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How To Survive Catholic School

Updated on April 22, 2013
Big Dale and the author (in glasses)
Big Dale and the author (in glasses)

What is black and white and black and white and black and white? Give up? A nun rolling down the stairs! That little bit of humor earned me a beautifully-timed slap across the face, delivered, dare I say gleefully, by Sister Mary Elizabeth when I was in the 7th grade at St. Patrick School in Tacoma.

And yet I survived, time and time again, as the nuns and later the Jesuits tried their best to mold me into the image and likeness of Jesus. Fat chance that was going to happen!

True, our family was Catholic, but I have always suspected that I was sent to Catholic school because my mother wished it; I’m fairly certain dad didn’t really give a damn one way or another. I know for a fact he didn’t like nuns, which became apparent very early on in my career at St. Patrick School. In First Grade our teacher announced to the class that from that moment forward yours truly would be known as William rather than Bill because William was a saint’s name. By the time I got home I was in tears, telling my mom that Sister Brutus (or whatever her name was) told me I was no longer Bill. Mom made the mistake of telling dad when he got home from work and then the fun began. At seven that evening we piled into the car, drove down to the school, woke up half the neighborhood, and then dad announced to God and anyone else listening that he had named me Bill and he would be goddamned if some nun who has never had children was going to change my name.

Oh, but it didn’t stop there. Five months later the same nun slapped my left hand with a ruler because she said all God’s children used their right hand to draw and print. Home I went crying, told mom who of course told my dad and off we went again in the early evening to once again wake up the neighborhood as Big Dale informed the aforementioned nun that if I wanted to print with my toes then that’s what I would print with. My reputation had nowhere to go but up after that….or so I thought.

Now lest you gain the impression that I think Catholic schools are horrible let me tell you that I received an excellent education in the Catholic school system. This was the Fifties and at that time in the United States corporal punishment was accepted; in the Catholic school system it was expected by all, including my parents. It’s not that my dad had anything against corporal punishment; he didn’t blink an eye when I was slapped in the 7th Grade for my black and white joke. It’s just that dad had a code that he believed in and heaven help anyone who did not agree with that code.

The nuns had a job to do as dictated by the parish priest as dictated by the bishop as dictated by the pope. Just as they had a job to do the students felt it was their duty to find creative ways to make their jobs harder, and for eight years I did my best to honor that duty. We were not bad kids by a long shot. I, for one, was an altar boy, knew the mass in Latin, played the organ at weddings and funerals and could genuflect with the best of them. All admirable traits for a Catholic student for sure; on the flip side I knew exactly when to expel gas for the maximum effect, could camouflage tacks on the nun’s chair with the best of them and was somewhat of a legend for leaving lizards and frogs in the desk drawers of my teachers. It was eight years of a battle of wills and only the strong survived.

Yes, I am a Catholic school survivor. Little did I know that grade school was just a warm-up for what was to come….high school and the Jesuits. For those of you not familiar with the Jesuits allow me to enlighten you. The Jesuit Order of the Catholic Church was considered the Marine Corps of the Church. The men who taught in the schools as a prelude to priesthood were tough as nails and ran their classrooms like a drill sergeant preparing their troops for battle. Their weapon of choice was a flat board with holes drilled in it for less air resistance and the board was used on our backsides whenever we had broken one of a thousand different rules. The paddle was bad enough but it was usually wielded by a man who received a great deal of enjoyment from the sound of fifteen year olds yelping in pain. The name of the school was Bellarmine Prep but it could just as easily been called Sadist High School.

Our greatest nemesis was a man named Mr. Thompson (not his real name) who would tell us to grab our ankles and then would back up ten paces so he could get a running start before whacking us. This usually resulted in the offending party flying across the front of the classroom, then limping back to his seat believing in the awesome power of God.

For repeat offenders the whacks were delivered at lunchtime out in the courtyard in front of the entire student body. If you don’t think that builds character you are sadly mistaken.

So now I stand before you, a man of character. True, I dream of delivering corporal punishment to some of those long-gone teachers, but with my luck they are all dead and buried and I will forever be cheated out of my revenge.

Would you like to know the punch line to this story? I became a Catholic school teacher.

