Saturday, August 17, 2013

Sister Christian

One of my favorite movies growing up was “The Trouble With Angels”, starring Hayley Mills. It was the story of students at a Catholic girl’s school, doing battle with Mother Superior (played by Rosiland Russell). The girls pulled off some awesomely bad tricks on the nuns.The story moved along at a joyful romp, with mischief at every turn. Then, in the last few minutes, Hayley Mills’ character decided to become a nun after graduation. What a buzz kill. It devastated me. Way to ruin a perfectly good time! In real life, I attended a girl’s school for 9th and 10th grade. St. Mary of the Wasatch sat on a hill overlooking Salt Lake City. It was a foreboding presence - a large four-story brick building sitting on a huge parcel of land. There was a gym, tennis court, soft ball field, lots of manicured lawns, and a grotto where girls used to go to smoke (instead of pray). There was a rumor that a ghost had been spotted on the fourth floor. I had no problem believing it. St. Mary’s could be a pretty creepy place. The only teacher I actually goofed on was my 9th grade homeroom/Spanish teacher, Sister Christian. She was a large unpleasant woman who wore a brown habit. Kind of like a UPS truck with a veil. Getting to St. Mary’s when it snowed could be dicey. If a certain number of students stayed home, they would cancel school. One snowy day, we decided we would help the process along by hiding in a closet during roll call. This was a really bad idea, which we realized soon after Sister Christian started calling our names. There was no good way to get out of this sticky situation, so we made a bunch of noise on purpose. Sister Christian opened the door, and her beefy arm pointed to our seats. I don’t remember being punished, but am pretty sure steam was coming out of her ears. Her face turned really red and I thought she was going to bust a gasket. We didn’t mess with her after that. Even the time she got herself wedged in between a desk and a table, I somehow managed to stifle my snicker. Unlike my movie counterpart, I did not decide to become a nun. No buzz kill here. Plus, I look wretched in brown.

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