Oregon Trail and oh-so-friendly nuns...my life as a Catholic school student

Oh, the joys of Catholic grade school....anyone who has attended one has many memories. I surely do. They are some of the best memories that I have, even though some might not be exactly positive (see below).

I attended Our Lady of Ransom in Niles, IL. Yes, RANSOM. I always enjoyed getting the question of "WHAT is your school called? Ransom? Like kidnappers?" Yes, I am sure that was the motivation behind naming the school, after criminals. Catholics loved the Blessed Mother who supported kidnappers.

Our school was "special". I'd like to highlight some of these special moments that still resonate with me today. And, I am sure with many of you, who've had similar experiences.

Nuns: Enough said: One would think that one who devoted their life to the following of Jesus and his teachings would be a compassionate, kind-hearted individual, correct? Well, if this is your idea of kind and compassionate, it would be true:

Sister Anisia: Amy, you cannot sit in the front or middle rows of the classrooom. You're too tall. You're too big. You block people's views. To the back.

Me: I'm.....sorry?

That's not enough to give a 5th grader any sort of complex or anything. How kind-hearted of her to remind me that I already feel awkward being 5'6" at 10 years old. I loved towering over the boys. Delightful.

"Everyone doesn't hold gym class in the basement? Weird!" I remember uttering this exact sentence to my new friend when I arrived at public high school. What was this large building where athletic events are held? Oh, that's right, a GYM! We were not lucky enough to have said "gym" at OLR; instead, we were told that the school basement was "even better, because it was bigger than a gym". That's the biggest line of crap I've ever heard. Oh yeah, let's play basketball with 7-foot high ceilings! Perfect! Don't mind that large pile of altar supplies that are stored in the corner, just use them as hurdles for track practice.

Better yet was our outside athletic "area". Our "track" consisted of the circular driveway that entered into the school and church parking lot. I was a member of the track team (I figured I might as well use that amazonian freak height for something) and we used to have practices outside. I got great practice running quickly to outrun the cars that I had to dodge that were simultaneously on the "track" during practice.

Computer Day: So technologically advanced: While our lovely public school friends had computers in their classrooms, we were oh so lucky to have a computer "lab" that we got to attend once a week. Computer class was such a treat; it was so educational. Our advanced computers consisted of Apple IIe's with a 2 color screen- neon green and dark green. Easy on the eyes.

Since we were lucky to have about 15 computers, we'd have to work in teams. Sometimes, the really lucky person who DASHED into class would get to work on the (gasp) FULL COLOR SCREEN IBM!!! This person was then ostracized the rest of the class. They were DEFINITELY not part of my Oregon Trail entourage. On that note, the Oregon Trail entourage you created was soooooo very important.  Whoever was not a banker from Boston was an asshole. More money, dumbasses. Did you really think being that farmer from podunk was going to get you further? No, just less money to buy bullets to shoot food! Also, choosing your team carefully reflected who you found cool that day (i.e. "I'm mad at her, so she's SO not on my wagon.") It was almost preferable to die before reaching that Holy Grail of Oregon just so you could write something so clever like "Penis muncher" on the tombstone they gave you to commemorate your death. I still hold resentment toward all of the precious meat that was wasted that I could not carry back to the wagon, seeing that I would shoot 43,243 pounds of bison but was only able to take back 2 squirrels to feed my family. Bitches.

Ah yes, computer day. Good times.

Market Day: Forced labor! Oh, Market Day. Actually kind of a great concept, sort of the early form of "Costco" like buying. Parents and parishoners could order food in bulk amounts and get them for decent prices. Too bad that mandatory sign up sheet got passed around once we were in 6th grade to "work" Market Day, meaning "Carry large baskets of food that may or may not give your back a slipped disk to people's cars." Great, I cannot wait to drag two baskets of 18 pound turkeys down the hall for the parish's geriatric population.

(Sidenote: This is stolen from my original blog, which is making me feel old since it was written FOUR years ago, a nice little blog that only my lovely close friends and my mom followed. It was called, shockingly, Scribbling of Thoughts. However, I thought it would be fun to share some old writing and the topic of Catholic school seems to always hit home with fellow students. Now go say a rosary.)

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