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    • Paul Kuehn profile image

      Paul Richard Kuehn 5 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      I, too, attended Catholic schools for 8 years in the 1950s. Yes, the nuns I had weren't afraid to box ears when they saw kids misbehave. I also was an altar boy and remember really incurring the wrath of one nun when I screwed up practicing in the sacristy of the church. Actually, because our class size was small and we all feared the nun, I can't remember many discipline problems in our class compared to the problems I have now teaching. Great hub!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Paul...they say what doesn't kill you makes you stronger so we should be pretty strong people.

    • Maria-Arg profile image

      Maria-Arg 5 years ago from New York City

      This was really funny! Great job. Kids today don't know how easy they have it, lol.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      maria...thank you so much. Looking back it was unbelievable what the teachers were allowed to do. At the time it wasn't too funny but today I find it hilarious.

    • poetvix profile image

      poetvix 5 years ago from Gone from Texas but still in the south. Surrounded by God's country.

      Well, I must say this was an education. While corporal punishment is no longer employed by most public schools, at times I think the students would benefit from it. I do not, in any way, however agree with changing a student's name or dictating what God already decided, i.e. a left hand dominance. When I say they would benefit today, I mean for infractions of a truly serious nature such as gang banging, assault, arson and other such infractions. I bet you did build some character. You would have had to. Thank you for a glimpse into the unknown. This was riveting.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Poetvix...I have a million stories about Catholic schools so I am pretty sure there will be more hubs about them...as always, thank you for reading and I always appreciate your comments.

    • gail641 profile image

      Gail Louise Stevenson 5 years ago from Mason City

      I went to a catholic school in the early 60's. I had a nun named Sister Mary Gertrude for the 1st and 2nd grade. She used corporate punishment, too. She hit my hand with a ruler, I think. She pulled a boy's ear dragging him to the front of the class. After 5 years, I went to the public school. I don't think they should change anyone's names at all. I voted up. One of the priests did slap my brother across the face. My brother didn't like school.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      gail....to say the least it was interesting in Catholic school. Looking back I laugh now but at the time I didn't think it was too funny. Thank you for reading and commenting.

    • gail641 profile image

      Gail Louise Stevenson 5 years ago from Mason City

      Your welcome. It wasn't too funny all those years ago.

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Calhoun 5 years ago from Western NC

      I wore PLAID for eight years! And now I'm a recovering Catholic. One day I'll say I'm "recovered". ;) Thanks for writing this. I know all too well the scenarios you described.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      cclitgirl...I like to think we are stronger for it...thank you for visiting and commenting.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Oh....I love Love LOVE this! 13 uninterrupted, gruesome years of Catholic School. I wasn't too much of an incorrigible brat in elementary "Our Lady of Mt. Carmel,"not for lack of trying, mind you. Our nuns were old, hard of hearing & slow.

      High School was another thing. Loved my friends (we were "trouble") and aced my grades, blindfolded, but by this time, I was a full-fledged Rule-breaker/Authority-bucker. Period the end. I needn't tell you how well this goes over in a Catholic Prison. The upside was, there were only about 12 ass-kissers in the class. We insolent heathens ruled as the majority!

      To this day, conversations of those days, end up in hysterical laughter. Up & awesome!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Power to the insolent heathens! Love it! Thank you for reading and commenting; you and I will get along famously well.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      billy....crazy, disgruntled Catholics ALWAYS get along......Correction: Myself, I am a Recovering Catholic.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      fpherj48..I'm going to get a tshirt that says that; might as well advertise my re-birth.

    • Sharyn's Slant profile image

      Sharon Smith 5 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      billybuc ~ I just loved this. I truly feel that one of the times in my life where I learned EXTREMELY QUICKLY was when I started 9th grade. Following 8 years of Catholic school, I truly had no idea what I was in for when I switched to public school. I have laid across a nun's knees more than once. It wasn't fun. When I look back, one of the reasons was understandable (at the time). My friend Elizabeth's family grew grapes and made wine. She would come in to school with squirt guns filled with wine and all her friends would line up in the bathroom. Ha! Today, I have a difficult time saying that I was raised Catholic. I was, I did the church thing back then as I was told. But today, I will not likely admit it. Kind of like I don't like to say I was "raised Democratic." Thanks for a great read!

