by Maria Schulz
This photo always brings me back to my Catholic School days. The days started early, with me jolting awake, sure that I was going to be late if I didn’t hurry. I’d throw on my uniform, scarf down a bowl of LIFE cereal (if it was good enough for Mikey, it was good enough for me).
Then I’d spend at least 20 minutes searching for my lost school bag, and bang on the bathroom door until I could get in there, brush my hair and teeth…and RUN LIKE THE WIND to get to school on time.
Did I mention that our school was just across the street?
Chris and I would run down the block and then around it to the door we had to use, then take the stairs two at a time just to get to class. We’d burst through our classroom doors and slide into our seats just as the bell began to ring. Our hair was flying in every direction, shirts sticking out and not properly tucked in, socks mismatched or missing entirely…and ready for today’s demerits.
And the day had just begun!
I make fun of my Catholic school upbringing all the time, but it’s given me so many things to be thankful for. I spent Thanksgiving reminiscing with my brothers about those days that were full of uniforms, nuns, candy sales and laughs. So, here are a few things I am thankful for when it comes to Catholic school.
Ten Things Catholic School Made Me Thankful For
- First off, I have no outward scars. Sister F (for Felicity, just to be clear) may have hit me with enough force to leave a dent the size of the Grand Canyon in my skull, but my head looks remarkably normal. There’s my first miracle! Which any Catholic kid knows you MUST have for even the smallest shot at Sainthood.
- I’m grateful that Sister AK-47 did not kill me that time I woke up my snoring classmate before she could decapitate him with her yardstick
I learned that when life hands you lemons, forget the lemonade. Those are the moments that were made for White Castle, located conveniently within walking distance of our elementary school.
- I’m so glad that I never have to sell candy bars again, for any reason. Bake sales are more my speed, and thanks to Catholic school, I understand their inherent beauty.
- Many thanks to the Folk Group for teaching me to sing when I feel grateful. Okay, so I’m not singing “Kumbaya” these days, but every once in a while, I will belt out “My Sweet Lord.”
- Closets no longer scare me thanks to Sister’s F’s use of them as a punishment tool when I couldn’t do all of my math homework. It was quiet in there, and perfect for a quick nap. Math, however, continues to scare the bee-jezus out of me.
Rituals are a part of my DNA. From the Thanksgiving play with pilgrim hats, to communion dresses with veils, and festive flower garlands at the crowning of Mary, we Catholics sure know how to wear a hat and make a memory.
- Catholic School taught me how to deal with unreasonable people and their insane demands, which has helped me tremendously in the business world.
- It helped me nurture a curious nature and discover the importance of questioning authority when something is just plain wrong.
- Most of all, it taught me:
- To cherish my family and friends
- To help others whenever I can
- To try to be kind and live like Jesus would, minus the crucifixion
- To respect and cherish my elders
- To view children as our hope for the future, and not as enemies to be vanquished
- To laugh and see humor where I could otherwise be angry and hate
- To never forget that there are more screwed up people out there than I could ever possibly imagine
- To buy girl scout cookies and chocolate bars from any kid who’s stuck selling them
- To laugh at inappropriate times, as often as possible
- To never forget: White Castle is the answer
Recipe: White Castle Stuffing
My brother Chris sent me this recipe earlier this week. Not everyone was into it at first, but it turned out great! Who knew I could combine two of my favorite things—a family get-together and White Castle? Well of course I did, but now everyone who came knows too. Try it with your leftovers and you’ll see how delicious it is too.
So, what did you learn from your earliest school days? What are you most thankful for this Thanksgiving? Do you crave White Castle too? Please leave a comment and let us all know. Thanks, and enjoy your holiday weekend.