Sunday, March 29, 2015

I remember when Sister....................

If you attended a Catholic Grade School or High School you probably have memories and stories to tell about the Sisters you had. I know I do. Well, now that I am a Sister, I know that I have created many stories at each place I have been and that the students are really telling the stories to others like - I had a Sister named Sister Carol and  ......................

Well, here at All Saints Catholic School in Sierra Vista, I know that this last week I created more memories for my students to go home and tell that day and in later years. Thursday, March 26th is a day I won't forget for a long time. It began very early. It was 7:45am and I had opened the gate to school to allow the students in. I was standing on the sidewalk greeting the parents and students as they arrived. Then some 7th and 8th grade girls came running from inside the school to tell me this, "Sister!!! There is a decapitated rat outside the library!!"  "Oh NO!" I exclaimed. I can deal with tarantulas, snakes, scorpions but not a mouse or a rat - ever since I was a little girl. I knew the janitor was gone on a week's vacation so I knew I had to get into action quickly and get rid of the decapitated rat, (only consolation-it was dead).

 I got a garbage can with a lid, the longest handle on a dust pan and a sturdy broom. I approached the library where a crowd of kids was quickly gathering as word spread fast-"There is a DECAPITATED RAT by the library!"  I saw it from a distance and looked at it from different angles but I just couldn't look at it dead on. As I got closer I saw it was a big one about 10"long and very fat. Then a young boy yells out - "You can see the chord-the spinal chord!" That would be right since there was no head. I presumed some large bird, picked it up and bit off the head and then dropped it-on my sidewalk.

At last, the computer teacher heard the commotion and came out to take the broom and dust pan from me. Thank you, Jesus-there is a Good Samaritan left in this world. I had two students carry the covered garbage can to the church side and  locked the gate and came safely back to school. The janitor can get rid of it when he returns from vacation.

Now they say, bad things come in 3's, here is #2 for the same day.
I was selling ice cream at recess on the playground like I do every week to raise money. While I was doing this on Thursday, a "dust devil" or for you not in AZ a mini-cylcone dust storm brewed up. And spun on me. I quickly closed my eyes. When it left the kids shouted, "Sister, you are all covered in dirt." They quickly  brushed the dirt off of me and I spit the dirt out of my mouth. I was just plain itchy, as sand and whatever else went done my neck.

The 3rd bad thing for this Thursday....................

In the afternoon, I took my 4th grade religion class to the school kitchen to make Easter cookies using the Bible. I turned the oven on and the kids realized the oven door doesn't shut tightly so they dutifully without my asking took turns holding the door shut tight. As the students took turns beating the egg whites one of the boys yells out, "Sister! there is a spider on your veil!" I bowed my head and said, " Take it off." "It is crawling towards your hair!" "Take it off!!Just take it off!" I exclaimed. "It's a Daddy Long Legs!"  "Take it off!"  "It is still moving!!" At that point, I knew the kids weren't going to touch it, no mirror in sight and they were wound up so I couldn't leave them unsupervised. I quickly whipped off my veil, took the wooden spoon we used to smash the pecans and hit my veil several times where the spider was and then quickly plopped it back on my head. The students' response with big eyes of awe - "WOW SISTER!! We never saw you take off your veil before." Then a student yells, "There is still a spider leg on your veil." One more time I said, "Please take it off ! " and they did. I believe the spider came from the dust devil storm.

By this time, the cookies were done and we went to put them into the oven only to find a cold oven after the students held it tightly shut for about 45 minutes. So I quickly picked up the pan of cookies and got in my car and drove to the convent to put them in the oven there. BUT the industrial size cookie sheet was too big for my oven so I had to find two more pans to move the cookies too!!  What a Thursday - from a rat to a spider!

Another more calm memory my students might tell in years to come is how Sr. Carol taught them how to prepare the palms for Palm Sunday.

Friday night, Sr. Joellen and I drove an hour east to the city of Douglas where we met with the Sisters who serve in Cochsie County. Here is a picture of the variety of  Sisters in our county. I know we all have created memories for students.

We ended the week with a beautiful AZ sunset-there is peacefulness here!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Turn God Around So I Can Talk To Him, Please!

Children will lead us to God and remind us He is always there for us.

As Principal of a PreSchool-8th grade school, I deal with a wide variety of ages. I get to know them well by teaching Physical Education to them on Tuesdays-4 year olds through 8th grade, taking recess duty and interacting with the ones who get sent to me for behavior problems.

We have one very active four year old who has tons of energy and loves to talk. He comes to see me at least once a week for a time out. The first time he came, I sat him in a chair in the outer office and turned the chair toward the statue of Jesus with children and turned the statue so Jesus was looking right at him.  I told him, "I will set the timer for 5 minutes and during that time I want you to look at Jesus and ask Him to help you to be a better boy." I set the timer  next to Jesus and went to my office where I can see the little guy. He was looking hard at Jesus and I could hear him talking to Jesus. Timer went off and back to class he went.

He came to see me the next week and I said, "Ok, I am setting the timer. You have to be quiet in here till the timer goes off." I put the timer down and went back to my office. Then I heard, "Sister Carol, can you come and turn God around so I can talk to Him please?" I laughed to myself as he was so serious and he was already turned around in his chair ready to see God and talk to Him.  A reminder to all of us-turn to God when you are in trouble.

During the week, we celebrated Dr. Seuss' birthday with Crazy Hat Day, Crazy Sock Day and Crazy Hair Day. The joy of children enjoying life with something as small and silly as these crazy ways reminds us to enjoy the simple things of life. Don't overlook them as they can  bring us joy.

We also did Read Across America and one little Prek boy said as he opened the book, "Once upon a time"  and we think they don't listen to us grown-ups. They remember more than we think. They imitate us too. We need to watch what we say and do as little eyes are always on us.

Thursday night, it was off to Tucson to the CoWorkers in the Vineyard Convention sponsored by the Diocese of Tucson. It was great to see Pope Francis attending this too.

I bought one of his books -Inspiration from Pope Francis. The section on youth was inspiring for me  as I continue to work with the youth. "Laugh, the Lord loves you. Love others as well. Dreams can enable one to proclaim that it is worth taking a chance on Jesus. Encourage yourselves to dream. Encourage yourselves to walk and even to risk your life for the Lord. "

I kept this in mind as I set up my display of the Consecrated Life at the Knights of Columbus Founders' Day Program at our Parish  - Our Lady of the Mountains.

Upon coming home I saw our first rose of the season in bloom!  Wow! God is all around us.