      Sharyn

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sharyn, I understand all too well why some people say they are a recovering Catholic. :) Thank you for reading and commenting and I, too, was raised Democratic.

    • Sky9106 profile image

      Sky9106 5 years ago from A beautiful place on earth.

      Well it seems that you clearly state that this is my life , and I love speaking the truth about my life and that's what happened at a time in my life when I attended school and I survived , to tell the tale and with honors.

      A great piece and there was not a school while I was growing up that that did not feel that passion for punishment and the truth is is produced , but again we are what we are and I got expelled for refusing punishment.

      I would not change a thing .

      Great work brethren billy. Are any of your past pupils following you as we speak? I know they may buy the book.

      Bless.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sky, one of the great joys of my teaching career is the relationship I have with my students from years past. I hear from many of them on a weekly basis and they follow my writings with joy and love. That, my friend, is what teaching should be all about. My best to you; keep walking that path.

    • profile image

      LeilaMonei 5 years ago

      Another interesting article. I went to a Catholic school in the 80s in South Africa during the apartheid era. Thankfully, the nuns and brothers no longer used corporal punishment! I am grateful that my parents sacrificed(financially) to send my siblings and I to one of the few integrated schools in the country. The school provided an oasis from the world outside ...not only did we receive a good education but we were taught that we were not inferior because of the colour of our skins. We still managed to get up to a lot of mischief as kids do... and although I am now a retired Catholic I could not forget the prayers and bible verses that were so thoroughly drilled into us.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LeilaMonei, I actually echo your thoughts about Catholic education. I received in incredible education and it was an oasis from the world outside...it was just a bit difficult when we had to leave that oasis. Thank you for dropping by and my best to you and yours.

    • JKenny profile image

      James Kenny 5 years ago from Birmingham, England

      Hi Billy, I'm also a Catholic School survivor. My school was attached to a convent, but the nuns weren't so bad because most of them were over 70; although they were still one or two that could frighten you just by glancing at you. My brother once got thrown out of mass, because one of the nuns accused him of walking funny.

      We used to have a secret door at the end of the corridor that was never opened. Everyone used to believe that it was haunted by the 'Black Nun' and if you went in there, you'd never come out.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      JKenny, that is some funny stuff...and I have no trouble seeing that scene and believing the same thing. Our principal was as mean a woman as I have ever met and she scared the hell out of me....sometimes. :) Thank you for stopping by and visiting.

    • molometer profile image

      molometer 5 years ago

      If you change the name to Michael.

      You just wrote my experience of catholic school.

      And here's the cracker.

      Many years later I too ended up teaching in my old school. How bizarre.

      I did not whack the kids though.

      I found it very odd.

      It was my first teaching post out of college.

      I taught 'wait for it'... Religious studies! lol to the lower school, and Sociology to the Upper school (college age)

      So half of my day was spent talking about God, and the rest of the day explaining why he didn't exist.

      Pretty freaky. But I had a great laugh and expunged my demons then and there.

      What a joke! All those canings for what?

      I for one am glad they got rid of corporal punishment!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Oh my goodness yes! I could no sooner do to someone else what was done to me...I, too, taught religion, to middle schoolers...do you think there is any chance they cared? I know I didn't when I was that age. But it gave me a fun outlet to speak about life in general and morality in particular so I didn't mind at all. Great comments sir! I appreciate you dropping by.

    • TToombs08 profile image

      Terrye Toombs 5 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      I just had flashbacks to my wonderful experiences in Catholic School (one of which my father attended and had a 'reputation' at - a fact that the principal shared with me when I was called in to meet her - she was the principal when my dad went to school there, too). LOL!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      TT, I go into involuntary shudders when I think of my days in Catholic school, especially elementary....not sure how I came out sane. :) Maybe I didn't and that explains it all.

