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At this point, at the end of PART TEN of GROWING UP CATHOLIC, I am concluding descriptions of my life in Catholic School. In PARTS ELEVEN through FOURTEEN, I will address GROWING UP CATHOLIC - life in HIGH SCHOOL and INTO ADULTHOOD. Part Eleven deals with my time in Religious Instruction Classes, a mandatory class that those of us who no longer went to Catholic School and went to public school in high school, were mandated to attend. These classes were extremely interesting, to say the least. Well, actually, they were not classes. We did though have a lot of fun.
Parts Twelve, Thirteen, and Fourteen are dedicated to life beyond school - again - GROWING UP CATHOLIC. These, too, are very interesting tales. At this time, I want to stress that these are indeed true stories. I am not making anything up nor am I inventing anything. The stories I am telling in these Chapters are very true. I have left out many of the smaller details because, I am sure, if you went to Catholic School when I went to catholic school or have a parent or grandparent who attended CS at the time, they can fill you in on the details.
I strongly believe that these events helped shape the type of person I am today. I really mean no harm when discussing the Sisters of Divine Providence. "Times were different," they say. (Yesterday, I saw the story on ALL news broadcasts, local and national, of the parents who allowed their children - ages 10 and 6 - the so-called "Free Range" parents and were arrested and lost custody of their children for allowing them to walk home from the park in Maryland). Times, they have changed. Jimmy. I was riding the bus to downtown Pittsburgh and The University of Pittsburgh's Dental School in Oakland when I was 12.
But I know there are a different kind of criminal out there.
I would like to use this time, in this column, to commend the Sisters of Divine Providence in Pittsburgh (LaRoche College, Pennsylvania) for their movement away from punishment tactics to their help with young people.
No one is all bad. Just as some are not all good. Most of us are placed somewhere in the middle, and we hope that we do more good than cause pain to those under our tutelage.
I want to take this time to remind the readers that I became an extremely successful, caring (I hope), compassionate (I hope), dedicated (I hope) teacher who helped out many of my students. And, I was able to retire from teaching with a strong legacy, knowing that I did not intentionally ever hurt a student under my care.
I have always had a keen way of viewing events. When I was an undergraduate teacher candidate, I would spend any spare time I had in classrooms observing teachers, taking notes, watching their interactions. I saw much good teaching going on, and I tried to emulate those teaching styles. Likely, I also saw a lot of "not so good" teaching (and I remembered how I was taught in elementary school), and I know I was able to use this knowledge to become the type of teacher and the type of person I am.
Finally, some of the comments in my articles may seem harsh. Honestly, I mean no harm. I do mean to be truthful and record extremely important events in my life (and I know that many have experienced the same thing). I remember the very popular play NUNSENSE that was so popular in the 1990's. Many people went to the showings and laughed and laughed heartedly.
I was one of the outsiders who just couldn't bring myself to see that particular play. Just didn't want to be reminded of some scars that I tried to hide. No more hiding, however. Pleae enjoy.