2nd Grade & Why I’m Not Catholic

Today’s writing prompt at The Daily Post is the word, sacred.

The piece below recounts the actual events of a day at St. James Elementary School in Arlington Heights, IL.  1966, or so.

I flunked a phonics test and

Sister Eleanor is scowling like Satan:

goose-stepping back and forth, spitting

“God Hates You Brats.” She doesn’t know that God

likes kids, even brats and kids who flunk

phonics tests. The big kids call her a Nazi;

another word for booger–like snot–and the

funniest word in the world.

Booger Eleanor! I giggle and

she lurches at me like a rabid penguin. Now,

I’m laughing so hard I can’t breathe and her claws

snarl the back of my neck while my lunch

hot-scratches my throat. Someone drops

a pencil and my face jack-hammers the desk where

my dog’s initials are because I love her and

long division is hard. Red plops from my

nose and the lisping boy with lazy-eye starts

crying because his last trip to the drinking fountain

is tinkling from his chair and onto his shoe.

Booger Eleanor is howling

and her face is sweat-gray. The lisping boy’s

belt is in her hand now, but Booger Nazi doesn’t get

to kill him because our normal teacher from

last year who isn’t a nun and doesn’t hate us,

or God,

strolls in with the Principal.


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