It’s National Catholic Sisters Week — it runs through Friday, and when I saw an opinion piece by by Stephanie Hall-Cabelof on Sunday in the Erie Times-News, I thought of all the nuns who shaped my life — from Saint George School through Villa Maria Academy. Read Stephanie’s article here.
Sister Anne Marie — she reminds me of Hetty Lange, “that little ninja” from NCIS Los Angeles. That’s the way Callen (Chris O’Donnell) described Hetty (Lina Hunt) once. Sister Anne Marie was equally as tiny as Hetty, but she ran that school with the command of someone three times her size. She didn’t have a teacup that I remember.
Sister Pauline — she talked softy and carried a big stick — as in the form of a pointer, and she used it as a cane and teaching aid. She tapped it on desks — quite forcefully on occasion. My fondest memory is that she taught a group of skeptical sixth graders to recite “Trees” by Joyce Kilmer in unison — keeping time with that pointer. But she taught us more than rote memorization. She taught us the beauty of that poem and many others. I still remember it. And I stand up straight when I recite it! She had personality and then some. She broke a lot of pointers, but she had an endless supply in the closet. I am not kidding.
Sister Joachim from St. George made me love art and appreciate drawing and painting. I was never very good at it, but she made it fun.
Sister Marcia, from Villa, gave me an appreciation for acting and biology. She was in charge of both, and I really learned to love science with her as a teacher. She also pushed me to get into forensics and acting. It was great fun and made me who I am today. Amen to that, Sister.
It’s nice there is a week dedicated to #thankanun — the Twitter feed on all memories of nuns. This is the first National Catholic Sisters Week– it started Saturday and goes through Friday and coincides with National Women’s History Month.