    • TToombs08 profile image

      Terrye Toombs 5 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      I look at it a lot like post tramadic stress disorder. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      TT...LOL

    • profile image

      JeannieGuzman 5 years ago

      Coicidentally, I just finished a blog, which related to much of my Catholic School experience in the mid-fifties and sixties. (The 1950s not 1850s!) It is called, "St. Izzie of Seville, the Patron Saint of the Internet." Rather than repeat it here, it can be found at: http://jeannieguzman1.wordpress.com/2012/05/22/st-...

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Jeannie; I will give it a read shortly. I appreciate you stopping by and sharing.

    • CyberShelley profile image

      Shelley Watson 4 years ago

      Hello billybuc,

      I am the product of a Catholic School education, sent my son to a Catholic School, and I still work at one - I am not a Catholic!

      Enjoyed the story, and like your style. Voted up and Shared

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Cyber! It may be hard to tell but I really did appreciate my education, and I loved teaching in Catholic schools. :)

    • Daughter Of Maat profile image

      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      I survived Catholic School as well. Ironically, I ended up becoming a hippy, the complete opposite of the perfect catholic! lol I bet those nuns are rolling in their graves.

      Great hub as always William... I mean Bill lol that was too funny.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Daughter....no wonder I like you so much....another survivor plus a hippy! Glad you enjoyed it; I have a hub coming out next week which you'll want to read....you'll know it when you see the title. :)

    • madmachio profile image

      Nathan K 4 years ago from Kansas

      Good laugh here. Funny hub

    • profile image

      lovedoctor926 4 years ago

      I survived Catholic school as well. I enjoyed this one very much. voted up funny!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Glad you enjoyed it Madmachio; thanks for stopping by.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Love, do we ever shake off the effects of Catholic school?

      Thank you!

    • profile image

      lovedoctor926 4 years ago

      That's a good question billybuc. Thank you for stopping by. I appreciate it.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      My pleasure Love! I like your new profile picture!

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      lovedoctor926 4 years ago

      Thanks billybuc. I was in NY on vacation

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      Well, it seems our friend Paula, you and I have yet another shared memory...Catholic School; St. Pancras (elementary school), Mater Christi (high school) and Grace Institute (business school). I then went on to work at St. Vincent's Hospital in NYC! My four children attended Catholic School as well.

      Memories for me run a close parallel to yours. I had my hair and ears pulled and spent a lot of time behind the door in the corner. Lots of stories, maybe someday I'll tell them too(though I did write a hub about surviving Catholic School).

      Voted this a grand slam! Oh, and yes, I did smile when you let us know that Divine Justice had put you back in Catholic School as a teacher ;) (and I'm sure the kids were lucky to have you)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, it should come as no surprise that I was somewhat of a rebel as a Catholic school teacher. LOL....tried not to corrupt my students too much.

      Thank you my friend!

    • Gulf Coast Sun profile image

      Gulf Coast Sun 4 years ago from Gulf of Mexico

      Thank you for the walk down memory lane. Being a catholic school student in the 50's and coming from a large Italian family in NYC my parents thought that their only daughter should get a good education. We had 60 kids in each class and was seated according to our last names. Mine started with the letter "S" giving me the opportunity to always sit in the back of the class. Thank goodness. I'm grateful for the education but disliked the nun's abusive treatments, which never sat well with me. Due to my outgoing personality and strong convictions, I never felt afraid or intimidated by anyone when I felt injustices being done to myself or anyone else in the class. Needless-to-say I was expelled during the sixth grade as being incorrigible. I did not put my kids in catholic school for fear of ending up in jail. They have no idea how tough school was back then and when I gave them snippets of it, they found it hard to believe. Even the teachers who taught them catechism were hard on the kids but I never interfered knowing that it was what they needed to build strong character as well as excellent study skills. And it paid off tremendously. Thank you for a good laugh.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Gulf Coast Sun...there are many good things about Catholic schools...heck, I taught in them for fifteen years so I must believe that...but...it was brutal during the 50's and 60's. You have my respect for being expelled! LOL I should have been but I was too damn sneaky to get caught.

