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Catholic School Girl: Kindergarten and Prep

I started schooling very early on. I was barely 2 when I had my backpack and lunch box. I enjoyed school very much. But when I was 5, my parents decided to move me to a Catholic school run by nuns. They wanted me to grow up having the traditional Catholic background. I was ok with it. I liked praying to angels and Mary and Jesus and God. For a time, I also wanted to be a nun and even told my parents about it. Mom just laughed. She said it was not my type to become one. How did she know, I was just 5 then? I thought, mom was mistaken. Everytime I'd face the mirror, I'd put a towel on my head and pretend that it was a veil. I liked it a lot how the towel accented my face.

What turned me off in school though was when my religion teacher, a nun of course, showed us the picture of God. It was the painting of Michelangelo, "The Creation of Adam" on the ceiling of Sistine Chapel. Adam wasn't shown to us obviously cos he wasn't wearing anything. Our teacher said, "this is God the Father." She began telling us about the nurturing God, the one who created everything, the one who is so loving, the one who gave birth to the world, the Spirit, the omnipresent and so on. I asked her why he looked like an old guy and if he gave birth to the world, wouldn't it be nicer if he was a woman? She was a bit offended or taken aback. I could only remember the expression on her face, how her eyes narrowed and the creases on her forehead deepened. But then she decided to completely ignore me. She didn't even tell us that it was Michelangelo's idea, that art was a medium of expression, and it was his own experience of God. She probably thought that since I was just 5, I wouldn't be able to understand. I would had she tried. Maybe, she was thinking if she answered one question, more questions would surely follow and the lesson for that day would be completely out of the picture. The next day I entered the class, she had me seated at the back. I was always on the front row since I was the 3rd shortest. However, it didn't stop me from asking more questions. After all, I was trained to speak my mind at home, to ask questions, and to learn how to listen when people are talking. So after my religion teacher was done with her "lecture" on doing good things for God, I asked her, "if I do a bad thing today, would it erase the good things I did yesterday?" Adamantly, she said, "of course!" then she drew a weighing scale on the board explaining that it was how God judged us. Left scale for the wrong deeds and right scale for the good deeds. Again, I raised my hand and ask her a question, "if God is so good, why would he even look at the bad things I did?" She said, "He doesn't but Satan does and he likes it a lot when you're a bad girl." I asked her again, "but who created Satan?" A classmate of mine answered, "he was a fallen angel." I asked him, "why did he fall?" Our teacher quipped, "He rebelled against God." I asked again, "why did he do that? He is not happy with God?" The school bell answered loud and long. I was waiting for our teacher to give me stars since I recited in class but I didn't get any for that day. After the 2nd quarter had ended, my grade in religion was NI (needs improvement) when almost all my grades were O (outstanding) and VS (very satisfactory). There was a note (comment box) on my report card. It was written in English, it said there, "questioning authority". Satan must have liked me for I was very very bad.

Comments

jadefrank's picture

Questioning Authority!

Katea,

I enjoyed reading your story and imaging you as a five year-old with such a curious mind. As a young child, wide-eyed to the world, it is difficult to understand some traditions, especially those that evoke so many questions. Like religion, or a male-dominated society. Your teacher viewed "questioning authority" as a bad thing. I say - You Go Girl!

I look forward to hearing more from you here on PulseWire!

Warm regards,
Jade

Lisa's picture

"Bad kids" with Good Ideas

Your story is a beautiful window into learning about the world. It's frustrating that questioning ideas and practices can be so threatening to those with power, in this case grown-ups and teachers, that they react by disciplining and punishing. It would be a different world if those with power viewed that exchange as a moment with the potential for transformation and growth for all parties involved.

Warmly,

Lisa

Maria de Chirikof's picture

Keep it up!

My daughters really enjoyed reading your post and told me to tell you to keep it up! They love that you asked questions and say to never stop.

Maria

katea's picture

Thank you

Thank you all for the encouragement to write my thoughts.

love,
katea

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