph Margaret's room. There were a total of 120 kids in one class room, 60/60. I think we learned how to sit up straight and fold our hands on the edge of the desk. To Joseph Margaret's defense, only a nun could handle and maintain ALL those kids. I probably would have been mean too!
2. Sister Joseph Helene was our second grade teacher and she got sick too. I am sensing a pattern here. Our first substitute had a nervous breakdown. She threw papers up in the air one day and we never saw her again. Now Ms. Trout was the last teacher we had in 2nd grade. She was a real purdy blonde and all the boys just stared and gushed over her. She was a liberated lady and started a soft ball team boys verses girls. I never had a ball or glove in my hand before that and I was the pitcher. I threw like a girl but I could hit. I got my first and only home run that year. However, I have been striking out ever since. It was good to be a second grader.
3. Miss McMullan was our third grade teacher and I mostly remember in a series of sessions, towards the end of the day, she would have us put our heads down on the desk and she read Charlotte's Web to us. I cried when that spider died and haven't killed one since. I also never put on a pair of skies because Miss McMullan went skiing one weekend and came back with a neck brace and a broken leg. I learned skiing was not as fun as it looked on television.
4. Sister Robertine was a real nice lady not a common attribute for a nun. I do wonder what ever happened to her. My friends and I used to wait over by the convent every morning to carry her bag about 20 feet across the parking lot. This was the year I saw the light and decided I too wanted to become a nun. I was going to be Sister Mary Ann. It wasn't like darkness fell upon me but I was over it by the next school year when that new boy walked into the classroom.
5. Mrs. Quinn was our fifth grade teacher and she was a math whiz. We learned our times tables hard core. If anyone as much as breathed funny in her class, the entire class had to write the times tables 100 times for homework, all of them. After a while though, you just lined up the numbers. If it was her plan to teach by rote, maybe it worked the first month or so but eventually you find the easier path. Hmmm, maybe that was also a plan or was I just advanced.
6. Sister Catherine Angela, ugh, I did not like her and she knew it. We had an incident. I was an up and coming piano aficionado in first through third grade and she struck my fingers when I hit the wrong keys, that was brutal enough, but she yelled at me in front of Kevin Sweeney, my secret crush. My career was over that afternoon. I told my parents I refused to go back. How did she know I wasn't creating my own masterpiece? The day I found out she was my teacher, I said, she better not smack my fingers or I am dropping out. Luckily, she did not. We learned to co-exist.
7. I can't believe I am drawing a blank on my 7th grade teacher's name but I can remember we switched classes in at least 6th, 7th and 8th grade and the other 6th grade teacher Sister Evangelist was a trip. She used to have us read the history book and she fell asleep behind it. Sometimes she was even snoring!!! She also used to spit when she talked, no one wanted to sit up front and she had teeth growing in the oddest places out of her gums, but she drilled the parts of speech into us. She loved the English language and if I remember correctly Mr. Phil Heron of the Delco Times liked to diagram sentences. He would have loved Sister Evangelist's class. If you got it wrong she was going to annihilate you to the ground and she always mixed up people's names. I was Mary Louise and a kid named Gabris was Gabby. I think she was just messing with us. If she saw some of my writings today it is almost a definite, I would be annihilated.
8. Sister Marian Francis was 7th grade, now I remember. Unfortunately, I remember being more boy crazy in 7th grade so my focus was not at the front of the class but I remember she was cool except when there was a school yard incident between boys and girls. She would get mad about that and hickeys on one young ladies neck. There was some LOUD discussion in the hall way with that girl and we all heard it. Passionate insignias were after all a sin. We saw a movie about the birds and the bees the next week and boys were kicked out of the room. This was not a National Geographic special and the girls were crimson red when the boys walked back into the room. They were probably watching NASCAR.
9. Sister Rose Virginia was our eighth grade teacher. She was also the principal so she was out of the class a lot and the nun across the hall always peeked in on us and caught us talking and all the other shenanigans we were up to. Nobody was reading the next chapter. All a nun had to do was look at me and my face would turn scarlet, even if I didn't do it. I still have the catholic guilt.
10. Yes, I did make it to high school and those years blew by. Regrets? There are a few but I have had a lot more of life's lessons well after the school bell stopped ringing and we never seem to cease to learn something new.
I admire teachers and know it is not an easy job. I hope they can reach back in their memories and remember it is also not easy to be a student. No one wants to fail. Next week, I will be attending two graduations one a liberal arts major, moving on to fine arts and the other a teacher. I couldn't be more proud.
Can you remember all your teachers names?
In catholic school, they make sure you never forget.