    • Gulf Coast Sun profile image

      Gulf Coast Sun 4 years ago from Gulf of Mexico

      LOL - I always wore my feelings-on-my-sleeve. My sister-in-law has been teaching in the NY Catholic Schools since college, as did her mother. My nieces all went to Catholic School and yet all our kids, from my four brothers, all finished college and went on to good jobs. So it's our natural make-up, our perspective in life, how we're brought up, yadda, yadda, yadda that makes us what we are today. And if I had to do it over again, I would be back in St. Kevins giving the nuns a hard time. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Gulf, those were good days for sure (despite the pain)...it was a war of skill and nerves and we won as often as we lost. Thanks for stopping by again.

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image

      Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

      I loved your stories of Catholic school, especially the part where your dad straightened out the nuns for trying to change your name and your left handedness! I dislike the thought of the kind of corporeal punishment that was meted out in Catholic and public schools back then, but you seem to have survived with flying colors, and kept your sense of humor, too!

      I was brought up a Catholic and, though I escaped Catholic school, I was subjected to years of weekly catechism classes. Oh, yes, it built character! But for years I was afraid to get out of bed in a dark room because of stories one imaginative young nun told her 8 year old charges of the devil lurking under the bed waiting to steal our souls if we were bad.

      Thanks for your well-told, funny and entertaining stories! Voted up!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Stephanie, thank you! I think I would have had nightmares if a nun told me that story...sheez, no rest for the wicked! LOL But we all survived so how bad could it have been?

    • profile image

      Nate 4 years ago

      Oddly enough my Father went to that high school, once he jouned the Navy he met my mother and soon moved to Maine. Then I was sent to Catholic School. (Im 17 so this will sound like a ratity in today's world) I had Catholic Nuns that still wore a habit from the viels down to the robe, I can still remember Sister Kay Kay and Sister Angela and the other religious we had like Fr. Paul amd Fr.Phil and Deacon Dean-taught religion, Pastor, and Math. I do miss them, I learned a lot from all of them.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Nate, I learned a ton in Catholic school; the education I received there was first rate! Thank you for the visit!

    • Greg Horlacher profile image

      Greg Horlacher 4 years ago from Grand Prairie, TX

      This is going to sound corny, but I became so invested in this story that I forgot I was on Hubpages. I really thought I was deep into a good book, and I was a bit shocked at reaching the end. It's a lame and corny compliment, but that's really how I felt!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well Greg, I think that's a great compliment. I'll take that one any old day. Thank you my friend!

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

      I was raised Catholic, I'm not no more. I'm thrilled my parents never insisted on me going to Catholic school, I might have got into more trouble! Ha! Awesome hub Bill.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Linda, you didn't miss a thing! :) Thank you my friend; I realized when I posted this on Facebook this morning that it is in need of a major overhaul. Another thing for my to do list. :)

    • josh3418 profile image

      Joshua Zerbini 4 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Bill,

      Awesome hub Bill, thanks for sharing it or I many never have come across it! I was laughing the whole way through! LOL

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 4 years ago from New York, New York

      I too survived Catholic School, but loved your article and reasoning on why you actually survived. I went though when it was a time of lay teachers and only our principal was a nun, but my parents both went during the late 50s and early 60s and many of your stories here could have been written by them. Thank you yet again for your humor that you infused on this one, especially the punchline of becoming a Catholic School teacher, priceless!! Voted and shared too!!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Josh, it didn't seem so funny when I was living it but it is now. LOL Thanks buddy!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Janine, how ironic, huh? Who would have guessed that little Billy Holland would choose to become that which he hated? LOL Life is too funny sometimes!

      Thank you my dear; you are greatly appreciated!

    • Jenn-Anne profile image

      Jenn-Anne 4 years ago

      I lucked out in that my father didn't convert to Catholicism until after I left HS. Had it been earlier then I suspect he would have tried to send me to Catholic school (assuming my Protestant mother would have allowed it). Now I like to tease my dad by telling him that everything I needed to know about Catholicism I learned from watching "Angels and Demons." LOL! Fun hub! Voted up!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jenn, that's a great line. LOL....I have the feeling you have a wicked sense of humor; you have that twinkle in your eye on your profile picture. No wonder I like you!

