Thursday, September 9, 2010

School Days

Photo courtesy of  Magpie Tales
Growing up in the South in a family of five back in the 1960s, I was the last girl born into the family, with the only boy being my younger brother, Frank.  As we each reached school age, we were sent to the St. Francis Catholic school for our education, and a continuation of our parental teachings.

The school was an old building, built back at the turn of the century and showing its age.  The wooden framing around the windows was weathered, and there were cracks where the brick and mortar had separated.  Inside, the wooden desks were polished smooth with many years of use.  Students had come and gone for generations.  Parents, their children and now their grandchildren were learning the scholarly arts at these same desks.

While some things didn't seem to change over the years, others did.  With the influx of rock and roll, flower children, hippies, drugs and the love movement, the children were subject to all manner of new evils.  The Mother Superior at St. Francis was also the principal.  It was her job to rule the children with a firm hand, and ensure they were able to take their proper place in society.

Being the youngest, it seemed Frank and I were always getting into trouble.  I could hear Sister Maria yelling across the school yard, "Jean, come here this instant young lady."  Frank was usually nearby, egging me on to even greater mischief.  The fact that I was such a tomboy was a continuing source of consternation for Sister Maria.  One day as Frank and I were playing catch, he threw the ball too high for me to catch it, and I cringed as it crashed through the library window.  It just so happened that the principal was in the library at the time, reading.  As soon as the glass shattered, we turned and ran behind some trees.  The Mother Superior heard the crash, saw the ball on the floor, and immediately called for Sister Maria.  She came on the run, yelling at the top of her voice,  "Jean, Frank, come here right NOW".  I swear to this day that even with her back to the window, that woman knew everything that happened and who was to blame. 

A work of fiction written for Magpie Tales #31.


  1. I enjoyed this a great deal! Seems so likely...

  2. Fun read it was.. made me smile all the way :)

  3. The nuns really do have eyes in the backs of their heads, didn't you know that?

  4. nice memories. Thank you for sharing them with us.

  5. Great magpie tale! So well done, Linda, I could hear the smashing of the glass!

  6. oh good old school days...nice Magpie

  7. Great Magpie. This was a very, very fun read. Bisous, Love and Light, Sender

  8. Eyes in the back of her head, she had!

  9. whew shivers...i had a couple teachers i used to feel this way about...nice write...excellent mag!

  10. Tumblewords- Thanks. I guess school is school, whether real or fiction.

    Abhilasha-The Desire- Thanks, I'm glad.

    Friko- Actually I have no experience with nuns, but I had teachers and parents. ;)

    Gabriela Abalo- Thanks, I am glad you enjoyed the story.

    Talon- Thank you. Bet you could hear all that yelling, too.

    kathew- Well, I don't know about the word good and school in the same sentence. ;)

    senderupwords- Thanks, I'm glad you liked it. Thanks for visiting.

    willow- Just what I was thinking.

    Brian Miller- I think we all did. Thanks.

    Carrie Burtt- Thank you.

  11. A fun read! Wonderful magpie! =)


  12. I so know that feeling. when I was a child, I did believe that sm adults cd c what u did even with backs turned. But as I got older, I realized that they just knew us very well.

  13. My middle child is THAT child... thank heavens he is out of elementary school... !!!

  14. I didn't go to catholic school until high school but as kids my brother and I were always getting busted, in a neighborhood filled with kids, because we stuck out like sore thumbs with our hair.

  15. I went to Convent school and loved the nuns. And can so relate to that phrase, "Young lady....!"


  16. Have you seen the movie "Doubt"? In it, meryl Streep's character, an older nun, makes a point to tell a younger nun to keep a framed, glassed-in picture of the pope hanging just above her chalkboard, on one side. You see, by using the reflection in the glass, she could seem to have "eyes in the back of her head", though i suspect all nuns have this trait, as do all suspicious wives!

    I know you like cats...mine this time is about a cat lady.


  17. Oh Linda did bring back memories to me. I was educated by the Dominican Sisters all girl boarding school. I can see it and hear the glass. Oh yes the nuns had eyes in the back of their head and ears that could hear us all the way from the attic. LOL

  18. Linda,

    I had to check to see if this was a Magpie seems so real. I like the characters...and can identify with the writer, as I was also quite the tomboy. I got in my fair share of trouble.

    This was well written. Thanks...I know I say it every time, but I enjoy your Magpie Tales very much:~)

  19. greatly written! beautiful! :)

  20. Systematic Weasel- Glad you liked it. Thanks for the visit.

    kathi harris- Yes, they did know us very well.

    Katherine- There's always trouble if you look for it. Wait, that's not comforting. He'll be fine!

    Jen- I have no experience with Catholic school or nuns, but I guess all schools and teachers are about the same, what with teachers "having eyes in the back of their heads".

    ninotaziz- I'm sure that was a popular, or at least frequent, phrase.

    Fireblossom- No I've never seen the movie. Any thing Ms. Streep is one has to be good, though. Enjoyed your creepy cat lady.

    daylily (Queenmothermamaw)- I hope at least some were good memories.

    Sara- Thank you so much. That it seems so real is such a compliment since I have no experience with the Catholic school. I'm glad you liked it.

    Sezaaay- Thanks.

    ~T~ Glad you enjoyed it.

  21. LOL... I guess some people do have eyes in the back of their head, as my mom used to say :-)

  22. Davina, hi. It does seem that some people have that "gift".


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