The Catholic school I attended as a child looms large in my past.
In the 1960s, St Joe’s was run by the nearby convent of nuns – a group of strict and humourless disciplinarians. There were two Sisters in particular who earned a permanent place in my memory for the deep-rooted fear they inspired – Sister Lucie, my piano teacher, and Sister Bernadette, the Principal of St. Joe’s.
Sister Bernadette was a tiny mite of a woman – even by a child’s standards – but she was no less formidable for her diminative size. She was legendary for her prolific use of the leather strap for offences both real and implied. It was my goal to ensure Sister Bernadette never knew of my existence.
On the other hand, Sister Lucie knew me very well and I was convinced she had a particular dislike for me. It might have just been a product of my overactive imagination or – on the other hand – quite real, maybe due to my complete lack of any musical ability.
In addition to a Saturday morning lesson, practices after school at the convent were mandatory. More than a few times I was on the receiving end of a tongue lashing from the angry Sister or the sharp edge of a ruler rapped across my knuckles when I made mistakes. Did I mention my complete lack of musical ability?
On one occasion I actually wet my pants rather than ask for permission to use the washroom. That managed to endear me even more to my stern piano teacher.
Is it any wonder I’ve carried around a never-ending need for approval?
Thank you for visiting today. Please have some Jelly Roll before you go.