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      ignugent17 4 years ago

      This is a funny hub and yet true. I studied in a public school but I got a lot of friends who studied in Catholic Schools and how they describe the nuns and most especially the mother superior. Yet many parents want their kids to study in the Catholic Schools because they know the quality of education they get. Thanks for sharing billybuc. Voted up.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      ignugent, it is true, the quality of education is excellent in most Catholic schools...or at least it once was. I survived and that's all that matters. :) Thank you!

    • Jenn-Anne profile image

      Jenn-Anne 4 years ago

      Awww, shucks! Yes, I do have a rather wicked sense of humor. All the more reason why I'm glad I didn't go to Catholic school as I doubt the nuns would have appreciated it! ;o)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jenn, I don't have a clue how I made it! I was suspended once but should have been many times. :)

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 4 years ago from New York, New York

      It is ironic to say the least, but a good ironic considering what a wonderful teacher I do believe you were. Happy to be here by the way and very much appreciate you too!!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks once again Janine! My thank you for you is coming soon, for all to see! :)

    • Nick Hanlon profile image

      Nick Hanlon 4 years ago from Chiang Mai

      Billybuc .I went to a Catholic school in Australia and as you alluded to it was like doing Parris Island,but for 7 years.Long hours,physically demanding,little regard for the individual.The church and the school was everything,we we're nothing.I'm a teacher now!One who doesn't scream,abuse or do collective punishment.Or get off on being an "authority" figure.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Nick, I turned out the same way....the opposite of what I saw modeled in school. Hooray for both of us!

    • dianetrotter profile image

      G. Diane Nelson Trotter 4 years ago from Fontana

      FUNNNNEEEE! I attended Catholic elementary school. Then I went to public junior high. That was scaaarrry.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Diane, I have often thought of how scary that would be, to go from Catholic to public....I decided I was pretty fortunate. LOL Thank you!

    • dianetrotter profile image

      G. Diane Nelson Trotter 4 years ago from Fontana

      When you talked about them whacking your hands, I said, "Hmmmm! He must have gone to Catholic school around the time I did." There was a nun that made the "bad" kid sit in a large trash can wearing a dunce hat.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Diane, I think that was me! LOL Thank you again!

    • dianetrotter profile image

      G. Diane Nelson Trotter 4 years ago from Fontana

      Nah! There were no white kids at my school. However, one day the Little Rock 9 were chased by an angry white mob to our campus. We had a lot of white kids on campus then. The nuns had us on the floor saying the rosary. We both made it through Catholic school!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Diane, oh my! I would have said the rosary too! :)

    • dianetrotter profile image

      G. Diane Nelson Trotter 4 years ago from Fontana

      Well we were reeeeallly saying it! You are funny!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Diane....LOL

    • Alecia Murphy profile image

      Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      I never went to Catholic school or really heard anyone's experience. But I wondered if it was like people described it to be- I think this hub pretty much let me know that it is-strict, rules-based, and authoritarian. But that's hilarious that you actually became a Catholic schoolteacher. Great hub!

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      Cynthia B Turner 4 years ago from Georgia

      Hi Billy, This was so well written and thoroughly enjoyable. (Sorry it's at the expense of your past unpleasant experiences.) It appears the nuns and Jesuits took "spare the rod and spoil the child" to the extreme. One of my good friends went to Catholic school and has similar stories to tell, although she very rarely talks about it. Thank you for the entertainment. Voted funny.

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      Rfordin 4 years ago from Florida

      Hey Billy,

      My friends went through private Catholic school. I however went through the public school system. The era's are different so we were't as "punished" we were able to be unruly (for lack of discipline....another hub). Always a pleasure!

      ~Becky

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Alecia, that is irony at its best, that I became a Catholic school teacher. I still laugh thinking about it. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Cyndi, for some it was actually traumatic.....then there were those of us who felt it was a challenge. :) Thank you...bottom line is that I survived.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Hey Becky...and it is always a pleasure having you stop by. Thank you!

    • ThoughtSandwiches profile image

      ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada

      William...uh...Bill...

      lol..."My reputation had nowhere to go but up." This was painfully funny! My sisters went through the battle of Catholic School but (fortunately) my parents divorced...my Mom was excommunicated and I got to go to public school!

