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Inspired_2write's avatar

When I was a kid we didn't need armed guards or cops in school. We had Nuns! What is your experience with Nuns ?

Asked by Inspired_2write (8332points) February 11th, 2019

For this past week I have been privileged to share my childhood experiences with others who had difficult times involving nuns in a teaching role and today this has grown to 300 posts so far and still growing. Some are funny others sad, but all have now found a sounding board to air these . I am humbled that others wish to share and comfort each other and at least to have someone else who understands what most had gone through. Have any of you had experiences to share to get it off your chest?
( I was in an orphanage for 5 months at age 9 yrs old as my parents had a tough time finding work and mother was in the hospital…but after that my late father picked us up and our life with them resumed.)

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23 Answers

kritiper's avatar

I got an F in reading in the third term, second grade and the bitch held me back for another year! (I didn’t go to school there the following year so, nah nah na-nah-nah, Sister!)

Inspired_2write's avatar

Did you do better at the new school, and did it have nuns or not?

ragingloli's avatar

I have never seen one in person.

Inspired_2write's avatar

@ragingloli Lucky you. But if you come close to them keep away from that yardstick! There favorite weapon.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I never went to a private school, so I never had a nun for a teacher. But we didn’t have armed guards or cops in the public schools, either in those days. They weren’t needed.

stanleybmanly's avatar

I had the phenomenal good fortune to intersect with 2 extraordinary nuns in my grade school years. My first grade teacher was obsesed with music, and she had an infectious enthusiam for classical music so powerful that I swear all of us got the bug. The Bach piano works in particular would have an effect on her that was damned near mystical, and her rapture was magical to the bunch of us. “just listen to it kiddies— clockwork! Heavenly clockwork!” The woman may have been married to Jesus, but her affair with Mr. Bach was absolutely scandalous. I’m pretty sure it got her in trouble, because she was nowhere to be found the following September. A couple of Christmases later my dad and I were in a department store admiring the electric train exhibit, when on the other side of the layout I spotted a classmate of mine, Jessica with her mom looking at some silly dolls. She noticed me, we grinned and waved. Suddenly, someone turned the volume up in the record department next door. It was a movement from the Italian suite. Jessie’s eyes expanded to saucers as she visibly inhaled and then exploded with “Mommy it’s Mr. Bach!” and we screamed at each other (almost in unison) “clockwork kiddies clockwork”

KNOWITALL's avatar

I have known several, and they were wonderful humans.

Kropotkin's avatar

I had one at school. She was appallingly incompetent, obnoxiously authoritarian, and horrendously irrational.

The thing that I remember most is that she’d spend half the lesson telling someone to stop picking their nose, solely on the basis of one’s hand being remotely near one’s face.

The first time she scolded me for “picking my nose”, I turned to my colleague next to me with a look of incredulity, and then looked back at her as if she were insane, and tried to appeal to her that I was not, in fact, picking my nose. She wasn’t having any of that.

Another time she was leading an arts and crafts class, and my incompleted work from a previous day had disappeared (not my fault, since it was all placed together in a container and kept in the room.)

When I went to explain to her that my work had gone missing, she literally just smiled and nodded vacantly, and said nothing and did nothing. After trying to explain more than once, she kept up this weird behaviour of just smiling and nodding.

Exasperated, I returned to my seat and did nothing, as I had nothing to do or work on—until another person in the class then told her that I wasn’t doing any work (the fucking do-gooding grass).

Suddenly she came alive and reacted, and told me that I had to go to another particular teacher in another class (a notorious bully with a penchant for young school girls and overall shit human) that I was sitting in her class doing nothing. So I did, and he kindly made me a dunce cap to wear back in her class.

Demosthenes's avatar

I went to Sunday School from 1st grade to 8th. Most of the classes were taught by parents in the parish, but the nuns were there sometimes. They were always quite old and very nice. Never experienced the stereotypical mean nun hitting you with a ruler, but I was only there once a week. I didn’t actually attend a Catholic school with nuns as teachers.

ragingloli's avatar

Have you ever responded to her with a “Hail Satan”?

Dutchess_III's avatar

Cheese and rice @Kropotkin. I am SORRY! How horrible. How old were you?

Kropotkin's avatar

@Dutchess_III I’d have been around 12. It was a really really bad school.

Kropotkin's avatar

@ragingloli If only I had my older self to consult.

Inspired_2write's avatar

By the way my experience was at 9 years of age, in an Orphanage consisting of 400 girls ,and numerous Nuns supervising our every move at all times.
This was in the 1950’s.
We were regimented into a daily routine of getting up at 6 AM, only washing our faces and arms,( no baths or showers all the time I was there as water costs were too high, thus the rationing),then forming two single lines in formation to the main floor to read our Catechism question of the day.

Being questioned on the answer and if wrong , then back to the end of that long line to do it until it was quoted correctly.

If you were correct then you can leave the group to get ready for breakfast,downstairs in there large hall for meals, which was sparsely furnished.
( something like monks had in the 12th century.

( breakfast was at 8 this went on for two hours).

Then allowed to go outside to play with nothing ( nothing available) .

Sent out to a asphalt paved area, where most of us just talked to each other and waited for lunchtime.

Bedtime again in single file and monitored by a nun in the lead, go upstairs ( attic type area) where it one area it looked like a dormitory with cots set up for the older girls in rows and I and my sister and two others were singled out to sleep in a very small four cot area with a tiny window and a Nun’s luxurious bedroom off to the back watching until we were asleep.

She then closed her door and slept in a luxurious bed until morning and the routine starts again.
Thinking on this now it is comparable to an army boot camp.

ragingloli's avatar

I would rather go to on a no-return trip to Mars, than to subject myself to that.

Inspired_2write's avatar

@ragingloli We had no choice in the matter.
But as an added note..eventually we found a way to retaliate.
All 400 of us refused to eat ( it was raw eggs on a bed of mashed potatoes, that’s why).
We all stood firm and the Nuns caved and had the food returned to the kitchen until it was properly cooked…a victory for us at that time! But it took awhile like about half an hour to not bend to their threats etc..For once we all felt united .I have never forgot that feeling.We were brave to “buck” a cruel system.

ucme's avatar

I have never come across a nun…ooh, more tea vicar!!

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Inspired_2write what about the older girls who started menstruating? Were they not allowed to wash, either? Not a single bath in 5 months? I can not imagine an any more unhygienic environment than what you describe. I’m honestly surprised girls weren’t crawling with maggots.

kritiper's avatar

Never went to a Catholic school again. Besides, going to mass once a week is enough. (At the Catholic school, you were supposed to attend mass every morning!! GAH!!) I didn’t do any better but I was never held back again.

Inspired_2write's avatar

@Dutchess_III Only the older girls in the dormitory were allowed once a week baths, a luxury as we couldn’t.
My 13 yes old sister was there as well but she and older girls were treated much better and had privileges that we never had, shortly like after the first month she was segregated away from my sister and I . ( I think that it was a choice that she made to abandon all ties to me and my sister..later in life when back home she continued on that same way..but this time she ignored the rest of the family as she still does as a adult).

Aster's avatar

I am only acquainted with one nun and she is a fabulous human being!

Dutchess_III's avatar

Jesus. I can’t imagine being on your period and only being able to shower one time in 7 days. God, the abuses we allowed to happen to the children then.

kritiper's avatar

The nuns at our school were the very worst of all; Sisters of the Sacred Heart. My mom had them for 12 whole years, poor soul…

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