I attended a parochial school and had nuns as teachers through fifth grade. They wore habits and were very old school. But they provided me with a lifetime worth of stories and a good education.
My fourth grade teacher, Sister Geraldine, used to use a long wooden pointer to pound on your desk and get your attention. She could also spot dirt or something out of place from 10 feet away. She seemed superhuman, and scary.
In Fifth grade, Sister Antonia was friendly and less exacting, but she had the precision aim of a World Series pitcher. When she taught she often used the blackboard. With her back to the class she could sense if a student was misbehaving and with one swift move she’d grab an eraser, pivot and throw it at the offender. She was always dead on with her aim and to this day I can visualize the clouds of chalk dust that rose when the eraser hit its target.
In Sixth grade we did not have a nun, but I think it was that year that a nun came to our class to talk about her experience being ‘Called”. She shared with us how God had spoken to her and told her that serving for him was what he wanted her to do with her life. She talked about the convent and being a nun. I remember leaving that class for recess and wandering around, praying the whole time that God would not call me, I new at that young age that I would not be a good candidate.
I’m not Catholic now but I look back fondly on my 12 years of parochial school. The rules were strict but clear, the education was straightforward, and we learned manners. All things I value now.