      Will be voting upward and all the niceties through my still bubbling giggles!

      Thomas

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thomas, consider yourself a lucky man! LOL Seriously, I got a great education, but man oh man, did I ever pay for it.

      Thank you!

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      KDuBarry03 4 years ago

      -Applauds- I tweeted this at #Survival for good reasons, LOL. Happy you made it out of the Marine Corps (ahem...Jesuits). I've always wondered what the Jesuits were and now I know. Not gonna lie, this sounded kinda scary with 15 year old yelps + enjoyment...So happy the times have changed!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Keith, those bad boys could swing a mean paddle. I limped home several times after raising their anger. LOL...made me stronger I guess, but I think I still harbor some resentment.

      Thanks buddy!

    • A K Turner profile image

      Joseph A K Turner 4 years ago from West Yorkshire

      loved this article, very funny billy! I hope you were a bit kinder as a catholic school teacher than your teachers were to you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      A K , there are quite a few of us who went on to teach in Catholic schools, and every one of us was considerably kinder. :) Thank you!

    • dianetrotter profile image

      G. Diane Nelson Trotter 4 years ago from Fontana

      My Catholic school had the worse food ever. Have you tried grilled cheese with jelly?

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Diane, I gotta tell ya, I have never even heard of that. We did have mac & cheese that took a sledgehammer to break apart. LOL Thanks for the laugh!

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Bill, this corporal punishment was in place in public schools too in my country at the time. I had a taste of it both in a catholic school as well as in a public school.

      Your hub brought back a lot of school memories.

      Voted up and interesting

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rajan, still to this day I'm not sure what I feel about the corporal punishment that we endured.....it didn't seem that horrible growing up....it was just the way it was. Now can you imagine it happening? Jail time for sure!

      Thank you Sir and enjoy your weekend!

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Absolutely agree, Bill. The children of today have not the slightest inkling of how it was like back then. How times have changed! However, instilling discipline (fear?) was the way back then and I'm better off for it, I believe.

      Have a good weekend my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Rajan! The same to you!

    • dianetrotter profile image

      G. Diane Nelson Trotter 4 years ago from Fontana

      Billybuc, I made sure I wore dresses with pockets. They would make us eat all of our food because the starving pagans wished they had it. I would put the spinach in my pocket and throw it away when I got home.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Diane, LOL That's great! I never thought of that!

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      Jennifer 4 years ago

      So...do you go by Bill or Williams now? ;)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jennifer, it's been Bill since my dad had a chat with the nun. :) Thanks for the visit.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 23 months ago from United Kingdom

      I too am a survivor. We had Dominican nuns with the odd one or two lay teachers in primary school. The high school I went too had always been segregated. On one of the campus were the boys, taught by the Marist Brother. The brothers seemed like a pretty laid back sort. On the other side of the campus were the girls taught by the Dominican nuns. By my sophomore year the school was integrated and the brothers reassigned. Now if you want pure hilarity, you should have seen the nuns trying to instil discipline into teen-age boys who had never even worn a uniform (!!!) much less bowed down to tyranny. It was a sight to behold. (:D lmao)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 23 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Zulma, now I'm nervous about my early stuff. I didn't think anyone would go back and read it. LOL

      Thanks for sharing your experience with Catholic schools. Despite the drawbacks, I think it was the best thing that could have happened to me.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 23 months ago from United Kingdom

      Nervous? Why? This early stuff helped you become the writer your are. Just as your current writing will help you become the writer you have yet to be.

      I know what you mean, though. Still it's nice hearing about your past experiences. It's a good way to remind us that people are more alike than they are different. I mean, who would believe that a country boy from Washington could have so much in common with a city girl from the South Bronx. Priceless.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 23 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Zulma, either I didn't know that, about the South Bronx, or I'd forgotten it. My goodness gracious, you certainly moved far from the old neighborhood, didn't you? I'm sure there is a great story there waiting to be told. Share with me some day, okay? The South Bronx to the UK.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 23 months ago from United Kingdom

      Hmmm...great story? Maybe you got something there.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 23 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Zulma, I've always got something there. Whether it's worth the time is always the question. :) I think it is in this case.

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