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!