Posted tagged ‘Sister Hildegarde’’

“Often, a school is your best bet-perhaps not for education but certainly for protection from an undead attack.”

January 23, 2018

The weather today is much like yesterday’s except we have a wind strong enough to whip the top branches of the scrub pines, and it has started to rain. I have to go out later so I hope the rain is short-lived.

When I was a kid, I seldom stepped over the line, but I did walk it. In school, during part of the eighth grade, I sat by the windows. The bookcases were under the windows and beside my desk. They were my hiding spots. I kept my transistor radio there and a few pieces of candy. My favorite candies were Mint Julep and Banana Splits both of which were a bit chewy so they lasted longer. When I ate one, I’d hide behind a book so Sister Hildegarde couldn’t see me chewing. I wore one ear piece from my radio in the ear facing the window, away from view, but one day all that subterfuge didn’t matter. My worst fears were realized. I was chewing a spearmint candy and listening to the radio when Sister Hildegarde called on me. I managed to spit the candy into my hand but didn’t have time to pull the ear piece without getting caught. I stood up, as we always did, when called upon. Sister Hildegarde noticed the ear piece. I figured I was doomed, but I wasn’t. Sister Hildegarde thought it was a hearing aid and wanted to know if she was speaking loud enough for me to hear. With a giant sigh of relief, I said she was. If it had been any other nun, I would had to wear that ear piece all year, but, luckily, it was Sister Hildegarde. She forgot.

In my senior year of high school, my desk in English class was right next to the backdoor of the classroom. That proved to be far too much of a temptation. I sneaked out that door more than a few times. I even convinced my friend to join me. It wasn’t that I had anywhere else else go. I just couldn’t resist the challenge. I still don’t understand why Mrs. Baker didn’t notice the sudden appearance of an empty desk and sometimes two empty desks.

Ironically, for a long time, I was a high school assistant principal in charge of discipline. It was at the same high school I had attended. Every time I did some corridor walking I walked by that back door, I always chuckled a bit.

“Come, pensive nun, devout and pure, sober steadfast, and demure, all in a robe of darkest grain, flowing with majestic train.”

October 2, 2012

It is another beautiful fall day with lots of sunshine. The breeze is ever so slight and just ruffles the leaves. When I closed down the deck, I left out a table and a comfy chair so I can enjoy days like today. That’s where I’ve been for the last couple of hours. I fed the birds and read a while then figured it was time to get on with my day. I came inside but oh so reluctantly.

I have a couple of errands today, left over from yesterday. One I couldn’t do and the other I forgot to do. Looks like I’ll be putting four or five more miles on the car this week!

I wore uniforms for almost my entire time in school, from grades 1 though grade 11. They made it easy to choose what to wear, and uniforms made us all equal. My grades 1 though 8 uniform was a blue skirt, a white blouse and a blue tie: a cowboy tie is what we used to call it. The skirts had to be at least half-way down the knee. I remember the eighth grade when crazy Sister Hildegarde was my teacher, and she went after a girl who had rolled the waist of her skirt to make it shorter. Eleanor Garland was the girl’s name. It is a name I’ve never forgotten as the incident was so awful. To make it even worse, Eleanor was somehow related to crazy Sister Hildegarde, and we all knew it. I can still remember Sister Hildegarde storming down the aisle to the back desk, her veil blowing behind her, where she made Eleanor stand up. We always thought of her as poor Eleanor even before the incident. She had teeth which needed braces, was too skinny, not all that bright and was really shy. To have rolled her skirt so high was a defiant, rebellious Eleanor none of us recognized but should have applauded en mass when the incident happened. I’ll never forget Sister Hildegarde standing in front of poor Eleanor berating and yelling at her. Crazy Sister Hildegarde then  grabbed the hem of Eleanor’s skirt and pulled it down to where the rules said it should be. Eleanor never moved and crazy Sister Hildegarde never stopped yelling. Poor Eleanor cried silently, tears streaming down her face. She was humiliated and we were horrified. When Sister Hildegarde was finally finished her attack, Eleanor was told to sit down. She did so without a word. None of us said anything either. We turned around to let Eleanor have as much privacy as a room full of kids and a crazy nun could give her.

After graduating from the eighth grade, I went to a Catholic high school where every one of the nuns was sane. It was in a different town. I never saw Eleanor after the eighth grade. I sometimes wonder about her.